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MONICA DALLAS • Broker ~ Realtor ~ Owner Monica Dallas Realty • Cell 907-388-4987 • Fax 907-479-6031 • mailing address: PO Box 81287 • physical address: 69 Trinidad Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska 99708

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Time running out for special tax credit


Program allotting $8,000 for first-time home buyers ends on Nov. 30

• Time running out on tax credit ................ 2 • Learn how to boost home air quality ....... 6 • Fresh ideas for antiques ................... 8 • Diagnostic tools can find heat loss ........... 8 • You and your home are a system .................. 10 • Set up a mortgage protection plan ......... 11 • Insure building projects from start ......... 14 • High mass versus low mass boilers ............. 15 • Value of health, home intertwined ............... 18 • Tips for energy-efficient home ............... 20 • No substitute for flood insurance ................. 22 • Upgrade counters, floors ....................... 25 • There’s help when the pipes freeze.............. 26 • Buyers get lowdown from sellers .............. 27 • Google Maps tweaks listings ..................... 28 • Mold a hazard in some homes ...................... 29 • Radon not a dealbreaker .................... 30 • Short sales on the increase ................... 31


30, and that date is unforgiving. Qualified consumers Time is running out to cash interested in buying a home Homeownin on the $8,000 first-time should offer a contract as soon home buyer tax credit as the as possible to take advantage ership is an Nov. 30 deadline approaches. of the credit. Thousands of buyers have The tax credit may not be investment in already taken advantage of the only thing buyers miss this tremendous opportunity, out on by waiting. Recent your future and but there are only a few short statistics and trends show weeks left for would-be homsigns the market has already shouldn’t be eowners to act. hit bottom and is rising again. Today’s home-buying proPrices have stabilized in many rushed. cess takes time. Lenders are areas and while interest rates being more cautious about remain historically low, there approving loans and are scruis no guarantee they’ll remain rolling sooner rather than tinizing borrowers’ financial low. Current conditions may later. information more closely. This not last much longer. Those who assume the means that the days of setThere has never been a government will extend the tling on a home in two weeks tax credit beyond the Nov. 30 better time to achieve the are long gone. deadline could be disappointed dream of homeownership. The typical closing process Stacy Risner Delaying the process could and miss out, since Congress is taking longer than it has has not indicated that the tax jeopardize obtaining the home in the past. Home appraisals you want for the price you for a home and closing on the credit will be extended. The are taking longer, and home wisest choice qualified buyers want and receiving money inspections and title searches deal. can make is to take advantage from Uncle Sam in return. Homeownership is an must also be factored into The clock is definitely ticking. investment in your future and of current market conditions Stacy Risner is the association the process. According to the – high inventory, low interest shouldn’t be rushed. Buyers executive for the Greater Fairbanks Greater Fairbanks Board of rates and affordability – while Board of Realtors. Their vision is to who want to take advantage Realtors®, homebuyers need the $8,000 tax credit is still be the collective force influencing of the tax credit can save to be realistic about the time available. and shaping the real estate industhemselves a lot of stress and it will take between searching try in the greater Fairbanks area. The tax credit expires Nov. anxiety by getting the ball

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MONICA DALLAS • Broker ~ Realtor ~ Owner Monica Dallas Realty • Cell 907-388-4987 • Fax 907-479-6031 • mailing address: PO Box 81287 • physical address: 69 Trinidad Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska 99708


I’m known locally as a down-to-earth Realtor-Broker. I have a comprehensive knowledge of today’s market and I will evaluate and promote the attributes of your real estate.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Madden Real Estate, LLC 810 Barnette Street Fairbanks, AK 99701

Wes Madden 452-3000 View listings at

1305 28th Ave, #4 • $129,900 3 bd/ 1.5 ba/ 1 car

325 Bullion Drive • $192,300 3 bd/ 1.5 ba

1513 27th Ave, Unit A • $194,900 3 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 1 car

910 Refinery Loop • $194,900 3 bd/ 2 ba

3551 Timber Valley Dr. • $199,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

1513 27th Ave, Unit C • $204,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 1 car

2421 Outside Blvd • $219,900 3 bd/ 1.5 ba/ 2 car

2315 Planters Lane • $224,500 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

1014 29th Ave • $224,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

2488 Babybell Street • $236,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

NHN Crest Drive • $239,900 3 bd/ 2 ba

1217 Airline Drive • $249,500 4 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 3 car

2807 Gillam Way • $249,900 3 bd/ 2 bd/ 2 car

1384 Whistling Swan Dr. • $259,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 1 car

1498 Alderwood Drive • $274.900 4 bd/ 3 ba/ 2 car

3670 Regius Avenue • $279,900 3 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 2 car

1550 Taroka Drive • $284,900 3 bd/ 3 ba/ 4 car

3200 Daphne Lane • $287,500 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

2505 Allen Adale Road • $289,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

2483 Livingston Loop • $299,900 3 bd/ 2 ba

5180 Chilkoot Drive • $299,900 5 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

95 Mountain View Dr. • $299,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

3161 Judge Arend Ave. • $299,900 4 bd/ 3 ba/ 3 car

1383 Dupont Lane • $299,900 3 bd/ 4 ba/ 2 car

2210 Cordes Drive • $302,500 3 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 2 car

201 Sacia Avenue • $323,900 4 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 2 car

985 Haven Lane • $329,900 3 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 2 car

1212 St. Aton Drive • $335,000 4 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 2 car

3726 Aune Court • $339,900 4 bd/ 3 ba/ 2 car

3160 Hillary Avenue • $341,500 3 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 2 car

215 Brighton Court • $349,900 4 bd/ 2 ba/ 2 car

830 Pickering Drive • $369,900 4 bd/ 3 ba/ 2 car

1911 Blackburn Way • $384,900 3 bd/ 2 ba/ 3 car

295 Topside Road • $485,900 4 bd/ 2.5 ba/ 3 car


1070 Turner Street, #101 • $118,000 2 bd/1 ba


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Featured Homes from Castles to Cabins ING PEND






4 bed, 2.5 bath home with a stunning hillside location minutes from Fairbanks. Home is custom landscaped with fire pit & multilevel garden beds. Main level has open floor plan, gas fireplace & large vaulted ceilings with panoramic view. Open kitchen featuring breakfast bar, tile flooring and solid surface countertops.

5 bed, 3.5 bath, 3 car garage Alaskan dream log home. Tile flooring throughout. Kitchen w/granite countertops, hickory cabinets, stainless steel appliances and breakfast bar. Loft with built in ladder. Multilevel treks decks. Huge garage for cars and toys.

4 bed, 3.5 baths, 2 car garage home on a corner lot in the hills. Home features two master suites, custom kitchen w/ marble counter tops, two laundry areas. All nestled on three wooded acres.

4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2 car garage brand new construction home in the hills. Surround sound capability, internet and cable access throughout. Kitchen features stainless steel appliances, island and tons of counter and cabinet space. Large walk in closets in every room. All on 2 quiet acres.

Broker Jaquie Rosenthal 322-5717 $329,900 4 bed, 2.5 bath, 4 car garage/shop area. Sunken living room with fireplace insert. Master suite has sauna and Jacuzzi tub. Built in mahogany book shelves. Lovely landscaped yard in a private setting.

Scott Rosenthal 460-9328


$295,000 2 bed, 2.5 bath each unit in this side by side duplex. Each unit features laminate flooring, full bath in each bedroom. Powder room on main level for guests. Designed for snowbirds.

$259,900 4 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage in town home. Newer carpeting, laminate flooring and tile. Updated bathrooms, large living area w/ stone fireplace and formal dining area.

$234,900 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage home ready for your personal touches. Formal and informal areas for your family. Full finished basement with storage room and separate laundry area. Kitchen has breakfast area and barstool area. Home also features great fenced yard for kids and pets.





4 bed, 2.5 bath, 1 car garage home with lots of square footage for the money. Three large bedrooms upstairs with master suite featuring private bath. Kitchen walks out to screened sun porch overlooking large fenced back yard. Downstairs features family room with kitchenette, laundry area and fourth bedroom with full bath. New exterior paint and concrete driveway.

2 bed, 2 bath, 1 car garage condo. This 55+ community is a warm and welcoming environment. Unit is handicap accessible on the main level with walk in shower in master suite. Unit is upgraded with new paint and carpet. Washer/dryer area in unit. Unit has additional parking spot and unit. Low condo fees include cable, water and heat.

3 bed, 2 bath, 1 car garage corner lot home. Upstairs features big bay window, rock fireplace, dining room with door leading to two tier deck. Lower level has den that could be another bedroom with addition of closet. Fresh paint and well maintained make this home ready to move into.

3 bed, 1.5 bath, 1 car garage. End unit condo that backs up to Beaver Creek. Large kitchen with breakfast bar opening to dining room. Living room features French doors to large back yard and deck. Low condo dues cover water/sewer.

$59,000 Build your dream home on this 1.89 acres lot located in the beautiful Chena Ridge area. Lot features mature trees to build that perfect tree house for the kids or for you to relax on a hammock. Build your dream home on this 1.89 acre lot located in the beautiful Chena Ridge area. Lot features mature trees to build that perfect tree house for the kids or for you to relax on a hammock.


$139,900 3 bed, 1 bath home with a great floor plan. Radiant floor heat throughout and tile & laminate flooring. Large entry way, oak cabinets in kitchen, large utility room with overhead door for easy access.





3 bed, 2 bath log home in Delta. Home has just been finished to include baseboard heating, master bedroom with private bath that has large jetted tub. Open floor plan with picture windows and spacious kitchen with oak cabinetry.

2 bed, 1 bath home in a central location. Home features an additional living area that could be a third bedroom. Home has sun house with deck in the backyard that overlooks the slough.

2 bed, 2 bath home in a serene setting right on the river with sandy bank perfect for fishing. Home features wood stove, newer jetted tub, loft area for tons of storage that could be finished into additional living space. Screened sunroom off living area.

452-6387 • Nobody sells more real estate in the Fairbanks and North Pole area than RE/MAX!


This is a 3.11 acre lot in a great North Pole location. Lot is wooded in a private area with mature trees. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to build your home on this beautiful lot.



Friday, September 25, 2009

Paid Advertising Content

WOOD HEAT ... bringing the Alaskan lifestyle home.

With the move to a new building, expansion of a small engine sales and service department, and borough air quality issues, there is a lot going on this year at The Woodway. In June The Woodway moved from their home for the past 28 years at 918 College Road to their new building just down College Road next to the Farmer’s Market. Their beautiful new show room has many active displays of woodstoves, fireplaces, gas stoves and fireplaces, pellet stoves, oil stoves and Monitor heaters and even an 8000 pound Tulikivi masonry heater. The beauty and comfort of all of these appliances can be enjoyed in spacious home like surroundings. Efficient and clean burning these fireplaces and stoves can reduce heating costs, enhance the value and beauty of your

home, and help keep a clean healthy environment. The new building also facilitates an expanded small engine/ saw shop department. Over a one thousand square foot well lit show room displays: lawnmowers, chainsaws, generators, wood splitters, hand forged axes and many more items that Alaskans use around their yards and gardens as well as industrial tools like cut off saws and commercial lawn maintenance equipment. Owner Kent Severns says, “We are excited to have Jon Sanford join James Murphy in managing the small engine department. His many years of experience and knowledge are huge assets.” With large


well equipped work bays and a well trained staff of mechanics The Woodway is able to service all your power equipment quickly and professionally. Borough air quality has been in the news lately and especially how it is affected by wood burners. Nathan Sapp who has been with The Woodway for ten years has been asked to volunteer with the Borough Pollution Control Commission, to stay abreast of the issues, and help ensure residents can responsibly heat their homes with renewable fuels. There is good news and much that can be done to improve air quality. Newer EPA certified woodstoves produce one tenth the amount of emissions that older non certified stoves do. As older stoves are replaced with newer stoves we will see an improvement in air quality. Proper operation of wood stoves is also key to clean burning and The Woodway is committed to helping train customers on how to best operate their stoves. Starting in October, The Woodway will be holding classes on proper operation techniques every Saturday from 9-10 AM. This will include everything from firewood quality and starting a fire, to how to know your stove or fireplace is running efficiently. The public is welcome to attend. The Woodway would like to thank Fairbanks, North Pole, and the surrounding communities for their loyalty over the last 31 years, and they look forward to maintaining that trust in the future.

