The two major costs associated with buying a home in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding communities are the down payment and the monthly mortgage. However, there are a few others that buyers tend to overlook— causing both surprise and shock when the time comes to sign on the dotted line.
It is always wise to do your homework prior to house-hunting in Alaska to ensure that you understand each and every one of the costs involved.
Below are four hidden costs of buying a home and to avoid disappointment later, it is important to factor them into your budget before you find the one.
Alaskan home buyers can expect closing costs...
When shopping for a home in Alaska, there will be many factors to consider, making it easy to overlook others. For instance, if you're concerned with the number of bedrooms, you may be quick to pass over how long your commute might be in this new location (if you're not working at home these days, that is).
As your local Alaskan real estate experts, Madden Real Estate has included below five factors not to overlook in homes in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond:
Your commute time
As we mentioned above, if you're not working from home and are driving into work, it is important to take into account how long it will take you to get there each day from a new location. You may love the home itself, but if it's going to take you much longer to commute every day, you will want to...
If you're on the fence about buying a home in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, or the surrounding areas, you might be surprised to know that what's been holding you back is a complete myth!
There are dozens of myths flying around the Alaska real estate market surrounding everything from necessary credit scores to the documents you need to qualify for a mortgage.
As your local Alaska real estate experts, we're debunking some of the most common Alaskan homebuying myths below so you can buy a home with confidence this year!
Myth: You need a perfect credit score
Many would-be homebuyers are held back from the process simply because they don't...
We're just days away from the new year and we're all glad to put 2020 behind us! There will be much to look forward to in the coming months, and we are excited to report one of them is the real estate market!
As your local real estate experts in Alaska, we are including below three of the most important reasons we can be optimistic about real estate in 2021.
The economy will only improve
According to Tim Duy from the University of Oregon, “There is nothing fundamentally ‘broken’ in the economy that needs to heal…there was no obvious financial bubble driving excessive activity in any one economic sector when the pandemic hit…With Covid-19 cases surging again, it is understandably hard to look optimistically to the other side of this winter…Don’t let the near-term challenges distract from the economic...
Despite the current global health situation, Alaska real estate is still booming! In fact, during a time when you'll find yourself thinking you're one of few trekking through the snow to find the perfect Alaskan home, you might be surprised to know other buyers are out in high numbers doing the same thing.
This winter will be different in the local real estate market and assumptions you have about buying an Alaskan home in the winter could cost you.
Below we're sharing five common mistakes to avoid when buying a home during this time of year. After all, you don't want to lose out on your dream home just because you thought others were waiting until spring to buy!
Ending up in Holiday Debt
In order to remain in good standing to ...
Moving to a new home in Alaska can be a stressful process, no matter what time of year it is.
In fact, failing to do enough research before your move can cause even more problems that will dampen your excitement about your fresh, new start.
As your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding communities, Madden Real Estate is sharing three common moving hassles that can throw a wrench into new homeowner plans for an easy transition.
Each of these can be avoided with enough planning and research, so you will want to begin long before Moving Day!
1. Not Researching the Moving Company
When you're choosing a moving company to help shuffle your belongings from home to home, it is important to do the background work. Gather recommendations from family and...
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?
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 to...
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 ...
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.
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...
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...
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.
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:
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...
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...
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,...
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 communities, Madden 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...
While you are shopping for a home in Alaska this year, your friends and family will likely offer all kinds of tips and advice relating to the purchase— things they learned from their experience with home buying or information they've heard about the current Alaska real estate market.
But that doesn't mean you should follow every tip they give you; in fact, it is always best to consult your real estate agent with any questions you have.
As your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, Madden Real Estate has included four pieces of home buying advice NOT to follow this year to help steer you in the right direction and avoid any regrets later:
Wait until prices drop to buy a home
Fall can still be a busy homebuying season for those in Alaska and with more sellers confident in listing their Alaskan homes, it's important to keep the real estate rules of the road in mind. Below are just a few real estate rules to remember, like using an experienced real estate agent, that should help you in your home search or sale this fall:
Don't Make an Offer Without Pre-Approval
Know what you can afford. This all starts with a pre-approval, meaning a lender has vetted your credit and financials and is willing to continue with the mortgage process. A pre-approval letter will tell the real estate agent and home seller how much you can afford in a home and the confidence that you are able to follow through on the purchase.
With mortgage rates still hovering around historically low rates and home values rising, many Alaska homeowners are currently contemplating a move. 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 experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, 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 Alaska, the type of mortgage you obtain is crucial. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be for you if you're not planning on being in the home for an extended amount of time. Adjustable-rate mortgages...