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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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

 

Pocket These Heat Waves Safety Tips

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Summer is finally here and the sun is out! While you enjoy the great outdoors as the temperatures are rising, we want you to be safe when a heat wave strikes. Here are a few important tips to cool down while you’re at the beach, in the garden or in the great outdoors.

First, let’s talk about what is a heat wave. In the previous years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather conditions, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of abnormal heat, generally, 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity.

Now, before you head out to enjoy that lovely sunshine, here are a few tips:

  • Always listen to the local weather forecasts and be aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • If you don’t have any air conditioning, make sure to choose a place to go for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day such as malls, stores, schools or libraries.
  • If you have a furry little friend, make sure you give them plenty of water and shade.
  • Get trained in First Aid, just in case, to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.

You’re probably asking yourself, what do you do during a heat wave? Well, here’s how:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The most common tip, but the most important even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in an enclosed vehicle.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid wearing dark clothing because they absorb the heat rays
  • Take frequent breaks if you are working outdoors
  • Check your animals frequently to make sure that they are not suffering from the heat

Hope these tips help you survive the scorching heat wave and help you enjoy the rest of your summer!

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

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Ready to repaint your walls?

Painting the walls of your home can be an exciting way to make your home feel like new, but it can also be quite intimidating and overwhelming.  With so many options out there, how will you ever decide which color or colors to use?

Find inspiration

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Use the items already in your home.  Look at the art on your walls, or the colors in your ornamental rug, or even your furniture.  Or be inspired by nature.  Do you love the beach, the desert, the rainforests or the beauty of Anacortes, WA… ?  Try perusing websites like Pinterest for interior design ideas.  As you think of what images inspire you, take into consideration their colors, shades, and tints.

Get to know your dislikes

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A paint store has a very overwhelming selection of colors.  Start whittling down the options by eliminating the colors you don’t like.  Always hated a specific color?  There are so many shades and tints of each color, that by eliminating the ones you dislike, you’ve just done yourself a favor and gotten rid of tons of options!

Test your favorites

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Don’t buy a whole gallon of paint, even if you’re 100% certain that you love it.  Get samples to bring home, and paint some large swatches on the walls in question.  Then, make sure you see those colors during all levels of light – early morning, afternoon sun, evening thunderstorm, cozy winter night…  What looks like a lovely pale blue might have an unattractive purple tint at night.

When in doubt, go with the flow

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Sometimes there’s too much pressure to be creative.  If you feel this way, go with what other people are doing.  This is another time when using the internet for popular interior design styles could be useful.  For example, gray is very popular today.  And you don’t have to feel like a total sheep, because there are tons of shades and tints of gray that you can still choose from.  Popular designs just give you a starting point, while still allowing you to be you.

 

If you’re considering painting the walls of your home because it needs a “makeover” or maybe because you’re getting ready to sell your home this Spring, we can help guide you! There is always a full time real estate broker ready to answer your questions in our Anacortes real estate office. 

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

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Your Home Is On The Market. What Happens Next?

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Your home is on the market and ready to be sold!  The yard is looking great, and the interior has been beautifully staged by our Jean Groesbeck and Associates Professional Stager.  There’s a for sale sign in the front yard, with a fresh stack of full-color flyers ready.  What happens now?  Is not only the for sale sign that sells your home…

1.  Broker tours

Local and surrounding realtors will be invited for a private tour of your home so that they can offer it to their clients that are looking for a home just like yours.

2.  Accessibility

While you’ll want your home to be as accessible to potential buyers as possible, you may worry about the security of your home.  A lockbox solves this dilemma.  Real estate brokers will be the only people to have access to the lockbox, and every time the brokers access the box, we will know what time they access it, and who they are.

3.  Open house

It can be a good idea to set up a public open house by your real estate broker.  These often are scheduled on weekends, so that as many people as possible can tour your home.  This allows those potential buyers who may not yet have a real estate broker to fall in love with your home.

As your Jean Groesbeck and Associates real estate broker, we will be with you every step of the way, keeping you informed and giving you feedback on each step of the process.

You haven’t listed your home for sale yet?  No problem!  Did you know we offer a complimentary staging consultation by our Professional Stager that can help you prepare to sell your home?

Call, text, or email us today and we will help you get started.  We can’t wait to hear from you.

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

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4 DIY Projects for a “Greener” Home 

Going “green” 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 “green” 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’re not ready to sell your home this year, going “green” is environmentally conscious and at the same time it may also help you save money on your monthly energy bills!

 

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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 “green” 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

 

Top 4 Buyer Turnoffs

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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.  We’ve 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.

Call, text or email us anytime 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 is here to help you with any questions you have. If you are thinking about selling your home in Anacortes or Skagit County, right now is the best time to sell! Contact us today!

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

Are You Ready To Own Your First Home? (Part 2)

 

 

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Last week we shared with you Part 1 of : “What to consider when buying a home”. We went over the first steps to take before looking for your dream home in Anacortes or Skagit County.  So now you found your dream home for sale and are ready to make an offer. Now what? Here is Part 2…

Making and Submitting an Offer

Once you’ve found your dream home for sale, your Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC  real estate broker will  complete a purchase and sale agreement to make an offer to buy your perfect home.  We will walk you through financing, insurance, title and escrow companies, and all that goes into making an offer. Your real estate broker will then present the offer to the listing agent or directly with the seller in person if possible.  Once your offer is accepted, the purchase and loan process begins.

Escrow

A lot is involved in this step, but don’t worry. We’re here to help you!  This is when financing, home appraisal, inspections, and possible further negotiations occur.  You usually will sign closing documents prior to the day of closing at the escrow company of your choice. As closing day gets near, you will have begin to plan your move with ample time.

Moving

Moving is a process that often takes much longer than people expect.  Will you move yourself, or hire movers?  Will you be bringing every piece of furniture you own?  Make sure it will fit in the new spaces.  Consider having a yard sale!  Your real estate broker will give you moving tips and if available a checklist for moving. This will make moving so much easier and stress free!

Closing

On the day of closing you usually get the keys by 9 PM  unless something different is specified in purchase and sale agreement. This day you are officially a home owner and now it’s time to move into your new dream home!

We will do everything we can to make the home buying process as easy as possible. We want to make your home buying experience enjoyable and the transaction flawless!  We believe that purchasing a new home should be fun and you deserve to have the best local real estate broker that can make this happen.

Call, text or email us anytime with any questions you have on buying a new home in Anacortes, Whidbey Island or Skagit County. We are here to help!

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221