This Weekend’s Local Anacortes Music Events

seanbendicksonDo you have a passion for supporting local musicians? If this describes you these two local Anacortes events are sure to entertain!

On Friday, January 4th Rockfish Grill & Anacortes Brewery, located at 320 Commercial Avenue in the scenic waterfront town of Anacortes WA, will be presenting Sean Bendickson.

Sean was raised in Montana with his brothers. He started his musical career by playing the drums. Once he relocated to the Pacific Northwest and established himself into the music scene, he adopted his skills as a guitarist and songwriter with an original acoustic rock sound.

them80sOn Friday, January 4th and Saturday, January 5th starting at 9 pm both days, the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, located at 12885 Casino Drive in beautiful seaside Anacortes WA, is presenting The M80’s.

The M80’s are a local 80s music cover band playing everything from new wave to metal and in between in a high energy performance.

Have you fallen in love with Anacortes and the captivating beauty of Fidalgo Island? Would you like to make picturesque Skagit Valley your new home? Click here to start your home search today!

Anacortes Local Saturday Events

wonderful lifeDo you appreciate traditional holiday films played on the big screen? Do you find the allure of black and white motion pictures appealing? This special movie screening is just the feature you should immerse yourself in this weekend!

It’s a Wonderful Life will be presented by the Lincoln Theatre located at 712 S 1st St in picturesque downtown Mount Vernon, WA on Saturday, December 22nd at 6:30pm, admission to this time-honored movie is free.

This movie is a classic holiday favorite featuring George, who makes a wish that he had never been born, until an angel makes his wish a reality and George starts to understand how he has impacted the lives of others and how they wouldn’t be the same if he wasn’t a part of their lives.

Are you considering buying or selling a home in Skagit Valley, but need more information before reaching a final decision? Click here to find out more about the real estate market in Skagit County!

NoelAre you craving a unique twist for the holidays? Do you enjoy something offbeat this time of year? This local Fidalgo Island performance may be just the unconventional happening to appease your desire.

Noel Noir is a Christmas hilarity intertwined with winter charisma and edgy conversation, abounding in enigmatical bewilderments. This program will keep you hypothesizing and entertained with messages of giving and compassion.

Noel Noir will be held on Saturday, December 22nd from 7:30 to 9:30pm at the Anacortes Community Theatre located at 918 M Ave in Anacortes, WA. All seats are $20 each.

Have you been craving a new and unique twist on life? Are you contemplating relocating to the stunning seaside community of Anacortes, WA? Click here to initiate your Fidalgo Island home search today!

Hosting for the Holidays?

The last stretch of the holiday season is upon us. If you are the lucky one who will be hosting family and/or friends this year, you might be starting to feel a little overwhelmed with preparations.

You have come to the right place. Have no fear, team Jean Groesbeck is here! We have selected the top 5 most useful tips to make hosting for the holidays stress-free. No stress=Fun time!

stressed santaMake a List – There is so much going on during this time of the year that the last thing you need is to forget something. Shopping lists and party checklists will be your best friends.

Plan Ahead – Cook and prep as much food as you can ahead of time. Clean your house a couple of days before the festivities, this will save time later.

Stock Up – By keeping a well stocked pantry you won’t risk running out of nibbles. No need to step out to run to the store for something you’ve run out of.

Don’t Stress – If you have a lot of guests buffet style may be a great option. This eliminates the need for a “Pinterest perfect” table, simply put everything out and let your guests help themselves.

Ask for Help – Hosting doesn’t mean that you have to do it all by yourself. Ask a couple of close friends or family that are coming to celebrate if they can come over beforehand to help.

Is buying or selling your home during the holiday season feeling overwhelming? Jean Groesbeck and Associates can help you have a stress-free real estate experience! Contact us at info@jeangroesbeck.com or (360) 899-5027.

Don’t Wait Until Spring to List Your Home

Don’t wait until spring to sell your home. Now is a perfect time to list your home on the market. Here are 5 great reasons not to delay!

#1 – Less Competition
Numerous home sellers think that spring may be the best time to put your home on the market for sale due to buyer demand traditionally increasing during the warmer months. If every seller is thinking the same thing, then the spring months potentially bring more competition for your home sale. A great reason to list your home now is there is less competition, thus giving your home more exposure.

