Add Color to Your Patio

Did you know that curb appeal is the first thing that buyers notice when they are searching for the perfect home?

A way to bring color to your patio is adding plants and flowers. It is a good idea to add function to the plants and flowers you choose to display on your patio. For an example try and use plants that repel mosquitoes and other insects for a more enjoyable experience while your out on your patio. Citronella, Lemon Grass, and Basil are great plants that repel mosquitoes and will add green color to your patio. Geraniums, Marigolds, and Lavender will also repel mosquitoes and add a variety of color. All of these plants and flowers can be easily found at your local garden centers or nurseries.

Refreshing planter boxes or pots will add color and style to your patio. Creating planters out of old pallets and crates will help add to memories and a great conversation piece. Garage sales are a great place to find old planter boxes or pots that could use some sprucing up. It is best to add a variety of shapes and sizes to have contrast throughout your design. Hanging planters are a nice touch when added height and provide privacy.

If you are in the market for selling your home in Anacortes or Skagit County, add value to your home by enhancing curb appeal!

If you would like more tips on how to add value to your home or if you are wondering what your home is worth in today’s real estate market…

Please give us a call (360) 941-3734 or send us an email

Click Here for more ideas on how to add value to your home with the right curb appeal!

Enhance Curb Appeal- Planning Your Garden

Would you like to add value to your home without spending thousands of dollars?

Having a good landscape will add curb appeal, improve the overall look of the outside of your home and add value to your investment . Right now is the time of year to start working on your home garden to enhance the curb appeal. If you are thinking of selling this year, having a great curb appeal can get you more money for your investment and will help sell your home faster. A garden can help contribute to the overall landscaping and curb appeal of your home increasing the interest of future buyers, impress your neighbors, or make you feel cheerful to see a beautiful landscape as you pull into your driveway.

If you are unsure where to start, here are a few steps to get you headed in the right direction:

1. Planning- Sketch out your existing yard. Include the intended planting areas, decks, trees, slopes, fences, walkways, etc. Make sure you have the actual dimensions to help you make the right choices when picking out trees, shrubs, and flowers. Note bloom times, color, and varieties to ensure an appealing garden year round.

2. Start with trees- Trees create a focal point that will help you layout the rest of your garden. Trees provide shade and colorful foliage in the fall and elegant flowering trees in the spring and summer.

3. Shrubs come next- Large bushes and shrubs create beautiful garden art, help develop pathways, and make for great privacy walls.

4. Incorporating flowering shrubs and grasses- Flowering shrubs and grasses can be used to screen plain garages and help create attractive accents to frame your garden.

5. Finish with perennials, bulbs, and annuals- Perennials offer shape to your garden, bulbs create colorful arrangements in the early spring, and annuals provide as later spring and summer accents.

Size, color, and bloom span are all important aspects when creating a garden, make sure to research which trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials, and annuals will best fit your garden. Keep in mind the mature size of each part of your garden; try not to go by the current size of each plant. Maintenance is the key to help keep your garden beautiful throughout the years to come. Developing a watering routine and removing all dead, broken, diseased, or problem limbs will promote new growth.

Most important of all is to have fun gardening! The outcome of your hard work can make the outside of your home more appealing if you are thinking about selling and why not… impress your neighbors!

If you would like to learn how to add value to your home or if you are thinking about selling, please contact Jean Groesbeck (360) 941-3734 or

Click or call for more information

Improving Your Home’s Value!

Anacortes House Values

Improving the value of your home

Spending Money on Your Home Might Not Increase the Value of your Home!

Spring is here, and that often spurs home improvement projects.

Property values have historically risen and real estate will continue to be one of the best long term investments most people make. If you are thinking of making any modifications to your Skagit County home however, you may want to consider how those changes will affect your home’s equity.  Not all remodels add value to a home, and in fact some can actually hurt resale value such as converting a single car garage to a family room.