AT A GLANCE The Woodway • •

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Where: On College Road next to Farmer's Market Products: Wood and gas stoves and fireplaces, Monitor and Kuma oil stoves, chimney and stovepipe, hearth accessories, chainsaws and accessories, lawn mowers and small engine products Services: Wood stove, fireplace and chimney installation, Monitor service, chainsaw and small engine service Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Phone: 452-4002

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Information your best tool in determining home’s air quality By DAN SPILLANE

Dan Spillane

making any informed decision and there are many resources Living in Interior Alaska right here in Fairbanks at has unique challenges and your disposal. Whether you this could not be more evident take a free heating system than in the homes we live. seminar from Alaska Housing Over the last year I have Finance Company, research had the opportunity to visit available literature from approximately 200 homes in the Cold Climate Housing and around Fairbanks while Research Center, discuss performing home energy indoor air quality with the audits, and radon gas samUniversity of Alaska’s Cooppling. This article is to share erative Extension, or consult my observations and make with an Alaska Building Scisome recommendations for ence Network professional; those of you who own your you have numerous readily home or are looking to buy available recourses. one. To begin, you must assess Knowledge is the key to the overall “health” of a

home. Poor indoor air quality has been the most prevalent and problematic issue in homes I have visited. The three most predominant air quality issues include excess moisture, back-drafting of heating appliances and radon. Proper ventilation and pressure control are solutions, but the extent of the damage and means to mitigate need to be assessed especially with radon. For example, significant levels of radon cannot be mitigated by ventilation alone. The first area of air quality concern is moisture. All

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homes with occupants will generate moisture. Water travels in vapor form and condenses when it meets a cold surface. Telltale signs of excess moisture are found in areas where there is a temperature differential which may or may not be immediately visible without a little sleuthing. Inspect the home for discoloration and mold around window sills, attic penetrations, bathroom walls, ceilings and floor joists above crawl spaces. If a home has a “mildew” odor in any area there may be reason to be concerned. Excess moisture can cause serious health issues from exposure to mold as well as the ability to literally destroy a home through wood rot. Home mold test kits are readily available and if you suspect a problem, get one. Tight homes are common in the Interior, but the integration of make-up air for boilers, furnaces and wood stoves is not as prevalent. If a home is relatively tight, has high volume bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, and does not have an adequate make-up air supply it has the makings of a “perfect storm” with respect to back-drafting of combustion gases and carbon monoxide. Make sure all combustion appliances have a dedicated air supply or have the home tested for safety. Such safety testing should include CO and zone-to-zone pressure measurements. Radon gas is a known pollutant in the Fairbanks area. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that migrates into homes and is considered to be the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Homes with foundations close to bedrock, usually near one of the hills surrounding Fairbanks, have the greatest potential for radon gas entry. Since radon gas cannot be seen or smelled, you must test for its presence using one of several locally available test options. If radon is found to be above acceptable EPA levels (4 picocuries per liter of air) steps to reduce the Please see AIR, Page 7

Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

AIR: Mitigation factors for radon If your building is found to be tight then there are a number of systems to select from. These options range from installing a heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) to improving air quality with continuous rated bathroom exhaust fans that are controlled by dehumidistats. So, whether you already own or are considering the purchase of a home you should take time to learn about proper building techniques for Interior Alaska. Once educated, you may wish to perform your own health and safety inspections. If you discover anything anomalous or potentially dangerous, spend some time to research your options and then make an informed decision about mitigating it.

Continued from Page 6

concentration are recommended to be taken. The Cooperative Extension Service is an excellent point of reference for testing methods and mitigation. Rich Seifert is the Cooperative Extension Service Energy and Housing professional and he can help to answer your radon questions. The phone number for the Cooperative Extension Service office is 474-6366. One way to ensure a healthy environment for you and your home is to ensure proper ventilation needs are met. Consider first having the home evaluated for air tightness to determine the building and occupant venDan Spillane is an environmental and tilation needs. A blower door airtightbuilding specialist at Arctic Technical Services. ness test provides accurate scientific information about building air leakage.

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Your home isn’t a museum just because you own antiques Houston Chronicle Antiques don’t have to live in glass cages. Sure, they should be handled carefully, but they’re also meant to be enjoyed and deserve a role in modern lives. “There’s always a way to incorporate old with new,” says Houston native Reyne Haines, an appraiser on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow.” Here are a few of her suggestions: 1. Encourage your children to collect something of their own. Start with budget-friendly pieces they can afford, such as Depression glass. Make collecting a fun, family adventure. If everyone is enjoying the day at an antiques fair or flea market, give the kids specific items to find. Teach them how to evaluate an item’s condition — does it have chips or cracks? — and how to determine its worth. 2. Display antiques as you would other mementos, such as photos. Whether they function or not, you can use them to introduce color to a room. 3. Don’t be afraid to repurpose antiques. Look for mismatched berry bowls that can be filled with wax and wicks (available at crafts stores) and given as oneof-a-kind gifts. For an extra-special touch, wrap them in tulle and tie on bows. Or seek out old postcards that can be placed in frames for display. Another option: Turn them into greeting cards by mounting them on card stock. To play up their vintage, cut a small circle in the stock to reveal the postmarks.

Diagnostic tools can help you save money on energy costs applicable), a full report with a rating certificate and improvement options.

By DAYLA LEFFEL The easiest way to measure building airtightness is with a diagnostic tool called a blower door. A blower door test is used to measure and quantify the airtightness of a structure. Air leakage can result in an unnecessary waste of energy. The blower door consists of a powerful, calibrated fan that is temporarily sealed into an exterior doorway. The fan depressurizes the house to create a slight pressure difference between inside and outside. If you own and occupy a home in Alaska, you are eligible to participate in a home rebate program through Alaska Housing Finance Corp.. You can receive rebates for improving your home’s energy efficiency. There are no income restrictions for this program. Check out the Web site at for more information about

Infrared thermal imaging

Leading-edge infrared technology can efficiently perform building diagnostics (including airtightness) and nonThermal imaging shows an destructive testing. Infrared outlet that is much hotter technology is quickly becoming than its neighbor. a valued tool in identifying problems related to energy the program. Additionally, if loss, inefficient systems, water your home is five-star rated, damage, etc. you can still qualify for rebates Thermal imaging cameras if appropriate upgrades are identify patterns of heat loss performed. that are invisible to the naked Your first step is to have eye. Thermal imaging will an “as-Is” rating done by a quickly and nondestructively certified AKWarm energy indicate the air leaks within a rater. The energy rater will property and can produce meaevaluate your home and will surement data reports. give you a report with recomFor example, when conductmended improvements. This ing an infrared inspection of will include a blower door an attic or hot roof, “thermal test, a heat load calculation (if by-passes” can be identified as well as the correct manner in which to eliminate the heat loss. Locating these air infiltration points (with help from a blower door) exposes the sources of incoming cold air and heat escape. Additionally, thermal imaging cameras can test for: • Heat loss • Malfunctioning circuit breakers • Presence of insulation or lack of insulation sponsor you during your deployment. • Non-invasive means of preventive maintenance Judy Somers David Somers • Location of radiant floor tubes Kelli Powers Heather Lambert • Leaks and extent of water April Frick Doug Somers damage Kristen Couture Whitney Boese Thermography Inspections Angie Tallant Lisa Supino are an important quality conLisa Williamson trol measure when building or renovating a home or other building. An infrared scan can detect thermal defects and air • Yukon Title Company leakage in building envelopes.


& THE ENTIRE STRYKER BRIGADE Thank you so very much for defending our freedom! It has been our pleasure to

Our thanks to the following for their donations: S.A.L. Squadron 57 American Legion Post 57 American Legion Auxiliary Unit 57 American Legion Auxiliary Unit 15 Phil Evans, Hannah Monzingo, Chris Sadler & Anne Shinkwin

• • • • •

Bowers Office Products Fairbanks Environmental Services Rich Kelley Realty Heartland Realty KIAK Listeners


• • • • • •

Emmett and Dayla Leffel are the owner/operators of Alaska Thermal Imaging LLC. Their many designations include Residential & Commercial Building Diagnostics Specialist, Certified Thermagrapher, Infrared Thermal Specialist and Certified AKWARM Energy Rater. Visit their website at or call 488-4332.

Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Thermal imaging can show exactly where you’re losing heat, and how the cold is getting in. At left, darkened areas around a door show cold penetration. At right, the yellow highlights show areas where heat from the inside of the house is escaping.

Photos courtesy of Emmett and Dayla Leffel

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3 bdrm, 2 bth ranch house with garage & shop!

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Affordable Log Home! 1 bdrm, 1 bth with fenced yard near UAF!


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

You and your home are part of the same system COLD CLIMATE HOUSING RESEARCH CENTER A system, according to, is a “harmonious arrangement or pattern.” While this definition may prompt many of us think of “the solar system,” or the Internet, we want you to think of you and your home as a system, too. Like other systems, each of your home’s parts is important: without a well-insulated building envelope, a highly fuel-efficient boiler will effectively heat your indoor spaces — and the Great Outdoors as well. Leaving an exterior door open on a 20-below-zero day does the same thing. The different parts of your house either work together to improve your home or are out of balance and do not allow your home to perform optimally. You are a part of the system. To keep you healthy and safe, your home components must work in harmony. A “tight” house, one that has carefully sealed walls, and efficient doors and windows, will do a great job of holding in heat — and all the moisture your bathroom is

putting out when you take a shower — unless your system includes an effective way of moving air and moisture in and out of your home. That moist air can make its way into your walls when you are not aware of it. Turn on the kitchen fan when you boil water for pasta. You are a part of the system. Although a complex system, you and your home have simple needs. Think of it this way: when your home “breathes in,” it is taking in the warm, moist air you have produced by living there. If the home is not “breathing out,” using a heat recovery ventilation system for example, the stale, moist air stays and settles in your home. This means less healthy air for you, and the moisture in the air can support mold and mildew growth. You are a part … you get the idea. So what are the parts of a safe, energy-efficient home system? Here are some of the

most important: • Your system must be able to keep the moist air in the building at healthy levels. Reducing moisture levels effects all the parts of the system. A tight building “envelope” requires a mechanical system, such as an HRV, to ventilate the system. These can be retrofitted in existing homes, but if this is not possible, it is very important to determine how else to ventilate; at the very least, always use your kitchen fan when cooking and bathroom fan when bathing. There are also new, low-energy fans can automatically provide continuous low level ventilation and intermittent higher ventilation when needed. • The walls, foundation and roof must be adequately insulated, enough to keep in heat during Fairbanks’ extreme winter cold; if you are living in a home with 6 inches or less of insulation, save up to add insulation.

