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. 11, 2018

Buyers Beware!

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has some unique Real Estate Challenges, and it is our job to help you avoid these problems. Below is a list of conditions that you should be aware of if you are considering a home purchase.

Construction Quality is a major factor: Many homes were built in the late seventies and early eighties during the Alaska Oil Pipeline Boom, and many of these homes were inadequately built compared to today's building techniques. Homes built with All Weather Wood foundations are of particular concern, and these foundations have started failing. Additionally, we regularly find homes inaccurately advertised and listed as having a concrete foundation, when it is actually sitting on top of an aging All Weather Wood Foundation. When in doubt, check the foundation. Some structures in our area have been constructed or remodeled without regard to building code, haven't been inspected by an engineer, and there may be serious structural defects that are not readily apparent. Things to look for during a home inspection include: electrical problems, poor drainage, mold, carpenter ant damage, missing/damaged/inadequate vapor barrier, poor roof ventilation, failing foundations, deficient heating and plumbing systems, leaky roofs, dry rot, and deficient design. When in doubt, get a home inspection from a Professional Engineer.

permafrost houseBe Aware of Permafrost: Some areas within the Fairbanks and North Pole have permanently frozen soil or ice lenses in the ground. If the land is cleared, or improper building techniques are employed, the ground can melt and cause catastrophic results. Soil suitability can be determined by a professional, and common practice is to have the ground drilled to test for existence of permafrost.

Well Water Quality: If the home is serviced by a private well, the condition of the well and water quality can deteriorate over time. It is important to not only test the quality of the water, but to also check the well flow to ensure the well can provide adequate water volume for your household demands. Contaminants that should be tested for include; sulfolane, arsenic, heavy metals, nitrates, and bacterial growth.

Septic Systems: If public wastewater removal is not available, sewage and wastewater can be discharged into a septic system. If the system does not conform to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation standards, the septic system may need to be replaced or require a waiver from ADEC. When in doubt, get a septic test to verify the function and design of the system.

Buried Fuel Tanks: Home heating oil is frequently stored in buried fuel tanks. Current regulations on residential tanks are minimal, however the resulting contamination from a failed fuel tank is subject to regulation. The property owner may be responsible for contamination clean up and remediation expenses. Considering that most fuel tanks are metal and subject to corrosion, it is important to verify the integrity of an aging fuel tank.

Radon Gas: Radon is a Radioactive Gas and known carcinogen that naturally occurs in certain environments. The EPA recommends action be taken if Radon levels are 4 pCi/L or greater. Fortunately the test is simple, and radon can be mitigated with professional help.

The items listed above are important factors to consider when purchasing a home. Our goal is to help you avoid these problems, and many others during the purchasing process. The expert Realtors at Hedgecock Group Real Estate are skilled at navigating our clients around the hazards found in the Fairbanks and North Pole Real Estate Market. Please reach out to us any time. 

We are here to help!

 

Image courtesy of Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. http://forces.si.edu/soils/02_06_02.html

 

Dec. 10, 2017

What is a Strong Offer?

The Fairbanks and North Pole Real Estate market is extremely dynamic.

Due to the cyclical nature of when people move to and from our market, the vast majority of homes are purchased and sold between March and July. This is due to many factors, including the school year, military relocation schedules, and that moving in the winter is not an enjoyable prospect. Because of the frenzied pace of our market, and that great homes usually receive multiple offers, it is imperative to be prepared financially to make a strong offer on a home when a great home hits the market. Finding a Realtor that understands the negotiation techniques to give you a competetive advantage is essential to success. Once you have found an expert Realtor, you must secure financing, and set aside earnest money for your purchase. I have unfortunately seen too many buyers lose the home of their dreams because they delayed applying for a loan, because they wanted to find the right home before getting pre approved by a lender. I have also witnessed buyers lose the home of their dreams because they didn’t have adequate earnest money to accompany their offer. In the Fairbanks and North Pole markets, customary earnest money is two percent of purchase price. You can get by with less, however it doesn’t make the purchase agreement as appealing to the seller. You must also understand that the highest priced offer is not necessarily the strongest offer. Purchase price is an important aspect, but not necessarily the most important. I have seen many sellers take a lower priced offer in a competing offer situation because the lower priced offer was cash, had a larger amount of earnest money, removed inspection or appraisal contingencies, or didn’t ask for buyer closing costs to be paid for by the seller. This seems extremely complex, however your expert Realtor at Hedgecock Group Real Estate can guide you to success if you allow them. 

