Alaska Homebuyers

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...

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...

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. 

...

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!...

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...

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...

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,...

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
...

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...

Alaskan Real Estate Dealbreakers for Buyers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and North Pole AK

As you're shopping for homes in Alaska, you're likely taking note of features like paint color, flooring, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and even yard size. These are all essential in determining whether a property is for you, but there are also a few others that should ultimately raise red flags and cause you to move on to the next home in your search.

With decades of experience in helping buyers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, North Pole, Palmer, Wasilla, and the surrounding areas find their dream homes, I have included three deal breakers below to ensure you're not purchasing an Alaskan home that will be a source of stress later.

Floor plan
Cosmetic elements like paint colors and flooring can easily be changed, but altering the floor plan of a home may not be in the cards— and may be extremely costly. For instance,...

Where to Save for a Down Payment in Fairbanks AK

For homebuyers in Alaska this summer, saving for the down payment is one of the biggest hurdles in front of the finish line. In the past, we've shared how to start saving for the down payment, but you might be wondering where to keep the money.

Below are four options for risk-free accounts in which you can keep your down payment. You may sacrifice return, but you can be assured the money will be there when you need it to purchase your home in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or the surrounding areas!

Online savings account
Compare online rates to determine which online savings account is best, but this may be the easiest option for moving around funds. You can track the money easily via online banking and set up transfers in a snap. You also don't need to worry about the bank not being open when you need to pull your down payment.

CD or Certificate of Deposit...

How to Know If You're Ready to Buy a Home in Alaska

With the rising costs of rent in Alaska, it is no longer a smart financial decision for area residents to choose renting over buying. Not to mention, mortgage rates are still historically low!

However, if this is your first time purchasing a home in Alaska, you need to be ready to assume the responsibility of homeownership. Here are four questions to ask yourself to determine if now is the right time for you to buy:

Can you afford the costs?
If you have been saving for a downpayment and other costs over the past few years, you'll be in great shape this summer. You should have enough to cover 20% of the home's purchase price to secure the best mortgage rate and avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).

It is also wise to be prepared to pay closing costs which can typically range from 2 to 5% of the home's purchase price.

Can you afford the payment?
...

How to Move Your Fairbanks or Anchorage AK Closing Along This Summer

Buying a home in Alaska is a process that ultimately ends with your closing. However, there can be some bumps along the way that cause the closing date to be pushed back.

Closing delays can be caused by both the Fairbanks or Anchorage area home seller and the homebuyer— but, don't be dismayed! There are steps you can take to ensure the process moves smoothly this summer:

Have your agent help
Once your property is under contract in the Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla, Palmer, or North Pole area, your real estate agent can check in with all of the parties involved once (or more!) per week. An expert real estate agent can notice surprises or changes in the transaction and work ahead to prevent any delays.

Keep in touch with your lender
...

How to Avoid Buyer's Remorse in Alaska Real Estate

House-hunting can be a lot of fun for new buyers in the Alaska real estate market, but your judgement can also quickly get away from you. It is easy to focus more on features of the home rather than costs like upkeep and utilities and buyer's remorse can set in after you've signed on the dotted line.

But as your local real estate experts in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and beyond, it is our priority to ensure buyer's remorse never crosses your mind! Madden Real Estate will work with you to determine your wants versus needs as well as what is realistic for you in terms of price and home size.

In the meantime, keep in mind the following four common sources of homebuyer's remorse, especially as you tour available properties in Anchorage, Chugiak, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and beyond:

...

What Do You Actually Need to Qualify for a Mortgage in Alaska?

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, 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:

1. A Down Payment
Did you know nearly half of all homebuyers believe...