Wes Madden's Real Estate Blog

4 Reasons Why Lenders Reject Alaska Mortgage Applications

If you're just beginning the home buying process in Alaska, your first step will be getting pre-approved with a local lender. Next up? Finding your dream home and submitting a mortgage application to keep the purchase moving forward. However, many buyers find their application in the rejection pile due to factors they weren't aware of at the time. 

As your local real estate experts, Madden Real Estate has provided below four reasons why your mortgage application may be rejected so you can be sure to avoid them:

You don't have enough credit
While poor credit can put you in a sticky situation with lenders, not enough credit can do just the same. It is essential...

How to Tell a Great Fixer Upper in Alaska from a Money Pit

You likely already have a picture in your head of what you'd like your dream home in Alaska to look like. Maybe it's a new construction home in a family-friendly neighborhood or maybe it's a fixer upper that you can make your own. If the latter is more your style, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for a certain set of features that will help you tell the difference between a property with potential and a money pit.

Below are four things to look for in Alaska fixer upper homes to avoid a homeowner headache down the road:

Sound Structural Elements
When you move into a new home in Alaska, it can be quite costly to need to replace major structural parts like...

What is a Bump Clause in Alaska Real Estate?

You've found a buyer for your Alaska home, they've put in an offer, but now what? How can you be sure you won't receive a better offer than the one they submitted? Will you be able to accept a better deal if it comes along? As a home seller, you'll want to get to know the  bump clause.

Bump clauses are getting a lot of air time in today's real estate market as they allow the seller to enter into a contract with a buyer while continuing to market their property. If they get a better offer, they can "bump" the original buyer.

Bump clauses are commonly used when a buyer has a contingency attached to their offer, meaning they need to sell their current home first or have placed the sale contingent upon factors like the inspection or appraisal. The bump clause will allow sellers to attempt to reach another buyer...

Home Staging vs. Hiding in Fairbanks AK Real Estate

When shopping for homes in Alaska, it is easy to get distracted by home features like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen updates, backyard, and of course, the location. And while it is important to take note of these items on your buyer wish list, you will want to keep your eyes open for flaws or major problems that could be covered up by home staging.

Below are four signs a Fairbanks AK home seller could be trying to hide something with home staging:

Painted Floors
Even though you have pets of your own, that doensn't mean you want to pay for another homeowner's pet damage. If you happen to pull up carpeting in an Alaskan home and notice paint on the floor, the homeowner could be trying to cover up pet...

The Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home in Alaska— Rising Interest Rates!

It is not uncommon for Alaskan homebuyers to sit on the fence, wondering if there will be a better time to purchase a home down the road. Will you be able to get a better deal on a property in a few months? Will the real estate market slow down? These are all valid questions, but it's also important to consider the flip side and what it could cost you if you choose to wait to buy a home.

In today's market, interest rates continue to rise and waiting as little as a few months could cost you more than you think in your monthly mortgage payment. According to real estate news outlet Keeping Current Matters, the cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.

For instance, in today's real estate market with an interest rate of 4.4 percent...

Your Alaska Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

After months of the snow and cold, it's finally time to welcome the warm weather, green grass, and sunshine back to Alaska! But even though we'll all be headed outdoors this summer, there are still a few projects to check off of your homeowner to-do list to ensure your property is ready to handle the season.

Powerwash your home's exterior
From the driveway to the siding, the winter dirt and grime can take a toll on your Alaskan home's exterior. Consider renting a powerwasher—or purchasing one if you'll get more use out of it—to get your home looking clean and fresh for the new season.

Seal your deck
If you haven't properly sealed your deck, months of moisture have likely been seaping into the wood which can pave the way to rot and a less-than-ideal appearance. Test a patch by pouring a small...

When to Make a Lowball Offer in Alaska Real Estate

Everyone loves a good deal— especially when it comes to real estate! However, in today's real estate market, actually purchasing a home for under asking price can be a rare occurrence. Real estate agents in Alaska—and all over the country, for that matter—typically advise against making lowball offers as you could risk offending the sellers and lose out on the home entirely.

But does that mean it can't be done? No! With the right expert on your side and under the right conditions, you can successfully make a lowball offer on a home in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole. Below are four scenarios that would call for making a low offer:

The home is outdated
Home sellers in Alaska can turn a blind...

The Best Month to Sell Your Alaska Home

As a homeowner in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole, deciding to sell your home is major move that should not be taken lightly.  In fact, there are dozens of factors to consider— from the price at which you will list right down to the time that your Alaska home will hit the market. But before you start to worry that the best window of opportunity to sell your Alaska home has passed, you should note that now is that time! 

May has been recognized as the best month to sell your home as homeowners have been known to yield more of a financial gain from the sale as well as sell within a shorter time frame than any other time of the year!

Selling Faster
...

How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood for You in Alaska

When you're a homebuyer in Alaska, there are many factors to consider—from square footage to outdoor space—in order to find the perfect property. But there's a reason "location, location, location" is a popular phrase in real estate and smart buyers will note that the neighborhood is just as important as the home itself.

Below are 5 things that can help you identify a great neighborhood when you're house hunting in Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, Fairbanks, North Pole, and the surrounding communities this spring:

Pet-friendly areas
If you have a dog, don't leave their needs out of the homebuying process! Look into the closest dog parks or places where you can enjoy the outdoors with your pet, whether it's a trail or off-leash green space.

...

Should You Sell Your Alaska Home This Spring or Simply Renovate?

Many Alaskan homeowners tend to believe spring is the best time to list their property and prepare to move on to a better, more suitable home. And while they may not be wrong, it is important to note that selling is not always the best answer for every scenario. Depending on how long you've spent in the home and your location—among other factors—it may be ideal to consider staying put and simply making a few improvements. 

