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Oops... Got that one wrong - 12/31/07 01:28 PM
Earlier this year I predicted the absorption rate for the Fairbanks real estate market would hit the 6-month threshold around the first of the new year. We haven't even celebrated the new year yet and I've alreday been proven wrong. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. With home sales slowing a little more than expected, we've seen the absorption rate climb at a pretty steady clip. As of today there are 494 homes listed for sale in Fairbanks & North Pole; only 66 sold in the past 30 days, which gives us a 7.4 month average absorption rate. (2 comments)
The Good 'Ol Days - 12/30/07 09:03 PM
Remember them? When all you had to do to sell your home was to put a sign in the front yard and within a matter of days multiple buyers were standing on your front porch vying for the chance to outbid each other? Well, that was yesterday. Welcome to today. I sat down this afternoon to look through the MLS for a client with relatively specific needs. As I clicked past listing after listing, I couldn't help but wonder what these folks are thinking. The YTD average marketing time for Fairbanks Alaska real estate is less than 60 days. Only 7.7% (1 comments)
Are you listening to Chicken Little? - 12/29/07 12:53 AM
Years ago we had the opportunity to invest in a global energy fund. At the time we were relatively new to managing our own investments. As a result we tracked the funds movement on what seemed like an hourly basis. At the end of the first year saw a return of almost 61%. Feeling confident we let it ride even after it leveled off. One morning I checked the value and found we had lost 8%... then 11%. By the time I sold everything we 'lost' 14%. Or did we? Looking at the value of our shares when we bought vs (12 comments)
How to recognize a 'good deal.' - 12/27/07 05:01 PM
While it's true that the US housing market is not as healthy as it was even a year ago, it's important to remember that real estate is local. Overall, Fairbanks Alaska real estate prices, for example, are up 5.1% from 2006. Prices for existing homes are up 6% from 2006. Not every segment of the real estate market is in a decline. Although price is important, it's but one of a multitude of factors that go into most buyers decision making process. Age, condition, location, school district, proximity to work, schools, etc. all come together to make a particular property a (11 comments)
Breaking the bank - 12/21/07 03:01 PM
The Federal Reserve announced today it auctioned off yet another $20 billion to commercial banks at 4.67%, which is slightly lower than the current discount rate of 4.75%. This follows their $20 billion auction on Monday. According to the release, the FED received almost $58 billion in bids for the $20 billion being offered. To date more than 166 commercial banks have vied for the reduced rate funds. The second of four auctions scheduled has drawn so much interest the Fed has announced they will continue pumping money into the system bi-weekly "for as long as necessary to address elevated pressure (2 comments)
Defining Cold - 12/21/07 03:48 AM
Well, we've had it pretty easy so far. It took most of the year before we even saw the mercury dip below zero, but old man winter has arrived with a vengance. The past few days have seen temperatures nearing the -50 mark. I love Alaska and thankfully the summers make up for the few bouts of extreme cold we have ever year, but I never like to see the cold set in. I took these pictures in our driveway this afternoon around 1:30. You can see the ice fog hanging in the air in the second photo. It sounds like (21 comments)
The Incandescent Light Bulb... a thing of the past. - 12/21/07 02:33 AM
In addition to provisions providing billions for the development of safe, clean biofuels, and a 40% increase in the CAFE standards, the energy bill signed by President Bush makes the incandescent light bulb obsolete. According to Bryan Dundan of Phillips Lighting, incandescent light bulbs currently consume 42% of the electricity generated in the United States, but provide a mere 12% of the country's artificial light. The bulk of the electricity used to generate light in incandescent light bulbs is actually lost as heat. After 120 years of near unchanged design, the phase out of the incandescent light is set to begin (5 comments)
Appraisers: Your second 'buyers' - 12/20/07 03:07 AM
Price. In the current soft real estate market, everything boils down to establishing the right price. Fair market value. Miss the mark and you’ll exclude likely buyers who would have otherwise looked at, and possibly written an offer on your home. Many sellers want to ‘nudge’ or pad the value by as much as 1%-2%. Even in a soft market it’s possible, although not likely, to find a buyer who is willing to pay a ‘padded’ asking price. In Fairbanks 85% of home buyers finance their home purchase. Unless your buyer is one of the 15% who doesn’t plan to finance (1 comments)
Tenants: The unwitting participants - 12/19/07 01:16 AM
The national news is bombarding us with tales of homeowners in distress. The foreclosure process is never an easy road to travel. What happens, though, when the person being carried down that road isn't a homeowner at all? Many investors bought properties with the hope of holding it for a year or two and selling for a huge profit. After all, the real estate market was on an epic bull run in some areas. With ARM's resetting at significantly higher rates, many are unable to afford their investment properties. Imagine coming home from work today to find a letter taped to (2 comments)
