Madden Real Estate's Blog

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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!...

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...

5 Money-Saving Tips for Alaska Buyers to Follow in the New Year

While we are only days away from the new year (and still much more winter ahead!), the upcoming spring season is always a stand-out period for first-time buyers to enter the real estate market.

Why? Mortgage rates are still low, home prices are rising in addition to rents, and first-timers are ready to invest into something of their very own in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond.

But when you are new to purchasing a home, you can overlook the many ways you can potentially save money in the process. Keep the following in mind as you house hunt this spring and as always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Look past cosmetic issues
Many first-time buyers in Alaska tour a home only to write it off because they didn't like the paint colors. Remember that...

5 Things to Avoid That Will Turn Off Alaska Buyers

With the majority of buyers today starting their Alaskan home search online, it is important to wow them during this initial look. If Fairbanks or Anchorage area buyers see something they don't like just from flipping through listing photos, they are less likely to ever make it to the front door for a showing or visit an open house.

So how do you pique the interest of buyers in Alaska without turning them off? Below are five things you will want to avoid as a home seller in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and the surrounding areas:

Do not convert your garage
Keep in mind that a large number of buyers who will begin house hunting this spring are first-timers who are tired of renting, with others simply in the market for more space (which...

How to Stand Out as an Alaska Home Buyer

Temperatures may be dropping as we get closer to the official start of winter, but buyer activity is still picking up! The number of Alaska residents planning to buy a new home does not halt and go into hibernation during the winter, in fact buyers now look for homes all year long!

So with homebuyers in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, and North Pole flocking to local markets, how can you stand out? Grab a pen and paper and make yourself a checklist to ensure you're on the right track to buy a home in Alaska.

Here are a few tips to give you that homebuyer edge over the others during this time of year— and even into spring:

Clean Your Finances
After you deck the halls this holiday season, turn your attention to your finances. A seller doesn't know your financial situation,...

Breaking Down the Mortgage Process in Alaska

Buying a home in Alaska has many steps— from getting pre-approved to house hunting to beginning the mortgage process. And while finding your dream home may not be a quick and easy feat, the mortgage process can appear much scarier to some buyers.

As your real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, and the surrounding communitiesMadden Real Estate looks forward to simplifying the real estate process for our clients, including the process of obtaining a mortgage!

Remember, your real estate agent can always recommend local Alaska finance and mortgage professionals to put you at ease!

What else do you need to know about the mortgage process? The following should help break it down and further calm your nerves about...

Protect Your Alaskan Home from Winter Weather

There's no doubt, the weather is frightful out there with temperatures steadily dropping. If you're stuck at home or freezing as you head outside each morning, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take to protect your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and the surrounding areas this winter, especially from the harsh cold temperatures.

And of course, there are! Whether you've just purchased this home as a first-time homebuyer or you're a long-time homeowner in Alaska, the following steps can help you protect your home before the winter taks a toll on the property.

Keep Your Pipes Warm
Winter weather can cause homes in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and the...