Below are five questions to ask yourself as you determine whether to sell or renovate your Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole home this spring:

How long have you been in the home?
If you have spent decades in...

Questions to Ask Yourself While Shopping for Houses in Alaska

Spring is officially here in Alaska and the real estate market is only beginning to heat up for the busy season ahead! And while it can be easy to get ahead of yourself when you first begin to search for Alaska homes for sale, it is important to first outline your priorities to streamline the process— and avoid falling in love with a property that's out of your budget!

Below are three important questions to ask yourself as you begin house-hunting in Eagle River, Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, Fairbanks, and North Pole:

How long do I plan to be in this home?
Before you can start searching for properties, ask yourself if this is a forever home. How long do you plan to stay? If the answer...

How to Boost Your Alaska Home Value Before Spring

Temperatures may still be low here in Alaska, but that doesn't mean that the real estate market takes a dive along with them! The market is only beginning to heat up for the warmer months ahead and if you're planning to sell your home in Palmer, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Wasilla, North Pole, or Eagle River this spring, now is the time to work toward increasing your value!

Below are three ways you can increase your home value before spring:

Replace appliances
For buyers making their way from renting to homeownership, shiny, new appliances can be just the hook they need to move forward with an offer. Replacing one or all of your appliances with more energy-efficient models can also be a great...

5 Things to Avoid When Preparing to Buy a Home in Fairbanks AK

With spring just around the corner and the Alaska real estate market preparing to pick up for the busy season ahead, there are numerous buyers on the fence wondering about their first step. Should I get pre-approved? Should we wait until we have a 20 percent down payment?

All of the questions running through your head are important to answer to get a better handle on the mortgage process, and as your local real estate experts, we're breaking down the steps you should avoid so you can embark on your homebuying journey with few hiccups along the way.

Do Not: Wait until you have a 20 percent down payment
Mortgage rates today are still hovering around historic lows— but not for much longer! We've...

How to Declutter Your Fairbanks AK Home Before You Sell

Before you list your Fairbanks AK home, there is a list of tasks to check off to ensure the property is ready for the market and will appeal to today's buyers. You'll need to give the landscaping a spruce to boost curb appeal, fix that leaky faucet, and even consider updating your kitchen or bathroom.

But there is one more step that will make the most impact on Alaska buyers— decluttering. Below are five key decluttering tips to help your home feel more open and inviting, without throwing everything away!

Organize by category
Your Alaska home may...

What You Should Know About Shopping for an Alaska Home in the Winter

Gone are the days where homebuyers only searched for properties in Alaska when the weather was warmer, they happened upon a listing in the newspaper, or drove by a For Sale sign. In today's Alaskan real estate market, buyers are always switched "on," constantly looking for properties on their smartphones and computers, even setting up search parameters so potential homes land in their email inbox. 

It doesn't pay to wait as a homebuyer in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole. Your dream home could be waiting for you—even in the winter months—so you'll want...

Why 2018 Is the Best Year for Buying a House in Fairbanks AK

It's a brand new year in Alaska and if you've started to map out your goals for the upcoming months, you might find buying a house in Fairbanks among the top priorities— and rightfully so! 2018 will be one of the best years for homebuyers to make a purchase and below we've included four reasons why you won't want to delay:

Inventory is returning
For the majority of the last year, inventory in the local real estate market has been lower, thus making it challenging for some buyers to find the right home that checks all of their boxes. However, 2018 will spark a recovery in inventory, especially in the middle to upper price ranges. 

...

10 Ways to Protect Your Fairbanks Alaska Home This Winter

The new year is nearly here and we're now in the thick of winter, with temperatures dipping low and snow piling up. While these conditions can make for beautiful scenery in Alaska, they can also wreak havoc on your Fairbanks AK area home if you aren't prepared. As your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and beyond, we have put together a list of top winter tasks to tackle in 2018 so you can enjoy the season without any surprises!

Consider the following your winter checklist for your Alaska home

Clean your chimney
If you use your fireplace often, you will want to make sure it's been properly cleaned and inspected. Creosote build up can give way to chimney fires, so use the rule of...

5 Steps to Make Your Fairbanks AK Home Feel and Look Larger

Especially during the winter months in Alaska, homeowners can wrestle with how to make their living spaces feel both brighter and larger. After all, homebuyers today are looking for that open, airy layout! There are dozens of easy ways to go about it, and even if you are working with a smaller footprint in your Fairbanks AK area home, you can count on Madden Real Estate for expert tips!

Below are five ways you can make your Fairbanks, Eagle River, Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole home feel and look larger:

Don't empty the room
If you're already prepping to sell the home—maybe you've even moved on to another property—don't feel tempted to leave the rooms empty. You may think...

How to Tell When Your Fairbanks AK Kitchen Needs Updating

Whether you're planning a home improvement project for the new year or are simply preparing to impress buyers when your home hits the Alaska real estate market, the kitchen is a great place to focus. After all, kitchens and bathrooms tend to make the biggest impact on homebuyers— in addition to your home value

But how can you tell if yours is in need of an update? As your local real estate experts, Madden Real Estate has included a few ways to help you decide:

Your appliances are outdated
This may be a smaller project, but swapping out old appliances can quickly make any kitchen feel like a brand-new space. If the appliances...

Should You Buy a Home in Alaska During the Holidays?

The holiday hustle and bustle is just beginning in Alaska— from gatherings with friends and family to decking the halls, shopping, and even traveling. This time of year is undoubtedly one of the busiest and moving may be the last thing on your mind, but does that mean you should wait to buy a home in Alaska

As your local real estate experts in Alaska, you can count on Madden Real Estate to help you find your dream home and identify the best opportunities to do so— one of which is right now! Below are three reasons to consider buying a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole during the holidays:

There is less competition
There tend...