Madden Real Estate's Blog

5 Home Upgrades Alaskan Buyers Want Now

If you planned to sell your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla or North Pole this year, the state of the world may have made you hit the brakes. 

You might be wondering if now is the right time to sell in Alaska, and while much of life may be uncertain right now, the real estate market is still thriving. Many people are now working, and schooling, from home and are more determined than ever to upgrade their homes.

Home buyers in Alaska may be looking for a specific set of improvements or amenities in properties this year and we're listing a few of them for you below to help you strike the right chord with those currently house hunting!

Outdoor Spaces
Alaska is a beautiful place to live and with many of us spending...

How to Prioritize Home Projects as an Alaskan Homeowner

When you first move into a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla or North Pole, you might be overwhelmed with home project ideas. From painting the house to renovating the kitchen, it's hard to prioritize what needs to be done and how to stay on budget.

If you've just moved into your Alaskan home or are in the process of house hunting and deciding which home to buy, below are a few tips to help you stay on task.

Take notes around the home
Any time you decide to take on a home project, you should plan out the process and assess the conditions of the space. For instance, what needs to be done versus what you'd like to get done first. Is the flooring damaged? Are the appliances not running their best? These may be prioritized...

How to Beat the Competition in Alaska Real Estate

It may seem hard to believe, but bidding wars are back! Competition has increased in Alaska real estate even amidst the current economic and global health situation. More and more homebuyers continue to flood the real estate market, and prices continue to rise, thus contributing to more competition with offers.

According to the NAHB's Quarterly Housing Trends Report, "30% of active buyers reported getting outbid by another buyer in the second quarter of 2020, significantly higher than the comparable 18% share a year earlier."" Bidding wars have been reported as most common for bargain-priced homes where buyers are forced to compete with real estate investors.

So, how do you make sure you snag your Alaskan dream home and outbid other interested buyers? How can you be certain your offer stands out among the rest?...

Why Older Homes in Alaska Might Appeal to More Buyers

For today's homebuyers in Alaska, there are many choices associated with local real estate. From when to buy or when to sell, which mortgage type is best and which Alaskan community to move into, there is also one other important question homebuyers must ask themselves— new construction or existing?

The prices can vary dramatically and while you may prioritize having a brand-new home over a lived-in property, it's important to consider the financial differences between the two.

New Construction Upgrades
When you visit a model home in an Alaskan community like Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole or beyond, it can be easy to feel attached...

3 Things to Consider When Moving to a Larger Alaskan Home

With mortgage rates still at historically low rates and home values rising, many Alaksan residents are currently contemplating a move— even in the midst of the current, and somewhat uncertain, economic climate. However, if you've been wondering, now is indeed the time to purchase a home with more storage space, more bedrooms, more overall square footage or even a home in a better neighborhood. 

As your real estate agents in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, Madden Real Estate is happy to help you find your bigger, better dream home, but there are just a few factors to consider in your decision to move up.

The right mortgage
When moving up in ...

5 Pandemic Real Estate Myths for Alaska Home Buyers and Sellers— Debunked!

These are uncertain times for everyone, no matter where in the world you live— especially when it comes to real estate. There are Alaska real estate rumors floating around about whether it's a good time to buy or sell your home amid a pandemic, and many more, but many of them can be debunked! 

As your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, we are setting the record straight about buying and selling Alaska homes during this time!

Myth: It's a bad time to sell your home
Many homeowners who decided to sell this year have since pulled their homes from the market, mainly due to the fear of showings and others entering their property during this public health event. However, right now, research shows that buyers actually...

How to Research a Neighborhood When Buying an Alaskan Home

When you're shopping for a new Alaskan home, you'll want to research everything from the square footage to the property taxes to, perhaps the most important, the neighborhood. But when you're in such strange times as these where you might be sheltering in place, it's key to note you don't actually have to visit the area to do your due diligence.

There are several ways to research a neighborhood in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole right from your own home!

Browse local social media
Use the power of social media to research a potential neighborhood when shopping for homes in Alaska. You can use apps like NextDoor, Facebook, or even dig into geo-specific hashtags or locations on Instagram, for instance, to look for activity and posts in a certain area. 

...