Remodeling kitchen and bathrooms is one of the best ways to add value.  Adding a deck also tend to be one of the best payoffs in areas with water views such as Anacortes. Shelter Bay,  Bayview, homes around Eaglemont…you get the idea.  Landscaping will help your home sell faster, but may not add value.  If the landscaping is very high maintenance it may actually decrease the value in markets such as Anacortes and La Conner where the average age of a home buyer is higher.

If you are considering making changes to your home, feel free to call us and we will be happy to discuss how those changes might affect your home’s value.

If you would like to keep informed of the real estate market we post market trends and statistics monthly on our website for Anacortes, Bow, La Conner, Oak Harbor, San Juan Islands, and Skagit County.  We can break this information down by price range, waterfront, view homes etc. for each city and automatically email it to you each month if you would like.  We can provide this information free anywhere in Western Washington, just give us a call or send an email!

Please also remember we are always looking for referral business so remember to call us or email us if your friends or family are contemplating a real estate transaction.  If it is an area we do not serve, we can recommend an excellent real estate agent to you!

Contact Jean Groesbeck: (360) 941-3734 or

Contact Linda Harris: (360) 202-8888 or

Tips For Selling Your Home!

Are you thinking of Selling your home?

The real estate market in Anacortes and through Skagit County is picking up!

In a perfect world you would have 2 days lead time for showing appointments, but that seldom happens. Here are 10 tips to get ready for a home buyer that wants to come with their real estate agent in just 10 minutes to see your home for sale!

1. Put dirty dishes inside the dishwasher (or quickly wash them).

2. Make the beds and hide the clutter.

3. Wipe the counters, appliances, and kitchen sink.

4. Empty the garbage.

5. Hide dirty clothes in the washing machine.

6. Wipe bathroom counter, sink and faucets. Hide toiletries and valuables.

7. Turn on all the lights and lamps.

8. Check the clock, if time, run the vacuum.

9. Check the front porch for cobwebs, papers….

10. Go get a cup of coffee and relax! You did it!

If would like to receive real estate market statistic graphs , please call me at 360-941-3734 or email me at I can provide real estate statistics on homes sold, current listings, average or median sales prices on properties sold or properties listed for sale, in any area in Western WA for any price range!

If you are wondering the value of your home, I would be happy to provide a free no obligation market analysis.  Just call me at 360-941-3734

Curb Appeal Includes Your Garden

Anacortes gardenThe sun is out and Spring is here in Skagit County!

Most home sellers know that your home needs to be spotless inside and outside to sell, but curb appeal is also essential. 

Staging the outside of your home consists of removing moss from the roof, cleaning the gutters, pressure washing patios and driveway, washing or painting the outside of your house, washing outside lights, cleaning your deck….¬† but it is the final touches can make the difference.

Subtle finishing touches can make the all important first impression and cause excitement in the heart of a buyer.  These final touches  include putting out clean outdoor furniture, hiding the garbage can, and planting some planters and some color spots.  Pruned trees, lawns with a crisp edge, and garden bark and give your yard that special touch. 

We have so many beautiful and colorful plants that grow easily in Anacortes!

Curb appeal sets the stage to illustrate that you have had pride in the way that you have maintained your home and that your home is a special property.  The home that the buyer should buy!

For more home staging tips contact Coldwell Banker Island Living at 360-293-4511.  If you are wondering what your home is worth, give us a call.  We would be happy to provide you with a free no cost market analysis.

Wall Colors in Your Home Impact Your Mood


Consider Paint Colors When Staging Your Home for Sale

Did you know the color you choose for your home can at a subconscious level psychologically affect you or others?

Scientific research has long pointed to the connection between color and its emotional or mental pull on our psyche, even if we do rarely realize it.


You can use such research to harness the positive energy of color when staging properties for sale.

Here are some of the insights from color research to apply the information in your staging.


This powerful pop of color can grab a person’s attention first and foremost, and has even been found to raise a person’s pulse rate. A 2009 study by researchers Ravi Mehta and Rui Zhu also found that red can actually improve a person’s cognitive performance too, making a person even more accurate and attentive to detail.

