Anacortes Public Library Maritime Speaker Series

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Presented by the Anacortes Public Library, the Maritime Speaker Series will begin Saturday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m.  The following is a complete list of all upcoming Maritime Speaker Series dates and topics:

  • November 18 – “Icebergs, Puffins & Whales: Kayaking the Atlantic”  Adventurer and photographer Geneva Langworthy explores the coast Atlantic Canada through culture, history & slides.
  • December 16 – “The Race to Alaska-R2AK: Third Time Around” – Jake Beattie presents an entertaining look at the inception and execution of this now-famous race.

Each program will begin at 4 p.m. and will take place at the Anacortes Public Library located at 1220 10th St.  For more information, please contact the library at (360) 293-1910.

For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

First Friday Art Walk: Nov. 3

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The November First Friday Art Walk will take place in downtown Anacortes from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 3.

A number of Anacortes businesses participate in this monthly event by featuring work by local artists, including ACME Creative Spaces, The Majestic Inn and Spa and The Depot.

Click here for additional information.

Located just steps from The Depot, the Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC office is at 809 7th St. in Old Town Anacortes.  We are available daily for all of your real estate needs and can be reached any time at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Top 4 Turn-offs for Buyers

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If you are thinking of selling your home or are in the process of selling your home, there are a lot of things to consider. Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC based in Old Town Anacortes has compiled a list for you of the top four things to avoid doing when listing your home for sale.

1. Don’t intimidate the buyer! This seems like a no brainer, right? However, you may not realize that you are in fact, intimidating the buyer, simply by giving them a tour of your home. It seems innocent enough, but when you are with them every step of the way, perhaps pointing out hand crafted features you made with your own two hands, the buyer may feel obligated to seem appreciative of these additions, when in fact they prefer a different style. In short, the buyer can’t be as open and honest as they would be with a Realtor®.

2. Get rid of those unpleasant odors!  Avoid cooking strong-smelling foods like broccoli, cabbage, fish, or garlic on showing dates. Make sure all clothing is freshly laundered and put away neatly. Wash pet items like towels, beds, toys and keep these items out of sight. Also, make sure you don’t go wild with air fresheners or incense. What smells wonderful to you might be quite unappealing to the nose of your buyer or they can even be allergic to some fresheners.

3. Don’t overprice your home! We don’t mean to be offensive here, but because of sentimentality, you might have an elevated sense of how much your home is worth. Talk with our experienced Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC real estate brokers to find out how much your home is worth in the current market. When potential buyers see an overpriced home online or in a flyer, they often won’t even bother to look at it. Those who do, will expect certain standards of a home in this price range.

4. Be careful with home improvements! Your house may have some years on it, and perhaps the walls need to be painted, or the master bath needs an update. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Bright colored walls in the guest bedroom, or an exotic themed bathroom may be lovely to one person, but not so much to someone else. It’s always better to go with understated than overstated. If your home needs improvements before you sell it, consult with us! We can help you make choices that will get you the most return on your investment.

Contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC any time with any questions you have on selling your home in Anacortes, or other areas in Skagit County. Our team of full-time real estate agents are here to help you with any questions you have. If you are thinking about selling your home in Anacortes or Skagit County, contact us today!

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10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

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Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families, but may be stressful for pets. Here are 10 ways to keep your pets safe from PetMD:

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.

All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.

2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.

Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Make sure your black cats are safely housed indoors around Halloween.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.

Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but your door will be constantly opening and closing, and strangers will be on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This, of course, can be scary for our furry friends, which can result in escape attempts or unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from darting outside into the night…a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep glow sticks away from pets.

While glow sticks can help keep people safe on Halloween night, they can add some unwanted drama to the holiday if a pet chews one open. Pets who get into a glow stick may drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.

While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed.

6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.

If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire.

7. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach.

Electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations are certainly safer than open candles, but they still can present a risk to pets. Pets who chew on electrical cords can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn. Batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed. Shards of glass or plastic can cause lacerations anywhere on the body or, if swallowed, within the gastrointestinal tract.

8. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.

If you do decide that your pet needs a costume, make sure it isn’t dangerous or simply annoying to your pet. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. Coates warns that pets who are wearing a costume should always be supervised by a responsible adult so that if something goes wrong, it can be addressed right away.

 9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.

Don’t wait until Halloween night to put your pet in a costume for the first time. Get your pet costumes early, and put them on for short periods of time (and piece by piece, if possible). If at any time, your pet seems distressed or develops skin problems from contact with a costume, consider letting him go without a costume, although a festive bandana may be a good compromise.

10. IDs, please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are ideal if a Good Samaritan is able to collect your wayward pet, but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Use Halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips.

As a pet-friendly office, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, wants your pets to remain safe this Halloween!  Located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St., stop by our office or contact us for all of your real estate needs at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.  We proudly serve Anacortes, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties.

Buying or Selling Soon?

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Are you going to be buying or selling a property soon? There are expenses that you may not have considered yet; such who’s responsible for paying which fees, what does a real estate professional do, or other common questions including:

What is the standard compensation structure for real estate professionals?
For the most part, real estate professionals are compensated by commission, based on a home’s selling price. Commission rates vary, as does how the sales commission will be divided between the agents on the selling and buying side of the transaction. When a seller signs a listing agreement, their contract is with a brokerage firm. All fees must pass through that brokerage firm. Typically, the seller’s representative—and your buyer’s rep—will be paid by the listing broker after the transaction closes.

What services can I expect to receive?
The terms vary from state to state, and each buyer’s representative can set their own guidelines within their state parameters and their brokerage practices. So you should clarify, preferably in writing, the services you are entitled to receive before you start viewing properties.  It’s also important to understand that if you do buy a property, your buyer’s rep will probably receive compensation through the listing broker.

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC in Old Town Anacortes has a full-time team of brokers who are available daily to work for you, whether you are buying or selling. Not only do we negotiate pricing based on trends in similar homes or within the area, we market your home to sell using professional photography, advertisements and online marketing, in addition to hosting showings, open houses, tackling the paperwork, inspections and more.

Do you know that statistically homes sold using a real estate professional net more of a profit than those transactions that are for sale by owner? Team Groesbeck can address any questions you have about the buying and selling processes, as well as put you in touch with local lenders and more!

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC is licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain and can be reached at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

 

Halloween at the Hall: Oct. 28

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The Rick Epting Foundation for the Arts and Kennelly Keys are partnering to present a Halloween costume party and fundraiser for free music lessons for kids.

Performing at this event for the first time in Anacortes is the Bellingham band The Penny Stinkers and there will be a costume contest and beverages provided by Anacortes Brewery.

This is an all ages show and children under 12 are FREE.

All the money raised at this event will go to the newly established fund to pay for music lessons for music students who can not afford them.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com or at Kennelly Keys.

Kennelly Keys is located at 1904 Commerical Ave., Anacortes.

For more information: pugetsoundproductions@gmail.com.

Located in Old Town Anacortes, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, is proud to support Anacortes events.  For any of your real estate needs, please contact us daily at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Real Estate Terms Defined

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Both buying and selling a home can be intimidating experiences, especially if your Realtor® begins using terms with which you are not familiar, before really explaining them. Team Groesbeck’s goal as your Realtor® is to make the home buying or selling process as smooth as possible, beginning with defining a few terms for you!

Adjustable Rate Mortgage – An adjustable rate mortgage is one that has a fluctuating interest rate; they typically have a lower initial interest rate for a set time, then adjust according to an index.

Certificate of Title – This proves that the property is legally owned by the seller, and that no other party has any claims over it.

CMA – CMA’s (Comparative Market Analysis) are done by agents when you are looking to sell your home. They will put together a report to determine a fair asking price based on the current market and how other homes are doing in your area.

Comps – The term “comps” refers to properties that are comparable to your property. This takes into account the home’s size, close amenities and location, in addition to other factors.

