Moving This Summer? Check Out These Tips

This month, the kids will be out of school and for a lot of families relocating, it is time to pack up and move. Moving brings on an entire new set of stresses and tasks for the family.

Here are some tips for moving, courtesy of It might just help save you a bit of time, stress and headache for the move ahead.

4 weeks from move date: Get organized and start notifying the right people and companies that you’ll be moving soon and give them a date to forward or terminate service. Start looking for licensed and professional moving companies, moving guides and relevant coupons.

If using a professional mover, get quotes from multiple moving companies to get the best deal that is right for you and your needs. Ask plenty of questions like whether or not they give binding quotes and what kind of insurance is included. Be sure to talk with them about the different options available with full-service moves such as packing and unpacking services and providing boxes and packing supplies.

Tip: Important documents such as your child’s school records may need to be accessible during your transition. Make sure to put these items aside and make copies of any records for yourself, in case you forget what box they’re packed in.

3 weeks from move date: Once you’ve selected a mover, begin by taking inventory of your belongings and their worth and decide what will be coming with you to your next home.

Tip: Start cleaning out closets, drawers and storage areas of your home and divide things into categories: “pack,” “recycle” and “give to friend.” You can always have a garage sale or donate old items to charity. This will make packing day a lot easier and you may reduce the total weight you’ll be paying for to move.

Tip: If you’re moving yourself or contracting for a self-service move, pack the items you know you won’t need until 30 days after the move. It will feel great to get started early.

Tip: If possible, take pictures of rooms and areas inside the home or apartment you’ll be moving into so you can start thinking about placement of furniture, artwork and other items. This will help save time, headaches…and money…on moving day.

2 weeks from move date: If you choose not to take advantage of full service mover packing services, or are planning to do it yourself and rent a truck, start packing things into boxes. Figure out the logistics of the move, travel plans and if other specialized plans need to be made.

Tip: If you are using a professional mover find out what items are on their “non-allowables” list and discard those items or find a way to transport them separately.

Tip: Instead of stacking plates, pack them vertically; they will travel safer this way.

Tip: If you are moving long distance, remember travel arrangements for your pets. There are pet-exclusive airlines available such as Pet Airways but regular airlines have travel options for pets as well.

Tip: If you have young children, you may want to make childcare arrangements so you can be 100% focused on moving day and your little ones remain safe and busy with fun activities.

Tip: Schedule “move out” cleaning service, carpet cleaners and heavy appliance disposal if necessary for once you’ll be out of the home you’re vacating. Even if you’re selling your current home, it’s a nice welcome for the buyers to move into a clean and tidy home.

1 week from move date: Set aside valuable items and keep those with you. Clean before moving and leave your house or apartment as clean as it was when you moved in.

Tip: Make sure the details for paying the moving company are taken care of. Some will require money orders or cashier’s checks upon delivery; know their policy in advance to avoid stress on moving day.

Tip: Start eating all the frozen foods you have, or give them to a neighbor or friend. This way you won’t have to throw them away on moving day, or worry about packing an ice chest.

Tip: Also think about necessities for managing moving day like confining your pets and anticipating the amount of time you will need.

Tip: Place necessities such as toiletries, toilet paper, rags, “must-have” cooking supplies and organize them in boxes marked “open first” so it’s easy to find the initial items you’ll want handy on those first few days of being in your next home. Don’t forget the flashlight!

Tip: If possible, take one last tour of the new location and identify water and gas shut off locations, as well as the electrical breaker box just in case something happens in the first few days so you’re prepared. Might be smart to drop off a fresh box of light bulbs too!

Moving day and beyond: Take one last walk through and make sure nothing has been forgotten or overlooked. Also, make sure all doors and windows are locked and switches turned off, then you are on your way to your new house or apartment.

Tip: Go back to the photos you took when you began to pack up. Now you can show the movers or those helping you unpack exactly where everything goes with photos.

Tip: Unpack one room at a time according to basic needs starting with the kitchen and at least one bathroom…and don’t forget to make a bed as early in the day as possible if you’ll be sleeping in your home that evening! Remember, you don’t have to unpack everything in one day, or even in one week.

Tip: After you’ve settled in a bit, introduce yourself to some neighbors, ask for advice on the best places to eat, grocery shop, etc. This way you will feel like part of the community and can get some great local tips. Don’t forget, you can contact Coldwell Banker Island Living for any information you may need to find a new home & for relocation information. You can call any of our professional agents or email us at

5 Tips for a Successful Home Remodel

Now that spring is here many homeowners begin remodeling projects.  Everyone knows that is is a good idea to hire a professional remodeler, but it is also wise to consult with a REALTOR before you you start your plan.  Why?  It is always wise to remodel with an eye toward resale. Also make sure you stay in budget and do not over-improve your home for the neighborhood.

