June is National Pet Preparedness Month!

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Help keep your pets safe during disasters and have a plan and the necessarily supplies they need.

  • Make sure your pet has a microchip and the contact information and photo of your pet are up to date.
  • Always have a collar and ID tag on your pet, and travel with a leash.
  • List additional phone numbers and email addresses to ensure someone is able to be contacted in the event your pet is lost.
  • Keep a list of important contacts for your pet, such as veterinarians and pet sitters.
  • Upload important medical documents for your pet and keep extra copies for yourself.
  • Keep vaccinations up to date.
  • Always make sure your pet has enough food and water. Storing canned pet food may be a good option as a standby.
  • If evacuation is necessary, never leave your pet behind! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
  • If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
  • Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

For more information about pet emergency planning, visit www.ready.gov/animals.

Tips for Traveling Safely with Pets

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Taking a trip with your pet this summer? Here are some things to consider to make sure everyone is ready!

1 – The most important animal-travel tip is to never leave your pet alone in a parked car. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), when the outside temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior of a parked car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes and 120 degrees within half an hour. And that’s even if you leave the windows cracked an inch or two. ASPCA also warns that the dangers are not limited to the warmer months: “In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing an animal to freeze to death.” Be your pet’s advocate and always remember their safety.

2 – Consult your veterinarian before embarking on a trip, especially if your pet hasn’t traveled before or if you have any health concerns. Before a long trip, take some shorter drives around town with your pet to see how they respond. Take longer and longer ones as you get nearer to your departure date. If your pet gets really anxious, consult your veterinarian to see what they suggest may to help.

3 – If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet’s vaccination record, especially rabies. Some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings and they are required if you travel into Canada!  Check in with your veterinarian to make sure your vaccinations and records are up to date.

4 – Always take breaks! Make sure to check that your pup is welcome everywhere you plan on stopping. Check in with bringfido.com while visiting new areas to find restaurants, parks, and fun activities that are dog friendly.

5 – Book pet-friendly hotels! GoPetFriendly.com is also great site to check for tons of information on traveling with pets.

6 – Always prep a pet-friendly travel kit. Bring food, water, bowls, a leash, plenty of potty bags, grooming supplies, any prescribed medications a pet-friendly first-aid kit, and any travel documents. Don’t forget your dog’s flea, tick and heart worm preventatives. If you need medication or supplies on the road, your veterinarian has an online store to shop from that can ship anywhere in the US!

7 – Put your leash somewhere accessible and put your dog’s leash on before you open the car door. Also make sure your pet wears a collar and tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant contact information. Some states also require that your dog wears a tag with his state dog license information.

8 – If you are camping or doing lots of outdoor activities like hiking, make sure to do nightly tick checks, and it doesn’t hurt to give your pup extra pets and treats while you’re at it!

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.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Housing Affordability in a Market of Increasing Home Prices

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

Are you concerned about home prices getting too high?
Are you worried that we might be headed for another housing bubble?

Click here to view the full article and a video

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.

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.

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.