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.

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 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.

Whidbey Island: Washington’s Largest Island

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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 AnacortesJean 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!

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

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Planning to sell in 2018? Here are some things to prepare you for getting your home ready to list:

Get a home inspection – Many buyers who make an offer will get a home inspection to determine the condition of your house, and then use that knowledge to negotiate pre-close repairs or a lower price.  Be proactive and get your own inspection so you can remove or address issues that may be obstacles to selling your house.

Appeal to mobile and online buyers – Most home searches today begin online.  Hire an internet-savvy broker, like Team Groesbeck, to ensure your listing is optimized for web viewing and mobile apps.  Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC will also ensure professional photos and marketing will get your home noticed.

Make a good first impression – Fix things around the house that don’t work, touch up paint, update landscaping, depersonalize, deep clean, and consider hiring a stager.  Team Groesbeck even offers staging services to our clients to give your home a professional touch!

Be realistic – Educate yourself about your local real estate market and have realistic expectations of your home’s worth.  Your broker will price your home accordingly based on this information as well as comparable properties.

Treat your home like an investment – Be sure you are ready to sell before you list your home.  Moving can be a sentimental and emotional journey, so be prepared for potential buyers to look at your home and make an offer!

With any questions or for your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC in Anacortes daily at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Check our blog tomorrow for New Year’s resolutions for home owners!

New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers

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A new year means new possibilities!  Thinking of buying a new home this year?  Here are some things you may consider to assist with making it happen:

Get your finances in order – You’ll need good credit to get a mortgage, so knowing your credit score will ensure you getting a good rate.  If you know your credit score needs improvement in advance, you can make the necessary steps to improve it ahead of time.

Gather your paperwork – Keep documents handy that you’ll need for your home loans, such as W2s, tax returns, credit report, pay stubs, bank account statements, etc.

Research mortgage options – Shop around for the best loans with the best terms.  Talk to multiple lenders because all have different terms.  Find out if you are eligible for any state or local home buyer programs, etc.

Get pre-approved – Not only does having a pre-approval letter from your lender indicate how much mortgage money you qualify for, it makes it easier to shop for homes within your price range and strengthens your position as a buyer for your offer being accepted.

Work with professionals – Rely on a qualified, experienced broker to help you find the home you desire. The team at Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC in Old Town Anacortes is full-time, professional real estate brokers who are available daily to work for you.  Contact us for all of your real estate needs throughout Anacortes, Skagit County and beyond today!

Check back tomorrow for our blog about New Year’s resolutions for sellers!

Upcoming Anacortes Events: Dec. 2

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On Saturday, December 2, the public is invited to attend the following community events around Anacortes:

  • The Chamber Art Walk begins at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. throughout downtown Anacortes.
  • St. Mary Church in Anacortes will celebrate the St. Nicholas Feast Day with the Croatian Cultural Center beginning at 10:30 a.m.  The celebration schedule is as follows:
    • 10:30 a.m. – Feast of St. Nicholas Mass at St. Mary Church. Entrance procession with icon of St. Nicholas by the members of the Croatian community
    • 11:45 a.m. – End of Mass; car procession with St. Nicholas icon to the Seafarers Memorial Park.
    • Noon – Assemble at Seafarers Memorial Park for placement of icon and the laying of wreath and roses at Our Lady of the Sea.
      • Eternal Father – Navy Hymn sung by the An-O-Chords.
      • Blessing of Mariners and fleet by Fr. Marion, OSB, pastor of St. Mary.
    • 12:30 p.m. – Return icon to Croatian Cultural Center located at 801 5th St.  Children to meet with St. Nicholas and be gifted with tangerines and chocolate gold coins. Listen to the story of St. Nicholas as narrated by Michael Petrish, and then enjoy a no-host luncheon of Croatian food and seasonal pastries.
      Please call the Croatian Cultural Center at (360) 299-2525 if you plan to attend the celebration so that enough food will be prepared.
  • Open to all, the Anacortes Lion’s Club Christmas Parade set-up begins at 11 a.m. for all interested in participating and the parade will begin at Noon. Lining up on Third Street, between “O” and Commercial Avenue, are floats, vans with passengers, walkers and bicycles. Lining up on Second Street are horses and horse carriages. Lining up on Third Street, between “N” and “O” Avenues, are fire department and emergency vehicles. Lining up on Commercial Avenue, next to the rope factory are cars and car club entries.
  • Beginning at Noon until 5 p.m. at the Port of Anacortes Event Center, it is opening day of Celebrate the Season.  Admission is $5 per person or $20 per family at the door. Enter a winter wonderland with activities for the whole family at the annual event, held by the Anacortes Schools Foundation, which features photos with Santa, hot chocolate & cookies, crafts & games, unique gifts, and gift wrapping. All proceeds benefit students in the Anacortes School District.

Additional information regarding the above events can be found here.

Located in Old Town AnacortesJean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, is proud to support Anacortes events.  For any of your real estate needs, please contact us daily at (360) 941-3734, (360) 899-5027 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.