10 Things To Do Before Summer Ends

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1. Go for a picnic
It seems a little old-fashioned, but a picnic can still be a lot of fun. Put some food in a basket or a cooler, go find a grassy spot somewhere, plop down, and have a meal. Take your friends or your family along and make an experience that you’ll remember.

2. Go find your nearest body of water
Water is an amazing thing and you can do a lot with it. Go visit a body of water this summer like a lake, an ocean or a river. Go fishing, swimming, lying on the beach or go on a boat ride. There are a hundred things you can do once you hit the water. Visit Double Bluff Beach down in Freeland or Rocky Point in Oak Harbor, just to name a few.

3. Walk somewhere
We are always sitting in front of our computers or sitting down on the couch after a long day, but why not switch your routine around and go for a walk somewhere! We have legs that we are using less and less these days. Do your body a favor and pound some pavement this summer. Find a park or a trail and walk around while enjoying the outdoors. Whatever it may be, a little exercise won’t hurt. Visit one of our parks in Anacortes such as Cap Sante Park, Washington Park or John Storvik Playground.

4. Try something you’ve never tried before
When we were kids, summer was a time of exploration. We took the time off of school to try a lot of new things and begin to compile the experiences that would eventually become treasured memories. That doesn’t stop there just because we are adults right now! There are a lot of things left to experience and you have one more month to do them! Take a road trip somewhere or take a ferry to the San Juan Islands. The possibilities are endless, and they’ll be your treasured memories years from now.

5. Have a BBQ
Fire up the grill and the smoker because it’s summer! There is no better time to have a BBQ and invite your friends, neighbors, and family over. It’s a fun time and it’s a great way to bond with the people you care about. BBQ is also delicious and with all of the activities you’ll be doing, it’ll be easy to keep the weight off too.

6. Go hiking and camping
Enjoying the great outdoors is always a good suggestion. Grabbing the old tent and sleeping bag, trekking out to the middle of nowhere, and sleeping there can be a liberating and refreshing experience. You’ll be away from civilization, away from the internet and cellphone, and bonding with nature. It’s great exercise too! Try checking out the Deception Pass Bridge or hike down on Bowman Bay on Whidbey Island.

7. Volunteer
It’s never too late to help those in need or to volunteer in places around your community. Volunteer to be a lifeguard or to help clean up trash out of your local parks and woods. It’s your community, so why not help keep it safe and clean? We’re sure your local church and school have an activity list long enough to fill your entire summer.

8. Have a garage sale
During the winter, there Is no doubt that you stocked up on stuff during the holiday season. That means it’s time to climb into the attic, venture into the garage, and dive into the basement to find all the old junk you don’t need anymore. You could throw it away, but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Drop it out on the lawn, put some for sale signs on it, and make yourself a few bucks while you remove some clutter from your house. Try visiting Stanwood, Washington at the NOAH Center to donate your things for the Howling Garage Sale!

9. Go to an outdoor concert
Summer is a great time to go see an outdoor show. A lot of artists tour during the summer and most large cities have an outdoor venue. There is even a boatload of festivals available where you can go see acts from multiple genres. Outdoor shows have more freedom than indoor shows and there is nothing that isn’t enjoyable about sitting in the grass with a beer and listening to music you enjoy. Make sure to come into Anacortes, Washington for a FREE summer concert series on Friday and Saturday nights in August!

10. Find a movie drive-in
You can find your local drive-in theater at the Blue Fox Drive-In Theatre in Oak Harbor, Washington, and the Wheel-In-Motor Movie Drive-In in Port Townsend, Washington. If you’re up for it, it’s totally worth driving out a couple of hours. There is something that is just fun about lying on your car or the bed of your truck while you watch a movie on a gigantic screen. It’s an experience that won’t be around for much longer, so it’s recommended you try it at least once.

Those are our top 10 things to do before the summer ends and we hope these ideas help you enjoy the rest of the summer!

If you would like any information about Anacortes or any other questions, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

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Smart Home Ideas that Work

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How awesome would it be to be able to hold the majority of your home’s necessary functions in the palm of your hand? Would you like to be able to automate some of those tedious tasks that are part of your daily routine? With the progressive technology of today, the time for the Smart Home is now. We are talking about moving into the future with more control over your home than was possible only a few years ago.

You might wonder what a smart home looks like. A smart home is not all about crazy gadgets. It’s all about creating a single operating system that helps you control your home with ease and at your convenience. What is nice, is that you do not even need to be in the comfort of your home to stay in control. Using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can actually take control on the go.

This includes the control of your home’s features in real time which saves you a whole lot of effort. From the devices, you can get access to information on security, visually see who is at your door, peek in on the kids, track the rate of energy consumption in your home and much more.