Experience & Integrity are #1! MORGAN MACCHIONE


CCHRC’s REMOTE wall design allows the addition of rigid foam panels on the outside of the home, underneath siding, and can more than double the amount of insulation you currently have. This is expensive, initially. But the payback in years of greatly reduced heating bills will be your reward. Remember adding extra insulation can make your home more air tight so address your new ventilation needs at the same time. • Windows and doors have the lowest R-value of any part of your home’s exterior. Making them as energy-efficient as possible means reduced heating bills in winter, but also warming the home with passive solar. Constant condensation on the windows in winter means your system is not balanced — and can create an unhealthy living environment for its occupants. • Your heating system, be it furnace or boiler, obviously contributes to the comfort the system provides. But how well it functions can mean the difference between warmth and cold, fresh air and dangerous fumes in your system. Have it checked yearly to make sure it is in balance and perform-

ing optimally, and if you make adjustments to the air-tightness of your home make sure to have the combustion air supply for your boiler checked too. Above all, know your home: What does it contain? How does the boiler work? How well do the doors and windows open in the cold? Understanding the system, and your part in it, will improve your home system. There are many places to get more information about your home system. Check out the CCHRC website, at www., for building science research, Alaska Building Science Network for additional resources http://www.absn. com/freedownloads.cfm, and for Alaska energy rebate program and weatherization grant information. The Department of Energy “Energy Savers” website, www.energysavers. gov, has great home building and care tips. And talk to local home builders, plumbers and others. They live and work in Fairbanks, and can help you better understand your home system, and how to keep it “alive and breathing.”

Installers of Seamless Rain Gutters

456-4528 2745 Van Horn Road


Call Karen Conover Certified Moving Consultant

Granite, Corian® & Laminate Countertops & Vanities Fireplace Surrounds, Hearths, Etc. (Also Quartz, Marble & Recycled Glass)

Manufacturers and Suppliers of Stone Man Made & Natural for Exterior Siding, Fireplaces, Etc.

A L A S K A S T O N E & P R E C A S T, I N C . 2915 Badger Road, North Pole, AK 99705

(907) 488-9819






458-0055 • 978-5985

Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Mortgage protection plan a key By GORDON DEPUE and DARLA J. HALL

funds at death to the lender or mortgage holder. This results in a note paid in full, If you have purchased a but may not take into considhome, why not make sure eration home improvements, your family gets to live in it? second mortgages, or other The addition of a simple, obligations, such as judglow-cost term insurance plan ments and future lawsuits. to pay off the debt if one or 2. Owner’s plan: A plan of both wage earners were to your own can be flexible to die is just common sense. cover any, if not all, of those A place to live is a key situations. part of any long-range plan. a. A plan of your own pays A mortgage for 10, 20, or 30 to the beneficiary of your years requires about 30 min- choice and can be changed as utes of your time today and circumstances change. Also, in many instances, requires some plans will pay your a premium equal to less than house payment if you are dis1 percent of the amount at abled. risk. b. Health changes in the The two common types of future can make your plan’s mortgage insurance are debt- conversion option one of the or’s insurance, often supplied most important part of your by the lender or payable to plan. the mortgage holder, and the 3. Remember, more homes owner’s mortgage term plan, are lost from death of the payable to the owner’s family. borrower than are lost from Which is best? The wise fire. The finest example of choice is the plan that is the a long-term contract for most flexible, since we are the delivery of money ever talking about many years designed is the Planned Life into the future. Insurance Policy. Since the owner pays for Darla J. Hall has lived in Faireither plan, the best choice banks for 16 years. She’s been is to own and control the for almost 23 years, and plan you buy. A few points to married has a 7-year old daughter, Marisa. remember are listed here: Darla came to the Ken Murray 1. Lender’s plan: Pays Insurance Agency after studying

like gangbusters and acing her L&H eexam the very first time. She’s been at KAM since Februar 2008 and is here to stay. Gordon Depue has been an all lines licensed agent in Fairbanks for 34 years, with 50 years experience in life and jealth Insurance. In 2004 he and his wife, Ardella, sold their agency here in Fairbanks to retire and travel. His wife’s illness prevents travel, so he currently works as a consultant at Ken Murray Insurance. Ken is the current owner of an agency that’s been in Fairbanks for 70 years.


Darla J. Hall

Gordon Depue

me H o m e llccaotot tm e e W W rreea tiime to buy or s ! g g a a el ''ss







Gorgeous Riverfront Doyon Estates Condominium! MLS #112004 – $415,000 Enjoy Breathtaking River Views From Your Back Deck! This exclusive condominium development is one of Fairbanks’ only gated communities. Five star when built, this unit boasts beautiful cherry kitchen cabinets and solid granite countertops, HRV, radiant heat throughout, and air conditioning!

COME SEE US AT BOOTH #117 AT THE WINTER SHOW! Lovely Fairbanks Home! 12356364-9-25-09H&RE

3410 College Road

MLS #112183 – $242,000 Enjoy the convenience of in-town living in this beautifully maintained home! This 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 car garage home boasts many upgrades and over 2500 square feet of living space. Enjoy barbecues and some special family time in the park-like backyard. Nearly 10 Acre Estate! MLS #111873 – $139,900 Horse Property with 5 Stall Barn and HUGE Shop! Don’t Miss this secluded gem of a fixer upper! Nearly all 10 acres are fenced on this sanctuary-like farmstead minutes from town in the Goldstream Valley.

Lifetime warranty.

Just Listed! $210,000 Immaculate, family-friendly 3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage on city utilities!  Includes fenced yard, Large family room and a huge sun-filled 22 x 36 deck to enjoy the summer sun. Call Patty!

Steve Ballek 488-6175

Call Susan or Patty at 479-4000 Please visit us at our new location in the Chena Center Building at 815 2nd Ave. Ste. 204!


Ask About Our Lease/Purchase Plan


A water softener designed for North Pole and Fairbanks water.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

nks Realtor a b r i s Fa RICK EMERSON


RE/MAX Associates of Fairbanks

House Hunter Realty

Rick has lived in Alaska since 1975 and became a realtor in 1997. Rick works with all land types as well as homes - he has a little something for everyone. He was Third in closed transactions for all of Alaska with RE/MAX for 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, first in closed transactions (Individual) 2005, 2006 & 2007 and in the 100% Club.

Jo Anne has roots in Fairbanks stretching back 100 years and is committed to her town. Let her help you find the right place to call home. BrokerOwner, ABR and UAF Alumni. “Let me lead you home!” Call Jo Anne at 460-2525 Call Rick at 452-6387

SCOTT ROSENTHAL involved Air Force Veteran who specializes in helping Military Families PCS. Our business is family owned and operated and can assist you in Buying, Selling, and Property Management. Call The Rosenthal Team today for all of your Real Estate needs.

Call Scott at 460-9328

Honesty, Integrity, Enthusiasm! Grace is amazing! Mother of 3, active in the community. Top producing Agent & Broker. Born & raised in Fairbanks! 2007 Affiliate Realtor of the Year!“ 1st Class Service every time,Your Home Town Realtor”

Call Grace 479-8000

When you’re read to buy or sell Real Estate, call Ginger! at 452-8000

Call Jaquie at 322-5717

Somers & Associates, Inc.

Interior Alaska Realty Call Bruce at 455-9550 Call Sue at 479-4000

Call Dave at 456-7653 ext. 101

GRACE MOORE Century 21 Gold Rush

Call Grace at 590-0306 email:

Cameron Harter, Associate Broker and Top Producer, earned his BBA in marketing at Washington State University. Cameron has extensive knowledge, skills and experience in marketing and real estate, and will work hard with you to accomplish your real estate goals.

Call Cameron at 456-4653

JONI SCHNEIDER Heartland Realty

Monica Dallas Realty

I have over 30 years experience and have owned and operated Heartland since 1990. I was voted REALTOR of the year in 2003 and was president of GFBR in 2006. I represent buyers or sellers with great success! If it is experience you’re looking for, I’ll look forward to helping you!

Monica is a knowledgeable, down-to-earth Realtor who offers outstanding customer service. She will work hard to make the buying/selling process an easy one for you. Monica has lived in the Fairbanks area for 27 years and has raised her children here.

Call 388-4987



Madden Real Estate

Madden Real Estate

Call Jewel at 452-3000

Coldwell Banker Gold Country


A 32-year Alaskan, Grace Moore knows the community well and enjoys helping people buy or sell their homes. She is an Accredited Buyers Representative and a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Grace has worked with first-time homebuyers, military clients, Seniors, and seasoned homeowners. She’ll give you her best whether buying or selling a home.

Home of the Guaranteed Sale Program. Jewel and the team at Madden Real Estate are the #1 real estate team in the interior. Jewel is a mother of two and Buyer Specialist for the Madden Team. Specializing in Military Relocations, First Time Buyer Programs, and New Construction, Jewel has the knowledge it takes to see you achieve your Real Estate goals.

Call Janet at 456-4725


Committed to excellence in both residential and commercial real estate. Dave is a consistent top producer and believes in satisfied and fullyinformed clients.

Call Judy at 456-7653 ext. 105

Broker/Owner of Fortune Properties of Fairbanks calling Alaska home for over 35 years and assisting the Fairbanks community and surrounding area with their real estate needs for over 25 years.

Home of the Guaranteed Sale Program. Wes and the team at Madden Real Estate are the #1 real estate team in the interior. Wes is an Army veteran who specializes in Military Relocations, New Construction, unique Marketing Plans and Listing and Selling homes. Don’t stress, call Wes and start packing!

Call Wes at 452-3000

Call Joni at 456-1221

CHRISTINA BARRON Madden Real Estate As a Buyer Specialist for Madden Real Estate, the #1 Real Estate Team in the interior, Christina Barron will find you the right home to fit your needs. As a long time Alaskan, Christina is familiar with the unique circumstances involved with moving to the Fairbanks and the North Pole areas. Whether you are a 1st time home buyer, relocating or looking for a more econimical home, Christina will guide you in making an educated move towards achieving your Real Estate goals.

Call Christina at 452-3000


ext. 102 or 460-6470

A 57 year resident of Alaska, Bruce has sold residential, commercial, and land real estate in Fairbanks as a 39 year member of the Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors.

Fortune Properties of Fairbanks

Somers & Associates, Inc.

40 year Alaskan and graduate of University of Alaska. Holds Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) and Seniors Real Estate Specialist SRES) Designations. Judy stresses attention to detail and communication to ensure smooth transactions.

Call Mike at 347-4484 or 488-2100


Riverview Realty Specializing in residential sales, Susan has been successfully marketing Fairbanks and North Pole homes for over 25 years! Past Pres. Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors, past recipient Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors “Realtor of the Year” , Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors Affiliates “Realtor of the Year,” and 2006, 2007, & 2008 Reader’s Choice Winner for #1 Realtor in Fairbanks.

Somers & Associates, Inc.

As a Top Producer in the North Pole/ Fairbanks area, I work hard to make the home buying and selling experience enjoyable and stress-free. Specializing in single family sales, first time home buyers and new construction.




Century 21 Gold Rush or call her at 378-1864

Call Heather at 456-7653

For dedicated and professional service, call Patty today at 479-4411!


Eileen has lived in Fairbanks for over 30 years. Graduated from UAF, raised children in Fairbanks schools and has volunteered on many local boards. Eileen received the 2008 Affiliate Realtor of the Year award and serves on the Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors.

As heard on KIAK FM! I have been a REALTOR for nearly ten years and I work for the top local real estate company in town. I am pleased to serve you and to provide you with excellence in Real Estate!!

Specializing in residential sales, Patty has lived in the Fairbanks area for over 40 years. She is very familiar with Fairbanks and North Pole real estate market trends & construction techniques. Patty will be happy to assist both buyers & sellers with all their real estate needs.



Top producing agent and broker with over 10 years experience in the real estate industry. Put her experience to work for you.

EMC Realty, Inc.

Grace Minder Realty, Inc.

Riverview Realty

Ginger is a local real estate expert, licensed in Alaska since 1994 and nominated as one of Fairbanks’ Favorite Realtors in the 2009 DNM People’s Choice Awards.

RE/MAX Associates of Fairbanks



CROWN Real Estate AK, Inc.


RE/MAX Associates of Fairbanks Scott is a community




Friday, September 25, 2009

We’re dedicated to serving you! GENE DUVAL


RE/MAX Associates of Fairbanks

Alaskan Sales

Gene is the #1 Listing and Selling Realtor at RE/MAX of Fairbanks & one of the Top Realtors in Alaska. For experience, integrity and results, put Gene and his team to work for YOU!

