Alaska Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 14, 2018

Top 5 Home Staging Trends in 2018

Victoria roberts alaska real estate

 

 

Top 5 Home Staging Trends in 2018

 

 

Staging a home is essential when trying to sell a property. Staging provides the backdrop, so potential homeowners can see how each space and be used and imagine themselves as the new homeowners. It is believed that staging helps a home to sell quickly, reducing the amount of time a home is on the market. Below are five home staging trends in 2018 to help you make a quick sale.

 

Color


Color choices are key. For 2018, cream, white and beige is making a comeback. Keep color palettes neutral to stay on trend.

 

Dramatic Color Accents


While light neutrals are making a comeback, accents should be a bright pop of color. From deep purple to hot pink, use a dramatic color as your accent when staging a home.

 

Mixing Metals


In the past, a home might have one metal type used in décor, be it platinum, gold or silver. Today, you can mix metals, creating a cohesive and modern look.

 

Natural Materials


Another big trend is using natural materials in the décor of the home. From bamboo and cork to reclaimed wood, natural materials can be used in a variety of ways to stage the home.

 

Farmhouse Style


Thank HGTV for the latest trend of Farmhouse Style. Homeowners now want to see shiplap, barn doors and other farmhouse accents in the home.

 

 

Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

 

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Home Improvement
Feb. 13, 2018

Use The Right Paint Finish

Victoria Roberts 

 

Ready to paint your home? Be sure to use the right finishes in each room and feature to make the best impact in your home. Using the wrong finishes can backfire for home owners if the wrong ones are used in the wrong spaces. Below, you'll find the most common finishes and recommendations on where they are best applied to.

- PAINT FINISHES - 

Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections.  It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings.

Matte has a low luster reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well, and also hides minor surface imperfections. It is great for low to moderate traffic areas, such as bedrooms, and interior walls.

Eggshell Enamel has a soft, velvety appearance and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin Enamel if you desire a pearl-like appearance, and are painting moderate to high traffic areas or areas that have some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens.

Semi-Gloss Enamel if you desire a sleek, radiant sheen that is great from cabinets and trim, high-traffic areas and high-moisture areas.

Hi-Gloss Enamel creates a brilliant, shiny appearance with a glass-like finish. This is great for high-use surfaces

 

 Download our App for homes at your fingertips.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Home Improvement
Feb. 1, 2018

Your Need to Know Guide to the Debt to Income Ratio

As a functioning adult, you know there’s something about debt that you’re supposed to understand at this point in your life, right? Something about not having too much, or maybe not too much in relation to something else… but frankly, this stuff is kind of confusing and some days you’d just rather take your Visa, buy a pizza, have a massage and then take a nap.

Today, though, you’re on a quest. You’ve decided it’s time to stop renting and become a homeowner. You came here to get some really good information on how to do just that… so, let’s put the credit card away and talk about your debt to income ratio and why it matters to your future mortgage.

What is My Debt to Income Ratio?

If you’re not familiar with the term, don’t be shy, it’s one of the most common questions that first time homebuyers have when applying for a mortgage. That’s because there aren’t a lot of places where it’s obvious that your debt to income ratio is being used to determine your ability to get credit. It’s sort of figured out behind the scenes and you’re none the wiser.

At a very basic level, your debt to income ratio is simply what it sounds like, all your long term, semi-permanent debt compared to your current income. Usually your mortgage lender will do this as a monthly comparison to make it easy, but the ratio’s the same whether you compare month to month or year to year. If you have $1,200 a month in debt and $5,000 a month in income, that’s the same as if you had $14,400 in yearly debt and $60,000 in yearly income. Both come out to 24 percent, which is a pretty good debt to income ratio.

But, of course, it can’t be that easy, can it.

What’s Included in a Debt to Income Ratio?

Things that are included in your debt to income ratio are secured loans like a car loan or a boat loan, which are sort of guaranteed by the property that you’ve borrowed the money to purchase; unsecured loans like credit cards and lines of credit; student loans and any debt you’ve co-signed.

Let me repeat that last thing. Any debt you’ve cosigned is part of this figure. So, if you agreed to cosign a loan for your sister 20 years ago and she’s still paying on it, that’s still going to count against you, even though you’ve totally forgotten about it. If you’re on a joint account with your ex-husband, you’re still on the hook when it comes to debt to income.

