The Dos and Don’ts of Selling your Home in the Winter

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful dinner with their loved ones tonight! I for one am excited for the upcoming holiday season in our lovely city of Anacortes. But, with all that excitement comes the stress of preparing one’s house—especially, if you’re considering putting your home on the market during this hectic time of year. One of the most common questions I receive is when to buy a home or when to sell a home.

Earlier this week we discussed the perks of buying a home during the winter season but did you know this is also a great time to put your house on the market? Home buyers during this season have a greater sense of urgency to find a home than home buyers during the spring and summer. Did you know that the average home seller that sells their home in December through March ends up receiving more than their asking price? So what are you waiting for?

Here are the dos and don’ts of selling a home during the holiday season.

A great example on how to decorate your home for the season while keeping it simple.

1. Staging: Who doesn’t love to decorate their house for the holidays? Unfortunately, it’s easy to get carried away with the decorations and hide some of the best features of your home. You want to accent what you have to offer and not overwhelm those who are coming to view the house. Keep decorating to a minimum but don’t be afraid to use some of those decorations to emphasize the best features. Having an inviting and cozy home is a great way to help a potential home buyer view what they could be purchasing.

2. Pricing: This is very important when listing your home. During the wintertime, home prices play a huge roll in whether people will look at your home. You want to stay away from pricing your home too high because your house may stay on the market for too long. You also don’t want to price it too low as you may lose out on potential gain, although it might trigger multiple offers and allow you select from several offers to purchase your home . To price correctly, not only reference similar houses and their closing prices, but also the prices of homes for sale currently on the real estate market that have similar features. Here is a great form to figure out that perfect selling price.

3. Schedule a home tune-up: Bring in a home inspector or specific professionals to check-up on your furnace, chimney, and roof. These are especially important during the wintertime as many people will be thinking about heating costs. If you know there may be problems, consider inexpensive upgrades such as adding insulation to your attic.

While it looks like the plants on this home are still growing, the mulch gives a much cleaner look than dead grass

4. Curb Appeal: Don’t ignore your yard! Just because the grass and flowers may be turning brown doesn’t mean that you can’t make your yard look good! Some of my favorite winter garden upgrades are pulling out the dead plants, planting winter pansies and placing mulch in the flower beds. While nothing will be growing, it adds a little bit of a natural color and can give your yard a clean look. Give your trees a nice trim, especially those evergreens.

5. Maximize your lighting: Everyone in Washington knows it gets dark early during winter days. It’s very important to make sure both the exterior and interior of your home are well lit. Since natural light isn’t going to have much to offer during this time, a nicely lit room with lighting that isn’t too harsh is a great way to warm up a home.  Holiday lighting on the outside of your house can also make it look more inviting.

This living room combines natural light with cozy ceiling lights.

I hope these tips inspire you to think about listing your home in the winter months!  If you’re considering buying a home in Skagit County, Oak Harbor, or Anacortes, WA, a great place to start is our website. If you are looking to put your house on the market in the coming months or just want to entertain the option of how much your house is worth, talk to your realtor: Jean Groesbeck today!

Jean Groesbeck:  Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or  360-941-3734.

Breathtaking View Lot in Anacortes!

Incredible Views

Are you tired of looking for your dream home?

Sometimes the market inventory in your desired area might not have the dream home you are looking for. The tight inventory for existing homes is driving many home buyers to build a brand new home to fit their needs.

Have you considered building your dream home? Building your own home gives you the flexibility to have things just the way you would like. If you dream of designing a new home that takes full advantage of the unique geography and amazing island views in Anacortes, we have an amazing lot for you to set the foundation to your new dream home!

Enjoy breathtaking sunsets with panoramic views of the beautiful San Juan Islands from this spectacular .72+/- acre Rock Ridge neighborhood lot. Two lots were combined to accommodate plans for a Northwest Contemporary single-level home with separate exercise/pool house. There are home plans available or you could design your own dream home. The lot has been excavated, leveled, and is ready for building!

