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.

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Title Insurance

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What is Title Insurance?

The purchase of a home is often the single largest investment people will make in a lifetime: therefore, the importance of fully protecting such an investment cannot be overstressed. Title insurance is protection which assures that the rights and interest to the property are as expected, that the transfer of ownership is smoothly completed and that the new owner receives protection from future claims against the property. It is the most effective, most accepted and least experience way to protect property ownership rights.

Because land endures over generations, many people may develop rights and claims to a particular property. The current owner’s rights — which often involve family and heirs — may be obscure. There may be other parties (such as government agencies, public utilities, lenders or private contractors) who also have “rights” to the property. These interests limit the “title” of any buyer.

Why Do You Need a Title Insurance Policy?

If title insurance companies work to eliminate risks and prevent losses caused by defects in the title before the closing, why do you need a title insurance policy? The title of the property could be seriously threatened or lost completely by hazards which are considered hidden risks — “those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records.” Matters such as forgery, incompetency or incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of “hidden risks” which could provide a basis for a claim after the property has been purchased.

Title insurance isn’t just for a homeowner. Subdividers need it when planning a new tract of homes or a commercial strip center. Attorneys use it for clients who are investing in shopping centers hotels, office buildings, and countless other projects. Builders need it in order to obtain construction loans from their lender. Everyone wants to have peace of mind when investing their hard-earned money. The title insurance company will help protect these important investments, no matter how large or small, with its own reputation and financial strength.

Why Does the Lender Need a Policy on My Property?

For the lender, a title policy is a guarantee that it has a valid and enforceable lien (loan or deed of trust) secured by the property, that no one else other than those listed on the policy has a prior claim (or loan, etc.) and that the party to whom they are making the loan does own the property being used as security for the loan. This protection remains in effect as long as the loan remains unpaid.

The existence of a lender’s title policy encourages lenders such as banks, savings and loan associations, commercial banks, life insurance companies, etc., to loan money. Because they are lending other people’s money (savings or policy holder’s funds), they must be concerned with safety should the borrower not make their payments. The title company ensures that the title to the property is marketable in the event of foreclosure and the guarantee is backed by the integrity and solvency of the title company. Of course, this benefits everyone — from the single-family homeowner to the owner of a high-rise building.

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

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America’s Best Real Estate Professionals

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Congratulations Team Groesbeck on being once again ranked as one of the Top 40 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals!

REAL Trends identifies the country’s largest and most successful agents and firms ranked by closed transaction sides and separately closed sales volume. Nearly 14,000 U.S. real estate sales associates from every state are featured. To be included in the ranking, agents must have closed at least 50 transactions or $20 million in closed sales volume in 2017. Teams must have closed 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume in 2017. All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party to ensure accuracy and report integrity.

We are very proud to be part of the Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC team and honored to be ranked as one of the Top 40 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals!

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

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

 

 

How to Get the Most from Each Showing

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Curb appeal is vital. Many buyers find your home online and then do a drive by to see if they want to view the inside. Prune, rake, put down fresh bark, add color to the yard, pressure wash driveways, and keep the lawn watered, fertilized and cut a clean edge around the yard. Wash your mailbox, have windows professionally cleaned in and out; hide garbage cans, lawn tools, and kids’ toys. Paint the exterior if needed, if not, wash siding.

Front Entrance much be clean. You may not use your front door, but buyers will, so stand for several minutes and study your porch and entry. Does it need paint? Are there spider webs? Does it need pressure washing? Do you need a new mat? Is your door handle worn and old looking? The buyer will be looking at all of these things while the showing agent unlocks the lockbox and then, your front door. They will form their general opinion of your home before they even see inside.

Send curtains out to be cleaned. Dust all blinds, clean window, and door tracks have the carpets cleaned, paint if needed or touch up paint at a minimum. Scrub everything, clean out closets (yes, buyers will look in your closets), straighten the pantry, etc. Cluttered closets give the impression of insufficient storage space.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms to have perfectly clean. They must sparkle, have no odors, and look as close to new as possible, especially if there are new homes in your price range. Don’t leave as much as a coffee cup in the sink, and leave your home freshly vacuumed.

De-clutter and depersonalize. If it is smaller than a breadbox, pack it. Hide all pet beds and toys, do not leave newspapers or magazines out, put away all children’s toys, take down or put away all personal photographs. If your home looks stark and empty, you are almost there!

Make sure that ALL the lights and lamps are on every time you leave the house. It makes a home feel much more welcoming. If your home is dark, check to see if your lamps will accommodate a higher wattage bulb. Play soft mellow music in the background.

