Home of the Week: Sunsets and Sea Breezes in Anacortes, WA

4913 Portalis Wy Anacortes, WA 98221

A covered deck is perfect for entertaining in any type of weather!

Have you been wishing your home had a view? Well now is a perfect time to trade up to this spectacular townhome! With a huge upstairs deck and views of the Washington State ferry and Puget sound from most of the windows, you can entertain while watching the waves! The covered deck is absolutely perfect for anyone who loves sitting outside during the summer or maybe snuggling up on a lounge chair while drinking a cup of coffee on a cool winter morning. Frameless shower doors, exquisite interior features and a large two car garage make this house just that much more luxurious! If you have ever considered northern Washington, this house is definitely worth your time! Only 90 minutes from Seattle, you also have a boat launch, hiking, biking, the Guemes trail and the ferry to both the San Juan Islands and Victoria, B.C. close by. This beauty is in a quiet neighborhood and because it is a townhome, no yardwork is required from the owner.

Never heard of Anacortes? Be prepared to fall in love! This townhome is in the heart of an amazing city known for its small town feel and very active citizens! To learn more about Anacortes, click here!

Still not convinced this home is for you? Take a virtual tour or come see it today!

This amazing kitchen has granite counter tops!

Buying a home can be an overwhelming experience. Team Jean Groesbeck can help you find your perfect home without the stress or hassle.

Contact Jean Groesbeck at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734 if you would like to see this home or another wonderful home for sale in the Skagit County area.

Open House at Charming Anacortes Craftsman! 10/19

Saturday October 19th – 12:30 to 2:30

1315 17th Street Anacortes $269,500

Please stop by 1315 17th Street in Anacortes this Saturday afternoon to view this charming remodeled craftsman!

Play VisualTour

Located in the heart of Anacortes, this home is close to downtown shopping and restaurants, and just 20 minutes to Oak Harbor/ NAS Whidbey!  The spacious 1,280± sf open floor plan has  lots of windows to let in light, a wood burning fireplace for cool evenings,  9’ceilings with moldings and gorgeous hardwood floors.  The updated kitchen has a large breakfast bar, granite countertops, & lots of cabinets for storage space.

Large, private fenced backyard with a covered patio for entertaining family and friends.  New furnace, roof, carpet, & tank-less water heater too.

Enjoy the feel of a historical Anacortes home with the modern amenities of today!

Driving Directions: N on Commercial to 17th, west 4 blocks to the property on the south side of the street. Between L and M on 17th.

For more information on this Anacortes home, or other homes for sale in Anacortes, please contact Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or email Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

Why You Should Google Your Address

Google is a great way to get information on a local restaurant or to find out the latest news, but have you ever considered Googling your own address?

There are six reasons why you really should.  If you are thinking of selling your home or buying a new home, you should  Google your address or soon-to-be address.

One reason why it is important to research your home is the possibility of some not so great neighbors. By simply Googling your address along with “Megan’s Law”, you will be able to see if there are any registered sex offenders in your immediate area, which is helpful to know whether you have children or not.

You can also find out crime reports for your area or even your house! It is important to know what has happened there in the past. Google your city along with the words “crime report” and you should be able to get a list or map showing crimes in your town.

It is completely possible for a stranger to get information on your home from the internet and sell your house as part of a scam.  If you come across something like this online, you want to do everything in your power to stop it as soon as possible!

Another reason Google is a great tool to use is that you can check out your neighbor’s property taxes. It is important to know what your neighbor’s house sold for.  Besides the sheer curiosity aspect of just wanting to know, it is possible to lower your property taxes if surrounding houses are much lower.

Also, when selling your home it is important to know what home buyers are seeing, beside aesthetic looks, just to make sure they are seeing something respectable.  You wouldn’t want a home buyer’s first impression of your home to be the photo of your home during mid-construction!

Finally, your home’s records on the web are populated from the public records about your home. Sometime they are old and don’t include the upgrades and additions that have been done over time, or they’re just flat out wrong. If you Google your address and find that your home’s description is riddled with errors, contact the website and ask them to correct them. This is particularly important if you’re planning to sell your home anytime soon.

