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LOOK INSIDE . . . for articles from LOCAL REALTORS速, Mortgage Lenders, Your Service Industry & More!

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Quick Reference Business Directory Realtors & Brokers

Alaska Ala Carte Realty Andrea Barker 378-0336 Page: 4

Century 21 GOLDRUSH 452-2100 or 488-2100 Page: 1 Chris Calhoon Real Estate 456-3401 Page: 22 Coldwell Banker Gold Country 456-4653 Page: 24

Dave Somers

Doug Somers

Page: 18, 19


Madden Real Estate 452-3000 Page: 12, & 13

Miller Properties RiverWalk 378-9994 Page: 7

Riverview Realty Sue Rainey, Broker 479-4000 Page: 8

Arctic Engineering 378-8210 Page: 22

IABA 455-6650 Page: 10

Fun For Kids

Somers & Associates 456-7653 Page: 1

Judy Somers

ABC, Inc. 457-2221 Page: 6

Whitney Boese

Page: 23

57394591 3-23-12 HRE

Denali State Bank 458-4202 Page: 16

Realtor Biographies

Grace Minder Realty 479-8000 Page: 1

Michelle Evans

April Frick

Angie Tallant

Jim & Linda Arend



Heather Lambert

Darren Quigley

Traci Schachle

Elizabeth Schok

Lisa Supino

Butch & Terri Currier


Cameron Harter


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Building in the North: Understanding arctic conditions when closed. After one winter some of the bristles are probably hanging by a thread or missThe cost of heating your ing. home has likely become one You may replace it reguof your biggest expenses and larly just to discover those you want to know how best little bristles break the first to reduce it. time they meet 20 below. This is why things like Vinyl seals should not be energy audits and home used in Fairbanks, they don’t efficiency upgrades have work. become ever growing hot When you replace weather topics here in the Interior. The most important question seals they should be made you should be asking is what from EPDM rubber. This superior material will make the biggest difference for the least amount of can be used on door sweeps, door surrounds, windows money? It is frustrating to observe and garage doors. The door seal on your car is made people spend thousands of from EPDM rubber. It stops dollars on assumed weak areas such as boilers, garage air leakage at 60 mph and remains flexible at very cold doors, and windows but not temperatures. see any difference on their Spending $50 replacing heating bills. those leaky garage doors In some cases the winseals may be just as effective dows or boiler really should as replacing the entire door be replaced but other very and your paybacks will be simple and inexpensive immediate. upgrades could be what saves you the most money. By TIM HENRY Arctic Engineering

Weather seals

Yes, I know you have heard it a thousand times: Sealing up those air leaks makes a huge difference. It turns out that it truly does but you should know what works and what doesn’t. Your front door probably came with a vinyl bottom seal that is supposed to sweep tight to the threshold

Understanding windows

Many Fairbanks homeowners battle with condensation occurring around their window frames during times of extreme cold. Condensation around the windows is typically from an improper installation unless you have an indoor swimming pool and obviously too much humidity in the air. It

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has been proven through the use of thermal imaging that foaming around a window frame is usually not sufficient. The vapor barrier actually needs to be sealed to the window frames. The foam in its naturally cured condition with the shiny skin that forms has a low permeability but in an attempt to fill the whole void the foam is typically over applied and then trimmed flush once it’s cured. Thermal images show that cold air actually flows through the areas where the foam was trimmed back. When cold air migrates between the window frame and rough opening the frame cools below the dew point temperature and causes water vapor to condensate

on that surface. Many soft or rotten drywall window returns are a result of this condition. Extensive testing on the material of window frames has shown wood to have the highest thermal efficiency with fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum following. It should come as no surprise to you that wood window frames outperformed all others. The material physics of wood are such that it has a low thermal conductivity. The idea that you should replace your older wood frame windows just because they are made of wood is a common misconception. Replacing the worn out perimeter seals could bring them up to the same efficiency of new windows for a very minimal cost.

Heat trace

Many homes in Fairbanks have water wells that are not in permafrost but still freeze on occasion requiring costly heat trace to fight back the frost. Installing the heat trace on a timer is one method that cuts down the cost, but why not try and eliminate the need altogether. Instead of leaving the well casing exposed to the elements try insulating it. Install insulation over the well casing two feet below grade and cover with a removable insulated cap. You may join the many others who have discovered the heat trace is no longer needed. Because completely eliminating the need for that heat trace will save you a lot of money.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Real estate investing: When is it a good time By GINNY FRIZZI No matter what the state of America’s economy might be on any given day, one question is sure to be asked. “Is this a good time to invest in real estate?” Though the answer depends upon the individual asking the questions — as well as his or her personal circumstances — according to various experts, it might be “yes.” “In 2010, the housing market will experience one last gasp before its turnaround begins in earnest. One million foreclosed homes will be dumped on the market as banks clean out their inventories,” says Gregory Rand, managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty and author of the blog “House Rich.” “This will create the last If you’re looking to buy a house you can rent out, you must opportunity in this wild and determine not only how much it’s worth but also how much woolly housing cycle for

work it needs.



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buyers to invest at a historical low point. The way I view it, a million people will have the chance to buy the homes of their dreams at overcorrected prices as banks unload properties and finally write down their losses.” Billie Redmond, CEO of Coldwell Banker Commercial TradeMark Properties, agrees. Our experience is that there has never been a better time to buy for yourself or as rental property,” she says. “It’s the best pricing we’ve had in 30 years. The choices are unimaginable.” Brandon Green, founder of Brandon Green Companies and a broker with Keller Williams, believes that now is a fantastic time to invest in real estate if one of the following categories applies to you. “One, you’re going to live there. Two, you are buying an investment property and know your margin of return right down to the dollar. Or three, you have cash for great deals suited to cash,” he says. Some buyers will continue to wait to see how low real estate prices will go, but that could be a mistake, according to Jeffrey Rogers, president and chief operating officer of Integra Realty Resources. “Most property values are on a recovery, and buyers should act now as prices are continuing to rise,” he says. Yet not everyone agrees that now is a good time to buy. Searching and waiting for the “best time” to invest in real estate is a false consideration, says Gunny Scarfo, creative director of a custom real estate firm. “Most people want to know if ‘now is a good time to invest in real estate.’ This kind of thinking is a bad investment strategy already,” Scarfo says. “Good real estate investors never invest because they think a local market is going to rise. ... That’s too dangerous a guess.

Good investors act when they’re able to buy a specific property with an excellent secure rate of return from rental income.” Individuals looking to invest in real estate must realize that they have a lot to learn, according to Jim McClelland of Mack Industries. He has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years. “Some newbies have been in the business a few years and think they know it all,” says McClelland, who owns 400 rental properties worth a total of $50 million. “You can’t read a book about it and get rich.” Investing in real estate can make a person financially independent, but it doesn’t happen overnight. “Real estate can be phenomenal for long-term appreciation. You need to have a long view and hold it for 10 to 15 years,” he says, adding that equity is built as the mortgage decreases. Quite simply, there is a lot to learn, he says. “A buyer will need cash or to be able to borrow the money from a lender. If you are looking for rental property, you have to see not only how much the house is worth but also how much work it needs.” A real estate investor needs to do a market analysis that includes what comparable houses in the neighborhood are selling for. He or she also must figure out what it would take to generate a positive cash flow, including the monthly cost of the mortgage, repair costs, insurance costs, tax amounts and, if the owner chooses, the cost of hiring a property manager or management firm. McClelland advises the average person work with a real estate agent he or she trusts. “This is especially important if someone is dealing with bank-owned property,” he says. “The average person knows nothing about dealing with banks.”