Call Gene at 452-4363 •



Advantage Alaska Realty

Advantage Alaska Realty

Sincere, enthusiastic and honest. Committed to each buyer and seller. Works hard to make your real estate experience enjoyable.

458-0055 978-5985 CELL

Broker, ABR, CRS, Military, Investment, National Referrals. Clients say,"friendly, honest, reliable, trustworthy, personable, professional, dedicated, experienced, considerate, no pressure, internet accessible, genuine caring."

DEBRA ROSSON Liberty Homes

Experience Counts! Debra has been serving the Fairbanks and North Pole area for 30 plus years. She has long working relationships with local lenders, appraisers and engineers. Debra has specialized in subdivision development and new construction sales in hundreds of transactions. Debra is comitted to taking you from the beginning to the end of the Real Estate transaction with attention to every detail. You can place your confidence in her ability, experience, and dependability. Debra Rosson......experience you can count on.

Call Joyce at 388-4412 Call Sally at 347-8486




Somers & Associates, Inc.

MVI Realty

Coldwell Banker Gold Country You will find honesty and integrity while I work hard to help you meet your real estate goals. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” -Winston Churchill.

Call Elizabeth at 322-9188

ZEB MABIE Coldwell Banker Gold Country Zeb is a lifelong resident of the Fairbanks and North Pole areas. Clients can expect full service, prompt attention, professionalism, honesty, and integrity. Whether buying or selling property, Zeb is ready to help with all of your real estate needs. Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors Board of Directors.

Call Whitney at 750-1704 or 456-7653

CHRIS CALHOON Chris Calhoon Real Estate Chris is a decorated Vietnam Veteran who retired as Colonel in the U.S. Army after 23 years service. In 1998, he started Fairbanks’ first exclusive buyers’ brokerage. He will take care of your most important investment and negotiate the best deal for you. Call Chris at 456-3401

An established high standard of quality client service. I am ready to meet the unique challenges and problems families sometimes encounter while selling their home or selecting their new home. My customers are my #1 priority.

Call Melissa at 322-8873 374-2825 or 378-4646

Call Jerrie @ 460-2381



Alaska Great Land Realty Broker/Owner – ABR,CRS, Accredited Buyers Representative, Certified Residential Specialist, Past Fairbanks Realtor of the Year, Past President of Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors, Alaska State CRS Board Director. Whether you are buying or selling, let me put my years of extensive real estate experience to work for you. I work one on one with my clients to provide the very best service with proven results!, Call Gerrie at 322-6612

Absolutely Alaskan Real Estate Services I want to thank all of you that have made my real estate career a success. You can expect the same dedication and service from my new brokerage on the corner of 6th & Noble in the log cabin at Absolutely Alaskan Real Estate Services. “Refer your friends and family to the best!”

Call Doug at 456-1713



Coldwell Banker Gold Country

Coldwell Banker Gold Country

Selling Real Estate is one of my all time loves. Having extensive knowledge with customer relations, being reliable, tenacious and listening to your needs are qualities that make me stand out as a full time, top producing agent. With that I have developed a full complement of skills that it takes to get families into the HOMES of their dreams!!

Call Traci at 322-0228 or 456-4653

• Specializing in Military relocation. • Fairbanks, Alaska’s top producer for Coldwell Banker in 2005 & 2006. • Top 5 seller for Coldwell Banker Alaska in 2005. • Member of Coldwell Banker’s President’s Circle. • Member Board of Directors-Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors (GFBR). • Treasurer-Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors (GFBR) • President (GFBR) • Broker/OwnerColdwell Banker Gold Country. Call Kirk at 456-4653 or 388-3560

BUTCH & TERRI CURRIER KRISTEN COUTURE Somers & Associates, Inc. Dedicated to clients and committed to excellence. I am a 20 year resident of Fairbanks and I love my community. I have discovered my passion in helping buyers and sellers realize their dreams in home ownership. Having a knowledgeable Realtor working for you is a sure advantage! I will develop a successful plan of action based on YOUR wants and needs. I pledge myself to work diligently in making your dreams a reality. Clients appreciate my knowledge of the local market, non-pushy sales approach and dedication to making sure that your real estate transaction is a stress free as possible.

Call Kristen at 978-3593

Coldwell Banker Gold Country Specializing in Military Relocation & 1st Time Home Buyers. Our goal is to make every aspect of your Real Estate transaction as stress free as possible for you! HONESTY • TENACITY EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION

Call us at any time at 590-2853 or 488-5875 Butch&


Call Zeb at 388-6348 email:

Dedicated, courteous, and eager to show you the advantages to home ownership, Whitney will be your real estate guide who takes the time to listen to you. ABR- accredited buyers representative and GRI-graduate realtors institute.


Broker/Owner. Success = Mother of 4, married 24 years, college degree, 27 years experience in interior design, 12 years as a Realtor. Owner of “White Palms” Furniture and Design. This lifelong Alaskan is helping make dreams a reality. I look forward to serving you in all your interior design or real estate needs.

I’ve lived in Fairbanks 38 years. I have 17 years experience in land development, new residential construction, remodeling, interior decorating and property management. My first priority is to meet the needs of my clients. Remember....You Always Come First!

Buying and Selling property is one of the biggest financial decisions one will make. Choosing the right Realtor to represent your needs makes a BIG difference. That’s why I say “Experience & Integrity are #1!” Call Becki at 378-1766

Stepovich Realty

Wagner Realty

Pruhs Real Estate Group

Specializing in friendly & professional service for residential, commercial and investment properties. Experienced in mortgage lending, military family life, military relocation services, and listings/sales from Fairbanks to Cantwell. Quality Service Award, Certified Residential Specialist and Broker. 2006 Fairbanks Realtor of the Year.





2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Getting ready to build? Insure your project at the start By KRISTINA JOHNSON Many people in Fairbanks choose, and possibly enjoy, building their dream homes, rental units or businesses from the ground up. And why not? In most cases it proves to be easier on the pocketbook and they get from it what they put into it. The biggest mistake most people make is not considering insurance to protect what they’re about to put into the building or, in most cases, what they’ve already put into it. The most common misconception is that insurance isn’t needed until there’s a substantial amount of materials put into a building project. Why would you insure a piece of land that has nothing on it yet? This couldn’t be more wrong. Insurance companies prefer to see that no construction has begun yet and that they’re starting with a clean slate. This means that before anyone decides to lay a finger

Kristina Johnston on a shovel, they had better think about placing insurance on the property first. Placing insurance on your soon-to-be property is easier than most people may think. All what is really needed is an idea of how much the owner plans on putting into the project and some basic information about themselves. The sooner a person insures

the property, the better the coverage, and premium, could be. In some cases, premiums are as low as $375 per year. If you have already started construction on the property — that’s OK too. This phase of construction would qualify for a course of construction or dwelling fire policy. These policies require the same basic information that would be needed at the pre-construction phase. One should note that these policies run the risk of having higher premiums and usually do not include coverage for liability, medical, theft of building materials, freezing of pipes, etc. So if these coverages are of concern, make sure to place a policy before construction. Coverage can be purchased on residential, commercial or model homes. Some policies include coverage for building materials, trees, shrubs, lawns

and even property owned by subcontractors. Most of these policies also cover theft of materials, materials in transit, fire, vandalism, and debris removal. The only coverage not available on any building under construction is liability—so please be careful! No matter where the project lies there is usually a market that the building can be placed in. The best thing a property owner should do is first place insurance during the course of construction phase to keep premiums low and then again after construction is complete. One of the first things insurance companies ask on applications is “where is the premises currently insured?” Having current insurance in place continuously proves to be more cost efficient than waiting until something comes up and placing insurance later.

Insuring your home during the construction phase will help you secure a homeowners insurance policy when the time comes. Some insurance companies prefer not taking on the risk of a prior uninsured building and will only offer a dwelling fire policy, if offering any policy at all, thus possibly resulting in inadequate coverage for the building owner. It doesn’t take much to get these policies in force so that you can soon be on your way to building your dreams. If anything, insuring a building from start to finish can be more cost efficient and less of a headache in the long run. In the end, you’ll be glad you did — because we all know how fun construction can be all on its own! Kristina Johnson is a personal lines agent at Kenneth A. Murray Insurance.


From $289,000




Elizabeth Schok 322-9188

Kirk Maynard 388-3560


–At the corner of Chena Pump & Palo Verde VA BUYERS! Payments as low as $1589.70/month (excluding taxes & insurance) & APR as low as 5.2805%



Luxury Townhomes in a desirable convenient location on City water and sewer. 12 minutes from Ft. Wainwright, 10 minutes to town, 7 minutes to the hospital and 5 minutes from the university! 3 & 4 bedroom units starting at $289,900. • Cherry Cabinets • Ceiling speakers throughout • Walk-in pantry • Buried lawn sprinklers • Granite Counters • Walk-in closet • Tile, Laminate & Carpet flooring • Fenced yard & private deck

Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Significant differences between low mass, high mass boilers By BRUCE AND JAYE DELBRIDGE

last longer than welded steel boilers, but that has not proven true in all cases. The We are often asked to most popular low mass boilexplain the differences er (2.5 gallons water volume) between a high mass boiler has a 25 year limited lifetime and a low mass boiler. The warranty. Thousands of units answer is fairly simple; high in Fairbanks and throughout mass means large volume the states are still in opera(generally cast iron) and low tion after 25 years. mass means small in size It is also generally held (generally welded steel). to be true that a high mass The idea behind a big boiler boiler works better for radiis that once a train starts ant heating systems, but moving it’s hard to stop. with proper installation, a The idea behind a low mass low mass boiler can work is more like a Prius, fast, quite well for radiant heat light and efficient. and also save money First of all, the matter of One problem that low mass efficiency is where, underboilers face is the fact that Bruce Delbridge standably, many people they generally have a lower become confused. stack temperature. The government has rated operation of all boilers in The typical cast iron the different heating units the field. They found that boiler has about a 500 degree according to the AFUE systhe AFUE rating was very F. stack temperature the tem. This is simply a labomisleading. Units that tested low mass units about 375 ratory test that says when out at 95 percent AFUE degrees F. This lower temyou burn oil in this unit it dropped down 12 points perature can cause some turns a certain percentage when tested in the field. problems if it is not handled of the fuel into heat. The Others dropped by as much correctly. Most times a propBrookhaven testing labs, as 26 points. er stainless steel liner can one of the most prestigious It has long been thought solve the problem because in the country, studied the that a cast iron boiler would the existing chimney may

simply be too big for the lower temperatures. The stack temperature on low mass units can also be raised during the cold months of winter and then lowered the rest of the year. Cast iron boilers are generally very reliable and have only a few disadvantages. The main disadvantage is their inability to be turned off and on according to the weather. This is particularly noticeable in summer. (We all know someone who has a garage that is overheated by his cast iron boiler in the summer time.) Low mass boilers are designed to heat up and cool down as many times as needed, and because of their size they are more adaptable to the changes in weather. Cast iron has the disadvantage of being easily damaged from thermal shock. Most of us have heard about a cast iron boiler cracking, sometimes suddenly. It is virtually unheard of for a welded steel boiler to

crack from thermal shock. High mass boilers are heavy. A typical one can weigh 700 pounds and they are not easily transported. Heaven help you if your boiler room is in the basement and your 700 pound boiler has to be removed. Low mass boilers on the other hand are light and easily shipped or moved. A high mass cast iron boiler is designed to idle constantly, and this is considered normal, yet if you did the same thing with your automobile you would certainly burn more gasoline. There are several low mass boilers out on the market today that do not idle and as a result they can save as much as 30 percent on your fuel bill. More interesting information about these boilers will be available at the upcoming Winter Show at the Carlson Center on Sept. 25-27. Bruce and Jaye Delbridge are with Joshua Industries Inc.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Your Premier Coldwell Banker Office Residential • Commercial • Leasing • Land • Property Management • OUR OFFICE IS ONE OF THE TOP TEN I New Construction!