Antone Way-Anacortes, WA

The quiet newly developed neighborhood of Rock Ridge here in Anacortes is surrounded by 1,200 acres of Anacortes Community Forest Lands. You can explore many hiking and biking trails right in your own backyard! Rock Ridge is also close to downtown, schools, and easy access to shopping and dining! You can have the best of both worlds here! The Rock Ridge Neighborhood is part of the Anacortes School District and only a short drive to parks, and exciting activities our community has to offer!

Entertaining on this property will sure create great memories with the stunning water views! The newly developed neighborhood has paved streets and sidewalks, this lot is in a cul-de sac making it more private and enjoyable!

When it comes to building a new home, buyers have two options: they can work with a home builder who will show them home plans to choose from, or they can do the research on their own, and hire a contractor to build it.

This lot offers a home floor plan already for you. This plan has optimized the property to the fullest, making the views of the home the spotlight! There are many options to create the perfect home for you!

To see the full listing and more details on this magnificent lot CLICK HERE

The possibilities of different home plans for this property are endless!

Would you like to know more about building your dream home here in Skagit County? Contact Us for more information, Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th Street-Anacortes, WA

Is Living with a Home Owner’s Association Right for You?

Did you know 70% of residents living in a community with Home Owner’s Association (HOA) are satisfied living with its rules and regulations? ( source IBOPE Zogby International). The same survey showed 81% of association residents consider their association assessment as good or great and 76% say the dues enhance property value.

Many buyers may think it is just another monthly payment and avoid these neighborhoods. Some buyers may view HOAs as restricting because they may control the color that your paint your house or the type of landscape you can have, but in actuality, these regulations often protect the value of your home. In reality, most buyers are missing the big picture of how HOA fees can benefit them.

One of the most attractive benefits to HOA fees are the amenities. Some communities offer  clubhouses, libraries,  gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, parks or other attractive amenities that are paid for through HOA fees. Residents have access to amenities without the hassle of maintenance, the HOA does it for you. Home owner dues can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood and the specifics of what they cover.

The largest HOA in Anacortes is Skyline which is located on the west end of Fidalgo Island. Tug Boat Park, Skyline Beach Club, waterside cabana, tennis courts, and play areas are just some of the amenities of Skyline.

Skyline Marina is not part of the HOA, but is a great benefit as it allows you to launch your boat close by or  have it in the water in your backyard!

Here is an example of a current listed home in Skyline with its own private dock.

2013 Cove Place

Private double sided dock right on your back patio.

Spacious one level custom waterfront home offers a rare 92’+/- DOUBLE SIDED PRIVATE deep water DOCK built 2008. 3 bedrooms plus den. Almost 3100 sf. MLS# 692599

We only mentioned basic benefits of an HOA, each neighborhood has unique coverage included in their fees and their own fee rates. Some communities may offer all of these benefits, while others may offer only a few. It is important when looking to purchase a home with HOA to consider what all is included in the fees. Ask your agent about the community and the fees, make sure the neighborhood is a right fit for you and your family.

If you would like more information about Anacortes Real Estate, Anacortes Homes for Sale or if you are wondering what your Anacortes home is worth, please contact Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE LLC RECEIVES 2011 WEBBY AWARDS

The Only National Real Estate Brand Honored in Website Real Estate Category

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (April 15, 2011) –  The Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC website, coldwellbanker.com, has been named a 2011 Official Honoree of The Webby Awards, the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The website, developed in partnership with FD kinesis and Bootstrap Software, was recognized as the only national real estate brand in the Website Real Estate category.

In its 15th year, the Webby Awards is now well-established as one of the Internet’s most respected symbols of success, receiving nearly 10,000 entries from 60 countries worldwide.

“We work tirelessly on coldwellbanker.com to keep it an intuitive, informative and enjoyable experience for everyone, and we believe that by providing the right kinds of tools and technology, our consumers can make smarter decisions,” says Helen Galasso, vice president of platform development and eBusiness, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.  “We’re proud of this distinction because it is recognition of our longstanding tradition of innovation and leadership within the real estate industry.”

