Wasilla Market Update Category

Virtual Reality is Here!

Virtual Reality is Here!

Virtual Reality is here! Alaska Dream Makers has continued to embrace the latest technology for our clients. We now offer 3D Virtual Scans to all of our clients at no additional cost, in addition to professional HDR photography.

A buyer can virtually immerse themselves into a home using 3D glasses. This allows a potential buyer to truly feel as if they are in the space. A head turn up and down or even a turn around displays a realistic view of the space. As 3D glasses become more available this emerging technology will become commonplace place very soon.

For those that would like a more traditional view, the same technology offers a virtual walk through either on your mobile device or computer. It allows a walk through featuring 360 degree views in all directions to view the space.

A doll house rendering shows the property as if the exterior walls are invisible looking at it from the outside. It allows the user to circle around the home to see very easily what the layout is like. From any point in this view you can enter into the home for a 360 degree view.

Using this high tech hardware we are able provide potential buyers a realistic view prior to physically going through the home. As a seller, this greatly increases the chances of offers from buyers who have not been able to physically see the house due to time constraints or location challenges such as someone who is moving to Alaska.

Our out of town and out of state buyers benefit as we can provide them a 3D Scan of properties they are interested in.

Although this this is an emerging technology, I have no doubt that this will be common in the real estate community soon. As a seller I would not want to be without this unique advantage in selling a home.

Did you know that Wasilla turns 100 years old in 2017?

Did you know that Wasilla turns 100 years old in 2017?

There are many opportunities throughout the year to help celebrate the city of Wasilla’s hundredth birthday.

In January there was a kick off celebration for the centennial that included the Centennial Ball, a family skate and also a bake off. The calendar continues below:

Wasilla Centennial Mobile Phone App

Wasilla Centennial Mobile Phone App   Download Google Play App HERE!              Or Download from the App Store

Saturday, February 11, 2017 – Fat Tire Bike Ride

Saturday, March 18, 2017 – Wasilla Woof  – a local dog photo competition

Saturday, June 24, 2017 – Mayor’s Superhero Race

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 – Wasilla Centennial 4th of July Parade and Mayor’s Picnic

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 – Stuff the Centennial School House with United Way of Mat-Su

Saturday, October 21, 2017 – Centennial themed Old Town Autumn Fest with the burying of the Time Capsule

Saturday, December 2, 2017 – Centennial themed 30th Annual Wasilla Community Christmas Celebration

Wasilla has certainly grown and changed since Jacque moved to town in 1982! We had one stop light, one place to shop for clothes (who remembers Hammakers) and many, many pothole filled dirt roads. We had a general delivery post office where no one needed an address other than ‘general delivery, Wasilla’ and we would simply show up and say our names to get our mail! We did have two grocery stores, a KFC and a Shakeys pizza but that was about it. We road 3 wheelers, went on hikes, walked amongst the moose to get to a school bus stop, and actually played in the woods. Life was quite a bit different than it is today!

Mat-Su Residential Market Trends

Mat-Su Residential Market Trends

It looks like we wound up 2016 with a slightly lower sales volume and a small increase in the sales price of the average valley home sold this year. The median sales price was $248,000 for 2016. When compared to the median price of $240,000 12 months ago, that’s a 3% increase.

Residential home sales volume for 2016 is down about 2.5%. By the end of 2015 1882 homes had changed hands. This year 1,792 have been sold, a decrease in the number of home sales of 5% for 2016 compared to last year.

National home sales volumes have been climbing around 5% a year since 2012 and I expect that trend to continue. The mean average home sales price in the lower 48 has now surpassed prices of the pre-recession boom days and some locations are now seeing increase of more than 10% a year.

But Alaska usually doesn’t follow the real estate trends of the lower 48. If we happen to shadow outside real estate prices it’s usually not for the same reasons that drive their market.

oil-revenue-vs-state-of-alaska-spending

Alaska’s oil industry is what drives our state. We are beginning to experience a shift in the market due to the decline in oil prices. I’m optimistic the downward trend will be temporary as oil prices stabilize and the fact Alaska has plentiful energy resources. Alaska also needs to keep spending in check.

