Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of Anchorage real estate information, covering everything from local market statistics including many Alaskan towns such as Anchorage, Girdwood, Eagle River, Chugiak, Wasilla, Palmer, Kenai, Homer and more! Learn about Alaskan home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the Alaskan community and want to help you find your place here whether you are relocating to Anchorage, Fairbanks or the Kenai Peninsula!  Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you! 907-720-HOME(4663)

Aug. 30, 2018

6 TIPS FOR A SMOOTH MOVE

 

You just got the keys to your next home- yay! It’s an exciting time but let’s face it, moving is extremely overwhelming.  Plan ahead to make your move smooth and stressfree!

Prepare your boxes

Yes, I guess that should be the first step. Think about what you need to pack up. Get lots of them in different sizes – yep not just large ones – because there will be things that will probably be better if you pack them in small and medium boxes (such as kitchen appliances and delicate dishware). Pro tip- visit your local beverage store. They usually have piles of strong cardboard boxes you can take for free.

Prepare your supplies

Supplies you’ll need for packing are zipties, tape, scissors/boxcutters, markers, labels, old newspapers for box stuffing, garbage bags, bubble wrap and cling wrap. Pro tip- use sandwich bags for small things such as screws.

Packing

Think about the layout of each room and determine what must go and what to pack for the new spaces. Get rid of the things that you no longer need in the new home- donate them or hold a garage sale if you have a lot of stuff to get rid of.

Use small boxes for heavy items if they can fit and remember to use packing tape – secure your boxes to avoid breakage during loading and unloading. Protect fragile items with packing paper, bubble wrap, old newspaper or old clothes/blankets. Make sure that you cover and protect everything that may break and/or leak.

Lastly, sort and label boxes by category. I suggest listing items in each box to save yourself a headache when it comes to unpacking. Label each box with the name of the room it belongs in and list the items inside.

Prepare you logistics plan

Are you planning to use movers or rent a truck and drive it yourself? Either way, you have to be sure to schedule them ahead of time – I suggest at least 2 weeks before your moving date. Get an appointment with the movers or hire the truck on the date of your move. If you’re handling the move on your own, enlist the help of family and friends! Treat them to a lunch as a thank you!

Utilities

Don’t forget to call your cable, internet, electricity, and gas providers at least a week ahead of your move so you can request to shut off or transfer service.

Change your address

Update your new address with your bank and services such as Amazon and magazine subscriptions. Your local post office can make this process easy- just fill out an address change on the USPS website.

 

For more resources on buying and selling real estate, give us a call! 907-720-HOME(4663) or (907) 570-6757.

Posted in Practical Advice
Aug. 28, 2018

There’s Still Time to Check Out the Alaska State Fair!

 

Alaskans enjoy hunting, fishing, picking, and butchering, smoking, freezing and preserving food in hundreds of ways. So why not bring it all in one event?

Since 1936, the Alaska State Fair is held in Palmer. The event is organized by families and anyone who loves to cook, entertain and just enjoy Alaskan culture. Hundreds of thousands of people attend the Fair.

Why should I go?

If you’ve been to the Fair in the past, we know in some ways it seems the same every year. Yet, there is a chance for a new experience. After all, have you ever gotten tired of eating? I don’t!

Kidding aside, maybe your kids are old enough to try some rides on their own. Or how about getting to hold and pet a baby goat? There is a lot of fun to be had for all!

For more information about the Alaska state fair, check out their website. For your convenience, we’ve included links to important things to know:

Food and Shopping Guide, Discounts, Concerts, FAQs

How do I get there?

Fair veterans may already have their own only-we-know-routes to avoid traffic and parking bottleneck at the fairgrounds. For newcomers, fairgrounds are located outside of Palmer at mile 40 on the Glenn Highway- specifically 2075 Glenn Hwy. You can check their map for more information.

The fair started on August 23rd and will run until September 3rd, so you still have a chance to get in on the festivities! Monday through Friday, it starts at around 12noon.  On Saturday, Sunday, and Labor Day it starts at around 10am. The event wraps up at 10pm each day except Labor Day. On Labor Day, the fair is over at 8pm.

Which day should I go?

