Smart Home Ideas that Work

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How awesome would it be to be able to hold the majority of your home’s necessary functions in the palm of your hand? Would you like to be able to automate some of those tedious tasks that are part of your daily routine? With the progressive technology of today, the time for the Smart Home is now. We are talking about moving into the future with more control over your home than was possible only a few years ago.

You might wonder what a smart home looks like. A smart home is not all about crazy gadgets. It’s all about creating a single operating system that helps you control your home with ease and at your convenience. What is nice, is that you do not even need to be in the comfort of your home to stay in control. Using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can actually take control on the go.

This includes the control of your home’s features in real time which saves you a whole lot of effort. From the devices, you can get access to information on security, visually see who is at your door, peek in on the kids, track the rate of energy consumption in your home and much more.

TOP 8 Smart Home Features:

The following are some of the smart devices to include in your home:

1. Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats help you to regulate the temperature at your home. The days of forgetting to turn off your heater or air conditioner are over. These thermostats detect your daily heating and cooling routines as well. You can even adjust the temperature to your rooms independently using voice commands.

2. Smart Home Security Cameras

This is one of our personal favorites. By using smart security cameras, you can monitor your home at all times from your cell phone or other devices. This means that besides being a great security feature, you can even peak in on the kids when you are not home. Not to mention, many of these cameras have 2-way communications with little to no delay time, so you can actually talk and listen to people while looking at them from a remote location. Smart cameras also have a “push” notification setting which will allow you to get instant notifications when any movement has been detected. You can also get access to video feeds from previous days store in the cloud for future use.

3. Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks are another security feature you do not want to go without. Bluetooth sensors make it possible for the door to unlock whenever a person with an authorized smartphone approaches the door. You will never have to fiddle with trying to get your keys out of your pocket to unlock the door with your hands full of groceries again. You can also control the doors at your home independently from anywhere you are. This feature is great when your kids forget their phone or keys on their way to school or when you have unexpected visitors that you want to let in.

4. Smart Doorbell

Let’s be honest, your phone is usually in your hand, pocket, or nearby. That is why the smart doorbell makes sense. This smart home option will help to save you from the pain of stopping what you are doing or getting out of bed to see who is knocking at the door. When someone stops by, you will get the feed through your phone via the connected doorbell. This will allow you to see and speak to the visitor using two-way audio.

Smart Home Devices to Automate Your Home

Here are the top smart home devices you can use to automate some of the items on your to-do list. They will conveniently make your busy life a bit less busy and they will definitely make some mundane household chores easier.

5. Smart Vacuum

The smart vacuum cleaner does its job very well. It automatically vacuums the floor when you activate it remotely. Again, you do not have to be home as it can be activated from anywhere you are. With a strong Wi-Fi connection, it can work in multiple rooms, but the best feature of all is that you can schedule it to run automatically. Set the schedule and let it get things cleaned up on its own. Once it’s done, it will even connect itself back onto its charging port to be ready to tackle its next clean up.

6. Smart Lawn Mower

Much like the smart vacuum, smart lawn mowers are automatic, and you can control them to from where you are. With the latest smart home technology set the schedule and let your lawn mower go to work for you. This smart device will get the job done and you won’t even have to break a sweat. Although, unfortunately, you will still have to lift a finger.

7. Smart Dishwasher

This smart home appliance has enhanced features such as Wi-Fi and voice controls which are enabled by controls from a smartphone or tablet. The smart dishwasher outweighs a standard dishwasher because the number one benefit is you can schedule run times. Just load in dirty dishes set it and forget it. This way you can have it run when you are not home to hear the sound of dishes washing. Plus, you can easily make sure that you are not running washes during your providers’ peak energy usage times. This will enable you to keep your monthly water and power bills lower.

8. Smart Washing Machine

You can operate a smart washing machine from anywhere at any time. Once you have the smart washing machine app on your smartphone. You can control it remotely, so many of the conveniences of the smart dishwasher will apply.

There are many other smart features you may want to add to your home when converting it to a smart home. Things like smart blinds, a smart TV, other entertainment features, and more – but with our top 8 smart home ideas that work, you will be taking a step into the future of full control and an easier life.

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

Jean Groesbeck Footer all info

 

 

Where Have All the Houses Gone?

 

 

By Jean Groesbeck

 

Where have all the houses gone?
Buyers have picked them everyone… (Adaptation from Peter, Paul and Mary’s Where Have All The Flowers Gone)

 

The inventory of homes for sale is at record LOW levels! Today, if there is a buyer looking for a one level home between $350,000-$500,000 in Anacortes, there are ONLY 2 from which to select.  2!

 

As a listing broker, my job is to get my sellers the most amount of money within the time frame that works for them with good terms and conditions.  Therefore, I carefully check the inventory for competition, and most often than not, we can significantly bump the price up.  This might not be the case in Spring when we typically have a glut of both pre-owned homes and new construction for sale.

 

If you want top dollar for your home, this is an excellent time to sell.  Call today and we can show you the demand for your particular type of home and what is the most likely selling price.

 

Oh, when will we ever learn?

 

You can reach Jean at (360) 941.3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com 

Is The Price Right?

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If you are thinking of selling your home this Spring in Anacortes or Skagit County, one of the most important aspects to consider is pricing. When a potential buyer is looking for a property, they want to get the best possible value for their dollar. This doesn’t mean that a home should be priced too low, but it does mean that knowing how to price your home is a must. Here are some tips on how to get the right price for your home right from the start.

Know The Value

Regardless of whether you are in a buyer’s market or seller’s market, it is important for every seller to know the actual value of their home. A home appraisal can be helpful in this situation. You will be able to choose a listing price that does not exceed the home’s value. At the same time, you will know how to react to various offers that a potential buyer may make. If you can select a price that is affordable to a range of buyers, you may receive multiple offers, thereby sparking possible competition among the interested parties.

Do Your Homework

The asking price that you choose should not be based on an appraisal alone, but rather a combination of factors. One such factor is that of recent selling prices for comparable homes in the area, known as “comps.” Important comparisons include construction year, square footage, views (if applicable), interior upgrades and additional features that make the home unique. While you’re doing research, check out current listings and the asking price for each home available in your area.

Set A Realistic Timetable

In researching the sale price for other comparable homes in the area, you should also note the length of time a particular house has been on the market. Some homes practically sell overnight, while others may remain on the market for months without being sold. If you want to sell your home quickly, you should consider this when setting a price. A bargain will obviously move quicker, but it’s important to make enough from the sale to feel good about your choice. If you aren’t in a hurry to close, talk with your REALTOR® about a fair starting price that’s at or near the appraised value of your home.

Ask Your REALTOR® For Advice

While you hold the key, so to speak, to your house’s actual asking price, most sellers will ask their REALTOR® for their opinion. After all, real estate is their business and they will be working with you through every step of the process. If you choose a REALTOR® that you trust, give great consideration to the advice they offer.

Remember, pricing your home appropriately from the beginning is critical to getting it sold quickly and at the best price!

If you are thinking about selling your home this Spring anywhere is Skagit County, please give us a call. We will gladly do a complimentary market analysis for your home and let you know how much your home is worth in the current market.

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

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

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

Home of the Week: Farm-Style Living not far from the City

17711 McLean Rd Mount Vernon, WA 98273

The Front Porch of this Cute Farm-Style Home

There are so many wonderful things to say about this cozy and peaceful Mt. Vernon home! This great property is absolutely huge, sitting on approximately 1.3 acres of fertile land. With a barn in the huge backyard, mature fruit and nut trees plus blueberry bushes, this home is already on its way to becoming an amazing find— and that’s just the yard!

A sky view of this phenomenal property.

Inside, 17711 McLean Rd Mount Vernon, WA 98273 is equipped with an updated farm style kitchen along with an enormous pantry and ample storage space. The five-burner stove and stainless steel appliances give this 1956 home a modern feel. This house has four bedrooms and two baths plus a large den and a bonus room that could be used as an additional bedroom or office. The basement is partially finished and could easily be converted into another section of the house. The two car garage and covered porch are added bonuses to a property that already has so much to offer.

Get that country feel while living just minutes to I-5 and downtown Mount Vernon. This house is a must see! Don’t miss the opportunity to see this one of a kind home!

Just one of the spacious living areas in this Mount Vernon home.

Buying a home does not have to be an overwhelming experience. Team Jean Groesbeck can help you find your perfect home without the stress or hassle. Let us show you the difference that our 5 Star Real Estate Services can make in buying or selling a home.

Contact  us TODAY  if you would like a private showing of this acreage home in Mount Vernon WA or if you would like to see another wonderful home for sale in the Skagit County area.

Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734

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

Everyday feels like a vacation day on Samish Island

9690 Samish Island Road- Bow, WA

When we list a home for sale in Skagit County, we like to ask our clients “What do you like most about your home?” We believe that there is no one better than the homeowner to capture the uniqueness of their home. One of our newest listings is truly one of a kind waterfront home on the beautiful Samish Island and here is what our client had to say about this amazing home for sale:

How to describe Samish Island, this home and the surrounding areas…Words cannot accurately portray them…One must experience this place and all it has to offer to fully understand what they are missing!

It all starts with the scenic drive through Skagit Valley to Samish Island, not only is there no ferry hassle but as you near the island one can see the tops of the other San Juan Islands such as Guemes, Lummi, Orcas, and Cypress just to name a few.  If it happens to be in the evening you have a great chance of viewing an amazing sunset.  Soon you will smell the soft scent of salt in the air and all your thoughts and burdens of the day or week disappear from your body in one big Ahhhh!

You know paradise is found as soon as you open the oversize double front doors because as you step inside one can see right through the wall of windows in the open living room to the outside facing South and Padilla Bay.  There are 3 sliding doors and multiple windows facing the bay in the main level so one does not have to miss any of the action going on outside.  What makes this home so unique is that while you’re inside you still have the feeling as if you’re outside.  This is true of even the large open kitchen and the usual gathering spot during entertaining and the family hangout; all windows here face South also.

Incredible Views

With the panoramic 180 degree southern exposure witnessing amazing sunrises and sunsets are a common experience.  There is never a dull moment depending on your mood and season at hand.  One has beach combing in their backyard and until you have experienced the thrill of seeing friends, kids, or grandchildren find their first perfect shining beach pebble, driftwood, sea shell, or the small crab hiding under a rock…you will never now how important it is to create memories that put a smile on your face.  Don’t forget about the outside private hot and cold shower to wash the kids, pets or yourself off after being on the beach or after your walk, run, or bike ride on this quiet island. There is certainly something to be said about the refreshing re-awaking of an outdoor shower in your back patio!

On any given morning and during the day one will certainly see and hear the calls of blue herons, seagulls, ducks, geese and the majestic LOON!

If water-sports are your thing…this bay offers the opportunity to paddle board, kayak, water-ski, wake-board, tubing and of course jet-skiing.

If a slower pace is more preferable, then sitting on the beach enjoying the stunning sights and sounds of nature the island has to offer while reading a book will surely make your day. You can also enjoy your favorite drink or just make s’mores by the fire; nothing less than perfect!  With the changing seasons and tides the view is like an ever-changing canvas, never boring or the same.

The layout of this home provides everything absolutely needed on the main floor with oversized walk-ways and a well designed open floor concept make for easy family life but can also be great for entertaining family and friends. Host comfortably anywhere from 2 people for an intimate outing to over 100 people for large holiday, corporate, or fundraising parties with all the unique features this home has to offer to keep people happily entertained. Enjoy the large grass areas for yard games, beach and water for activities, and game-room complete with pool table, foosball, air-hockey, basketball court for hours of entertainment. How about a movie? Enjoy some popcorn in the movie room, yes…a private theater room for viewing your favorite flick. It is set up for electronic games too!

With the ability to anchor a boat and/or wave-runner in the bay…boating to the San Juan Islands is an easy task.  Whether you just want to go exploring the other Islands for hiking, bird watching, whale watching or hit one of the many island towns and marinas for breakfast, lunch, or dinner….a day or more out in the Islands is not something one ever forgets and it all starts in your backyard.

Are you ready to buy your dream home? Are you thinking about buying a vacation home?

This could be THE home for you! Contact us for a private showing of this unique waterfront home! Call Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or email her at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

If you would like to see more photos, pricing or for more information on this home click here to view the full listing.


NWMLS Press Release

The following statistics are furnished by the NWMLS

 

Northwest MLS brokers say housing market is recovering, but still “spongy”

 

KIRKLAND, Wash. (Aug. 5, 2009) – Most numbers are “moving in the right direction,” close-in Seattle neighborhoods are definitely coming to life and move-up buyers are re-entering the market were among observations by brokers when asked to comment on the latest activity report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

 

The report shows July’s pending sales increased from a year ago, as did closed sales, and inventory continues to shrink. Prices on sales that closed during July still lagged figures of a year-ago (down about 10 percent area-wide) and NWMLS members said last month’s record-setting temperatures “absolutely impacted showings and sales.”

 

July’s unseasonably hot weather curtailed activity for several showings and open houses, as brokers and agents said buyers and sellers postponed tours, saying it was just too hot.

 

“The hot July weather aside, the variable results we saw in July reflect what we’d typically expect from a recovering housing market – a few steps forward for some areas, a step back in others,” said Ron G. Sparks, managing vice president of Coldwell Banker Bain. Whereas comparisons to a year ago reflect some substantial gains, on a month to month basis we’re probably going to experience some “spongy” results for a while, he explained.

 

For example, brokers reported 7,279 pending sales (mutual acceptance of a purchase and sale agreement) last month, up from the year-ago total of 6,350 sales for a 14.6 percent gain. Compared with June, the volume slipped about 5.9 percent, dropping from 7,733 to 7,279 transactions.

 

In the four-county Puget Sound region (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish), July’s pending sales of single family homes and condominiums jumped 21.2 percent from twelve months ago, but dipped 6.9 percent from the previous month. Nonetheless, last month’s 5,551 pending sales for the region marked the second-highest monthly total since August 2007.

 

Pending sales of condos (excluding single family homes) rose nearly 12.5 percent last month from a year ago. That continued June’s modest gain of 1.3 percent, when 22 months of negative year-over-year comparisons ended. Last month’s increase was the first double-digit gain since February 2007.

 

“I’m excited to see the continued increase of pending sales because these figures are the lead predictor of buyer behavior,” said J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate. “The rise of pending sales over the past few months is the best indication we have of what’s to come and I am encouraged by what we’re seeing,” he added.

 

Brokers say first-time buyers who are motivated by a looming deadline for the tax credit are propelling activity. “There seems to finally be a feeling of urgency to take advantage of this program before it goes away,” remarked NWMLS director Meribeth Hutchings, broker/owner of Windermere Real Estate/ Lake Stevens.

 

In an effort to keep agents and their clients focused on the time remaining for the $8,000 tax credit opportunity, Sparks said his company has a clock prominently displayed on its internal website that ticks down the days, minutes and seconds until the midnight deadline on Nov. 30. He also commented on the secondary benefits of the credit. “My daughter just closed on her first home, and she intends on using the tax credit for household items she’ll need as a new homeowner. She’s excited to buy her first lawn mower…good for her, good for housing, and good for the economy,” he stated.

 

Commenting on the tax credit, NWMLS director Dick Beeson said first time homebuyers are “getting it. All they talk about is the $8,000 tax credit and how good interest rates are.”

 

NWMLS members added 11,481 new listings to inventory during July, 1,612 fewer than during the same month a year ago. At month end, there were 42,310 active listings of single family homes and condominiums in the MLS database, down 18 percent from a year ago. Twelve of the 19 counties in the MLS reported double-digit shrinkage in inventory.

 

MLS brokers reported a system-wide total of 5,527 closed sales for the month of July, an increase of 256 transactions from a year ago for a 4.9 percent gain. The median selling price for those closings was $279,000, down 10 percent from the year-ago price of $310,000. Among the 19 counties served by NWMLS, the price changes from a year ago ranged from a 25.1 percent increase in Okanogan County to a 17.8 percent decline in Cowlitz County.