TOP 8 Smart Home Features:

The following are some of the smart devices to include in your home:

1. Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats help you to regulate the temperature at your home. The days of forgetting to turn off your heater or air conditioner are over. These thermostats detect your daily heating and cooling routines as well. You can even adjust the temperature to your rooms independently using voice commands.

2. Smart Home Security Cameras

This is one of our personal favorites. By using smart security cameras, you can monitor your home at all times from your cell phone or other devices. This means that besides being a great security feature, you can even peak in on the kids when you are not home. Not to mention, many of these cameras have 2-way communications with little to no delay time, so you can actually talk and listen to people while looking at them from a remote location. Smart cameras also have a “push” notification setting which will allow you to get instant notifications when any movement has been detected. You can also get access to video feeds from previous days store in the cloud for future use.

3. Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks are another security feature you do not want to go without. Bluetooth sensors make it possible for the door to unlock whenever a person with an authorized smartphone approaches the door. You will never have to fiddle with trying to get your keys out of your pocket to unlock the door with your hands full of groceries again. You can also control the doors at your home independently from anywhere you are. This feature is great when your kids forget their phone or keys on their way to school or when you have unexpected visitors that you want to let in.

4. Smart Doorbell

Let’s be honest, your phone is usually in your hand, pocket, or nearby. That is why the smart doorbell makes sense. This smart home option will help to save you from the pain of stopping what you are doing or getting out of bed to see who is knocking at the door. When someone stops by, you will get the feed through your phone via the connected doorbell. This will allow you to see and speak to the visitor using two-way audio.

Smart Home Devices to Automate Your Home

Here are the top smart home devices you can use to automate some of the items on your to-do list. They will conveniently make your busy life a bit less busy and they will definitely make some mundane household chores easier.

5. Smart Vacuum

The smart vacuum cleaner does its job very well. It automatically vacuums the floor when you activate it remotely. Again, you do not have to be home as it can be activated from anywhere you are. With a strong Wi-Fi connection, it can work in multiple rooms, but the best feature of all is that you can schedule it to run automatically. Set the schedule and let it get things cleaned up on its own. Once it’s done, it will even connect itself back onto its charging port to be ready to tackle its next clean up.

6. Smart Lawn Mower

Much like the smart vacuum, smart lawn mowers are automatic, and you can control them to from where you are. With the latest smart home technology set the schedule and let your lawn mower go to work for you. This smart device will get the job done and you won’t even have to break a sweat. Although, unfortunately, you will still have to lift a finger.

7. Smart Dishwasher

This smart home appliance has enhanced features such as Wi-Fi and voice controls which are enabled by controls from a smartphone or tablet. The smart dishwasher outweighs a standard dishwasher because the number one benefit is you can schedule run times. Just load in dirty dishes set it and forget it. This way you can have it run when you are not home to hear the sound of dishes washing. Plus, you can easily make sure that you are not running washes during your providers’ peak energy usage times. This will enable you to keep your monthly water and power bills lower.

8. Smart Washing Machine

You can operate a smart washing machine from anywhere at any time. Once you have the smart washing machine app on your smartphone. You can control it remotely, so many of the conveniences of the smart dishwasher will apply.

There are many other smart features you may want to add to your home when converting it to a smart home. Things like smart blinds, a smart TV, other entertainment features, and more – but with our top 8 smart home ideas that work, you will be taking a step into the future of full control and an easier life.

If you would like any information about Anacortes or any other questions, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck Footer all info

 

 

2018 Skagit County Fair

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Don’t have any plans for the first week of August? If you’re in the Mount Vernon area on August 8th through August 11th, come by the 2018 Skagit County Fair from 10am to 10pm! There will be tons of entertainment, carnival rides, circus shows, pie eating contest and so much more! If you’re interested, tickets will be sold at the Sedro Woolley Chamber on July 9th through August 7th.

If you would like any more information about other local events in Anacortes or in the Skagit County area, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Anacortes Arts Festival 2018

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The 57th Annual Anacortes Arts Festival is one of the oldest and largest arts festivals in the Northwest. Filling the historic downtown Anacortes, it consists of ten blocks of booth artisans from around the country, three stages with live music, and a regional Fine Art Exhibition. There is also a Working Studios area including body painting, blacksmithing, live art demonstrations and more. Food trucks and vendors offer culinary treats including seafood, regional and ethnic dishes and goodies. There will be three beer gardens pouring microbrews, Northwest wine and cocktails. The festival activities also include an active Kids Area and Art Dash, certified in half marathon, 10k or 5k.

This is a FREE event recommended for the whole family with tons of activities!

When: August 3 – 5
Hours: Friday (10am-7pm), Saturday (10am-6pm), Sunday (10am-5pm)

If you have any more questions about the Anacortes Arts Festival, contact at (360) 293 – 6211 or events@anacortesartsfestival.com .