Whether you are thinking of buying or selling a home, contact Jean Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck for all your real estate needs!

Anacortes – Real Estate Market Update

Local news is flooded with articles on how well the real estate market is doing in King County.  That is great news for the real estate market in Anacortes as many of those King County home   sellers will be moving to Anacortes.  Because we are a small market we tend to lead King County when sales soften, and lag King County when sales  improve.  But the chart below is likely to give you a lot of optimism for future of Anacortes Real Estate.

The chart below shows the % of sales by month based on the total number of all           transactions for the prior 12 months. This is for the total market and the % of sales by month which varies greatly by price range.

This chart shows the past 12 months: July through December 2011; January through June 2012.

If you would like to see this data for your price range, please email Jean Groesbeck at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com and I would be happy to send it to you.

If you want real statistics and accurate information on the Anacortes real estate market or a specific real estate market, please give me a call at (360) 941-3734.

Quality One Level Anacortes Home!

A rare find! A high quality one level 2,173± sf home in Anacortes with privacy!

2409 Westwood Drive – Anacortes

The private backyard is buffered by 70±’ of greenbelt, has a spacious iron wood deck, low maintenance perennial garden, & a beautiful multi-layer fountain. Take a peek inside this beautiful home!

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Semi-formal dining room, stunning architectural details with beautiful millwork, striking columns, vaulted ceilings & interesting angles to catch the light. Large Master suite with fireplace and coffered ceilings has deck access. Breakfast nook overlooks the gardens that always have something in bloom!

Driving Directions: From Anacortes -Commercial Ave. to 32nd, turn left on D Ave. Continue onto 37th, continue onto A Ave., turn left on Westwood Drive.

For more information on this home, or other homes for sale in Anacortes and throughout Skagit County, please contact Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

If you are interested in learning more about Anacortes real estate, please visit our home page!

Luxurious Quality Home in Seaview – Anacortes

Come home to quality and luxury!
3860 Bay Lane –  Anacortes, WA

This spacious 3,315± SF home is located on shy half acre in Anacortes’ Seaview neighborhood!

3860 Bay Lane - Anacortes

This stunning home has a formal living room & dining room, large family room AND bonus room! Quality details include 2 furnaces, security system, finished attic, maple flooring, wired for sound, irrigation, crown molding, updated kitchen w/double convection ovens, large pantry, fenced RV parking area, large level yard, & luxurious master suite. Just 5 miles to back entrance of Whidbey NAS. Part of Del Mar-beach, mooring buoys!

Play VisualTour

Driving Directions: South on Rosario Road, left into Seaview, right on Bay Lane.  It is the second home on the right.

For more information this home, or for other homes for sale in Anacortes, please contact Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com

