So here I am writing this column from my home office after being encouraged by caring staff to follow the CDC instructions for social distancing and self-quarantine after having traveled last week in the lower ’49 and, even though I hate to admit it, because I am of a certain age. But I don’t like this! Thousands of Americans, including realtors, work from home offices but I still believe in brick and mortar and face to face consultation when it comes to making a home purchase or sale decision; or any real estate transaction whether commercial, land, leasing or just visiting open houses to see what’s out there.
Dwell Realty is open and shall remain open unless there is a significant change to our local situation. Natalie Smyre, our Assistant Broker, is at the office and Lindsey, our Receptionist/Admin Assistant, is at the front desk and the Kaladi coffee is brewing. For building access, please call 907-646-3600. Our realtors are independent contractors and are using their own best judgment as to where and how they are working. They are listed below with their cell numbers. Many of them are also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Please feel free to contact them as I am sure they would like to hear how you are managing during this time. After all, real estate’s best practices usually begins with a first call or handshake which is now an elbow bump!
Like you, I have no idea when this situation will end and what the new normal will be. However, having worked through the 1986 real estate crash when thousands of Alaskans left the state after dropping off their house keys at their lender and the 2008 financial crisis when loans were called, Alaska will weather this situation just like we have done in the past, including the November 2018 earthquake.
Sitting here in my own home office for a few days, makes me realize how lucky I am to have that ‘extra’ flex space, although I am now sharing it with some unused workout equipment. Anchorage has a home ownership rate of approximately 62% and one of our goals at Dwell Realty is to help raise that needle to at least 65%. In a time of uncertainty, the security and comfort of home ownership becomes even more important. Last week, MLS reported 54 pending single family sales, more than any other week in 2020. At the same time, active residential single family listings were only 361, the lowest it has been in the past five years for the same time period. Mortgage interest rates also fell this week, to an eight year low. Online mortgage brokers were flooded with refinance applications. If you have recently been pre-approved for a mortgage, I strongly encourage you to check with your local lender as all rates have gone down and you may qualify for a home that was perhaps just a little out of your comfort zone or enjoy the benefits of a lower monthly mortgage payment.
Whether the news is good or not so good, we will continue to provide you with information on the real estate market. That’s one thing you can depend on.