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012


A window into the future of the housing market By AMY WINTER Although the housing market has suffered from a downturn with an increase in foreclosures, there is hope for a recovery in the next several years. Robert Denk, assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis at the National Association of Home Builders, says, “2010 will go into the books as the bottom of the worst housing downturn since consistent records began being kept in 1959.” Denk doesn’t see the recovery happening at a fast pace; it will be more of a “multiyear process.” Paul Bishop, the vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors, says the housing market could return to normal in the next five to eight years. However, with the recent decrease in home prices, it is difficult to distinguish the new normal when it comes to home sales. Mike Colpitts, editor of Housing Predictor, forecasts the housing markets across the country on a daily basis. He believes it will take many years for the housing bubble to recover from reduced prices. When it comes to baby boomers, some prefer to head to the Sun Belt for retirement housing options, but the majority of them want to live near family members and health care facilities. “Retirees tend to stay put or relocate to where they have children or other relatives,” Denk says. “Some retirees certainly head south, but it is not the majority. This means housing demand from boomers will be reasonably geographically distributed rather than overwhelmingly Sun Belt-bound.” Second homes still will be part of the baby boomer generation, but it could be a narrower section of buyers. Boomers who aren’t financially secure may have to wait a year or two to move into retirement communities or buy second homes, according to Bishop. If boom-

from the echo boomers, the children of the baby boomers. Kimmons says these buyers most likely will be cautious and hesitant to believe the “don’t worry, it will go up in value” idea. Factors that could affect the future housing market include: mortgage rates, the long-term health of the economy, tax rates and lending markets. “Excess inventory in some markets, exacerbated by foreclosures and fear of further declines in house prices, has undermined homebuyer confidence and represents significant obstacles to recovery,” Denk says. “On the other hand, historically low interest rates, the stabilization of house prices and the temporary tax credit are features of the current landscape that should support photo courtesy of Rick Yontz Many baby boomers are choosing to head to the Sun Belt, but the majority of them are recovery. “How these opposing forcstaying close to family members. es play out will determine the pace of return to more ers have lost equity in their the National Association of More demand in the hous- normal long-term housing homes and money in stocks, Home Builders. ing market will be coming demand conditions.” they most likely will need to hold on to their primary residences. Colpitts says the housing market has made it more difficult for boomers to sell their homes; therefore, retirement communities are moving at a slower growth pace. The first-time homebuyer tax credit is helping the housing market move forward. James Kimmons, a real estate writer for About. com, describes the tax credit as “a Band-Aid that has increased purchases, helping to slow the growth of inventory from foreclosures.” The tax credit provides more buyers, which can aid the baby boomers who are trying to sell their homes. The tax credit immediately enabled the sale of more homes, and an increase in home sales leads to more healthy activity in the market, according to Bishop. Intended to re-establish normal housing demand, the tax credit encouraged about 200,000 sales in 2011 and is estimated to bring another 180,000 sales in 2012, according to


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting a better deal on your home By GINGER OREM Crown Real Estate Are you on the fence about

buying a home? In my years of selling real estate, I’ve seen many buyers wonder if they just waited


money on their monthly mortgage payment strictly due to the current low interest rates now being offered. With the low interest rates, buyers can afford to purchase higher priced homes at similar payments of what they would have paid for lower priced homes just a few years ago. In contrast, if you wait to purchase and interest rates go up (as many experts believe will) then you could be paying a much higher monthly mortgage payment for the exact same purchase price. This also translates to qualifying for much less of a mortgage since lenders qualify buyers based on the monthly mortgage payment they will have. Bottom line is that right now many buyers will qualify for a higher mortgage, allowing them to broaden their search for that perfect home. Going up just $10,000 in your purchase price limit can open doors to more homes listed for sale. I believe that if you are considering buying a

home, now is a great time to do so, taking advantage of the low interest rates as well as real estate prices offered today in the Interior. If you own a home and are paying a higher interest rate, you may be able to reduce your monthly mortgage payment simply by refinancing your mortgage. Some lenders offer a streamline mortgage, especially if you have a VA loan, which could allow you to refinance with reduced fees. Contact your mortgage lender for more information on refinancing. As always, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is so never buy a home without investigating and inspecting the property. Make sure you retain a licensed real estate professional to protect your interests and guide you through the process.

Ginger Orem is broker/owner of Crown Real Estate AK, Inc. She was nominated as one of Fairbanks’ Favorite Realtors in the 2008 DNM People’s Choice Awards. You can contact Ginger for more information at 452-8000.

would like to extend a sincere THANK YOU to all of the local Realtors for their assistance in creating this Special Tabloid Section.


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could they get a better deal? In today’s market, with the low interest rates available, buyers with decent credit scores can rest assured that they are going to be getting a great deal on their mortgage interest rate which will result in a lower monthly payment. Let’s say you purchased a home for $275,000 at a mortgage interest rate of 7 percent. Using $900 per year for insurance and $3,500 per year for property taxes, with 5 percent down, you would be paying approximately $2,333 per month for that mortgage. Now let’s say you want to purchase that same house today but at a much lower interest rate of 3.75 percent with the same insurance and tax amounts, your new mortgage payment would now be approximately $1,804 per month. That is a savings of $529 per month for the same house and purchase price. This is an amazing fact that assures buyers that if they are purchasing a home this year they could save a ton of


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Increase your home’s curb appeal for the sell By SHARON NAYLOR When potential buyers drive up to your home, the decision of “to buy or not to buy” might be made before they even step foot in your carefully cleaned and staged house. It’s the outside view — that all-important curb appeal — that can close the deal for you or, if you don’t spruce up your home’s outer appearance, send buyers looking for the next listing. According to real estate industry Web site HomeGain, if you invest $300 to $400 on landscaping, your home price could increase by $1,500 to $2,000, a return on your investment of about 500 percent. Think about how your house looks from the front curb, which is where potential buyers get their first look and form that all-important first impression. “If you’re standing at that curb and you see that the windows are dirty, the trees are overgrown and the shutters are faded or peeling, that’s a turnoff,” says Jennie Norris, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, which is a source of professional home stagers who also work on staging the outdoor sections of your property for best effect. “Buyers will likely spend several minutes at your front door while their real estate agent unlocks it, so invest time in setting the stage for a grand entrance,” says Marcia Layton Turner, co-author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Staging Your Home to Sell.” “Make sure the door is clean and freshly painted, if needed. Polish any brass, such as a door knocker, hinges or doorknob. Clean any glass sidelights or glass windows on the door or storm door. Sweep the stoop. Put down a new welcome mat. And add a couple of potted plants on both sides of the front door to add color and make it feel like a more inviting space.” Norris agrees, suggesting topiaries on both sides of the door, large colorful planting bowls from the nursery, and annuals on a plant stand to add

Photo courtesy of

Spending a little money to transform your current outdoor space (above) into something fantastic (right) goes a long way.

a touch of color.

Hued up

Color is a very big issue when it comes to your home’s outer appearance. It may be a wise investment to have your home professionally painted. Norris says a house looks best when the main color and the trim are within the same color family and there’s just one contrasting color for a “pop” accent, such as on the shutters. But it may work just fine to have your home’s siding power washed, which can make it look as if you had new siding put on. Color also applies to your landscaping. Norris says, “Buyers are impressed with pops of color in your landscaping, so for annuals that you’ll plant in front and along walkways, stick with just one color of flower rather than mix six different shades, and plant in clusters rather than rows for the best effect.” Turner says to trim any bushes or shrubs to neat and controlled shapes, put down new mulch and cut down any dead tree branches. Norris advises, “Use the outdoor home staging wisdom of making sure that you

have high, medium and low plantings, such as a few tall trees, some medium-height bushes and then some flowers or ground cover close to the ground.” This style of planting is the nicest aesthetically, and it also serves to direct the eye toward your home’s best features. For instance, a taller tree will bring the eye upward to show off the top frame of your front door or the new windows.

Light effects

Many potential buyers will schedule visits for after work hours. To make your home shine after dark, consider a lighting strategy. Pretty lanterns and modern fixtures can be found in most home improvement stores and installed in less than an hour. Turner advises making sure that all of your outdoor lights — from your solars by your steps to your front porch light — are clean and in good working order.

Lawn décor

A fabulous backyard will feature a new, clean patio furniture grouping so that potential buyers can imagine

portable unit and not a built-in part of an outdoor kitchen. “Water features are terrific,” Norris says, “such as ponds and waterfalls or a clean and well-manicured backyard pool, and a clean copper or modernlooking birdbath is fine, too.” As far as additional outdoor décor goes, the experts say to put everything away. Remove plaques with your family name on them. Get rid of the creepy little garden gnomes and plastic pink flamingos, even those cute fabric flags themed to the season or the holiday or to a favorite sports team or alma mater. The goal is to depersonalize the outside, as well as the inside, of your home so that buyers see the house as a house, not your house. And Turner says to make sure that all lawn equipment is put away. “You don’t want any hint that you had to work hard to make the yard look that good,” she says. “Buyers want the entertaining they could do the illusion that your home will on that back deck, and a clean require very little in the way of grill is also a must, even if it’s a maintenance and upkeep.”


