Last Chance! Homes are a Bargain Compared to Historic Norms

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A great time to own residential rental property! (Part 1 of 2)

Rents just keep going up! And it’s going to continue. With the slow down to a halt of new construction in Anchorage over the last several years the availability of rental properties is decreasing. Add the increase of population and the demand outweighs the supply. In fact the Anchorage Economic And Development Corporation says for several years Anchorage has seen at least a 1% growth annually in population and is forecasting the same for years to come.

Recent changes in the lending industry such as a higher minimum down payment up from 2.5% to 3.5% for owner occupied home purchases and higher minimum credit scores has made it harder for some to buy now and take advantage of the awesome interest rates (as of this writing 3.75%) so they’ll have to rent for a while longer. And it will take longer to save while paying a higher rent.

And although we don’t have the foreclosure rates that some states in the lower 48 states have it is still a factor. The 6% of homeowners who’ve lost their homes to foreclosure will have to wait another 7 – 10 years before they’re able to buy again and so they must rent as well.

Increased population plus those that cant buy are creating a huge demand on the shrinking supply of available rentals. Hence rents going through the figurative roof! Too bad for renters and I don’t wish anything bad on anyone but that’s just the way it is and will be for a while.

Now the good part! Prices are down, interest rates are down, rents are high and going up. This is the perfect formula for those who can take advantage of it! Let’s say you own (you & the bank) a small home or a condo. You’ve had it a few years and maybe your family is growing or your lifestyle has just changed to the point that you want to make a move up. Buy that larger more comfortable home with the added features you’ve always wanted (owner occupied so you get the smaller down payment & interest rates) and rent out your current home.

With the higher rents today you could use the tenants payment to buy the first home and have extra cash flow to help pay the new mortgage on your move up home. You might even be paying the same amount out of pocket as your previous mortgage was! And the best part, someone else is now buying your first home for you!

(Continued in part 2)

Mark Mandigo is a licensed Real Estate Consultant and REALTOR® for the State Of Alaska

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Green Your Home!

Did you know that the housing and building industry accounts for nearly 40% of the world’s energy and raw material consumption? Our ability to “green our homes” truly has the ability to change the world. The principles of green are really about understanding priorities for a well-lived life—living healthy, being smart with money, and acting more sustainably.

We typically spend more than 80% of our nonworking or commuting hours inside our homes. Because we spend so much of our lives inside, it only makes sense we make a healthy inside zone the first priority. Here are a few DIY tips from Green Your Home to get you started:

1. Cross-Ventilate. An average adult takes in more than 14,000 breaths—or about 3,000 gallons of air—a day! Surprisingly, you are more likely to breathe polluted air inside your home than outside—even in cities like Los Angeles, which aren’t known for air quality. Opening one window won’t cut it… you need cross-ventilation so the breeze actually blows though your home, taking the pollutions back out with it. Open a front door and a back door, or one window upstairs and one downstairs.

2. Lighten Up. Simply swapping out the five most commonly used incandescent bulbs for CFLs or LEDs in your home can save you $60 to $100 a year. Combined with well-designed artificial lighting, natural lighting is also a great way to boost efficiency.

3. Low Flow. American families use about 400 gallons of water a day, and 70% of that is used inside the home. The majority is used in the bathroom: the average person flushes the toilet 2,500 times a year. Transform your home’s toilet from water-waster to water-miser for cheap. Place a brick or 2-liter plastic bottle filled with water into your toilet’s tank. The volume of these objects means less water will be needed to fill your tank—you’ve just created your own low-flow toilet. Also, be sure and have a leaky or running toilet fixed by a plumbing professional immediately.

If you’d like a complimentary copy of our new book “Green Your Home” give me a call, 907-223-8422

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Q & A: What’s a typical value of a garage?

Joe asks: What is a typical value assigned per square foot to a heated, attached garage?

Appraiser’s try to find sold properties that are as close to the same as possible for comparison’s sake. Within a mile or two of each other, year built, style, square footage, etc… Then they start making adjustments. These adjustments very upon other determining factors like how much of that square footage is above ground, cathedral ceilings that go from first floor to second story ceiling, etc…

This is all so they can make good comparisons, you don’t want to compare an apple to an orange even though they are both a piece of fruit!