 

You can go there every day if you want! But check out the list of events from the official website here and see what interests you the most.  There is so much to see and do for everyone that it is impossible to list everything here. So I guess we’ll just have to see you there!!!

Aug. 21, 2018

WHY BEING REPRESENTED BY AN AGENT NEVER FAILS

 

Thinking to buy a house and not get the help of a Realtor? Yes- it is possible to DIY this real estate thing. But is it a good decision considering that a home purchase is one of the biggest financial transactions in one’s life?

What are the advantages of getting help from a licensed Realtor? Here are the reasons why getting an agent never fails.

They are professionals. Real estate purchases can be a tricky business. Although a lot of information is available online, there is no substitute for an experienced professional who knows the neighborhood you want to move into. They follow a higher ethical standard and code of ethics as licensed professionals that will help protect all parties involved.

They are market experts. As a real estate consumer, you may not know the market the way a real estate professional does. What kind of inventory is currently available, off the market and actively listed? How do you decide how much to offer? Is it a fair price? Which home is the best for you when you are torn between multiple options? Realtors can help you answer these questions. They know what’s going on in the local market, how the purchase will affect you and will put your interests first to get the best deal for you and your family.

They are experts in the process. Buying/Selling can be a complicated process of negotiations, mountains of paperwork, tax and escrow challenges. Real estate professionals have the expertise and experience to help buyers navigate the steps and avoid costly mistakes and delays in closing.

They are expert problem solvers. Real estate transactions are not a walk in the park. You will face challenges at some point. A good Realtor will know to guide you on what to do when inspections fail, or appraisal comes in at less than contract sales price and such.

They are experts in negotiation. When you buy or sell a home, you will encounter negotiations. As the housing market heats up, expect bidding wars like 1) accept or reject “counter offers” if you are a buyer and 2) accept or counter “offers” if you’re a seller.  A Realtor is of great help when faced with these situations. A Realtor will help you get the terms that are important to you.  

They have connections and a network. Realtors can recommend trusted mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, stagers, designers, contractors —the list goes on—and they're all in your Realtor's network as a result of years of experience.

They will work to your advantage. They are salespeople and they work to earn their commission. But, remember that they work for you at nearly all hours any time of the day to get things done. They will do their best to help and guide you to get the best deal, a responsibility Realtors don’t take lightly.

Are you thinking of getting a Realtor to help you with your real estate needs in Alaska? We’d love to talk with you! 907-720-HOME(4663)

 

You can also search available homes on the market right now by clicking here.

Aug. 16, 2018

THE HOME BUYER'S GUIDE TO CLOSING COSTS

Closing costs are the administrative and legal fees that come with purchasing a property. Typically, buyers pay the closing costs. But, there are situations where the seller takes care of closing costs if it is agreed upon during negotiations (this is why it’s important to hire a competent buyer’s agent!).  

There are different fees that need to be paid when escrow closes. The closing usually happens about 30-45 days after the offer has been accepted or whenever escrow ends. While the nationwide average closing cost is about 2.1%, a buyer must be ready to have at least 2-3% of the home's sold price on hand to pay at closing.

It may vary from state to state but generally here are the closing costs:

Homeowners insurance - typically you will have to pay this for the first year.

Escrow fees - this goes towards the escrow company's services who oversee the purchase and transfer of the home.

Appraisal fees - this goes towards the company that appraises the home to ensure it's in line with the neighborhood market.

Credit report - this is run by the lender when trying to determine the interest rate of the loan and to help gauge credit-worthiness.

Legal fees - can run $300-$600, depending on your attorney and services you will require.

Origination fee - lender administration fees.

Recording fee - paid to make the official record of the transaction.

Underwriting fee - paid to the lender to determine if the loan will be granted.

Application fee - fee to process the application for the loan.

Title insurance – you are paying this to protect yourself from undisclosed issues with ownership.

Property tax - paid to local jurisdiction.

Survey fees – paid to make sure property lines and boundaries are correct. 

There are some other common fees like brokerage commission fees, document stamps, courier fees, document taxes and more.

Closing costs are part of the equation when buying a home. Make your purchase with 100% confidence by understanding exactly what you’re getting when you sign the paperwork. A reliable, experienced and trustworthy agent can guide you from start to finish and make it a positive experience.

