Winter Gardening Dos and Don’ts

Are you wondering if the winter freeze will hurt your plants? Luckily the answer is no! Plants have a sixth sense that detects changes in the weather, giving them time to adjust to the cold.

Here are some quick dos and don’ts for your winter garden:

DO protect your plants from the colder weather by using a commercially made cloth frost cover or an old sheet, especially container plants.

DON’T use plastic to cover your plants when the sun hits it will create a greenhouse effect, which will encourage plants to start growing prematurely.

DO add mulch and compost to your garden. Mulch will help keep roots at an optimal temperature and compost will deliver nutrients to the roots.

DON’T fertilize your garden. Winter is a time of rest for your plants, during the colder weather plants will go dormant. Fertilizing will encourage your plants to grow and freezing weather can harm new growth.

DO keep watering your plants regularly before the ground freezes. If the ground is frozen it will prevent the water from entering the roots.

DON’T skip regular watering. Once a week watering is nourishing for your plants, especially new ones.

DO Take this time of slow growth to plan and prep your spring garden. Make it easy by placing a thick layer of newspapers over the area you are planning to turn into a new garden bed, follow that with alternating layers of compost and organic materials. By springtime, the bed will be more than ready to plant in!

If you are thinking of selling your home in the Spring, right now is a great time to start prepping your garden for a fabulous curb appeal! Give us a call to learn what you can do NOW to get ready to sell in 2019. Contact Jean at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734 for a copy of the Prepping Your Home checklist. Proudly providing 5-star real estate services in Anacortes, Skagit Valley and beyond.

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!

 

This Weekend’s Local Holiday Events in Skagit County

Visit With SantaYou better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to… Burlington! You can visit with Firefighter Santa on Friday, December 7th from 12-9pm and Sunday, December 9th from 12-7pm.

This local Skagit County free event will be at the Bay Ridge Station located at 16220 Peterson Rd in splendid Burlington, WA. This local Burlington event is hosted by Skagit County Fire District 6. Bring the family and your camera, you won’t want to miss your photo op with Santa. They will also be serving up some delicious cookies and hot apple cider.

There is no reason to cry or pout when it comes to real estate! Just contact Jean Groesbeck & Associates for 5-star real estate services.

 

Winter Wonderland Childrens MuseumSleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a Winter Wonderland! The Children’s Museum of Skagit County is hosting a Winter Wonderland on Friday, December 7th from 12-8pm, Saturday December 8th from 10am-8pm, and Sunday, December 9th from 11am-5pm at The Outlet Shoppes located at 550 Cascade Mall Dr in charming Burlington, WA.

This free, annual, local Burlington event will feature numerous children’s activities such as real snow, bouncy inflatables, carnival games, crafts, face painting, and so much more! There will also be an elf and reindeer on site to meet, local food trucks to eat at, plus $5 gift shopping and wrapping for children and $10 Macy’s gift cards to the 1st 400 people.

Would you like to be local to Burlington, so you can enjoy free local Skagit County events year-round? Click here to start your Skagit County home search today!

 

Anacortes Tree LightingOh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy… crab pots! The local, annual Anacortes Christmas Tree Lighting event will take place on Friday, December 7th from 5:15-7:15pm at the Chamber of Commerce located at 819 Commercial Ave in brilliant downtown Anacortes, WA.

This free, local, annual Anacortes community event will also feature music, carolers, hot chocolate, and the jolly man himself, Santa Claus.

Are you in awe with the beauty of Anacortes and dream of relocating to this waterfront town? Click here to view properties available in Anacortes and initiate finding your new home.

 

Boat ParadeHere comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right before the boat parade! Visit with the jolly man himself on Saturday, December 8th from 5-6pm at Gilkey Square located at 103 Morris St in the seaside town of La Conner, WA.

Afterwards, stay for the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade from 6-7pm. This local, annual La Conner tradition will feature festively decorated lighted boats sailing thru the Swinomish Channel.

Are you craving the peaceful pace of the lovely beachfront town of La Conner? Click here to find out how much your home could be worth in this new Skagit County real estate market!

 

Lions Club ParadeHave a holly, jolly Christmas with the Anacortes Lions Club Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 8th from 10am-12pm.

This annual, local Anacortes, WA holiday parade will start on Commercial Ave heading south from 3rd St, then turning west on 10th St and will end at Causland Park.

And in case you didn’t hear, contact Jean Groesbeck & Associates for 5-star real estate services. Commence your Anacortes home search by clicking here!

