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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14

Fun to do's in Eagle River

by Eric Bushnell

I was looking for a pack raft online, so that my son and I can do some fly in float trips as he gets older.  I ran across this video of a couple of pack rafters on the South Fork of Eagle River.

New Construction compliments

by Eric Bushnell

Hurricane force winds have been experienced in Eagle River in recent weeks, and hundreds of trees have been broken or torn up by their roots.  Strong winds are not new to Alaska, we see them every year and its just another storm.  Although this particular storm did make the news channels in the Lower 48.  The storm was abnormal for this time of year, usually we get these winds during the winter months. 

I was visiting Powder Ridge talking to some of the home owners about the storm on Saturday, helping pick up the debris and cut up the fallen trees.  One home owner lost 17 trees in their back yard.  As I was visiting with them they shared their experience during the storm and I found it to be a great compliment for the builder I represent, Nolan Homes, LLC..  Here's what they told me.

'They had been relaxing at home that night and had seen the trees moving in the wind but had no idea that the winds were as strong as they were. They could see the trees move but the normal shifting of their home that they had in the previous home was non existent in the new Nolan Home.  They didn't think it was that bad and maybe the weather forecast was wrong.  Then they heard a loud bang from the back of the house.  The wind had pushed over several trees, and on of them had anchored the dog run attached to the house. 

The cable had torn away from the house taking a small portion of the siding with it.  The next day as they were cleaning up they inform me that my builder had checked in with them and offered to have his crew assist them with the repairs.  They were very happy with this and were really happy at how well the home was built because at no time during the high winds did they feel the moving or experience any wind coming into the home."

I thought this was a great compliment to the building integrity of Nolan Homes, LLC..  As I was walking through the home he is currently building it was immediately evident why the home is built so well and can survive through these high winds.  The builder has installed multiple supports to hold the home to the foundation, as well braces along the top of the ceiling holding the rafters to the home.  It's this building integrity the home owners across the street experienced.  As I visited other homes in the neighborhood I noticed that some of the builders did not use this similar building practice. 

Now I understand why Nolan Homes, LLC. are better that the competition, not just because of the craftsman styling they build but because they just build a better home.

Eagle River Market Update

by Eric Bushnell

April is almost gone and May begins next week.  Wow, were does the time go.  The last day of school is just 4 weeks away and many families will be ready to move.  This is the time of year that families like to move.  So what is happening in the market?

It appears that there are shoppers out there, about 3 shoppers for every buyer.  Lots of people wanting to buy a home but their afraid to won one.  The buyers are active and we have seen many offers accepted here in Chugiak and Eagle River.  In looking at the total market numbers compared to last year there was 4.5% less home sales in the first three months of 2011.  That seems to be pretty good since last year we had the first time home buyers credit available.  When we get to the end of June we will see what the true market numbers are.

Right now it apears that we are in a slower, but back to normal housing market.  The economy as a whole appears to be doing ok.  New businesses are opening and there is some new construction underway, housing and commercial.  These are good signs for what is to come.  The only discouraging sign is that many home owners are not selling.  This may be either because they cannot because of what they owe, or they would have to spend too much to move up. 

This has increased the number of new homes being built this year in Eagle River.  Builders are optimistic about the housing market and are starting new homes.  The construction lenders are still tight with the lending, so not all builders can move forward but many are.  This is good for our community, which according to the latest census numbers is now 34,982 people strong.  This number is about the same as the estimate from 2005, but very little building has happened in the last 6 years (I think the estimate was too high).

Now is a great time to sell if you can, and there are some great deals out there for buyers.  Interest rates are low although lending conditions are tight.

 

Spring break up!

by Eric Bushnell

Spring is fast approaching and the temperatures are starting to rise.  The snow piles are beginning to shrink and the sun is up till 9 pm.  I love this time of year because the promise that summer is fast approaching.

But, it is ugly out there.  The once brillantly sparkling snow piles are now dirty brown piles of dirt and snow slowly melting, putting water on the road ways and encasing my car in brown muck.  I make multiple trips to the store for window washer fluid.

In the coming months many organizations will be putting clean up projects together.  Eagle River Rotary will be doing a road clean up project in April, and another clean up day at the Eagle River Nature Center sometime in early May.  Now is a great time to get out in the community and meet your neighbors while picking up the trash that magically appears as the snow piles melt.

Help keep Alaska beautiful, find a project and pitch in.

 

A Sunny Day!

by Eric Bushnell

What a beautiful day!  I just returned to my office from a quick tour of Eagle River.  Tuesdays we visit the new homes that have been listed for sale in our market.  What a beautiful day; the sun is up and sky is crystal clear.

As we move towards spring there is more sunshine everyday, and today is no exception.  The sun is brilliantly reflecting off the snow.  I replaced the battery from my camera with it's alternate on the charger so that I could take a couple photos.  Unfortunately I did not realize that the charger was not plugged in and the new battery I put in the camera was dead.  Bummer, no pictures from this outing, maybe next time out.