965 Water Thrush

$152,000 New 5* plus, 2 br., 3/4 ba.

Kirk Maynard 388-3560 Owner/Broker

735 Woodchuck Place

$134,500 2.5 ac., 2br., 1ba.



3505 Airport Way

$239,000 Great frontage, 2400 sq. ft. Retail & Office Space



Traci Schachle 322-0228 View all my listings:

Excellence in Real Estate 721 Bentley

3459 Rewak


Waterfront Property

Justisted! L

4-plex, 3 br. Units Near shopping

474 West Pointe


5 Townhouse • New Construction

1792 sq ft, 3 br, 3 ba


3775 Regius Avenue


3 Bedrooms/ 1 Bath 276 Sq. Ft. Workshop

5 bed/2.5 ba Spacious home on acre lot

1445 Lacey St



www.c camero 146 Gruening


4 bed, 3 bath 4 car garage capac 2000 sq. ft on Birch View of UAF

$149,900 Duplex w/ MIL Apt 1 Bed/ 1Bath Ea.



G 3457 Rosie Creek

$165,000 2bed/1bath

Fouts Ave • Multiple Lots

$Varies Owner Financing possible Along Chena River’s edge

1670/72 Midland

118 Chief Evan



Built in 2008 • 3472 sq. ft. Duplex

3 bed/2.5 bath/2 car Large lot

227 Haines

$349,900 MIL apartment & bonus area Full Size Basement

1550 Gatewa


4 bed, 2.5 bat Off Chena Pump 1985 sq. feet 2 car garage

8740 Parks Hwy

$175,000 3 bdrm/2 ba 2 car port

View Property

4820 Palo Verde

$265,000 Duplex 3 Bed- 1Bath/ 1Bed-1Bath

Crestline Dr./Multiple Lots

$29,900-$34,900 Owner Financing possible Awesome Valley View

3461 Rewak


1347 Rewak

3482/3483 Rewak



11,298 Sq. Ft., 4 buildings Commercial • Motel

3920 Sq. Ft., newly updated full kitchen and bar

2 buildings , 10,605 sq. ft. 21 plex

389 Hillside D


4 bed, 3 bath den, office and mo 3516 sq. ft. 2 car gar, Vue Cr

84 Trinidad

$350,000 3 Bed/2.5 Bath

First time homebuyer? Curious about the tax credit? Call our office for more details from one of our experienced REALTORS®!


Friday, September 25, 2009

e • The #1 Alaskan Coldwell Banker • income Properties • Business Opportunity • Relocation Services IN THE NATION!* • • 456-4653

Naomi Pongo 978-0589 6810 Johnson Road, Salcha

$14,500 Electric & Telephone Adjacent Driveway Already In

Zeb Mabie 388-6348 Call me for a personal search of all properties email:



3665 Karline Court


city h Hill

Beautiful mountain views. Fabulous southern exposure!

$259,000 Duplex 2 bed, 1 bath upstairs 2 bd, 1 ba 1 car garage dnstrs

y Dr.


$144,900 2 Bed/2 Bath/Fireplace



Great Rents! 2367 Grumman St. 1469 Redmond Ave.

$208,900 4bd/2ba/1car

$184,900 3bd/2ba/5 car Home with 42 x 42 hangar

1946 W. Athena Ct., NP



1920 Berggren Ct, NP

$159,000 3 Bdrm, 1.75 Bath Log Home on over 3 Acres

5150 Gilligan Court


253 Concord Ave.

$479,900 6 bed, 3.5 bath/Birch Hill Approx 5200 sq. feet 3 car garage

West Pointe

$274,900 D! UCE RED 1160 CTS Court

1 Bd / Partial Ba / 5.34 Ac. Cozy Private Cottage


$279,900 4bd/2ba/2car/family room Custom!! Built by 321!


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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Evaluating the value of our homes and our lives By THORSTEN CHLUPP A recent study on how tax rebates on new homes would be spent revealed that most people would choose to upgrade their kitchen countertop rather than increase the health or energy efficiency of their home. The spike in energy costs we have seen just last spring is all but forgotten and life is back to normal. Have we really become that disconnected from the fundamentals of conservation and having a healthy home environment? Homes are not only an investment in a monetary sense, but also in terms of the quality of our lives There are only two true values in our homes — health and energy efficiency. Our health is priceless and essential to our well being, and we cannot afford to place it in a position where it is a second choice to new countertops and curtains. Unfortunately, for some of

nience ahead of the dangers of carbon monoxide, benzenes, oils and other toxic fluids that can enter our homes by doing this. Many of the problems in homes come down to proper understanding of the building envelop and the need for proper vapor barrier applications. Statistics indicate that roughly 75 percent of all building failures are due to moisture, yet we are slow to make the design changes that are needed to solve the probTHORSTEN CHLUPP lems. A classical example is the conventional framed wall us it takes health problems system that is continuing to before we understand the be used in most new construcsignificance of what we took tion today. for granted all these years. For years the accepted cold We must educate ourselves climate building practice has and learn whether we live and been to seal the inside of the work in toxic environments. wall with a plastic vapor barAs a case in point, are garages in living spaces really rier in order to prevent moist air from traveling into the such a good idea? Maybe we insulated wall where it can shouldn’t be driving our cars condense. under the rooms we sleep in. There are electrical instalWe need to take a second look lations, window openings, wall at placing the value of conve-

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ticed for a long time. If mold growth starts and persists at low levels it can still have an effect on occupant health. Statistics This is true for many indoor air quality problems — they indicate that may not manifest themselves directly, but rather can conroughly 75 pertribute to allergies and compromised immune systems cent of all build- over time. Moisture can also have an ing failures are effect on the energy performance of the home. Just 4 due to moisture. percent moisture in your insulation can reduce the thermal efficiency of that insulation by up to 70 percent. intersections and hundreds One other issue worth of Sheetrock screws that can looking at is the insulation riddle this critical barrier requirements in general. with holes. Around 99 percent Even the best blown-in insuof all moisture that works its lation system yields only a way into the building enveR-23 insulation value in a lope is due to air leakages. conventional 2x6 wall. This is Moisture trapped between the strictly the stated R-Value of exterior vapor barrier and the the insulation installed under interior sheathing can be a ideal conditions not the overbig problem if conditions are all insulating value of the wall right. itself. In some cases this is a slow Statistically wood framing process that can go unno-

Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate


VALUE: Health, home are intertwined build programs or Energy Star Program specify minimaterial comprises 27 percent mum air tightness. There is a of a wall assembly. Wood has lot of research which has been an r-value of approximately done on this subject. 1.25 per inch, which when The European’s Passiv averaged into the total wall r- Haus standard requires an air value, reduces the overall wall tightness of 0.6 air exchanges performance numbers signifi- at 50 Pascal depressurizacantly. If we are looking at the tion. They require this level true wall r-value the actual of tightness because they numbers are about 30 percent have done extensive research less than the stated value of on this topic, which clearly the insulation. shows the benefits of an airThis means we require tight building and the health additional 10-12 percent or other dangers related to a energy to heat the home. The leaky building envelope. energy costs rise even higher The bottom line is that the when one factors in air leakway homes are being built in age. It is not unusual for our cold climate is simply not about 30–40 percent of the sustainable from an energy total energy consumption of perspective, not to mention a poorly built home to be the the potential risks to health. result of air leakage. The con- The solutions are out there, ventional wall construction it is more a matter of embracsystems are simply flawed. ing change and different Current building standards approaches to construction. in the United States do not Fortunately today we have place enough emphasis on available a wealth of research, air tightness and there are technology and materials to no real regulations on which build 80 to 90 percent more level of air tightness should be efficient homes. But we conachieved during construction. sider it unfeasible because Neither the current energy of higher initial costs. If we code, nor any of the GREEN would look at the true costs Continued from Page 18

and the long-term investment we will certainly come out ahead when we build with energy efficiency and health in mind. At this moment in time, we still live in a world with numerous resources and the means to build homes that are sustainable. That window of opportunity is limited; scarcity and higher energy costs are a real threat. We must change our view of home ownership to one of sustainability and long-term stewardship and cannot continue to build houses for the bottom line, with our priorities geared towards what’s on the surface. Our current economic crisis should be a reminder that it is choose to do so, something time to step back and reconjust might change. sider what we place value on Thorsten Chlupp, REINA LLC a custom home builder specialin our lives. If enough people

ized in building energy efficient and healthy homes in Fairbanks, Alaska. Visit us at the winter show and our seminars: “The Passiv Haus standard: The cutting edge super-




2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

What to look for in an energy-efficient Fairbanks home COLD CLIMATE HOUSING RESEARCH CENTER Buying a home in the Fairbanks area can be a formidable task. For new home construction, code enforcements by building departments are limited to relatively small areas inside city limits. Outside city limits, the variations in construction, age, and quality can be immense. Even older homes inside the city limits will need a close look, as they likely will not meet current energy standards unless they have undergone fairly extensive retrofitting. Below are a few important things to look for and consider when buying a home that must perform safely and affordably in Alaska’s Interior.

metal. Metal window frames can add up to significant heat losses. The best mainstream choice today is a triple pane window that comes in either a vinyl or fiberglass frame. Log houses: Older double pane units are adequate if they are in A log home built with undersized logs such as 6 inch good repair. Avoid sliding windows when possible because or 8 inch three-sided logs is going to have significant heat by the nature of their design losses through the walls. An 8 and construction they allow heat to easily leave a home. inch, three-sided log is going Instead look for single or to provide a nominal R-value double locking casement winof roughly 10 – significantly less value than a properly con- dows. structed 2x6 wall filled with Roof systems: R-21 fiberglass batting. The current code minimum Particularly in three sided for ceiling insulation is R-38. log homes, the presence of a flexible caulking such as Per- This requires a 12-inch-deep rafter bay, or a truss roof with machink, which is designed similar capacity. Fiberglass specifically for joints in logs, and cellulose are the most is desirable because it will common insulations you will help to impede air flow. To find in Fairbanks. Other achieve an insulating value products are sprayed-in foam comparable to that of a 2x6 wall, logs need to be 16 inches or rigid foam board, which in diameter, which is certainly can achieve an R-38 value in attainable in a home that uses roughly 8 inches. There are many older roofs out there the full scribe (round log) that have less than today’s method. current code minimums.

structural insulated panels, or insulated concrete forms are also desirable, but typically are found only in more expensive homes.

equivalent to roughly 3 inches of rigid foam insulation. Many older homes do not have any foundation insulation and this is a big cause of heat loss. Inadequate or improperly installed insulation can contribute to moisture problems and structural damage.

as framing does not have a high insulating value. One telltale sign of conduction through frame members is vertical rows of dark dots that appear behind the wall paint or outlines of the studs on the inside of walls. This is caused over time by microscopic airborne dust particles Walls: that are deposited on especially cold parts of the exteWalls comprise the greatrior walls as humid indoor air est exterior surface area of a condenses there during the house and are often responwinters. The screws or nails sible for the greatest heat in the sheetrock are especially losses. Two by six (2x6) construction with R-21 fiberglass conductive. New paint will hide this for a time. batting is the most prevalent Any home that has added Basements, type found in Fairbanks, although many homes built in extra insulation such as rigid crawlspaces, the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s have foam on the outside of its walls, or been furred out to two by four (2x4) walls. foundations: accommodate additional insuOlder houses built only Insulation is one area that lation on the interior walls, with 2x4 walls can be expenshould be looked at especially will generally be a superior closely. The current minimum sive to heat. One of the choice and greatly reduce heat Windows: big issues with heat losses insulation value for the walls loss through thermal bridgthrough walls is conduction of heated basements and Many older homes in Fairthrough the framing members ing. Double-wall construction, banks have single pane wincrawlspaces is R-15. This is dows. Single pane windows are not desirable, especially Land • Commercial if their frames are made of FEATURED PROPERTIES

