Animal Services in Anacortes


Anacortes and its surrounding area has a wide variety of local animal services, including pet sitters, obedience training and veterinarians.  Here is a list of some of the many places nearby for your pets’ needs.



Pet Sitters

  • Happy at Home Pet Sitting – Anacortes, (360) 421-6153
  • The Pet Pal – Anacortes, (360) 293-1311
  • Colleen’s Cat Care – Anacortes, (360) 293-7688
  • There’s No Place Like Home – Anacortes, (360) 610-9600
  • Pacific North Wonderland – Anacortes, (360) 982-5184




Pet Stores


Obedience Training


Animal Shelter & Relief Agencies






For more information about animal services in and around Anacortes and Skagit County or for any of your real estate needs, please contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC at (360) 941-3734 or

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Off-Putting Property Traits can Stop a Sale!

Don’t Surprised by Home Buyers’ Feedback

Buying a new house is an exciting experience. Often, the anticipation of moving into a new home, decorating it and making it your own, can result in disappointment when the realization hits that a problem with the building was overlooked prior to the home purchase. This is why great care has to be taken when viewing real estate with the intention of buying a home. Don’t rely on friends or a family member in the construction business.  A property should never be purchased without a professional structural inspection having been carried out.

The above is advice to a potential buyer, however, what if you are selling? What will put off a viewer and  might make a house difficult to sell?

Common factors that put-off prospective buyers have to do with dirt or neglect noted during an open house walk-through. For buyers, the image of a home with little pride taken in its appearance in one area can lead them to think that there are more serious problems that are not visible in the structure of the home. Other common buyer “turn-offs” include; dirty windows, poorly-lit rooms, missing or cracked tiles,  wooden floors that are uncared for, hand print on walls, stained grouting in the bathroom, scratched appliances, and signs of dirt or dust.

It is good to pay attention to curb appeal, keep the lawn mowed, flowerbeds weed free and the walkways pressure washed.

One of the most common homeowner situations needing immediate attention is plumbing problems.

Plumbing issues are some of the most serious that a homeowner can face. They are also very difficult to spot during a walk-through. Plumbing issues can be relatively minor, such as leaking interior or exterior faucets, or caulking and waterproof sealants that need to be replaced. Other problems, such as a hot water heater breaking down, sewer lines backing-up, or a septic tank needing pumping, are more expensive to take care of and will lead to a great deal of inconvenience as they will take time to fix.

Plumbing status should be a topic during an open house walk-through, with information about any regular plumbing service, ( Jim Dandy Plumbing in Seattle ) that has been used in the past and information about any major fixes should be made available to the buyer.

It may seem unconnected to plumbing issues, but finding out if any major construction has taken place on the nearby roads, as well as if any large trees have fallen within the last six months or so, can hint at hidden problems within the water supply and drainage system. The impact vibrations from heavy objects or construction equipment can have a detrimental effect on septic tanks and water and sewage pipes.

If you are wondering what your home is worth in today’s real estate market, please contact Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or email

Military? You Might Be Eligible For The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

The 2010 home buyer tax credit it still available for some eligible military and certain other federal employees serving outside the United States.  You still have time to take advantage of this great home buying opportunity. 

If you’re a member of the military, foreign service or intelligence community and  served overseas for at least 90 days between Dec. 31, 2008, and May 1, 2010, you might be eligible for thousands of dollars in tax credits!  With the low interest rates now is the time to purchase a first home or upgrade to another house. 

You don’t have a lot of time so you need to shop for your new home now.  April 30, 2011, is the last day you can put a house under contract, and June 30, 2011, is the final day to close on the home in order to get the home buyer tax credit. 

Do you qualify for a first time home buyer tax credit?

Here are some of the things about the home buying tax credit that you need to be aware of:

1. There isn’t much time left

One of the primary benefits of the tax credit is the deadline extension. April 30, 2011, is the last day to get a signed around contract on a house, and June 30, 2011, is the final day to close on the home so shop now for your dream home! For more details- “IRS article First-Time Homebuyer Credit: Members of the Military and Certain Other Federal Employees“. 

2. When you need to buy your home

The incentive program requires that the home be your primary residence for at least three years. If you move or sell the house before then, the credit will have to be repaid. That requirement could be waived if you recieve government orders to move so make sure ou talk with a tax consultant before you make a home buying decision. 

