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!

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.

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.

20+ Acres of Waterfront Privacy & Serenity on Guemes Island

Clark Point-8

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A VIDEO TOUR

4142 Clark Point Rd. offers serenity and privacy on more than 20 acres of build-ready waterfront property, with 800 feet of sandy shoreline!  Just a 5 minute Ferry ride from Anacortes, this home is unmatched.

Enter this gorgeous property through an electric gate with a phone system, then drive down the long and winding driveway that provides your home with privacy while you take in the fabulously landscaped grounds and park you vehicles in the spacious three car garage.

Clark point-20

The property’s improvements include a heated swimming pool with an electric cover, surrounded with Pennsylvania Bluestone pool decks; outdoor living area with hot tub and¬†fireplace, built-in BBQ, party cabana and¬†pool equipment building.

Clark point

Walk the trail to the beach, enjoy the barn/shop space, newly resurfaced and fenced tennis court, 2 ponds, circular drive, native gardens, meadows, majestic trees, sounds of lapping waves, spectacular views, abundant wildlife and more!  All utilities are onsite and there is a septic with two drain fields, in addition to a private fire hydrant.

Clark point-9

For additional information and to schedule an appointment to see this one of a kind property in person, contact Anacortes-based Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC 7 days a week at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or by email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Community Profile: San Juan Islands

orca-fins-2

The San Juan Islands are a chain of 172 islands scattered in the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the northwest tip of Washington State.  Although easily accessible from Seattle, the San Juan Islands enjoy a far different weather pattern with sunny weather and low rainfall created by the Olympic Mountain rain shadow.

Fidalgo Island (Anacortes, WA) and Whidbey Island (Oak Harbor and home of Whidbey NAS) are the most populated islands. Whidbey Island is connected by Fidalgo Island by the Deception Pass Bridge, as well as being serviced from the southern end by the Washington State Ferry. In addition to being connected to Whidbey Island, Fidalgo Island is connected to the mainland by two other Bridges. Because these two islands are so easily accessed by car, they are often not considered part of the San Juan Islands although geologically they are part of the island chain.

Most of the other San Juan Islands are sparsely populated by humans, but fish, whales, eagles, and other wildlife are abundant. The most accessible islands are San Juan Island, Shaw Island, Lopez Island, and Orcas Island – the islands serviced by the Washington State Ferry system. The ferry system carries both foot passengers and cars and the main ferry terminal is in Anacortes, WA which is just 80 miles north of Seattle.

The most populated Island not connected by bridge is San Juan Island with the town of Friday Harbor. The options for transportation to the island include scheduled land planes out of Seattle, Bellingham or Anacortes, WA. State Ferry service out of Sidney B.C. or Anacortes, WA; float planes out of Seattle, WA, charter planes, tour boats, water taxi, private boats, charter boats, private planes, private boats, or catch a ride with a friend. You can take your car, motorcycle, or bicycle aboard the ferry. If you walk on board you can rent a car, bicycle, moped, or take a bus or taxi once you reach San Juan Island.

Each San Juan Island has a very different culture and lifestyle. For example, Blakely Island is a private island which has a paved airstrip, water taxi service, a marina, a small seasonal store, and fuel, and has only a few year round residents. The smallest ferry served island is Shaw with only about 200 permanent residents. Portions of Decateur Island are serviced by a boat owned by residents; however there is also water taxi and an air field. Guemes Island and Lummi Island are service by a Skagit County Ferry.

Almost all of the islands inhabited have an air strip, some paved and some a little on the rustic side. The less populated the island the slower the lifestyle and island time takes on a new meaning from island to island.

At Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC we often have clients that want a vacation home or are looking for a place to live a slower lifestyle but they do not know which island that they want, and since each island boasts to be the best the options can be confusing. Our full time professional REALTORS¬ģ have been very successful in helping our clients chose the island with the lifestyle that is the best match. We have sold waterfront and water view estates from Hood Canal to San Juan Island, and would love to help you through the decision making process of finding your dream vacation home or next destination.

