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...
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....
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:
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...
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
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...
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 year, rates are...
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 your credit history...
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...
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? If the answer is only for a few years,...
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 much longer! We've seen rates ticking upwards...
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 you'll want to consider the following...
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.