What’s Happening in Skagit County this Weekend?

childsplayThe Lincon Theatre presents Childsplay. A local musical evening event highlighting over two dozen musicians from the United States and Europe. For over 20 years Childsplay has been performing different styles of fiddle music, both traditional and contemporary.

This event will be held on November 17th at 8pm, located at 712 S. 1st Street in Mount Vernon prices range from $25 to $40 each.

Searching for a new home isn’t child’s play. Need help? Contact us for all of your real estate needs!

Skagit Wine and Beer FestDo you enjoy a glass of wine in the evening? Like a nice cold beer on a hot day? Then, you should check out the Skagit Wine and Beer Festival on November 17th from 4 to 6pm at 4800 Eaglemont Drive in Mount Vernon.

During this evening you will enjoy local microbrews, spirits, and wines from Washington state, including Skagit Valley local wineries. There will also be appetizers and chocolates made locally in the Skagit Valley.

Looking to relocate to the Skagit Valley so you can enjoy the local wares all year long? Click here to view homes for sale in Skagit Valley.

MovemberWanting to show off that Movemeber moustache and beard that you’ve been growing but unsure where to go? Here is a local Anacortes event just for you! Go show off that ‘stache on November 17th from 6:30 to 10pm at Bastion Brewing in Anacortes located at 12529 Christianson Road.

Join the local Anacortes Firefighters as they raise money for the Movember Foundation and the Washington State Firefighter Cancer Network. Local music performances by Whiskey Fever and Snohomish County Firefighters Pipes and Drums.

This event is both free and kid friendly. Take the whole family down to hang out with local Anacortes Firefighters while being entertained by local Anacortes musicians. Want to be local to Anacortes too? Click here to see Anacortes home prices in our new real estate market.

Holiday Farmers MarketIt’s almost time for the Anacortes Farmers Market’s largest and most outstanding event of the year! Join the Holiday at the Port on November 17th and 18th from 10am to 4pm at the Port Transit Shed in Anacortes located at 100 Commercial Avenue.

Two full days of shopping, food, and music…all indoors! Visit your preferred vendors to grab some produce and sweets for your Thanksgiving celebration, also enjoy holiday gift shopping. Don’t forget to sign up to win some great door prizes. Reminder: Please leave your pets at home for this event, pets will not be allowed in the building.

Looking for a new home to spend the holiday season in? Click here to see homes for sale in Skagit Valley.

chorus lineThe local Skagit Valley College Music and Drama departments presents: A Chorus Line. This local Mount Vernon performance tells the story of the ups and downs of a group of actors auditioning and hoping to make it into a performance in the Big Apple.

This performance will be held on November 16th and November 17th at 7:30pm; November 18th at 2pm at the McIntyre Performing Arts and Conference Center 2501 E. College Way in Mount Vernon.

Are you ready to enjoy local Mount Vernon music and drama performances all year long? Wondering what the Mount Vernon real estate market is like? Click here!

concertThe local Anacortes Arts Foundation Early Music Concert Series presents an evening of chamber music on November 16th from 7-9pm at the local Anacortes Croation Cultural Center located at 801 5th Street in Anacortes. Tickets are $25 each for this event, children and students are free.

This evening concert features Reginald Mobley, an internationally known countertenor, along with some local Pacific Northwest musicians. This concert will consist of Handel cantatas and Scarlatti sonatas.

Do you love the art and music that Anacortes has to offer? Looking to find your dream home in Anacortes? Click here to search local Anacortes properties for sale.

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.

Skagit Valley Friday Night Local Events

chorus lineThe local Skagit Valley College Music and Drama departments presents: A Chorus Line. This local Mount Vernon performance tells the story of the ups and downs of a group of actors auditioning and hoping to make it into a performance in the Big Apple. This performance will be held on November 16th and November 17th at 7:30pm; November 18th at 2pm at the McIntyre Performing Arts and Conference Center 2501 E. College Way in Mount Vernon.

