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.
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.
Alaskan home buyers can expect closing costs to span...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
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.
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...
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,...
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.
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...
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...
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,...
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 of your...
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:...