Job losses in Alaska for 2016 hit about 2%, around 6800 jobs according to the Alaska Department of Labor. The forecast for 2017 is an additional loss of 7500 jobs, just over 2%. The health care industry remains strong with an increase in overall jobs with the prediction that most segments of the market will experience decline for 2017. I like to put things perspective though and focus on 2% versus 7000, meaning the prediction is 98% of the workforce will remain employed in Alaska.

2017 is almost here! Fireworks and more list for Wasilla, Palmer and Houston Alaska.

2017 is almost here! Fireworks and more list for Wasilla, Palmer and Houston Alaska.

The countdown to the new year is upon us!

We have been asked to update the list of firework shows in Wasilla, Palmer and Houston as they are a little hard to find info on (odd but true in today’s online world). Here it is!

Stay safe out there and be sure to keep pets safe by keeping them inside (DO NOT bring them to the fireworks shows as they can get scared and run off). Make sure to talk to your vet if your pet is especially skittish to see if there are any medications that can keep them calm and at home.

NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS

12/31/2016 – 8PM
Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce
Wonderland Park, Wasilla
FREE Event – (907) 376-1299
S’mores Galore! – Brought to you by Anchorage & Valley Radiation Therapy Centers
Warming Tent – Sponsored by Holiday Station Stores
Hot Chocolate – Sponsored by Matanuska Electric Association
Light the Night – Sponsored by Northrim Bank (neon glow bracelet)
Bottled Water – Sponsored by Alaska State Fair
Sweet Treats – Sponsored by CRW Engineering Group LLC
Warm and Toasty – Provided by the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY WITH THE ETERNAL COWBOYS
12/31/2016 – 10PM
Klondike Mike and the Main Street Grill

NEW YEAR’S EVE PAJAMA PARTY
12/31/2016 – 11PM
Four Corners Lounge

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
12/31/2016 – 9PM
Houston Lodge Marketplace
FREE Admission – (907) 892-5124

Wishing you and yours a safe, healthy and happy New Year!
Jacque & Larry Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers

Spring is Here- Getting Ready to List?

Spring in WasillaSpring is great time to be putting your house on the market! The days are longer now and it seems like we all have a little more time to get things accomplished. The advantage to listing your home now is getting your home on the market before competition increases. Currently there is high demand in the market as interested rates are still very low. We have not seen a decline at this time from cut backs on slope and State of Alaska budget issues. I believe interest rates are still driving the demand, however this can change at anytime and will likely not be long before the market shifts.

If you are thinking about selling, the more conservative approach would be to do it now versus waiting.

Year to date over last year shows that from Jan 1st to March 14th there were 301 homes that went under contract last year. This year during the same time period we are at 322 pending home sales in the Palmer Wasilla area. This is a 6.5% increase in real estate transactions demonstrating the unusual strength of the market right now.

Give us a call to see what your home is worth in the current market.

Simple Updates to Better Market Your Older Home

Simple Updates to Better Market Your Older Home

Just like times past when Grammy would send a crisp $5 bill in a birthday card…

I remember as a kid, getting birthday cards from my Grammy. Inside was a crisp and clean (certainly new looking) five dollar bill. My folks would tell me that she made special trips to the bank to get the cleanest, non-wrinkled bills she could get just for our birthday cards. It didn’t matter if the bill was 10 years old as long asit didn’t need ironing, washing or scotch tape to repair any rips or tears.

The concept is the same when you have an older home to sell. Here is a list of common (and less expensive) updates to help your older home compete with newer homes:

Replace outdated light fixtures. They do not have to be super expensive (think value packs at Lowes or Home Depot) they should be a more modern style and match each other.
Replace old or wrong wattage light bulbs with bright new bulbs. This will brighten the home as well as the mood as potential buyers walk through.
Clean everything-we do mean everything! Simple and cost effective, cleaning is one of the first things a buyer will notice. Even if your home is outdated, a buyer may be better able to look past it if the home is clean.
Take away, pack, sell-whatever you have to do to lessen the ‘stuff’ in your home so that the buyers can look at your home (instead of looking at your ‘stuff’ around the home). You are moving anyway so why not pack it and let the buyers envision their own ‘stuff’ in the home?
Paint, whether touch up or full on paint, painting will make a home smell and seem newer. Just remember to spend the time to tape off anything you do not want painted. We have certainly seen our share of painting mishaps that would require even more painting to correct.