Here area few tips for planning a your home remodel:

1. Review your  list of home remodeling ideas with your REALTOR

2.  Set a budget and stick to it.  (This is the hard part)  Do the remodel in phases if necessary.

3. Get at least 2 and preferably three bides from professionals. 

4. Research the company!   Check the references, BBB, licensing  and background of the company you hire.

5. Agree on a contract.  Ask about warranties, time lines, what happens if the project is not finished on time, who pays for what and when, and will the person who are hiring be the one to do the work or someone else?  Ask to see the contract of all of the people you are interviewing.

 6. Research energy efficiency tax credits.  There are lots of great ones right now!

7.  Be patient!

If you want to know if you are making the right decision for the resale value of your home, please call one of our professional real estate agents to assist you!  Or visit us at

(360) 293-4511


WA State Ferries Might Start Taking Reservations!

WA State Ferries Might Start Taking Reservations if the DOT go along with a recommendation of a new study which shows that even though a reservation system would cost about $25 million, the ferry system said it could actually save money.  The cost savings would come from not having to expand the ferry terminals as well as spreading usage making sure that more vessels sail full.

The study also stated that a reservation system would reduce traffic congestion, and suggested the reservation system begin in 2011 for the AnacortesSan Juan Islands ferry run.

According to an article in the Seattle Times, the report suggests:

‚ÄĘ Up to 90 percent of the vessel would be available for reservations during peak and commute periods; up to 50 percent during off-peak times.

‚ÄĘ Reservations on commute period sailings would be available four weeks in advance; all other sailings would be available six months in advance.

‚ÄĘ There would be no extra fee for reservations, unlike what is charged for British Columbia ferries.

‚ÄĘ There could be cancellation fees and customers would have to arrive 15 to 30 minutes before the sailing time to guarantee their reservations.

This is great news for Anacortes, and all of the San Juan Islands!

If you would like information on homes for sale in the San Juan Islands or Anacortes real estate, please visit


Steve Copson Joins Coldwell Banker

Coldwell Banker Island Living  is pleased to announce the addition of Steve Copson with Coldwell Banker Mortgage Services.

Steve‚Äôs 35 years of experience in the home loan industry have given him the ability to create a seamless loan process for whatever client needs might exist.¬† He has an in depth knowledge of conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA loans.¬† He is able to match you with the loan will meet both your needs and your budget.¬† The use of a ‚Äúno pressure‚ÄĚ approach while consulting with client, has earned him the reputation of being a thoughtful, caring loan officer willing to go the extra mile.

¬†Steve‚Äôs goal is to offer Coldwell Banker Island Living clients¬†an honest, knowledgeable, and stress free¬†experience when either financing or refinancing their home. His main objective is to make his client comfortable with the loan process, as well as, the end result.¬† He also offers a “close on time” guarantee!

 Steve earned his bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics from California State University, and his MBA in finance from Santa Clara University.  He has continued his education and interest in finances and continues to be on the cutting edge of both new programs and current market trends.

Before you start to look for a home, contact Steve.  He has more loan programs to offer, exceptional rates, and unbeatable service!

 Steve can be contacted for assistance with any questions or concerns about the home loan process at 360-920-6900 or

Coldwell Banker Island Living is located at 3110 Commercial Ave. #101 Anacortes, WA.  Coldwell Banker Island Living is a full service real estate company with exceptional real estate specialists in new construction, pre-owned homes, commercial real estate, property management, waterfront homes, luxury estates, staging, first-time home buyers, seniors downsizing, short sales, fixers, bank owned properties, and relocation.  Coldwell Banker Island Living also provides a vast list of other concierge services.  Please call (360) 293-4511 or visit for all of your real estate needs in Skagit County, Whidbey Island, Guemes Island, and the San Juan Islands.

How to get the most out of your home improvement dollar¬†just released the results of¬†a¬†home improvement¬†“Home Sale Maximizer” survey.¬†

Here are some of the top do-it-yourself home improvements that REALTORS suggest home sellers complete to help sell their homes.  Although this was a national survey, many of these home staging tips are appropriate for Anacortes homes and would help sell real estate throughout Skgait County.