What We Can Learn From Black Friday


You most likely saw the thousands of shoppers lined up outside of stores to take advantage of advertised bargains on Black Friday.  Shoppers stormed the stores scooping up bargains and the frenzy generated excellent sales results (if we ignore the injuries that occurred again this year).
The consumers were so anxious to spend money on bargains, and the stores were so anxious for sales, Thanksgiving was transformed into Black Thursday for some retailers!
What does this have to do with real estate?  To me, it proves that consumers that have jobs and/or disposable income want to start buying again!  As one reporter said, “People have been shopping out of their closets for 3 years and they are not willing to keep to doing it.”
It use to be that supply and demand controlled our economy, and although they factors still control pricing, the stimulus to purchase has changed dramatically.  Consumers are fearful of spending and we don’t see buyers purchase until the consumer’s individual demand exceeds the fear of parting with their money.  That is what we saw on Black Friday and what we see in real estate.
The pent of demand for those advertised bargains was obviously huge, as is the pent up demand for homes.  We have never seen so many people that WANT to move.  You probably know someone that says they want to downsize, move closer to family, or move to a better home.  What is stopping them?  Not the real estate market, but their fear of parting with their cash or the fear of taking on debt.  However when we see aggressive pricing of homes for sale, the type of pricing that occurred on Black Friday in the retail industry, we see multiple offers with stiff competition among buyers looking to scoop up bargains.
Retailers can get people to buy by announcing that prices are only in effect for a particular length of time.  Home sellers don’t have the exact same luxury, but savvy home buyers are well aware that interest rates have ticked up and even the slightest movement means tens of thousands of dollars of interest.
Home sellers need to pay heed to the lessons of Black Friday and realize that there are a lot of buyers out there and the buyers really want to buy.  But they will only buy if they feel that see a tremendous value that will not last…in others words the house has to be priced to the point where the buyer feels that they must jump up and buy it now before someone else does.  If they think this is the typical “sale” price, they will not see an incentive to act now and will wait to see if something better comes along even it means they wind up shopping the sales after Christmas when there is less inventory.
What can buyers learn?  When you see what you want at a good price you better jump in and buy it.  The “sale” prices will not last forever, and if you lined up outside of Best Buy for the TV steal of the century and didn’t get it, you also missed getting the great sales at all of the other retail outlets and will wind up paying more or settling for fewer features.  Prices in Anacortes are not going to increase next year, but interest rates most likely will. 
If you are looking for the Black Friday of real estate, it is today.  Inventory is good, interest rates are low, and prices are incredible.  Sellers-price to stimulate action out of buyers.  Buyers-when you see at a great price you should buy it because you could pay more and if interest rates go up, you will pay dearly.
Real estate agents….we add the incredible power of advertising, especially the internet.  A great price and wonderful features of a home need to be communicated in the appropriate way through broad local, regional, national, and international advertising.
If you like to see a pricing model for your home for a sale in 60 days, 90 days, and 120 days, along with the most comprehensive marketing program in NW designed to reach home buyers, then please give me a call at 360-941-3734 or email Jean@ColdwellBanker.com

Jim Gillespie, Coldwell Banker Real Estate CEO, on who should be purchasing homes and his view on the market

Great Interview with Jim Gillespie on FOX Business News!

View the video clip of Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, who appeared live on FOX Business News network. In this segment, Jim offered viewers tremendous insight on the real estate market and who should be purchasing homes. The interview also highlighted how Coldwell Banker is one of the most established brands in real estate.

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

Pending Home Sales Exceed Expectations!

Pending homes sales are up according to the National Association of REALTORS as home buyers take advantage of great home values. May statistics for home sales were up higher than anticipated.

You can view home sales statistics on our website for Skagit County, La Conner, Oak Harbor, Guemes Island, Samish Island, and even Seattle on our website.http://www.cbislandliving.com/index.cfm/page/57494/Real_Estate_Market_Trends.html

Existing-Home Sales Rise in March

Washington, DC, April 20, 2011

Sales of existing-home sales rose in March, continuing an uneven recovery that began after sales bottomed last July, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million in March from an upwardly revised 4.92 million in February, but are 6.3 percent below the 5.44 million pace in March 2010. Sales were at elevated levels from March through June of 2010 in response to the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects the improving sales pattern to continue. “Existing-home sales have risen in six of the past eight months, so we’re clearly on a recovery path,” he said. “With rising jobs and excellent affordability conditions, we project moderate improvements into 2012, but not every month will show a gain – primarily because some buyers are finding it too difficult to obtain a mortgage. For those fortunate enough to qualify for financing, monthly mortgage payments as a percent of income have been at record lows.”

NAR’s housing affordability index shows the typical monthly mortgage principal and interest payment for the purchase of a median-priced existing home is only 13 percent of gross household income, the lowest since records began in 1970.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.84 percent in March, down from 4.95 percent in February; the rate was 4.97 percent in March 2010.

Data from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae show requirements to obtain conventional mortgages have been tightened, with the average credit score rising to about 760 in the current market from nearly 720 in 2007; for FHA loans the average credit score is around 700, up from just over 630 in 2007.

“Although home sales are coming back without a federal stimulus, sales would be notably stronger if mortgage lending would return to the normal, safe standards that were in place a decade ago – before the loose lending practices that created the unprecedented boom and bust cycle,” Yun explained.

