Alaska Homebuyers

Should You Upsize or Downsize in Alaska This Year?

If you are a current Alaskan homeowner or renter, now may be the time to consider if your living space is suitable for both your immediate and future needs. Given the high number of buyers in today’s market and rapidly rising home prices, local buyers should act sooner rather than later when it comes to selling your Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole home and moving on to make a purchase.

As your local Alaskan real estate experts, Madden Real Estate understands the importance of moving up (or down!) if it means your home will be better suited to your needs. How can you tell which is right for you this summer? We’re including a few of our best tips for you below!

If you’re not sure if you need to upsize or downsize ...

5 Questions to Ask Alaskan Mortgage Lenders This Summer

Buying a home in Alaska is undoubtedly one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime. It's important to thoroughly research ahead of time, especially as you begin the mortgage process and working with an Alaskan lender.

However, finding a lender you trust can be a process in itself, not to mention remembering to ask the proper questions. Below we've included five great questions to ask Alaskan lenders this year as you prepare to buy a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla, Palmer, North Pole or the surrounding areas.

1. Is now a good time for me to buy?
A lender will look at your financial situation and determine if now is the best time for you to buy a home.

2. Which...

The Extra Costs of Buying a Home in Alaska

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.

Closing Costs
Alaskan home buyers can expect closing costs to span...

Don't Overlook These 5 Things When Shopping for Alaskan Homes

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 weigh...

3 Common Alaska Real Estate Myths to Ignore When Buying a Home

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 think...

3 Obstacles to Avoid When Moving to a New Alaskan Home

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 communitiesMadden 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 friends,...

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?

Below are...

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 to all of the...

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 outnumber sellers...

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. 

Use...

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 "Alaska...

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. ...

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,...

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 these...

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, so...

Alaska Home Buying Advice to Ignore This Year

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
When...

Rules of Real Estate for Alaskan Homebuyers

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.

...

3 Things to Consider Before Moving to a Bigger Alaskan Home

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...

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