If you would like any more information about other local events in Anacortes, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

2018 Tones for Crohn’s

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Join us in Anacortes for an annual benefit event, this summer, on Saturday, July 28th! All proceeds go to find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There will be a 5k run, food, entertainment and family fun, so don’t miss out! Enjoy the festivities in addition to the 5K and support the more than 1.6 billion people who suffer daily with these diseases. Don’t forget to share this event, invite your friends and family while our goal is to raise $10,000 for this charity! Your registration fee goes directly towards this cause and fundraising goal. This event is just for fun, untimed and unchipped. Each participant will receive a medal and a goodie bag. Registration and check-in is from 1:30pm to 3pm. Please check-in and sign your waiver. Run starts at 3pm and music and festivities start at 4pm.

If you would like any more information about other local events in Anacortes, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

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Title Insurance

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What is Title Insurance?

The purchase of a home is often the single largest investment people will make in a lifetime: therefore, the importance of fully protecting such an investment cannot be overstressed. Title insurance is protection which assures that the rights and interest to the property are as expected, that the transfer of ownership is smoothly completed and that the new owner receives protection from future claims against the property. It is the most effective, most accepted and least experience way to protect property ownership rights.

Because land endures over generations, many people may develop rights and claims to a particular property. The current owner’s rights — which often involve family and heirs — may be obscure. There may be other parties (such as government agencies, public utilities, lenders or private contractors) who also have “rights” to the property. These interests limit the “title” of any buyer.

Why Do You Need a Title Insurance Policy?

If title insurance companies work to eliminate risks and prevent losses caused by defects in the title before the closing, why do you need a title insurance policy? The title of the property could be seriously threatened or lost completely by hazards which are considered hidden risks — “those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records.” Matters such as forgery, incompetency or incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of “hidden risks” which could provide a basis for a claim after the property has been purchased.

Title insurance isn’t just for a homeowner. Subdividers need it when planning a new tract of homes or a commercial strip center. Attorneys use it for clients who are investing in shopping centers hotels, office buildings, and countless other projects. Builders need it in order to obtain construction loans from their lender. Everyone wants to have peace of mind when investing their hard-earned money. The title insurance company will help protect these important investments, no matter how large or small, with its own reputation and financial strength.

Why Does the Lender Need a Policy on My Property?

For the lender, a title policy is a guarantee that it has a valid and enforceable lien (loan or deed of trust) secured by the property, that no one else other than those listed on the policy has a prior claim (or loan, etc.) and that the party to whom they are making the loan does own the property being used as security for the loan. This protection remains in effect as long as the loan remains unpaid.

The existence of a lender’s title policy encourages lenders such as banks, savings and loan associations, commercial banks, life insurance companies, etc., to loan money. Because they are lending other people’s money (savings or policy holder’s funds), they must be concerned with safety should the borrower not make their payments. The title company ensures that the title to the property is marketable in the event of foreclosure and the guarantee is backed by the integrity and solvency of the title company. Of course, this benefits everyone — from the single-family homeowner to the owner of a high-rise building.

If you would like any information about Anacortes or any other questions, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

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2018 Summer Outdoor Concert Series

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The 2018 FREE summer concert series takes place on Wednesday and Friday nights in July and Friday and Saturday nights in August from 6pm to 8pm at Seafarer’s Memorial Park and the corner of 4th and “0” Avenue. Sponsored by the Port of Anacortes and the Heart of Anacortes. Make sure to join in on the fun with different musical artists in Anacortes, Washington for the summer!

If you would like any more information about other local events in Anacortes, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

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Shipwreck Fest 2018

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Arrrggghhh Matey, are you ready for some family fun this summer? Head to Shipwreck Fest in Anacortes for a treasure hunt the whole crew will love. It is a massive community effort by the vendors, residents, businesses and the Fidalgo Island Rotary who makes this thing come true every year, which is a gigantic feat, considering the massive city blocks these antique show, craft fair, art fair and garage sales occupies.

Thirty-eight years ago, our commercial fisherman sold their used gear as yard art on Commercial Ave. “Shipwreck” has evolved into a massive community garage sale including a flea market and antique works. The event starts at 8am, but there are usually some businesses and booths that get started right at first light, just like the old-time fisherman used to. This event features over 400 vendors set up in booths along Commercial Ave while each booth brings something new and usually very eclectic and you are sure to find something that you can’t live without. There is also some food stand set up that serve a variety of different and delicious treats. This event is family-friendly and is organized by the Fidalgo Island Rotary Club.

Please come by early on Saturday, July 21st on Commercial Ave in Anacortes, Washington from 8am to 4pm and don’t miss out on this massive event!

