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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 123

Eagle River Tree Lighting-Singing and Hot Cookies

by Eric Bushnell

Friday November 30th, join the Bushnell Real Estate Team at Eagle Rivers Town Square Park for the annual tree lighting ceremony.  We will be handing out "Warm cookies" straight out of the oven.  Come by and say hello, Santa will be there with his reindeer.

Elementary choirs and royalty will start singing around 5:45pm. There will be a warming tent that the Chamber will put up and two burn barrels that the city will have to help keep warm. If you are freezing... don't forget that at the "Hot cookies" that Eric Bushnell/Eva Loken are giving out as well as the  RE/MAX table, they will be giving away "hot hands glove warmers."  And finally, please dress warm... Standing and visiting at 18 degrees can be a chilly experience!   

Santa will arrive with reindeer escorted by a torch lit processional and enter Town Square from the back of the park. It will be chaos at that point. He will come up and light the tree with the Bear Paw Pageant royalty. Santa will be available after for kids who need to give him suggestions along with the reindeer who will be available for petting.


The last choir sings at 7:30 and should be done by 7:45.

Perception of the Market

by Eric Bushnell

Perception is a fickle beast.  One quote I remember from my early days in sales was:

"Perception is reality regardless of the truth"  ~Zig Ziglar

Last night I participated in a town hall round table discussion hosted by the Chugiak/Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.  As a current member of the CER Chamber and one of it's Board of directors I was the leader at one of the tables.  Our goal was to get the pulse of the community before our planning retreat this weekend.  We discussed the four topics over the course of the two hours.

We discussed why people moved to Eagle River as well as why they stayed.  We looked at the challenges of running a business in today's economy.  We discussed challenging budgets, taxes and growth.  How our community show look and feel, as well as what types of businesses we would like to see.  We also discussed threats to our way of life in Eagle River. The room was filled with business owners, residents, and many local and state politicians.

One discussion stood out in my mind and at one point became heated.  This was concerning home prices and the ability for our residents to sell their homes and move if they need to.  Our market suffered like many markets across the country, but real estate is local, and luckily we did not see the devastating foreclosures that many communities saw.  We saw some depreciation, in 2006/2007.  In my case I saw a 10% drop from the summer of 2006 to summer of 2007.

We saw this mainly in our older homes, which I written about in years past.  At the time I forecasted (speculated) that we would begin to see growth in approximately 5 years.  Fast forward to this year and our local markets saw increases of approximately 4% over a 6 month period.

The discussion that became heated was that values were falling her in Eagle River, and it was obvious because this information was on the Internet.  Which reminds me of another great quote:

"It's on the Internet, it must be true!" ~Ben Franklin

  There are forecasting websites that try to use sophisticated algorithms to determine the value of your home.  In some communities these work quite well, in Alaska they do not.  Alaska is a non-disclosure state where we do not disclose what you bought your house for.  There is no good information for the website to determine the value of the home.  This leads people to make incorrect assumptions about the value of their homes.  They need to hire a local expert who has access to this sales data.

This website showed declining values, which is the furthest thing from the truth.  What we have seen in our area is less volume, and this make a huge difference in the values you can obtain for your home.  If you home is worth $500,000 but there are only 3 buyers in the market, but they only qualify for $450,000 and they want to buy your house, that does not make your house worth $450,000.  The unfortunate part in this situation is that if there is no one who is buying in the $500,000 range the seller will have to reduce the price till the meet a level where there is a qualified buyer.  This is a complicated situation with lots of variables that affect values of the long term. 

Some sellers have to sell, while others just want to sell.  These two sellers will make different decisions when confronted with the same situation.  Many in our community move here then leave after only 3 years.  They want to own, but ownership has risks, when you have to sell so quickly.  This is a major concern in our community in which 30+% of our resident are active duty military.  They do not have a choice as to when they need to move.  Some will have to pay when they go to sell their home, some will not.  I will discuss the smart choice here in a future blog.

Owning a home is a smart move, it is not the wealth building bargain it was just a few short years ago, but it is still a better investment for most than renting.  But rest assured, home prices are not falling in Eagle River.  If you have question about this or want to know what you should do, please call me at 907-360-7471.

 

Letter from Senator Lisa Murkowski

by Eric Bushnell

 

Dear Eric:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the 2010 Census and its effect on rural housing programs in Alaska.  I appreciate hearing from you and having the opportunity to respond.

S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (2012 Farm Bill) passed the Senate on June 21, 2012.  It included a bipartisan amendment that would allow for the extension of the "rural area" designation through 2020 for any community that would otherwise have been disqualified by the 2010 Census.  Under this amendment, a community is eligible for the designation provided that its population was below 35,000 at the time of the 2010 Census.

  The 2012 Farm Bill is currently awaiting consideration in the House of Representatives. Should the Senate take further action on this legislation or similar legislation affecting rural housing programs in Alaska, I will certainly keep your comments in mind.  Again, thank you for contacting me.     

United States Senator

http://murkowski.senate.gov*

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.

Recreational Properties

by Eric Bushnell

I recently had the opportunity to visit Ed Galvez in Lake Clark.  Ed has built a cabin in the Keyes Point Subdivision and for several years extended an invitation to come visit.  Well the stars finally aligned and I was on my way.  I caught a flight from Merrill Field in Anchorage on Lake Clark Air; they flew me to Illiamna in a Piper Navajo and then I jumped in Cessna 206 for the flight to Keyes Point.

Keyes Point is located on Lake Clark approximately 250 miles from Anchorage. 

  • Lake Clarkis a lake in southern Alaska. It drains through Six Mile Lake and the Newhalen River into Iliamna Lake. The lake is about 64 km (40 mi) long and about 8 km (5.0 mi) wide.Lake Clark was named for John W. Clark, chief of the Nushagaktrading post in 1891 and the first American non-Native to see the lake. The Dena'ina Athabascan name is Qizjeh Vena which means "place where people gather lake"
  • Lake Clark is within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

Wow, what a beautiful place.  The flight was great and when I landed in Keyes Point Ed and Phil were there to meet me.  Phil is the Caretaker for Keyes Point and is there to meet the guest when they arrive.  He will meet your guests and bring them to your cabin when they arrive.  Ed and I jumped on his Honda (ATV) and headed for his cabin.  Ed has spent approximately 12 years building this cabin, and yes, it is very nice.  His cabin is located on the eastern shore of Keyes Point and looks across the Lake at the Alaskan Range.

Over the next couple of days Ed took me around Lake Clark in his boat.  We spent a day down on Six Mile Lake fishing across from the village of Nondalton.  The river was full of Sockeye Salmon.  As we pulled up to the river the bottom of the small bay was dark with thousand of salmon.  As we made our way up into the river the amount of fish we saw was just staggering.  We spent the afternoon fly fishing for Rainbow trout.  As I stood on the bank looking into the water I would watch 20 to 30 Sockeye Salmon (reds) swim upstream.  We were fishing for the Rainbows that follow them up the river. 

This stream was very clear so it was very easy to see the salmon and the sight was amazing.  every few minutes, the fish would surge by.  We were not successful in landing any Rainbows, but we did catch several Grayling as well as dozens of Reds.

Grayling caught in the NarrowsOn the way back to Keyes Point we drifted the narrows, a small river that flows from Lake Clark to Six Mile Lake.  Many fisherman fly in to local lodges to fish for Grayling here.

I was successful and land several very nice fish in the 30 minutes we spent floating this short stretch of water.  My first full day on Lake Clark exceeded my wildest expectations.  We finished off the day with a great dinner back at Ed cabin.  I slept well that night.

The next days we met with perspective buyers and toured the lots we have available on Keyes Point.  We discussed the logistics of obtaining building supplies and crews to build a cabin or home.  Most homes on Keyes Point are in the $250,000 to $500,000 rand with one close to $1,000,000 and a lodge that is, well I'm not sure what its worth, lets just say its not for sale and probably won't ever be.

We did finally get out on the water and headed up the lake to the Kijik River.  The Kijik River is in the Lake ClarkKijik River, Lake ClarkNational Park and this is where the ghost town of Kijik is located.  We spent the afternoon fishing this area for Grayling and Lake Trout.  The weather was awesome and we did get a little sunburned.  But all good things must come to an end; the wind started to pick up, and wind and Lake Clark can be very dangerous.  We were approximately 20 miles up the lake from Lake Clark, so we high tailed it out of there before the water got too rough.

On the way back we took a side trip into Chilitna Bay for some Northern Pike fishing.  We made a short run up the Chilitna River to Long Lake, and along the way saw a huge Moose.  I'm not going to tell you were because this boy was trophy class. He was big and the velvet was just coming off his rack (antlers).  We watched him for a few minutes (yes I have video that I will post on my Facebook Site), before he wandered off into the woods.  Too bad hunting season does not open for two weeks.

The wind was picking up as we came back to Chilitna Bay so we headed carefully back out onto the lake.  Lucky for us the wind was switching and we made our way home before the east wind picked up.  We were lucky, 15 minutes later and we would have been sleeping on the beach for the night.  the weather got pretty ugly as we arrived home for the night.

 

 The next day the weather kept us off the water, but I did enjoy myself on Keyes Point.  We spent our time taking photos and video of the Keyes Point area. 

My time on the Point with Ed Galvez was wonderful and I hope to do it again soon.  Ed is a great host and was able to explain to me about the history of Keyes Point and the Lake Clark area.  This is a part of Alaska that you must visit.  Lake Clark National Park is the has the lowest visitor count of any National Park.  Most likely because of its remote location.  This is beautiful country.

Please contact me if you would like to know more about this beautiful area.  We do have several lots available ranging from $15,000 to $50,000.  One already has the well and septic installed.  The views are tremendous and the area is truly breath taking.  I am currently working out the logistics and we should have completed home estimates available if you would like to build your Alaskan dream home.

