April Events in Anacortes

April Events

Spring is the perfect time to experience Anacortes, Washington! Among other local treasures, Skagit County is the home of the Skagit Tulip Festival which offers fun events and beautiful scenery for all ages.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (Skagit County- various venues)
April 1st through 30th

Acres of blooming tulip fields, concerts, seafood, self-guided bicycle tours, art shows, and more.
www.TulipFestival.org

Burlington Downtown Artwalk (Burlington)
April 1st through 30th

Local art will be displayed in beautiful downtown Burlington.

Spring Garage Sale: Antiques & More (Mount Vernon)
April 8th-9th
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
$3 per person
$3 onsite parking

Join more than 140 vendors at the Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon and search for antiques while listening to live music and enjoying food from local vendors.
www.SkagitCounty.net

Anacortes Spring Wine Festival
April 9th
Noon – 5:00 PM

Taste your way through local wineries and restaurants.
www.Anacortes.org

Tulip Frolic and Parade (La Conner)
April 9th
2:00 PM

Farm animals, clowns, bands, mascots, and fun for the whole family!
www.TulipFestival.org

Tulip Festival Street Fair (Mount Vernon)
April 15th-17th
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

www.MountVernonDowntown.org

Art in Bloom (Anacortes)
April 15th though 23rd

Works from regional artists will be displayed at the Anacortes Arts Festival’s off-season show to take place at the Depot Arts Center. The show will feature painting, photography, sculpture, and fine crafts.
www.AnacortesArtsFestival.com

These are great events that demonstrate the true community feeling of Anacortes and Skagit County as a whole. If you are considering moving to the area, these events are sure to entice you to embrace the beautiful Pacific Northwest lifestyle.

December Events in Anacortes

Can you believe December is already here?

Jingles & Santa ! Happy Holidays from Anacortes Living!

December is my favorite month of the year because it is the best time to buy a new home and spread the holiday cheer! December comes with so many exciting local events! It’s a great time of year to bring the community together and meet new people.

That being said— you will not want to miss any of the lovely local events going on throughout December in Anacortes, WA.

December 4th we had our annual tree lighting ceremony officially kicking off this lovely holiday season. If you missed this, don’t worry many more events are soon to come!

December 6th, Anacortes school district is putting on a gingerbread house contest. Guests can join the festivities with crafts and snacks for sale and children are welcome to join in on the gingerbread house fun.

December 11th-12th, Wonderland Walk is being held at Washington Park. Take a walk through the festively lit park created and inspired by different local groups.

December 16th brings another must see.The 5th annual Celtic Christmas celebration! Watch the Seattle Irish Dance company along with several different live bands.

The Jingle Bell Dash will be held December 19th this year, make sure to bring your kids! Santa will be waiting at the finish line.

Finally, Habitat for Humanity is looking for Christmas volunteers to help with constructing houses during this holiday season.

Christmas is such a busy time of year! I know I have been rushing around decorating the house, preparing for visitors and finding the perfect presents for my loved ones!

With all the excitement sometimes safety and the idea that this time can pose any threats can be put off. Here are some tips to help keep your home happy and fire-safe this season. Don’t forget your pets! We have some great pet information for keeping your furry friends safe during the winter season.

From the farmers markets and boating activities in the summertime to the holiday festivals, Anacortes is an amazing place to live. These events help make a close community that is wonderfully inviting and friendly. Don’t miss out on your chance to live in a place you’ll love!

Never heard of Anacortes? Well, if you’ve ever considered Washington, Anacortes is a great place to start your search!

See what Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC. can do for you at how we can help.

Call us today for a free consultation. Let us show you how our 5 Star Real Estate Services can make a difference in buying or selling a home.

Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734

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

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.

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!

7 Things All Borrowers Should Know About FHA Loans

FHA loans are mortgages issued by qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

1. FHA Loans Are Not Only For Lower-Income Borrowers. FHA loans are available to everyone. In fact, even Bill Gates can get one. There is no maximum income restriction associated with FHA loans. Borrowers do need to substantiate income and assets by submitting proper documentation. This requirement ensures that borrowers are well-vetted and truly able to afford their future homes.

2. FHA Loans Are Not Only For First-Time Buyers. Many people believe FHA loans are available only to first-time homebuyers. This is not the case. Whether borrowers are making their first home purchase or their fifth, they can look to FHA loans as a home financing option.

3. FHA Loans Are Not Just Small Loans; In Fact, Loan Amounts Can Be As High As Almost $800,000. The government recently raised the maximum loan amount from its original cap of $362,790 to $793,750 as a way to help stabilize the housing market. The amount a buyer can borrow varies from county to county. Later this summer, condo buyers interested in FHA loans can visit www.checkfhaapproval.com to instantly identify FHA-approved condo associations and review maximum loan amounts for a given location.

4. FHA Loans Are Not Affiliated With The Section 8 Housing Program. While both programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), FHA loans have nothing to do with low-income subsidized housing. FHA loans are simply mortgages insured by FHA. This insurance provided by the federal government allows lenders to lend more freely by assuring them that they will be repaid in the event of default. Most traditional lenders, including Wells Fargo & Co., JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup are able to provide FHA loans to their customers.

5. FHA Loans Are Often More Affordable Than Conventional Loans. While FHA loans typically offer the same interest rates as other loans, borrowers benefit from a much lower down payment of as low as 3.5 percent.

6. FHA-Approved Condo Developments Are More Desirable To Buyers. With 87 percent of home buyers indicating that they plan to use FHA loans, condo associations that are not FHA approved are missing out on a significant pool of prospective buyers. Under rules in place since February 2010, an entire condominium development must now apply to HUD and be granted FHA approval before a buyer can purchase a unit in an association with an FHA loan or before an existing unit owner can refinance into an FHA loan.

Due to the general unwillingness of today’s lenders to extend credit with respect to conventional loans, many borrowers find that FHA is their best bet. Lenders don’t mind lending when the federal government (FHA) assures them of repayment.

Homeowners associations (HOAs) should note that although FHA-insured mortgages might be easier to obtain, they are not “risky” loans, due in large part to the strict “full documentation” requirements placed on borrowers.

Individual buyers or sellers can initiate the approval process or current owners can encourage their HOA to apply.

7. FHA Loans Are Assumable. In addition to lower down-payment and credit-qualifying requirements as compared to conventional loans, FHA loans are assumable. This means that when a seller with an FHA loan sells his or her property, the loan and its financing terms (interest rate) can be transferred to the new buyer. This unique feature will certainly make a property more valuable in times of rising interest rates.

“Now, more than ever, buyers and sellers need to understand the options available to them when it comes time to buy a home.  At Coldwell Banker Island Living we have worked with countless individuals to easily and efficiently navigate the home buying process.

Originally printed by RISMEDIA, July 1, 2010