What do I need to set up a home office

If you have the ability to work from home, and want the best results for your efforts, it’s important to set up your office for maximum productivity from the start. A home office has many benefits, most popular being the freedom to design a workspace that works best for you. We’ve helped clients here in the Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska area find homes that fit both their personal lives – and their businesses – and know there are a few essentials you’ve got to plan for if you want to work from home.  

Connectivity: In today’s working world, no matter what you do, high-speed internet is absolutely essential. Make sure that your new home will have access to an internet service provider that offers secure, reliable, and high-speed internet. A good internet connection means you can perform actions like uploading videos, participating in conference calls, leading a webinar and starring in a Facebook Live video. 

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What do I need to help my pet when we move

When it’s time to move to a new home, the change of scenery can be stressful for everyone – including pets. Even though more than half of all households in America own a pet, many people forget to plan for how the move will affect this important member of the family. Take a pet from its normal surroundings, then surprise them with a new home, yard and neighborhood with strange animals, smells and sounds, and it’s no wonder they get stressed out. Or even worse, run away.

There are ways to help smooth the transition however, and just like helping children prepare for a move, you can set the stage for a smooth move for your pet. Here’s a checklist to give you a few ideas:

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Common real estate myths

Urban myths are nothing new. Wait one hour after you eat before swimming. Elvis is still alive. And don’t lick a flagpole in the winter. (Actually, don’t try that one!). These are fun to share, and some are good for getting kids to behave, but they aren’t true to life. What we’ve noticed is that the same goes for real estate. There are a lot of urban real estate myths out there. Most of which are false, but there are a few that have some truth to them too. So we gathered up a few to share for fun, and shared what you can ignore and what should be taken into account the next time you buy or sell a home.

Myth: Curb appeal can make or break a sale

Answer: True

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Spring maintenance checklist for rental properties

After the long, cold winter warming temperatures and the promise of spring brings a breath of fresh air. The downside? All that sunshine can put a spotlight on the damage the harsh season may have done to your rental properties. If you own or manage rental properties, it’s a good time to get started on your spring maintenance. We work with a lot of rental properties here in the Anchorage and Eagle River Alaska area and are familiar with the tasks needed to remain proactive for your properties, so we’ve put together this checklist to help.

Indoor spring maintenance

__ Change furnace filters. Completing this task is an easy way to ensure the heating system is running at top performance. Plus, regular maintenance now means less change of expensive repairs in the future.

__ Replace batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide detectors: A lot of people use Daylight Savings Time as their reminder to do this. If you haven’t yet, replace all batteries now.

__ If you have a laundry unit, inspect machines to ensure they are all working and in good shape. Also check for lint build-up in machines and in the hoses or vents, which can be a fire hazard in addition to making machines work inefficiently.

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Why Spring is a great time to sell a home in Alaska

Spring is in the air and, along with the bears, homebuyers are coming out of hibernation. If you’re thinking of selling your home, this is a great time to take advantage as potential home buyers are more than ready to start exploring potential homes as they take advantage of improving weather. If you’re ready to sell your home, here are some ideas to help take advantage of the warmer weather and even hotter market.

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How thieves use social media to target empty homes

Sharing vacation pics should be fun. These days, with smart phones and apps for just about everything, it’s easy to share your vacation and let all of your Facebook and Instagram friends enjoy it right along with you. But too much sharing via social media can set you up for a home invasion robbery or worse.

In a society where people often overshare on social media, it’s important to be careful what, how much, and when you share information that could make you a target for criminals. One high-profile example: Shortly after Kim Kardashian flaunted a $4.49 million diamond ring on Instagram, thieves tracked her down in her Paris apartment. As this family is a great example of oversharing on social media, it’s also been said that her younger sister, Kylie Jenner, was warned by her security team to stop posting her GPS coordinates on Snapchat because it let pretty much anyone know exactly where she was in real time.

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Kitchen design ideas for homes in Alaska

Kitchens today are undergoing an interesting transformation. As Realtors in the Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska area, we’ve seen a lot of kitchens. Years ago, kitchens were mostly used just for preparing daily meals and gathering around a table. Today, though, kitchens can also host everything from home office space and homework nooks to hobby corners and media centers. Much has changed, and it’s opened up a whole new world when it comes to kitchen design and function.