We can be reached daily at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or at (360) 941-3734.

Gorgeous Guemes Island Home With Beach Access

5410 W Shore-35

Perfectly remodeled, 5410 West Shore (MLS #1077246) on Guemes Island is a masterpiece home that was taken down to the studs and completely transformed into an island oasis.

view with cracked window

From the wood-wrapped wall of windows to the elegant cathedral fir ceilings with exposed beams, the architectural craftsmanship is noticeable throughout.

5410 W Shore

The spacious, bright and functional dream kitchen features solid fir cabinets and slab granite. Enjoy stunning water views from your patio, living room, kitchen, master bedroom and even from the hot tub! Beach access is just steps away!

5410 W Shore-14

For more information or to make an appointment to view this home, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC at (360) 941-3734 or at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Don't Forget to Sign Up for the Guemes Dog Island Run!

Looking for something fun and active to do?¬† Register for the 14th Annual Guemes Island Library Dog Island Run!¬† Don’t miss out on this fun event and join the 10-K race or take it easy and enjoy the 2 mile walk.¬† The 10-K begins at 10:45 and the 2 mile walk starts at 10:55.¬† Take the whole family out for a fun and beautiful day on the island!¬† Register online today at http://www.guemesisland.info/?p=791

14th Annual Dog Island Run 2011

Sign up and join the 10K or 2 Mile run on Guemes Island, June 25 at 10:45!¬† The 10K run will amaze you with the fantastic views along the way. And if running just isn’t your thing, don’t worry, you can enjoy the beautiful 2 mile walk.¬† Turn this event into a fun, family day out of the house and get active!¬† There will be awards, ribbons, and refreshments, you don’t want to miss out!¬† All proceeds benefit the Guemes Island Library.¬† To register for the Dog Island Run or for more information, visit http://www.guemesisland.info/?p=791

If you are interested in purchasing or selling a home on Guemes Island, please contact our Coldwell Banker Island Living agents at  360-293-4511.

Guemes Island Ferry

 

Unfortunately, the Guemes Island Ferry will be out of service from March 28 to May 22, 2011 during the Ferry Dock Rehabilitation Project construction period.¬† Due to many years of exposure to salt water,¬†the¬†docks are in need of a girder replacement.¬† Both Anacortes and Guemesferry docks are suffering from corrosion, cracking, and spalling.¬† The Dock Rehabilitation Project is estimated to last 8-10 weeks total.¬† During this time of construction, a free, passenger-only ferry will be in service from Cap Sante Boat Haven in Anacortes to a temporary floating dock at Guemes Island that is located west of the ferry landing.¬† Parking is also available at Cap Sante Boat Haven and additional long term parking is available at Skagit County’sparking lot (6th Street and K Avenue-Anacortes).¬† A Skagit Transit bus will be available on Guemes to help with transportation needs.¬† A temporary barge service will be provided to deliver garbage, propane, fuel, and grocery services to Guemes Island during this time.¬†

For more information, please contact Rachel Beck (360) 419-7618 or at rachelb@co.skagit.wa.us

Internationally Speaking

More foreign buyers showed interest in purchas¬≠ing U.S. properties in 2009, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS¬ģ (NAR)’s 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. More than one-fourth of REALTORS¬ģ (28 percent) say they worked with at least one international client in the past year, up from 23 percent a year ago. Nearly one in five REALTORS¬ģ (18 percent) completed at least one sales transaction with an international client, up from 12 percent in 2008. Sales involving foreign buyers represented about 7 percent of the overall residential market.

International buyers came from 53 countries; the top four were Canada (23 percent), Mexico (10 percent), the United Kingdom (9 percent) and China/Hong Kong (8 percent). The most impor¬≠tant factors in a buyer’s decision to purchase U.S. property are the proximity to their home country and the convenience of air transportation.

Florida typically attracts European, Canadian and South American buyers, while the East coast draws Europeans. The Southwest attracts Mexican buyers and the West Coast attracts Asians.