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Get organized: A simple way to save cash in the long run What about the gift card you got for your birthday last year? That’s in there, too, but Jamie Novak sees hidit’s expired. Don’t forget the den cash in surprising places necklace you got on sale a few — that junk drawer in your months ago. It’s still in the box kitchen, for example. because it’s just not your style, Those expensive rechargebut someone else might snatch able batteries are buried in it up on eBay. the back somewhere, but you Get organized and you’ll can’t find them, so you just buy save money in the long run; more. you even might make a little By CHANDRA ORR

extra cash in the process by uncovering hidden gems that fetch big bucks at resale. The key is to keep only what you need, sell what you don’t, reuse when possible and make sure everything has a home. Sound overwhelming? It’s not. “Organizing is simple. It may not always be easy, but it is always simple,” says clutter buster Jamie Novak, author of “Stop Throwing Money Away: Turn Clutter to Cash, Trash to Treasure — and Save the Planet While You’re at It!” “Even if you were born without the organizing gene, you can do this. The trick is to stop planning to get to it.” First things first: Forget about perfection. An organized home is a work in progress. Setting impossible standards leads to procrastination and

disappointment, so don’t strive to get it right; just get it done. You can go back later and refine the “rough draft.” “It’s easy to become discouraged if you promise yourself you’ll de-clutter the entire basement in one weekend. No one has that kind of energy,” Novak says.Instead, set a timer and work in short, focused bursts. Commit to just 18 minutes at a time. “Ten minutes sounds too short to make noticeable progress, and 20 minutes sounds like too long to cram into an already busy day. Eighteen minutes is doable,” Novak explains. “After the buzzer sounds, if you still have time and energy to spare, reset the timer and go for another 18minute round.” Focus on just a small por-

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tion of the project, and ignore distractions. In other words, don’t pull everything out of the linen closet at once. You might not get it all sorted and put back before the time is up, and you’d be left with an overwhelming mess. Don’t leave to put something away in another room. Don’t take a quick break to let the dog out. And don’t stop to answer the phone; you can return the call in 18 minutes. “Stay put! Once you leave, the chances of your coming back to finish are slim to none,” Novak says. “Instead, while working, make a to-do list of tasks that come to mind, and make a pile of things to take with you when your time is up and you leave the room.” You may not complete the task at hand, but if you do a little bit each day, the results will add up. Start with the kitchen. It’s the heart of the home, the area in which you’re likely to reap the biggest results and, emotionally, the easiest place to begin. “The kitchen is command central. When the kitchen runs smoothly, all the other rooms take shape,” Novak says. “It is much easier to recycle an expired grocery coupon than it is to let go of the jeans that are just one size too small or your now-college-age child’s favorite stuffed animal. Plus, the most money is wasted through disorganization in the kitchen; think forgotten leftovers or buying another of an item already in your cluttered pantry.”


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Insuring buildings that are under construction By KRISTINA JOHNSON Many people in Alaska 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 pocket book 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 on a shovel, they had better think

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 Kristina Johnson policies require the same basic about placing insurance on the information that would be needed at the pre-construction property first. phase. One should note that Placing insurance on your these policies run the risk of soon-to-be property is easier having higher premiums and than most people may think. usually do not include coverage All that’s really needed is an for liability, medical, theft of idea of how much the owner building materials or freezing plans on putting into the project and some basic information of pipes. So if these coverage’s about themselves. The sooner a are of big concern, make sure person insures the property, the to place a policy before construction. better the coverage, and preCoverage can be purchased mium, could be. In some cases, on residential, commercial or premiums are as low as $375

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Exterior house painting: It’s all about the weather By MARK J. DONOVAN

paint quality issues, and the spring is often too rainy and humid. Therefore, the early summer months, before it gets too hot, and autumn are often your only opportunities to paint. The do-it-yourself homeowner who chooses to do his own exterior house painting often finds himself tackling it in a guerilla warfare-type approach — painting portions of the home over an extended period of time as weather conditions permit. For the best exterior house painting results, it is wise to hire a contractor who has a team that can paint a home quickly. Although they, too, are at the whim of Mother Nature, they at least have the ability to paint the house rapidly. In addition, they won’t paint your car or themselves in the process.

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Exterior house painting is one of the most difficult projects to schedule and complete from a weather perspective. To complete the job, you must have an ambient air temperature of between 50 F and 90 F and low humidity, and there should be little to no wind while you’re painting. If you decide to tackle an exterior house painting project outside of these weather conditions, chances are the paint will not hold up well. Give yourself the best chance of having Mother Nature smile down on your painting project by not starting in an unsuitable climate. In general, July and August are two of the worst months of the year to paint a house; the house siding is simply too hot to paint. Cold weather causes

ance 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 model homes. Some policies policy when the time comes. include coverage for building Some insurance companies materials, trees, shrubs, lawns prefer not taking on the risk of and even property owned by a prior uninsured building and subcontractors. Most of these will only offer a Dwelling Fire policies also cover theft of policy, if offering any policy at materials, materials in tranall, thus possibly resulting in sit, fire, vandalism and debris inadequate coverage for the removal. The only coverage not building owner. available on any building under It doesn’t take much to get construction is liability — so these policies in force so that please be careful. you can soon be on your way to No matter where the project building your dreams. If anylies there is usually a market thing, insuring a building from that the building can be placed the get-go can be more cost effiin. The best thing a property cient and less of a headache in owner should do is first place the long run. In the end, you’ll insurance during the course be glad you did — because we of construction phase to keep all know how fun construction premiums low and then again can be all on its own. after construction is complete. Kristina Johnson works at Ken One of the first things insurMurray Insurance.

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.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

It’s a buyer’s right and duty to inspect a home By SUSAN RAINEY Riverview Realty To safeguard one of life’s largest investments, most buyers pursue inspections and testing in addition to careful review of a seller’s disclosure information. An important paragraph contained in our local Board of Realtors Earnest Money Receipt and Purchase Agreement is the “Right and Duty to Inspect” clause. This clause provides a 15 day right of inspection to the buyer and outlines the options for action based on the results of any inspections. Every region of our country has specific conditions of possible concern to homeowners and various ways to deal with them. Following we will discuss many of the inspections and tests common to our area. Many of the homes built in the Fairbanks North Star Borough were built without inspections during construc-

Susan Rainey tion or remodeling and might contain defects. It is common for a buyer to have a home inspection performed during the 15-day right of inspection. The inspectors typically inspect from roof to foundation and are looking for situations that keep the home from meeting a standard of “safe, sound and sanitary.” Inspectors’ credentials range from fully licensed civil engi-

neers to certified inspectors to any professional the buyer feels confident in. The inspection reports are usually arranged in sections headed “Recommended For Immediate Repair” and “For Future Consideration.” Home inspectors are limited to what is visible and cannot be expected to detect all deficiencies contained within walls and other enclosed spaces. A home inspector might suggest specific additional testing based on visual or other cues noted during their inspection. A home inspection typically costs from $500 to $700.

suffering with respiratory problems are particularly wary of homes that contain mold. Mold might be directly visible or might exist but be undetected. Even absent visual evidence of mold you might consider arranging for mold testing. Many homes in our area are served by wells. Water quality and quantity vary widely. Tests that can be conducted include testing for flow rate, water hardness, nitrates, arsenic, heavy metals etc. Information on some of the tests available and cost is available online at wellsafe/index.htm