Think about a pre-listing home inspection. Although it is money that a buyer would normally spend (about $400), having one done ahead of time will give you a list of items to be corrected or fixed. This allows you as a seller a little more time to complete the health and safety (lender required) repairs and we can then market the home as having repairs completed. More information on pre-listing inspections is available in our Seller FAQ section on our website.

Let us know if you have any questions about listing your Palmer, Wasilla, Eagle River or Anchorage home. We would love to show you what we do to help sell your home.

Jacque & Larry

What Not To Do When Buying a Home

Here are some common mistakes that can be avoided for a smoother home purchase.    

 

Do Not Take on Additional Debt After You Pre-qualified With Your Lender

A common mistake is changing your debt to income ratios by making additional purchases on credit.  Even if you have the ability to make the purchase it is advisable that you speak with your lender first.   Lender’s will often run credit checks again before closing.  Sometimes new information on the credit report is enough to delay the process of closing on the house.  This delay may affect the agreed  recording date both you and the seller have been planning on.  Delays in closing can be prevented if your lender approves and processes your new credit information upfront instead of finding out right before you are suppose to close.

 

Do Not Wait on Your Home Owner’s Insurance

Home Owner’s insurance should be researched early in the process.  It is common for many purchasers to wait just before closing to secure insurance.  These delays sometimes prevent a timely recording.  On rare occasions it is discovered that the home may have prior claims that prevents it from being insured.  It would be good to discover that upfront than 3 days before you are to close.

 

Do Not Prematurely Lock Your Interest Rate

We often see situations where the lender locks in the interest rate and then there is delay in the closing.  Interest rates are often locked for a specific period of time, usually 30 days.  If the closing does not happen in that time frame the lender often has healthy fees associated with extending your lock period.  A real estate purchase is full of unknowns that may prevent a closing from occurring on time.  Discuss with your lender what the consequences would be in the event you go beyond your rate lock date.

 

 

Do Not Set  Your Recording Date for the Last Day of the Month

The majority of real estate transactions are set for the last day or days of the month.  By recording on the last day of the month there are fewer upfront costs associated with prepaid interest.  This savings usually doesn’t amount to much and really isn’t a savings at all but just effects when you make your next payment.   For example, if you record on the 15th of the month you have to come up with about 15 days of interest. Your next payment would be 45 days away.  If you record on the 30th of the month, your next payment would be about 30 days away.

In my opinion, expecting to record on the last day of the month is a foolish thing to do.  Because so many contracts are set this way, it often causes a bottleneck at the end of the month.  It is common to talk to a lender or the title company at that time and hear the stress in their voices as they speak the words “end of the month”.

If a large number of transactions are trying to close at the same time, the “end of the month”, it is unlikely everyone will be successful.   By setting a recording date that doesn’t fall at the end of the month, you are more likely to close on time and not get caught in the typical rush that occurs at month end.

 

Larry and Jacque Ficek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Construction Market is Stable

New Home Sales Wasilla
The demand for new homes year to date represents 21% of our market. Last year new home sales represented 20% of the reported homes sales in the MLS. Steady as she goes, there is still a demand for a new home.

There have been a few twists to our local market though. There seems to be quite a few new builders competing with each other. So even though the demand has remained steady the share of the pie appears to be split up a bit more. I counted through the existing inventory and came up with about 43 builders that had names displayed. There were about 10 more that didn’t mention the name of the construction company.