\Winners were chosen by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization whose members include director Darren Aronofsky, Martha Stewart, Huffington Post Media Group President Arianna Huffington, Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone, musician David Bowie, and Internet co-creator Vint Cerf, Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson, and R/GA Chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg.

Winners in the website category were selected based on the following criteria: content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall experience. 

Highlights of the Coldwell Banker website include:

  • BlueScapesm — Unique from other real estate search platforms, BlueScape is an entirely visually-driven way to help “dreamers” find just that – the home of their dreams.  Instead of limiting search options to zip code or the number of bedrooms, users begin the search by rating abstract images with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” from landscape scenery to images of snow mobiles and taxi cabs. At any time, they can submit a query and the BlueScapesm technology will identify homes that are a good fit. 
  • Lifestyle Search – Using an intuitive tool bar, consumers can weigh lifestyle factors such as “fun and trendy” against mass transit options, art and music, and even access to golf courses nearby.
  • Affordability Radar — In any search, a consumer can set budget parameters through the radar on the properties that are shown.  Based on the person’s current monthly expenses, the radar will display the estimated monthly cost of each property, and how it fits into that person’s current expenses each month.

About the Webby Awards

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile websites. Established in 1996, the 15th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Microsoft Expression; AOL; YouTube; Pepsi; Aquent; Yahoo!; HP; Sony Electronics; .CO; Corbis Images; Rackspace Hosting; Motorola; Southwest Airlines; East Media; IDG; PricewaterhouseCoopers; 2advanced.Net; Museum of the Moving Image; Behance; Business Insider; Time Out New York; paidContent and The Guardian.

About Coldwell Banker®
Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate.  Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of nearly 92,000 sales associates and brokers working in approximately 3,300 offices in 50 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand to augment its web site www.coldwellbanker.com for smart phones, the first to create a iPhone application and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSM YouTube channel.  The Coldwell Banker system is a leader in specialty markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, February 5th from 11-2 pm

 

816 37th St., Anacortes

EASY access to Highway. nicely remodeled 2 story. Master Bd on main level 3 additional bd upstairs. additional office space on main level.

Nice tiled bathroom with soaking tub. Close to neighborhood Deli store. Garage in back alley access. Large deck Room to park RV or boat Additional 336 ft in basement

DIRECTIONS: Take Commercial Ave to 37th: curve left and go past The Store Deli, home is on the left

Mona Myers
360-391-0681
Coldwell Banker Island Living
3110 Commercial Ave #101
Anacortes, WA 98221
Mona.Myers@ColdwellBanker.com

Coldwell Banker On LocationSM Surpasses 2 Million Views!

 Coldwell Banker proudly makes history once again. We’re excited to let you know On Location, our YouTube® channel, now has surpassed the two million channel views mark!

On Location continues to pave the way for video use in real estate. But make no mistake, the continued success of On Location channel is because of the thousands of Coldwell Banker sales professionals who continue to add more videos to the site on a daily basis. In fact, the channel experienced its highest rate of growth over this past year alone.

Open House: Saturday, November 6th 12:00 – 3:00

3912 Cottage Place, Anacortes, WA. 98221

Sale Price $399,900        MLS # 124452

Great views, great home and a great new price! This brand new home is move in ready, 1880 +/- SF, 3 BR, 2.5 BA home with all the amenities that the Isles has to offer. Beautiful craftsmanship, year round yard care, common clubhouse with BBQ and waterfall. Enjoy cooking in your gourmet kitchen and enjoy the views from the living room and deck.

Directions: N. on Commercial to 12th, west on 12th which becomes Oakes Ave. Left on Anacopper, left on West. 3rd, 1st. left into the Isles, 1st right on Cottage Place.