Soil drilling can be performed to reveal if the area is affected by permafrost or other conditions liable to indicate unstable soils. Fairbanks is fortunate to have a cadre of professionals to provide the expertise necessary to perform and evaluate many of the tests described here. Take the time to speak with your friends, coworkers and family to get recommendations and always check a professional’s credentials. A sensible homebuyer will test for reasonable concerns but should be aware that all testing is a snapshot of that Radon is a naturally system at the time of testing occurring invisible, tasteless Water and changing conditions can Homes on city utilities and odorless radioactive gas impact the system in future. are not exempt from possible Testing is not a guarantee of considered harmful in cerwater quality issues. Older tain concentrations. future performance. homes may have water pipes The only way to know if If you are selling your with soldered joints contain- home it is important to radon is present in a home ing lead and older copper is to test for it. Radon testunderstand what standards piping. ing can be conducted with your home and its systems Testing is available to instrumentation placed by a are likely to be held to by a professional in the home for determine the presence of prospective buyer. Discuss a three day or longer period. lead and/or copper in the with your real estate agent home water supply. A readout provides an the pros and cons of pre Well/septic testing average measurement and marketing testing. includes testing the septic running data. A written Susan Rainey has been marand leach field’s adequacy report is provided and the keting Fairbanks and North Pole cost averages approximately and the well water is tested homes for more than 25 years. for contamination. The sys$200. She is a past president of the tem also is checked to see The EPA has established Greater Fairbanks Board of Realit meets required separathreshold limits considered tors, recipient of the Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors “Realtor tion guidelines. The testing unsafe. More information is of the Year,” Greater Fairbanks available online at www.uaf. standards applicable are Affiliate “Realtor of the Year” and edu/ces/energy/housing_ener- determined by the Alaska a Fairbanks Daily News Miner’s gy/publications/RadonInfoP- Department of EnvironReader’s Choice “Best Real Estate mental Conservation and amphlet2011.pdf Agent” for 2006, 2007, 2009 and approximate cost of testing 2010.Questions? You may contact is $725. More information is Susan Rainey at (907) 479-4410 or email srainey@mosquitonet. available at AKDEC, www. com. Families with members



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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

How much should I save before buying a home?




to push you into something you can’t afford. It is more to show you that you should explore your options, and realize that there can be a lot of creativity that is used in a home purchase, to adjust to your needs. You should still examine your finances and make a budget to ensure that you are in a good place to buy and can afford the monthly payment and other associated costs that come along with home ownership. Moral of the story is: Don’t wait. And if you are waiting for the market “to be at the lowest,” well then you won’t know that until it is already gone.

We can’t pinpoint a low point in a market until it has already reached that point and the market is climbing, and you missed it. Every market is different. The market in Fairbanks is very different from other markets around the United States. Questions? You may contact Zeb Mabie at 388-6348 or send e-mails to

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Next, I would like to give you a little scenario. Here is a little food for thought: There are a lot of buyers Interest rates are at an who have a preconceived all-time low. notion on how much they They have been hovering need to save before buying a around 3.75 percent to 4 perhome. cent for the last year or so. A This is largely based on couple of years ago, interest what they have heard from rates were at 6 percent. Let their parents, friends, colme show you how different leagues, and others. The the payments are. truth is, there is no right Here are 2 scenarios. We answer for everyone. are going to use 3.875 perThere are many loan procent vs. 6 percent grams out there that require • Purchase price of different amounts of down $175,000, interest rate at payments. 3.875 percent = $1,186.16 Zeb Mabie There are programs like per month important step before VA that allow for 0 percent (With this example: Paydown, RD at 0 percent down, searching for a home. ments were calculated with Most sellers request that HUD 184 at 2.25 percent for a conventional loan, 5 perall buyers viewing their Alaska Natives or American cent down, a MIL rate of 17 Indians, FHA at 3.5 percent home are to be prequalified. percent, home owners insurAfter being prequalified down, conventional as low as ance of $615, and monthly you will get a letter from 5 percent down. Those are mortgage insurance. APR is your lending institution the most typical ones that 4.6071 percent ) stating you are prequalified. people use. • Purchase price of There are other loan pro- They also will prepare a cost $175,000, interest rate of grams that are out there for sheet for you that shows you 6 percent = $1,401.15 per the estimated payment per disabled veterans and low month income buyers that allow for month and the estimated (With this example: Payeven more creative loan pro- closing costs. ments were calculated with a Don’t let the closing costs conventional loan, 5 percent grams. scare you if you are short This could include down, a MIL rate of 17 perof funds at this time. Many reduced interest rates, cent, home owners insurance times closing costs can be reduced down payments, $615, and monthly mortgage negotiated, and paid by the grants for down payments, insurance. APR is 6.8556 no VA funding fees, reduced seller. percent) Also, you may have poor closing costs and more. That is a savings of credit, or what you think is The key to knowing how $214.99 per month at this poor credit. Leave that up to purchase price. The savings much you need to save the lender. before buying is two very per month is even larger on You may qualify for some important steps. larger purchase prices. loans programs, or if not, 1. Choose a Realtor and Not only are there advanmost lenders will help you schedule an appointment tages with interest rates plan to get your credit up to right now, but there are tax for a buyer’s consultation. the minimum level. A buyer consultation is a advantages to owning verMost importantly, you will sus renting also, but that meeting with a Realtor that discusses the general buying not know every loan program conversation will have to process and many of the spe- that may fit your needs, and be directed to a tax profesthe monies you have to come sional. cifics that are included like: up with, until you do this. talking about your needs, This article is not meant financing options, closing costs, appraisal process, as-built surveys, title companies, home inspection process, other inspections like well/septic, radon, arsenic and more. It is really important you get as educated as possible Call for your free in-home consultation. before you begin looking for homes. Building Alaska since 1977 2. Select a local lender We’ll be here next year! and make an appointment to get prequalified. Being prequalified is another By ZEB MABIE Century 21


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Wes Madden Owner/Broker

Stacy Risner

Charles “Chick” Wallace

Laura Mangurian

Jackie Wallick

Christina Barron

Mike Maynard

Cassie Springer

Jesse Gray

Director of Operations/ Associate Broker

Associate Broker

Rocky Harrigan

Listing Coordinator

Buyer Specialist

Kim McGrath Listing Coordinator

Randi Wells

Transaction Coordinator

Director of Marketing

Joel Johnson

Listing Specialist/ Associate Broker

Buyer Specialist

Buyer Specialist

Kristen Wolletz

Client Care Coordinator

Tammy Enochs Office Manager Madden Management

Buyer Specialist

Jewel Addison

Brandon Phillips

Charlie Rogers

Harry Schikora

Paul Theriault

Jenn Shipman

Buyer Specialist

Buyer Specialist

Joyce Spencer

Buyer Specialist

Field Coordinator

Megan Quan

Buyer Specialist

Buyer Specialist

Listing Specialist

Buyer Specialist

Buyer Specialist

Client Care Coordinator

Efren Larranaga

Ethan Wells

Desiree Caywood

Miyun Reid

Buyer Specialist

Jessica Preston, Property Manager • Samara Steele, Property Manager

Buyer Specialist

Director of First Impressions

Marcia Madden

Director of First Impressions

Ashlee Whitworth

Director of First Impressions

Jason Woodward

VP of Business Development

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012


“I’ve just sold my home and it took me about a year and half, but I don’t have the Realtor right in my backyard that you do. Wes Madden is the guy I’m talking about. I can tell you his marketing plan is in a whole different league than the average agent. He spends thousands of dollars every month to attract hundreds of buyers, which means selling homes fast and for the most money.” – Glenn Beck



Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Right at home: Ceramics are hot items this spring a space together, picking up elements — a knitted motif or a color, say — that appear in artwork, throw pillows or Ceramics are always a rugs elsewhere in the room. great supporting player on And ceramics are easy to the home dicor stage, but this season they’re grabbing change out when you tire of them. more of the spotlight. Homegoods often has cool Today’s ceramists are ceramics that resemble highexploring creative textures er end versions. This spring, and finishes, and even the you’ll find a Provence-style, mass market is offering exciting new examples of the rustic, mustard-hued lamp base with a honeycomb pottery arts. From velvety embossment, an array of chic soft, lacy tealight holders bird-patterned plates in fine to chunky, colorful platters, there’s something for every- china, and several color-saturated glazed vessels in deep one. You can choose to feature teal or cranberry. Scandinavian design stupottery prominently or enlist dio Ferm Living created an it as punctuation to other ethereal new collection for colors and textures in your spring that includes matte room. white or terra cotta ceramic A piece with lots of patvases made of stacked tern punch can be a conspheres and polygons. versation starter, whether A series of porcelain it was created half a world away by a village artisan, or pieces, including a teapot right in your own hometown. and bowl, features a spear Ceramics also can help tie geometric in subtle organic By KIM COOK For The Associated Press


KNOW THE LAW Local developers, engineers, surveyors, and contractors should be aware of the storm water plan review and permitting requirements in the urbanized area of Fairbanks.


If your total disturbed area equals or exceeds 10,000 SF in the City of Fairbanks or 1.0 acre in the City of North Pole or the Fairbanks North Star Borough, you should contact the City or Borough to ensure you are complying with local requirements!!