Very Nice Homes open Today!

by Eric Bushnell

Eagle River Market update

by Eric Bushnell

What's happening in the Eagle River real estate market this year? Is the market going up, is it exploding?, Is going down, can we sell? Should we buy? Will interest rates keep going up, are these the best rates?

These are the questions that keep people awake at night if they need a bigger home, in many Alaskans case, their about to be transferred to somewhere else in the country. Currently our real estate market is very stable; interest rates are not fluctuating wildly, and homes prices are stable.

If you looked at the number of homes currently available in Eagle River Alaska, you would only be able to preview 101 existing ready to move into homes. That in a commnity of 31,820 people, and approximately 11,000 homes. That number suggests a strong sellers market. However when you look closely at what is on the market, and how many homes are pending each week the homes going into contract do not keep pace with the new homes coming into the market.

Eagle River Listing Inventory 

  • 54 Homes listed in the last 4 weeks
  • 22 homes placed into escrow(pended)
  • 101 Homes available for sale

The market just south of Eagle River is Anchorage, the Anchorage market is much larger, with close to 300,000 residents. the number of sales is proportionate.

Anchorage Listing Inventory 

  • 178 Homes listed in the last 4 weeks
  • 173 homes placed into escrow(pended)
  • 429 Homes available for sale

The market just north of Eagle River is Mat-Su Valley, this market is much larger, with close to 95,000 residents. The primary markets in the Mat-Su Valley are Palmer and Wasilla.

Palmer/Wasilla Listing Inventory 

  • 153 Homes listed in the last 4 weeks
  • 89 homes placed into escrow(pended)
  • 330 Homes available for sale

New construction homes that are not complete were not included in the listing numbers because many of the new construction listing are not started at this time. They may be included in the pending numbers.

As you can see there is not much to choose from in either market, and the buyers have to make quick decisions when a nice home comes on the market. Sellers should make sure that there home is clean, bright, and ready for viewing before they place it for sale. A good Realtor can show you what to do if you find this task overwhelming.

Interest rates are still at an all time low, and are hovering in that 3.75% and 4% range according to many of the local lenders. Loans are harder to come by and if you do not have a high credit score there are extra fees that you will have to pay to obtain the best rates.

What I take from this data, which is provided by the AlaskaMLS and may not include all sales, is that our market is good, and for the most part balanced. I feel that if a seller has a desirable home they will sell it quickly and for a good price. For buyer there are bargains to be had because some of the homes out there need work.

I lso think that are population is holding onto their homes longer than they have in the past 10 years and thus we have less inventory and sales.

We are back to the new normal.

Call Eric Bushnell @907-360-7471 for more information about these markets or visit him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ericbushnell.realtor 

Is Spring Here?

by Eric Bushnell

January was one of the coldest months on record with temperatures hovering below -20 degrees.  Its was cold.  Then we had record snow fall making this one of the snowiest winters ever.  Now the temperature is back up near 30 degrees.  Is Spring right around the corner.

Well, it might be but before we get to that lets take a look at the snow load on the roof.  With all this snow and the longer days arriving that snow is going to melt and freeze each night.  this will create ice dams on the roof and possible leaking.  You need to get up there and remove the snow, but be careful, it's going to be slick up there. Just do it soon as more snow is in the forecast.

Spring is definitely on the way.  Iron Dog is coming soon, as well as Fur Rondy, then the Iditarod Sled Dog race.  Longer days and warmer temps make Spring in Alaska a great time to get outdoors.  If you have pictures you'd like to share, you can post them on my Facebook page.  www.facebook.com/ericbushnell.realtor

January is the beginning of a whole new year!

by Eric Bushnell

January is when everything begins anew.  Here in Alaska it is traditionally on of the slower months, but that is because so many people are busy during the holidays.  However, it should be noted that this should be one of you busiest times of the year.

This is when you need to decide if you will selling a home in the spring.  You need to decide which Realtor you will be choosing.  If you're a buyer you're looking at neighborhoods you might want to move to.

See there is lots of activity in January.  Now is when everything begins.  so get crackin! 

Visit www.leerealtyalaska.com for your real estate needs!

Great places to get gifts!

by Eric Bushnell

Christmas time in Eagle River Alaska

A great little shop in Eagle River Alaska is Picture This!  Full of those special gifts that you need and a wonderful selection of custom artwork by local Alaska artists.  Located next to Jitters coffee house, you can stop in and grab a wonderful cup of coffee, then head into Picture This for your last minute Christmas items.

I've found many very nice items over the years at Picture This.  They have a nice selection of stemware (wine Glasses), little nik naks, and a huge selection of custom jewelery!  They also have great baby gifts, as well as a large selection of Smart Wool gifts.  They will gift wrap your purchase for you while you enjoy a sandwich back at Jitters.  

I like to meet clients here for discussions on properties they be looking at or  to discuss what is happening in the local real estate market.  You will find many friends at Jitters everyday!  You can also find them on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/picturethisalaska and http://www.facebook.com/picturethisalaska#!/jitterseagleriver

You can also find more information about local real estate on my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ericbushnell.realtor!

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 123

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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