Try it: We all want buyers’ eyes drawn instantly to those selling features, right? Maybe a red accessory on the fireplace mantel or a vase of red flowers on those sparkling granite countertops can help you get buyers’ eyes right to where you want them.


Blue is known as a soothing color that can be mentally calming. Blue actually tends to surface universally as the world’s favorite color, according to research, so you’re probably not going to turn off too many buyers by incorporating blue. Sometimes blue has been found to be perceived as cold or unfriendly, so don’t overdo it especially in the Northwest.

Try it: A soft blue color in the bathroom or bedroom may just be the calming retreat you want to create in a home you have for sale.

Also, since blue has been found to make people more creative (studies have shown people in a blue room were found to be twice as creative than when they were in a red room), blue might be a good choice in a children’s room too.


This color is known as having the strongest impact psychologically. It can lift your spirits and is known as the color of “confidence and optimism.  Too much yellow has been found to make people feel emotionally fragile or depressed.

Try it: Gold colors can liven up family rooms or hallways. Shades of yellow in a basement also may be a good choice in brightening an area of a home that often can be viewed as dreary.


A restful color and known as the color of ‚Äúbalance.‚ÄĚ Most people are reassured by green on a primitive level, since it usually indicates the presence of life and water. Research that focused on treatments for seasonal affective disorder also have shown that people exposed to green colors (excluding greens with yellow undertones) actually were found to have improved moods!

Try it: Shades of more neutral greens can give a restful, harmony in bedrooms. Also, scattering green plants throughout a home also may help buyers get that ‚Äúreassured‚ÄĚ feeling that this is the right home for them.


While it can communicate clean and hygenic, too much white can be a strain to look at and even send the message ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt touch me!‚ÄĚ But you want buyers to not only touch but live in the property so too much white may be a detriment. However, white can give a heightened perception of space so for small spaces, you can use it to your advantage.

Try it: Use a shade of white (such as antique white or Navajo white) on your trim for a clean, contemporary look. But choose a color other than white for your walls. White walls can make a home feel cold and plain. Color on your walls can psychologically do your buyers more good.

If you thinking of selling your home and want some advice on home staging, contact one of your real estate agents for some complimentary advice.  Or if you are painting this year and may be selling in a year or two, we can help with select paint color with an eye toward selling your home in the future.

Our real estate agents are available 7 days a week at 360-293-4511 or come into to our office at the SE corner of 32nd and Commercial in Anacortes, WA.

TOP 5: First Impressions Do Matter!

Smart Upgrades are worth it! 

This year‚Äôs Cost vs. Value Report, by Remodeling magazine, provides ample support. The annual survey uses input from REALTORS¬ģ in 80 cities to rank home remodeling projects according to those that bring the greatest cost recovered at resale. And looking at the five projects that topped the list, it‚Äôs clear that first impressions really do matter when sellers list their home.¬†

Big-bang projects can make or break a sale from the moment potential buyers exit their car. A midrange entry door replacement brings the highest payback at a national average of 102.1 percent, followed by a midrange garage door replacement, at 83.9 percent, and an upscale redo of the siding at 80 percent of the cost. Step into the home, and a midrange kitchen remodel recoups an average 72.8 percent. Gaze into the backyard, where a wood deck addition also generates a 72.8 percent return. 

Also noteworthy in this slow-growing economy is that four of the top five projects are “midrange” projects aimed at budget-conscious sellers.¬†

 PROJECT 1: Entry Door Replacement (Steel)

Cost $1,218     Resale value $1,243      Cost recouped 102.1%      National averages

PROJECT 2: Garage Door Replacement

Cost $1,291   Resale value $1,083   Cost recouped 83.9%   National averages

PROJECT 3: Siding Replacement  (Fiber Cement)

Cost $13,382   Resale value $10,707   Cost recouped 80.0%   National averages

PROJECT 4: Kitchen Remodel  (Minor)

Cost $21,695   Resale value $15,790   Cost recouped 72.8%   National averages

PROJECT 5: Deck Addition (Wood)

Cost $10,973   Resale value $7,986   Cost recouped 72.8%   National averages

If you are considering  improvements so that you can place your house on the market, we would be happy to come by and give our professional opinion about which improvements would make the most difference.  Contact Coldwell Banker Island Living at 360-293-4511 today!


