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 DAILY at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com, or visit our Old Town Anacortes office at 809 7th St.

Deer-Resistant Perennials for Your Home

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If you are thinking of adding new plants to your home garden, be aware the certain plants tend to attract animals like deer, rabbits or even specific insects. If you are trying to deter deer from your Anacortes or Skagit County property, below is a list of 10 perennials that are deer resistant:

  • Bee Balm
  • Catmint
  • Perennial Salvia
  • Lavender
  • Russian Sage
  • Perennial Ornamental Grasses
  • Ligularia
  • Spike Speedwell
  • False Indigo
  • Blue Star

For additional information about these plants, click here.

Should I Paint Before I Sell?

For some, even thinking of painting their home can become overwhelming. Many question the idea of painting before selling their home, is it worth the effort and money? The answer is YES! Adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior and interior will add value to your home, and will help you receive the best price for your home.

The first thing a potential buyer will see when walking up to your home is the exterior, it is vital to make sure your home is ready for those buyers and first impressions matter! Taking the time to paint the exterior of your home will make buyers feel that there is less work for them to take on before the purchase.

It is important to give your home the best look before you take the step in selling your home. Painting the interior of your home brings new life to your home and makes the potential buyers feel the home is move-in ready. If you have rooms that are painted to a specific style that might not catch the eye of potential buyers it is best to choose a paint color that is neutral or appealing to a wide range of buyers. The goal of selling a home is to attract as many buyers as possible and a fresh coat of paint will help impress those potential buyers.

Painting your home before selling is great for cleaning up the marks and dings that occur throughout the time of living in your home. New buyers will want to see fresh clean lines and want to envision themselves living in the home before putting in an offer.

For more tips on how to add value to your home before selling CLICK HERE! There are many different ideas that will help make sure your home is sold for the best price possible!

Are you ready to sell your home in Anacortes or Skagit County? Even if you are thinking about selling soon, we can help!

Call Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3437 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com for more information on selling your home for the best return on your investment.

 

Ways to SAVE During Tax Season

It’s that dreaded time of year when your taxes need to be done.  But this year you might have something to look forward to.  Did you know that if you purchased a home in 2016, you could be eligible to get some tax breaks?  Whether you paid cash for your home or financed it through a mortgage, read on to find out how you could benefit from your home purchase last year.

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DEDUCTING MORTGAGE INTEREST

Great news!  All that interest you paid on your mortgage over the year could be tax-deductible.  For some homeowners, interest paid can yield a significant tax-break, and even more so in the early years of paying toward your loan.  This applies whether you pay interest on a condo, boat, mobile home, or RV used as a residence with sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities. Talk to an expert to see if you meet the requirements.

REAL ESTATE TAXES

You can also deduct taxes based on the assessed value of your home and property.  These taxes can usually be deducted in the year in which they are paid.  Does your lender currently escrow your taxes and insurance?  If so, they will send a statement to you that you will file with your tax returns.  Ask an expert for help in determining if you qualify.

HOME IMPROVEMENTS

If you make any improvements to your home (or made any last year), including home renovations, fencing, or new roofing, save all your receipts and records of this.  While you can’t deduct these expenses this year, you could deduct them when you sell your home in the future.

Want to discuss buying or selling a home in 2017?  We are at your service! Call, text, or email us any time.

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

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Staging Your Home to Sell

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Before staging and after staging

When you list your home with Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, we provide of our clients with a complimentary staging consultation because we understand the importance of making a great first impression to a buyer.

By decorating and arranging a home’s interior to present an ideal way of life, buyers are assisted in visualizing themselves in your home. Whether you undertake the process of staging your own home or decide to consult a professional, there are a number of different “props” that may be used around the home. For example, to add a vibrant sense of life to the home, many home staging professionals recommend using different types of potted plants and arrangements of flowers and fruit. Throughout the home, they tend to utilize soft, luxurious fabrics such as satin, lamb’s wool and silk to create an atmosphere of comfort. This process can also extend to the exterior of the property, where patio furniture can be added in the backyard and colorful flowers or unique accessories outside the front door.

Many home staging professionals come from interior design or art-related backgrounds. Hence, when working on staging a home for sale, these professionals utilize a number of visual tricks to capture the attention of potential buyers. For instance, furniture is always arranged very carefully to simulate the ideal living space. In living rooms, home staging professionals often use love seats and ottomans in lieu of large couches to create the illusion of added space. Likewise, mirrors are often placed throughout a staged home to make the living area seem larger to potential buyers.

