Ready for a change in 2016?

All About You

Happy New Year!

Are you ready to make a change in 2016? Perhaps you found your dream home for sale in Anacortes or Skagit County and you are ready to move up. It could be that you are thinking of retirement and decided that downsizing your home is the best option for you. Whatever the case might be, 2016 is YOUR year and we are here to make it happen!

We believe that real estate transactions should be all about YOU! After all, it is a life changing event and comes with great commitment. We want to make sure that YOU are happy and satisfied with your decision. Selling or buying a home in Anacortes and Skagit County should be fun as you start on a new adventure!

Our team of full time licensed real estate brokers in Anacortes, Skagit County and the surrounding areas is available 7 days a week to answer questions for you.

If you want us to text you, we will. Prefer a phone call? No Problem! Is email communication more convenient? Just let us know! Are evenings the best time to talk for you? Just give us a call! We are here for you every step of the way.

Everything we do is geared toward making the process as easy for you as we possibly can. Let us show you the difference that 5 star service can make in a real estate transaction.

Call, text or email us today!

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

Visit us online: www.AnacortesLiving.com

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

Interesting Washington State Market Research

Since 2009, the number of homes sold in Washington has increased by .1%, making the total number of homes sold in 2010 84,890.  The average mortgage rate in 4th quarter 2010 was 4.62%, a major decrease from 6.21% in 2005. 

In 2010, the median existing home sales price in Washington was $250,400, experiencing a decrease of 1.6% since 2009.  51.8% of first-time home buyers in Washington cite tax advantages as a major reason for buying a home in 2009.  The apartment vacancy rate for Washington in Fall of 2010 was 4.8%.

We would be happy to email you real estate market statistics for anywhere in Western Washington.  We can show you how long homes stay on the market, what % they are selling for vs. list price, average price/sf for any price range.  we can send the information to you each month in a chart or graph form.  Just send an email to your Coldwell Banker Island Living real estate broker or email islandliving@coldwellbanker.com.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Ranked as Fastest-Growing Real Estate Franchise System by Entrepreneur Magazine

 Entrepreneur Magazine recently ranked Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC as the fastest-growing franchise among real estate companies for 2011 and the No. 14 fastest growing franchise in all business categories. Coldwell Banker Real Estate also was ranked No. 75 in the Entrepreneur 2011 Global Top Franchises list and No. 90 in the publication’s 32nd annual U.S. Franchise 500® rankings.

 “In the midst of a challenging market, we are proud of our expansion and recognition as an ever-growing franchise,” said Budge Huskey, president and chief operating officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “We’re always moving, and that means forging new relationships and gaining presence in new markets, while empowering our existing franchisees and their sales associates with the tools they need to continue to succeed.”

 Among these tools is the recently released Coldwell Banker Managing Broker Academy, an online learning portal for managers and brokers. The newest tool provides videos, podcasts and social learning aids focusing on long-term educational planning and timely educational tools.

 Additional training and ongoing support Coldwell Banker offers offices and agents includes:

  • Intensive multi-day introductory training sessions offered at Coldwell Banker’s headquarters and franchisee offices
  • Diverse classes and continuing education programs  available in person or online
  • National and local advertising, including television, online and mobile
  • Management conferences and regional training events
  • Field operation evaluations
  • Grand opening support
  • Weekly newsletters

 Entrepreneur’s 32nd Annual Franchise 500® report is based on its own proprietary rankings formula using financial and statistical data from July 2008 through July 2010.  For more information on the rankings visit: http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchises/franchise500/about.html

For more information on Coldwell Banker Island Living click here.

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

Small Dog Park Coming Together

 

I’m happy to say the fence is in for the new small dog area… I was there tonite, and I think it looks great!  The concrete pad is done, and the brick form is still a hole in the ground for now, but we’re working on that! Bricks are in the Parks dept shop, just waiting for a good sunny day to get the sand in… won’t be the next few, so keep your fingers crossed for another day soon!  We would love to have anyone help lay bricks with him that’s available during the weekdays from 8am-3pm…. let Amy know at 708-9324 and she’ll forward your info to him.

So, here’s the more urgent scoop:  We need anyone available in the next 2 (sunny days) to bring a rake, or grab a rake from the little dog area, and rake the really big chips up against the new fence.  This is to help ‘secure‘ the bottom of the fence, so that my friends don’t try to dig under, or push through & stretch it out, and also because there will be a pile of the good small chips delivered on Thursday into the big dog area, and we don’t want to put them on top of those really big chips…

So if you’re at the park, please ask folks to help…. it should only take a couple people approx 10-20 minutes…

The benches are in, and one is assembled, and the other two will be soon; the plaques are not in yet, but should be soon.

This Thursday the park will be closed to all from 8-1 for the chip delivery. 

Ok, probably more, but that’s enough for now… .except YEA!!!!   Glad this is all coming together!!!

Your Friend,
Jingles

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