#2 – Serious Buyers
During these colder months only buyers who are serious about purchasing a home are searching for one. This combined with less inventory could potentially help your home sell faster and for the best price.

#3 – Lower Interest Rates
There are still fabulously low interest rates available right now. Rates are expected to go up in 2019 making now an excellent time to sell your home as buyers can take advantage of the lower rates now. Also, VA loan limits have increased in Skagit County, making larger zero down loans available to buyers, in turn helping you sell your home quicker.

#4 – Job Relocations
homes in winter
Most companies tend to relocate employees during the first quarter of the year, meaning possibly more potential serious buyers for your home. Some companies offer moving credits as well, helping home buyers get into their new home quicker so they can get back to work. Talk to your broker about how to market to such companies.

#5 – Utilize a Broker
Of course, the absolute best tip for selling your home during the winter, or anytime, is to use the services of a dedicated real estate broker. If you are contemplating whether or not to buy or sell and want to inquire about the market conditions in our area please don’t hesitate to contact Jean Groesbeck and Associates LLC at info@jeangroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734. Let us show you how 5-star real estate services can help you sell your home!

Skagit County Saturday Events

AnnieAre you pursuing something melodic to entertain your Saturday evening? Do you fancy musicals and just can’t get enough? This local Skagit Valley event may be just the activity that you desire! The musical Annie will be presented on Saturday, December 14th at 7:30pm at the Lincoln Theater located at 712 S 1st St in charming downtown riverside Mount Vernon, WA. Tickets for this local theatrical event start at $15.

Would you like to pursue a new home in delightful Mount Vernon, WA? Click here to begin your Skagit Valley home search today!

NutcrackerDo you admire a classic, traditional holiday season? Do you appreciate dance and ballet? This local Mount Vernon soiree may just suit your definitive taste. The Nutcracker will be performed on Saturday, December 15th beginning at 2pm in McIntyre Hall located at 2501 E College Way in the splendid Skagit Valley town of Mount Vernon, WA. Tickets to this beloved and treasured local event start at $15.

Are you still contemplating selling your Skagit Valley home this season? Click here to discover why this is a fantastic season to list your home!

NoelAre you craving a unique twist for the holidays? Do you enjoy something offbeat this time of year? This local Fidalgo Island performance may be just the unconventional happening to appease your desire. Noel Noir is a Christmas hilarity intertwined with winter charisma and edgy conversation, abounding in enigmatic bewilderment. This program will keep you hypothesizing and entertained with messages of giving and compassion. Noel Noir will be held on Saturday, December 15th from 7:30 to 9:30pm at the Anacortes Community Theatre located at 918 M Ave in Anacortes, WA. All seats are $20 each. Additional date and time for this event is Thursday, December 20th from 7:30 to 9:30pm.

Are you interested in relocating to charismatic seaside Anacortes, WA? Click here commence seeking your Fidalgo Island home!

SantaBkfstHave you experienced your official annual appointment with the cheerful man in red? Do you have a hankering for a satisfying and scrumptious breakfast? At this local Mount Vernon, WA even you can immerse yourself in both! Breakfast with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be held on Saturday, December 15th from 9am to 1pm at the Fireweed Terrace, part of the Eaglemont Golf Course located at 4800 Eaglemont Drive in the scenic farmland town of Mount Vernon, WA. Cost for this local Skagit County breakfast event is $10 for 12 years and under, $12 per adult. Delight in a mouthwatering meal, compose your letter to the North Pole, craft an ornament to take home, decorate some cookies, and don’t forget to get your picture taken with Santa!

Do you have a hankering for a satisfying 5-star real estate experience? Click here to compose your letter to Jean Groesbeck and Associates LLC to discuss selling or buying a home!

FrozenDo you feel like you can’t hold it back anymore? Are you ready to just let it go? At this local Skagit Valley function, you can! Saturday, December 15th from 11am to 12pm is your chance to meet Anna and Elsa from the hit movie Frozen. The cold doesn’t bother them anyways, so they will be visiting the La Conner Christmas Tree that is displayed in Gilkey Square located at 103 Morris St in the alluring waterfront town of La Conner, WA.

Are you ready to just let go of your house? Click here to find out how much your Skagit County home could be worth!

