This Weekend’s Local Anacortes Music Events

seanbendicksonDo you have a passion for supporting local musicians? If this describes you these two local Anacortes events are sure to entertain!

On Friday, January 4th Rockfish Grill & Anacortes Brewery, located at 320 Commercial Avenue in the scenic waterfront town of Anacortes WA, will be presenting Sean Bendickson.

Sean was raised in Montana with his brothers. He started his musical career by playing the drums. Once he relocated to the Pacific Northwest and established himself into the music scene, he adopted his skills as a guitarist and songwriter with an original acoustic rock sound.

them80sOn Friday, January 4th and Saturday, January 5th starting at 9 pm both days, the Swinomish Casino and Lodge, located at 12885 Casino Drive in beautiful seaside Anacortes WA, is presenting The M80’s.

The M80’s are a local 80s music cover band playing everything from new wave to metal and in between in a high energy performance.

Have you fallen in love with Anacortes and the captivating beauty of Fidalgo Island? Would you like to make picturesque Skagit Valley your new home? Click here to start your home search today!

Winter Gardening Dos and Don’ts

Are you wondering if the winter freeze will hurt your plants? Luckily the answer is no! Plants have a sixth sense that detects changes in the weather, giving them time to adjust to the cold.

Here are some quick dos and don’ts for your winter garden:

DO protect your plants from the colder weather by using a commercially made cloth frost cover or an old sheet, especially container plants.

DON’T use plastic to cover your plants when the sun hits it will create a greenhouse effect, which will encourage plants to start growing prematurely.

DO add mulch and compost to your garden. Mulch will help keep roots at an optimal temperature and compost will deliver nutrients to the roots.

DON’T fertilize your garden. Winter is a time of rest for your plants, during the colder weather plants will go dormant. Fertilizing will encourage your plants to grow and freezing weather can harm new growth.

DO keep watering your plants regularly before the ground freezes. If the ground is frozen it will prevent the water from entering the roots.

DON’T skip regular watering. Once a week watering is nourishing for your plants, especially new ones.

DO Take this time of slow growth to plan and prep your spring garden. Make it easy by placing a thick layer of newspapers over the area you are planning to turn into a new garden bed, follow that with alternating layers of compost and organic materials. By springtime, the bed will be more than ready to plant in!

If you are thinking of selling your home in the Spring, right now is a great time to start prepping your garden for a fabulous curb appeal! Give us a call to learn what you can do NOW to get ready to sell in 2019. Contact Jean at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or 360-941-3734 for a copy of the Prepping Your Home checklist. Proudly providing 5-star real estate services in Anacortes, Skagit Valley and beyond.

Merry Christmas!

All of us at Jean Groesbeck & Associates LLC would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy New Year!

Hosting for the Holidays?

The last stretch of the holiday season is upon us. If you are the lucky one who will be hosting family and/or friends this year, you might be starting to feel a little overwhelmed with preparations.

You have come to the right place. Have no fear, team Jean Groesbeck is here! We have selected the top 5 most useful tips to make hosting for the holidays stress-free. No stress=Fun time!

stressed santaMake a List – There is so much going on during this time of the year that the last thing you need is to forget something. Shopping lists and party checklists will be your best friends.

Plan Ahead – Cook and prep as much food as you can ahead of time. Clean your house a couple of days before the festivities, this will save time later.

Stock Up – By keeping a well stocked pantry you won’t risk running out of nibbles. No need to step out to run to the store for something you’ve run out of.

Don’t Stress – If you have a lot of guests buffet style may be a great option. This eliminates the need for a “Pinterest perfect” table, simply put everything out and let your guests help themselves.

Ask for Help – Hosting doesn’t mean that you have to do it all by yourself. Ask a couple of close friends or family that are coming to celebrate if they can come over beforehand to help.

Is buying or selling your home during the holiday season feeling overwhelming? Jean Groesbeck and Associates can help you have a stress-free real estate experience! Contact us at info@jeangroesbeck.com or (360) 899-5027.

