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Letter From the Heart – September 2009

November 30, 2010

Ah…it’s September and back to Anchorage summer weather. Yes, we had summer, two glorious months of it, but now we waddle around in our bright yellow Helly Hansen’s looking like a bunch of ducks in a pond. September in Alaska. Ya gotta love it.

Our little addition to our family, Sara Bea (it’s a dog, Mom) is doing just fine but the same can’t be said for Dave. As of our last phone call he had completely lost his voice. I can’t imagine why.  Seems Sara makes friends easily. The neighbors love her (so much they invite her in and forget to tell Dave, as he rides off on his bike losing his voice). The porcupines love her so much they give her spiny implants. And just today a bull moose in the park invited her over for a cup of hoof! Hence, no voice.

On a more real note, as in Real Estate, the market nationally picked up in July. Mostly attributed to first-time home buyers taking advantage of the eight-thousand dollar credit which is in effect until the end of November. However, the upswing is a good sign. Some are saying the housing market has recovered, and therefore the economy will soon follow.

Still, one has to note that statistics are based on past actions by the markets. If A happens; then B will follow. In this case “A” is somewhat artificial in that the incentive was generated by the government. Since this hasn’t been the case in the past when the market recovered, this is probably just a “false summit” and should deflate a bit when the program ends in November. What we need is rebound of the ebb and flow of the everyday market with sales in new and existing homes in a broad range of prices and buyers.

In Anchorage our inventory is comparable to the last few years and home prices have been a bit lower if not stable over the past year. So it seems sellers maybe reluctant to lower their price even if it means an increase in “days on market”. Buyers then see inventory and want a deal. Fixer-uppers are still out there, but the well-maintained homes are “maintaining” their price for that maintenance. Buyers want help with closing costs and sellers “need” their price. So, for buyers, don’t “fall in love” with a house until after you own it. And for sellers, know you will probably need to give closing cost concessions and probably again in repairs.

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