Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

3 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Didn’t FSBO!

FSBO SignEver since the DIY fad took off, amateurs everywhere have attempted almost anything all on their own. It isn’t shocking that a few homeowners are wondering, “Do I really need a real estate agent to help sell my home when I can try to sell it myself?”

Sadly, you will see many DIY fails on projects that are way less complex than selling a home. While it may seem amusing when a soufflé falls you won’t be much laughter when FSBO errors cost you thousands of dollars and months of time.

Selling your home is your real estate agent’s job! Attempting to sell your home by yourself is difficult when you’ve got your own job.

Are you equipped to answer all phone calls and questions from buyers? Can you always arrange showings and keep your home pristine? Are you knowledgeable enough to evaluate offers, make counter offers, and negotiate all on your own behalf? Can you do all the above while keeping up with the demands of your regular work day?

The must do list of an FSBO seller is demanding and endless. Fortunately, a real estate agent’s regular work day consists of taking care of that list for you. While you’re tied up with work and prepping to move, your agent is busy working to coordinate with buyer’s agents and negotiating the best offer for your home.

Knowledgeable real estate agents devote countless hours to marketing, networking, and actively selling their listings. A frequent misunderstanding is thinking that a real estate agent just puts up a for sale sign and everything is done. FSBO sellers don’t understand that you’ve got to get prepare the home, market it, and much more.

Successful real estate agents will financially invest in marketing your home and will make sure that your home shows marvelously. They do this by paying for various things such as professional photography and quality staging. The amount of time and work it requires to sell a home FSBO is exactly why not many even try.

Now, let’s get down to the basics as to why utilizing a real estate agent is the logical choice.

#1 – A real estate agent is essential for prepping your house for sale.

RE AgentYou might take a glance at your home and feel that it’s in outstanding condition, but homes that are sold as-is will receive as-is offers, despite how excellent their condition is.

Real estate agents know that making modest investments in home improvements can increase the value of your home by 35%. Regrettably, some FSBO sellers will invest funds on upgrades that will not increase the home’s value enough to cover the money they have spent on those upgrades.

Just like each home is unique, so is each real estate market. Even if all the research you have accomplished is telling you that certain upgrades are guaranteed to increase your home’s value, that may not be true for your area.

A knowledgeable, experienced, and local real estate agent that has plenty of active listings will know what improvements or upgrades are going to be worth your investment to help your home sell.

#2 – A real estate agent will help you set the right listing price.

Listing PriceExperienced real estate agents know that listing a home at the right price is one of their most important tasks. If the price is set too high buyers will not come look at the home, which obviously means they won’t make any offers. If you lower the price too soon or too often, buyers and their agents will assume there may be something wrong with the home and only submit lowball offers, or no offers at all.

Regrettably, some FSBO sellers still believe that they will know how to price their home without assistance. Some sellers feel that they know the value of their home, but most often an FSBO home is priced incorrectly and as a result they get an even lower offer when it finally does sell.

Your real estate agent will examine numerous details to find your correct listing price, for example: regional and local market trends, nearby comps, days on market, upgrades, plus seller concessions (closing costs, home warranties, credits for repairs, etc.).

#3 – A real estate agent is your go-between.

FSBO sellers frequently feel hopeful enough to make improvements and listing price decisions without a real estate agent’s support. They often mistakenly think that pricing and prepping are the roughest part. Then they may pay a listing service to put their home on the MLS, believing that’s all they need to do to get their home sold.

ContractBut there are numerous more things that need to occur. Without a real estate agent, you won’t have anyone to advise you through the process. When you list your home with a real estate agent, they will be your go-between through the entire home sale process.

Your real estate agent will negotiate the sale and renegotiate after the inspection and appraisal occur. They will be working to find concessions that won’t cut into your bottom line.

