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!

Sunday Events in Skagit Valley

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 Sunday, December 16th 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 enigmatical bewilderments. This program will keep you hypothesizing and entertained with messages of giving and compassion.

Noel Noir will be held on Sunday, December 16th 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!

CarolingDo you delight in caroling for the holidays? Are you shopping locally for the season? This local Skagit Valley inclusive performance may be just something you will want to be sure to immerse yourself in!

On Sunday, December 16th from 11 to 11:30am Harmony Northwest will be Christmas Caroling at 413 Morris St in the dazzling town of La Conner, WA located on the water’s edge.

Pair together with your community for some cheerfully festive caroling. This experience ought to be an impressive inclusion to your local holiday shopping. Take a time out from the hustle and bustle of the season to simply enjoy.

Would you like to pair together with the community of La Conner and simply enjoy all the seasons? Click here initiate your pursuit for your Skagit Valley waterfront home!

LightWalkDo you dazzle in the glitz and glamor this time of year? Are you biding time with anticipation year after year for the excitement of the sparkling lights of the holiday season? This local Skagit County jaunt might be just the venture that you will treasure!

On Sunday, December 16th at 4:15pm members of the local community will be gathering at the Market Street Café inside of Haggen’s Grocery located at 2601 E Division St in the lovely waterway town of Mount Vernon, WA for the East Mount Vernon Christmas Lights Walk.

Delight in the sparkle of Christmas lights along with scenic views of Skagit Valley, Mount Baker, Mount Erie, and the North Cascade Mountains. 2018 marks the final year for this annual walking tour, make certain to participate and take advantage of this event now while you are still able to embrace the opportunity. Pets are invited to join and there will be restroom breaks along the route. Please remember that you will need to bring a flashlight.

Don’t be in the dark when it comes to real estate, click here to get more information on how Jean Groesbeck and Associates can delight and dazzle you with the sparkle of 5-star real estate services!

What’s Happening Friday in Skagit Valley?

LautenwreckDo you absolutely adore holiday music? Are you interested in something exceptionally different this season? You may enjoy exploring A Lautenwerck Christmas!

This innovative concert full of holiday cheer will spotlight familiar carols paired together with the variance of newer music for the season featuring the unique sounds of the lautenwerck (lute-harpsicord).

Enjoy this extraordinary musical instrument on Friday, December 14th from 7 to 9pm at the Croatian Cultural Center located at 801 5th Street in the stunning littoral community of Anacortes, WA. Admission for this local Fidalgo Island musical event is $25, children 15 and under are free.

If you’re seeking exceptional 5-star service when it comes to real estate, click here to contact Jean Groesbeck and Associates LLC!

 

AnnieAre you pursuing something melodic to entertain your Friday 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 Friday, 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 theatric event start at $15. Additional times for this experience are Thursday, December 13th and Saturday, December 15th, commencing at 7:30pm both days.

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 Friday, December 14th at 7:30pm 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. Additional dates for this occasion are Saturday, December 15th and Sunday, December 16th beginning at 2pm both days.

Are you still contemplating selling your Skagit Valley home this season? Click here to discover why this is a fantastic time 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 enigmatical bewilderments. This program will keep you hypothesizing and entertained with messages of giving and compassion.

Noel Noir will be held on Friday, December 14th 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 dates for this event are Thursday, December 13th, Saturday, December 15th, Sunday, December 16th, and Thursday, December 20th, all show times are 7:30 to 9:30pm.

Are you interested in relocating to charismatic seaside Anacortes, WA? Click here commence seeking your Fidalgo Island home!

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!

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.

Anacortes Community Profile

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Anacortes has the enviable reputation as the playground of the Pacific Northwest. Despite its miles of waterfront and forested trails, mountaintop vistas, festivals, charming shops and restaurants, a welcoming community and easy access to adventure beyond, Anacortes remains one of the country’s best-kept secrets.

Anacortes lies equidistant between Seattle, Washington, to the south, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to the north—each about 80 miles away. Located on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes hosts the Washington State Ferries terminal, making it easy to get away for an afternoon or an extended stay to the San Juan Islands or Victoria, B.C.  Although Anacortes boasts all the assets of an island community, residents enjoy the ease and convenience of being connected to the mainland and neighboring Whidbey Island by three picturesque bridges—including the famed Deception Pass Bridge.

Natural attractions include pristine lakes, world class waterways, great scenic vistas, tide pools and beaches, abundant wildlife, and more than 2,800 acres of public forestland. There are also seven local marinas making Anacortes the boating capital of the Pacific Northwest.  Many Anacortes home buyers are first attracted to Anacortes because of the natural beauty of Fidalgo Island, and as they spend more time here they decide they want to purchase Anacortes real estate and make Anacortes their home.

Abundant recreational activities for all ages include boating, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, golf, biking, beach combing, and much more.

Local culture can be found at Anacortes art galleries, language clubs, numerous daily music venues, a three-screen movie theatre, delightful restaurants, and more.

Several major events mark Fidalgo Island community’s annual activities calendar: Waterfront Festival (May), Fourth of July Parade (July), Anacortes Arts Festival (August), Jazz Festival (September), and the Holiday Boat Parade (December). Each, in its own way, reminds us that, while very much connected to the present, Anacortes remains an appealing connection to a slower, simpler way of living.

Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC knows Anacortes! Contact us today for more information and for all of your real estate needs. We can be reached daily at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Owners

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Not necessarily planning to move in 2018 but need to change things up? Here are some ways you can make your home feel a little bit newer and easy to maintain:

Make an extra mortgage payment – If you want to own your home faster and save money in the process, make just one extra mortgage payment each year and you’ll shave years off the term of your loan and save thousands of dollars in interest.

Refinance your mortgage – Even though interest rates vary, sometimes refinancing may be in your best interest to lower your monthly payment.

Draft a home maintenance plan – To ensure your house gets the love it deserves, draw up a list of the annual maintenance chores your home requires then come up with a plan to handle one or two each month.

Make your home safe – Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test their batteries regularly, in addition to checking your home for radon (a colorless and odorless gas) and be sure your home has proper ventilation.

Clear the clutter – Overwhelmed with all the stuff in your home? Getting organized and donating items you no longer use will go a long way in giving you and your home a fresh start in the new year.

For all of your real estate needs or with any questions, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC is available daily and can be reached at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.  The Team Groesbeck office is located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St. and we proudly serve Anacortes, Fidalgo Island, and the counties of Skagit, Island, San Juan, Whatcom and beyond.  We look forward to working for you in 2018!