 

Gingerbread House PartyYou may not be able to catch the gingerbread man, but you can take home a gingerbread house on Saturday, December 8th or Sunday, December 9th from 1-4pm at the Quaker Cove Retreat located at 14694 Gibralter Rd in captivating Anacortes, WA.

The Gingerbread House Party is a local, Skagit County family event. For only $5 you can decorate a homemade gingerbread house with candy and icing included. While you decorate you can enjoy some complimentary hot chocolate or apple cider, fresh popcorn, and more!

If you’ve been contemplating upgrading from a gingerbread house to a new house in Skagit County then click here to launch your new home search today!

 

Celebrate the SeasonCelebrate the season at the Port of Anacortes Event Center located at 100 Commercial Ave in lovely downtown Anacortes, WA on Saturday, December 8th or Sunday, December 9th from 12-4pm.

The free, annual, local, Family Holiday Fair will feature local entertainment, games, crafts, gingerbread house decorating, and of course, hot chocolate. Be sure to stop and visit Santa Claus who will be accompanied by the Grinch, don’t forget your camera! This is a hometown holiday experience that you won’t want to miss.

Are you ready to start you own hometown holiday experience in Anacortes year after year? Click here to get your home search started!

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!

Home Selling Tips for Fall

Home Maintenance Checklist

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  • Clean up any fallen leaves.
  • Inspect your central heating system.
  • Touch up any exterior paint that is peeling or cracked.
  • Clear gutters of any debris and ensure the roof is in good condition.


Curb Appeal Tips

  • Paint your front door an eye-catching color. If you’re feeling festive, try for a pumpkin orange to coordinate with the fall season. More crucially, you should select a color that’s either contrasting or complementary to your home’s exterior paint.
  • Plant mums around the front of your home and step into brilliant shades of burgundy, orange, and yellow.


Showing Tips

  • Adding some festive dĂ©cor can make an immense contribution to the appeal of your home. Why not throw a flannel blanket over the sofa? Or leave out an unlit pumpkin spice candle for that fall vibe during showings.
  • Turn on the fireplace to give potential buyers an inviting and comforting feeling. Ask your agent to oversee turning it off and on. If that’s not possible you can have a clean mantle featuring fall foliage dĂ©cor.
  • Be sure that your marketing materials emulate the season. Displaying summer photos of a listing during fall will tend to make prospective buyers assume that your house has been listed on the market for months.


HDC_Fall_Infographic_3159_1-3Tips for Any Season

  • The number one thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to deep clean top to bottom and declutter room by room.
  • Price your home accurately by utilizing a comparative market analysis that is based on current market conditions.
  • Market your home with professional real estate photography, a captivating listing description, and presentation amongst real estate websites.

 

If you can follow these basic tips, you will have a “sold” sign in your yard before you know it! Are you ready to sell your home but not sure where to start? Click here and fill out this form to contact us for more information.

Exterior Staging for Fall

Most sellers think the best time to put your home on the market is in the spring. That is most likely true in a market where buyers’ moves center around the timing of the school year, but that is not typically the primary driving force in our market. In the spring there is more inventory on the market and more competition.

If you want to sell your home this fall, or next fall here are things to do in addition to the regular exterior staging we recommend. If you would like a list of our staging checklist, please call us at 360-899-5027 or click here to email us.

1. Wash the outside of your house. Clean windows are an obvious must, but before you wash your windows, clean the gutters and wash your house. The weeks of heavy forest fire smoke and pollen has left a film on your house and you will be amazed at the difference of a clean exterior.

Cutter2. Exterior lighting can make a dramatic difference, and with the shorter days there is more opportunity to make your home stand out. You will need to make sure you have house numbers and a driveway that are well lit. If you don’t have good lighting, you have plenty of time to get them in by next year. If your home is on the market now, you may want to consider solar lights.

3. Color in the yard is easy in the fall. Chrysanthemums add huge blasts of color economically. If you are selling next fall, purchase them now and you can enjoy them this year and next year they will be larger. If you’re selling next fall, mark you calendar to plant fall bulbs in the spring.

4. Does your home need paint? There is still time to paint this year. The dry summer naturally prepared homes and fences to absorb paint or stain. If you plan to paint next year, book your painter now before they are booked.

5. Is your roof at the end of life? Don’t risk a leak, replace it now. The market value of 30-year roof that is 3 months old vs. 9 months old is virtually the same.

The best time to sell your home depends on supply and demand of the type of home you own. The best time to sell might surprise you. Contact us now so we can work together to develop the best strategy and plan of action.