Is a Home Owner’s Association Right for You?

hoa

Seventy percent of residents living in a community with a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) are satisfied living with its rules and regulations (source IBOPE Zogby International). The same survey showed 81 percent of association residents consider their association assessment as good or great, and 76 percent say the dues enhance property value.

Many buyers may think it is just another monthly payment and seek to avoid these neighborhoods. Some buyers may view HOAs as restricting because they may control the color that your paint your house or the types of landscape you can have, but in actuality, these regulations often protect the value of your home. Many buyers miss the big picture of how HOA fees can be a benefit.

One of the most attractive benefits to HOA fees are the amenities. Some communities offer clubhouses, libraries, gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, parks or other attractive amenities that are paid for through HOA fees. Residents have access to amenities without the hassle of maintenance since the HOA handles that for you. Homeowner dues can vary greatly by neighborhood and the specifics of what they cover.

The largest HOA in Anacortes is Skyline which is located on the west end of Fidalgo Island. Tug Boat Park, Skyline Beach Club, waterside cabana, tennis courts and play areas are just some of the amenities Skyline provides.

Skyline Marina is not part of the HOA, but is a great benefit as it allows you to launch your boat close by or have it in the water in your backyard.

These are only basic benefits of an HOA and each neighborhood has unique coverage included in their fees and their own fee rates. Some communities may offer all of these benefits, while others may offer only a few. It is important when looking to purchase a home with HOA to consider what all is included in the fees. Ask your agent about the community and the fees to ensure the neighborhood is the right fit for you and your family.

If you would like more information about Anacortes Real Estate, Anacortes Homes for Sale or if you are wondering what your Anacortes home is worth, please contact Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

 

Hosting the Perfect Open House

Open House

Not only is an open house designed to market your home in a way that differs from a simple listing, but it also opens the door for competitive offers as more than one buyer could potentially fall in love with your home on the same day. Our Top 5 Steps to Hosting the Perfect Open House will help you make your guests fall in love with your home.
1. Make Your Home Shine
A successful open house begins with cleanliness, so make sure your home is ready to be shown. This means all clutter should be removed and the home should be staged to allow guests to envision themselves living in a beautifully decorated home.

2. Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s
Your next step is making sure the price is right and you have all of the answers to potential questions. If the day is successful, you may be fielding offers within hours, so be knowledgeable about your property and ready to make a deal.

3. Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal
Buyers want to see attractive and inviting landscaping. This first impression will make them eager to see what’s inside the home. The street (with the necessary permission, of course) and front yard should feature an Open House sign so potential buyers can easily find you.

4. Feed Your Guests
It is customary for every open house to have complimentary coffee or other refreshments such as cookies. Make them available in the front entry way or on the kitchen table or counter to set a comforting tone for guests.

5. Reading Material is Golden
Business cards and information sheets should be available for each potential buyer that tours your home. Take a few minutes to design your own flyer and/or business card and print them in color to catch the eye of interested parties as they arrive. Your real estate broker will provide this to you.

Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Your Big Move

cleaning tips and tricks

To clean your home is to free it from dirt, pollutants, and other elements. Not only that, but cleaning can also translate into organization and proper storage of your possessions and eliminate clutter! Either way, cleaning is an important task and although not always fun, can be simplified with a few easy tips and tricks that will make things easier when you decide to move.

Roll With It
When storing clothes, roll them rather than folding them. This not only prevents fold lines, but also results in your clothing taking up less space. You can maximize your storage space and still keep your clothes free of creases.

Stain Removal
If you want to remove stains from counter tops, appliances, flooring or other surfaces, consider using baking soda or a vinegar/water combination. Either of these is less harsh than typical cleaning products and still provides a quick fix for most of your stain removal needs. You may also consider anti-bacterial liquid soap and water.

Categorize and Organize
Before starting to clean, create categories for your clutter. By separating your items by intent such as keep, donate, and discard, you will be able to move through your cleanup quickly and efficiently.

