Madden Real Estate

How to Lower Your Alaskan Home Utility Bills This Summer

The official start of summer is here in Alaska! And while we're all certainly looking forward to warmer temperatures, the summer heat can bring about a rise in utility bills for Alaskan homeowners.

There are dozens of ways to keep mounting utility costs at bay this year and as your real estate experts in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond, we are happy to share a few with you below!

Clean your air filters
It's important to clean your air filters to keep your heating and cooling bills down this summer. When filters are dirty, these systems have to work much harder and use much more energy to function properly. With clean filters, your home can run as it is meant to and help bring down your utility bills.

Install a new thermostat
If you haven't already, consider installing...

The 5 Most-Viewed Alaska Real Estate Markets

Alaska home buyers have been actively viewing online listings in recent months, and certain zip codes are leading the pack in buyer interest. According to a national listing aggregator, the most popular Alaskan real estate markets for the first quarter of 2020 are:

  • 99705 North Pole
  • 99712 Fairbanks
  • 99709 Fairbanks
  • 99701 Fairbanks
  • 99518 Anchorage

The markets with the most online views also show the fastest pace of home sales! During the first few months of the year, homes in the most popular zip code area of 99705 spent a median of 43 days on market. The next most popular area in 99712 saw homes spending a median of 63 days on market.

For Alaska homeowners, there’s a couple of big takeaways from this info. First, the way your home looks online...

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...

Easy Ways to Add Storage to Your Alaskan Home

Maybe you own an Alaskan home that's on the smaller side or you are getting a jump on your spring cleaning and organizing everything in sight, maybe you simply desire more storage options to hide your belongings— regardless of the reason, every homeowner could use a little more storage to keep things feeling neat and tidy.

With spring just around the corner and a little more time at home in our future, we've rounded up the following easy tips to add storage to your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas. These are the perfect way to spring forward into the new season ahead and feel like you have a fresh start!

Storage Bed
The bedroom is the place where most homeowners desire storage. A place to...

What You Should Know Before Refinancing Your Alaskan Home

The idea of cutting your monthly mortgage payment down by refinancing your loan may sound intriguing to you as an Alaskan homeowner, but there is much more to consider before diving in. In fact, there are cases in which refinancing does not truly pay off for the homeowner. But don't worry! As your local real estate experts, you can count on Madden Real Estate to help you make the best decision for your situation.

Below are four factors to consider before making the decision to refinance your mortgage:

Refinancing is not free
Just as you likely paid some closing costs when you purchased your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas, you will be required...

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...

Top 3 Features Alaskan Home Buyers Want This Spring

Homebuyers will soon be out in droves as the busy spring real estate season gets underway in Alaska. If you've already taken the steps to list your property in Fairbanks, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, or beyond or are planning to sell soon, the next step involves highlighting your home's key features that buyers will love.

The following elements of your home may seem like nothing to you, but to buyers, they could be just what they are looking for— Don't be afraid to point them out!

Location
You've heard the phrase "location, location, location" before and it never holds more true than when assessing your home's value. Is your home located near restaurants, shopping and entertainment? Do you have an excellent commute time from your neighborhood? Buyers will want to...

Homebuyer Checklist: Documents You Will Need to Buy a Home in Alaska

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:

Recent paychecks
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...

5 Money-Saving Tips for Alaska Buyers to Follow in the New Year

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...

How to Stand Out as an Alaska Home Buyer

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,...

Protect Your Alaskan Home from Winter Weather

There's no doubt, the weather is frightful out there with temperatures steadily dropping. If you're stuck at home or freezing as you head outside each morning, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take to protect your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and the surrounding areas this winter, especially from the harsh cold temperatures.

And of course, there are! Whether you've just purchased this home as a first-time homebuyer or you're a long-time homeowner in Alaska, the following steps can help you protect your home before the winter taks a toll on the property.

Keep Your Pipes Warm
Winter weather can cause homes in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and the...

Common Reasons Alaskan Homeowners Overprice Their Homes

With home sales prices rising, many residents in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and beyond have begun the process of listing their properties to take advantage of this time in the market. But one common disconnect between homeowners and their agents is the price at which they believe they should list the property.

The price homeowners have in mind is oftentimes not realistic for the local market and takes into account a variety of factors including their emotional ties to the home. Finding a comfortable price for you can be a major obstacle when selling your home and you may need to compromise— just take a look at these common reasons homeowners overprice their homes in Alaska:

You think your decor is the best
Naturally, ...

Top Tips for Selling Your Alaskan Home in the Fall

As you may have heard by now, the real estate market's supply of homes for sale is trending lower than it has been in past years. But does that mean you should shy away from listing your home in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, or the surrounding areas this fall? Absolutely not!

The real estate market could use your home and if you've been thinking about selling, below are the top tips for a successful sale during this time of year:

Clean up the yard
This time of year, the leaves have started to change and fall and may be cluttering up your yard. Take the time to rake all of the debris currently in your yard to make a nice impression on potential buyers who may drive by...

Alaska Home Buying Advice to Ignore This Year

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
When...

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 purchase.

...

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 mortgages...

4 Rules to Follow When Pricing Your Alaska Home This Year

It is a major step to sell your home in Alaska and one that brings many important decisions along with it. Homeowners in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole and beyond will need to tackle choosing when to list, staging and of course, pricing.

Pricing your home is a delicate process and it should be done right from the beginning. With our decades of real estate experience at Madden Real Estate, you can be assured we will arrive at the best price for your property and the area, but as a home seller, it is always wise to do the extra homework.

As you think over the pricing aspect of selling your Alaskan home, here are a few things to keep in mind:

The listing price is key
When you ...

How to Prepare Your Alaska Home to Sell This Summer

It's a busy season here in Alaska! In addition to summer vacations and fun in the sun, Alaskan homeowners will also be scheduling moves into the mix. This time of year, there is more time to pack, more time to scout where you'd like to live, more time to house hunt, more time to ensure you're getting the best possible deal and of course, more time to get your own home ready to sell.

Preparing your home to sell in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Wasilla, North Pole, and the surrounding areas is equally as important as where you're going next. Before you list your property this summer, consider tackling these 5 important tasks that can really make an impact on local Alaskan homebuyers:

Clean out the drains
You may not have thought about this prior to an open...

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. For instance, a...