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?

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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.

When is the Right Time to Sell Your Home?

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Have you been interested in selling your home, but still wonder when the best time will be?

Here are a few reasons why NOW is the time to list your home for sale in Anacortes:

– SUPPLY AND DEMAND –

Inventory in Anacortes is low, but the demand remains high! Because of this, it is currently a sellers market. Homes listed for sale that are priced correctly are selling very quickly!

– FEWER CASH BUYERS – 

In the past few years, all-cash and investment buyers have maintained the real estate market. With fewer all-cash buyers, the price growth in the housing market will make for more stable and sustainable growth.

– INCREASE IN INTEREST RATES –

It is predicted that mortgage rates are going to rise in the near future; this will encourage buyers to make their move in purchasing sooner rather than later.

– RISING COST OF RENT –

As the price of rent increases, tenants become potential buyers and want to invest rent money towards owning a home.

Before you decide if now the right time to sell your home is, contact Team Groesbeck to discuss your options. Our team of honest and experience brokers will guide you every step of the way, beginning with a no obligation comparative market analysis (CMA) of your property, in addition to a complimentary staging consultation for our clients.

To schedule an appointment with us or for more information, we are available daily at (360) 941-3734 or by email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com. As the #1 seller of pre-owned properties in Skagit County, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. are market experts and can assist with all of your real estate needs, providing you 5 Star Real Estate Services since 2002!

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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Should you sell your home now?

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Selling your home is a huge decision that often causes extra (and unwanted) stress.  Deciding when to sell your home is not always only about the money, but a lifestyle change.

Anacortes-based Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC is a team of experienced and professional real estate brokers who know the market in Anacortes, throughout Skagit County, and beyond.  Even if you are interested in seeing what your home is worth or interested in selling in a few months, contact us early to begin the process.  Allowing for ample time to get your home and finances in order will allow for a smoother process later.

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC doesn’t just list homes, we sell them.  We utilize our resources online, social media, throughout the area to promote your property ensuring that we will get you an offer that is best for you – and we will guide the process along the way.

Our team of dedicated and full-time brokers is the number one sellers of pre-owned properties in Skagit County.  Don’t wait; call us today at (360) 941-3734.

We look forward to working for you.

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 for Baby Boomers

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Have you stopped running up and down the stairs, or now want brighter light bulbs?  We aren’t getting any younger!

Most Baby Boomers prefer to age in place – if you or your parents are Baby Boomers, here are some safety tips to consider for your home:

  • Add handrails on both sides of stairs.
  • Add handrails next to the toilet and in the shower.
  • Remove clutter and open the floor space. Small objects like magazine racks can be a tripping hazard.
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher?  Have you checked it lately?  They should be checked annually.  Keep one under the kitchen sink, in the garage, and in the utility room.
  • Install pullouts for cabinets, especially lower ones.
  • Don’t climb on the ladder!  Hire someone to do it or ask a family member.
  • Install additional lighting or lamps.
  • Make sure your house number is very visible from the street.  You want medical personnel to quickly find you in case you need to call for help.
  • Take a CPR class.  Even if you know CPR take a class again, as they have changed the suggested procedures.

Are you wondering what your home is currently worth? Located in Anacortes, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC proudly serves Anacortes, Skagit County, the San Juan Islands and beyond.  Contact us today at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com for a complimentary, no obligation market analysis.

Selling Your Home?

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Sometimes showings to sell your home can feel like a hassle, specially if you have an active lifestyle and/or children. Every showing counts and the better your home looks the higher are the chances to receive an offer. We understand it is a huge commitment to have your home show ready every day and we are here to help you the best way we can.

Here are 5 quick tips to have your house show ready everyday during the house selling process:

1. Make a checklist. It’s easy to forget things in the rush to get out the door.

2. Make your bed every morning. So you don’t have to worry about it on those last minute showing calls.

3. Hide laundry. Conceal dirty clothes in a “neat way” in a lidded hamper and have rooms show ready all the time.

4. Simplify kid’s rooms. Pack as many toys as possible and store them in a box/container. The less they have, the faster it will be to pickup before a showing.

5. Check bathrooms. Replace used/wet towels with clean fluffy ones and give your bathroom an instant clean and fresh appearance.

Showings don’t have to be a hassle! With the right tools, you will be a pro in no time.

If you would like more tips, email us at: info@jeangroesbeck.com, we will gladly send you more information. Everything we do is geared toward making the process as easy for you as we possibly can!

Selling a home with pets? <– click here for information

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!