One of the most important steps in home staging is the exchange of your personal decorations with more neutral furnishings. Beyond replacing family pictures with more design-friendly items, a successful home staging will attempt to eliminate any idiosyncratic tastes and represent a living space that has broad appeal. This commonly used tactic simply helps potential buyers view the property not as someone else’s home, but as something they can call their own.

Without any furniture or amenities, even a home for sale in the most attractive area can make potential buyers feel uncomfortable. If you are trying to sell your home and have already moved out, you may want to consider working with your agent to stage the home’s interior. With the assistance of your agent and a home staging professional, you could quickly transform a lifeless house into dream home.

In the end, home staging is about making the most of your home’s potential. If the staging of your home is completed effectively, it is also possible that your home may receive better offers from potential buyers and spend less time on the market. By minimizing the flaws of your home and making the living area seem larger, brighter and more appealing, home staging may be one of the most important steps in selling your home quickly and at the right price.

We look forward to working for you and assisting with all of your real estate needs. Contact us today at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Competing with New Homes in Today’s Market

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If you are selling a home in Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit County, it is important to look at your competition. If your home is in a price range that has new homes listed, it is even more important that your home is move-in ready.

Beyond the updated kitchen and bathrooms, buyers want homes that will not need maintenance within the next five years. Other things to consider are that the roof and gutters need to be cleaned, the furnace serviced, appliances working, fresh paint, stain free and clean carpet, cupboards clean and organized and no mildew on decks and patios.

Even if you do not have new homes in your area, 70 percent of Skagit County buyers want move-in ready homes. They expect the homes on the market to have spotless kitchens, fresh caulking in bathrooms and perfect windows.

Of course we can sell homes that are not in excellent condition, but sellers do not get top-dollar. Some sellers value time more than money so they are willing to have a lower selling price rather than having work done.

For most of us, we want top dollar for any real estate we sell. When you allow Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC to market your home in Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties, you will receive professional and complimentary staging services.

If you are thinking of remodeling and want to consider resale value of your home in Anacortes or anywhere in Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties, we are happy to discuss with you. Contact us at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com today!

2017 Kitchen Trends

 
by Eileen Hebert, broker, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC in Anacortes.

Kitchen design trends are constantly evolving–and these days, with digital media giving homeowners a constant stream of inspiration, it seems like new styles are coming and going at an even faster rate. If you’re planning to refresh your kitchen in 2017, make sure it’s cutting edge be incorporating what are sure to be the biggest kitchen design trends for 2017.

Tuxedo kitchen cabinets: Mix up a kitchen’s color palette with Tuxedo cabinets. Two-tone cabinetry means you don’t have to choose just one finish for your cabinets.  It’s all about the two-toned look, whether you paint the upper cabinetry one shade and the lower set another, or simply finish a kitchen island in a different finish.  You will never go wrong with classic black and white.

Hidden Appliances:  Hidden appliances are those that are made to look as if they are cabinets, with the same design in doors and hardware. The trend will be towards hidden appliances, even small appliances such coffee makers and microwaves, and certainly bigger items like refrigerators and dishwashers.

Nearly every appliance but the stove can be “hidden” and disguised as cabinetry and this creates a clean, uncluttered looking kitchen overall.

Quartz Countertops:  Quartz kitchen countertops, marble and wood are versatile modern kitchen trends for 2017. Concrete, stainless steel and glass add industrial style vibe to modern kitchens and offer the latest trends in contemporary kitchen design. Quarts kitchen countertops look like granite. Solid and practical, easy to clean and very attractive, quartz kitchen countertops are convenient and eco friendly solutions for modern kitchens.

Mixed hardware finishes:  Hardware is like the jewelry for your kitchen design and there are more options out there than ever before. Skip the standard nickel knobs and brass bar pulls from the big box store and opt for something special. Instead of going for a monochromatic stainless steel look, homeowners are choosing accessories with various finishes, such as gold, copper or pewter. Among the details seen on hardware: hammered finishes, leather trim, and even pulls made from slices of agate.

If you’re ready for a kitchen remodel in 2017, keep these trends in mind. Opt for natural materials for both your countertop and backsplash choices, utilizing bold colors wherever possible. You’ll have a kitchen update that’s perfect for your home.