Are you positively enamored with where you live? Do you have a passion for indulging in all things local? At this local Fidalgo Island evening gathering you can commemorate the holiday season in the community that you love! RockinYuleThe Rockin’ Yule Bizarre will be on Saturday, December 15th from 7 to 11pm at the Anacortes Arts Depot located at the corner of 7th & R Ave in the lovely island town of Anacortes, WA. Everything is local at this winter celebration including music, food, treats, crafts, plus beer and wine. Admission to this all ages event is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and kids 12 and under are free.

Are you not local to the sublime seaside town of Anacortes, WA and wish to be? Click here to get your Fidalgo Island home search underway!

CascadiacsDo you enjoy flaunting your dance moves? Are you ready to rock around the Christmas tree? This local Skagit County show may be just the thing you’re looking for! The Cascadiacs will be rocking in Big Lake on Saturday, December 15th from 8:30 to 11:30pm at the Big Lake Bar and Grill located at 18247 State Route 9 in the delightful riverfront town of Mount Vernon, WA. Have a good time boogying to classic radio dance music from the 1950s to 2018. Unwind, enjoy fun and entertainment at this free event!

Are you ready to rock and roll with a home purchase but not sure what moves to make? Click here to kick off your Mount Vernon, WA home search today!

BowmanBayDo you take pleasure in indulging with a delightful cup of hot chocolate? Do you find it near impossible to resist enticing holiday time baked goods? This local Deception Pass experience will be difficult to avoid! Bowman Bay Holiday will be held at Deception Pass State Park, located off Bowman Bay Rd, just north of Deception Pass bridge on Saturday, December 15th from 4 to 8pm.

During this 4th annual family friendly holiday event you will be able to savor the hot chocolate and baked goods that you crave. There will also be opportunities to take photographs with Santa Claus, make fun crafts, sing along with carolers, and write encouraging letters to our service members who are overseas during this time. The Bowman Bay cabins will be festively decorated with sparkling lights. Suggested donation for this event is $5 per car.

Are you finding it near impossible to resist the enticing allure of Fidalgo Island? Click here to make a start on your endeavor for your sparkling Anacortes home today!

 

VA Loan Limits Increased in Skagit County

We have some absolutely wonderful news that we would like to share with you! VA loan limits have increased in Skagit County from $453,100 to $484,350. This increase not only benefits buyers, but sellers as well. Since there are now larger VA loans with zero down available helping sellers sell their homes.

Plus, there are some fabulous low interest rates still available, depending on the loan product and the borrower’s credit and income. Interest rates are presumed to go up in 2019, so now is a great time to purchase a home, why wait? This is an excellent time to contact a lender and start shopping for a home!

If you need help finding a lender or would like to see what you can afford please contact either Jean Groesbeck or Eileen Hebert at (360) 899-5027. We would love to help you with your home purchase or sale! Also, please enjoy this video which contains more valuable information regarding this increase.

7 Reasons to List your Home During the Holidays

Each year around this time there are numerous sellers who make the decision to postpone listing their house until after the holidays, while other sellers who already have their house listed make a decision to temporarily take the listing off the market during the holidays.

Here are 7 great reasons NOT to delay!

1. Buyers are still relocating. A great number of companies are hiring through the holiday season and are requiring new employees to start their new positions without delay.

2. Buyers who are home shopping during the holiday season are committed and eager to purchase right away.

3. You are able to restrict showing times on your home during the times you may be busy with guests or family during the holiday season, you stay in control of showing times.

4. Homes that are decorated for the holiday season show better.

5. Home inventory historically slows down in the fall and winter seasons meaning there is limited competition as a seller during the holiday season.

6. The urge to buy a home doesn’t go away just because the holidays have arrived. Home buyers who did not find their ideal home during the busy seasons of spring and summer are still house hunting.

7. Home inventory can grow after the holiday which may decrease the interest in your home during the beginning of 2019.

If you are planning to sell your home or are in search of a new home in 2019 please contact Jean Groesbeck and Associates for 5 star real estate services!

Fall Gardening Tips

Siberian Squill

Fall garden planning is key to a fabulous garden come the spring season. this is the perfect the time to clean up beds, manage soils and plant spring-blooming bulbs. Here are some tips for prepping your garden during the fall:

Water all your plants thoroughly, in particular, your trees. Their roots need an abundance of precipitation to endure the approaching months.

Shop for Bulbs
Browse catalogs or frequent garden shops early for the perfect assortment.