Make ALL beds every day. Wash linen weekly and do not leave dirty clothes in a hamper for more than a day or two. When your home is closed up, dirty clothes can cause an odor that you may not notice, but a potential buyer with a sensitive nose will.

Keep pets out of the way when showing as they can frighten or distract a buyer or agent.

Leave during all showings. It makes buyers very uncomfortable if you are home and they will cut the time they spend in the house shortly so it is best to leave. Never try to show the home yourself as the agent knows which features will have the broadest appeal to their buyers.

Please do not discuss anything about your home with a prospective buyer. If there were to be a problem down the road, the buyer will not be able to say that you made false claims if you have never talked with them.

If you have any more questions or need more information about Anacortes, please contact us : (360) 899-5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

 

When We Get an Offer on Your Home

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Getting you the best price is critical, but there are other components of an offer that are important to consider before accepting an offer. We will review each of these components:

1. If the offer subject to financing? If so, what is the length of time and is the buyer prequalified? What percentage are they going to put down? What is the source of the down payment? Are they asking you to pay any of their closing costs? What kind of loan is it? Is it a local lender, an out of the area lender, or an online lender? It makes a difference!

2. Is the offer subject to the buyers obtaining insurance on the home? If so, in what timeframe?

3. Is the offer subject to inspection? If so, what do they intend to have inspected and in what timeframe? Do they want the septic inspection prior to or after the inspection contingency?

4. What is the closing rate? Does that work for you?

5. How much is the earnest money? What is the remedy if the buyer defaults? When can it be disbursed?

6. Is the possession date the same as the closing date? Do you know why it is not always in your best interest to have a possession date later than a closing date?

7. Are they asking for any personal property to be included? appliances?

Every offer and every transaction is as unique as each seller so the Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC  team will review every detail to make sure it is the BEST offer. Then, we will monitor each minute detail to make sure the transaction goes smoothly for you!

If you have any more questions about getting an offer for your home, please contact us : (360) 899-5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

HUD Secretary Announces Monetization of Tax Credit at NAR Real Estate Summit

HUD Secretary Announces Monetization of Tax Credit at NAR Real Estate Summit

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2009

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that the
Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow homeowners to use the $8,000 tax credit as a downpayment.

Donovan’s remarks came in an address to several thousand Realtors® gathered this morning at The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy, a special daylong session at the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo here.

Secretary Donovan said that important changes, which the National Association of Realtors® has been calling for, will help consumers purchase a home. “We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a downpayment,” Donovan said. According to Donovan, the FHA’s approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

Donovan said the Obama administration plans to further stabilize the housing market. “I do think we have some early signs hat the market overall is stabilizing,” said Donovan. “Since January we’ve seen both home sales moving up and down around a relatively stable number and we are seeing the first signs that the rapid decline in home prices is starting to abate.”

NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said, “As the leading advocate for housing issues and homeownership, NAR continues to take a leadership role in promoting ideas for improving our economy by stabilizing the housing and real estate markets. Today we have the best of the best to begin a dialogue, develop solutions and initiate action toward real estate and economic recovery.”

The morning session included a panel discussion that was moderated by CNBC’s Ron Insana. The 13 panelists and Realtors® in attendance examined cutting-edge solutions necessary to promote and preserve homeownership and real estate development, stimulate the economy, and protect the nation’s taxpayers. They also shared their ideas on what the role and responsibility of the federal government is in the revitalization effort.

The list of distinguished panelists include Dr. Martin Feldstein, professor of Economics from Harvard University; Dr. Barry Bluestone, professor of Political Economy from Northeastern University; John Taylor, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition; Maria Kong, president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers; and Sarah Rosen Wartell, executive vice president for the Center for American Progress.

“Right now the Federal Reserve is the market,” said Jay Brinkman, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. “What will be the effect when the Fed stops buying?” Brinkman explained that an exit strategy must be planned for the long-term; the federal government cannot continue to support the mortgage markets indefinitely.

“We must make sure FHA and the GSEs are supported,” added the Wharton School’s Susan Wachter.

“We are thrilled that so many high-caliber individuals were able to join us today at this important meeting to promote stability in the housing market and the U.S. economy,” McMillan said. “We look forward to an ongoing dialogue and action toward this goal, during our midyear meetings this week and beyond.”

The real estate summit is part of the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo here through Saturday. During the week, more than 8,500 Realtors® will attend meetings, visit lawmakers and inspire action on Capitol Hill.

“Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted from REALTOR.org with permission.”