If you would like any more information about other local events in Anacortes, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Best Spray Parks in the Skagit County Area

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There are tons of parks in the Skagit County area, but there are also spray parks that you should visit during this summer. There are currently four spray parks in the Skagit County area – Kiwanis Spray Park, Storvik Park, Maiben Spray Park, and Jungle Playland. They are open every day this summer and is recommended for all families to bring their kids to enjoy and experience Skagit County Parks.

Kiwanis Spray Park is located in the Mount Vernon area. It has a fantastic playground, picnic tables, restrooms, a softball field, basketball courts, and an amazing spray park. There is also a boardwalk trail through the wetland area that connects the park to surrounding neighborhoods. This particular park opens daily from 11am to 8pm from June 1st through September 30th.

Storvik Park is located in the Anacortes area. It is about 8.7 acres which includes picnic tables, a reserved picnic shelter, restrooms, one game field and two basketball courts. Storvik Park also has a huge children’s playground. This spray park just recently opens since the summer of 2017 and is open for this summer daily from 11am to 6pm on May 25th through September 3rd.

Maiben Spray Park is located in the Burlington area and it is a terrific neighborhood park! Along with a large, covered picnic shelter that is available for rent, you’ll find tennis and basketball courts at the park and lots of wide-open grassy areas. Children especially will enjoy the playground area and the Kiwanis is for Kids Water Park. This spray park is open daily for the summer from 9am to 9pm on June 6th through September 9th.

Jungle Playground is located in the Mount Vernon area and includes admission to the Spray Park with admission to the Playland. Highly recommended to bring a towel to dry off with and socks for the Playland. Spray Park requires kids to wear swimwear (no undies) and before heading to the Playland, you must be dry with socks on. Bring your kids along to a wild, adventure to the Jungle Playland for an entire day of summer fun! They are open daily on Wednesday through Friday: 1pm to 5pm, Saturday: 10am to 7pm and Sunday: Noon to 5pm on June 23rd through closing, depending on the weather.

Those are the four best spray parks in the Skagit County area while you enjoy a small picnic with some friends and don’t forget your sunscreen! We hope you and your family are able to visit one of them to enjoy a lovely day at the parks if you’re in the area!

If you would like any more information about other local events in Anacortes, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck Footer all info

 

How to Get the Most from Each Showing

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Curb appeal is vital. Many buyers find your home online and then do a drive by to see if they want to view the inside. Prune, rake, put down fresh bark, add color to the yard, pressure wash driveways, and keep the lawn watered, fertilized and cut a clean edge around the yard. Wash your mailbox, have windows professionally cleaned in and out; hide garbage cans, lawn tools, and kids’ toys. Paint the exterior if needed, if not, wash siding.

Front Entrance much be clean. You may not use your front door, but buyers will, so stand for several minutes and study your porch and entry. Does it need paint? Are there spider webs? Does it need pressure washing? Do you need a new mat? Is your door handle worn and old looking? The buyer will be looking at all of these things while the showing agent unlocks the lockbox and then, your front door. They will form their general opinion of your home before they even see inside.

Send curtains out to be cleaned. Dust all blinds, clean window, and door tracks have the carpets cleaned, paint if needed or touch up paint at a minimum. Scrub everything, clean out closets (yes, buyers will look in your closets), straighten the pantry, etc. Cluttered closets give the impression of insufficient storage space.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms to have perfectly clean. They must sparkle, have no odors, and look as close to new as possible, especially if there are new homes in your price range. Don’t leave as much as a coffee cup in the sink, and leave your home freshly vacuumed.

De-clutter and depersonalize. If it is smaller than a breadbox, pack it. Hide all pet beds and toys, do not leave newspapers or magazines out, put away all children’s toys, take down or put away all personal photographs. If your home looks stark and empty, you are almost there!

Make sure that ALL the lights and lamps are on every time you leave the house. It makes a home feel much more welcoming. If your home is dark, check to see if your lamps will accommodate a higher wattage bulb. Play soft mellow music in the background.

Make ALL beds every day. Wash linen weekly and do not leave dirty clothes in a hamper for more than a day or two. When your home is closed up, dirty clothes can cause an odor that you may not notice, but a potential buyer with a sensitive nose will.

Keep pets out of the way when showing as they can frighten or distract a buyer or agent.

Leave during all showings. It makes buyers very uncomfortable if you are home and they will cut the time they spend in the house shortly so it is best to leave. Never try to show the home yourself as the agent knows which features will have the broadest appeal to their buyers.

Please do not discuss anything about your home with a prospective buyer. If there were to be a problem down the road, the buyer will not be able to say that you made false claims if you have never talked with them.

If you have any more questions or need more information about Anacortes, please contact us : (360) 899-5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC