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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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. ...
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.
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—...
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.
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,...
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 ...
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 ...
Whether you intend to be in your next home in Alaska for two years or twelve years, it is always important to determine resale value. After all, your home is an investment and you wouldn't want to invest in a property that you would have a hard time selling when the time comes to move on. That would only mean more money and homeowner headache for you down the road!
As your local real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla, Palmer, North Pole, and beyond, Madden Real Estate can help you determine the best possible property for your budget and your family's needs— and one with great resale value! Here are a few ways you can determine a property's resale value in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla, Palmer, North Pole and the surrounding communities...
If you haven't yet sat down to make a list of new year's resolutions for 2019, what better time is there than now? It's always a fun exercise to take stock of your goals for the year ahead and make a plan on how to achieve them. For many in Alaska, you might find that they are personal or health related, but one of your big resolutions or goals might be buying a home!
There are dozens of steps to take to successfully become a homeowner in 2019 and as your local real estate experts in Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Wasilla, Palmer and North Pole (and beyond!), Madden Real Estate is happy to help you make that a reality! Below are 5 new year's resolutions to make in order to buy an Alaskan home in the new year:
It might not be your favorite route toward ...
Buying a home in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole can be an overwhelming decision, especially if it's your first time navigating the real estate market. And since this is likely the largest purchase you will ever make, it's important that you try to avoid the common mistakes that homebuyers have encountered before you. That's where Madden Real Estate comes in! We have included a list below of five things not to do when buying a home in Alaska, so you can enjoy a smooth process and settle into your new home with no worries!
Don't shop without an agent
Navigating the real estate market can be tricky, so why go it alone? Let Madden Real Estate be your guide to homes for sale in Alaska! You will want an agent who has your...
If you're not fully prepared to navigate the Alaskan real estate market, it can be overwhelming— especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. It helps to know the facts from the beginning of your home search, as well as have a local real estate expert on your side, like our team at Madden Real Estate!
Below are four ways to start your home search in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, or Anchorage:
This should always be your first step when shopping for homes in Alaska. Even if the market begins to slow down, you will be able to better understand your budget and whether or not your dream home is within your reach. Not to mention, this documentation tells sellers that you are serious about...
You likely already have a picture in your head of what you'd like your dream home in Alaska to look like. Maybe it's a new construction home in a family-friendly neighborhood or maybe it's a fixer upper that you can make your own. If the latter is more your style, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for a certain set of features that will help you tell the difference between a property with potential and a money pit.
Below are four things to look for in Alaska fixer upper homes to avoid a homeowner headache down the road:
Sound Structural Elements
When you move into a new home in Alaska, it can be quite costly to need to replace major structural parts like the roof, foundation, or electrical...
You've found a buyer for your Alaska home, they've put in an offer, but now what? How can you be sure you won't receive a better offer than the one they submitted? Will you be able to accept a better deal if it comes along? As a home seller, you'll want to get to know the bump clause.
Bump clauses are getting a lot of air time in today's real estate market as they allow the seller to enter into a contract with a buyer while continuing to market their property. If they get a better offer, they can "bump" the original buyer.
Bump clauses are commonly used when a buyer has a contingency attached to their offer, meaning they need to sell their current home first or have placed the sale contingent upon factors like the inspection or appraisal. The bump clause will allow sellers to attempt to reach another buyer that may not come with any contingencies...
It is not uncommon for Alaskan homebuyers to sit on the fence, wondering if there will be a better time to purchase a home down the road. Will you be able to get a better deal on a property in a few months? Will the real estate market slow down? These are all valid questions, but it's also important to consider the flip side and what it could cost you if you choose to wait to buy a home.
In today's market, interest rates continue to rise and waiting as little as a few months could cost you more than you think in your monthly mortgage payment. According to real estate news outlet Keeping Current Matters, the cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
For instance, in today's real estate market with an interest rate of 4.4 percent on a $250,000...
Everyone loves a good deal— especially when it comes to real estate! However, in today's real estate market, actually purchasing a home for under asking price can be a rare occurrence. Real estate agents in Alaska—and all over the country, for that matter—typically advise against making lowball offers as you could risk offending the sellers and lose out on the home entirely.
But does that mean it can't be done? No! With the right expert on your side and under the right conditions, you can successfully make a lowball offer on a home in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole. Below are four scenarios that would call for making a low offer:
The home is outdated
Home sellers in Alaska can turn a blind eye to the outdated features...