Hosted by:  Yvonne Wiemken
360-293-4511

Yvonne.Wiemken@coldwellbanker.com

www.CBIslandLiving.com

Internationally Speaking

More foreign buyers showed interest in purchas­ing U.S. properties in 2009, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR)’s 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. More than one-fourth of REALTORS® (28 percent) say they worked with at least one international client in the past year, up from 23 percent a year ago. Nearly one in five REALTORS® (18 percent) completed at least one sales transaction with an international client, up from 12 percent in 2008. Sales involving foreign buyers represented about 7 percent of the overall residential market.

International buyers came from 53 countries; the top four were Canada (23 percent), Mexico (10 percent), the United Kingdom (9 percent) and China/Hong Kong (8 percent). The most impor­tant factors in a buyer’s decision to purchase U.S. property are the proximity to their home country and the convenience of air transportation.

Florida typically attracts European, Canadian and South American buyers, while the East coast draws Europeans. The Southwest attracts Mexican buyers and the West Coast attracts Asians.

“Wise Buyers” Taking Advantage of Chance to Get Stellar Homes

 

 KIRKLAND, Wash. (Oct. 5, 2010) – Home sales remained subpar around most of Washington during September, but directors from Northwest Multiple Listing Service say they are encouraged by some positive signs. “It’s a slow recovery, but it’s trending in the right direction,” said Joe Spencer, a member of the NWMLS board of directors.

Among positive indicators the directors cited were pending sales (“starting to show signs of life”), month’s supply of inventory (pointing toward a more balanced market), stabilizing prices (with more homes being priced competitively), the market adjusting to no more tax credits, and strong sales of “specialty homes.”

Northwest MLS members reported 5,741 pending sales during September across the 21 counties in its service area. That’s a drop from August (down 4.9 percent) and from the same month a year ago (a decline of 24.3 percent), but an improvement on the total number of mutually accepted offers for May, June and July.

MLS director Pat Grimm, reports an upsurge in people looking at properties, particularly move-up buyers. He attributes some of that activity to homes “finally being priced competitively.” The new pool of potential buyers are “getting their feet wet, but they’re taking their time before they jump in,” he commented.

Prospective buyers have plenty of choices across the price spectrum. MLS members added 9,038 new listings to inventory during September, bringing the total selection to 42,153 active listings.

 “There are many very wise buyers taking advantage of what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mike Skahen, whose real estate career spans nearly 30 years. “We haven’t seen a summer like this in home sales since 1982 when interest rates were hovering around 16 percent,” he observed.

 “Buyers are snapping up homes in all price ranges that are well located, in good condition, and that are priced fairly,” Skahen reported. Buyers who procrastinate risk losing purchasing power because of anticipated increases in interest rates.

Interest rates below 5 percent are an extraordinary event, and buyers need to take advantage of them. A 1 percent increase in the interest rate on a $300,000 mortgage increases the monthly payment by $183, he explained, adding experts expect rate hikes. “It’s not if, it’s when,” he contended.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 24,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 21 counties in Western and Central Washington.

City Wide Open House Event – HUGE Success!!!

In a combined effort, Anacortes Real Estate offices held a city wide open house event this past Sat from 1-4.  The event was such a huge success, there is another one planned for October 16th!  Coldwell Banker’s own Terry O’Reilly, as seen in the Skagit Valley Herald holding open The Garden’s & The Crest in Sunset Cove, was one of over 50 agents who had a steady stream of people. Many of the agents report staying open way past the 4pm cut off time because of the flow of people wanting to see the homes. 

Not only did Coldwell Banker have the entire office participate in this event, every Coldwell Banker agent is offering a free one year home warranty through American Home Shield on any home purchased from a CBIL Broker or one listed by a CBIL.  Home must be under contract by Oct. 31, 2010 and must close by Dec. 31, 2010.

The next Anacortes City Wide Open House Event will be Oct 16th from 1-4pm.  What better time to get out there and find your dream home or if you are thinking of selling your home, this is a perfect time to contact a Coldwell Banker Agent to get it listed and on tour for the next Open House Event!