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Residential: Dianarosa S/D, Fbks – There are 9 lots available in this new S/D off of Summit & Skyridge that extends Arctic Tern & Whistling Swan. Each lot is at least 1.3 acres. Prices Start at $35,000 Fox Bluffs S/D, Fbks – 9 lots available off Goldimine & Bullion. These south facing lots w/ a gentle slope are nicely treed in birch and aspen. Each lot is at least 1.3 acres. Prices start at $34,500. Owner Financing Available 3445 Fox Den Drive, Fbks – South facing 2+ acre lot w/ georgeos views of the Alaska Range and Tanana River, partially cleared & prelimnary dirt work completed for driveway & building pad. $75,000 804 Cranberry Ridge, Fbks – Nicely treed south sloping lot off of Summit Dr. 1.3 + acres for $59,900 L9 Morning Glory Loop, NP – Affordable 1+ acre lot in NP, close to hwy & Ft WW. $14,900 874 Marquette Loop, NP – 11,450 sqft city lot w/ water & sewer adjacent to NP High School. $19,950 Venus Dr, NP – Two, 1.3 acre lots available off of Plack Rd. Prices start at $18,000 Timber Trail S/D, NP – Great new S/D off Plack Rd w/ FAA Approved airstrip. One of the finest runways in the state. Each of the 14 lots in Phase 1 are, 1+ acre prices start at $25,000 Remote: Blind Luck Lake – Beautiful 39.9 acre lake front property w/ cabin and log shop. Great remote home site or summer get-away. $72,500 Kobiag Rd, Anderson – Nearly 40 acre parcel w/ livable mobile home. Access along ATV Trail, 11 miles from Parks Hwy. $55,000 T-B Lake Mucha – 10.7 acre lake front parcel. Great Pike fishing. $25,000 Pioneer Rd, Central – Nearly 40 acre parcel w/ road access, nicely wooded in Birch, Spruce & large Willows. $30,000 Commercial: 1941 Frank Ave, Fbks – New commercial building/warehouse. 2 – side by side units, each w/ 2 over head 14X14 doors + 3200 sqft in office and warehouse space. Separate heating systems for each side. ␣ $576,000 City Lights Blvd, Fbks – 4 lots available w/ Steese Hwy frontage & Great Visability. .97-1.7 acres. Prices start at $95,435. Owner Financing Available. Peger Commercial, Fbks – 3 large high traffic commercial lots left near the corner of Davis & Peger and next to the new Fairbanks Surgical Center. Prices start at $1,450,000 for 2.29 acres to $2,000,000 for 3.9 acres.

Woodstoves: Woodstoves can be an economical way to provide supplemental heat. Wood stoves Please see ENERGY, Page 21

Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

well and might suggest poorly drained or unstable ground. Alternatives to conventional septic tank systems Continued from Page 20 Water: include fully above-ground Subzero weather will freeze systems that are extremely can, however, require a lot of and break pipes, drains, tanks well insulated and incorporate labor to operate. Chimneys additional technologies to proand wells unless these comand all combustion clearances ponents are well designed. All cess waste. A comprehensive should be closely inspected, professional inspection of all water and drain lines need especially where exhaust to be well insulated or placed septic and waste systems is pipes go through the roof. critical. inside heated space. Often, Most chimney fires are a electric heat tape is used to result of improper clearances keep water lines from freezThe fuel bill: inside the roof cavity. There ing. If the previous owners have should be no insulation or Thermostatically controlled several years’ worth of fuel framing contacting the chim- heat tape is desirable due to bills, these bills can provide ney inside the roof. its increased efficiency. valuable information about Heat tape can be a major heating and utility costs. ConVentilation: fire hazard if not maintained versely, a home insulated to An energy-efficient home correctly, installed incorrectly, lower standards than those is characterized by a tight or used in the wrong applica- mentioned above and no fuel envelope that has efficient air tion. Holding tanks should history should be approached infiltration and exfiltration. either be located inside a with more caution. Keep in A heat recovery ventilator home’s heated space or buried mind that the presence of a system is the most desirable and insulated sufficiently to wood stove in the home can form of ventilation due to its avoid freezing. greatly misrepresent the actucontrol options, measured Freeze-prone areas include al heating fuel bill. exchange of air and ability to entry and exit points to the conserve heat. Energy ratings: home’s building envelope An HRV also does not and low-lying drains and Air leakage can be one of back draft any appliances, drain traps. A professional the biggest culprits for heat draw radon into the home inspection of water systems is losses and also one of the or carbon monoxide from strongly recommended. Wells hardest sources of loss to the garage. Other ventilashould be tested for contami- identify. An energy rating on tion techniques may be code nation and flow. a home can cost from $350 to compliant, but do not recover $600 depending on the size heat and may not regulate Septic: and complexity of the strucrelative humidity. Dedicated In general, septic tanks ture. ventilation/fan systems are and adjoining piping should If a prospective buyer has still allowed by code. be buried and insulated sufreached a point where they All homes are required ficiently to not freeze, drain to are serious about a particular by code to have mechanical well-functioning leach fields home, an energy rating can be bathroom ventilation. In new and be pumped regularly. a good resource. construction, a kitchen fan So-called mound systems, A state certified energy ratmust be vented to the outwhich place a septic tank at er will perform a blower door side. In older homes direct or near grade level covered depressurization test along vents are also highly recomby soil or gravel, should be with a detailed analysis of the mended, but may not be an avoided because they general- house’s construction, insulaoption. ly do not tolerate extreme cold tion and mechanical systems.

ENERGY: Efficiency

This data is then entered by the rater into a design heat loss modeling program that calculates the yearly heating and electricity costs of the house and produces a written report on any deficiencies and areas where the greatest efficiency gains can be made. Short of actually living in the home, energy ratings are the best method for determining a home’s energy performance. A list of energy raters can be provided by the PORTAL

for Retrofits and Loans at 455-4328. The caller should make clear that the rating is for someone who is buying a home, as opposed to participating in current state-funded retrofit program. Here are some additional resources for buying an energy efficient home: pubs/catalog/detail/index. xml?topic=eeh

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Only flood insurance protects against the risk of damage from floods By MICHELINE PATTERSON

Micheline Patterson $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for contents. Coverage for damage from flood is not covered in any other type of policy except a flood insurance policy. If you are applying for a building or home loan, the lender may take the initiative to place insurance coverage for you in order for you to meet the loan requirements.

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chase flood insurance whether or not they are in a special hazard area. If you already have flood insurance, and are selling your business or home, you can assign your current flood insurance policy to the buyer at the time of closing. Flood insurance premiums are based upon the elevation level of the building or home. A “flood elevation certificate” is necessary before flood premiums can be determined. This certificate must be completed by a licensed land surveyor or professional engineer who is authorized by law to certify elevation information. Flood elevation certificates cost between $200 and $1,000 to complete. Flood elevation certificates should be kept on file with your local community planning department as required by the National Flood Insurance Program regulation 44 CFR 60.3b1, FEMA 480 Publication, and the local flood reduction ordinance for the community. Are you paying too much for flood insurance?

This may be because the home has a basement or crawlspace that is below the base flood elevation. Installing flood vents or filling in this space could reduce your flood insurance premiums. A LOMA or LOMA-F can be filed with FEMA to have a structure removed from the high risk flood zone and the mandatory flood insurance requirement. In order to file, the lowest adjacent grade has to be at or above the base flood elevation. This information can be found on the flood elevation certificate. How flood insurance policies are paid out vary depending on the type of building covered. Building coverage on a primary residential home is paid on a replacement cost basis while on a rental and/or secondary residential home it is paid on an actual cash value basis. Buildings considered commercial are also paid out on an ACV. Contents coverage, no matPlease see FLOOD, Page 23

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Your business or home has a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30 year loan, compared to a 9 percent chance of damage or loss due to fire. Floods can occur almost anywhere at anytime - not just near water. Flooding is the No. 1 natural disaster in the United States, and has caused nearly $1.6 million in damages in Alaska and $23.8 billion in the U.S. over the last 10 years. Flood coverage is sold separately from all other types of insurance coverage. Protection from flood damage is available for protection from loss for commercial buildings, residential buildings/ homes, and renters’ personal belongings. Coverage is available up to $250,000 for singlefamily, multi-family and other residential buildings and up to $100,000 for contents coverage. Non-residential buildings, including small businesses, can acquire coverage up to

This is known as “Lender Placed” insurance coverage, and it often may be more geared to protecting the lender’s interests rather than your interests. Additionally, lender placed coverage could cost you up to three to four times more than if you placed the insurance yourself through an insurance agency/agent. Lenders will notify borrowers if flood insurance is required as a condition of the loan (National flood insurance Reform Act of 1994). Additionally, there is no 30 day waiting period for flood insurance purchased in connection to a mortgage loan. Flood insurance is mandatory if the lender is federally regulated and your property is located in a Special hazard area. This is a designated area with the highest risk of flooding. Flood insurance rate maps show high risk areas as Zones A, AE or V. However, nearly 25 percent of all flood claims come from medium or low-risk flood areas which are listed as Zones B, C and X. Anyone can pur-

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Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

FLOOD: Insurance

Specializing in Custom Countertops

Continued from Page 22


All information provided in this article was obtained from the following websites and For more information call Micheline Patterson at 907-456-6646 or micheline@; Doug Sims at the Fairbanks North Star Borough, 907459-1260; or Taunnie Boothby with the Alaska State Division of Community and Regional Affairs, 907269-4583.

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Your chosen insurance agent will require a flood elevation certificate which will have the necessary information to rate the policy. The premium charged for an accurately rated NFIP policy will be the same, regardless of from whom you purchase the policy. For more information on rates, premiums or maps contact your local independent insurance agent. Flood elevation certificates can be turned in to your local city or borough office for safekeeping. The Fairbanks North Star Borough is in the review process and will be adopting new flood maps in 2010. Stop by the planning office to see if your home will be in a special flood hazard area on the new maps. If this is the case, you can purchase a flood insurance policy with your current flood zone and get preferred rates. Preferred rates are about $388 annually. Once the maps are adopted and you keep your preferred flood insurance policy active, you will receive grandfathered rates. Remember if you sell your home you can transfer this policy to the new owners.