Honesty Is Always The Best Policy - 12/17/07 04:17 AM
Recently I received an offer from a buyer’s agent for a property in need of more than a little TLC. The sellers were selling the property as-is, and it was priced accordingly. Enter the buyers. One lives out of town due to work, while the other planned to make Fairbanks his home. The buyers apply and are approved via desktop underwriting with a reputable local lender. The only conditions required to close was a satisfactory appraisal and clear title. Just the way I like it. I just found out the buyers have lost their funding. As it turns out the buyer, (2 comments)
The Bailout Bandwagon - 12/17/07 02:38 AM
Pardon me, but can you spot me a trillion or two? Far from being the white knight riding in to rescue suffering homeowners, the much touted mortgage bailout is going to have disastrous consequences. Taken simply at face value, the bail out sounds like a rational response to help millions of homeowners who were tricked by unscrupulous lenders. While it's true many lenders were looking out for their own interests, many of the homeowners facing foreclosure today knew exactly what they were getting into. When buyers sign on the proverbial dotted line at closing, they are signing a legally binding contract (5 comments)
Merry Christmas - 12/16/07 08:35 PM
To all our ActiveRain friends and colleagues, May the Beauty of Christmas surround us...May the Wonder of Christmas astound us... May the Gladness of Christmas delight us...May the Spirit of Christmas unite us. With best wishes for the holidays and throughout the coming year. We hope you all have a banner year in 2008. God bless! (10 comments)
Local Icon Is Retiring... - 12/16/07 03:35 AM
Dorothy Purdue of Purdue's Jewelers announced plans to sell her store to embrace retirement with a bang. With her late husband Ralph, Dorothy founded Purdue's Jewelers in 1962. Purdue's is a local favorite; an icon of Fairbanks. The store often looks more like a museum than a jewelry store. After relocating to the Shoppers Forum on Airport Way in 1978, Purdue's has survived the boom and bust economy that was the Fairbanks way of life. After 45 years Dorothy says she is ready to try something new. If you haven't ever been in Purdue's, stop by and see check out their (0 comments)
Selling Your Fairbanks Home This Winter? - 12/15/07 07:34 PM
Although the spring and summer months are typically the busiest seasons for real estate, homes sell all year. For 2006, winter sales accounted for 40.3% of the total homes sold. If you're thinking of selling your home this winter, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Price it aggressively: Gone are the days where you could nudge the price 3-5% above the comparable sales in your neighborhood and expect a ready, willing and able buyer to come along. Today it's all about competitive pricing. That means setting an asking price that is at least on par with the (4 comments)
Feds Cut Key Interest Rate - 12/14/07 04:08 AM
The Federal Reserve recently announced a quarter point rate cut in both the target federal funds rate and the discount rate, in part, to provide some buoyancy to the housing market. The additional rate cuts were designed to keep the U.S. economy on track, despite a housing slump and a schizophrenic financial market. Discount rate? Federal funds rate? What's the difference and what does it mean to consumers? Banks have two avenues from which to borrow federally insured funds. The discount rate, which applies to monies borrowed directly from the Federal Reserve, via the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, and the (2 comments)
Fairbanks Alaska Real Estate Update - November 2007 - 12/13/07 03:33 AM
It looks like the Fairbanks real estate market is still adjusting downward. Our total sales volume is down 17.9% compared to November 2006 and 13% from October. The total number of homes sold dropped 23.7% compared to November 2006 and 4.4% from October. At $204,550, the average sales price is down 7.1% compared to November 2006 and 1.7% from October. The Average days on the market, however, is up 38.3% compared to November 2006 but down 4.5% from October. The list to sales price ratio, or the percentage of the asking price the average seller received is, at 94.4%, the lowest (2 comments)
Gadget of the moment - 12/11/07 01:39 AM
Ok, so maybe I'm a little on the slow side. No comment, thank you very much. I've been handwriting letters to my mother for years, once a week like clockwork. Who doesn't love getting mail? As long as it's not a bill, I would think most of us. I came across the next greatest thing on Amazon.com this afternoon. How many of us have parents or grandparents that don't use a computer? My mother has one but she swears it's possessed by the devil. I just realized this might be against the AR rules somehow as advertising. If so, someone call (11 comments)
Fairbanks Alaska Homebuyers: Do You Have A CLUE? - 12/09/07 10:11 PM