Having a real estate agent to be your go-between isn’t just essential during the closing process, but you will need that buffer as soon as your home is listed. If you don’t have a real estate agent, then you won’t have anyone to arrange showings or even put a lockbox on your home. Rather, you will have to be present at every showing and you’ll won’t have any way to evaluate those buyers.

Are you as an FSBO seller willing to just open your home and let anyone who calls you walk through? That is one of the many reasons why you need a real estate agent. They provide privacy, protection, and facilitation of the transaction for a stress-free closing.

Buyer’s agents realize that FSBO sellers are emotionally involved in the selling process. When a FSBO seller plays hardball during the negotiation process, they may be labeled as a difficult seller who is not willing to be flexible and thus end up walking away from the deal.

When you list with a real estate agent, you will have them as a buffer between you and the buyer and you can prevent any emotional negotiation disagreements.

Are you still wanting to DIY with being a FSBO seller? Now at least you are aware the risks. But the bottom line is if you desire a uneventful sale that will bring you the best profit then you definitely need to hire a local and knowledgeable real estate agent.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Local Anacortes Events Happening this Weekend

Farmers MarketAre you craving seasonal, fresh, Skagit County local produce? The fall weather in Anacortes is delightful and the Anacortes Farmers Market has what you desire! This is the last weekend to shop at the Anacortes Farmers Market this Saturday from 9am to 2pm. This local Anacortes event is located at the Anacortes Historic Depot on the corner of 7th St. and R Ave.

Some selections of available fresh, local produce this fall season includes apples, pears, artichokes, beets, Brussels sprouts, celery, eggplant, garlic, grapes, kohlrabi, onions, potatoes, peppers, pumpkins, squash, shallots, turnips, and rutabaga.

The local Anacortes Farmers Market will also be hosting an Anacortes Holiday Market and an Anacortes Winter Market. Stay tuned for updates on dates, times, and locations of these local Anacortes events! Speaking of market, if you’re curious as to what your home is worth in this new real estate market click here.


Ghouls and Gears GalaAre you in need of an evening out with some drinks and dancing? Looking for a way to support local youth programs in Anacortes but are unsure where to start? Come join an entertaining evening of celebration, elegance, and possibly a bit of terror as funds are raised for the Anacortes FIRST Robotics teams.

You will be welcomed with a signature drink and are encouraged to socialize, network and scan through the silent auction. Activities will consist of a 50/50 Raffle, Wine Grab, Balloon Pop, Dessert Dash, and more! This local Anacortes event is being held at the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, 12885 Casino Dr. Tickets available here.

On October 27, dinner will be provided at 7pm with a live auction followed up by dessert. We’ll end our evening by learning the Thriller dance and delight in additional dancing with music by Power Team DJs. Please note this is a 21+ event. Costumes are encouraged!

Don’t be scared when it comes to real estate in Anacortes. Click here for houses for sale in Anacortes.


SCBIs fall your favorite time of year? Enjoy falling leaves and fresh crisp air? This local Skagit Valley event is made just for you. Fall for the magic of the Skagit Community Band as they present songs, theatrical sound tracks and dances that celebrate this season.

The Skagit Community Band opens the concert season with Incantations and Dance to be held on October 26th at La Conner Maple Hall, 104 Commercial, and also on October 28th at Anacortes Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1300 9th St.

Works include “Sorcery Suite”, “Creatures of Dreams”, and much more! Admission to either the La Conner even or the Anacortes event is free.

If you happen to also fall under the spell of Skagit Valley, click here to check out La Conner and Anacortes homes for sale.

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.

10 Things To Do Before Summer Ends

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1. Go for a picnic
It seems a little old-fashioned, but a picnic can still be a lot of fun. Put some food in a basket or a cooler, go find a grassy spot somewhere, plop down, and have a meal. Take your friends or your family along and make an experience that you’ll remember.

2. Go find your nearest body of water
Water is an amazing thing and you can do a lot with it. Go visit a body of water this summer like a lake, an ocean or a river. Go fishing, swimming, lying on the beach or go on a boat ride. There are a hundred things you can do once you hit the water. Visit Double Bluff Beach down in Freeland or Rocky Point in Oak Harbor, just to name a few.