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ter what type of building, is always paid out on an ACV basis. The amount of coverage available on residential policies are no more than $250,000 for the dwelling and up to $100,000 for its contents. On commercial buildings, the coverage amount goes up to $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for its contents. The Fairbanks North Star Borough requires a property owner or builder to obtain a zoning permit, under title 18, before construction begins. During this process the property will be reviewed to see if it falls within a special flood hazard are. If it does, a floodplain permit will be issued, under title 15. This permit is issued by the community planning office and requires property owners to build above the base flood elevation. If your building site is located in a special hazard area, it would be wise to have a licensed land surveyor, professional engineer or registered architect come and set a temporary benchmark before construction begins. This will allow the builder to refer to the benchmark and build above the base flood elevation. Additionally, it will help you determine how much fill material is needed to raise your structure above the BFE, which will result in lower flood insurance costs. Remember: building above the BFE results in lower flood insurance premiums; building below the BFE results in higher premiums. Lower flood insurance premiums are available to property owners who build above the base flood elevation and do not have a basement or crawlspace. Buildings that have a basement or crawlspace requires flood openings in the foundation. These are openings on all sides of the basement or crawlspace walls that allow flood waters to flow freely through the space without building up hydrostatic pressure. Applying for flood insurance is easy. Flood insurance is available through about 90 insurance companies in more than 20,300 participating communities nationwide.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Paid Advertising Content

Low Mass boilers versus High Mass We are often asked to explain the differences between a high mass boiler and a low mass boiler. The answer is fairly simple; high mass means large volume (generally cast iron) and low mass means small in size (generally welded steel). The idea behind a big boiler is that once a train starts moving it’s hard to stop. The idea behind a low mass is more like a Prius, fast, light and efficient. First of all, the matter of efficiency is where, understandably, many people become confused . The government has rated the different heating units according to the AFUE system. This is simply a laboratory test that says when you burn oil in this unit it turns a certain percentage of the fuel into heat. The Brookhaven testing labs ,one of the most prestigious in the country, studied the operation of all boilers in the field. They found that the AFUE rating was very misleading. Units that tested out at 95 percent AFUE dropped down 12 points when tested in the field. Others dropped by as much as 26 points. It has long been thought that a cast iron boiler would last longer than welded steel boilers, but that has not proven true in all cases. The most popular low mass boiler (2.5 gallons water volume) has a 25 year limited lifetime warranty. Thousands of units in Fairbanks and throughout the states are still in operation after 25 years. It is also generally held to be true that a high mass boiler works better for radiant heating systems, but with proper installation, a low mass boiler can work quite well for radiant heat and also save money One problem that low mass boilers face is the fact that they generally have a lower stack temperature. The typical cast iron boiler has about a 500 degree F. stack temperature the low mass units about 375 degrees F. This lower temperature can cause some problems if it is not handled correctly. Most times a proper stainless steel liner can solve the problem because the existing chimney may simply be too big for the lower temperatures. Cast iron boilers are generally very reliable and have only a few disadvantages. The main disadvantage is their inability to be turned off and on according to the weather. This is particularly noticeable in summer. (We all know someone who has a garage that is overheated by his cast iron boiler in the summer time.) Low mass boilers are designed to heat up and cool down as many times as needed, and because of their size they are more adaptable to the changes in weather. Cast iron has the disadvantage of being easily damaged from thermal shock. Most of us have heard about a cast iron boiler cracking. It is virtually unheard of for a welded steel boiler to crack from thermal shock. High mass boilers are heavy. A typical one can weigh 700 pounds and they are not easily transported. Heaven help you if your boiler room is in the basement and your 700 pound boiler has to be removed. Low mass boilers on the other hand are light and easily shipped or moved. A high mass cast iron boiler is designed to idle constantly, and this is considered normal, yet if you did the same thing with your automobile you would certainly burn more gasoline. There are several low mass boilers out on the market today that do not idle and as a result they can save as much as 30% on your fuel bill. More interesting information about these boilers will be available at the upcoming Winter Show at the Carlson Center on September 25,26,27. Bruce and Jaye Delbridge, Joshua Industries Inc.

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Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Upgrading countertops and floor can make an impact By JEAN WIESENBURG After an interesting summer of smoke, dust, and little rain (that is, until time for the Fair), we are rapidly moving into a glorious fall full of brilliant color, cool nights and warm days. Many people in the Interior are getting their yards and gardens ready for the winter months that will be here in a blink of an eye. About this time, too, you might be making your way back inside and look around and realize that your counter tops in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room as well as the floors throughout your home could use some major sprucing up. Not to worry, there’s still time to replace and renovate and you can find what you want right here in Fairbanks and North Pole. First, consider counter tops in the kitchen. If you are in the market to replace them, the choices are plentiful. For the budget conscious, the perennial favorite is laminate

Jean Wiesenburg and it comes in hundreds of colors and designs, including those with a textured surface that mimics natural stone. Laminate does chip and cannot take hot dishes from the oven or stove top, but it is easy to clean and will usually give years of surface. Solid surface is another

good choice as the color is continuous throughout. Sinks can be integrated and the seams are practically invisible plus, you can use several colors or ‘sandwich’ layers for a customized look. Solid surface is also good for window sills in your home. If you nick, stain, or burn the surface, it can be (lightly) sanded out. It also works well in bathrooms and cleanup is a breeze. Different manufacturers offer both solid colors as well as those that appear to have chips of contrasting color and speckles — the hard part will be making a decision. Tiles come in a variety of sizes and colors and can work magic in giving a face-lift to a kitchen. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are popular but consider keeping the grout line extremely thin to keep dirt, food stains and debris at a minimum. One of the best things about tile is you can custom create your own design, both on the counter and in the

backsplash. Different sizes can be cut and set on the diagonal to reflect everything from a sunburst pattern to your own Alaskan scene. Glass tiles are taking center stage for backsplashes with a plethora of colors and finishes (matte, frosted and clear) that will complement any decor. Wood countertops in shades of teak, mahogany and butcher block are beautiful but do require some additional maintenance and cleaning to keep them looking their best. Scratches and dings from knives, mallets and cleavers will add interesting ‘character

marks’ but the warmth of wood to the room could make it worthwhile for you. Stained and poured concrete is a fairly new product in the housing industry and it can be tinted to coordinate with your specific area. This product is something best left to a professional (there is a company here in town that can help you). Recycled glass is another product that combines different materials that act as a binding agent with glass chips for color, texture and character — gorgeous! Please see COUNTERS, Page 26



2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

COUNTERS: Many colors, surfaces to choose from (think living room) can bring it all together for you. Area rugs come in literally thouGranite and quartz are Colors and tiles can be mixed to cresands of colors, patterns, fabhigh on many people’s list rics and designs — the fun and for good reason — they ate a masterpiece that is specific to part is finding the one that are extremely durable, come will make your room shine. in a multitude of colors, your home. Tile floors are also a great and the natural veins and way to have a custom look waves of the piece can bring in your home. Depending on a kitchen to the next level. your budget they can come room. And, remember that Most granite used in kitchens laminates. They offer everyfrom one of the box stores or thing from formal to rustic a rug pad keeps the rug in is ‘unhoned’ and that gives it for a whole lot less and are place — no buckling, shifting a company that offers a much a shiny finish. broader selection. Setting not only beautiful, but are or walking. Hardwoods are Clean-up is easy and a tiles on the diagonal makes easy to maintain. Most can more expensive but they last periodic wipe down with the room look larger and be installed by the do-it-your- for years and can be refinwhite vinegar brightens it adds interest. selfer, but others may prefer ished. up like new. If you choose to Colors and tiles can be a professional installation. Carpeting is also a favorite use granite or other natural mixed to create a masterpiece The hardwoods (engiand there is more to choose stone in your home, look at that is specific to your home. neered and solid wood) offer from than beige. the whole slab before making Do make sure that if you Wool, nylon, polyester, your final decision—then you outstanding beauty and durability but you will want to recycled fibers, and even silk have a multi-level house that can choose where you want your foundation can support make sure they are protected are just a few of the choices the design to be located. the weight of the tiles. Solid from the harshness of Alasyou will have. Plush carpetkan winters. ing is luxurious, frieze works vinyl sheeting and tiles are also another way to give a Door mats to catch winter well in homes with young Flooring (semi) customized look withsnow and dirt are a must and families, and the patterns There are so many differout breaking the bank. care should be taken to not incorporating low-cut fibers ent types of floors available The possibilities are endhave water left behind. If and loops creates many that it can cause your head less. you use hardwoods in a livdesigns. to swim. If you have always Jean Wiesenburg is owner/ ing, dining or bedroom area, If you feel like you are in dreamed of deep cherry decorator for ‘Decorating Your consider using an area rug on a sea of wall-to-wall, an area Home’—A Room at a Time. hardwood, but your budget top of it to help anchor the rug to enhance a specific area doesn’t agree, then look at

Continued from Page 25

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Brrr ... It’s cold in here Frozen pipes, ice dams can cause big problems By PHIL RINGSTAD Winter weather can wreak havoc on a home through damage from bitter cold temperatures, ice and snow leading to plumbing and heating problems. In our business we deal with home and business owners who have experienced burst pipes, fire damage and various other structural damages that could possibly have been avoided. Luckily most homeowner’s insurance policy will cover these damages; however it is never any fun and almost always a major inconvenience. With some simple planning, these useful tips and step may keep your home and families safe and warm through our harsh Alaska winter. Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Ice dams can cause water to build up and seep into your house. Keep the house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. Temperatures below 65 degrees risk the inside walls to freeze. Identify the location for the main water shutoff in your home. Find out how it works in case you have to use it. If your garage is attached to your house, always keep the garage doors closed. If you use fireplaces and wood stoves watch them closely and make sure they are working properly. Try to avoid using portable electric space heaters as they can be a serious fire hazard. Remember to close the flue in your fireplace when you’re not using it. An open flue allows heat to easily escape in your home. Regular maintenance of your heating system by a reputable company at least once per year could not only reduce your heating costs but potenPlease see FROZEN, Page 27

Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

A home’s new owner should ask seller for lowdown

tially prevent costly damages. If you leave your home on a trip, ask a neighbor to check the house regularly. If there is a problem with frozen pipes or water leakage, attending to it quickly could mean far less damage. Leave them numbers of contractors to contact if there are any problems. If you plan to be away for an extended period of time, have the system drained by a professional to keep the pipes from freezing or bursting. Sometimes no matter what precautions have been taken, you cannot avoid disasters. If you find your pipes have burst: Immediately turn off the water and then call a plumber and a water restoration company that offers 24/7 emergency response, as it is important to lessen the damages by having immediate response and quick drying. A knowledgeable, trained company can save you thousands on secondary damages, mold growth and give you peace of mind that your home and furnishings will be restored to its pre-loss condition. Call your insurance company as soon as you can.

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estate agent in Grand Rapids, asking everything from the Mich. She encourages buyers to put together a list of names of paint colors to the questions after the deal has names and details of immedibeen negotiated. She suggests ate neighbors.

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After house-hunting, negotiating a price and working out details of his move, Patrick O’Leary was ready to tackle the real work: understanding and operating the various mechanical systems in his new, 6,000-square-foot home. He was relieved when the former owner offered to meet him at the East Greenwich, R.I., house to go over its theater equipment, sprinkler system and pool. The seller left O’Leary a list of companies and contractors who have worked on the home in recent years. “They put all the bells and whistles in this house. It would have been difficult to just walk in and understand everything,” he said. “It definitely gives a comfort level.” No law obligates sellers to help buyers learn the idiosyncrasies of a house, but some go to great lengths to help the new owners settle in. Buyers should ask about everything from the day-to-day operations of the house to landscaping details to the names of neighborhood baby sitters, said real estate agent Ron Phipps. “There’s so much data you

can collect,” said Phipps, who sells real estate in Warwick, R.I., and is first vice president of the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors. “It’s unfortunate if a buyer doesn’t have access to a seller to explain things,” he said. Typically, the amount of information exchanged depends on the character of the negotiations, Phipps said. Falling home prices and tough negotiations in recent years have made some sellers less likely to provide additional details, he said. Real estate agent Gregg Whitney has found it easier to provide buyers with information about contractors and home professionals himself than to rely on sellers. “We realized we could make sure they’re taken care of,” said Whitney, of La Jolla, Calif. “It’s really important to have somebody you can call and get questions answered.” But nothing can replace seller insights, he added. “Invariably, every house has a little something,” he said. “It’s not that the seller didn’t disclose something, it’s just how the mechanics work.” That’s why it never hurts to ask sellers for information, said Donna Batdorff, a real

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Google Maps redesign tweaks real estate listings LOS ANGELES — Google Inc. might crush all other Internet search portals, yet when it comes to real estate listings, it’s often less of a destination than a pit stop. But will that change? The Internet search behemoth drives a ton of Web traffic to real estate sites everyday. Still, Google hasn’t made a major play for domination in the online property search market, unlike sites such as, and Yahoo Real Estate. So when Google makes a move in the real estate space, everyone watches for clues that might signal the sleeping giant is hungry for a bigger piece of the real estate pie. Such a move came about last week, when Google decided to spruce up its popular Google Maps page to highlight its real estate search tools and also began making searches for home listings available in Australia and

