Buy Your First Home In Alaska
Your first home purchase can be an exhilarating experience. For the first time in your life, you'll have the freedom to make a space your own. Whether that perfect picture includes vibrant paint colors, a custom kitchen, or a few four-legged friends is up to you. Having that said, regular maintenance, mortgage payments, and utility costs will also be your responsibility, and that's why it's important for you to enter your first home purchase with a complete understanding of what home ownership entails.
Working with a trained Alaska real estate agent can be one of the best decisions you make when investing in your first home. An experienced REALTOR® will offer you local expertise and will have the skills needed to help you negotiate a price that's fair on a property that makes sense. They can also walk you through masses of paperwork and ensure that you find a home that fits your budget and your lifestyle.
First-Time Home Buyer's Guide To The Alaska Real Estate Market
Connect With An Alaska Real Estate Expert
Purchasing your first home is a whirlwind of real estate terminology, big numbers, and unexpected costs. That's why working with a REALTOR® can be invaluable as you take your first steps into the world of real estate. An experienced agent will be able to gauge whether a home is priced too high or whether a home is a fantastic deal worth moving quickly on. They'll be there every step of the way to advise you on how to proceed when complications arise. They'll also be able to navigate complicated closing contracts.
Keep your first home purchase simple. Connect with a trusted Alaska real estate agent.
Narrow Your Home Search
Whether you're searching for a log cabin style home in Wasilla, a luxurious rural acreage in Kenai, a family-friendly home in Eagle River, or a comfortable condo near the heart of Anchorage, there is no shortage of homes to explore on the Alaska real estate market. For some buyers, the prospect of exploring the variety across the market is exciting, but for others, the process is a daunting one.
When it comes to selecting the type of property you want, it's all about finding the home that fits your lifestyle. If you'll rarely be home to enjoy it because your days are packed full of work, errands, and exploring your surroundings, then an expansive single-family home with a large yard might not be a good fit for you. The work to maintenance it and keep everything in shipshape is no small feat, so a smaller house or a condo could be more suited to your lifestyle. With a compact floor plan and the benefit of a building management team taking care of many exterior updates, you'll have plenty of free time to enjoy your surroundings without getting caught up in housework.
By contrast, if you have a passion for gardening and want to keep livestock, a rural property may be the perfect place for you to call home. There's also lakefront cabins, spacious family houses, and more on the diverse and well-stocked Alaskan market. Discuss your goals with your real estate agent, and they'll help you narrow your search down to the properties that meet your needs.
Begin browsing Alaska homes for sale to get a taste for which properties you might be interested in.
Establish Your Budget
For first-time buyers, this can be one of the most difficult parts of the process. It's always tempting to purchase a house that's a bit beyond your budget. Maybe it offers an extra bedroom, has an incredible view of the mountains, or has the kitchen you've been dreaming about. It might seem worth it at the time, however, it's important to purchase a property you can afford through good times and bad ones. A mortgage is a commitment that often lasts more than a decade, so it's important to invest in a home you can truly afford to keep. Owning your own home should be liberating, not a burden.
The first step in establishing your budget is calculating your debt-to-income ratio. Compare your monthly income with your monthly expenses. Car payments, student loans, utility expenses, and credit card debts are all factors that should be considered. If your monthly income fluctuates or you are self-employed, it can be more useful to look at your debt-to-income ratio over a longer period of time to get a more accurate number.
User our Mortgage Calculator to get a better idea of what you can afford.
Consider Mortgage Preapproval
While some buyers have enough in the bank to purchase their home outright, that's typically not the case. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, in 2016, 88% of buyers in America financed their home purchase.
A mortgage is a fickle thing. Lots of people have them, but not everyone qualifies for one, and that's why mortgage preapproval can be fantastic. Even the most serious of buyers can be denied a mortgage, which is why buyers who are preapproved for a mortgage are more appealing to sellers. When you've been preapproved, the seller knows that you have the financial backing in place to make a serious offer. Additionally, the fact that you're preapproved for a mortgage will speed the home sale process by a few weeks.
Place An Offer
Once you've found the home you want to purchase, it's time to make an offer. This is where an experienced Alaskan real estate agent will really shine. They'll be able to advise you on what similar homes in the area sold for and negotiate a fair price. They'll also be able to advise you on whether the home's value is likely to increase based on how desirable the region is.
Inspect The Property
A home inspection is not always a requirement, but depending on the circumstance, it can be a well worth the cost of getting an inspector to come in. If the home has historic appeal, it's often worthwhile to check up on the wiring and the plumbing to ensure that everything is up to modern safety standards. If the home has undergone extensive renovation, a home inspector will be able to tell if the home was modified to code and if the premise is safe. If you're unsure of whether or not you should have an inspection done, consult with your REALTOR® for more information.
Close On Your First Home Purchase
Closing on your home is the last step in a very exciting process. This is where the buyer takes legal possession of the home. The paperwork can be quite elaborate, and here is another portion of the home buying process where a real estate agent can ensure the process moves smoothly. You'll also find that closing comes with a number of unexpected costs. Your real estate agent can advise on you on which ones make sense and which ones can be avoided.
Dar Walden Team: Your Alaska Real Estate Agents
When it comes to purchasing an Alaska home for sale, the Dar Walden Team stands out from the crowd. Dar has been recognized as belonging to the top 1% of real estate agents in the state. She acknowledges the value of a quality education, and her and her team work tirelessly to stay on top of market trends and changes.
When you work with the Dar Walden Team, you work with trained Alaska real estate agents who are dedicated to getting you the best results possible. Here are just a few of the things they can help with:
- Viewing promising properties
- Negotiating a fair price
- Coordinating a home inspection
- Navigating complicated closing contracts
- Doing a final walk through
- Finding your next home
Contact the Dar Walden Team for more information about how we can help you with your first home purchase.