Alaskan Homebuyers

3 Reasons to Be Optimistic About Alaskan Real Estate in 2021

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...

5 Alaska Real Estate Mistakes to Avoid When Buying in Winter

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 ...

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...

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?...

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...

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. 

...

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...

Credit Report Info for Alaska Home Buyers

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...

Real Estate Trends Changing as Alaskans Hunker Down

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. 

For Alaskan...

5 Alaska Real Estate Reality TV Myths

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 tours...

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...

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...

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....

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...

Money-Saving Tips for Alaska Homebuyers To Follow This Spring

While we are only days into the new season, this spring is already projected as a stand-out period for first-time buyers to enter the real estate market. Mortgage rates are still historically low, home prices are rising in addition to rents and first-timers are ready to invest into something of their very own in Alaska.

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 to our experts at Madden Real Estate with any questions!

Look past cosmetic issues
Many first-time buyers in Anchorage, Eagle River,...