Getting Rid of Dust
When you clean, you are likely to stir up a little dust here and there. Regardless of how much or how often you clean, dust is a part of life and it is bound to find its way into a few corners. If you want to reduce the presence of dust in your home, try using a portable air cleaner in the room where you are cleaning.

Cut it Out
Instead of simply tossing out your old bills or credit card offers, shred them with a cross-cut or confetti-cut paper shredder. This will prevent any unscrupulous crook from sifting through your garbage and discovering personal financial information. If you don’t own a paper shredder and don’t have the extra money for it in your budget, simply use a pair of scissors to cut anything with your name, address, social security number, or banking information.

This is the perfect time to sell your home in Skagit County call us today for a free estimate of your home’s worth!

Outdoors in Anacortes, WA

Outdoors in Anacortes

Fidalgo Island is a Pacific Northwest treasure possessing many outdoor opportunities that need to be experienced. Because of this, we’ve turned to Experience Anacortes to bring you the best trails and places to visit while spending time outdoors in Anacortes.

Cap Sante Park
Primarily a vista point, this 37 acre forested promontory affords an excellent view of the the marina, the City of Anacortes, March Point, Fidalgo Bay, Mt Baker and the Cascades.
Directions here.

Cranberry Lake Area
This site, found near the city center, is heavily forested and contains Cranberry Lake (approximately 27 acres) and several other small lakes and bogs. The site varies in terrain from flat to steep slopes. An extensive trail system is found in this area.
Directions here.

Heart Lake Area
(off Campbell Lake Road, onto Heart Lake Road)
Formerly a state park, Heart Lake was transferred to the City in 2002, and incorporated into the Anacortes Community Forestlands. The trails here welcome hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers, so be sure to share the trail and keep your eyes open (there are some specifically for hikers only).
Directions here.

Deception Pass State Park
A 4,134 acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three different lakes. Breathtaking views, old growth forests, and abundant wildlife can be seen all over the park.Click here to read the WTA’s hiking guide for Deception Pass State Park, and click here for the Rosario Headlands &Lighthouse Point hiking guide. Kukutali Preserve, also part of Deception Pass State Park, is jointly owned and managed by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, and Washington State Parks. Open for day use only.
Directions here.

Washington Park
This site is located at the very west end of the city on Rosario Strait and contains a wide variety of facilities. The site is divided into two basic parts: a day use area consisting of a boat launch, picnic shelters, restrooms, children’s play equipment and open play area. Overnight camping area consisting of 68 campsites for RVs and tents, with restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. Only about 41 of the 200 acres are developed but a 2.3 mile paved road runs through the entire park for use by cars, joggers, bicyclists and walkers.
Directions here.

Mount Erie Park
Mt. Erie is a 160 acre Park. At the top of Mt. Erie, elevation 1,270 ft, choose from four viewing areas and be rewarded with spectacular views in every direction. Mt. Erie is, the highest point of Fidalgo Island and is part of the former Anacortes watershed. There is a small parking area and a road to the top of Mt. Erie. Trails from this area lead into a portion of the 1400 plus acres of the Anacortes Forest Lands.
Directions here.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Washington

carbon monoxide detectors

What is Carbon Monoxide?
• Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill an individual within minutes of contact. Carbon monoxide can quickly build to unsafe levels in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas.

What Are Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
• Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, confusion and nausea. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning can include symptoms similar to illnesses such as the flu.
As these may be difficult symptoms to diagnose, they could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
o Symptoms go away when you leave your home, and come back when you return.
o Everyone in the home experiences similar symptoms at the same time.

What Should You Do if You Suspect a Carbon Monoxide Leak in Your Home?
• If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak in your home, gather your family outside in the fresh air and immediately call 911.
During power outages, never use charcoal or gas grills indoors or in enclosed spaces. Do not burn charcoal in a fireplace, as charcoal does not produce a draft strong enough to push the carbon monoxide outside.
Never use a generator inside your home, garage, carport, basement, or near an opening into your home while outside. Generators should be kept at least 20 feet from buildings in the hope that airflow will direct carbon monoxide flows away from the home.
Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home and do not sleep in a room using an unvented gas or kerosene heater.

