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March Madness!

by Eric Bushnell
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March Madness is beginning and with it we eagerly look forward to spring.  In other parts of the country you may already have spring but here in Alaska, spring comes a little later in the year.  On Sunday we changed our clocks for the annual Spring forward, and this time of year this is a welcome change.  When I arrive home from work the sun is up and bright, and the sun is up well past 8 pm. 

Spring is coming, and the snow is melting!

We are definitely on our way to Spring.  The temps are still a chilly 10-20 degrees at night; last Saturday morning the temp was -5.  By afternoon the weather was cooperating and we were up to 29 degrees, a beautiful day.  Plenty of time for outdoor activities.

As I ramble along about the weather it is important to realize that this increase in daylight and temperatures is what is needed to move the Real Estate Market forward.  This coming weekend is the Annual Spring Preview of Homes.  This annual showcase of new homes currently under construction by our local builders signals the start of the building season.  the builders are excited this year and more new homes are currently under construction than last year at this time.

The national new homes starts were down in February by 5.4% over last year; that is mainly due to the extreme storms the lower 48 suffered through (I'm so sorry).  Here in Alaska the winter has been mild and the frost is not too deep; so lets start building.  Come out this weekend a see what new; I think you will learn something about your own home by just visiting a new construction site.  You can see how homes are built; discover the mysteries inside the walls.

Local Market information

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 The local real estate market has been steady through the winter months, but there have been less sales then in recent years.  There are less homes available for sale; this is keeping the sales prices fairly stable.  Chugiak and Eagle River currently have just over 140 homes available for sale, and 73 homes already in pending status.

These are good signs for home owners.  Your homes value is not disappearing before your eyes.  For those of you on your way out of Alaska, the timing for you is excellent.  Now is a great time to have you home up for sale.  Make sure you are realistic about the price you want for your home and you should be able to see it in a reasonable amount of time.

There appears to be movement in the Armed Services.  We have seen many new Army families arriving at Fort Richardson and we anticipate many new Air Force families arriving in the coming months.  Spring is the time of year we see the new faces arrive and old friends leaving.  Hopefully they will be back someday.

Springtime in Alaska is coming and with it the sunshine and hope of a new day.  Lucky for all of us here in Alaska, life is pretty good.  Take few minutes, enjoy March Madness and then get outside and enjoy Alaska.  By the way, while your out stop by Powder Ridge in eagle river and say hi, I will be there this weekend showcasing a new home by Nolan Homes, LLC..  Its only about 60 days away from completion.

A One-Weekend Garage Makeover

by Eric Bushnell
 

 I found this article online in several places, so I cannot take credit for writing it and I do not know who the original author is.  I would like to give them credit because this is a very good blog.

  A One-Weekend Garage Makeover

  Small Pic Garages are the most hardworking spaces in your home. Investing a few hundred dollars in garage organization tools during one weekend will pay off in savings of both time and money.

 A clean and organized garage saves you time by keeping essentials in clear view, so you can find what you need without tripping over items or causing an avalanche whenever you pull something from the bottom of a pile.

 You'll also save money because your sporting goods and tools will last longer when they’re stored safe from moisture, heavy weights and dust. Even your car will be protected from falling skis.

 Step 1: Aim for spotless clean and clutter free
Start by cleaning out the junk. Release the clutter of your garage by selling or throwing away the things you never use. Getting rid of unneeded possessions makes more space for the ones you do need and use. Once that clutter is dwindled down to the necessities, organize it by category: athletic supplies, lawn and garden tools, carpentry tools, etc.

 Step 2: Use suitable storage units
Take a look at what’s left and decide what storage elements would work best for you.

