Today, I want to talk about the five common real estate scams that are going on in the market right now. We're getting to our busy season and it's time to bring awareness to these so that you know what to look out for:
Loan flipping: Predatory lenders convince homeowners to refinance their homes multiple times, charging higher fees and costs with each refinancing. It's advisable to work with trusted professional lenders.
Foreclosure relief: Scammers claim they can save homes from foreclosure or reduce mortgage payments for a large upfront fee. Homeowners should be cautious and avoid paying upfront fees without verifying the legitimacy of the service.
Fake listings and rental scams: Scammers create fraudulent rental listings, often using legitimate property information from MLS listings, and advertise them on platforms like Craigslist. They ask for payment upfront without the intention of renting the property. It's essential to...
Once you've found the perfect Alaskan home, made an offer, and had it accepted, you'll need to make it through the mortgage closing before you are handed your keys. You may be anxious to officially become a homeowner, but the time it takes to close is dependent on a variety of factors— some of which are in your control!
If you're planning to buy a new home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the following things that can slow down your mortgage closing:
Making big purchases
You may be excited about your new home, but resist the urge to buy new furniture and decor until after the closing. Making big purchases on credit cards can signal a red flag to lenders who will pull your credit just before closing to ensure it is still...
You may have heard that pre-approval is a great first step in the homebuying process. But why is it so important? When looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. So, before you start shopping around for homes in Alaska, it’s helpful to know your price range, what you’re comfortable within a monthly mortgage payment, and ultimately how much money you can borrow for your loan. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to do this.
According to a recent survey from Realtor.com, many buyers are making the mistake of skipping the pre-approval step in the homebuying process. In fact, only half obtained a pre-approval letter before beginning their home search, which means half are missing this...
While you may be watching mortgage rates rise (the average 30-year fixed rate currently hovering around 7 percent) and the number of homes to choose from on the lower end, there is one important concept to consider— buying a home in Alaska is still a better investment than renting.
We know that buying a home can feel like a major obstacle for many first-timers in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, but passing on the opportunity this year could create an even bigger hurdle later as rents will only continue to rise and the days of the 3 percent mortgage rate may be long behind us.
Below are three reasons why homeownership...
As a buyer in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas, it is essential to consider all costs association with your new home. Everything from maintenance to renovation, repairs and closing costs should be factored in to ensure that you do not have any surprises or worries down the road. But if you’re purchasing a new construction home in Alaska, it’s also important to be aware of the costs you’ll have after the closing.
Below are four costs you will have after the purchase of your new construction home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas:
Yes, all homeowners will have utilities to factor into their...
You may be watching both home prices and mortgage rates tick upwards in today’s unpredictable real estate market, wondering if buying a home right now is your best bet. While it may be an expensive endeavor, your goal of owning a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas is not out of reach.
There are many strategies for saving money and staying on budget while buying a home in Alaska and as your local real estate experts, we are listing four to try below. Continue on for top tactics for becoming a homeowner in the current real estate market.
Get a Low or No Down Payment Loan
If the thought of putting 20 percent down on a home causes you stress or makes you want to toss your homebuyer dreams out the window, take a deep breath. Many...
No matter where you live—Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole—the upcoming spring season is often a busy time to buy a new home. The weather is warming up, you can take advantage of mortgage rates before they rise again, and and you can settle into your new property before the summer starts.
However, with moving also comes waves of excitement and nerves that can cause you to forget a few things along the way (more than just an extra box or two!). You can count on Madden Real Estate to make sure your moving process is as stress-free as possible— take the following five steps into consideration as you plan out your move to a new home in Alaska:
Clean the carpets
You never know what kind of dust, dirt or pet dander has accumulated in your new home’s...
While you may have seen dozens of real estate reality TV shows that make it look as simple as touring three homes and then choosing the best one, there is so much more to house hunting in Alaska. In fact, there are a few rules of thumb to follow in order to avoid any buyer’s remorse or financial obstacles down the road.
As your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, and North Pole, Madden Real Estate has put together four mistakes to avoid when house hunting this year to make your experience as smooth as possible:
Don’t Skip the Pre-Approval
Working with a lender on your mortgage pre-approval should be your first step in your Alaska home purchase process....
With rising mortgage rates, home prices, inflation, and the lack of homes for sale in Alaska, there are many reasons to be frustrated when looking to buy a home right now. And while it may feel challenging to both find a property and close the deal, there may be good news on the horizon.
"While the median list price for a home is still a staggering $435,000," Realtor.com reports. "Prices [recently] dropped for the first time in six years—by $15,000."
The industry outlet goes on to state that the national inventory of active listings increased by 30.7%, a record-high growth rate. "As a result, the housing market may be headed toward a state of balance not seen since the COVID-19 pandemic led to a full-blown seller’s market," they speculated.
So what can you do this year if you're ready to buy but feeling fed up with market conditions? We're sharing three...
Fall is a great time to become a homeowner in Alaska! Not only is a new season just beginning, but you have the opportunity to secure a low interest rate and settle into a home before the cold weather arrives.
But what if you’re currently a renter in the Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole areas? Don’t worry! Madden Real Estate has provided a few ways below that you can prepare to take advantage of this exciting time in the local real estate market.
