Homebuyer Tips

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...

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...

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
...

New Year's Resolutions to Help You Buy a Home in Alaska

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:

Eliminate indulgences
It might not be your favorite route toward ...

5 Things Not to Do When Buying a Home in Alaska in 2019

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...

Why Fall Is a Great Time to Buy a Fairbanks AK Home

Fall is here in Alaska and with the changing of the seasons comes a new opportunity to start fresh in a new home! Summer may indeed be one of the busiest times for real estate, but that doesn't mean your time to buy ends when the clock strikes fall.

Now is one of the best times to make a move to a new home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla and North Pole and we've included a reasons for you below:

Mortgage rates are rising
It is true that mortgage rate are still near record lows in Alaska, but they won't stay this way forever! 30-year mortgage rates have already increased half a percentage point and are expected to rise again over the next 12 months. In fact, by this time next...

4 Reasons Why Lenders Reject Alaska Mortgage Applications

If you're just beginning the home buying process in Alaska, your first step will be getting pre-approved with a local lender. Next up? Finding your dream home and submitting a mortgage application to keep the purchase moving forward. However, many buyers find their application in the rejection pile due to factors they weren't aware of at the time. 

As your local real estate experts, Madden Real Estate has provided below four reasons why your mortgage application may be rejected so you can be sure to avoid them:

You don't have enough credit
While poor credit can put you in a sticky situation with lenders, not enough credit can do just the same. It is essential to build...

How to Tell a Great Fixer Upper in Alaska from a Money Pit

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,...

What is a Bump Clause in Alaska Real Estate?

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...

The Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home in Alaska— Rising Interest Rates!

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...

When to Make a Lowball Offer in Alaska Real Estate

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...

Questions to Ask Yourself While Shopping for Houses in Alaska

Spring is officially here in Alaska and the real estate market is only beginning to heat up for the busy season ahead! And while it can be easy to get ahead of yourself when you first begin to search for Alaska homes for sale, it is important to first outline your priorities to streamline the process— and avoid falling in love with a property that's out of your budget!

Below are three important questions to ask yourself as you begin house-hunting in Eagle River, Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, Fairbanks, and North Pole:

How long do I plan to be in this home?
Before you can start searching for properties, ask yourself if this is a forever home. How long do you plan to stay?...

5 Things to Avoid When Preparing to Buy a Home in Fairbanks AK

With spring just around the corner and the Alaska real estate market preparing to pick up for the busy season ahead, there are numerous buyers on the fence wondering about their first step. Should I get pre-approved? Should we wait until we have a 20 percent down payment?

All of the questions running through your head are important to answer to get a better handle on the mortgage process, and as your local real estate experts, we're breaking down the steps you should avoid so you can embark on your homebuying journey with few hiccups along the way.

Do Not: Wait until you have a 20 percent down payment
Mortgage rates today are still hovering around historic lows— but not for...

What You Should Know About Shopping for an Alaska Home in the Winter

Gone are the days where homebuyers only searched for properties in Alaska when the weather was warmer, they happened upon a listing in the newspaper, or drove by a For Sale sign. In today's Alaskan real estate market, buyers are always switched "on," constantly looking for properties on their smartphones and computers, even setting up search parameters so potential homes land in their email inbox. 

It doesn't pay to wait as a homebuyer in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole. Your dream home could be waiting for you—even in the winter months—so...

Why 2018 Is the Best Year for Buying a House in Fairbanks AK

It's a brand new year in Alaska and if you've started to map out your goals for the upcoming months, you might find buying a house in Fairbanks among the top priorities— and rightfully so! 2018 will be one of the best years for homebuyers to make a purchase and below we've included four reasons why you won't want to delay:

Inventory is returning
For the majority of the last year, inventory in the local real estate market has been lower, thus making it challenging for some buyers to find the right home that checks all of their boxes. However, 2018 will spark a recovery in inventory, especially in the middle to upper price ranges. ...

Should You Buy a Home in Alaska During the Holidays?

The holiday hustle and bustle is just beginning in Alaska— from gatherings with friends and family to decking the halls, shopping, and even traveling. This time of year is undoubtedly one of the busiest and moving may be the last thing on your mind, but does that mean you should wait to buy a home in Alaska

As your local real estate experts in Alaska, you can count on Madden Real Estate to help you find your dream home and identify the best opportunities to do so— one of which is right now! Below are three reasons to consider buying a home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, or North Pole during the holidays:

There is less competition...

Prepare for Closing Costs When Buying a Home in Alaska

The process of buying a home in Alaska can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially if it's your first time conducting a home search. There are many details to get in order, from the number of bedrooms you need to the best location, and it is easy for a few to fall through the cracks. One in particular that is commonly overlooked is the amount you will owe in closing costs. 

Many first-time homebuyers in Alaska are not aware of closing costs, but as your local experts in Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and the surrounding communities, you can count on Madden Real Estate to ensure you know exactly what you're in for in today's real estate market.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are made up of...

4 Hidden Costs of Homeownership in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Wasilla AK

Once you've made the decision to buy a home in Alaska, your next few steps will likely be entirely financial. From making a budget to going over your finances to meeting with a lender and getting pre-approved, every cost involved with your Alaskan home purchase should be considered to avoid any surprises.

However, many new homeowners in Fairbanks, Anchorage, North Pole, Wasilla, Eagle River, and Palmer often find there are a few hidden costs that they didn't account for going into the process. As your local real estate experts, you can count on Madden Real Estate to fully prepare you for buying a home—...

When a 30-Year Mortgage Is Not for You in Fairbanks AK Real Estate

One of the first steps you will take on your homebuying journey in Alaska is meeting with a lender to discuss your eligibility to take on a mortgage loan. You will likely be given a few quotes based on different loan products, each varying by terms, conditions, and interest rates. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is a common choice for homebuyers in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and the surrounding areas, however, there are a few reasons why this mortgage may not be for you.

As you decide which mortgage may be right for you this year, consider the following reasons to choose a loan other than the 30-year fixed-rate option:

...

What to Ask the Seller Before You Move into a New Alaskan Home

Excitement runs high when you purchase a new home in Alaska— you start to envision where all of your belongings will go, where your family members will stay, the purposes for each room, you name it. But remember, there is only one person that knows the property better than you at the moment and that is the seller.

In order to avoid any surprises down the road, and to get to know certain quirks that the home may have (that won't be listed on the inspection report!), Alaskan homebuyers can ask the seller the following questions:

What quirks does the home have?
Does the window in the bedroom stick when it gets warmer? Does the refridgerator make noises from time to time? You'll want to gather all of the facts...