Improving Your Home’s Value!

Anacortes House Values

Improving the value of your home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Jean Groesbeck: (360) 941-3734 or

Contact Linda Harris: (360) 202-8888 or

Housing market “warming” as brokers report multiple offers in some areas

Here is an excerpt from the latest press release from the NWMLS

KIRKLAND, Wash. (May 5, 2011) – Home sellers around Washington state are starting to a see something that had all but vanished in recent months: multiple offers.

Several directors of Northwest Multiple Listing Service noted they are encountering more bidding wars in certain neighborhoods and price ranges, even though the latest figures show fewer sales and lower prices than a year ago. Shrinking inventory is spurring activity, with some brokers reporting a “shortage of good listings” and “signs of normality.”

Northwest MLS members reported 7,154 pending sales during April, a 24 percent drop from a year ago when buyers were scrambling to take advantage of a federal tax credit that expired April 30, 2010.

Going back two years, pending sales rose by a modest 3.4 percent; when compared to the same month in 2008, last month?s pending sales (mutually accepted offers) jumped 15.2 percent.

Here are some comments from brokers is King County:
“With healthy sales activity over the last several months, a shortage of homes coming on the market and low foreclosure activity, the stage has been set for a multiple offer market.”

A managing broker at a real estate office ing South King County reported several multiple offers on homes priced under $350,000.

“We believe the bottom of the market is here in the under $350,000 price range.”
Other Northwest MLS directors in King County, along with representatives from Whatcom and Kitsap counties, also commented on the uptick in multiple offers.

“Because of the lack of inventory in many areas we have seen a large increase in multiple offers on homes that are properly priced.”

“There is a severe shortage of good listings in the close-in Seattle neighborhoods that is causing many multiple offers and the first signs of price increases on homes under $500,000 and also on desirable higher priced homes.”

Brokers and sellers in Kitsap County are beginning to see multiple offer situations, especially for homes priced $200,000 to $350,000


The new report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows members in the 21 counties it serves added 10,083 new listings during April, down 20 percent from the same month a year ago. Through the first four months of 2011, nearly 11,000 fewer new listings have been added to inventory when compared to the cumulative total for the same period a year ago (34,855 versus 45,590), a drop of 23.5 percent.

Total inventory is down nearly 13 percent from a year ago. At month end, the multiple listing service inventory encompassed 34,862 active listings, including the new additions during April. A year ago, brokers represented 39,999 active listings of single family homes and condominiums (combined).

“We just had three offers on two new listings, one in North Seattle at $320,000, and the other in Ballard at $429 000,” said MLS director Mike Skahen of Lake & Co. He cited a local blogger who reported a meager 1.1 month supply of homes in the Green Lake/Ravenna area, the lowest in four years.

Brokers and sellers are beginning to see multiple offer situations, and tools that have not been used in a while, such as escalation clauses, are returning.

Fewer buyers are making low-ball offers and sellers are being more proactive about pricing their homes to be competitive in today?s environment. “Both buyers and sellers are beginning to get the message of today?s market, which is „be realistic?.”
Brokers reported 4,581 closed sales during the month, of which 3,994 were single family homes. That?s a drop of about 12.6 percent from the year-ago figure of 5,243 closings.
The median price on the 4,581 completed sales for April was $237,000, a decline of 9.2 percent from the year-ago median price of $261,000. In King County, prices are down about 4.6 percent, from $340,000 to $324,500. The dips reflect a significant number of foreclosed homes and short sales that are in the mix.
Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 22,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington state.

Anacortes Real Estate Market Update

More good news for the real estate market!

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Quadrant Homes is the state’s largest home builder.  According to an article in the Seattle Times, this local home builder production at its 14 developments in the Puget Sound by 50%!  The increase in home sales is being credited to to reduced prices; low interest rates; and the new $8,000 federal income-tax credit for first-time buyers.

The Commerce Department reported new-home sales nationally increased 11 percent in June, the biggest monthly increase in more than eight years.

Many economists are saying that the housing market has bottomed out.

We are feeling the positive effects of the stimulus for the housing market it Anacortes, La Conner, Guemes Island and throughout Skagit County.  The first time home buyer tax credit gives buyers provides the opportunity for home buyers to received a tax credit of up to $8000.  The credit is not just for first time home buyers, but for anyone who has not owned a home for the last 3 years.  So if you have been sitting out of the housing market this is the best time to jump in.  But hurry, the home buyers tax credit is only good until the end of November.  It is very likely that lenders, title and escrow companies will be backlogged October and November so wise home buyers will select their dream home now while prices and interest rates are both low.

Click here to find out about the real estate market in your area!