This widget is temporarily unavailable. Please refresh the page or try again later. Error code: I was curious what the new construction market did back in the hay day of 2005. There were 1671 closed sales with 623 being new homes. At that time the new home market represented 37% of the total market. That was huge! Although things have declined to about 1/2 of what it was, the demand still seems steady.
The population of our area must be growing to maintain a stable market with inventory that isn’t climbing. The continued percentage of new homes sales is a healthy market indicator.

Follow this link “NEW HOMES” to see what new construction homes are available in Mat-Su Valley right now.

When is the Best Time to Sell My House?

We frequently get asked the question ” When is the best time to sell my house?”  There are several ways to answer this question so in this post we’ll take a look at some statistics over the last year and evaluate other considerations.  If we are to look at the market data correctly we need to see what is the supply and demand for the market segmeant.  The information used is limited to residental homes in the Mat-Su Borough.

To start off we need to look at what the active inventory was for each month and then see what the sales activity was.  To accurately look at sales activity it is important to look at pending sales and not closed sales.  Pending sales tell us what homes went under contract during that time frame.
Closed data, used in most reports generated by the MLS only shows us what sold/closed in that time frame.  So we have to dig a little deeper to get the real facts.

Here is a quick break down of the market over the past 12 months:

November 2010           69 Pending Sales            833  Active             8%
December 2010           61  Pending Sales            733  Acitve             8%
January 2011                80 Pending Sales            691 Active              12%
February 2011               95 Pending Sales            695 Active             14%
March 2011                  122 Pending Sales            750 Active             15%
April 2011                     126 Pending Sales            815 Active             15.5%
May 2011                      121  Pending Sales           882 Active             14%
June 2011                     120 Pending Sales           934 Active             13%
July 2011                      114 Pending Sales            961 Active              12%
August 2011                 139  Pending Sales           980 Active            13%
September 2011           125 Pending Sales           925 Active              11%
October 2011                105 Pending Sales           850 Active             12%

The column on the right showing the percentage represents  homes that were absorbed into the market.  The higher the perecentage the better the odds of selling based on the market supply and demand for that month.   In the past 12 months April was the best time to sell strictly based on the numbers.

The problem is basing things just by the numbers doesn’t always work.  Lets take an example of two similar homes.  One home has extensive landscaping with a beautiful back yard that includes perrinials, manacured lawn and fruit trees.  The other home has no landscaping, but recently updated the kitchen with solid surface counters.  Let’s also assume that the market value for both of these homes is the same.

If we were asked the question “What is the best time to sell” we may have two differant answers for each home owner.  The property with the landscaping is obviouisly going to be appreciated more during the summer months after the third week of May.  The house that has the remodeled kitchen will stand out more in the Winter months since there is no landscaping and a desired interiour feature.

Today it is about 15 below zero.  I’m sure if we were showing both homes today the one with the solid surface counter tops would stand out between the two.  Obviously it is going to ultimately depend on what the buyer is looking for, but if you can’t see it to appreciate it the odds go down.  Our marketing efforts include placards which help to highlight positive features that may be difficult to see.

As shown with the details above, there are homes that sell every month of the year.  Usually the biggest factor is not going to be when is the best time to sell but is the home show ready, properly priced  and marketed correctly.

We would love the opportunity to help you.  Call us at 907-373-8000

[email protected]
[email protected]
Larry & Jacque

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mat-Su Valley Foreclosure Stats

Although we are still 45 days shy from a yearly report, I thought it would be good to look at how foreclosures are affecting our local market. Year to date there have been 146 closed foreclosure sales out of 1100 sold properties. This equates to approximately 13% of the market.

Last year during the same time frame there were 1026 closed sales with 128 being foreclosures. This amounts to 12.5% of the market. The positive I see here is market stability. Although foreclosures remain an active part of our market they still are not dominating our market.

Search Mat-Su Valley Wasilla and Pamer Alaska Foreclosures Here

 

 

 

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Larry and Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers

Direct: (907) 373-8000
Toll Free: (877) 291-0887
Fax: (888) 818-6183
[email protected]
[email protected]

Mailing Address
PO Box 870276
Wasilla AK 99687

3751 S Well Site Rd.
Wasilla, Alaska 99654