Quick Summer Check-Up for Your Alaskan Home

We're headed into the thick of summer and now is the time to ensure your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole or the surrounding areas has had a proper check-up.

Due to rising temperatures during these warmer months, you'll want to make sure your cooling system is in working order in addition to conducting an energy audit. Once these tasks have been completed at your Alaskan home, you can enjoy the rest of the summer with few problems in sight!

Start an Energy Audit
Not as difficult as it sounds! Simply pick up a notepad and walk around your home looking for places energy might be able to escape. It has been said that an Alaskan homeowner can save approximately 20% on heating and cooling bills just by plugging leaks,...

How to Lower Your Alaskan Home Utility Bills This Summer

The official start of summer is here in Alaska! And while we're all certainly looking forward to warmer temperatures, the summer heat can bring about a rise in utility bills for Alaskan homeowners.

There are dozens of ways to keep mounting utility costs at bay this year and as your real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, we are happy to share a few with you below!

Clean your air filters
It's important to clean your air filters to keep your heating and cooling bills down this summer. When filters are dirty, these systems have to work much harder and use much more energy to function properly. With clean filters, your home can run as it is meant to and help bring down your utility bills.

Install a new thermostat
If you haven't already, consider installing a new thermostat...

Moving to Alaska Tips for Military Families

Receiving Permanent Change of Station orders can be stressful, and receiving PCS orders to Alaska can seem overwhelming! But don't worry, we are here to help you find your new home in Alaska. Our experience in Alaska military relocations can help make the transition a smooth one!

Our website has a list of resource links such as The U.S. Army...

The 5 Most-Viewed Alaska Real Estate Markets

Alaska home buyers have been actively viewing online listings in recent months, and certain zip codes are leading the pack in buyer interest. According to a national listing aggregator, the most popular Alaskan real estate markets for the first quarter of 2020 are:

  • 99705 North Pole
  • 99712 Fairbanks
  • 99709 Fairbanks
  • 99701 Fairbanks
  • 99518 Anchorage

The markets with the most online views also show the fastest pace of home sales! During the first few months of the year, homes in the most popular zip code area of 99705 spent a median of 43 days on market. The next most popular area in 99712 saw homes spending a median of 63 days on market.

For Alaska homeowners, there’s a couple of big takeaways from this info. First, the way your home looks online does matter! Your home’s...

Alaska Home Buyers Could Face Tougher Mortgage Requirements

Alaksa home buyers have the wind at their back when it comes to mortgage interest rates. According to industry surveys by Freddie Mac, interest rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage are hovering below 3.5%

The catch: mortgage lenders are feeling stingy these days. The bar for mortgage approvals has been set higher. Major lenders have announced credit score minimums of 680 to 700. Depending on the type of mortgage you're seeking, and the lender you're working with, the down payment requirements can be as high as 20%. Debt-to-income ratios also need to be lean and mean. 

Before applying for a mortgage, Alaska home buyers can do a lot to shore up their credit standing. This takes some time, but it's a worthwhile investment! The better your credit profile, the better your mortgage offers. ...

Credit Report Info for Alaska Home Buyers

If you plan to buy a home in Alaska this year, good credit will be important. Fortunately, the 3 major credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - have made it easy to obtain your credit report. From now through April 2021, the bureaus are offering a free credit report, every week, for every American.

Please note, not every lender reports to every bureau. This leads to confusion, because your car loan may show up on one report, and your credit card, another. Lenders are aware of this, so they consider your credit behavior across the board. (Your overall credit score, or FICO score, is typically an average from all 3 bureaus.)

Your credit report is a history of your credit accounts, balances and payment habits. It includes a record of the addresses you've held and other personal info. The report isn't always error-free, which is why you should check it! Checking your...

Real Estate Trends Changing as Alaskans Hunker Down

While Alaskans "hunker down" and observe social distancing, the real estate market is going to slow. With business disruptions having a domino effect on incomes and the economy, a number of buyers and sellers will likely wait things out.

For Alaskan home buyers moving forward with their plans, there are 3 emerging trends to be aware of:

1. Mortgage lenders are beefing up credit quality. Higher credit scores, larger down payments and low debt-to-income ratios are being sought. Jumbo mortgages are seeing higher cash reserve requirements. 