3. Walk somewhere
We are always sitting in front of our computers or sitting down on the couch after a long day, but why not switch your routine around and go for a walk somewhere! We have legs that we are using less and less these days. Do your body a favor and pound some pavement this summer. Find a park or a trail and walk around while enjoying the outdoors. Whatever it may be, a little exercise won’t hurt. Visit one of our parks in Anacortes such as Cap Sante Park, Washington Park or John Storvik Playground.

4. Try something you’ve never tried before
When we were kids, summer was a time of exploration. We took the time off of school to try a lot of new things and begin to compile the experiences that would eventually become treasured memories. That doesn’t stop there just because we are adults right now! There are a lot of things left to experience and you have one more month to do them! Take a road trip somewhere or take a ferry to the San Juan Islands. The possibilities are endless, and they’ll be your treasured memories years from now.

5. Have a BBQ
Fire up the grill and the smoker because it’s summer! There is no better time to have a BBQ and invite your friends, neighbors, and family over. It’s a fun time and it’s a great way to bond with the people you care about. BBQ is also delicious and with all of the activities you’ll be doing, it’ll be easy to keep the weight off too.

6. Go hiking and camping
Enjoying the great outdoors is always a good suggestion. Grabbing the old tent and sleeping bag, trekking out to the middle of nowhere, and sleeping there can be a liberating and refreshing experience. You’ll be away from civilization, away from the internet and cellphone, and bonding with nature. It’s great exercise too! Try checking out the Deception Pass Bridge or hike down on Bowman Bay on Whidbey Island.

7. Volunteer
It’s never too late to help those in need or to volunteer in places around your community. Volunteer to be a lifeguard or to help clean up trash out of your local parks and woods. It’s your community, so why not help keep it safe and clean? We’re sure your local church and school have an activity list long enough to fill your entire summer.

8. Have a garage sale
During the winter, there Is no doubt that you stocked up on stuff during the holiday season. That means it’s time to climb into the attic, venture into the garage, and dive into the basement to find all the old junk you don’t need anymore. You could throw it away, but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Drop it out on the lawn, put some for sale signs on it, and make yourself a few bucks while you remove some clutter from your house. Try visiting Stanwood, Washington at the NOAH Center to donate your things for the Howling Garage Sale!

9. Go to an outdoor concert
Summer is a great time to go see an outdoor show. A lot of artists tour during the summer and most large cities have an outdoor venue. There is even a boatload of festivals available where you can go see acts from multiple genres. Outdoor shows have more freedom than indoor shows and there is nothing that isn’t enjoyable about sitting in the grass with a beer and listening to music you enjoy. Make sure to come into Anacortes, Washington for a FREE summer concert series on Friday and Saturday nights in August!

10. Find a movie drive-in
You can find your local drive-in theater at the Blue Fox Drive-In Theatre in Oak Harbor, Washington, and the Wheel-In-Motor Movie Drive-In in Port Townsend, Washington. If you’re up for it, it’s totally worth driving out a couple of hours. There is something that is just fun about lying on your car or the bed of your truck while you watch a movie on a gigantic screen. It’s an experience that won’t be around for much longer, so it’s recommended you try it at least once.

Those are our top 10 things to do before the summer ends and we hope these ideas help you enjoy the rest of the summer!

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

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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.

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2018 Skagit County Fair

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Don’t have any plans for the first week of August? If you’re in the Mount Vernon area on August 8th through August 11th, come by the 2018 Skagit County Fair from 10am to 10pm! There will be tons of entertainment, carnival rides, circus shows, pie eating contest and so much more! If you’re interested, tickets will be sold at the Sedro Woolley Chamber on July 9th through August 7th.

If you would like any more information about other local events in Anacortes or in the Skagit County area, please contact us: (360) 899 – 5027 or jean@jeangroesbeck.com.