 The essentials include:

  • Closed storage: Make sure to include at least one closed-door, lockable unit. It's essential for keeping poisons like antifreeze, plant food or pest control products and sharp tools behind a locked door.
  • Open shelving: Shelves are best for frequently used items which you need readily available and within reach. Vented metal styles, wood slats, or vented plastic minimize the volume of dust that can collect.
  •  Hooks, clamps, and holders: These allow you to make use of vertical space, getting big items like bikes, trikes and paddles, rakes and brooms off the ground and out of your way. • Bags: Most wall-mounted garage organization systems include clamp-on mesh bags that make it easy to store soccer balls, basketballs, tennis balls, etc.
  • Boxes and bins: Group irregular items and place them in big bins so you can put them under a shelving unit or work table. Group them accordingly so items are easy to find: bags of soil, grass seeds, etc. Boxes and baskets can also hold smaller items neatly on shelves.

Step 3: Paint and stain.

 The floor can be transformed with acid stain for concrete or a heavy-duty floor paint. If you plan to park your car on your newly painted floor, lay a sheet of cardboard down to catch drips of oil. The garage walls can be painted as well, especially if they still look like they're part of a construction site. Don't feel like you have to limit yourself to the traditional white walls. Get creative!  

 Step 4: Make it your second home

  Another major decision to be made prior to purchase is what kind of work areas you will need, and what kind of counter tops are appropriate for those areas. For instance, if you want to use garage space as a hobby area, you might want a sink area or solid surface counters. If you enjoy woodworking, you might need a wooden counter top. Figure out where these areas will be located and roughly sketch out how the area should look. Imagine yourself standing at the work area and think about placement of things you will use. Thinking through this process will certainly make the space more user-friendly.

 Ready to get your garage in order? Following those tips will help you find a place for everything and allow you to transform that dusty garage into something spotless in a short time.

Day with the Dogs!

by Eric Bushnell

We woke up Sunday morning and the temperature was 2 degrees, 2.  It was sunny and there was a lite breeze.  Chilly would be an understatement.  Today was the restart of the Iditarod in Willow.  The start was scheduled for 2 pm. and by then it had warmed up to 14 degrees.  It was nice and sunny as we made our way to Willow.

google map to real pro systems The start in Willow was easy to get to.  This year they provided Shuttle bus service from several locations.  $2 per person and kids were free.  Not bad for a 20 mile bus trip.

 We arrived in Willow with plenty of time to visit the staging area, this is were all the musher's were with their dogs before the race.  Have you ever heard hundreds of sled dogs howling at once, Wow!

We wandered around and saw the sites.  We saw Martin Buser and Lance Mackey being interviewed.  Lance Mackey had a huge crowd and looked like the celebrity he has become.  It helps to win three Iditarod races in a row.

We saw DeeDee Jonrow getting her dogs ready for the race, they each had pink harnesses.  Mitch Seavey was there and his team looked very relaxed. 

There was so much to see and there were thousands of peop[le there on the lake ready for the start. Yes being on the lake was safe.  Ice is over 3 feet thick.

 We made our way to the starting chute to watch the teams begin their 1000 mile journey to Nome.  Many people had been out there for several hours waiting to see the first mushers go.  Many people were from the lower 48 and you could tell they had no idea it would be so cold.  It really wasn't that bad if you dressed for it.  The lite wind made it a little cool.  After a couple of teams started people started heading for the warmth of the Willow school.

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We watched as Newton Marshall came down the start chute, he is the first Jamaican to enter the Iditarod Sled Dog race.  Pretty brave young man.  Although what possessed him to leave the beach for the snow?

The crowd cheered and everyone had fun.  there were good eats, we ventured over to the vendors and found Reindeer hot dogs and Buffalo Bratwursts w/ grilled onions.  These were very good.

We had a great time, and then caught the bus back to Wasilla, to the original re-start.  In the 80's & 90's the race left Wasilla and travelled down my grandmothers driveway to the lake before heading to Knik and then up the Yhetna River.  Those were the good ole days sitting on the deck watching the teams go by.

We had just as much fun this year and will go back again next year. 

Hope to see you there! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contact Information

Lee Realty, LLC
Lee Realty, LLC.
5050 Dunbar Drive #F
Wasilla AK 99654
Office: 907-376-0119
Fax: (907) 376-4039

 

 

 

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