IT’S THE LAW Obtain all necessary approvals before you dig!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jackson Fox City of Fairbanks/North Pole 459-6758 OR

The Associated Press

In this image released by West Elm, pierced tea lights and vases by Maria Moyer are shown. Her collection is inspired by the ocean, and 5 percent of sales go to support Oceana, an international ocean conservation organization. Boston artist Leah Piepgras may have created the ultimate ceramic conversation piece, however. At the New York fair, her Consumption series of porcelain plates was shown at the Model Citizens booth. For a limited edition produced by Pickard China, Piepgras uses anatomical illustrations to draw each stage of the digestive tract from mouth (the tea cup) to, well, the end of the line for food we eat (the dessert plate). A result of her keen interest in the body and brain, Piepgras says her “map” is

“a reminder of the processes that are taking place within you while you’re eating, promoting an exercise in mindfulness.” Rendered in a blue-black palette that’s less realistic than flesh tones, the plates are beautifully odd. At $750 per set, this would perhaps be better suited to display than dinner. Sourcebook:

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tones of charcoal, pale pink, seafoam and curry. Susan Dwyer, a sculpture major at art school in Chicago, was inspired by the clean, minimal lines of the city’s industrial landscape to create a cool series of vessels evoking factory buildings, water towers and silos. All hand-formed, each piece has a unique organic look which is at odds with, yet complementary to, the manufactured structure it represents. Amy Adams, the brains behind Brooklyn-based Perch studio, has designed a clever series of stacking cups with stenciled rosettes, flowers, garlands or triangles. Available in black and white or turquoise and white, these have a nice folkarty look and would be versatile little repositories for drinks, flowers or trinkets. One of the masters of ceramic art, Jonathan Adler, showed his Carnaby collection at the recent New York International Gift Fair. Pieces include the Waves tray and Acid lamp, featuring groovy ‘70s-inspired graphics. But Adler also has done a lovely group of naturethemed pottery pieces for which he threw the prototype and Peruvian artisans created the finished product. Motifs include leaves, seed pods and barnacles. West Elm has Maria Moyer’s pretty pierced tealight holders and stunning white orbed vases, which look like they were born in some faroff galaxy. A percentage of sales of her pieces benefit Oceana, a nonprofit marine conservation group. John Newdigate’s fun blue-and-white-fish painted platters and fish-shaped serveware have a Japanese vibe.

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting a jump start on selling your biggest investment Here are some helpful ways to get your home ready to sell:

Disassociate yourself with your home

• Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house — a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.” • Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. • Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners. • Say good-bye to every room. • Don’t look backwards — look toward the future.

Depersonalize Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if yours are there. You don’t want to make any buyer ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”


musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no. Smell is huge. Invoke the buyers’ five senses If you want to take window by having a fragrance burner on, wall plug ins or even a coverings, built-in appliances candle burning for showings. or fixtures with you, remove Bake some cookies just prior them now. to the showing. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees • Go outside and open your it, she won’t want it. front door. Stand there. Do Once you tell a buyer she you want to go inside? Does can’t have an item, she will the house welcome you? covet it, and it could blow • Linger in the doorway of your deal. every single room and imagPack those items and ine how your house will look replace them, if necessary. to a buyer. • Examine carefully how Nikki Whiting furniture is arranged and a head-start on the packing move pieces around until it • Replace cracked floor or you will eventually need to do counter tiles. makes sense. anyway. • Make sure window cover• Patch holes in walls. ings hang level. • Fix leaky faucets. • Tune in to the room’s • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam. • Consider painting your Buyers love to look in walls neutral colors, especially drawers and closets to see if you have grown accustomed how spacious they are and to purple or pink walls. (Don’t will open closet and cabinet give buyers any reason to doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out. Now remember your home as “the imagine what a buyer believes house with the orange bathroom.”) about you if she sees everyTheseTIC LY • Replace burned-out light thing organized. It says you C A T A ves sto f o r probably take good care of the bulbs. fy • If you’ve considered quali NSB rest of the house as well. F replacing a worn bedspread, the e-Out This means: g do so now. Chan ram! • Alphabetize spice jars. g o r P • Neatly stack dishes. • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way. • Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same • Wash windows inside and direction. out. • Line up shoes. • Rent a pressure washer


Make minor repairs

Rearrange closets and cabinets

statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz? • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You’re almost finished.

Check curb appeal

If a buyer won’t get out of her real estate agent’s car because she doesn’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside. • Keep the sidewalks cleared. • Mow the lawn. • Paint faded window trim. • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Daisies are inexpensive. • Trim your bushes. • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.

Princess Ultra

Make the house sparkle

Rent a storage unit

Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads and saying, “What is this room used for?”

and spray down sidewalks and exterior. • Clean out cobwebs. • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks. • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors. • Clean out the refrigerator. • Vacuum daily. • Wash floors. • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. • Bleach dingy grout. • Replace worn rugs. • Hang up fresh towels. • Matching Bathroom towels look great — sometimes crisp white is the way to go. • Clean and air out any


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People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: If you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. • If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away? • Remove all books from bookcases. • Pack up those knickknacks. • Clean off everything on kitchen counters. • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use. • Think of this process as

Remove/replace favorite items


By NIKKI WHITING Coldwell Banker Gold Country


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Work with a pro to stage your home and sell it

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By SHARON NAYLOR You’ve seen home staging done to artistic brilliance on various HGTV programs, and if you’re putting your home on the market, you could boost your home’s sale odds and profits by working with a professional home stager. What is home staging? It’s a home “makeover” that presents your home in an improved light, making it more attractive to potential buyers. An expert stager reviews each room of your house and organizes some “tweaks” to create a more professional look, a softer feel and sometimes a redesign of your furniture placement and a paring-down of your home’s décor in a manner that allows buyers to envision themselves living there. Home staging is now considered a must. According to the real estate guide HomeGain, professional staging priced at $300 to $400 can increase your home’s value and price by $1,500 to $2,000, a whopping 586 percent return on your investment. “Making the investment of staging in your home is far less expensive than a price reduction on your home that would happen without staging,” says Barb Schwarz, the creator of Home Staging and the president and founder of and the International Association of Home Staging Professionals. It’s essential to locate, interview and hire a certified home staging professional who bears an ASP stager designation. ASP stagers have the utmost training and experience and, most importantly, association-required insurance coverage and legal contracts to make sure the job gets done correctly and in your best interest.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Turning a house into a home How to establish roots in new, unfamiliar soil time has passed. The onus is on the person who’s moved. It’s essential for you to do When Leslie Levine, her your own outreach. husband and their two young “One of the best places children were slated to move to go for information is the from upstate New York to local library,” she says. “It’s Illinois several years ago, a clearinghouse for your new her concerns led her to seek community.” Talk to the advice on how to ease the librarian. Ask about groups stress that often befalls an for parents. Are there book uprooted family. clubs? Where should you go “I discovered the logistics for groceries? How about of moving were out there, concerts? If you volunteered but not how to adjust to the at a local art gallery in your move,” she says. “As a writer old neighborhood, ask about and journalist, I needed to similar opportunities in your talk to people who had moved, new town. “To reference as well as people in the movlibrarians, answering such ing industry.” questions is their oxygen,” After interviewing more she says. than 120 individuals — reloAnd give yourself time. cation specialists, pediatri“Connections have schedules cians, real estate agents, of their own,” Levine says. school counselors and trans“You never know when you’ll planted families — she wrote connect. Take friendliness “Will This Place Ever Feel where you can get it. Make Like Home? Simple Advice for the effort; you won’t be loneSettling In After Your Move,” ly forever.” a primer for the millions of The transition problems Americans annually who find in her new home.” can be compounded when Arrival at a strange, empty children are involved. Keep themselves transitioning from house can be especially unset- in mind that lots of kids one area to another. Moving begins with saying tling to young children. To don’t care about the bigstart out on a positive note, goodbye, as well as working ger house or the better job, out ways to maintain contact Levine says, “I sent a check to according to Levine. A school our Chicago Realtor requestwith friends and family left counselor once told her, ing she purchase a special toy “All they want to know is, behind, according to Levine. dump truck and an American ‘Who will sit next to me at “It’s hard work to keep in Girl doll and put them in the touch, but you don’t feel so lunch?’” children’s respective new closunconnected if you do,” she “As a parent, you need ets. They opened their closet says. to be an advocate for your Share something — a pho- doors — something kids do child,” Levine says. “Underfirst in a new house — and tograph of the new house, a stand it will take a while for telephone call, a note; it bonds were really excited.” kids to find a group, and a For transplanted adults, you, she says. “It’s a scary parent has to be very hopeLevine advocates creating a world. Staying connected ful and positive. ‘This isn’t gives us an anchor.” It’s also a “comfort box.” “Fill it with easy,’ you might say. ‘Tell some of your favorite things me how you’re feeling.’” lot easier these days because of such innovations as e-mail, — a beautiful mug, a framed Then you can add, “I wonder family portrait, for examSkype and Facebook. where the best place to get ple,” she says. “Bring the Children also need this ice cream around here is. box with you, and open it up Let’s go find it.” feeling of connection, and in when you arrive. Put these her book, Levine — who, at “Will This Place Ever Feel the time of their move, had a things out on display right Like Home?” also explores daughter, 8, and son, 3 — pro- away. They say, ‘This is our the ramifications of moving home now.’” vides lots of suggestions to late in life, moving after the Settling in and establishease the transition for youngdeath of a spouse and moving new roots are also part sters. ing to be closer to grown of this difficult change. She had a party for her children. In many cases, people who daughter just before moving. It can be purchased on “All the children got notecards are moving are unhappy and for $15.94 lonesome, Levine says. “But or ordered from Barnes & and envelopes addressed to don’t expect neighbors to her,” Levine says. “She had Noble or most independent mail waiting when she arrived come over with cookies; that bookstores. By VALERIE LEMKE