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

Anacortes Arts Festival 2018

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The 57th Annual Anacortes Arts Festival is one of the oldest and largest arts festivals in the Northwest. Filling the historic downtown Anacortes, it consists of ten blocks of booth artisans from around the country, three stages with live music, and a regional Fine Art Exhibition. There is also a Working Studios area including body painting, blacksmithing, live art demonstrations and more. Food trucks and vendors offer culinary treats including seafood, regional and ethnic dishes and goodies. There will be three beer gardens pouring microbrews, Northwest wine and cocktails. The festival activities also include an active Kids Area and Art Dash, certified in half marathon, 10k or 5k.

This is a FREE event recommended for the whole family with tons of activities!

When: August 3 – 5
Hours: Friday (10am-7pm), Saturday (10am-6pm), Sunday (10am-5pm)

If you have any more questions about the Anacortes Arts Festival, contact at (360) 293 – 6211 or events@anacortesartsfestival.com .

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

Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC

2018 Tones for Crohn’s

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Join us in Anacortes for an annual benefit event, this summer, on Saturday, July 28th! All proceeds go to find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There will be a 5k run, food, entertainment and family fun, so don’t miss out! Enjoy the festivities in addition to the 5K and support the more than 1.6 billion people who suffer daily with these diseases. Don’t forget to share this event, invite your friends and family while our goal is to raise $10,000 for this charity! Your registration fee goes directly towards this cause and fundraising goal. This event is just for fun, untimed and unchipped. Each participant will receive a medal and a goodie bag. Registration and check-in is from 1:30pm to 3pm. Please check-in and sign your waiver. Run starts at 3pm and music and festivities start at 4pm.

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

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Title Insurance

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What is Title Insurance?

The purchase of a home is often the single largest investment people will make in a lifetime: therefore, the importance of fully protecting such an investment cannot be overstressed. Title insurance is protection which assures that the rights and interest to the property are as expected, that the transfer of ownership is smoothly completed and that the new owner receives protection from future claims against the property. It is the most effective, most accepted and least experience way to protect property ownership rights.

Because land endures over generations, many people may develop rights and claims to a particular property. The current owner’s rights — which often involve family and heirs — may be obscure. There may be other parties (such as government agencies, public utilities, lenders or private contractors) who also have “rights” to the property. These interests limit the “title” of any buyer.

Why Do You Need a Title Insurance Policy?

If title insurance companies work to eliminate risks and prevent losses caused by defects in the title before the closing, why do you need a title insurance policy? The title of the property could be seriously threatened or lost completely by hazards which are considered hidden risks — “those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records.” Matters such as forgery, incompetency or incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of “hidden risks” which could provide a basis for a claim after the property has been purchased.

Title insurance isn’t just for a homeowner. Subdividers need it when planning a new tract of homes or a commercial strip center. Attorneys use it for clients who are investing in shopping centers hotels, office buildings, and countless other projects. Builders need it in order to obtain construction loans from their lender. Everyone wants to have peace of mind when investing their hard-earned money. The title insurance company will help protect these important investments, no matter how large or small, with its own reputation and financial strength.

Why Does the Lender Need a Policy on My Property?

For the lender, a title policy is a guarantee that it has a valid and enforceable lien (loan or deed of trust) secured by the property, that no one else other than those listed on the policy has a prior claim (or loan, etc.) and that the party to whom they are making the loan does own the property being used as security for the loan. This protection remains in effect as long as the loan remains unpaid.

The existence of a lender’s title policy encourages lenders such as banks, savings and loan associations, commercial banks, life insurance companies, etc., to loan money. Because they are lending other people’s money (savings or policy holder’s funds), they must be concerned with safety should the borrower not make their payments. The title company ensures that the title to the property is marketable in the event of foreclosure and the guarantee is backed by the integrity and solvency of the title company. Of course, this benefits everyone — from the single-family homeowner to the owner of a high-rise building.

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