Open Houses Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Open House Friday’s in January from 1 – 3 p.m.

2111 20th Street off of D avenue


Looking for a home with a 4+ car garage, in town with views of Guemes Channel. ¬†This 2379+ sq ft new construction condo is located minutes from downtown Anacortes.¬†3 Bedrooms, 2.75 baths on 3 separate levels of living.¬†¬† On the lower level, the enormous 4+ car garage with shop area will take anyone’s breath away! The main level boasts open living area, gas Fireplace, large kitchen with access to expansive deck¬† & bedroom or office.¬†¬†¬† Upper level features an exceptional View Master suite with large bath & soaking tub & additional Bedroom.¬†¬†¬†¬† 4 Car Garage with Shop area too!¬†¬†

Open House¬†Saturday and Sunday’s ¬†in January from 12 – 3 p.m.


1611 6th Street in Old Town

Quality constructed view townhome in Old Town Anacortes, with up close views of Guemes Channel. This beautifully appointed 4 bdrm, 3.5 bath home features 2300 sq ft of coastal charm. Enjoy alley access to your private 2 car garage, 2 veranda style decks for optimized water viewing. Entertain in style with the open floor plan, gas fireplace & dream kitchen loaded with amenities such as granite counters, custom cabinetry. Guest suite with bath on the main & luxurious master suite + 2 additional bedrooms upstairs.

1607 6th Street in Old Town

Old Town location, views with modern amenities. Quality new construction, a perfect spot to call home. This 2 bdrm/2 bath, 2000 sq ft coastal charmer boasts views of Guemes Channel from all levels. This duplex style townhome has alley access, 2 car garage & 2 decks for optimized water viewing. Inside this beautifully appointed home you will enjoy an open floor plan w/wood floors, granite counters & ample room to entertain. Upstairs features a bonus rm & master suite w/plantation style deck.

The Best Ways to Stage Your Home

Are you getting ready to sell your home?  Watch this video and learn how to make sure your home makes the best first impression!

To search for homes for sale in Anacortes, La Conner, or Oak Harbor, Please call us @ (360)-293-4511.  We would love to help you with your real estate needs whether you are looking to buy or sell your home.

Are you thinking of painting your home?


¬†Are you among the many who love the color turquoise?¬† If so, congratulations, you‚Äôre part of the ‚Äúin‚ÄĚ group for 2010.¬†¬† Pantone, Inc., considered the leading expert in color, has officially declared TURQUOISE the current ‚Äúit‚ÄĚ color for homes.

 Other stylish options remain for those not excited by this newest trend.  The experts also tell us light neutral  hues such as grays, off-whites, and camels are good choices for homes.  Aquas and gold tones are recommended complements to turquoise, while the dark browns are somewhat passé already.

 Another current look features the bold jewel colors such as bright ruby red and emerald green with a hint of purple hues.  If a vintage feel is desired, these can be used with a soft black or smoke charcoal.

¬†For those wanting to bring ‚Äúgoing green‚ÄĚ into their home d√©cor, yellow-greens or sands work well, especially in kitchens and living rooms.

Asian accents and tribal designs remain popular for pillows, area rugs, or murals.

 Turquoise lover or not, many choices are available for a current up-to-date look in your home. !

If you are thinking of painting with resale in mind, please make sure to contact one of our Coldwell Banker Island Living real estate agents for help in maximizing your dollars to broaden the appeal of your home to a home buyer.  Trendy colors can be fun, but not always the best to attract home buyers to your property.