After interviewing more than 120 individuals — relocation specialists, pediatricians, real estate agents, school counselors and transplanted families — Leslie Levine wrote “Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home? Simple Advice for Settling In After Your Move,” a primer for the millions of Americans annually who find themselves transitioning from one area to another.

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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Fairbanks Realtors have the key to your real estate needs!

Dedicated to serving you! Meyeres Real Estate

Audrey J. Foldoe Audrey has been helping Fairbanksans buy and sell real estate for over 35 years. She is the Broker of Meyeres Real Estate which was founded by Bud Meyeres in 1950.


EMC Realty, Inc.

Eileen Cummings

Eileen has lived in Fairbanks for over 30 years. Graduated from UAF, raised children in Fairbanks schools and has volunteered on many local boards. She earned a Certified Residential Specialist Accreditation (CRS), Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) and Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). or call her at 378-1864

Fortune Properties of Fairbanks

Janet Shafer

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.

Call Janet at 456-4725

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Cameron Harter

Call Cameron at 590-3612

Susan Rainey

Susan has successfully been helping her clients meet their real estate goals for more than 25 years! Put her in-depth experience to work for you! Call Sue at 479-4410

Riverview Realty States Real Estate

Patty States

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 and construction techniques. Patty will be happy to assist both buyers & sellers with all their real estate needs.

For dedicated and professional service, call Patty today at 750-0606!

Fairbanks First Realty

Grace Moore

Grace Moore knows the community well and enjoys helping people buy or sell homes. She is an Accredited Buyers Representative and a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Grace works with first-time home buyers, military clients, Seniors & seasoned homeowners. Grace will give you her best.

Call Grace at 590-0306 email:

Monica Dallas Realty

Monica Dallas

Buying or selling, whether it is a high-end home, commercial property, or land or any real estate, is a huge decision. Let my expertise as a real estate broker and my commitment to concientious client services guide you through the process.

Call 388-4987

Ginger Orem

Serving Alaska for 17 years, Ginger is a local expert in the real estate industry. A past President of GFBR board of Realtors, multi-million dollar producer and recipient of the DNM people’s choice award, she is well known for her hard work, professionalism and attention to detail.

When you’re ready to buy or sell Real Estate, call Ginger at 452-8000 or visit Century 21 Gold Rush

Mike VanSickle 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.

Call Mike at 347-4484 or 488-2100

Coldwell Banker Gold Country

Jerrie Wagner

Associate Broker/Realtor living in Fairbanks over 40 years. I have 18 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. For all your real estate needs, call me.

Call Jerrie at 460-2381

Grace Minder Realty, Inc.

Grace Minder

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 Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Judy Somers

“Exceeding Expectations” I don’t list an exceptional number of homes, just a number of exceptional ones! Realtor for 20+ years. UAF graduate.

Call Judy at 388-7654

Coldwell Banker Gold Country

Morgan Macchione Experience & Integrity are #1

Associate Broker/Realtor • Seller Services Guarantee • No Fee Buyer Services • Lifelong Fairbanksan • Free Consultations • E-PRO Certified • REAL ESTATE IS MY PASSION!

458-0055 • 978-5985 CELL

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Dave Somers

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

Call Dave at 456-7653 ext. 101

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Traci Schachle

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 456-5653


Cameron Harter, Associate Broker and Top Producer. Born and raised in Fairbanks. Graduate of Washington State University. 12+ years of Real Estate experience. Call me for quality service and a successful closing.

Riverview Realty

Crown Real Estate AK, Inc.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

RE/MAX Associates of Fairbanks

RE/MAX Associates of Fairbanks

Gene DuVal

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 • Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Heather Lambert

Heather is at home in the industry of Real Estate and at home in our community. She is both a wellrespected Realtor and a tireless advocate for education and children’s issues. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the residential field, and a stand-out level of dedication to running a great real estate practice.

Call Heather at 460-6470

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Darren Quigley

Darren is a hardworking REALTOR at Somers & Associates with strong communication skills and an eye for design. He’s a great asset whether you are purchasing or selling your home!

Call Darren Quigley at 322-6932

Rich Kelley Realty

Rich Kelley Realtor Since 1985!, Call Rich at 452-7424

Century 21 Gold Rush

Zeb Mabie

Call Zeb at 388-6348 email:

Becki Stauber

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. Call Becki at 378-1766

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Elizabeth Schok

Proven Results, Local Expertise, National Exposure! Coldwell Banker Alaska #1 Realtor 2009 & 2010

Call Elizabeth at 322-9188

Coldwell Banker Gold Country

Kirk Maynard

• Specializing in Relocation • Past President of Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors • 5 Years Experience As A Board Director, Greater Fairbanks Board Of Realtors • CCIM Commercial Candidate • Commercial Property Management

Call Kirk at 388-3560 or 456-4653

Gene DuVal Real Estate Team JAY DUVAL CHRISTINE TIMM MARIE CHORD 452-4363 • • •

REMAX Associates of Fairbanks

Ryan Danhauser

Ryan Danhauser, Associate Broker for RE/MAX, has a background in education, lending and Real Estate. He is the post President of the Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors. He is an Accredited Buyer Specialist, Certified Residential Specialist and loves Thai Food.

Call Ryan at 978-2607

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Whitney Boese

I provide a positive, experienced, and energetic approach to achieving your real estate goals. I look forward to providing you excellence in Real Estate through one of the top local brokers in Fairbanks!

Call Whitney at 750-1704

Coldwell Banker Gold Country

John Thies

• Born and raised in Fairbanks • Experience with residential and commercial transactions • Building experience to help you navigate the new construction process

Call John at 347-5853

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Angie M. Tallant

Angie has over a decade of Bank Owned Property experience as well as Residential, Land, Commercial Real Estate and Property Management. GFBR President Elect, YPN Chair, and has served the real estate community on various other committees - Angie is also your 2011 REALTOR of the YEAR and 2011 AFFILIATES REALTOR of the YEAR. Angie loves Real Estate and helping others make a transition to home ownership!

Call Angie at 347-3622 or 456-7653 x 105

Advantage Alaska Realty Sally Atwood

Sally Atwood

Broker/Owner, Certified Residential Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative, Realtor since 1996. Clients say, “Trustworthy, professional, dedicated, knowledgeable and considerate.” Call Sally at 347-8486

MVI Realty

Melissa Bidwell

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

Chris Calhoon Real Estate

Chris Calhoon

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

Michelle Evans

I, individually, strive to offer the best professional representation in an ever-changing real estate market without sacrificing old-fashioned, personalized service.

Call Michelle at 978-0995 Michelle Evans

Interior Alaska Realty

Bruce Wammack A 60 year resident of Alaska, Bruce has sold residential, commercial, and land real estate in Fairbanks as a 42 year member of the Greater Fairbanks Board of Realtors. Call Bruce at 455-9550

Stars & Stripes Realty

Rich Harter

Rich is a long time resident of North Pole & a Top Producing Realtor for 2010 & 2011. He is a business owner who has achieved successful goals. He specializes in Residential & Military & represents both buyers & sellers. For quality service you can trust, contact Rich.

