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.

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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

 

When We Get an Offer on Your Home

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Getting you the best price is critical, but there are other components of an offer that are important to consider before accepting an offer. We will review each of these components:

1. If the offer subject to financing? If so, what is the length of time and is the buyer prequalified? What percentage are they going to put down? What is the source of the down payment? Are they asking you to pay any of their closing costs? What kind of loan is it? Is it a local lender, an out of the area lender, or an online lender? It makes a difference!

2. Is the offer subject to the buyers obtaining insurance on the home? If so, in what timeframe?

3. Is the offer subject to inspection? If so, what do they intend to have inspected and in what timeframe? Do they want the septic inspection prior to or after the inspection contingency?

4. What is the closing rate? Does that work for you?

5. How much is the earnest money? What is the remedy if the buyer defaults? When can it be disbursed?

6. Is the possession date the same as the closing date? Do you know why it is not always in your best interest to have a possession date later than a closing date?

7. Are they asking for any personal property to be included? appliances?

Every offer and every transaction is as unique as each seller so the Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC  team will review every detail to make sure it is the BEST offer. Then, we will monitor each minute detail to make sure the transaction goes smoothly for you!

If you have any more questions about getting an offer for your home, please contact us : (360) 899-5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Pocket These Heat Waves Safety Tips

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Summer is finally here and the sun is out! While you enjoy the great outdoors as the temperatures are rising, we want you to be safe when a heat wave strikes. Here are a few important tips to cool down while you’re at the beach, in the garden or in the great outdoors.

First, let’s talk about what is a heat wave. In the previous years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather conditions, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of abnormal heat, generally, 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity.

Now, before you head out to enjoy that lovely sunshine, here are a few tips:

  • Always listen to the local weather forecasts and be aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • If you don’t have any air conditioning, make sure to choose a place to go for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day such as malls, stores, schools or libraries.
  • If you have a furry little friend, make sure you give them plenty of water and shade.
  • Get trained in First Aid, just in case, to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.

You’re probably asking yourself, what do you do during a heat wave? Well, here’s how:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The most common tip, but the most important even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in an enclosed vehicle.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid wearing dark clothing because they absorb the heat rays
  • Take frequent breaks if you are working outdoors
  • Check your animals frequently to make sure that they are not suffering from the heat

Hope these tips help you survive the scorching heat wave and help you enjoy the rest of your summer!

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

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Howling Garage Sale

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Don’t know where to donate your items? Come to join us for the biggest and best sale of the year, the Howling Big Garage Sale! The NOAH Center from Stanwood, Washington is accepting garage sale donations between now through August 31st, so make sure to clean out your closets and drop off gently used, re-sellable items anytime. Donations can be dropped off any day of the week during our regular business hours and can be unloaded at our Events Center, located behind the shelter or over the phone at 360.629.7055.

The items we CANNOT accept include:

  • Mattresses/Box Springs/Bed Frames
  • Electronics or Computer Equipment
  • Televisions
  • Dog Igloos
  • Large Appliances
  • VHS Tapes
  • Clothing

Start your spring cleaning now by supporting the animals of NOAH and use the hashtag: #HowlingBigGarageSale. Any questions? Contact at donate@thenoahcenter.org or 360.629.7055.

EVENT:

Date: September 7th – 9th
Time: 8am – 4pm
Location: The NOAH Center, 31300 Brandstrom Rd, Stanwood, WA

If you would like more information on the Howling Big Garage Sale, Anacortes or other local events, please contact us : (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

3 Things to Do Now If You Want to Buy a House This Year

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1. Save as much money as you can. Cut out the small things that add up like Starbucks coffee or getting gas where is convenient rather than the most economical location.

2. Go see a local Lender. They will pull your credit score and let you know exactly what to do if you have to improve your score. They will also let you know how much your house payment will be at different price points so you can determine the price range of your future home. The lender will also instruct you on the mortgage process of purchasing a home.

3. Select Your Realtor® Now. If you are watching Zillow or another secondary real estate site, you are not getting timely accurate information about homes for sale. Your realtor will send your listing of a home for sale immediately when the home is listed and also, notify you when homes in your price range get an accepted offer. This helps you learn the value and the demand of homes for sale. Starting this process of house hunting online will assist you greatly when you actually go to look at homes for sale.

Even if you are not ready to purchase a home, we are happy to provide you with listing deals as well as real estate market updates.

Just click here to sign up for listing alerts.

Just click here to subscribe to our real estate blog with provided information on community events.

If you have any other questions about buying a home, please contact us : (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Rock The Dock Anacortes

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4th of July Rock the Dock 2018 in Anacortes WA

Great bands, yummy food, outstanding beer and of course, FIREWORKS! Bring in your lawn chair and celebrate with us in Anacortes, Washington! FREE to the public!

If you would like more information on Rock The Dock, Anacortes or other local events, please contact us : (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC