Ready to buy your first home?

Like any other life changing experience, buying a home for the first time can seem overwhelming. However, once you are able to organize your priorities, conduct research and interact with a real estate broker, your confusion will quickly turn into excitement!

As you begin to think about buying a new home, keep in mind some of the basic steps outlined below that can help pave the way to a successful home buying experience.

Prior to researching the real estate market in Skagit County and hunting for mortgages, setting your goals and priorities is crucial. Take some time to reflect and determine if it is the right time to purchase your first home. You may also want to ask yourself where you want to be in the next few years and consider how purchasing a home for the first time fits into your long-term goals.

The next important step in the home buying process may seem obvious but is often overlooked during the excitement of purchasing a first home. Very simply, you need to determine what you can afford. Too often, buyers underestimate or simply miscalculate the costs of owning a home.

Before searching for your first home, ask yourself if your income is both adequate and reliable enough to afford mortgage payments. There are also upfront costs to consider when buying a home. Though the amount required to cover a down payment and possible closing costs will vary, there are usually some out of pocket expenses to incur when closing on your first home.

Though following the previous steps can help a home buyer find the right home, buyers never need to go it alone. After conducting your own research, it is a good idea to find a real estate broker you can trust. Besides being able to assist you when searching for the right home, a reliable real estate broker can help guide you through the home buying process.

Feel free to call, text or email us at any time! We can help you search for YOUR dream home.

(360) 941-3734

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221

4 DIY Projects for a ‚ÄúGreener‚ÄĚ Home¬†

Going ‚Äúgreen‚ÄĚ is gaining popularity every year. A high percentage of home builders and contractors¬†are already building “green” and energy-efficient¬†homes¬†and expect to continue to do so in the future. Making your home ‚Äúgreen‚ÄĚ may actually make your home more appealing to potential¬†buyers. ¬†Did you know that home buyers are not only continuously¬†interested in energy-efficient homes, or homes with¬†“green” features, but they are also willing to pay more for them? Even if you‚Äôre not ready to sell your home¬†this year,¬†going ‚Äúgreen‚ÄĚ is environmentally conscious and at the same time it may also help you save money on your monthly energy bills!

 

Green20Home-3

 

1. Bamboo flooring

Thinking about putting in a hardwood floor?  Consider bamboo instead.  Because bamboo grows much more quickly than wood, bamboo is an ecologically friendly alternative to hardwood flooring.  It is an affordable product that is still just as durable, natural, and beautiful as wood.  Furthermore, bamboo is slightly more resistant to water damage than hardwood.

2.  Low-flow toilets and faucet aerators

It may be time to remodel your bathrooms.  If so, a low-flow toilet is more environmentally friendly than a traditional toilet, and is also a great money saver.  It can save up to four gallons of water per flush!  Want to cut your water use in half?  Aerators for your water faucets are another water-saving product.  They also happen to be affordable and very easy to install.

3.  Zero-VOC paint

Did you know that the paint in your home may contain chemicals called Volatile Organic Compounds, and that these toxic VOC chemicals evaporate over time into the air you breathe as you watch TV in the den, or cook meals in kitchen?  Replace the paint on the walls of your home with low or zero-VOC paints, which can be found at almost any paint or home improvement store.

4.  LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs

You may not know this, but incandescent light bulbs actually put out a lot more heat than they do light.  LED and compact fluorescent bulbs are an easy fix.  They fit into incandescent sockets, they’re much more energy efficient, and they last about ten times longer.

What will you do with all the money you save from implementing these ‚Äúgreen‚ÄĚ improvements to your home?¬† Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in more tips for making your home “green” before you sell,¬†call, text or email¬†us anytime with any questions you have on selling your¬†home in¬†Anacortes,¬†Whidbey Island¬†or¬†Skagit County. We’d love to talk with you.

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221

 

Why Should You Wait? Winter can be the Best Season to Buy.

Did you know that in many cases it is actually less expensive to own a house rather than rent one?

In Skagit County, the average price of a home is around $247,250 while the average cost to rent a house is $1,463. Initially, the upfront costs of buying a house can seem like a lot more. Plus, thinking about a mortgage can be intimidating but with rent prices increasing and mortgages at an all-time low, now is the perfect time to consider buying that home you’ve dreamed of.

If you qualify for a mortgage, have the funds for a down payment, and intend to live in a home long enough to cover the transaction costs‚ÄĒyou will be better off financially if you buy as soon as you can. After all, if you‚Äôre already tired of the house you‚Äôve been in, that feeling is just going to grow!

Typically, summer is thought to be the best time to buy a house; the weather and school calendar make this a convenient season. Because most people consider that time as the right time, hidden gems that go up for sale in the winter are often overlooked.

So, if you are ready, consider looking for a home now instead of early spring. You will have more choices and less competition, and you can lock in today’s rates rather than risk rates increasing. Click here for wonderful winter options!

Skagit County Washington and Anacortes, Washington are great places to buy a home and with the market growing, now is a wonderful time to buy or sell! If you’re interested in finding out whether you can afford a home, contact Jean Groesbeck , Anacortes Living. If you would like more information on buying versus renting,read more about it here.