Washington State Law
Washington State law requires carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in new residences. As of January 1, 2013, carbon monoxide alarms are required in existing apartments, condominiums, hotels, motels, and single-family residences (with few exceptions). Owner-occupied single-family residences, legally occupied before July 26th, 2009, are not required to have carbon monoxide alarms until they are sold.

Spring Cleaning: Natural Cleaning Products

Spring Cleaning

The first day of spring has come and gone, and it is time to get that layer of dust off the furniture and clean out those closets!

The purpose behind spring cleaning is to create a clean home that feels welcoming and happy. Why not add “healthy” to that list? Around this time we are often still working on those New Year’s resolutions to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so this might be the perfect time to consider incorporating health into your cleaning regime as well.

Certified Organic cleaning products have become increasingly popular with the rise in use of essential oils and home remedies. Home owners are taking into consideration the ingredients that are in most household cleaners and the effects they might be having on themselves and their families.

When it comes to household cleaners, GreenHome.com advises us to choose cleaning products that “are made from naturally occurring, non-toxic substances. Be sure to avoid cleaners containing phosphates, chlorine, and VOC’s, all of which are toxic to humans or damaging to the environment.” And let’s face it, for those of us that have bleached anything and experienced its lingering lung-stinging aroma, it probably isn’t the safest substance to use in abundance around the home.

Now that we know a few of the ingredients we should be looking for, which products are genuinely the best options? We’ve compiled a list of our top five natural cleaning brands, using factors such as affordability and availability.

1. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day
2. Method
3. Seventh Generation
4. J.R. Watkins
5. Honest Company

Looking for more of the DIY approach?

Try some of these common household items to take care of some of your cleaning needs:
• Baking Soda- Use as a water softener or add to your dishwasher to help remove stuck-on food.
• Vinegar- Easily dissolve calcium build-ups in coffee pots, and sinks. Vinegar also gets rid of foul odors in drains by taking odors with It as is evaporates.
• Lemon Juice- Not only does it smell great, but it removes stains, deodorizes toilets, and inhibits mold build-up. Try slicing off an end and rubbing it around the edge of your sink, then simply wiping away the dirt and leftover juice.

Want more Spring cleaning tips?  Email us at Info@JeanGroesbeck.com and let us know! We are always happy to provide helpful home tips.

Anacortes Events: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Held from April 1st-30th the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has been a destination event for residents of the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. Each year, visitors from all 50 states flock to the Skagit Valley in celebration of the spring season and to enjoy the marvels that Mother Nature has to offer.

As tulip fields are scattered throughout the valley, the festival does not take place in one particular venue and there are many activities that comprise the festival itinerary. From Wine Tasting to Boat Shows and Photo Ops, the Skagit Valley is proud to offer the Tulip Festival as a family-friendly way to truly get to know the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Tulip Town
15002 Bradshaw Road
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Open now through April 30th
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily
Indoor Flower and Garden Show, Landscape Murals, Face Painting, Kite Flying and Kite Shop, Tulip Town Café.
www.TulipTown.com

RoozenGaarde Events
15867 Beaver Marsh Road
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Open now through April 30th
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily

Admission: $5/person, $4 with military ID. Children 5 & under are no charge.
Parking is free. Note: RoozenGaarde admission ticket provides free access to all parking lots in the RoozenGaarde/WBC tulip fields on the day of purchase. Parking areas will be marked with RoozenGaarde signs.

Tulip Prolic and Parade
Activities begin at Gilkey Square La Conner, WA

April 11th, 2016
Parade begins at 2:00 PM

Bring the whole family and enjoy farm animals, clowns, marching bands, and tons of tulip fun!

If you are thinking of moving anywhere in Skagit County, this is the best time to visit and experience the unique beauty of our region. If you have questions on area information, neighborhoods or market statistics, please call, text or email us today! Our team of dedicated real estate brokers are here to help.

Jean Groesbeck logo black 2 small

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

Stand out from the competition!