This is the time of year I like to keep a camera in the car, you never know what you will see.  I am reminded on a daily basis why I live in Alaska and work in Eagle River.  It is absolutely beautiful.

AEDC Forecast Luncheon Video Peter Sheahan

by Eric Bushnell

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the AEDC Economic Forecast Luncheon.  The Keynote speaker was Perter Sheahan, author of Flip.

Click Link to the video.  This is not short, but really good.

Peter Sheahan - 2011 AEDC Economic Forecast Luncheon from Christopher Makinster on Vimeo.

Have you used a QR Codes?

by Eric Bushnell

qrcode    Do you know what this is?  A QR Code, and they seem to be all the rage!

Lots of companies are starting to sell QR codes.  You can use the for 1000's of uses, and its like using a secret code, yet everyone can understand it.  You can send a message, a photo, and website address.  There seems to be a few limitations, but they appear to be based on size, as you can only put a little bit of information into the code. 

You take a picture of the code with your phone and then it will read it for you.  I found several QR code readers and generators at the iTunes store.

The code above will redirect you to the homepage of my website.  The code below will take you to another website I have that features Wilderness homes and lots.  QR Codes are easy to use and can be a lot of fun.  You can send a message See the Code on the left for the rest of this blog....

 qrcodeqrcode

Do you have a plan?

by Eric Bushnell

Do you have a plan? 

I have been told over and over that I need to plan, unless I plan to fail.  This is important advice in all aspects of your life.  You have to plan your family time, business time, and personal time.  If you do not then usually you do not get to have any personal time.  Most of us realize that we need to plan, but who has time?

Not planning has its consequences.  Mostly these consequences just mean more stress in your life, but when it comes to selling your home, it can cost you thousands.  If you fail to plan the sale of your home many surprises can pop up.  Planning the sales process can also include planning for improvements or repairs. Planning the timeline is import, as well what will you do if the home sells early.

Let's start with a quick sale.  This seems like a great problem to have, however if you're not prepared it can be costly.  Let's use this example.

Home comes on the market and the seller expects it to take 4-6 months to sell.  The family is transferring to Dallas Texas in 6 months.  After two weeks on the market they receive an offer, but need to close in 30 days.  The sellers are not sure where they will  live so they ask for a closing date after 90 days.  The result:  The buyer's leave to find another house.  No other offers come in and after 6 months the sellers have lowervered the price of their home by $40,000.  The seller's husband transfers to Dallas for the job, and the family is now living in two locations.

This can happen and does happen every year.  Sellers need to prepare for every contingency.  Do you know what your local rental market is doing? 

Plan on a home inspection; most buyers will get one and a Home Inspector will always find something.  I suggest getting a pre-inspection.  Find the deficiencies and fix them before you offer your home for sale.  If you can make these repairs on your time, it will typically cost you less money.  The end result is a home in better repair that may sell for more.

Cosmetic repairs are a good idea.  Take a good look at you walls and trim work.  Do they need to washed, or touched up with paint?  These little marks have accumulated over the years and you may not even notice them.  I know it take several trips through a house before I notice ever little mark.  When a buyer walks through a house they may not mention everything they see.  They may not even take notice of many items.  However they will compare condition to other homes, and the home in the best condition will most often win out.

By planning and then taking care of these most often little fixes, you eliminate much of the stress associated with selling a home.  Be prepared, plan and your sale will most likely be successful. 

A good Realtor can assist you in this process and provide you with good adice along the way.

Can you believe the news?

by Eric Bushnell

Can you believe everything people tell you?  Of course not, and I can her my Dad right now, "If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff?"  No, and I still believe in this very valuable advice.

Last week I was enjoying my morning coffee while watching some of the national cable news programs.  Wow, they do a great job creating a very entertaining show. The topic was the mortgage crisis, and they were talking about the foreclosures and that the investigations were underway.  Foreclosures had been halted in all 50 States and we would be lucky if we ever saw another good loan.  It was bad, they made the housing industry sound terrible.

I started to wonder if we would be selling homes next week.  Then this week they have another gentleman on came to say they had it all wrong. The host was very suspect of his statements.  The guest speaker went on to say that there was a tremendous amount of misinformation being tossed about as fact.  Well guess what?

He was right.  I did a little research to clear my mind and to be able to answer questions from friends and clients that wanted to know what was what.  There seems there were cases that people were wrongfully foreclosed on, but this is the exception not the rule.  There was also the issue of title being lost in the shuffle as Wall Street made all this money.  I am referring to the Securitization of loans.  They mentioned on the show that if the security was traded that the title history could not be tracked.  This turns out to be a bunch of fear mongering. 

The M.E.R.S., Mortgage Electronic Registration System is used to tract mortage backed securities.  the 14 digit number that tracts the loan package is recorded as an assignment at the local Recorder's office.  This number keeps track of the Title history.  There is no problem.

The news channels are selling advertising, so they make the story interesting.  Kind of like Dr. Seuss made kid stories interesting.

If you need help decerning fact from fiction please give me a call.  Eric Bushnell 907-360-7471

March Madness!

by Eric Bushnell
google map

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.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14

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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