New Zealand. In the short term, the move will boost traffic to other real estate Web sites, figures Bill Tancer, general manager of research for Hitwise, an Internet tracking firm. But longterm, could be a different story. “It’s a competitive threat,” Tancer said. Established online listing hubs like Trulia and Zillow aren’t quaking in their boots, yet. And they don’t appear to have any reason to, according to Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo. “We’re certainly thinking about ways to improve the product,” Filadelfo said, “but it’s more about improving user experience, as opposed to how can we become the No. 1 real estate destination.” For years, Google invited real estate professionals and others to submit their listings of homes for sale to the site via the Google Base portal — for free. It began letting users of its maps tool look up homes for

sale about a year ago. Still, the company didn’t trumpet its real estate functions on its sparse home page. You had to dig to get to Google’s property search functions, which are primarily tied to its maps tool. Even there, the option to search for real estate listings was hard to find. If you typed in, say, “real estate Los Angeles,” Google displayed links to real estate firms and showed a city map splayed with dots where those businesses were located. Cue Google’s redesign last summer. Now, a real estate query on Google Maps brings up a page with a link in the top left corner advertising real estate listings search. Or you can select the search options tab and click on a drop-down menu that includes a link to search for real estate listings. An easier way to get there from the main Google page is to enter the search term “Google housing search.” That kicks back a link for Google

Maps Real Estate at maps. This page has a search box for looking up properties curGreg Sterling, rently on the market by city, suburb or neighborhood within Google Maps. Like in many an Internet anaother real estate Web sites, users here can refine their lyst with Sterling searches according to certain criteria, including number of Market Intelbedrooms, bathrooms, square ligence in San feet and price range. Type in Los Angeles, for example, and the site shows Francisco, says it a map of the city nearly covered with red dots represent- would be tough ing everything from homes for sale to homes that have for Google to received a foreclosure-related notice. Zoom in closer and a compete with real bubble pops up with a photos, price and links for other infor- estate-focused mation, including the Web site that is hosting the listing. Web sites. Users also can use Google’s Street View function to get a virtual on-the-ground peek at the neighborhood for any begun driving more traffic to given property. real estate Web sites, Tancer Since Google put in the says. changes, Google Maps has That’s still a far cry from Google’s main search site, which Hitwise says is the No. 1 source of traffic to real estate Web sites. Last week, users looking up real estate search terms on generated roughly 24 percent of all traffic to real estate sites, Tancer said. Greg Sterling, an Internet analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence in San Francisco, says it would be tough for Google to compete with real estate-focused Web sites. “That would be difficult for them to do, given that there are sites ... that have much richer and very specialized experiences around real estate that Google isn’t going to compete with because they’re not going to devote the kind of resources (needed),” Sterling says. Trulia and Zillow executives say they’re not losing sleep over the possibility, either. “The real estate search and transaction process is very complex and very nuanced,” says Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia. “Google just doesn’t have the focus to be able to deliver an amazing experience on this.” We’ll see. 13355710-9-25-09H&RE

By ALEX VEIGA AP Real Estate Writer

Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Mold can pose problems in some Interior Alaska homes By RICH SEIFERT Exposure to mold is common both inside and outside our homes. It’s everywhere. Outside, mold can be found on walkways, in our gardens, and well, on just Rich Seifert about everything. When mold moves into our homes, however, is when we are most at risk. I receive a number of phone calls and e-mails from clients wanting to diagnosis whether or not what they are seeing in their homes is mold, how to determine the best and safest methods for removing the mold, and how to keep the mold from returning. Cooperative Extension provides research-based information that addresses these issues because people should not live in moldy houses!

What is mold? Molds are fungi. They are microorganisms that occur naturally in nature and in large quantities. Molds help break down dead biological materials and can be found growing on foods, plant matter and other items that were or are biological in origin. Molds thrive on organic materials like natural fibers (such as cotton and wool), paper, leather, wood, or surfaces coated with the slightest amount of organic matter such as food, grease and soil. Molds that continue to grow can eventually eat away the organic medium that is their source of food. Wood structural materials and textiles can deteriorate when mold is allowed to thrive on them. Mold and people don’t live together well. Given the right conditions, molds can grow throughout the natural and built environment. Tiny particles of mold are present in indoor and outdoor air. These are actually seed-like spores, through which the mold can spread and grow. In nature, molds help break down dead biological materials.

They can be found growing on soil, foods, plant matter, and other items. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions. Molds require oxygen, but not light, for growth. Mold growth can continue indefinitely without light. Why is mold in my home? The conditions in your home support mold growth. Molds grow best in warm temperatures, 77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, though some growth may occur anywhere between 38 and 95 degrees. Mold requires moisture to thrive, so it may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are moist. Moisture can come from water leaks, flooding, high relative humidity and condensation. Materials that are exposed to a constant leak or have been soaked and not dried thoroughly can support mold growth. As we tighten our homes for energy savings we can also seal in moisture generated

from cooking, bathing and the residual dampness. This is a moisture problem that can, without proper ventilation, lead to a more severe problem — mold. But an important factor in dealing with these conditions is understanding that mold is not the problem— moisture is! Moisture control translates into mold control; mold is merely the inevitable result. Where would mold be most likely to grow in my home? Generally, mold may be found anyplace where moisture or relative humidity levels are high. Crawlspaces built over uncovered earth can have mold problems when the moisture in the ground causes dampness in the space. In laundry rooms, unvented clothes drying produces high levels of relative humidity that often supports mold growth. Damp towels and clothes in laundry hampers, washers or dryers can develop a fungus- producing mildew. In bathrooms, large amounts of moisture can remain in the shower or tub

if an exhaust fan is not used. Soap scum on bath and shower walls is a nutrient source for mold growth. Humidifiers can raise the relative humidity high enough that mold will grow, especially in the winter in areas where there is little air movement. Dark patches of mold can sometimes be seen inside the upper corner of a closet on an outside wall or behind furniture placed against outside walls. Window condensation can result in mold growth where the moisture runs onto the sill or wood trim. In kitchens, mold growth can be found on the walls if cooking involves large amounts of boiling water and no exhaust fan is used. Spills or leaks, such as a sink or toilet overflow onto carpet and other flooring materials, can cause those materials to become moldy. Flooded and fire-damaged houses that have had watersoaked carpeting and other materials often have mold growth starting within a day or so after being soaked. This is

bound to be a part of the recovery from flooding this spring in many riverside communities in Alaska. Cooperative Extension has publications which can help here: The common denominator in all mold problems is moisture. The important factor in dealing with these conditions is understanding that mold is not the problem — moisture is. Moisture control translates into mold control; mold is merely the inevitable result. The question to ask yourself about your home, is: “Do I have enough ventilation to prevent moisture problems? “ If the answer is no, or you’re not sure, we can help at the Cooperative Extension service. In future articles, we’ll also further explore the health implications of moisture and mold, and discuss how to mitigate, get deal with moisture and mold issues. Rich Seifert is the Energy and Housing Specialist at UAF’s Cooperative Extension Service.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Radon is not a deal-breaker in real estate transactions Radon has been a factor in real estate transactions in the Interior of Alaska for more than 20 years now. I thought it would be good to review the situation and some of the best advice for dealing with this Rich Seifert unknown. This article will help you when you go to buy a house or when a real-estate agent is involved in selling a house. First, I’ll run down a few basics. Radon doesn’t need to be a deal breaker. Radon is a solvable problem. Solving radon concerns is a very well understood process. “How to” information is available from Cooperative Extension’s Energy and Housing Specialist, Richard Seifert. The number to call locally in the Fairbanks area is 4747201. From any other place in the state, call 1 800 478-8324 to get sound radon advice. Second, radon is a seasonal problem. This has always been one of the prime con-

cerns about radon information because radon is mainly a winter problem. It has a winter peak, meaning it is very likely to be worst then. So testing in the summer is not necessarily a reliable way to find out if you are going to have a radon problem. However, most home purchases take place in the summer. There are also very proficient, quick tests available for determining radon risks. They can be done any time of year, but again, they have the vulnerability that what you see in the winter may be much greater levels of radon than you experience from testing in the summer. A savvy homebuyer needs to be aware of this winter peak for radon. Third, the real estate industry has for some time, and to its great credit, been obligated to disclose known radon test results on a house that is for sale. This information is to help the buyer be aware of any radon risk and act accordingly. It is always important that a buyer be aware of the radon history of any house. Radon is more likely to be a problem is some areas than in others. There is some experience that we can bring

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know and test. Testing for radon is most effective in the period from late October to the end of January, over the three-month period when the winter season is at its worst. If a test aduring this period is found to be below the 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) remedial action level that EPA sets, then you can probably rest easy. It is always worthy to test for radon if you have any ques-

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to bear about where the radon risk is great and where it is less so. In general, experience has taught us that radon is more likely to be a problem in high elevations, particularly on the hills around Fairbanks, and in Healy, as you get into the Alaska Range gravels, and alluvial and glacial deposits. Radon will typically not be a problem in areas where there is a high water table close to the rivers. The water table, especially along rivers and lakes, prevents radon from coming easily to the surface and dissolves what does surface. Radon is carried away with the flow of the water. Consequently, radon is typically not as worrisome an issue in riverside locations or low in the valleys. Anywhere the landscape models a hill, however, and is well above the water table, it is advisable to test for radon. Finally, we have very good publications to help you with radon concerns. One is titled “Building Radon Out and another Radon Mitigation: Alaska Experiences, Costs, Results.” These publications will help if you do experience a radon problem or want to fix a house that has been determined to have a radon problem. They are available here: html#radon It is important that everyone get the facts on radon and everyone knows the risks. But



Friday, September 25, 2009


2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate

Economic bumps have led to increase in short sales

Continued from Page 30

tion about it. Testing can be accomplished by buying test kits from local distributors and building supply stores or you can get them from Cooperative Extension directly. The test from Extension costs $25 and is completely self-contained. It includes a prepaid mailer to mail off the test for evaluation to the Lower 48 after the test is completed. The test is read by the company which produces it, and they will mail you a letter reporting the test results. This by far the most reliable way to determine your long term risk of radon. Breathe easy! Test for radon this fall! Rich Seifert is the Energy and Housing Specialist at UAF’s Cooperative Extension Service.

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By DOUG WELTON Here is a term and process that is becoming all too common in real estate, even here in good ol’ Fairbanks and around Alaska. A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from the sale fall short of the balance owed on a loan secured by the property sold. In a short sale, the bank or mortgage lender agrees to discount a loan balance because of an economic or financial hardship on the part of the mortgagor. The bank’s loss mitigation department negotiates this process. The home owner/debtor sell the mortgaged property for less than the outstanding balance of the loan, and

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Doug Welton the proceeds of the sale are turned over to the lender, Sometimes in full satisfac-

tion of the debt, but not always. The lender has the right to approve or disapprove of a proposed sale. Extenuating circumstances, such as the current real estate market and the borrower’s financial situation influence whether or not banks will discount a loan balance Typically, a short sale is executed to prevent a home foreclosure, but the decision to proceed with a short sale is based on the most economic way for the bank to recover the amount owed on the property. A short sale is generally faster and less expensive than a foreclosure. (But in can still take months to complete).

A bank will typically determine the amount of equity (or lack thereof), by determining the probable selling price from a broker price opinion or through a valuation of an appraisal. However, it does not extinguish the remaining balance unless settlement is clearly indicated on the acceptance of the offer. I hope this helps you in understanding this process better, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to give me a call, 456-1713. Doug Welton, broker/owner of Absolutely Alaskan Real Estate Services is a longtime Alaskan who homesteaded in 1980. He has more than 30 years of building experience and is knowlegable about Alaska’s unique land conditions. Doug will always call you back!


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate  
2009 Fall Homes and Real Estate  

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