 

As I always say, buying a home is a big step in anyone's life and I feel honored to be able to share this experience with my clients and their families. Meet our team and let us help you in your home buying journey or call us at (907) 720-4663- we’re here to help!

Aug. 15, 2018

TIPS IN LISTING A HOME

 

Staging:

The way you sell a home is very different from the way you live in a home.  And this can be a pain, but wouldn’t the result of netting more money be worth the pain?

Biggest money-making words that are when it comes to showing your home: Depersonalize, Declutter and Deep-Clean.  It’ll make your house look bigger and is the best thing you can do.

Determining Motivation:

Market Value is determined by what someone is willing to pay based on the home’s condition, the competition, and the current state of the market.  If the market says it can only give you $$, is there a plan B, such as stay or rent the house, or do we need to sell your home for as much as we possibly can in today’s market?

Be prepared to receive Feedback:

I’ll keep you informed of feedback received from buyers, as well as weekly market updates. The more you know, the better you are going to be able to make  decisions.

Getting Offers:

 

No offer is insulting.  You can’t blame the buyer; their job is to get the best price they can.  And they don’t know; maybe you would say yes. So never take an offer personally.  Just counter back at what your bottom line needs to be.

 

Aug. 13, 2018

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIVING IN A CONDO

Are you in the market to purchase your next home? If so, you may be asking yourself- is getting a condo the better choice for me?

Living in a condo has its advantage and disadvantages. Read on to see if condo living fits your lifestyle and current needs.

Amenities

Pro:, fitness center, clubhouse and sauna would be expensive to add and maintain for a single family house. But these amenities usually come with condos. Access to these great features can really enhance your daily life!

Con: The downside? If you rarely use these nice amenities or you’re just not that interested in them, you still have to pay for it as a part of you association fees.

Maintenance

Pro: This is a big appeal when living in a condo since your association will take care of most, if not all of your maintenance and repair needs. You won’t have to cut the grass, fix the roof or even think about snow removal. It’s all taken care of!

Con: You may not have the ability to assess on your own when maintenance and repairs are needed. In some situations, there might be special assessment charges for unexpected repairs.

Security

Pro: Some condos have locked entry doors for added security and higher end condos may be in a gated area.

Con: For some, there may be less privacy since there is always staff or neighbors around common areas.

Community

Pro: You’re living in close proximity with other people and belong in the condo community. You’ll find yourself being more active and involved. There are lot of chances for engagement and relationship building around the lobby, pool, lounge and gym. Most condos put on social events for residents as well.

Con: You can’t pick your neighbors and they are just on the other side of the wall! Everyone needs to be considerate of noise levels.

Affordability

Pro: Some condos are more affordable than owning a home — and monthly costs may be equivalent to renting depending on where you live.

Con: Over time, the cost of the condo association and related fees may increase. Amenities may also change. Certain inclusions can be taken away.

We hope this list helps you in your decision when deciding whether to purchase a house or condo. Your decision will ultimately be based on location, lifestyle and how you view certain freedoms and restrictions on condo living versus owning a house.

 

Now- the fun part! Check out both condos AND homes for sale here or call (907) 570-6757 or 907-720-4663 for an exclusive coming to market soon list. Put our expertise to work for you!

Aug. 9, 2018

3 REASONS TO MOVE TO ANCHORAGE

 

Are you thinking of moving to Anchorage? Well, start packing! Here are the top ways that Anchorage is the place to call home!

BEST PLACE TO LIVE

Living in Anchorage definitely means a different lifestyle. It is a place where outdoor adventures and modern amenities meet up. A young city only founded in 1914 full of galleries and fine-dining restaurants in the city yet so near from some of the last true, unspoiled wilderness in the U.S. And not just that, it was named one of America’s richest cities and one of the top 100 best places to live!

NATURE AND ADVENTURE

If you are an adventure seeker, Anchorage is the place for you. Take a dip in Jewel or Goose Lake or go fishing or canoeing on Mirror Lake during summer or in winter, enjoy the city’s great outdoors where you will find some of the best skiing trails in the country, try snowshoeing and sledding too.