If you are considering buying in 2018, it is essential that you begin preparing yourself financially in order to compete and win the home of your dreams.

Posted in Buyer Info
Nov. 14, 2017

Foreclosures & Investing

Real Estate Investment Opportunities are coming available every week in the Fairbanks and North Pole markets, and our site is a great place to begin your search.  REO Properties, also known as "Foreclosures," can be a fantastic way to purchase a property well below market value. Our Realtors are extremely experienced in finding and negotiating the best deal possible, and what costs to consider if renovation is necessary. Our Experienced Lenders have helped many buyers before you purchase these properties with as little as 5% cash down through the AHFC Renovation loan program.  If this is something that you are interested in, contact us today for a free consultation, and we will put together your custom plan for success!

Nov. 12, 2017

Welcome to Eielson Air Force Base!

 

Airmen and Soldiers, 

Welcome to Interior Alaska. This link will take you to the Eielson Air Force Base Home Page.  This is a great resource if you are in the Military and are Relocating to the Fairbanks or North Pole area. Please reach out to us prior to your arrival so we can assist you with the relocation, and make a success plan for your new home search!

http://www.eielson.af.mil

Nov. 12, 2017

Driving the ALCAN?

Are you moving to or from Alaska?  

If you are driving or taking the ferry, we recommend purchasing a copy of the Alaska Milepost. The Milepost is a fantastic trip planner and travel guide, and will be a valuable tool on your international relocation.  Included in the Milepost are road maps of Alaska and Canada, hotels & lodging information, services information, and tourist attractions along the route. For more information, see the website and video below.

http://www.themilepost.com

 

Nov. 12, 2017

PCS Orders to Alaska?

 

Did you just get orders to Alaska?  

If so, congratulations!  You are about to embark on an unforgettable journey.  From the trip up to seeing your first moose, your assignment in Alaska will provide you with one unique experience after another.  Things up here are very different than anything you've seen in the lower 48 and without a doubt, you have a lot of questions.  PCS'ing is stressful, regardless of where you are going.  PCS'ing to Alaska brings a new level of stress many military families have never endured.

We, here at Hedgecock Group Real Estate can relate.  Brett Evens is a former Army Aviator.  Brian Stoltz served as an Infantry Officer and JT Morgan retired as a First Sergeant after almost 22 years of service.  We've all PCS'd and we are all intimately familiar with what you are facing.  We are also Real Estate Professionals here in Fairbanks and North Pole and we can provide a level of service you won't find anywhere else.  

Get in touch with us before you even depart your current duty station and we can advise you on the trip, the community, or what to do on the weekends.  We can help you buy your home and have it ready to move into as soon as you drive into town or we can set things up for you to act quickly in this dynamic market once you arrive.  Along with having PCS’d to and from Alaska, our team has helped numerous other military families with the entire experience – from the initial move to selling your home as you prepare to move on to your next duty station.

We can't wait to hear from you!

 

Nov. 12, 2017

Military Relocation to Fairbanks & North Pole

 

Brian Iraq

Call us today about our Military and Veterans Listing discount!

First off, thank you for your service. After years in the Army as an Aviator and Infantry Officer, Brett Evens and Brian Stoltz have made it their mission to help military families relocate to the Fairbanks/North Pole areas by more than finding a home, but introducing them to the community. Our team prides itself on getting clients prepared to buy before they arrive so that they do not spend weeks in temporary housing, starting the process from scratch, and waiting for their house to close. When it is time to PCS, we’ll will work with you to sell your home so that you can meet your PCS timelines and have one less thing to worry about while preparing for your next duty station.

 

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about your move, about what to expect in Alaska or what to do on the weekends. Along with having PCS’d to and from Alaska, our team has helped numerous other military families with the entire experience – from the initial move to selling your home as you prepare to move on to your next duty station.

 

 

Nov. 12, 2017

Fort Wainwright Alaska Home Page

 

Soldiers & Airmen,

Welcome to Interior Alaska. This link will take you to the Fort Wainwright Home Page.  This is a great resource if you are in the Military and are Relocating to the Fairbanks or North Pole area. Please reach out to us prior to your arrival so we can assist you with the relocation, and make a success plan for your new home search!

http://www.wainwright.army.mil/sites/local/ 

 

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates