Improving Your Credit Score

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

One of the biggest misconceptions about buying a home is that you need perfect credit in order to qualify. In fact, many programs allow much lower credit scores when qualifying a home buyer. But there are still certain minimums that you have to meet. So, how do you go about improving your credit scores?

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6 Home Projects That Cost Less Than a TV

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Looking to revamp your home without breaking the bank?  Here are 6 home projects that will dramatically improve the looks of your home for less than the cost of a new TV:

  • Update your entryway: A new welcome mat, house numbers, plants, doorknobs, lighting or painting the front door are all quick fixes that will spruce up your home for an affordable cost!
  • Modernize your bathroom: You do not need to do a total remodel to make a large impact.  Use reclaimed materials, paint and update linens to achieve a new look.
  • Repaint your interior walls: For $200-$300, repainting an entire room or adding an accent wall will revive a dull space, or paint the trim or built-ins with subtly contrasting colors to give the room a pop of color.
  • Upgrade cabinet hardware: Install stylish hardware to jump start your kitchen’s new look.  If your kitchen has a contemporary design, go with sleek, understated hardware. Ornate, classically inspired aesthetics work best for traditional cabinets.
  • Light fixtures: Before you install new fixtures, it’s important to consider your dĂ©cor. If you have a flair for the modern, go for the subtle-but-stunning aesthetics of pendant lighting. If your home has more of a traditional design, consider the lavish ornamentation of baroque-inspired chandeliers or candle wall sconces.
  • Clean the carpets: Unblemished carpets make a huge difference in the appearance of your home — especially if you experience a lot of foot traffic. Spot cleaning small stains is a simple do-it-yourself job, but it’s best to leave larger jobs to the pros.

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, DAILY at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com, or visit our Old Town Anacortes office at 809 7th St.

Credit Reporting Changes May Improve Mortgage Approvals

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

There are some changes coming to credit reporting guidelines, and it could help more people qualify for a home mortgage.

Already, qualifying for a home mortgage is getting easier each year. Guidelines are being loosened, debt-to-income ratios raised, co-signed debt is easier to disregard, and reserve requirements lowered. It’s worth noting, however, that guidelines are no where near as Mortgage Credit Availability Index July 2017 loose at they were in 2006, which is a good thing. Yes, it’s harder to get a mortgage today, but it should be.

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For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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VIDEO: How to Avoid Wire Fraud

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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How to Make your Offer Stand Out with a Cover Letter

Dean-Hayes

Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

Think of the difference. If you’re selling your home, and you’re reviewing several offers that you’ve received for your home, you’re seeing different factors such as closing date, down payment, loan program, addendums and exceptions, but what you really key in on is the bottom line to you – how much will you net from each different offer.

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Buying a Home Young

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

In its February installment of the National Housing Survey, Fannie Mae saw surging Millennial confidence in the housing market, even with mortgage rates seemingly poised to rise, and home prices at near-record levels.

Along with more job security and increasing income, Millennial home buyers are increasingly married with children – all three legs of the home demand stool.

Nearly half (49 percent) of Millennial buyers reported at least one child – up from 45 percent last year and 43 percent two years ago.

As with every aspect of the marketplace, young buyers with children are the key to shaping the future of real estate.

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Hidden Gem Within Anacortes City Limits

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3703 J Ave. (MLS # 1135095) is a true hidden gem.  This .58+ acre level Anacortes property is located within the city limits and features beautiful views of majestic Mt. Baker, Fidalgo Bay, and the Islands in the distance.

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Held by the same family for decades, this home 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath home has old town charm with the original (seller thinks) wood stove for cooking, but don’t worry, it is supplemented by a modern day stove as well.

The lower level is unfinished for shop space or a mother-in-law suite and there is a possibility the property could be subdivided. 3703 J Ave. in Anacortes is ADA accessible and has RV Parking!

For information about this property or for any of your real estate needs, Team Groesbeck is located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St. and are available daily at (360) 941-3734.

Military Families: Rent vs. Buy

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With the highly-mobile lifestyle that comes with being in the military, often times renting a home seems like an easier decision than buying a home, even though renting can be a drain on your funds.

In a market like Anacortes and Oak Harbor where demand is high, it is important to consider your options and what is best for you.

Here are some things to consider and discuss:

  • How long will you be living there? Short-term buying options only work out when you can sell the house right afterwards, and while in an ideal market that might be possible, it can take months or even years to sell a house after putting it up. Also make sure to check out the fine print on your mortgage. Many banks have a minimum amount of years before you can sell.
  • How close is it to friends and family? People rely on other people, especially their loved ones. While a house may seem like a good idea, if it’s too far away from your existing life, it could be a hindrance in the long run. Family can also be a great asset if you plan on renting your house out, since they can manage the property in your stead.
  • Is the property rent-able? Chances are, you might not be in your house forever. Renting it out to someone else can be a good way to make money while you’re not living in it, and help pay off any existing loans or mortgages in the meantime. Check to see if the house is fit for rental, and make sure you have someone who can handle calls and visits when you’re on-duty.

 

With any questions about the local real estate market throughout the greater Anacortes area and for all of your real estate needs, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC is available seven days a week. Contact Team Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or via email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com, or stop by our office in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St.

The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill an individual within minutes of contact. Carbon monoxide can quickly build to unsafe levels in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas.

What Are Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, confusion and nausea. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can include symptoms similar to illnesses such as the flu.

As these may be difficult symptoms to diagnose, they could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

  • Symptoms go away when you leave your home, and come back when you return.
  • Everyone in the home experiences similar symptoms at the same time.

 

What Should You Do if You Suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak in Your Home?

If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, gather your family outside in the fresh air and immediately call 911.

  • During power outages, never use charcoal or gas grills indoors or in enclosed spaces. Do not burn charcoal in a fireplace, as charcoal does not produce a draft strong enough to push the carbon monoxide outside.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, garage, carport, basement, or near an opening into your home while outside. Generators should be kept at least 20 feet from buildings in the hope that airflow will direct carbon monoxide flows away from the home.
  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home and do not sleep in a room using an unvented gas or kerosene heater.

 

Should You Hire a Broker, or For-Sale-By-Owner?

809 7th St Anacortes, WA - (360) 941-3734

Selling a home is not a simple as sticking a sign in the yard and placing an ad on Craigslist. Many For Sale by Owner (FSBO) sellers don’t realize the amount of work, expertise and time it takes to sell a home. More often than not, FSBO sellers eventually turn to a real estate agent to sell their home.

Statistically, home owners who hire a real estate agent net more money for their home than they do when selling the home themselves.

When selling your own home, you are responsible for all the marketing costs for flyers, signs, online listings and other potentially unforeseen expenses. These costs can add up to hundreds of dollars depending on how much marketing you are willing to do.

Sellers often forget that selling their own home is time consuming – and as the saying goes, “time is money.” Selling your own home requires long hours of research and marketing efforts, not to mention hiring a professional to write a contract for you to avoid any liability.

Although it is possible, in our experience, sellers who want to save the sales commission rarely do so. Most home buyers use a real estate agent. The few who don’t are bargain hunter buyers seeking FSBO homes, expecting to save money. Buying for less is their main goal and this is typically reflected in low offers.

Opportunistic speculators and investors usually offer less for a FSBO home. Without an agent to represent the owner’s interests, sellers may end up accepting an offer below the value of their home.

Real estate professionals are knowledgeable about the local market and know the highest price a home is likely to bring. A real estate professional can advise the seller on the right price for their home to get the most money.

A real estate agent has experience, expertise and a large network of personal and professional contacts with other agents with the local area and beyond. Client, agent and agency relationships will boost the marketing of your home and expose it to the largest number of potential buyers.

In contract negotiations, a real estate agent not only is trained to negotiate with your best interest in mind, but is also in a better position than an emotionally involved seller. The result will be a more profitable contract for the seller.

Showing and marketing a home is a full time job and many FSBO sellers just don’t have the time. Are you really ready to put your life on hold for showings at all hours? Do you even know if the person interested is a “real” buyer? More importantly, will you be comfortable with showing your home to anyone who knocks on your door? If you answer “no,” you might want to reconsider selling your home without an agent. It will not only be time consuming and stressful but it can also lead to a potential dangerous situation.

Feel free to contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC. for a complimentary, no obligation, real estate market analysis of your home. We are the #1 seller of pre-owned properties in Skagit County and know the importance of getting you top dollar for your home!

We are available daily at (360) 941-3734 or via email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.