What else can you find? The Northern Lights, snow-capped mountains, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans, sprawling forests! Rich wildlife with 5 national parks where you live with moose, eagles and beluga whales, get up close with glaciers - Anchorage has more than 50 glaciers in its city limits alone. Explore Portage Glacier, Anchorage’s top attraction, at least once in your lifetime – or not just once if you’re planning living here.

DIVERSITY

Anchorage is one of the most diverse populations in terms of ethnicity and culture in all the U.S. beating out Queens, New York. It’s usual to hear to "What's your name?" or "Where are you from?" because everyone is from everywhere. Nearly 100 languages are spoken by students in the Anchorage School District so students are exposed to dozens of languages every day which can help prepare them for the global marketplace.

Anchorage is diverse yet laid back- you’ll see locals in jeans and t-shirts even in high-end restaurants!

Interested in keeping up to date on the local real estate market? Sign up for free market reports here.

 

For insider info on Anchorage- including the best restaurants, schools, and family oriented neighborhoods, call us at 907-720-4663! 

Aug. 8, 2018

TOP 4 TIPS WHEN BUYING A HOME

Are you buying a home? Check out the following four must know tips!

DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD

Knowing how much house you can afford will help you save time and money. Narrowing down your price range will insure that you only spend time looking at homes within your budget. Still need to get pre-qualified? For a list of trusted lenders, please reach out to us at 907-720-4663.

CONSIDER OTHER COSTS

It’s not just your mortgage payment. There are several costs that you will also have to be prepared for. Closing costs, appraisal fees, escrow fees, homeowner's insurance fees, property taxes, moving costs, repair and maintenance and bills too! Yes, you’re going to have to pay all these things when owning a home that the bank doesn’t care about when qualifying you for a mortgage.

Be prepared! Work with your real estate agent who can give you an overview of these costs and avoid the trouble of being overwhelmed. Determine the neighborhood’s property taxes and insurance cost. It is also a good idea to preview the seller’s utility bills for the last 12 months the home was occupied to have an idea how will they cost. 

SECURE AN AFFORDABLE MONTHLY PAYMENT

You can possibly buy a house with as little as 3% down payment but it can put you in a precarious position. If anything comes up and you will have to sell, you might end up owing more that you can get out of the sale considering the closing costs.

Create a budget before beginning a home search.  Owe a lower monthly mortgage and years of PMI by spending a year or two saving aggressively toward a down payment. A good rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 30-35% of your monthly household income to housing costs.

USE PROFESSIONAL HELP

It is possible to get into a home without professional help but that may not be the best for you when you consider that is is one of the biggest financial transactions you will be involved in. Licensed real estate professionals will be able to help you find a property quicker and make sure it is exactly what you’re looking for.

It is a competitive market right now; a good real estate agent will work in your best interests and walk you through the buying process smoothly. Be sure to select an agent who is a neighborhood expert in the area you’re interested in.

 

For a comprehensive breakdown of the home buying process- including credit score resources – check out our post here. We’d love to hear from you – call us at 907-720-4663.  

July 12, 2018

Eagle River Bear Paw Festival

Eagle River Bear Paw Festival 

 

The Bear Paw Festival is an event that my kids look forward to each year. This year, the events start on July 11 and run to July 15, 2018.

 

Click here for the list of Bear Paw events and times 

 

Bear Paw Event Descriptions 

 

ABOUT BEAR PAW 

 

HOPE YOU all have a fun and safe time! 

 

 

July 12, 2018

Anchorage Alaska Market Update. Anchorage Real Estate Market.

Anchorage Alaska Market Update

Anchorage Real Estate Market

 

The Anchorage Real Estate Market has definitely picked up in 2018. Buyers have a lot more homes to choose from as more homes come on the market. Home Sellers are still seeing success with less than 3 months marketing time, on average, for homes that are priced correctly.

 

During the week of 6/30/2018 to 7/6/2018, there were 760 listings that were active in Anchorage of which 66 were new listings. 45 listings pended & 35 officially closed and recorded. 

 

If you have any questions about the Anchorage real estate market and would like to start looking for homes today, give us a call/text or e-mail. 907-720-HOME(4663)

 

 

Posted in Market Updates