Welcome to my newly formatted article on Anchorage housing. I hope you will enjoy this latest version which will include new listings as well as market trends and a more personal perspective on housing.

     Over the years, several readers have asked me, “Where do you live?” I began my real estate career while living in a basement apartment in Spenard on Barbara Street. The first home I owned was a Lakewood Terrace Townhome. I remember the listing broker called and asked if I wanted to spend $10,000 more and purchase a lakefront unit which had just come back on the market. I wasn’t smart enough to say, “Yes” at the time. If I had, I might still be living there.

     I lived on the hillside off Port Oxford until I backed my station wagon into a snow berm and slid down the hill. Next, I owned a four-plex on O Street. Then, I moved to a Petersen Towner condo which had a fabulous view of the mountains, but I was always envious of those units which were showered with sunlight and western exposure. And having grown up in Iowa where I lived above a bakery for the first five years of my life, it didn’t seem quite right coming home on an elevator; and so I built a home designed by the architect, Dale Porath, at the entrance to Resolution Pointe, which remains one of my favorite homes in Anchorage.

     From there, I moved back downtown to the South Addition, where I currently live in a duplex off 15th Street that looks like a two-story shoe box. I am only five minutes to work down C Street and seven minutes home north on Arctic, which used to be five minutes, until the city changed the Arctic road configuration. I migrated to the downtown area because of its eclectic housing types, although if you’ve ever walked down a South Addition alley, you know it’s mostly full of junk and overgrown bushes.
Although I advocate that every home should have a neutral décor of textured white, taupe and gray, my home has a purple ceiling, red accent walls and a speckled paint job that required six coats. It is virtually impossible to repaint the chipped corners, and so I’m thinking about using a magic marker on the corners.

     My advice to all home-owners is no custom paint jobs or fancy textures unless you understand you will be the only one who likes it, and will need to neutralize it in order to sell. I recently dismantled five orange pendants over the kitchen island after I discovered that neither I, nor my husband, liked them. (It was the interior decorator’s idea.) This past January, I was dismayed to learn at the International Builder’s Show that the number one request in a new home is a full-fledged laundry room. I have the smallest stack washer/dryer ever made stuck into a closet, and we put our laundry basket in the unused Jacuzzi.

     What I have learned from these multiple home ownerships is that no home, regardless of the size, value or location, is going to be perfect forever. How, and where, you live is going to depend upon your changing financial circumstances (for better or worse depending on how you fared during our real estate recessions) and personal life cycles related to marriage, birth, death, divorce and job change. Alaskans move every five to seven years, and that’s just fine with me as a realtor and residential land developer. I’d move tomorrow, but my husband believes when you own a home you should live there forever. We’re still discussing that philosophy as I have my eye on a beautiful new homesite.