Here are some of home improvements that benefit home sellers the most: 

1. Cleaning and de-cluttering  (If it is smaller than a bread box put it away!

2. Home staging (Your Coldwell Banker Island Living real estate agent can help you with this.  We provide home staging advice FREE when you list with us!)

3. Lightening and brightening¬† (Add lamps, keep curtains open, consider removing valances…)

4. Landscaping  (Weed, keep the beds raked, add bark, keep the grass green and moved, make crisp edges, plant color)

5. Repairing plumbing (Fix leaky faucets, toilets that run, and of course any plumbing repairs more serious than a leaky faucet should be repaired immediately before significant damage can occur.

Painting the outside of the home and taking steps to increase curb appeal is also critical to increase showings of a home for sale. 

Other projects that return a high yield for home sellers were:  updating electrical, replacing or shampooing carpets, painting interior walls, repairing damaged floors, updating kitchen, painting outside of home, and updating bathrooms. 

Your Coldwell Banker Island Living real estate agent can provide you with a more detailed list of average costs for home improvements and the average return on investment specific to our area.  You can reach our full-time professionals by calling (360) 293-4511 or visit our website at

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Port of Anacortes Gets Homeland Security Grant

The Port of Anacortes was one of six Washington port to recieve a grant under the Amercian Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The Port of Anacortes was awarded a $575,155 grant which will be used to improve security and will include a new camera surveillence system, improved lighing, and security personnel.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving should be a fun holiday because of the all of the wonderful smells in the house, but my mom won’t let me eat any of the turkey bones¬†because they are dangerous.¬†¬†Poultry bones can splinter and could make me very sick.
If I have to wear this silly pilgrim hat, I think I should get some turkey and gravy.  I think if I sit by my dad and stare hard he will give me some when mom is not looking.  
I hope you get some special treats and lots of play time!

Household items that are poison


Please keep these things away from both kids and pets!

  • Many anti-inflammatory meds such as aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Antidepressants
  • Cold Medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Rodent Bait
  • Slug Bait
  • Fabric Softener
  • Disinfectants
  • Diet Pills
  • Bleach
  • Lighter fluid
  • Mouthballls
  • Solvents
  • Flea and Tick Products
  • Deterdents
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Liquid Potpouri
  • Solvents

Most household chemicals and cleaners as well as drugs are harmful to Pets and children.

If you think your pet has been exposed to a poison call 1-888-426-4435 or your local vet.

For more from Jingles’ corner click here.

Anacortes Hot Spots!



Skagit County is reanked 5th nationally¬†for Outstanding Use of Technology by The Center for Digital Government .¬† The center has ranked SKAGIT COUNTY 5th of America’s top digital county governments for Counties with less than 150,000 population.


This year’s Digital Counties Survey¬†stated that may counties are using information technology in new innovative ways to improve service to their citizens. Congratulations to our Skagit County leaders!


While visiting Anacortes you can still check your email at these hot spots.  If you are searching for homes for sale in Anacortes, you can search the entire MLS at


Fidalgo Bay RV Resort
4701 Fidalgo Bay Road
Anacortes 98221

 The Donut House
2719 Commercial Avenue
Anacortes 98221


Penguin Coffee
2119 Commercial Avenue
Anacortes 98221

Anacortes Library
1220 10th Street
Anacortes 98221




Adrift Restaurant
506 Commercial Ave
Anacortes 98221


The Brown Lantern Tavern
412 Commercial Ave
Anacortes 98221


If you business is a hot spot and you are not on the list, please email us!












Anacortes Real Estate Market Update


When we list Anacortes homes we try to educate Anacortes home sellers on the results of overpricing, while at the same time trying to get our sellers the most money for their homes. 

Stats show overpriced homes¬†stay on the market longer and sell for less vs. homes that are priced right to begin with.¬† It is natural for sellers to want to “try it a little higher first”, but pricing above the market only increases your time on the market.¬†¬†In a normal market, this results in¬†a lower selling price.¬† But when¬†home values are coming down, the effective is magnified and overpricing results in a seller getting dramatically less money.

When Anacortes real estate agents print stats from the MLS, the stats shows the sale price as the percent of the LAST LISTING price. The chart below shows the cumulative days on the market and the sale price vs. the ORIGINAL listing price for all Anacortes homes that have sold.  These numbers reflect a very soft real estate market of course, but it illustrates the point that listing your home high results in more time on the market and less money for you.

What is important to note is that this chart is for all price ranges.  The chart looks different when we sort the data by price range.  If you would like to see this chart for a specific price range, please call or email and we would be happy to send it to you at any time.