Real Estate Information Archive


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Alaska Real Estate Advice

by Eric Bushnell

Current inventory here in South Central Alaska is at the lowest point I've seen in my ten years of real estate.  In any given price point the select is very slim for buyer.  I remember when I moved back to Alaska in 1999, I encountered a similar market.  I was only able to look at a dozen homes that fit my criteria and budget.  I looked from South Anchorage to Chugiak to finally find a home.

This creates certain market dynamics that would lead a seller to believe they can get whatever they want for their home.  This is somewhat true, but they should be cautious.  Buyers can only afford so much, and interest rates are rising; a full point over last year.  This takes $30,000 out of a buyers buying power at the $300,000 range.

So is the market going to go up in value, but down in the number of homes sold? Yes, that is what is going to happen for some home owners selling.  Many will try to raise their asking price too high. The smart seller will price their home approximately $10,000 below their immediate competition.  This makes their home look very attractive to prospective buyers, and usually results in a quicker sale.  the seller that does not do this, has their home sit on the market as new smart home owners come on the market just below them.  These home usually attract the buyers currently in the market, and sell rather quickly as well.

My advice is not to get greedy.  It's better to sell quickly at a lower price then hold out for that buyer that will pay your price.  If you can find them.

AHFC Approves $625,000 Zero-Percent Loan to Increase Homeownership

by AHFC Press release

Anchorage, Thursday, September 16, 2010 - Qualifying Alaskans will have greater access to home ownership through a $625,000 loan approved by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) board of directors Tuesday. The loan will allow Anchorage Neighborhood Housing Services (ANHS), also known as Neighborworks Anchorage, to continue its down-payment assistance loan program for under-served markets, and provide assistance to borrowers who would not qualify for home ownership due to changes in the market, such as higher housing costs or lower interest-rate subsidies.

Since June 1996, AHFC has loaned a total of $21.25 million to ANHS, which in turn has closed a total of 773 loans with an average loan of $30,045 under this program.

Loans to Sponsors (LTSP) is a program under which AHFC, subject to the availability of funds, makes zero percent loans to non-profit corporations, regional housing authorities, or government entities to make home ownership more accessible to low- to moderate-income borrowers. Currently eight Sponsors, consisting of five nonprofits and three regional housing authorities, administer approximately $16.4 million in low-interest loans to low- to moderate-income borrowers. Sponsors are limited to an annual allocation of $625,000.

The program ultimately will provide financing to lower-income individuals or persons who would not otherwise qualify for financing due to income limitations, down-payment requirements, loan-to-values, or other considerations. Recipient eligibility for the loans is based on 80 percent% of the median income for the area, adjusted for family size and property location, as well as the lending criteria established by the Sponsor's guidelines. AHFC’s loan is repaid by ANHS from the Recipient’s payments paid to ANHS.

AHFC is a self-supporting public corporation with offices in 16 communities statewide. It provides statewide financing for multi-family complexes, congregate facilities, and single-family homes, with special loans for first-time home buyers, low- and moderate-income borrowers, veterans, teachers, nurses, public safety officers, and those living in rural areas of the state. AHFC also provides energy and weatherization programs, low-income rental assistance in 17 communities, and special programs for the homeless. Since 1986, AHFC has contributed more than $1.95 billion to Alaska’s State budget revenues through cash transfers, capital projects and debt service payments.

Eagle River Mortgage rates update

by Eric Bushnell

This week local interest rates have dropped below the 5% mark.  Local lenders have been advertising better rates for a 30 year or 15 year fixed rate mortgage this week than what we've seen in the last 3 to 4 months.

If you have been thinking about purchasing now would be an opportune time.  If you are thinking about refinancing, now is definitely a good time.

There are several good mortgage companies here in Eagle River.  You should use the company and loan originator that you feel is listening to your concerns.  I would recommend Aaron Gray with Homestate Mortgage. Homestate Mortgage is an affiliate of Prudential Jack White/Vista Real Estate.  However, I make the recommendation because Aaron does a good job, and knows what he is talking about.

I like to work with professionals, and Aaron Gray is one.  Please keep in mind that since interest rates are lower Aaron is going to be very busy.  Please be patient and I think you will come to the same conclusion I have.  He's good and knows his job.

You can contact Aaron Gray at 907-689-6456 to ask questions.

You can always contact me at 907-360-7471 with any questions. 

Aaron C. Gray

Senior Loan Originator / Branch Manager -- License AK#190243

Homestate Mortgage Company -- License AK#189191

16635 Centerfield Drive, Suite #100

Eagle River, AK  99577

Direct:  907-689-6456

What should I do?

by Eric Bushnell

What is happening out there?  This is what I was asking myself yesterday.  Interest rates did a little dance yesterday. They didn't just jump,they jumped twice.  The good news is they stayed stable today.

Now is the building season for new construction.  My second question was how is this going to effect the new homes we're going to build?  Steady interest rates make everyone happy.  Timing the market is not a good recipe for success.

I spoke with another business owner in town about the small jump, and he said that maybe he should have bought another home and used it for a rental.  I realize there is a lot of uncertainty in the economy, but the housing market in Eagle River Alaska has remain steady.

If you are trying to time the market, don't.  There are good deals out there and the interest rates are pretty low.  Waiting for that better deal will only cause you to miss out on the good deal that is available now. 

I think that if we worry to much about what we may lose, we will never get a chance to live.  You have to make decisions, you have to make choices, you cannot live on the sidelines.  How many people do you know that missed out on that great opportunity?

I am not saying take risk, just don't be paralyzed by the unknown.  Life is all about the unknown, make good decisions and move on..I mean move in.

Update for the Eagle River Market

by Eric Bushnell

December has arrived in Alaska, the temperatures are going down.  -8 degrees this morning and the current temperature has warmed up to 9 degrees.  You would think this would discourage buyers, but no, several were here this morning ready to start the day.

We have seen several pending sales in recent days.  This means agreed contracts.  Our inventory levels are dropping as is expected this time of year.  The good news is that there are less homes on the market now then at this time in each of the two previous years.

The selection for buyers is still good, but it is dwindling.  Interest rate dropped to 5% this week.  This means that the buyer can get a better payment than last month, or they can buy a little more home.  Interest rates have dropped over 20% since earlier this year.

The weather may be cold out there but the market is warm in Eagle River, Alaska.

Call me today for more information.

Eric Bushnell- 907-360-7471

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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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