BONUS TIP: If deer, rabbits, or other wildlife are a nuisance to your garden, you can choose pest-resistant bulbs like Siberian squill, fritillaria, and daffodils.

Clear Debris Away from Roses
Decaying rose foliage provides disease a haven over winter and can cause complications in your garden next year.

Plant Evergreens and Shrubs
Prompt planting in fall provides young plants ample time to establish their roots by winter.

Amend Your Soil
Prepare the ground so it is primed for next year’s beds and fall bulbs by tilling the soil and adding compost.

Plant Fall Annuals
Flower Bulbs
Increase color in your garden by planting fall annuals, for example pansies, mums, and ornamental kale.

Lower Your Lawn Mower Height
Grass grows slower in fall, but it will still need to be trimmed to make ready for winter. A shorter cut assists the soil in drying out more briskly in spring.

Feed the Birds
Keep in mind your feathered friends; their food supply becomes meager in fall.

Cut Back and Separate Perennials
At the same time that you’re digging them up to separate them, rearrange plants that haven’t been doing well in their existing location.

BONUS TIP: Delay separating chrysanthemums, asters, and other fall-blooming perennials. It’s better to separate them in spring.

Forced BulbsDig Up Summer Bulbs
Do you love how your esteemed summer bulbs bloomed this year? Put them aside for a repeat next year! Dig up and store cannas, callas, dahlias, caladiums, and other delicate bulbs in peat moss or sand. Put them in a cool, frost-free spot for the winter.

BONUS TIP: If you reside in a region where your bulbs are hardy, you can go ahead and leave them alone. Digging up and storing summer bulbs is only crucial if they can’t handle the winter cold that your region encounters.

Rake and Mulch
If left neglected, fallen leaves may smother your yard. Shred them and utilize them as mulch.

Get Bulbs in the Ground
Now is the time to plant your best-loved bulbs.

BONUS TIP: You can pull off procrastinating on planting bulbs until the soil freezes hard enough that you can’t get a shovel into it.

Force Bulbs for Winter Color
Get a head start on spring by planting bulbs indoors in January or February. Bulbs such as hyacinth and narcissus will do exceptionally well if you plant them in fall and keep them cool until you’re set to delight in the colored blooms.

Feed Your Yard
Don’t allow your grass to start winter without the essential nutrients it needs to combat the winter weather.

Bring Sensitive Container Plants Inside
Remove any deceased foliage and break apart any hard soil before transporting your treasured tropical plants inside for the winter.

BONUS TIP: Be on the lookout for pests. Before escorting plants indoors, spray them to keep harmful insects out of your home.

Garden HoseEmpty Hoses, Fountains, and Drip-Irrigation Systems
Confirm that all standing water is drained from your watering apparatuses and store these items in a dry place.

Clean Up the Vegetable Garden
Pull any weeds
and remove any debris so pests are discouraged from making your vegetable garden their winter home.

Dig Up Annuals
Exhausted and deceased, your summer annuals can now cultivate and nourish your compost pile.

Protect Cold-Sensitive Plants
Roses, perennials, and shrubs that might capitulate to cold weather should be sheltered with mulch or another cladding.

Contact us for more tips on how to optimize your garden and enhance your home’s curb appeal for the real estate market! If you are looking to buy in Anacortes or elsewhere in Skagit County, we can guide you to finding a great home in this beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest.

15 Packing Tips for Moving

There are tons of things that you’d rather be doing than packing. But when you sell your home, moving is no longer a matter of if but when… it’s time to accept the inevitable.

Before you look around and panic, take a deep breath. We’ve consulted knowledgeable real estate agents and moving professionals to collect the best packing tips to facilitate and simplify your move.

packing1. Start by assembling your all-star team. The first thing you can do is rally the troops. Many hands make light work, and you will need all the help you can receive. Use this event as an excuse to be together.

2. Inquire as to what the moving company will do for you regarding packing. Ask if the service package includes wrapping the furniture in plastic, including dressers, nightstands, and end tables.

3. Stock up on all of your moving must-haves such as boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap. If you’re packing up a whole house, it’s better to have extra packing materials than not enough.

4. Sort items into three separate piles: sell, donate, and toss. If you’re hurrying, you might want to start throwing random items into boxes. But you can streamline the process by keeping the focus on simplifying and downsizing down before you move. It is never too early to start planning your move. Smart sellers know less is more when it comes to showing a home and start the decluttering process well in advance.

5. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Why not host a pre-move party? Before putting perfectly good items in the trash invite friends, family, and neighbors over to go through your unwanted items. Give them your half-empty liquor bottles, cleaning supplies, and perishable foods. It will be less expensive to restock once you’re in your new home than moving those items.

6. Hold a weekend yard sale for the final purge. Plenty of people enjoy shopping at good old-fashioned garage sales.

7. Create a moving itinerary and take a home inventory. You can choose to write one or download one from the internet. A basic home inventory can help keep you on track before and during your move. We have a printable template to make things easier just let us know, we will gladly share it with you.

8. Calculate the number of boxes you’ll need in advance. Boxes are essential when preparing for a move. Keep an eye out for free boxes.

boxes

9. Get creative with items that you already own that can be used as boxes. Use storage items such as plastic totes, recyclable grocery bags, storage containers, sturdy baskets, etc. This can cut down on your box expenses.

10. Label each box with your last name, its general contents, “Fragile” if necessary, and what room the box belongs in.

11. Begin by packing nonessentials, seasonal items, or anything you don’t regularly use such as art from the walls, clothing that is out of season, holiday decorations, or dishware for special occasions.

12. Take a photo of the back of your TV and any other electronics that need various cords or cables. You’ll need to know and where to plug everything in and it will save time setting up at your new home.

13. Be sure to plan for your first days in your new home. Just like it takes time to prepare for your move, it’s going to take the time to unpack and get situated in your new home. It helps if you have necessities ready and easy to locate such as your pillows, laptop, your favorite sweatpants, and snacks. Typically, these would be items that you packed last and transported with you.

 

new home14. Use a binder to store your important and sensitive documents. Make a file for critical personal documents and put them in your fireproof safe and transport that with you during the move.

15. Be sure to inform every one of your new address. Alert all your utility companies about your change of address a few weeks prior to your move. Organize a shutoff date at your old home and a start date at your new home. Be sure to change your address on all accounts and subscriptions.

Moving doesn’t have to be dreadful, but it can be a chaotic and nerve-racking time for some people. Outsource what you can and plan in advance as much as possible. Any stress will be well worth it once you’re enjoying your new home!

Moving with pets? Here are some tips to make the transition easy for your best friends!

Not sure where to start? We can help! Click here to start searching for your new home.

Fall Preparation List

autumn-speed-bumpsHere in Anacortes the leaves are falling, and cool breezes are blowing as fall has arrived. Now is the perfect time for homeowners and sellers to get their homes prepped before winter to aid in avoiding issues in the coming months. On the following list are some suggestions that you can use to assist in protecting your home.

  • Seal and caulk around exterior doors and window frames. Check for gaps where pipes or wiring enter your home and caulk those as well. Not only does heat escape through these openings, but moisture can enter and cause mold or structural damage.
  • Check the roof for missing or flawed shingles. Water, wind, ice, and snow can cause serious damage to a susceptible roof, leading to a greater chance of damage to the home. It’s best to have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof if needed.
  • Clean out gutters and eaves of leaves, sticks, and any other debris. Using leaf guards can be a real time saver and can prevent damage from clogged gutters. Check the joints between sections of gutter, as well as between the gutter and downspouts, and make any necessary repairs.
  • In regions where there is freezing weather, garden hoses should be drained and stored inside to safeguard them from the weather. Turn off outside faucets and be sure that exterior pipes are drained as well. Faucets and pipes can easily freeze and break, causing leaks and serious water damage.
  • The furnace should be inspected to ensure that it’s safe and in good working order. Some utility companies will provide no cost inspections, but there can be a long waiting list in fall and winter. You should replace disposable furnace air filters or clean the permanent ones according to the manufacturer’s instructions. By using a clean filter, you will help the furnace run more efficiently, saving money plus energy.
  • Homeowners can safely enjoy their fireplace on a chilly evening but be sure the firebox and chimney are professionally cleaned before use. Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning, can build up and be at dangerous levels and cause a devastating chimney fire if not removed.

With these easy steps you can enjoy the comforts of your home all season long and know that you are protecting your investment too. Not a homeowner yet but are contemplating buying your dream home? Check out Anacortes homes for sale.