Things that aren’t included, that are almost always assumed to be, are items like your car insurance, your utility bills, your cable bills, subscriptions and so forth. Basically, if you can cancel the payment at will (whether or not there are serious consequences like having no lights or being able to watch Game of Thrones), it’s probably not going to be included on your credit report unless you fail to pay as agreed. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get yourself a credit report from a reputable site like MyFICO.com, the Fair Isaac website, just so you can see what is actually reporting.

Adding It All Up

Figuring your debt to income ratio is pretty easy, the hardest part is figuring out what counts and what doesn’t. Just add up your monthly expenses and divide by your monthly gross income, before any taxes, insurance, 401k withdrawal and the like come out. There you go. That’s your debt to income ratio. Now we can do some stuff with it!

There are three major programs that most home buyers utilize across most of the United States. These are the FHA, VA and Conventional mortgages. Each has its own requirements and debt to income ratio ceilings. Some are more complicated than others.

FHA and Front End and Back End Ratios

For FHA, there are two kinds of debt to income ratios to keep in mind. One is called the front-end ratio, the other is, unoriginally, named the back-end ratio. The front-end ratio is only your potential future housing debt; the back-end ratio includes all your debts. With that in mind, the chart below shows how you’d look to an FHA lender as of the writing of this blog.

The first number in the column labeled “Maximum Qualifying Ratios (%)” is the front-end ratio, the second is the back-end ratio. Compensating factors can be thought of as other things you bring to the table to make you into a really awesome borrower. Since you have little to no experience at this mortgage thing, your FHA lender is understandably afraid of your eventually missing a payment in the 30 years you’re going to have a relationship, so they want evidence to show that you’re a stand-up kind of person.

 

FHA loan debt-to-income guidelines. Source: HUD Handbook 4000.1

Fannie Mae and DTI

Conventional loans are a bit easier. Fannie Mae is the principal agency that guarantees what’s known as a “conventional” or “conforming” loan. Fannie has siblings like Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, but they’re at the movies right now and we’re not going to involve them in the conversation. For our purposes, conventional loans are all about Fannie Mae.

In general, conventional loans tend to be more difficult to land, in part because they have more rigid income to debt requirements. For borrowers with credit scores of 680 or better and less than a 25 percent down payment, Fannie won’t allow more than a 36 percent debt to income ratio (but she only uses the one number, so at least it’s not more complicated than that). If your credit score is above 700 and your down payment is less than 25 of the home’s price, she’ll allow a 45 percent debt to income ratio.

When it comes to Fannie, bringing more money to the table will absolutely catch her eye. She believes firmly that all things that glitter are definitely gold. That magic number is 25 percent of the sales price of your home. So, if you’re floating in cash, but have a higher debt to income ratio or a little bit lower credit score, you could win brownie points this way.

Veterans Get More Leeway

If you’re a military vet and you’ve not used your VA mortgage benefits, you may be wondering about cashing in that particular chip. When it comes to the debt to income question, it’s a harder one to answer. Generally speaking, the VA wants to see a debt to income ratio below 41 percent, but like with other qualifiers under VA, the rules aren’t really all that hard and fast.

VA loans tend to be a lot more flexible in general, and debt to income ratios are no exception. Although all the loans mentioned in this blog can be manually underwritten, the guidelines only allow for so much deviation outside the rules. VAs give a lot more wiggle room, so if you’re at a 45 percent debt to income ratio, for example, it might not be out of the question if everything else is in line.

Time to Go Apply What You’ve Learned

Figuring out your debt to income ratio is just one of the very first steps you should take on your path to getting a mortgage. Once you can see how much each of your debts affects your ability to get a home loan, you can either refinance those debts into loans with better terms or work extra hard to pay them down before approaching a mortgage lender.

When you’re ready, or if you have any questions about your debt to income ratio, it’s easy to get a quick answer with HomeKeepr. I have recommended some trusted mortgage pros in the community, just log in to make a connection that will make your home buying experience an easy one.

http://app.kw.com/KW2HNN302

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Real Estate Info
Jan. 31, 2018

Things to do after a windstorm

Things to do after a windstorm

Alaska Homes For sale Victoria Roberts

Severe storms tend to be quite common here in Alaska.  Some of these storms may carry very high winds that could cause damage to trees, homes and yards. If your area has experienced a serious windstorm, here are some of the things you should do.