 

For the four-county Puget Sound region, the median selling price for last month’s completed sales of single family homes (excluding condos) was $314,000, about 13.5 percent less than the year-ago price of $363,000.

 

“After almost two years of relative calm, the close-in Seattle neighborhoods have definitely come to life in a major way,” remarked Mike Skahen, owner/broker at Lake & Co. Real Estate, Inc., in Seattle and a member of the NWMLS board of directors. He described open house traffic as “very strong” with a typical home drawing 20 to 50 buyers.

 

Multiple offers are once again becoming common on well-priced quality listings, according to Skahen. Although noticeable during the past few months for homes priced under $450,000, he said there are now instances of competition at higher price ranges. A recent listing of a Wallingford bungalow priced at $550,000 drew eight offers, which Skahen said is a “good indication the trade up buyers have finally decided that prices have bottomed out, so after waiting too long they are now competing for fewer listings.”

 

Skahen also said the tax credit has created such strong demand for starter homes that those sellers now realize they actually gain more by trading up in this market because they save more on their trade-up home and there is good demand for the home they’re selling.

 

Skahen also said the tax credit has created such strong demand for starter homes that those sellers now realize they actually gain more by trading up in this market because they save more on their trade-up home and there is good demand for the home they’re selling.

On a cautionary note, Skahen said there is very likely to be a shortage of homes and townhouses in some Seattle neighborhoods by next year. “New construction has almost ground to a halt because builders can’t get prices that even cover construction costs,” he reported.

Hutchings, whose office is in Snohomish County, said they’re also seeing move up buyers re-entering the market. “They understand even if their current home has lost value, their new home will also offer them a greater savings. That, along with low interest rates, make it a great time to buy up,” she emphasized.

 

Beeson said the transition from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market is occurring in, “of all places,” the foreclosure market. “Banks are pricing many homes slightly under market value and watching multiple offers come in, bidding up the price. What a change that is,” he exclaimed, while noting he hopes the next wave of foreclosure homes coming on the market later this year will finally flush out the remaining inventory and “we’ll get back to a more normal market.”

 

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member brokers, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes approximately 27,000 brokers and agents. The organization, based in Kirkland, currently serves 19 counties in western and central Washington.

 

Summary charts follow

Statistical Summary by Counties: Market Activity Summary- July 2009 Single Fam. Homes + Condos

LISTINGS

PENDING SALES

CLOSED SALES

New Listings

Total Active

# Pending Sales

# Closings

Avg. Price

Median Price

King

    4261

13589

2777

2161

$431,446

$401,500

 

Snohomish

1711

5659

1164

858

$315,288

$332,500

 

Pierce

1781

6101

1251

903

$258,259

$255,000

 

Kitsap

524

2081

359

290

$295,955

$266,500

 

Mason

162

854

78

58

$214,944

$195,000

 

Skagit

256

1401

141

116

$263,866

$259,995

 

Grays Harbor

196

953

65

53

$146,772

$169,900

 

Lewis

157

779

90

63

$184,635

$189,900

 

Cowlitz

148

693

82

68

$162,200

$199,425

 

Grant

160

737

71

47

$183,073

$165,000

 

Thurston

607

1881

396

284

$275,278

$256,326

 

San Juan

47

522

23

18

$498,328

$497,500

 

Island

233

1260

112

89

$278,500

$255,200

 

Kittitas

126

678

65

41

$234,689

$218,499

 

Jefferson

105

632

32

20

$281,662

$275,000

 

Okanogan

65

411

30

26

$181,875

$130,000

 

Whatcom

513

2066

324

252

$296,557

$265,000

 

Clark

93

368

66

55

$252,763

$245,000

 

Pacific

84

438

33

29

$155,047

$144,000

 

Others

252

1217

120

96

$220,258

$188,950

 

MLS TOTAL

11,481

42,320

7,279

5,527

$334,761

$310,000