2. If sellers postpone their sales plans, home inventory could become very limited. As of early March 2020, the Anchorage area had just under 2 months of supply in price ranges under $350,000.

3. On the upside, mortgage interest rates should remain very low for a while. 

For Alaskan home sellers, market...

Easy Ways to Add Storage to Your Alaskan Home

Maybe you own an Alaskan home that's on the smaller side or you are getting a jump on your spring cleaning and organizing everything in sight, maybe you simply desire more storage options to hide your belongings— regardless of the reason, every homeowner could use a little more storage to keep things feeling neat and tidy.

With spring just around the corner and a little more time at home in our future, we've rounded up the following easy tips to add storage to your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas. These are the perfect way to spring forward into the new season ahead and feel like you have a fresh start!

Storage Bed
The bedroom is the place where most homeowners desire storage. A place to hide closet overflow, books, linens,...

How to Go Green in Your Alaskan Home

Spring is nearly here and what better time to "green" your Alaskan home than now? It's actually easier than you think to turn your home into an eco paradise and you probably have all you need already on hand!

Make it a weekend project or go room by room this week to spring clean and spring green the property. What's more, when you're ready to sell, homebuyers in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond will notice that your home is already up to "green" standards or on it's way!

Detox the Bedroom
An easy way to "green" your bedroom is to detox all of the linens and especially the curtains. You may wash your sheets and bed linens often, but how about your pillows? Cleaning your pillows will help keep toxins and dust mites at bay. You can also keep mold away in the bedroom by opening your curtains and shades and letting the sun take care of any extra...

What You Should Know Before Refinancing Your Alaskan Home

The idea of cutting your monthly mortgage payment down by refinancing your loan may sound intriguing to you as an Alaskan homeowner, but there is much more to consider before diving in. In fact, there are cases in which refinancing does not truly pay off for the homeowner. But don't worry! As your local real estate experts, you can count on Madden Real Estate to help you make the best decision for your situation.

Below are four factors to consider before making the decision to refinance your mortgage:

Refinancing is not free
Just as you likely paid some closing costs when you purchased your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas, you will be required to again with refinancing. Closing costs...

5 Alaska Real Estate Reality TV Myths

Since it's winter in Alaska, we're all staying indoors a little more and perhaps you're even watching a few real estate reality TV shows— we've all seen a few by now! As these shows grow in popularity, it's important to keep in mind that not everything you see on your screen is actually reality.

Much of what takes place is staged and filmed in a much shorter timeline and as your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, we've included a much needed reality check for you below!

Myth: Buyers only choose from 3 homes
In nearly every reality TV show based on homebuyers, there are typically three homes toured before the buyer makes a decision and chooses one. While there may be a small percentage of buyers that truly buy one of the first few homes they see in Alaska, remember that the average homebuyers tours at least 10 homes during their...

Top 3 Features Alaskan Home Buyers Want This Spring

Homebuyers will soon be out in droves as the busy spring real estate season gets underway in Alaska. If you've already taken the steps to list your property in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, or beyond or are planning to sell soon, the next step involves highlighting your home's key features that buyers will love.

The following elements of your home may seem like nothing to you, but to buyers, they could be just what they are looking for— Don't be afraid to point them out!

Location
You've heard the phrase "location, location, location" before and it never holds more true than when assessing your home's value. Is your home located near restaurants, shopping and entertainment? Do you have an excellent commute time from your neighborhood? Buyers will want to know! And as your ...

Homebuyer Checklist: Documents You Will Need to Buy a Home in Alaska

When it comes to buying a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding communities, many do not know what is actually involved. From how much of a down payment you need to your credit score, numerous would-be Alaska homebuyers hold off as they do not think they will qualify.

But that shouldn't stop you this year as Madden Real Estate will walk you through everything you need, including the factors mentioned above, and these 5 documents that will be necessary to move forward with your Alaskan home purchase:

Recent paychecks
When determining your ability to take on a mortgage, your Alaska mortgage lender will want to see proof of income. In most cases, your last two pay stubs will do the trick! In others, they may want as much as two years worth, so be prepared!

...