Be the one to stand out in the crowd

Be the one to stand out in the crowd

If you’re thinking of selling your home during the high home-shopping season this Spring, you’d better get started now. If you want to stand out from the competition, it could take weeks to do it right. Start by getting your home into shape by fixing any obvious or apparent “problems”. Like every other home, wear and tear from the years is inevitable. By being proactive, and assessing the condition of your home now, you can potentially avoid a huge headache during negotiations later in the process.

1. How old?

No matter how great your home looks at first glance, any savvy buyer will ask: How old? Before listing your home for sale, gather all the paperwork that you have for your home. Check your paperwork for the age or last repair of big items like your roof, HVAC system, water heater, and gutters. If you have copies of your own maintenance records or receipts, keep them handy.

How long items last depends on a lot of factors such as the brand and how well it’s been maintained, but you can get a general idea of average life span. For example:

  • Wood shingle and shake roof: 15 to 30 years
  • Water heater: 10 to 12 years
  • Gutters: 15 to 30 years

 

2. Inspect

Do a walk-through of your home, outside and room by room. Look for signs of damage that might affect your home’s value. Take a special look on common problem areas like:

  • Wood rot around outside door frames, window ledges, and garage doors.
  • Water stains on the ceiling or near doors and windows.
  • Leaks under sinks or around toilets.
  • Bulges under carpet or discoloration on hardwood floors.

These can be an indicator of a “bigger” problem and it will be best to address now.

3. Talk to a Pro

Once you’ve done your own walk-through, you may want to have a professional take a second look. They can spot flaws you overlooked, because either you’re used to them or you didn’t realize they could cause trouble. You can hire a home inspector to do an inspection (or pre-inspection) to pinpoint problems from bad wiring to outdated plumbing.

Inspections may cost a bit, but it will buy you the peace of mind of knowing you’re not in for any surprises down the road.

Once you know what in your house could stand for repairs or upgrades, it’s time to decide where to spend your money. You’re probably not crazy about the idea of repairing a home you’re going to sell, but certain fixes will give you an advantage over the competition, which usually means better offers. Remember, real estate is an investment!

 

We recommend you talk to your real estate broker and ask for advice before starting any repairs or renovation projects. Your broker will help you decide what will be the best investment before selling your home.

We are always here to help! Our main goal is to get you the best return on your investment. Spring season is just around the corner, and Anacortes is short on inventory. If you are thinking of selling your home, please give us a call for a complimentary market analysis of your home.

809 7th St Anacortes, WA - (360) 941-3734

809 7th St Anacortes, WA – (360) 941-3734

Hiring a Property Manager When Renting Out Your Investment

The real estate market is HOT here in Skagit County! If you are thinking of buying a home as an investment rental property, here are some tips for you :

Renting out a property, for the homeowner, means the homeowner is responsible for any issues that may occur.

A property manager’s job is to market the rental, establish communication with tenants, handle issues, and collect rent. A good property manager will give you peace of mind that your investment is being well taken care of and will help reduce your stress level by taking on these responsibilities.

Before you decide whether a property manager is right for your investment property, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you live far from your investment property?

Traveling back and forth to the property every time there may be an issue can be stressful.

2. Do you have the knowledge, skills, and ability?

If you do not have the time to learn the in’s and out’s of what it takes to manage a property, leave it to a professional.

3. Do you have the time for managing the property?

A busy schedule will make it difficult to keep up with your investment property and tenants.

4. Are you willing to work with contractors and other service aids?

Maintaining your investment property is extremely important.

5. Are you having trouble finding tenants?

Working with a property manager takes away the stress of getting your property seen by tenants. Another part of a property manager’s job is to interview tenants, this is a critical aspect of renting your property, finding the best tenant.

There is a lot to consider when renting out your investment property, it is crucial that you take the right steps when renting out your property and hiring a property manger will make it easier for you as a homeowner to make sure your property is well taken care of and most importantly keep its home value!

If you are interested in buying a home in Anacortes or Skagit County as an investment or would like to know what your home is worth please Contact Us!

Jean Groesbeck at 360-941-3734 or email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St Anacortes, WA 360-941-3734