Research all of the costs
There are more costs involved with owning a home than just your monthly mortgage payment. For first time buyers, this may come as a surprise, but with the proper amount of research, you will be able to determine exactly how much you can afford in a home. Costs like property taxes, homeowners...
Did you know misconceptions and myths are what holds would-be homebuyers back most in Alaska? Buying a home is indeed one of the biggest steps you will ever take, but don’t allow what you assume is true or required to become fact without first doing the research.
As your local real estate experts in Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas, Madden Real Estate is happy to help you clear a few things up! Below are three myths surrounding mortgages that may be keeping you from purchasing your dream home in Alaska:
Myth: Your best credit scores will be used
When you apply jointly with another borrower for a mortgage in Alaska, your lender will take the middle of three...
As we’ve mentioned in past blog posts, there are many “hidden costs” of buying a home in Alaska and that goes for moving too! It is so secret that the moving process can be overwhelming. After all, you’re on your way to settle into your dream home. It’s both exciting and new and as a result, it can be easy to overlook a few key items like fees along the way.
If you’re moving to a new home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, or the surrounding areas this summer, it is important to keep an eye out for these extra fees that could pop up when changing homes. Even little things like disposing of packing materials can add up in charges.
Packing and Unpacking
If you don’t take the time to carefully package each item or piece of furniture, you could risk damaging them in your move. However, some new homeowners just do...
When you're shopping for a new home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole, you'll want to research everything from the square footage to the property taxes to, perhaps the most important, the neighborhood. But with technology 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 Alaska 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 Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, and North Pole. 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.
Use Google Maps...
Summer is a busy time in the real estate market, with Alaskan homebuyers taking the time to tour homes for sale through open houses. However, if you're a first-time homebuyer, you may not know how to act at an open house. Don't worry! Like any aspect of Alaska real estate, there are guidelines to follow as you visit them this summer, but we're here to walk you through it!
As you head out to visit available properties in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, and North Pole this year, keep the following tips in mind to practice smart homebuyer etiquette and soon you'll be a pro!
Watch the other homebuyers
Take note of your surroundings as you visit open houses in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, and North Pole, watching the other homebuyers and...
Summer is upon us and it's an exciting time in local real estate! The conditions are ideal for moving, homebuyers are feeling motivated, and Alaskan home sellers are ready for a change of scenery. However, despite the market statistics on rising mortgage rates and housing prices, there are still a few buyers on the fence.
If you find yourself wondering if now is the right time to buy in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole, consider these top five reasons to own a home:
Paying rent is not the best investment
If you're currently renting, ask yourself where your money is going every month. When you rent a home in Alaska, you are paying down your landlord's mortgage, not your own. When you own a home, you are paying down your own mortgage and...
When it comes to buying a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, and the surrounding Alaskan communities, there are many options for mortgage loans. Alaska homebuyers can shop around for a mortgage loan and see what works best for them and their finances.
As your local Alaskan real estate experts, Madden Real Estate is here to offer you some general information on your down payment options. There are many programs out there now that allow to you put down as little as 3 or 5 percent on an Alaskan home. With VA loans for veterans, you don’t need any down payment.
These programs are wonderful for families who do not have 20 percent saved for a home, as they...
Real estate has just been voted the best investment for the eighth year in a row— better than stocks, gold, and savings! But that’s not all real estate can hold its own against by comparison.
Real estate is also a time-honored inflation hedge. In fact, for the last decade, home price appreciation has beat inflation by several percentage points.
During times where inflation is mounting, rising costs of rent can also be a major concern. However, as a homeowner, fixed-rate mortgages can help you keep your monthly housing payment the same.
“A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same,” said James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrate. “That’s certainly not the case...
As we get closer toward spring (it does come around eventually!), dozens of Alaska residents begin to contemplate buying a new home. In fact, spring is the time of year when the real estate market starts to really heat up and buyers descend upon local homes for sale!
However, if you're a first-time buyer in Alaska this year or are feeling overwhelmed by the process, don't worry! It may be best to break it down into simple steps, so you too can take advantage of this exciting time.
You can count on Madden Real Estate to clarify any questions you have about buying a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas and simplify the path to homeownership.
Below are five steps to get you started as a homebuyer:
Once you've found your dream home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole, it can be hard to erase the picture from your mind. You start to envision yourself living in the space, how your furniture will fit, and what paint colors you will choose. But in today's real estate market, you may find yourself competing with cash buyers who can snag the home quicker and easier than those with financing.
You will need an edge to land the property over those cash buyers and below are a few ways for you to do just that:
Be straightforward about your finances
Sellers often accept cash deals as every aspect of the transaction is laid out on the table for them to see. As a buyer with financing, it is essential that you do the same if you are to compete with cash buyers. Be straightforward with your finances— provide a pre-approval letter, allow your lender...
When it comes to buying a home in Alaska, you would be surprised by the number of potential buyers that sit back because they do not think they will qualify for a mortgage. However, the reality is that qualifying for a mortgage is simpler than you think and as a result, you are missing out on the many benefits of homeownership!
If you're sick of renting in Alaska, given the increasing costs each year, and are ready to settle into a place of your own, now is the time! Don't allow yourself to put off homeownership any longer, just research the facts.
Consider the following your checklist of what it takes to qualify for a mortgage in the Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole areas:
1. A Down Payment
Did you know nearly half of all Alaskan homebuyers believe...