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Jan. 27, 2024

Understanding Interest Rates

Posted in Education
Feb. 21, 2020

Buying a Duplex in Anchorage, Alaska


Thinking about buying a home in Anchorage, Alaska? - But you also want to invest in real estate, AKA the best investment vehicle ever?


Great! So you’re buying a duplex!


A few things to note:

Buying a duplex is a pseudo investment.

A duplex doesn’t typically cash flow, especially when you’re living in it at first, unless you put a very large amount down.



If it doesn’t cash flow, it’s not classified as an investment, but rather a liability; something that costs you money to own.


Good news is:

You’re collecting rental income from one unit, so you’ll be paying a lot less than even half your mortgage every month (typically).


Also, some day when you pay down your mortgage, you can refinance, and it WILL become an asset over time.


Still not convinced?


Unlike buying a Fourplex or even larger units, duplexes often offer more conveniences of a single family home, such as one’s with garages, great finishes and construction and beautiful open concepts.


AND, unlike a single family, you won’t have to solely rely on JUST yourself to pay the mortgage every month.

Getting into a financial bind? GO live with friends while you FULLY rent out you’re duplex until your back on your feet.


These are just a few of the great benefits of buying a duplex.

Posted in Education
Feb. 19, 2020

Anchorage Duplex Statistics

Hi, this is James Cash with HERO Realty Group, at Real Estate Brokers of Alaska.


We are taking a look at the market stats for the Anchorage area, duplexes only.


Healthy number of closed units, with a relatively low day on market just shy of two months.


As you can see by the median days on market of closed duplexes, it’s obvious that the unsold duplexes were either not priced realistically, or had conditional issues, such as deferred maintenance just to name one, that prevented their sale.


With interest rates currently so low, it’s a no brainer that now is a great time to list your duplex at a good price, and expect a quick sale!



For more information on buying OR selling duplexes, stay tuned as later this week, as Cortney Foos explains more.

Posted in Education
March 9, 2019

Anchorage Residential Real Estate Market Weekly Update #22

Anchorage Alaska Real Estate Market Stats

March 2, 2019

Anchorage Residential Real Estate Market Weekly Update #21

Anchorage real estate economy statistics

Feb. 28, 2019

The 3 Times Buyers Pay Money

When Buyers Pay Money 

Thinking about buying a home in Anchorage, Eagle River or the Valley? Watch this video to hear more about the three times you'll pay money when you buy your next home.

Watch the video to hear our full discussion, but in short they are:

  1. Earnest Money
  2. The Home Inspection
  3. The Closing Table - Pre-paids and Closing Costs




Feb. 21, 2019

Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Family Home



5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Family Home


1.     Where do we want our children to go to school?

a.     Unless you’re homeschooling your children, you put them in a private school, or they got into a lottery school of your choosing, they’re going to public school.

b.     Public schools – is that what you want and which schools if any do you have a preference for? Are you in the right district? AKA LOCATION

                                               i.     Sports, extra-curricular – music, student council, etc.

2.     What size family do we plan on having?

a.     If you’re like me, you didn’t plan a number, but you love kids. But let me ask you this question, what is your maximum amount of children you could see yourself having?

b.     Every child doesn’t necessarily need to have its own bedroom.

                                               i.     If you want SIX children, you don’t need a SIX-bedroom house. That’s probably not feasible. But you probably do need at least a 4-bedroom house.

                                              ii.     Why is this important? Resale. If you outgrow a house, you can’t bank on selling a house in 4 years and coming out on top. The first few years of a typical 30-year mortgage go towards paying MOSTLY interest. Plan the next 3, 5, 10 and 15 years.

3.     Budget.

a.     Don’t be house rich and cash poor.

b.     Look at your finances, look at your budget, what do we feel comfortable paying every month? Work backwards from there.

c.      Your income says you can afford it, but can you really?

                                               i.     Don’t forget about utilities and maintenance costs.

1.     New roof, boiler, paint, upgrades, etc.

d.     Think about some of the other things you want to spend your money on, such as: pets, sports and vacations.

e.     PRO-TIP: If your budget is $350k, but you go looking at your pre-approved amount of $500k, you WILL LIKE THAT HOUSE MORE. Its just science! Stick to your budget, and live in your means.

4.     How old are you and where are you at in your money making career.

a.     Where are you at in your career?

                                               i.     If you’re young, you have energy, and time on your side. Contemplate using your FHA / VA loan for a fourplex or multifamily. Make a sacrifice, live in a shoebox if you have to, and build your portfolio.





b.     On the contrary: Are you gearing up for retirement?

                                               i.     Less maintenance is better. Layout should be ideal for minimal movement; you never know what is going to happen.

c.      I just want to say, don’t feel like you have to invest in real estate. It’s not for everyone, and you can build wealth in numerous ways. It does require sacrifice, an eye for a deal and knowing an agent who knows their numbers AND is conservative (WINK WINK)…you’re probably not going to get granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, and that’s ok. Investing for your future IS a sacrifice, but a great one.

5.     Enjoyment of Life

a.     Do you want a pet, do you need a fence, south facing yard.

                                               i.     PS WE LOVE a south facing yard for that sun, and gardening.

                                              ii.     Maybe you’re homebodies and love staying inside and watching a movie. That’s fine; let’s get you a media room.

b.     Do you want a view, be close to shopping, love downtown?

c.      Commute time? Studies show the closer you are to work, the better your quality of life. It’s facts people.

Posted in Investing
Feb. 1, 2019

Anchorage, Alaska - Is Buying A Fourplex Worth It?

Jan. 25, 2019

Anchorage 2019 Residential Tax Exemption

Municipality of Anchorage, 2019 Residential Tax Exemption Form

This form is for current home owners in the Anchorage Municipality. Must be owner of record prior to 1/1/19. Must be:


  • Primary Residence
  • Living at said residence for at least 185 Days (close on or before June 30th, 2018)


Should you not be able to see the form, or download it, please click here to download directly from the muni.


Anchorage 2019 Residential Tax Exemption Form

Posted in Education
June 25, 2018

Anchorage Weekly Residential Market Report Update #19

Anchorage Real Estate Market Report Statistics For June 23 2018

Below are some of my notes from the dialogue of the video to outline the impact interest rates play:


I just wanted to take a second to talk about interest rates

Year over year we are up by 0.71%


Compared to 2016, we are up just over 1 full percent.

Doesn’t sound like a lot, but lets break it down.


If you bought a house and financed:

$300,000 @ 3.6% interest

Monthly payments are around $1,364

Total interest paid over the life of a 30 year loan is $191,016.14


If you bought the same house right now

$300,000 financed at 4.62% interest

Monthly payments are $1,541 – that is $176 per month more NOW

Total interest paid over the life of a 30 year loan is $254,947.76

That is $63,931.62 higher than in 2016


Let’s say the interest rates jump to 7%

Same house

$300,000 @ 7%

Monthly payments of $1,996

Total interest of $419k


So, you’re payments on the financed portion would be 30% higher

And you’d pay 64% more interest