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Take This Real Estate Quiz

by Connie Yoshimura

1. MLS reports that sold volume, when compared to last year at this same time is

A. Up by 10%

B. Down by 13%

C. About the Same

 

2. Over the past five years has the 

average sales price

A. Increased by 8%

B. Decreased by 2%

C. Remained Unchanged

 

3. How many homes over $800,000 have sold in the last 16 months?

A. 28       B. 48       C. 68

 

4. MLS active inventory for the first four months of 2019 compared to 2018 has

A. Increased by 128

B. Decreased by 128

C. Stayed the same

 

5. For the same time frame, sales have 

A. Decreased by 77

B. Increased by 77

C. Stayed the Same

 

6. In the last six months, identify three events that have influenced the 

Anchorage housing market 

 

7. In the last six months, the final sales price is what percent when compared to original list price for single family?

 

8. How would you describe condo sales when compared to last year?

A. Stable     B. Declining     C. Increasing

 

9. Why are condos the best buy in today’s market?

 

10. What is the difference in value between a brand new 2,000 SF home and a resale built between 1975 & 1990?

 

11. What is the value of a brand new single family lot with public water/sewer and on a publicly dedicated municipality maintained road?

 

12. How many single family homes were built in 2018?

A. 193       B. 243       C. 293

 

13. How many housing units, including all housing types, does the MOA report they need built per year?

 

14. Name three new single family subdivisions

 

15. Name the top three home builders in Alaska

 

16. Should sellers remodel their kitchen and bathroom before putting their home on the market?

 

17. Identify the top real estate brokerages in Alaska


Answer Key: 1. B   2. C   3. B   4. B   5. A   6. Government Shutdown, Earthquake, State Fiscal Dilemna   7. 94.5%   8. A   9. Excellent Rentals, Valued Below Replacement Cost   10. $50,000 - $75,000   11. $140,000 - $180,000   12. A   13. 900   14. Braendel Creek, Mountain Meadows, Heather Wood   15. Owner Builder, Spinell Homes, Hultquist Homes   16. No   17.  Keller Williams, Re/Max, EXP, Jack White, Real Estate Brokers, Herrington and Company, Dwell Realty


A Mother’s Day Thank You

by Connie Yoshimura

This Mother’s Day has given me pause to thank all the mothers who work at Dwell Realty. I am not a mother except to two poodles, Hapa and Peaches. They require feeding, bathing, walking, grooming and playful attention. But, I’ve been free to work long hours without worrying about child care and missing teacher meetings, dance recitals or basketball games. I have great respect, if not always empathy, for the women in my office who succeed in balancing all of those family needs while still doing exemplary work that continues to make Dwell Realty a success. So on this Mother’s Day, THANK YOU Becky Baird, Carole Marvel, Janis Tolbert, Debbie Moore, Anna Sovitsky, Andrea Senn, Jennifer Bohannon, Katie Adkins, Maggie Gray, Rowena Pediangco, Shelly Vogel, Starr Marsett, Teri Hensel, Trina Kindred, Janet Daley, Ruth Barndt, Pat Robinson, Andrea Gribbin, Tammy Stewart, Elizabeth Heynen, Lindsey Johnson, Silvia Engeloch, Natalie Travers-Smyre, all women Dwell realtors who are mothers.


According to national statistics women make or influence between 85 to 92% of all home buying decisions so it’s a natural fit that more women are realtors than men. It also explains some of buyers wants and needs when it comes to making a home purchase.  Is it any wonder that on top of the wants and needs list is a big laundry room instead of a washer/dryer stuck in a hall closet? Women also want mud rooms with shelves and hooks. Forget the bi-fold doors because they just get in the way. A mother with children wants four bedrooms up when they are young but once they become teenagers, mothers start shopping for a basement or flex room above the garage.

 

For many, the type of plan takes precedence over quartz countertops in the master bathroom or the free standing tub. Women tend to focus more on the inside of the home and how the family can relate to one another. A good example is the open kitchen/great room concept and the big kitchen island where kids and parents gather for meal prep at the end of the day. Over the past five years that kitchen island has grown to over seven feet in length. I can remember when it was no bigger than a large cutting board!

 

More and more families are ‘blended’ and/or multi-generational which creates the need for flexible spaces and privacy corners. One area of the home which has actually shrunk is the master bedroom. Some of that space has changed into an open loft or a larger master bath with separate his and her vanities.

 

Women care more about how it feels inside rather than how it looks on the outside. I don’t know many women buyers who want a 1,000 square foot garage or a roof over the deck so that they can BBQ rain or snow. But more on men’s wants and needs on Father’s Day. So for now, Happy Mother’s Day to all women who fulfill the multi-faceted role of motherhood.

 

How to Avoid Higher Property Property Taxes in 2020

by Connie Yoshimura

In a recent ADN  article, city officials stated that without any continued  state assistance to help pay down school bond debt, single family property owners could expect an estimated $630 property tax increase on a $350,000  home.  Already that home has a $5,740 tax which is 1.64% of its estimated value. An increase of $630 will raise that to 1.82 percent. According to a Multiple Listing Service report dated April 4th, 2019, the average value of a single family has declined by 6.14 percent so far this year when compared to the 2018 average.  Adding an additional tax burden on residential property owners at this time is a sucker punch.

 

Buyers qualify for a mortgage based upon their ability to pay for a fixed mortgage amount including principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Depending on their debt ratio and credit, anywhere from 25 to 40% of their gross income can be calculated as qualifying for the mortgage. Six hundred and thirty dollars divided by twelve months is an additional $52.50 per month in taxes but a prospective buyer would need to make approximately $200 more a month to qualify for the same purchase price.   


Higher property taxes are a national trend, according to ATTOM data solutions which analyzes national property taxes, so Anchorage is not alone in its dilemma. U.S. property taxes levied on single family homes in 2018 increased four percent. But, the average property tax was only $3,498. New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Vermont and Connecticut posted the highest property tax rates so we should be happy we live in Alaska. My favorite vacation spot, Hawaii, had one of the lowest and Honolulu had only a 0.36 percent increase.

 

However, the Municipality of Anchorage is unique because unlike most of the communities identified above, we have no sales tax, not even a seasonal one. All other Alaskan boroughs, with the exception of Fairbanks, have a sales tax which varies from 2.5% to 7%.  Is it any wonder then that our state legislature and administration wants to cut the MOA revenue stream?

 

Residential and commercial property owners share too much of the cost of Anchorage’s operating budget. The majority of the MOA’s revenue comes property taxes. When you travel to the lower 48, your destination is not determined by the amount of the local sales tax. Total visitor industry spending in 2017 was $2.2 billion in Alaska. Granted, that’s state wide and includes air and ferry travel. However, a 3% seasonal sales tax from May to October would help generate revenue to give all property owners some relief from their disproportionate  contribution to Anchorage’s $526 million operating budget.      

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Dwell Realty
561 E. 36th Ave., Suite 200
Anchorage AK 99503
907-646-3600