“Given that FHA and VA government-backed loan programs turned a modest profit over to the U.S. Treasury last year, and have never required a taxpayer bailout, we believe low-downpayment loans should continue to be available for those consumers who have demonstrated financial responsibility and are willing to stay well within their budget. Raising the downpayment requirement would unnecessarily deny credit to many worthy middle-class families and veterans,” Yun said.

A parallel NAR practitioner survey2 shows first-time buyers purchased 33 percent of homes in March, compared with 34 percent of homes in February; they were 44 percent in March 2010.

All-cash sales were at a record market share of 35 percent in March, up from 33 percent in February; they were 27 percent in March 2010. Investors accounted for 22 percent of sales activity in March, up from 19 percent in February; they were 19 percent in March 2010. The balance of sales were to repeat buyers.

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $159,600 in March, down 5.9 percent from March 2010. Distressed homes – typically sold at discounts in the vicinity of 20 percent – accounted for a 40 percent market share in March, up from 39 percent in February and 35 percent in March 2010.

NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said some renters are looking to home ownership as a hedge against inflation. “The typical buyer today plans to stay in a home for 10 years, while rents are projected to rise at faster rates over the next few years,” he said. “As buyers gain more financial security, the advantages of home ownership become more obvious. Rents will continue to trend up, especially in comparison with a fixed-rate loan which provides financial stability and gradual accumulation of equity over time.”

Total housing inventory at the end of March rose 1.5 percent to 3.55 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.4-month supply4 at the current sales pace, compared with a 8.5-month supply in February.

Single-family home sales rose 4.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.45 million in March from 4.28 million in February, but are 6.5 percent below the 4.76 million level in March 2010. The median existing single-family home price was $160,500 in March, down 5.3 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 650,000 in March from 640,000 in February, but are 4.1 percent below the 678,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price5 was $153,100 in March, which is 10.1 percent below March 2010.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 3.9 percent to an annual level of 800,000 in March but are 12.1 percent below March 2010. The median price in the Northeast was $232,900, down 3.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 1.0 percent in March to a pace of 1.06 million but are 13.1 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $126,100, which is 7.1 percent below March 2010.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 8.2 percent to an annual level of 1.99 million in March but are 1.0 percent below March 2010. The median price in the South was $138,200, down 6.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West slipped 0.8 percent to an annual pace of 1.25 million in March and are 3.1 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $192,100, which is 11.2 percent lower than March 2010.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

NOTE: NAR also tracks monthly comparisons of existing single-family home sales and median prices for select metropolitan statistical areas, which is posted with other tables at: www.realtor.org/research/research/ehsdata. For information on areas not included in the report, please contact the local association of Realtors®.

1Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings. This differs from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which generally account for 85 to 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger sample – more than 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

Benchmark Revisions: All major statistical data series go through periodic reviews and revisions to ensure that sampling and methodology keep up with changes in the market, such as population changes in sampled areas, to ensure accuracy. NAR began its normal process for benchmarking sales earlier this year; there will be no change to median prices. In the past we’ve benchmarked to the decennial Census, most recently to the 2000 Census, because it included home sales data. However, the data are no longer included in the Census, so we’re looking at more frequent benchmarking using a new approach with independent sources to improve our process and modeling. As always, we are consulting with various outside housing economists, government agencies and academic experts for a consensus on the methodology; NAR is committed to providing accurate, reliable data. Publication of the revisions is expected this summer.

2Distressed sales, first-time buyers, investors and all-cash transactions are from a survey for the Realtors® Confidence Index, scheduled to be posted April 29.

3The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to the seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if more data is received than was originally reported.

4Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, condos were measured quarterly while single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions).

5Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price often is higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes.

The Pending Home Sales Index for March will be released April 28, and existing-home sales for April is scheduled for May 19. First quarter metro area home prices and state existing-home sales will be published May 10; all release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section. Statistical data in this release, other tables and surveys also may be found by clicking on Research.

Copyright National Association of REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.