Are you ready to enjoy local Mount Vernon music and drama performances all year long? Wondering what the Mount Vernon real estate market is like? Click here!

concertThe local Anacortes Arts Foundation Early Music Concert Series presentas an evening of chamber music on November 16th from 7-9pm at the local Anacortes Croation Cultural Center located at 801 5th Street in Anacortes. Tickets are $25 each for this event, children and students are free. This evening concert features Reginald Mobley, an internationally known countertenor, along with some local Pacific Northwest musicians. This concert will consist of Handel cantatas and Scarlatti sonatas.

Do you love the art and music that Anacortes has to offer? Looking to find your dream home in Anacortes? Click here to search local Anacortes properties for sale.

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.

Local Weekend Events

BrewgrassEnjoy bluegrass music? Love a good local microbrew? 2018 commemorates 15 years of Brewgrass!

Brewgrass! 2018 presents a blend of classical and current bluegrass bands. A local Anacortes event in downtown Anacortes featuring two clubs and four bands.

The Rockfish Grill, 320 Commercial Ave., and the Brown Lantern Ale House, 412 Commercial Ave., will both spotlight some incredible bluegrass bands on November 2nd and 3rd at 8pm to midnight. Both locations are in Anacortes and admission is free to both.

If you live near downtown Anacortes and are wondering what your home is worth in this new Anacortes real estate market click here.

 

SkagitValleyGardensLogoAre you anxious to get a start on the holiday season? Do you find yourself decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving? Don’t miss this charming evening event, make it a new family tradition.

Celebrate 21 years of the Holiday Open House on November 2nd from 5 to 8pm at Skagit Valley Gardens, 18923 Peter Johnson Rd. in Mount Vernon. This local Mount Vernon event is free and open to the public.

This is an indoor event, so it will be cozy and warm. They will be presenting elegantly decorated themed Christmas trees, fashionable ornaments, exclusive gifts, stocking stuffers, refreshments, and a live quartet.

Love gardening and dream of living near Skagit Valley year round? Click here for homes for sale in Skagit Valley.

 

Friends of the ForestDo you enjoy the outdoors? Are you an avid hiker? Friends of the Forest Annual Benefit will be on November 3rd from 5 to 11pm at the Port of Anacortes Warehouse, 100 Commercial Avenue located in Anacortes.

Savor drinks, dinner by Gere-a-Deli, and music by Fidalgo Swing. There will also be silent plus live auctions highlighting artwork, day trips, goods, and services. You can purchase tickets by clicking here.

This Anacortes event provides essential support for the Forest Education and Stewardship Program, which furnish a wide variety of educational programs in the ACFL advocating a higher understanding of our extraordinary public gem.

If you’re ready to live near the forest click here for properties for sale in Anacortes.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Smart Home Ideas that Work

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How awesome would it be to be able to hold the majority of your home’s necessary functions in the palm of your hand? Would you like to be able to automate some of those tedious tasks that are part of your daily routine? With the progressive technology of today, the time for the Smart Home is now. We are talking about moving into the future with more control over your home than was possible only a few years ago.

You might wonder what a smart home looks like. A smart home is not all about crazy gadgets. It’s all about creating a single operating system that helps you control your home with ease and at your convenience. What is nice, is that you do not even need to be in the comfort of your home to stay in control. Using your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can actually take control on the go.

This includes the control of your home’s features in real time which saves you a whole lot of effort. From the devices, you can get access to information on security, visually see who is at your door, peek in on the kids, track the rate of energy consumption in your home and much more.

TOP 8 Smart Home Features:

The following are some of the smart devices to include in your home:

1. Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats help you to regulate the temperature at your home. The days of forgetting to turn off your heater or air conditioner are over. These thermostats detect your daily heating and cooling routines as well. You can even adjust the temperature to your rooms independently using voice commands.