If you would like more information on home trends, contact Eileen Hebert at (360) 770-7090 or email her at Eileen@JeanGroesbeck.com

Home Safety

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Safety and security are part of the comforts of home, however there are many things that can easily become hazardous without our even realizing. Fortunately there are some simple steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe:

 

  • Throughout your home, check that handrails and banisters are in good repair and that they will not give way to children or elderly individuals that may live in or visit your home. Look at areas both indoors and outdoors that may need handrails or other support installed and evaluate whether or not they would be beneficial to your family.
  • Replace burned-out bulbs throughout your home, especially in areas such as stairways that may be difficult to get to or overlooked. Unknown to many, burned-out bulbs can be a fire hazard as dust will build on the bulbs and they are likely to spark when a switch gets turned off and on regularly.
  • Replace faulty wiring immediately upon discovering it.
  • Install smoke alarms and check batteries twice each year.
  • Secure your home with quality door and window locks.
  • Trim shrubs and trees close to the house so you can easily see into your yard from windows.
  • Avoid an unoccupied look when you go away for extended periods of time by leaving a light or radio on. This can even be done with an automatic timing device.
  • Pause deliveries of mail and newspapers by phoning your local post office and newspaper carrier.
  • Have a trusted neighbor or friend keep an eye on your home. In some areas, you can ask your local police station about “vacation house checks” so the police will keep an eye on your home while you are away.

We are never too busy to assist you with your real estate needs! If you are looking for more ways to keep your home safe, give us a call! We would be happy to provide you with any information you need, or at least point you in the right direction!

What You Should Know About Home Appraisals

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Both the appraisal and inspection processes can be intimidating from both buyer and seller perspectives. Both take a very nit-picky look at your home, and both can affect the final negotiated price. Take a look at a few appraisal-related questions that we’ve answered for you:

How do inspections and appraisals differ?
Inspectors come to a property to gauge any concerns that may cause issues after the deal is done, while appraisers come specifically to assess the value of a property.

Why are appraisals necessary?
Lenders will not loan funds when a home has not been appraised; they want as much information as possible so they can loan the appropriate amount. For example, the lender does not want to “over-loan” on a property in the event that it is foreclosed and they are left with a home they cannot sell for the loan amount.

Who pays for the appraisal; the seller or the buyer?
Typically, the seller pays for the appraisal during closing the closing process.

How does the appraiser determine the property value?
Appraisals take into account key features of the home, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and overall condition. Another huge factor is information about other comparable properties close to yours; property values surrounding you can have great impact on your home’s appraised price.

Is there anything the homeowner can do to improve the appraisal?
Save a copy of your seller’s disclosure form when initially so you can make note of any changes or improvements you’ve made to the home. Once the appraisal appointment has been made, speak to your Realtor about the possibility of him/her being present during the appraisal so they can point out any unseen and possibly value-increasing features.

The Importance of Home Inspections

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Many wonder why such an emphasis is placed on home inspections when they are not mandatory in the home buying or selling process.

The bottom line is: buying a home is already an expensive process- it is best to have a third party check for potential (unseen) problems before you are fully committed, rather than signing without knowing what you could be getting into.

One of the biggest indicators that the home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. This means that it can be used to back out the deal if certain significant defects are revealed by an inspection.

 

While inspectors may vary in thoroughness, there are certain key elements they should look at:

  • Whether or not the problems they find are safety issues, or major/minor defects.
  • Which items require replacement or servicing.
  • Which items should be monitored closely for possible repair/replacement in the future.

 

As a general rule, some of the items an inspector might look at include:

  • Foundation
  • Exterior Walls
  • Pest Problems
  • Roof Damage
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Water Heater
  • Kitchen Appliances (provided any are staying with the home)
  • Laundry Room (proper ventilation)
  • Potential Fire Hazards
  • Bathrooms (proper ventilation, mold issues, water damage, etc.)

 

Potential safety concerns that should absolutely be addressed in the inspection are:

  • Radon
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Mold

 

Inspections may not always identify everything wrong with a property, but they can point you in the right direction if something appears amiss and if anything, you will have the opinion of an “expert” to back you up.

If you have any questions about home inspections (how to schedule, why they are important, etc.) give us a call! We would be happy to walk you through everything you need to know about buying or selling your home.