How to Choose an Anchorage Home
Here are some tips to help determine which Anchorage Alaska property is best for you.
Once you've settled on a couple of preferred Anchorage neighborhoods for your home, condominium or investment property, it's time to pick out a few homes to view. Having a house features “wish list” keeps you focused on which features are most important to you.
When narrowing down your Anchorage home search, consider the following:
- know what type of home you want to buy
- determine what age and condition of the house you want to buy
- consider resale potential
- use a features wish list to keep focused
- use a home search comparison chart to keep organized
- act decisively when you find the right home
Determine What Type of Anchorage Alaska Home You Want to Buy
There are several forms of home ownership: single-family homes, multiple-family homes, condominiums and co-ops.
Anchorage Single-family homes: One home per lot...well almost. There are some attached homes, that look like a duplex or condominium. These are called zero lot lines or you might see, ZLL. The features of a Zero Lot Line are much like that of a home, but you are attached. No rules for parking, painting, roofing, noise, etc... They are usually zoned as single family lots, give the owner good flexibility when needed. You just have to hope your attached owner doesn't exercise their flexibility on you.
Anchorage Multiple-family homes: Some buyers, particularly first-timers, start with multiple-family dwellings, so they'll have rental income to help with their costs. Many mortgage plans, including VA and FHA loans, can be used for buildings with up to four units, if the buyer intends to occupy one of them.
Anchorage Condominiums: There are two styles of condominiums, standards and site. The standard condominium has higher dues, and usually takes care of more maintenance items than a site condominium. The standard Anchorage Alaska condominium has rules, Home Owners Association and most have management companies to help with financials, maintenance, etc... The site condo really varies with the home owner dues. The site condominium dues are usually less than the standard condominium, because the owner is responsible for some items like roof, siding, crawlspace or other item. With both you own a certain percentage of the "common elements" - staircases, sidewalks, common yard, etc. A homeowner’s association administers the development and rules.
Anchorage Co-ops: In Anchorage co-ops are not very common. With co-ops, you purchase shares in a corporation that owns the whole building, and you receive a lease to your own unit. A board of directors, comprised of owners and elected by owners, supervises the building management. Monthly charges include your share of an overall mortgage on the building.
Decide What Age and Condition of Anchorage Home You Want to Purchase
Weigh your needs, budget and personal tastes in deciding whether you want to buy a newly constructed home, an older home or a "fixer-upper" that requires some work.
Consider Resale Potential
As you look at homes, you may want to keep in mind these resale considerations.
- One-bedroom Anchorage condos are more difficult to resell than two-bedroom condos.
- Two-bedroom/one-bath single houses generally have less appeal than houses with three or more bedrooms, and therefore have less appreciation potential.
- Homes with "curb appeal," i.e., well-maintained, attractive and with a charming appearance from the street, are the easiest to resell.
- The most expensive houses on the street, or ones with anything unusual or unique are not suited for resale. The best investment potential is traditionally found in a less expensive, more moderately sized Anchorage home.
Use a Features Wish List to Keep Your Search Focused
Make a features wish list to clarify which features are most and least important to you when looking for a home. Using this features wish list will keep your house hunt focused and effective.
Use a Home Comparison Chart to Keep Your Observations Organized
While house hunting, it's a good idea to make notes about what you see because viewing several houses at a time can be confusing. Use a home comparison chart to help you keep track of your search, organize your thoughts and record your impressions.
Act Decisively When You Find the Right Anchorage Home
Before you begin the home buying process, resolve to act promptly when you do find the right house. Every REALTOR® has stories to tell about a couple who looked far and wide for their dream home, finally found it, and then said, "We always promised my Dad we'd sleep on it, so we'll make an offer tomorrow." Many times the story had a sad ending - someone else came in that evening with an offer that was accepted.
Resolve that you will act decisively when you find the house that’s clearly right for you. This is particularly important after a long search or if the house is newly listed and/or underpriced.