2. Smart Home Security Cameras

This is one of our personal favorites. By using smart security cameras, you can monitor your home at all times from your cell phone or other devices. This means that besides being a great security feature, you can even peak in on the kids when you are not home. Not to mention, many of these cameras have 2-way communications with little to no delay time, so you can actually talk and listen to people while looking at them from a remote location. Smart cameras also have a “push” notification setting which will allow you to get instant notifications when any movement has been detected. You can also get access to video feeds from previous days store in the cloud for future use.

3. Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks are another security feature you do not want to go without. Bluetooth sensors make it possible for the door to unlock whenever a person with an authorized smartphone approaches the door. You will never have to fiddle with trying to get your keys out of your pocket to unlock the door with your hands full of groceries again. You can also control the doors at your home independently from anywhere you are. This feature is great when your kids forget their phone or keys on their way to school or when you have unexpected visitors that you want to let in.

4. Smart Doorbell

Let’s be honest, your phone is usually in your hand, pocket, or nearby. That is why the smart doorbell makes sense. This smart home option will help to save you from the pain of stopping what you are doing or getting out of bed to see who is knocking at the door. When someone stops by, you will get the feed through your phone via the connected doorbell. This will allow you to see and speak to the visitor using two-way audio.

Smart Home Devices to Automate Your Home

Here are the top smart home devices you can use to automate some of the items on your to-do list. They will conveniently make your busy life a bit less busy and they will definitely make some mundane household chores easier.

5. Smart Vacuum

The smart vacuum cleaner does its job very well. It automatically vacuums the floor when you activate it remotely. Again, you do not have to be home as it can be activated from anywhere you are. With a strong Wi-Fi connection, it can work in multiple rooms, but the best feature of all is that you can schedule it to run automatically. Set the schedule and let it get things cleaned up on its own. Once it’s done, it will even connect itself back onto its charging port to be ready to tackle its next clean up.

6. Smart Lawn Mower

Much like the smart vacuum, smart lawn mowers are automatic, and you can control them to from where you are. With the latest smart home technology set the schedule and let your lawn mower go to work for you. This smart device will get the job done and you won’t even have to break a sweat. Although, unfortunately, you will still have to lift a finger.

7. Smart Dishwasher

This smart home appliance has enhanced features such as Wi-Fi and voice controls which are enabled by controls from a smartphone or tablet. The smart dishwasher outweighs a standard dishwasher because the number one benefit is you can schedule run times. Just load in dirty dishes set it and forget it. This way you can have it run when you are not home to hear the sound of dishes washing. Plus, you can easily make sure that you are not running washes during your providers’ peak energy usage times. This will enable you to keep your monthly water and power bills lower.

8. Smart Washing Machine

You can operate a smart washing machine from anywhere at any time. Once you have the smart washing machine app on your smartphone. You can control it remotely, so many of the conveniences of the smart dishwasher will apply.

There are many other smart features you may want to add to your home when converting it to a smart home. Things like smart blinds, a smart TV, other entertainment features, and more – but with our top 8 smart home ideas that work, you will be taking a step into the future of full control and an easier life.

If you would like any information about Anacortes or any other questions, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck Footer all info

 

 

When We Get an Offer on Your Home

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Getting you the best price is critical, but there are other components of an offer that are important to consider before accepting an offer. We will review each of these components:

1. If the offer subject to financing? If so, what is the length of time and is the buyer prequalified? What percentage are they going to put down? What is the source of the down payment? Are they asking you to pay any of their closing costs? What kind of loan is it? Is it a local lender, an out of the area lender, or an online lender? It makes a difference!

2. Is the offer subject to the buyers obtaining insurance on the home? If so, in what timeframe?

3. Is the offer subject to inspection? If so, what do they intend to have inspected and in what timeframe? Do they want the septic inspection prior to or after the inspection contingency?

4. What is the closing rate? Does that work for you?

5. How much is the earnest money? What is the remedy if the buyer defaults? When can it be disbursed?

6. Is the possession date the same as the closing date? Do you know why it is not always in your best interest to have a possession date later than a closing date?