In different parts of Anchorage where the homes were built in the 50’s – 70’s many of them had no garage but did have a carport. Quite often the owners would enclose the carport and install a door. Sometimes they insulated and sheet rocked them, sometimes not. It’s a good idea to have you’re Realtor and home inspector investigate this if it’s an older home in a long standing established neighborhood.

In Anchorage I’ve been seeing about $8,000 per additional car bay when it’s an actual attached heated garage. NOTE: This is not the same as the difference between having a garage and having no garage, whether it’s 1, 2 or 3 bay.

If you would like my “Cheat Sheet” of standard appraisers adjustments which I have compiled using many appraisals from my successful sold listings, just email me at and put Appraisers Cheat Sheet in the subject line, or call me at 907-223-8422.

Mark Mandigo is a licensed Real estate professional and a REALTOR® for the State Of Alaska

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It should have been green!

St. Patrick’s Day 2002, it was a Sunday and it snowed over 26 inches that morning, it should have been green! I had been preparing a corned beef and cabbage dinner for 200 people for the St. Paddy’s Day party at Club Oasis (I was owner/operator at the time) yet only about 50 -60 guests were able to attend due to the snow fall.

My buddy Bubba Arndt, a regular attendee at the Club “O” came and got me and brought me down about 10:00am to get things started and then started driving around town picking up staff and other guests to bring back for the fun.

We all had a great time and the food, live music, prizes and green beer was enjoyed by all. I can’t remember which band I had playing that day, I think it was the “Rebel Blues” yet can’t be sure. If you know, please help me remember!

So flash forward to St. Patrick’s Day 2011, it’s been close to 40′ these last few days, streets were bare, snows been melting and it was starting to look a lot like spring time. Last night I made the mistake of telling my lovely bride that it’s still going to snow at least once more before it’s actually spring. OOPS!

So how much do you think we’ll get today?

Mark Mandigo

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Questions And Answers About Real Estate

As a Real Estate Consultant I’m always asked questions. None are bad or silly (Only the ones not asked) so I’ve decided to post some of them with my own answers…

G Danials asks: If a client signs a contract to purchase “as is,” can he ask for repairs?

Everything is negotiable in real estate up to the “point of no return”. If you’ve made a close to full price offer and haven’t been too unreasonable in your requests or contingencies the seller may not want to let the buyer get away over some small fix.

If there’s been an inspection and health and safety repairs are required by the lender prior to closing , the seller needs to realize that the buyer won’t be able to close if they don’t make the repairs. Incidentally I ALWAYS write an offer contingent on your loan approval to protect the buyer and their earnest money deposit. If the seller accepted this up front and is aware that you’re borrowing the money for your purchase and it’s not a conventional loan such as VA, FHA, etc… then they made a mistake if they truly didn’t want to repair Anything.

Of course buying Bank Owned Properties or REOs can be a different story, many times you can’t purchase them without putting 20% down and only going conventional so there is no wiggle room. Banks are not persons and there are no emotions involved such as in the case of a private seller. It’s just business and numbers for the banks.

Every transaction is different. I have had clients who accepted counters with “As-Is” verbiage and then still asked for repairs and got them. It may take a little negotiation expertise from some one like me though.  ;^)

Got a question about Real Estate in Anchorage, AK? Email it to or visit to search for homes or find out your homes value

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Help Support The Boys & Girls Clubs Of Alaska

My company Keller Williams Alaska Group has an annual event called Red Day! Each year we all get together and show up for a full day to support a local charity or good cause. This year it was The Boys & Girls Clubs Of Alaska.

We painted the clubhouse at Woodlands park and cleaned as well as landscaped, had a lunch for everyone including the local neighbors and put on a soccer clinic for the kids.

Now we are fast approaching our annual Gala Fund Raising event that happens on March 18th at the Marriot Downtown.

There will be 2 kinds of auctions, Hors Devours, cash bar, entertainment and dancing, casino style gaming tables, & lots of fun! Our charity was the Safe Harbor Inn last year and we raised over $16,000 for them. We know with your help we can beat that amount for the B&G Club this year!

How can you help? Buy tickets for the Gala Event ($100.00 each), donate an item for the silent auction, sponsor the event… let me know what you’d like to do to help raise money for this great cause! Call me at 223-8422 or email me at

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