 

Clear Away Debris

Sometimes you may not be able to identify the seriousness of the storm damage until you have cleared away some of the debris. Pick up trash and any other items that may have blown onto your property. Also try to clear away any fallen branches. If entire trees have broken or fallen over, you may need to enlist assistance in removing them. For safety reasons, remember that you should never walk beneath a cracked or wind damaged tree or branch.

 

Check Your Roof

Your roof is one of your first lines of defense against weather of all kinds. This section of your home is also particularly vulnerable to wind damage, however. Carefully examine your roof, checking for cracks, dents, or damage to shingles or flashing. Do you see indications of harm? 

 

If You Smell Gas

If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, open the windows, turn off the gas, leave the building, and call the gas company immediately. Don’t use any open flames or electric switches indoors until the utility company says it’s ok.

Check structures that might have been weakened, such as the shed.

Never touch downed power lines or electrical installations. 

It is likely that you will experience another severe windstorm at some point in the future. If you do not already have a plan in place, now is the time to form one. Identify any features of your home or yard that are particularly vulnerable to high winds, and take necessary steps to safeguard them. Are your shingles prone to blowing away?

It is also important to put together a safety kit stocked with emergency supplies, and to talk to your family about what to do the next time a storm hits and the wind rises. Our power goes in and out. Make sure you have water, food, candles etc...

Also go look for any trampolines as mine wrapped itself around a tree last year...

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

Search Alaska Homes Here www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Posted in Real Estate Info
Jan. 17, 2018

3 Rules to Remember When Shopping for a Mortgage

 

 

Header Image

Since you're in the market for a new home, you're probably in the market for a new mortgage. Here are 3 critical shopping tips for anyone looking for a new loan.

 

Know the Terms

All the terms of a loan matter. Unfortunately, shopping for a mortgage is not as simple as finding out how much a lender will let you borrow and at what interest rate. You'll want to get a complete breakdown of what any offer your receive means to you on a monthly basis as well as how much money you'll be spending over the life of the loan. 

 

Not all Mortgages are the same

There are several mortgage types available to residential home buyers. Most people will shop for a traditional fixed rate mortgage, but other options are available including adjustable rate loans (ARMs), Federal Housing Administration loans (FHAs), and Veteran's Administration loans. You'll want to be sure to understand what kind of loan a lender is offering you. 

 

Fees, Fees, Fees

Most loans have fees associated with them in additional to the principal amount borrowed to buy the home. You can sometimes borrow the money need to cover these fees, but that will obviously increase the overall amount of debt you undertake. Some fees are paid up front, and others are not due until closing. 

 

If you'd like to chat with me personally about how to shop for a mortgage and what other questions you can ask lenders to find the best deal, give me a call at any time. I'm happy to get you started on the right path so we can start looking for your new home!

 

Alaska Real Estate Victoria Roberts

 

Victoria Roberts 

AK.16251

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Associate Broker

907-351-9434

 

www.alaskahomeproperties.com

Copyright 2018 Keller Williams® Realty, Inc. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. Each office is independently owned and operated. 

 

Posted in Real Estate Info
Jan. 15, 2018

Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time

 

It is common knowledge that a great number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2017. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Thinking of Selling? Now is the Perfect Time | MyKCM

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,680,000.

That number spiked to 1,970,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for homes right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition amongst buyers.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.

 

Considering selling or refinancing your home? Get an INSTANT property valuation now!

 

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 Victoria Roberts, Associate Broker

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

www.alaskahomeproperties.com

907-351-9434

 

Search Alaska Real Estate Here 

  

#alaskarealestategroup #victoriaroberts #rentvsbuy  #homeownership #alaskarealestate #livesworthliving

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 10, 2018

The Impact of Tight Inventory on the Housing Market

The Impact of Tight Inventory on the Housing Market

The Impact of Tight Inventory on the Housing Market | MyKCM

The housing crisis is finally in the rearview mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up, home sales are up, and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest points in years. It seems that the market will continue to strengthen in 2018.

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.

Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

 

National Association of Realtors

“Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago (1.85 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 30 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.0 months a year ago.”