Deed – The deed is a legal document proving transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Disclosures – Disclosures are details about the home that a seller must provide to a buyer. For example; if the basement often floods in heavy storms or if there is lead in the home, the seller would need to disclose this information.

Due Diligence – Due diligence refers to the buyers’ responsibility to research and verify details about the transaction. For example, it is the buyer’s responsibility to coordinate an inspection, and confirm that the information coming from the seller’s attorney and broker are legitimate.

Escrow – Escrow is the time period when purchase funds are released from one party to another and the transfer of the home is completed. The escrow company is a neutral third party who executes the transaction utilizing the purchase agreement and other documents.

Firm Commitment – A firm commitment is a promise from a lender that they will enter into an agreement with another entity (typically a buyer) within a certain period of time.

Fixture – Fixtures are items of value that are permanently attached or a part of a property. This can include lighting, carpeting, or landscaping; these items have the potential to cause disputes between the buyer and seller and are sometimes used as leverage for negotiations.

HOA Docs – Some homes fall under the jurisdiction of a Homeowner’s Association. In this case documents outlining the association’s regulations will be provided either by the association, or through your Realtor®.

Pre Qualification – Borrowers (home buyers) must go through a process where the lender confirms that the borrower qualifies for a loan, based on their credit history and current financial standing. This is done using only the information the buyer provides the lender. The amount for which one is pre-qualified is to be considered an estimate, and is not set in stone. This information does, however, show your Realtor® and the seller of the home in which you are interested that you are serious about the home buying process.

Pre Approval – Getting pre-approved is the next step, and is more involved than the pre-qualification process. The buyer will complete an official mortgage application with their chosen lender, and supply the lender with necessary documentation so an extensive check can be done on their financial background and current credit rating. You will be given an exact amount for which you are approved and completing both the pre-qualification and pre-approval process will allow you to know how much you can actually afford.

While these are only some of the many real estate terms, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC will guide you along the way to ensure your transaction runs smoothly.  Located in Old Town Anacortes, Team Groesbeck is available daily to work for you and can be reached at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Anacortes Senior Center Fundraiser Oct. 28

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The Anacortes Senior Center Foundation presents “Fun – Fabulous Forever Young” on Saturday, October 28, at 5:30 p.m.  This event is an unconventional runway show with clothing made primarily of office supplies.

This fundraiser will be held at The Depot in Old Town Anacortes, located at 611 R Ave.

Tickets are $50 and includes dinner and music, and are available at Watermark Book Company and the Anacortes Senior Center.

For additional information, contact the Anacortes Senior Center at (360) 293-7473.

Located in Old Town Anacortes, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, is proud to support Anacortes events.  For any of your real estate needs, please contact us daily at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Anacortes Artists Studio Tour Oct. 21-22

 

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Presented by the Anacortes Arts Commission, the 2017 Anacortes Artist’s Studio Tour will take place Friday, October 20, and Saturday, October 21.

This year’s tour will feature the artwork of more than 40 artists at more than 30 venues, and studios will be open throughout the 98221 zip code from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Maps for the free self-guided tour around Fidalgo Island will be available at all participating studios, local galleries, the Depot Art Center and the Croatian Cultural Center, the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, plus many other establishments throughout the area.

The brochure are additional information will also be on the Anacortes Arts Commission website: www.anacortesartscommission.com.

Located in Old Town Anacortes, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, is proud to support Anacortes events.  For any of your real estate needs, please contact us daily at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

City of Anacortes Dog Licenses Move Online

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The City of Anacortes will begin issuing 2018 dog licenses in mid-November so be on the lookout for your more convenient options in the coming weeks.

2018 changes include:

  • Renewal licenses will be mailed directly to owners of all currently licensed pets.
  • New and renewal licenses will be available by mail, in person at City Hall or the Anacortes Police Department, and online.
  • Owners will be able to update their own contact information and pet information throughout the year.

 

Proof of rabies vaccinations are required each time your renew your dog’s license, and if you have moved since your dog was last licensed, please call (360) 299-1968 to ensure that your renewal reminder reaches you well in advance of the January 1 deadline.

Click here for pricing and additional licensing information.

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