Fairbanks Alaska Homebuyers: Do You Have A CLUE? Ever heard of CLUE? No, I don't mean the board game or the thing friends ask if you have. I'm talking about the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Database. CLUE is a national repository of insurance claim information. Insurers use CLUE reports to determine how likely you are to file a claim against your homeowners or auto insurance policy. CLUE reports are generally reviewed prior to issuing a new insurance policy and before renewing an existing policy. The CLUE database is maintained by ChoiceTrust, an information clearinghouse that has been providing "decision-making technology" since 1977 (9 comments)
Buying A Home: Step 4 - House Shopping - 12/07/07 02:51 AM
You’ve done your homework. You know what your future home should look like in terms of what you need and want in a future home. You’ve hired a buyer’s agent to represent you in the purchase. You’re financing is in place so you know what you can afford and what type of mortgage you feel comfortable paying. Now comes the fun part; house shopping. Your Realtor will be an invaluable asset when it comes time to start touring potential homes. We tell clients to bring a notepad and their digital camera so they can make note of the features of each (2 comments)
Use Caution: Local Wildlife Is Feeling Frisky - 12/05/07 01:35 AM
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska State Troopers are warning residents to be alert and take precautions again the pack of wolves that are currently roaming around the area. Residents of 14-30 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road have reported several sightings including some very close encounters. Two dogs have reportedly been killed by very aggressive wolves. A third dog was almost killed but was saved by its owner by chasing the wolves in his vehicle. Other reports put the wolf pack around the Chena Lakes Recreation Area of North Pole. We're very close to Chena Lakes and (8 comments)
Fairbanks Alaska New Construction Homes - A Few Questions - 12/04/07 05:24 AM
Fairbanks Alaska New Construction Homes - A few questions to as your builder or representative. For some it’s the crisp white walls or new carpet while for others it’s that theirs is the first family to call a particular property “home.” I started building homes in 2003, acting more as the bank than general contractor, because buyer clients were finding it difficult to accept some of our more retro properties as the palate for which they were going pain the picture of their new lives. In the past several years the sale of new construction homes has skyrocketed. Seeing a demand (2 comments)
Surviving Alaskan Winters - 12/03/07 11:16 PM
Surviving an Alaskan Winter Well, it looks as though Old Man Winter has finally arrived in earnest. The temperatures are expected to dip to as low as -20; factoring in the wind chill and that number drops to -35. Brrr. It happens every year and every year we’re not ready for it. As the leaves turn a golden yellow and the fireweed makes its last appearance for the season, we all know winter is just around the corner. For those of us who have called Alaska home for a while we know that winter just isn’t the same as it used (3 comments)
Earnest Money: What is it? - 12/03/07 01:47 AM
Earnest Money - What is it? Sometimes referred to as a "good faith deposit", earnest money, or consideration, is a necessary component of a valid real estate contract. In the Fairbanks area, an earnest money deposit of 2% of the purchase price is normal and customary. The funds are deposited into the selling brokers trust account and are considered partial payment for the subject property. As with most everything, the amount of earnest money is negotiable. I have written offers with as little as $10 as earnest money and have requested desposits of $25,000 or more for a custom new construction (0 comments)
Pricing Your Home; A Strategy For Success - 12/02/07 02:49 AM
The single most important decision you will make concerning the sale of your home is establishing the asking price. Set the price too high and your home will languish on the market with little to no attention from buyers; price it below market value and you will leave equity on the table at closing. Some have referred to pricing homes as equal parts science and art. I tend to disagree. Unless your home is extraordinarily unique there's very little art to it whatsoever. Establishing market value is achieved by comparing homes of similar design, location, amenities, age, size and condition to (2 comments)
Fairbanks Alaska Real Estate Market Update - November 29, 2007 - 12/01/07 04:40 AM
There are a lot of interesting happenings in the Fairbanks Real Estate market this week. With few exceptions the average sales price and number of homes sold is dropping while the average days on the market is on a steady skyward hike. This week saw three properties close escrow that have been seriously languishing on the market, thus the spike in days on the market this week. Overall market inventory is still relatively high. Current housing inventory, including Delta Junction is 540, which strangely enough was our market inventory last week. The absorption rate (time it takes all active listings to (0 comments)
Looking for Fairbanks and Interior Alaska real estate news and information? Well, you're in the right spot. Keep up with the latest happenings in the Fairbanks community and around the state; local real estate market trends, propety listings, mortgage news and a healthy dash of commentary on whatever strikes my fancy.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.