When you first move into a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla or North Pole, you might be overwhelmed with home project ideas. From painting the house to renovating the kitchen, it's hard to prioritize what needs to be done and how to stay on budget.
If you've just moved into your Alaskan home or are in the process of house hunting and deciding which home to buy, below are a few tips to help you stay on task.
Take notes around the home
Any time you decide to take on a home project, you should plan out the process and assess the conditions of the space. For instance, what needs to be done versus what you'd like to get done first. Is the flooring damaged? Are the appliances not running their best? These may be prioritized...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
With home sales prices rising, many residents in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond have begun the process of listing their properties to take advantage of this time in the market. But one common disconnect between homeowners and their agents is the price at which they believe they should list the property.
The price homeowners have in mind is oftentimes not realistic for the local market and takes into account a variety of factors including their emotional ties to the home. Finding a comfortable price for you can be a major obstacle when selling your home and you may need to compromise— just take a look at these common reasons homeowners overprice their homes in Alaska:
You think your decor is the best
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...
It is a major step to sell your home in Alaska and one that brings many important decisions along with it. Homeowners in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and beyond will need to tackle choosing when to list, staging and of course, pricing.
Pricing your home is a delicate process and it should be done right from the beginning. With our decades of real estate experience at Madden Real Estate, you can be assured we will arrive at the best price for your property and the area, but as a home seller, it is always wise to do the extra homework.
As you think over the pricing aspect of selling your Alaskan home, here are a few things to keep in mind:
The listing price is key
When you ...
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?...
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
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:...
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...
So, you think you want to buy a fixer upper home in Alaska? While your dreams of renovating a property may be driven by what you've seen on real estate or home improvement television shows, it's important to remember that the reality of updating a home from start to finish can be much more time-consuming, tedious, expensive, and drawn-out than you realize.
As your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, I am sharing below three things to do before you commit to buying fixer upper homes in Alaska this year:
Research the location
Not only should you research the location of a home before purchasing, but also look into the zoning. What you may not know is that every community has zoning districts and restrictions surrounding what can and cannot be done to homes within their limits. You will want to take a close look at the zoning...