Have You Thought about Your Garden Lately?

This house in Mt. Vernon is a great example of an amazing landscaping!

Winter is here and with it comes the cold planting season. We love Washington for the multitude of plants that can grow here, we have so many options! Plants are a great way to improve your home’s exterior and a well-done garden, such as the backyard of this gorgeous home in Mount Vernon, WA ,  can even help to boost the value of your home. While it isn’t a good time for flowers just yet, December is the perfect time to grow a vegetable garden! Many veggies do very well in the crisp winter air and are a great way to add something special to your front or backyard.

Winter is a great time to harvest veggies and plant new ones!

Don’t know what to plant? Consider a small herb garden or possibly some larger vegetables such as garlic or onions! November through April is also the best time to plant fruit and nut trees, the earlier you plant, the better. Winter is a great time to clean out an older garden too, weeds can peek through at anytime and keeping up with it over the wintertime is a must! Here is an non-toxic and easy way to protect your garden from unwanted plants.

It can be difficult to keep up a garden during the winter, if planting isn’t your forte then try some decorative seating and lawn ornaments. Decks are another wonderful way to keep your yard looking wonderful all year round. They are great for entertaining as well as a place for potted plants. Decks are easy to take care of and relatively inexpensive to furnish. Adding color to your backyard is great for all seasons.

Have you thought about your winter yard lately? Or maybe you’re wishing you had a garden! Anacortes, Washington is filled with gorgeous houses and phenomenal landscaped yards! If you’re looking to move and get a great new home or condo, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC.

Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734

The Nutcracker Holiday Gift Show

Come find unique gifts for those special people in your life!  A fabulous event and it is FREE!!

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



Small Dog Park to be Improved

The small dog park is being enlarged so more will use it. The current area is being weeded and all the misc. wood & harmful items are being removed all by volunteers. 
There is more to be done…
We need to finish weeding
Move fresh dirt into the area in order to level it out (the dirt pile is near, not far from the fence)
Allow grass seed to be thrown out

 The current fence will be moved to allow the new size by contractors and a cement pad/walking area will be added along with a water connection for the area by the City (maybe not until Spring).
What my friends and I are asking for is the following:
Spare 1-2 hours on Saturday, Oct.23 10-12 and be part of a work party to improve OUR PARK.  You may not have small dogs but maybe know of friends or families that do, who would greatly benefit from this.  RAIN OR SHINE the work will be done. Please bring gloves, wheelbarrow if you have one, shovel, rake, weeding tools and don’t forget YOUR water.
I hope you’ll find the time to help!  Even 15 minutes will be appreciated!! 
The 2011 Dog Calendars are now on Sale for only $15.00 ea and your truly is featured on a few pages.  My human friends have some that can be purchased at Coldwell Banker Island Living, 3110 Commercial Ave.  All funds go towards the Dog Park (large/small) and will help add benches etc.

My friends and thier owners thank you!


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!

New Flood Maps for Skagit County

FEMA has released the new flood maps for Skagit County. We are now a few days into a 90 day public review/comment period. As most of you know, and as so aptly described by one of our members, this is an octopus of an issue with many, many agencies, public and private, weighing in over many many years. There have been multiple and conflicting engineering studies that have been reviewed, rehashed and redigested.

What should or can we as an Association do about this issue?

There are many potential ramifications with the new maps – not just affecting individual residential property owners – but commercial and municiple property uses as well. Over the next few weeks, Washington Realtors and I feel it is important to really nail down the most serious impact points and express our support to those agencies that need it. I will be taking the temperature of the affected interests to determine who – if anyone – we as Realtors should stand behind. The county commissioners have made it clear that Skagit County as an entity will not take legal action against FEMA – and none of the government agencies nor the Realtor Association has the resources to take on a huge legal fight to have the maps changed.

In the meantime, you can help by reviewing the maps on the link at the end of the email, informing your clients, both residential and commercial, that the maps are available and encouraging them to participate in the public hearings. Also – please let me know how you and your clients will be impacted and in what way so that we can garner as much information as possible for an appropriate response from NPSAR. Regardless of our what our official response will be in the end, we and our clients will be dealing with this and the most valuable thing we can do for them is keep them informed.

Please feel free to call or email us if you have questions or comments about this issue .
360-293-4511 or islandliving@coldwellbanker.com

Here is the link to the maps as posted on the City of Mount Vernon website.

The 30/50 Project

The retail division of the chamber has been researching a grassroots, shop-local program that really makes sense and is easy to implement. 

The premise is to educate consumers on the importance of keeping independently owned businesses healthy, by committing to divert $50 of current monthly expenditures towards three businesses you would miss if they disappeared. 

Over the past few weeks, chamber staff has met briefly with many businesses to help spread the word about The 3/50 Project and to hand out bookmarks as a gift – if we didn’t make it to you yet, give us a call and we will bring over your bookmarks.

We encourage you to take a few minutes and explore  www.the350project.net/home.html – where you can learn how this project started and utilize the many FREE resources provided on it.

Thanks for supporting the bricks and mortar in our community!