Jan 30, 2015

Now IS The Time To Refinance Your Mortgage in Alaska!

With all the speculation on oil prices and the market, one of the smartest things I think you can do is refinance!  If you can refinance and get a lower interest rate and get rid of private mortgage insurance, that's even better!!  In the late 80's a lot of buyers paid mortgage interest rates of 10% or more!  Let's not wait for that to happen (even though I don't think that will happen this year!).

How do you know if a refi is right for you?  Talk to a lender!  A great lender is going to run the numbers of the cost of refinance with the monthly savings it brings to you and counsel you on whether it makes sense for you to refinance!

Rates are so low right now!  Typical 30 year mortgage refinance has been quoted this week at 3.825%.  That can differ depending on your credit and other factors but it's amazingly low and worth looking into!

I love to find my clients amazing properties and negotiate even better deals so when they've owned them for a couple years or more and they've built up some equity along with the appreciation of home prices, sometimes they'll have 20% equity. 

Recession Proof Your Home And Your Money Against Falling Oil Prices!

Are you afraid that oil prices are going to destroy our local economy?  That we are going to have a repeat of the 80's?  That people will be stripping the carpet, light fixtures, cabinets, appliances out of their homes and selling them and leaving state with every little penny they can scrape up?  That's what speculation is and yes we study history and the current markets to get a better idea of WHAT may happen, but don't let fear and speculation paralyze you from making some incredibly smart moves to protect your family today!

Home prices

We don't expect a crash in the market and I'm not saying that say all the potential buyers in the market this year feel better about buying because I'm

Muni Assessed Property Values for 2015 increase 10%?

While some homeowners get excited that the green card in the mail that arrived in the past couple weeks showing that their home has increased in value sometimes around 10%, my first thought was, 'Homes appreciated 3.23%, so how did the Muni figure my property value increased over 8%?'   I checked into a few other friend and past clients tax records and many of them had almost 10% increases too!   Property tax records and values can be found at http://www.muni.org/pw/public.html.

I don't necessarily think that local political figures in Anchorage get a break on their taxes but I'm less than thrilled that Mark Begich's primary residence

Jan 22, 2015

Muni.org Residential Exemption Application Deadline is March 15, 2015!

Every year our team sits down to research our clients and friend's properties located in the Municipality of Anchorage to see if they are receiving their residential exemption of up to $20,000.  It's amazing that about 25% are not and we don't like "free" money to pass by the people we know so each of them receive a phone call from us letting them know we are mailing them an application and copy of their tax record so they can submit their application and save about $300 on their property tax.  Here are the questions we most frequently get and our answers:

Q: Why haven't I heard of this before?
A: Because the Realtor that sold you your home isn't as awesome as we are!  Okay, kidding...kind of.  It's not something that's advertised as far as we know.  Unlike the Alaska PFD that we hear about through all the Pick.Click.Give advertising, this really is just buried in the Muni.org website.

Q:  I rent my home out, can I still apply?
A:  No, it's for your primary residence which does include properties such as a duplex that you live in one of the units.

Q:  I didn't buy my house through a Realtor so I don't qualify right?
A:  You don't have to purchase a home through a Realtor, it's an exemption offered through our Municipality, but as your Realtor or "Realtor friend" I'm going to make sure you know about it and take advantage of it!

Q:  How much will this save me?
A:  That depends.  For most owners in a home that's valued at $200,000 or more, it's about $300 but it depends on the mill rates they decide on for 2015.  They take the mill rate times your assessed property value and that's the amount of property tax you owe each year.  It's 10% of your assessed value up to $20,000 so if you own a condo valued at $150,000, your exemption will be $15,000 times the mill rate.

Q:  Can I go back and get reimbursed for the years I didn't get the exemption since I didn't know about it?
A: No.  You must have your application postmarked by March 15, 2015 for the Muni.org Residential Exemption for 2015. 

Q:  Can I apply online? 
A:  No.  Isn't that crazy that it's 2015 and they still want mailed in or submitted in person applications?  I think so!  I think that's a large reason why so many people that qualify haven't applied. 

So how do you apply?

1) Download the application at muni.org.
2) Print and fill it out using your Parcel ID number that you can find here.
3) Sign and mail it or submit it in person no later than March 15, 2015.
4) If you have a VA disability rating of 50% or more or may qualify for the Senior Exemption, download that form in addition to the other form by going to this page.

Alaska Total Real Estate Market Overview Update for the Week of January 23rd, 2015

The snow is falling and the temperatures are dropping but the market is starting to heat up once again!  Below you can find a link to a PDF file of the market overviews for different property types.  Please call if you have any questions!

Want to search for homes in your price range?  Access to all Alaska MLS listings available here at the CroomTeam.com!