3. An Exception to the Rule

The IRS allows an exception for someone who is forced to return to the United States for medical reasons before completing 90 days of qualified official extended duty…again talk to your tax consultant before you make a purchase.   

4. Eligibility for Repeat Buyers

First-time home-buyers might qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credits, but home buyers moving up might also quality as well.  A credit of $6,500 is available to taxpayers who have lived in the same principal residence for five consecutive years during the eight-year period that ends when the new house is purchased. 

5. Income Limitations

Singles who earn a maximum of $125,000 and couples with joint incomes of up to $225,000 qualify for the full credit. Single people with incomes not exceeding $145,000 and couples with joint incomes of up to $245,000 may receive partial credit. 

6. Some Finer Points

  • Only primary residences are eligible.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • The purchase price of the home can’t be more than $800,000.
  • A first-time homebuyer is considered someone who has not owned a primary residence during the three years up to the date of the purchase.

If you already purchased a home, check with you tax professional about whether or not you qualify for the home buyer tax credit

Great news for home buyers and sellers!

The Senate passed in an 85 to 2 vote, to pass a seven month extension and expansion homebuyer tax credit!  Once the bill is signed by President Obama, the $8,000 maximum first-time home buyer tax credit will continue and will now be available to couples with income up to $225,000, a nearly $55,000 increase above the current level.

The current first time home-buyer tax credit was due to expire November 30.  This new bill will extend the tax credit through April 30, 2010.   The new bill also expands the tax credit to move-up buyers. as well as first-time home buyers.  A new $6,500 maximum credit would also be available to move-up homeowners who have lived in their current residence for five of the prior eight years. 

The expanded tax credit would allow more home buyers to qualify for the credit.  Move-up buyers don’t have to sell their current home to qualify for the new credit, but the tax credit is only available for a primary residence, not a second home.

The tax credit has stimulated the housing market in Anacortes, La Conner, Skagit County and through out Washington State.  Nationally, The Association Realtors reported sales jumped 9.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units in September.

With low interest rates, low prices, and this new bill, we should see the momentum of the housing market to continue to build!  If you are wondering what your home is worth and whether or not this is a good time for you to move, please call our office and talk to one of our qualified real estate agents.

(360) 293-4511

3110 Commercial Ave. # 101   Anacortes, WA  98221

For help with Anacortes real estate, land or homes for sale anywhere in Skagit County, please contact one of our outstanding Anacortes real estate agents.

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 with permission.”

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit


The President’s February 2009 stimulus plan includes an $8,000 tax credit that is both important and valuable to potential first-time home buyers. Here are six things you need to know about the new $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit.  

1.  $8,000 for new buyers: This credit is equivalent to 10 percent of the purchase price of the home – although it’s capped at $8,000 and applies only to first-time home buyers and principal residences. But unlike an earlier $7,500 home buyer tax credit, this one does not have to be repaid.

2.  First-time buyers defined: For the purpose of this legislation, a “first-time home buyer” is someone who hasn’t owned a principal residence for three years before buying a house. (The date of purchase is considered the day that the title is transferred.) That means if you’ve owned a vacation home – but not a principal residence – within the past three years, you would still qualify for the credit. 

3.  2009 buyers only: Only those who purchase a home on or after January 1 and before December 1, 2009, will be eligible for the credit. Anyone who bought a home last year won’t be able to take advantage of this.

4.  Income limits: The tax credit is subject to income limitations. Single buyers need a modified adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less to qualify for the full credit, and that’s $150,000 for married couples. Those earning more than these thresholds may be eligible for reduced credits. 

5.  Refundable: Because the tax credit is “refundable,” qualified buyers can take advantage of it even if they don’t have much tax liability. In other words, this tax credit will be refunded to a buyer evenif his year-end tax liability is less than the credit.

6.  Recapture: Buyers have to own the home for at least three years in order to take advantage of the credit. If they sell the home before then, they will have to return the credit to the government. (Exceptions will be made in certain cases, such as death or divorce.)

Before you purchase confirm your eligibility with your tax advisor.


Anacortes Real Estate Market Update 10/31/08


The Anacortes American ran an article on the front page this week which had a quote about house prices “plummeting”.  There is no doubt that the Anacortes Real Estate Market is soft, but “plummeting” is not the term that I would use.   There are still a lot of Anacortes Homes being bought and sold.  Here are the hard facts about the Anacortes Real Estate market.


Ø  Yes, the market in Anacortes is soft and year to date we have only had 207 transactions this YTD (year-to-date) vs. 280 last year which is 26% less transactions.


Ø  The lowest price of Anacortes homes sold YTD is $150,000 compared with only $81,000 LY (last year) 85% higher than last year


Ø  The median price of Anacortes homes sold YTD 2008 vs. 2007 is $370,000 vs. $375,500 a drop of 1.5% vs. last year.


Ø  The average price per square foot of Anacortes homes sold YTD 2008 vs. 2007 $201.29 vs. $214.12.  Part of this is influenced by the fact that we have fewer new homes sold as builders have pulled back.  Obviously pre-owned homes sell for less/square foot than the identical product that is new.




Anacortes Real Estate Market

YTD Thru 10-31




# Transactions




Lowest Sale




Highest Sale




Median Price




Average Price




% List Price




Avg. SF




Avg. $/SF










©Jean Groesbeck 2008 All Right Reserved


Please look for more posts on www.AnacortesRealEstateBlog.comon statistics by price range, and also for information on La Conner Real Estate and Guemes Island Real Estate.


All posts on this blog may be time sensitive.  The above information has been compiled from the NWMLS. If you would like more information on the value of your home, please click here or call any one of the agents listed below.  If you would like help searching for a home in La Conner or Anacortes, please email or call.  We can also help find a lender with a loan that is right for you!


Jean Groesbeck  (360) 941-3734

Linda Harris  (360) 202-8888



 ©Jean Groesbeck 2008     Information on sales compiled from MLS 

Why New Homes Need Home Inspections


Pre-Owned Homes and New Construction Should be Inspected

Most builders strive hard to build a quality product…a home or condo that not only looks good, but has quality throughout.


However, in the course of building a home, there are a lot of details and most often many subcontractors are used.  

If you talk to someone that has moved into a new home and ask them if everything was perfect, their response is probably going to be that they had a punch list of items that the contractor needed to correct.  It could be a simple as a garbage disposal that needs the reset switch pushed, or something significant like an unconnected shower drain that drains into the crawl space under the house.  (Yes, this happened.)

Having the home inspected before you do the walk-through can save a lot of time and inconvenience in the long run.  It also gives the builder time to make any corrections to the home before closing.  When you do have the walk-through with the builder, you can concentrate on learning things about the systems and equipment the builder put into your home instead of focusing on those items that need touchup. 

  We recommend you have any property your purchase inspected by a Certified Real Estate Inspector.  Here is a link that explains what an inspector looks for:

 What Does An Inspector Look For?

I also suggest that if your builder offers a one year warranty as most builders do, you plan on having a second home inspection prior to your one year anniversary.  Most home inspectors will offer this second inspection at a reduced price if they were the one that did the pre-purchase inspection. 

For the anniversary inspection, the inspector will look for signs of unusual wear, defects that were not visible previously, leaks that might have developed, water problems etc.   That way you can get items corrected while they are still under the builder’s warranty!

For help with Anacortes real estate, land or homes for sale anywhere in Skagit County, please contact one of our outstanding Anacortes real estate agents.

Insects and Rodents are Shopping For New Homes

Mice are out house shopping – This is one time you don’t want your house on the top of the list!

Have you noticed bees in your home?  Maybe a few pesky flies?  This is the time of year that insects and rodents are looking for a warm place to get out of the cold. 

The easiest way to handle this problem is to prevent them from entering your home.  It is great advice to open windows and doors to let your house breath, so have at least some windows and doors with screens.
Make sure vent to the crawl space and attic have very secure screens.  Don’t block the vents completely as homes need to breath.  Piles of leaves attract bugs so keep your yard raked. 
Firewood is a pest magnet so stack the firewood away from the home and try not to place the bottom layer directly on the dirt.
Feeding birds also attracts rodents (although watching the wide variety of birds that we have in our area is fun!).  If you enjoy feeding the birds, keep the feeder away from the house. 
Enjoy these beautiful fall days and keep unwanted pests away from your home!