Call Rich at 322-5888

Century 21 Gold Rush

Kelli Powers

Kelli was born and raised in Fairbanks and has extensive knowledge of the area. Kelli is reliable, courteous, dependable & available to help you with your real estate needs. Kelli enjoys living in this wonderful town and all it has to offer.

Call Kelli at 456-7653

Somers & Associates, REALTORS

Butch & Terri Currier Specializing in Military Relocation & 1st Time Home Buyers.

Associate Broker Coldwell Banker Alaska #1 Realtor 2011

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 •


Zeb is a lifelong resident of and Top Producer in the Fairbanks and North Pole areas. He is also a Certified Residential Specialist and Accredit Buyer Representative. Whether buying or selling you can expect full service professionalism, honesty, and integrity. Zeb is ready to assist you!

MVI Realty

Somers & Associates, REALTORS


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Make sure your investment is poised for a return By DIANE SCHLINDWEIN In today’s housing market, many potential home sellers are wondering whether to update their houses before putting them on the market or to try to sell them “as is.” “As you have heard, remodeling and/or updating your home can be a big contributor in getting you the most money in the shortest amount of time when selling your home,” says Lee McClelland, associate broker of Prudential Kansas City Realty and a mortgage loan originator. “Just remember not to put so much money into your home that you overprice it for your area/ neighborhood.” Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor with Re/Max Boone Realty, says home sellers should pay special attention to the exteriors of their homes. “Curb appeal is so important. What they see outside

immediately will determine whether they want to go inside,” she says. “A new steel door is one of the best things a person can do to improve curb appeal,” says Mendenhall, who is vice president of committees for the National Association of Realtors. “That kind of door is important — and a new coat of paint if a home doesn’t have siding. You want to make sure the garage doors work. Replacing windows makes a home energy-efficient and is a good investment.” Mendenhall says exterior replacement projects typically pay off in the end. The same is true for updates to kitchens and bathrooms. “For example, the return on adding a sunroom is 48 percent, whereas the return on a minor kitchen remodel is 78 percent,” she says. Fresh paint and nice carpeting can also help sell a home. “Carpet and paint are

easy things to do. Be sure to choose a color palette that people can identify with,” Mendenhall says. Historical homes will require different paint colors than modern homes. “It makes a difference where you are. Paint palettes for the coastal regions will be different from those in the Midwest.” If you are trying to sell a home that was built within the past 10 years or that is situated near a newly developed community, you will be competing to grab the attention of buyers who are looking at brand-new homes. That’s when you need to make sure newly painted walls aren’t covered with a lot of framed artwork or family photos. “When buyers are going to be comparing an existing home with a new home, it is as if your home is being compared with a fresh canvas,” Mendenhall says. “You should know that.” If you have decided to

move forward with a sizable project, be sure you know how best to pay for it, McClelland says. “If you have the savings to pay for the project, that’s great. But maybe that is not an option,” he says. “One choice is to look at the equity that you have in your home. Dividing the amount that you owe by the appraised value of the home will give you the loanto-value ratio. Having that ratio at 20 percent or higher keeps you from paying private mortgage insurance. Any amount more than the 20 percent is what you can borrow against.” McClelland continues: “Once you know the percentage that you have to work with, you can look at taking out a home equity line of credit. This is the second loan on your property, which you will make a second monthly payment on until you sell your home to pay it back. Call your lender to get all

of the details, because the requirements have changed in the past couple of years.” Another option to get the project done may be to use a home improvement center that offers same-as-cash financing, McClelland says. “You can then pay it off when you sell your house.” Mendenhall believes that homeowners who are thinking of remodeling and selling their homes should ask a Realtor for his opinion before doing a lot of updating. “Bring in a Realtor who knows the area,” she says. “Sometimes just changing a few things can increase or maintain the value of a home,” Mendenhall says. “Remember, Realtors visit hundreds of homes a year and know what people in that market are looking for.” McClelland agrees. “Whatever you decide, look at all the options and talk to the experts so that you can make the best decision in maximizing the sale of your home.”

Build a brick mailbox to deter vandals By PAT LOGAN Dear Pat: Kids drove by and destroyed my mailbox with a bat. I always have liked the appearance of a lighted brick mailbox. What are some of the design basics to build a strong brick mailbox? — Brenda T. Dear Brenda: Your problem is not uncommon. Driving through nice neighborhoods, you often see a mailbox that has been smashed the night before. Building a decorative brick surround for your mailbox certainly will solve the problem. If kids attempt to hit it with a bat while driving by, they will be in for quite a jarring experience. Adding a small light to your mailbox to accent the street Please see LOGAN, Page 21


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Do your part: Help your agent to do the best job Your real estate agent is busy. That’s not to say he isn’t amazing, but when he’s juggling a full client roster, multitasking is the name of the game. From drafting listings and touring homes to open houses and closings, he has a lot of responsibilities. Help him help you by doing your part. “Brokers and clients need to work together as a team. Making things easier for the broker will benefit the customer,” says Drew Glick, a senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales. Whether you’re buying or selling, there are plenty of things you can do to help make the experience a success. At the top of the list? Be prepared. Get your finances in shape; have your home ready to show; and know what you want before you sign on with an agent. “A Realtor can come in and help with everything, but a well-prepared client, both financially and with a home ready for the market, is ahead of the game,” says real estate

LOGAN Continued from Page 20

Figure out your finances

As you navigate the buying and borrowing process, collect all pertinent paperwork in a central file — and take it with you when meeting with your agent.

Know what you want

Before you start shopping, know where you stand financially. Get a copy of your credit report. Determine how much you can afford to spend on a monthly house payment, and meet with a mortgage broker. “Get preapproved, and have a relationship with a local bank or mortgage broker,” says Realtor Brendon DeSimone with the Paragon Real Estate Group. “Having a solid understanding of your finances before you engage with a Realtor will be a tremendous help and timesaver.” Have your down payment set aside and easily accessible. If you need to borrow from your 401(k) or cash out longterm investments, start the process early so the funds are available when you need them. “Nothing wastes more time than not having a deposit ready and down payment money easily accessible,” Lerner says.

“As a buyer, you can help your agent most by knowing what you want before you sign on,” Lerner says. “Carefully weigh your needs and desires so that you know which features are must-haves and which are want-to-haves.” Come prepared with a list of preferred neighborhoods and school districts, your desired bedroom count and square footage, your must-haves and a realistic budget. “Even if inventory is tight, there are thousands of properties on the market at any given time. If buyers give me all their criteria and a wish list, I might know the right property for them immediately,” Glick says. Paint a picture of your dream home, and be flexible. “Being open to properties that do not fit into the initial criteria can be important. I advise buyers to focus on what they are looking for in an ideal

conduit, and always follow local electrical codes. Another easyto-install option is a solar-powered light, which requires no wiring. The basic design of a brick mailbox uses a concrete block core with a decorative brick veneer. Leave an opening in the side facing the street large enough to slip in a standard mailbox. If you are very handy with tools, you can install a door over the opening and not use a standard mailbox. The next step is to install the electric wiring in the ground. Leave plenty of extra length at the mailbox to run through it. You can cut off any excess later. When the project is done, switch off the electric power at the circuit breaker box, and attach the wire to the house power source. Dig the hole for the footer, and fill it with concrete. Make sure the top is level. Most codes require the footer to be at least

8 inches thick; the frost line will determine its depth. Once the footer is set, mark the locations of standard concrete blocks on it. Run the wire through them. Use pre-mixed mortar and lay the first course of blocks on the footer. Place the bricks and mortar around the first course of blocks. Insert metal ties between the courses of concrete blocks. These will tie the outer brick veneer to the concrete blocks. When you get near the height you want, make the final top course with bricks only. Install several bricks without mortar so you can pull them out later. Slip the mailbox into this opening. Tools and materials required: wheelbarrow, shovel, measuring tape, level, bricks, concrete blocks, concrete, pre-mixed mortar mix, electrical wiring, plastic mailbox.