Joseph Kirchner, Senior Economist for Realtor.com

“The increases in single-family permits and starts show that builders are planning and starting new construction projects, that’s a good thing because it will help to relieve the shortage of homes on the market.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic

Inventory is tighter than it appears. It’s much lower for entry-level buyers.”

Bottom Line 

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.

 

To Search All MLS Homes For Sale On One Easy Site

1. Paste the address below and start your own Advanced Search:
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2. Reply to this ad by email with your requirements and I'll build a Custom Search for you.

3. Or the old-fashioned way, give me a call:
Phone: 907-351-9434 Victoria Roberts Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 5, 2018

8540 E 12Th Court, Anchorage 99504

8540 E 12Th Court, Anchorage

 

4BR/2BA Completely remodeled from top to bottom; This wonderful 4 bedroom home gives you the space, comfort and warm feeling of a beautifully updated home. Cozy up to the fireplace in the winter months or lounge on the south facing deck in the summer sunshine; HOT TUB INCLUDED! Schedule your showing today before this one is gone! New Roof, WH, Furnace, Appliances, flooring, remodeled kitchen and bathrooms & interior paint. New windows, new siding, fence, landscaping, updated deck, sealed driveway & 2 sheds.

For More Information on This Home Click Here!

https://www.alaskahomeproperties.com/search/details/42/0/

To Search All MLS Homes For Sale On One Easy Site

1. Paste the address below and start your own Advanced Search:
http://www.alaskahomeproperties.com/search/advanced_search/
2. Reply to this ad by email with your requirements and I'll build a Custom Search for you.

3. Or the old-fashioned way, give me a call:
Phone: 907-351-9434 Victoria Roberts Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group property listed by Yvette Belisle at Herrington and Company LLC

Posted in Listings
Jan. 2, 2018

Should I Stay or Should I Go? How to Know When It's Time to Sell

Should I Stay or Should I Go? How to Know When It's Time to Sell

Part of being a homeowner is dealing with the intermittent thought, "Hmm, maybe I should put my house on the market..."

 

Obviously, deciding to sell your home is no small decision. In fact, it's right up there with deciding to buy a home in the first place. Here are four indicators that can help you decide whether now actually may be a good time to list your home:

 

You're out of space. While it might be nice to have more room for your shoes, does that warrant a new home? On the other hand, is there a baby on the way? An in-law moving in? If your household is getting ready to grow, it may be time to move on to a house that will accommodate your expanding needs.

 

You're in a hot market. If "sold" signs are popping up frequently in your neighborhood and prices are rising quickly, it might be worth talking to your real estate agent. If now is the time you can potentially make a big return on your investment, you might want to consider making a move.

 

You're sick of yard work. If raking leaves and restaining the deck are no longer considered fun projects, you may be at a stage where you're looking to scale down to a more streamlined, less work-intensive living situation.

 

Your life has changed. If you've had a major life event - marriage, divorce, new job, retirement - it may necessitate a new home and/or a new location that makes more sense for your new life. Consider whether your current home is still the right fit.

 

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 Victoria Roberts, Associate Broker

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

www.alaskahomeproperties.com

907-351-9434

 

Search Alaska Real Estate Here 

  

#alaskarealestategroup #victoriaroberts #rentvsbuy  #homeownership #alaskarealestate #livesworthliving

Posted in Real Estate Info
Dec. 21, 2017

How much do buyer's agents cost?

 

How much do buyer's agents cost?

Home buyers don't need to worry about the expense of hiring a buyer's agent. Why? Because the seller pays the commission for both the seller's agent and the buyer's agent. 

Yes that is what I said. No out of Pocket Costs for You!

The only time that may change is if working with a For Sale By Owner and they wont pay commissions. Typically they do though

So WHY would you not have some represent and consult you through the home buying purchase? 

To help navigate the paperwork, Title, Inspections and Negotiate for you?

Having a REALTOR represent you brings tremendous value to the home buying process, We Help set clear goals and save money through expert knowledge and negotiation skills of a professional proactive real estate adviser.

Don't Leave money on the table by unforeseen problems a professional would of caught.

Call / Text us Today! 907-351-9434

Start your search here and lets make your Goals a Reality

https://www.alaskahomeproperties.com/

Victoria Roberts, Associate Broker

Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

907-351-9434

 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate Info