Looking For a Luxury Home with Views in Anacortes?

Look no further! If you know Anacortes, you know that the island living is all about the amazing views!

This estate quality home is situated on shy 2 acres on top of Summit Park Neighborhood in Anacortes to take advantage of water and mountain views! This main level living luxury home in Anacortes is for sale and has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and includes formal / informal living and dining areas with amazing views.

aerial photo

8547 Southridge Place Anacortes, WA

The large master suite features a double sided fireplace, walk-in glass block shower and a jetted tub to relax after a long day. The large bonus room in the upper level includes a full bathroom and has potential for a game room or media room.
Did I mention there is a chef’s dream kitchen? Yes, this home has it all! Open eat-in kitchen with top of the line appliances has multiple skylights that flood the room with natural light.

The Kitchen

Dream Chef's Kitchen

This property for sale also features a tennis/basketball court in the extensive backyard area. Professional landscape includes colorful native vegetation, Rhody garden, a pond and a custom made waterfall.

Summit Park neighborhood in Anacortes features private hiking trails and beach access for residents only. Enjoy a stroll by the beach or watch bald eagles fly above the trails all in your neighborhood.

Click here for more photos of this home for sale in Anacortes Р8547 Southridge Place Anacortes, WA  MLS#514576

If you would like to know more about this property, please call or email Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734, Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

HOME INSPECTIONS: Money Well-Spent

REALTORS¬ģ know how important a professional home inspection is for the buyer of a new home in terms of educating the home buyer about the condition¬† of the property and the proper operation and maintenance of the home‚Äôs systems.¬† A well-documented and thorough inspection can also be a very valuable tool in negotiating a fair price.

Some points for maximizing your home inspection:

 1) Carefully select you inspector by checking credentials, length of time in the business, and if they are licensed.  Confirm the inspector carries professional liability insurance.

 2) Review a sample home inspection report to confirm that it is thorough and easy to understand.  It should contain photos of any identified defects.

 3) Be sure the home inspection report will also cover a certified pest inspection.

 4) Be present at the home inspection.  It’s a great time to ask questions and learn about the home.

 If you need a list of qualified home inspectors for Anacortes, La Conner, Oak Harbor, or anywhere in Skagit County, contact one of the professionals at COLDWELL BANKER ISLAND LIVING.

 3110 Commercial Ave., Ste 101  Anacortes, WA  360-293-4511   Or visit the website:  www.CBIslandLiving.com

‚ÄúLet There Be Light‚ÄĚ

I never gave much thought to light bulbs until tenants in an Anacortes house I have listed began complaining that light bulbs were lasting only weeks or months.  One recent weekend they replaced 4 bulbs.  I learned from the owners that that last year an evaluation of the house had occurred without any answers.  

To the rescue was Mike Kluge of Kluge and Sons

(360-299-8658).  

I called Mike and we had a phone consultation.  He suggested that we first speak to neighbors to see if they are having similar problems.  If that is the case it might be that the electrical provider (Puget Sound Energy) will have to evaluate the power from the transformer to determine if there are power surges. In this case that was not the problem. 

Mike met me at the house and suspected much of the problem was actually with the light bulbs themselves.   We found that almost every bulb was the wrong bulb for the fixture.  Mike measured the voltage as it comes to the electrical panel of the house. In this house the voltage was measuring 123 to 124 volts.  Here is where that becomes important.  Most of us buy light bulbs that are 60-75 watts and 120 volts (in fact we don’t even pay attention to the voltage and it is hard to find that written on the packaging).

The higher voltage as it came into the house meant we needed 130 volt light bulbs.   Mike went through the house with me.  We found other problems.  The chandelier had the decorator tapered tip bulbs and in this case they hung down, not pointed up.  I learned that these particular bulbs were not meant to disperse the heat in either horizontal or vertical down position, only vertical up.   The bulbs were black near the end showing the effect of higher heat.   In other ceiling fixtures these tapered bulbs had been used in a horizontal position with similar results.  Mike helped me identify the proper bulbs by not only the watts but also the bulb contour.  

The next easy step was to take my list to Sebos and they ordered for me 130 volt bulbs in all the wattage sizes and bulb shapes I wanted.  Some arrived the next day, others took two days.

If you think that light bulbs are blowing or burning out at a high frequency in your home, you may have a similar problem.  You may want to check first with Puget Sound Energy for evaluation of your transformer, then if that is not the answer you may also want to check with Mike Kluge, or your favorite electrician, for an onsite evaluation of the electrical panel and see if he can help you resolve your issues.  I appreciated Mike’s desire to avoid unnecessary expense and his patience in helping me understand the problem and truly resolve the problem.  

So, a light bulb is not just a light bulb.  The safety of your home means you should be checking your fixtures to use the proper wattage, voltage, and contour of bulb as recommended by the manufacturer.  Substituting the wrong bulb may cause damage and might be a safety hazard.