While your home is on the market, stay on top of household chores and yardwork so the property looks showroomready at a moment’s notice. “Homes take longer to Before your home hits the sell nowadays. That means listings, be sure it’s in tiptop regular upkeep,” DeSimone shape. explains. “If I could just show Fix minor problems; up and know that the place freshen up the landscaping; shows impeccably, that would organize the closets; clear the be a lifesaver.” Let your agent know clutter; stash nonessentials upfront the best times for in storage. showing your home — but “Chances are you know that you plan on selling your be prepared for impromptu visits. home months in advance,” “Flexibility in allowing the DeSimone says. “Start planbroker to show a property at ning for it. Get a storage various times is key,” Glick unit. Get stuff out of your says. “Requests for showings house, and start organizing are often made last minute now. The faster the Realtor with relatively short notice. can get in and do his thing Turning buyers down for a the faster you can get your showing may lead them to house sold.” just move on.” world. If it is not available, then expanding horizons is the way to go,” Glick says.

Be ready to show

Building or Remodeling? SEE US AT THE SHOW! Without heat, an emergency becomes a disaster, but with an RSF fireplace and a few candles, you’ll turn it into a family adventure. When the power goes out, and it’s cold outside, your family will be warm, cozy and safe around a REAL WOOD fire.


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address is a great convenience and not difficult to do. The lighted numbers will come in handy for the pizza delivery person or the life squad if you ever have to call 911. The first step is to remove your old mailbox. Its post may be set in concrete below the ground. If so, don’t just saw off the post. You must dig out the concrete and remove it. Your new brick mailbox will be heavy and will need a strong footer base of its own. Check your local codes for the proper design of the footer. You will have to run an electric wire to the mailbox to light it. There is special electrical cable designed for use outdoors and underground. If you are running the wire from an existing outdoor light nearby, consider running it through

expert Michele Lerner, author of “Homebuying — Tough Times, First Time, Any Time: Smart Ways to Make a Sound Investment.”




Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

What you can do to get your home ready to sell tial buyer. Are there obvious flaws that need to be fixed? Problems that you have grown accustomed to will leap out at potential buyers. Fix everything prior to listing. If you’re worried about possible repairs for larger problems such as an old roof or a broken heating and cooling system, it can pay to get a home inspection so you know what needs work. Taking care of those larger issues yourself before putting your home on the market can mean more offers and less negotiating later.

By RICH HARTER Stars & Stripes Realty The home selling process can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. This article describes the first step: Getting your home ready to sell. The more preparation you do beforehand, the better price you’ll get for your home.

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What about the appearance of your home? Does the decor need an update? Consider painting or making minor changes to update problem areas. Rearranging the furniture or buying new furniture or slipcovers can quickly change a room. Even if you don’t need updating, a fresh coat of paint helps both the inside and outside of your house look better and cleaner. Just be sure to choose neutral colors that will appeal to many buyers. Remember, just because

Buyers: Search current MLS listings on

CHRIS CALHOON REAL ESTATE Broker/Owner Colonel, US Army (Retired) “Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)”

Curb appeal

Starting at the curb, is your home welcoming? Check the landscaping and lawn. Trim your hedges, edge your lawn, pull weeds, pressure wash the driveway and front walk. Plant flowers either in beds or pots around the front door. Keep your front porch swept and clear of any outside clutter. Replace a worn-out welcome mat. Paint the front door. If you have a storm door, clean the glass. Check to make sure all outdoor lights are working, especially the porch and walkway light. In your backyard, put all your tools and work equipment out of sight. If you have power tools or lawn equipment you don’t use frequently, put it in storage or at a friend’s house. Make sure any swing sets and outdoor furniture are clean and in good repair. That goes for the deck as well — repair any rotted wood, especially on steps.

Clean and declutter the inside

The Buyerʼs Brokerage

BUYERS! We are Fairbanks’ most experienced real estate office dedicated to helping buyers. We will fill out your prequalification financing forms, get you the right financing, find your dream home, negotiate the best deal & hand you the keys to your new home after closing. We’ll even be there to manage your property if you decide to leave or travel. Best of all, we serve as your buyer’s broker for free — sales commissions are generally paid by the seller. 57394590-3-23-12H&RE

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you like or love a feature about your home does not mean that a potential buyer will have the same feeling, its about what potential buyers are wanting and a fresh look and feel is a great start.

One of the most important things that you should do when selling a home is to clean and declutter inside. Home selling requires a thorough spring cleaning — the baseboards, blinds, furniture, floors, carpets, everywhere. You want your home to shine. ou may even consider hiring a cleaning service to do this if you are short on time. And remember, once your home is clean, keep it that way. When your home is on the market, make sure you

Please see SELL, Page 23


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012 Don’t leave your toilet brush or plunger next to the toilet — better place for those items is in your utility Continued from Page 22 closet. Scrub your tub or shower vacuum, mop and clean your In the kitchen, clear off stall until it looks new, and kitchen and bathroom every the counters and organize clean it every day to keep few days. your cabinets (they will be soap scum and mildew away You also want your home opened.) to be fee of clutter when sell(that includes fishing hair Pack away kitchen items ing it. from the drain.) you can do without — the Go through each room Replace your shower curpiles of storage containers, and pinpoint the piles of tain liner. party serving dishes, and clutter that have built up, Limit yourself to one speciality pots and tools you and be ruthless. shampoo bottle and one rarely use. In your living areas, get The extra room will make bar of soap or one bottle of organized by storing what shower gel. your kitchen feel more spaneeds to be stored and Use a wash cloth daily? cious. throwing away the rest. Dried up, dirty wash In the bathroom, move If your rooms are furnitoothpaste, makeup and oth- clothes are a turn off. ture heavy, store what you Toss it into the laundry er items from the counter to don’t need or take it to a and replace it after one use. a drawer or cabinet (neatly friend’s house. Go through though, don’t just toss every- Inspect your towels — only your bedrooms and put away thing in the drawer.) display clean, hole-free towpersonal items. Put out a new bar of soap els. Get a head start on pack- on a sparkling clean soap If the edges on all your ing by thinning out your towels are frayed, pick up dish (if you can’t get all the closets with out-of-season new, inexpensive ones to disdried-up soap off, buy an clothing. Pare down your play. inexpensive new one.) outerwear, especially if you Pack away medicine for have a coat rack near an ailments people don’t care to entrance. think about, like laxatives or Pack away extra coats, Mudrooms, basements and athlete’s foot.

Problem areas

Utility areas



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Please feel free to contact Rich Harter at Stars and Stripes Realty. 907-322-5888 or visit

When selling your home, you need to look at it from the perspective of a buyer. Are there obvious flaws that need to be fixed? Problems that you have grown accustomed to will leap out at potential buyers. Fix everything prior to listing. If you’re worried about possible repairs for larger problems such as an old roof or a broken heating and cooling system, it can pay to get a home inspection so you know what needs work.


K I D S'


laundry rooms can be the toughest areas to deal with when selling. Don’t let the project overwhelm you. First, throw away the junk. then pack items you need but use rarely into storage bins or boxes and neatly stack then on selves. Having the area clean and freshly painted is important. If you have pets, make sure food, litter boxes, pet toys and grooming tools are not in high-traffic areas. After you’ve prepared your home inside and out, have a friend or neighbor or your Realtor walk through and tell you what should be changed. You need to choosesomeone who is not afraid to be honest to do this. The feedback can really help you in the first step of your home selling process.



shoes, umbrellas and other outdoor gear you won’t need while you’re selling.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, March 23, 2012

Call Audra McGhee 590-4816

3461 Durham Circle 4bd, 2ba, 2 car gar. Seller will pay $2500 closing costs. Offer good til 3/30/12 $244,500

2965 Max Loop Rd 3bd, 2.5 ba, 2 car gar. Gorgeous custom home. Beautiful inside & out $337,500

Call Nikki Whiting 978-2297 ! ! ti N e w L is ti n g N e w L is n g

1983 Pandora Drive 3bd, 2ba, 1 car gar on 2 acres In Goldstream Valley $233,900

3383 Osage 1920 SF, 4bd, 2 car gar. In North Pole $218,000

Call Jerrie Wagner 460-2381

5364 Ingrid Dr. Cozy newer log home Close to Eielson AFB, 2bd, 1ba $159,900

1435 Leta St. 720 SF Log Home. 2 acres + in Goldstream. 1500 SF workshop $169,900


Homes & Real Estate spring 2012  

Guide to buying and selling real estate in Fairbanks, Alaska

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