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!

Skagit County Saturday Events

AnnieAre you pursuing something melodic to entertain your Saturday 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 Saturday, 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 theatrical event start at $15.

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 Saturday, December 15th 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 enigmatic bewilderment. This program will keep you hypothesizing and entertained with messages of giving and compassion. Noel Noir will be held on Saturday, December 15th 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!

SantaBkfstHave you experienced your official annual appointment with the cheerful man in red? Do you have a hankering for a satisfying and scrumptious breakfast? At this local Mount Vernon, WA even you can immerse yourself in both! Breakfast with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be held on Saturday, December 15th from 9am to 1pm at the Fireweed Terrace, part of the Eaglemont Golf Course located at 4800 Eaglemont Drive in the scenic farmland town of Mount Vernon, WA. Cost for this local Skagit County breakfast event is $10 for 12 years and under, $12 per adult. Delight in a mouthwatering meal, compose your letter to the North Pole, craft an ornament to take home, decorate some cookies, and don’t forget to get your picture taken with Santa!

Do you have a hankering for a satisfying 5-star real estate experience? Click here to compose your letter to Jean Groesbeck and Associates LLC to discuss selling or buying a home!

FrozenDo you feel like you can’t hold it back anymore? Are you ready to just let it go? At this local Skagit Valley function, you can! Saturday, December 15th from 11am to 12pm is your chance to meet Anna and Elsa from the hit movie Frozen. The cold doesn’t bother them anyways, so they will be visiting the La Conner Christmas Tree that is displayed in Gilkey Square located at 103 Morris St in the alluring waterfront town of La Conner, WA.

Are you ready to just let go of your house? Click here to find out how much your Skagit County home could be worth!

Are you positively enamored with where you live? Do you have a passion for indulging in all things local? At this local Fidalgo Island evening gathering you can commemorate the holiday season in the community that you love! RockinYuleThe Rockin’ Yule Bizarre will be on Saturday, December 15th from 7 to 11pm at the Anacortes Arts Depot located at the corner of 7th & R Ave in the lovely island town of Anacortes, WA. Everything is local at this winter celebration including music, food, treats, crafts, plus beer and wine. Admission to this all ages event is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and kids 12 and under are free.

Are you not local to the sublime seaside town of Anacortes, WA and wish to be? Click here to get your Fidalgo Island home search underway!

CascadiacsDo you enjoy flaunting your dance moves? Are you ready to rock around the Christmas tree? This local Skagit County show may be just the thing you’re looking for! The Cascadiacs will be rocking in Big Lake on Saturday, December 15th from 8:30 to 11:30pm at the Big Lake Bar and Grill located at 18247 State Route 9 in the delightful riverfront town of Mount Vernon, WA. Have a good time boogying to classic radio dance music from the 1950s to 2018. Unwind, enjoy fun and entertainment at this free event!

Are you ready to rock and roll with a home purchase but not sure what moves to make? Click here to kick off your Mount Vernon, WA home search today!

BowmanBayDo you take pleasure in indulging with a delightful cup of hot chocolate? Do you find it near impossible to resist enticing holiday time baked goods? This local Deception Pass experience will be difficult to avoid! Bowman Bay Holiday will be held at Deception Pass State Park, located off Bowman Bay Rd, just north of Deception Pass bridge on Saturday, December 15th from 4 to 8pm.

During this 4th annual family friendly holiday event you will be able to savor the hot chocolate and baked goods that you crave. There will also be opportunities to take photographs with Santa Claus, make fun crafts, sing along with carolers, and write encouraging letters to our service members who are overseas during this time. The Bowman Bay cabins will be festively decorated with sparkling lights. Suggested donation for this event is $5 per car.

Are you finding it near impossible to resist the enticing allure of Fidalgo Island? Click here to make a start on your endeavor for your sparkling Anacortes home today!

 

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!

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.

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.