7. Are they asking for any personal property to be included? appliances?

Every offer and every transaction is as unique as each seller so the Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC  team will review every detail to make sure it is the BEST offer. Then, we will monitor each minute detail to make sure the transaction goes smoothly for you!

If you have any more questions about getting an offer for your home, please contact us : (360) 899-5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Whidbey Island: Washington’s Largest Island

Deception-Pass

Deception Pass Bridge, a National Historic Monument since 1982, is actually two spans that link Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island (Anacortes) over Canoe Pass and Deception Pass. The bridge is one of the scenic wonders and destinations of the Pacific Northwest.

With a population of nearly 72,000 people, Whidbey Island is the largest island in Washington State, sitting between Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula. Whidbey is home to the cities and towns of Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Langley, Freeland, Greenbank, Clinton, and Bayview; all of which fit snugly into Island County.

Oak Harbor is Whidbey Island’s largest incorporated city and home to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Named for the Garry Oak trees which grace its skyline, the city’s growth coincided with two major events: the building of Deception Pass Bridge on July 31, 1935, and the completion of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island on September 21, 1942.

Whidbey Island’s popularity stems from the amazing views of Puget Sound and the plethora of tourist activities available. Explore the waters of Puget Sound on a scuba diving adventure, glide across the sea in silence on a kayak trip to visit the orca and gray whales, sea lions and seals, starfish and crab, and eagles and the porpoises!

For thousands of years, the only people who occupied Whidbey Island were the four Pacific Northwest Indian Tribes. In the spring of 1792, Captain George Vancouver explored the area and named every mountain, island, and waterway he could find. Whidbey Island was named on June 10, 1792 after Joseph Whidbey who proved it was an island when he discovered Deception Pass.

Aside from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, the island has a strong military history. In 1890, the construction of Fort Casey began. The three-fort defense system was built by the US Army to protect the entrance to Puget Sound. Along with this fort, Fort Flagler and Fort Worden, which are located on the Olympic Peninsula, make up the “Triangle of Fire.” Twenty years after Fort Casey was built, it became the fourth largest military post and was no doubt the most beautiful. Fort Casey is open to the public, allowing visitors to climb on the ladders to inspect the guns, walk along bluff-side bunkers, and through the dark tunnels of the past.

Located in Old Town Anacortes, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, is happy to assist with all of your real estate needs throughout Skagit, Island and San Juan counties. Please contact us daily at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

6 Home Inspection Myths

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Many real estate deals are dependent on a home inspection, so it is common that inspections cause a lot of anxiety for a buyer.  Here are some of the top myths surrounding home inspections that may help buyers adjust their expectations:

Having a license ensures a good home inspection – NOT TRUE

Not all states require home inspectors to be licensed, so make sure to check on the requirements in your state, in addition to other components of the inspector’s credentials, such as past clients, years of experience and customer reviews.

You can use a home inspection to identify problems that might be used as a tool to negotiate purchase price – NOT SO TRUE

While this is not the primary objective of a home inspection and the inspector is an unbiased, third party opinion, they inform buyers and sellers with an understanding of the physical condition of the home so the best decision can be made.

A home inspection tells you what your home is worth – NOT TRUE

An appraisal is intended to do this, not an inspection.

All home inspection certifications and professional education are created equal – NOT TRUE

Some programs are online certifications only without ever stepping into a home to conduct a real inspection.  The best certification offers both in-class and hands-on training, in addition to exam requirements.

Home inspections are not needed for newly built homes or condos – NOT TRUE

No home is perfectly built and its best to have an inspector pinpoint potential issues or future repairs.  Most inspectors can also give inspections during each construction “phase” of the property during development.

Home inspections are solely used on the buyer’s side – NOT TRUE

Although most inspections are performed for buyers, there are many advantages to a pre-listing inspection for sellers – including knowing about major issues before the house is listed for sale, which increases negotiating power to get the best sale price.

Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, is located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St.  We proudly serve Anacortes, Skagit, Island, San Juan counties and beyond and are available daily to assist with all of your real estate needs.  Whether buying or selling, please contact at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.