If you’re thinking about redesigning your kitchen, or searching for a new home with the kitchen of your dreams, we’ve gathered up a few of the best ideas we’ve seen for creating a beautiful, functional kitchen that is up to the task of meeting today’s modern needs.

Banquette seating: From breakfast nooks to awkward alcoves that you never quite knew what to do with, banquette seating is a great way to add seating, serving and storage to spaces that might have gone unused before. To keep it from looking like a booth at grandpa’s old-time soda shop, stick to light woods, put a bench on one side and chairs on the other, use pretty light fixtures, and add hidden storage (in the benches).

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How to keep pipes from freezing in Alaska homes

Extreme temperatures outside can cause scary inside problems – like frozen pipes, especially during the long winter months here in Alaska. In fact, frozen pipes usually lead to a lot more than just losing water pressure. Frozen pipes can quickly turn into burst pipes, which can then result in flooding and extensive water damage. Adding to that, when water damage isn’t treated, it can result in harmful mold problems.

As temperatures plummet well below the zero mark, the risk of pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. In fact, broken water pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during freezing weather and can cause thousands of dollars in damage for homes.

We know this is a big issue homeowners here in the Anchorage and Eagle River area need to watch out for, so we’re sharing a few tips that will help keep water running and homes safe and dry.

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How to Buy a Home in Alaska | Brooke Stiltner, Re/Max of Eagle River

How to buy a home in Alaska

When you finally make the decision to buy your first home, it can be exciting. However, things can turn from exciting to overwhelming pretty quickly without the right guidance. You’ve driven around a few neighborhoods, cruised a few websites, and have an idea of what you’d like to buy. But you’re not really sure how to get started. We’ve worked with many first-time homeowners here in the Anchorage and Eagle River area, which inspired us to create this list of what you need to know when preparing to buy a home in Alaska, or anywhere else!

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How to Sell your Home in Alaska | Selling tips by Brooke Stiltner, Re/Max of Eagle River

How to sell your home in Alaska

Whether you are planning on selling your home in a few weeks, or a few years, there are a few key steps you need to follow to set yourself up for a successful, (not stressful!), real estate experience. From deciding on a listing price, to choosing the right real estate agent, to making your home the best and brightest on the market, we’ve rounded up some tips here to help you get started when the time is right to sell your home in Alaska, or anywhere else!

Find the right real estate agent: You don’t just need any agent. You need the right agent. Be sure to look for someone with experience, local knowledge, and a reputation for excellent customer service to guide you through your first time selling a home. As tempting as it might be to use a friend, relative, or even try to do it yourself, if this is your first time selling a home it’s in your best interest to work with a professional with the experience and knowledge to help you sell your home quickly and for the best amount you can get. Once you have an agent working with you, they can answer your questions, share their insight and help you navigate what can seem like a confusing process.

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Prep your home for sale - tips the pros rely on

7 ways to prep your home for sale

Selling your home soon? Staging – or creating a certain look for a home on the market using furnishings and décor – is a great way to boost appeal to potential buyers. If you want to increase the attraction power of your home, here are a few easy ideas to prep your home for sale that staging pros rely on:

  1. Curb appeal: Make potential buyers fall in love with your home from the street by adding potted plants and flowers, power-washing patios and walkways, weeding the garden and mowing the lawn. It’s your first chance to make a good impression, so you’ve got to make it count. Check out this article on our blog for lots of great ideas for boosting your curb appeal.
  2. Repurpose unused rooms: Turn an old junk room or empty bedroom into something that will appeal to your local market and the types of buyers you anticipate. For instance, an empty dining room that can easily convert into a yoga studio may appeal to buyers in Anchorage, whereas a bedroom turned into a hobby room or home office might be a better bet for the real estate market in Eagle River, Alaska.
  3. Don’t make it personal: Too many personal photos, awards, electronics and collectables can be distracting, making it difficult for buyers to see past the clutter. Put away your awards, extra photos, and anything that clutters surfaces, making it easier for buyers to imagine themselves, and their things, in your space.
  4. Don’t forget the floors: Scrub and polish hardwood floors until they gleam. And don’t forget that you can use inexpensive area rugs for quick fixes to disguise shabby carpets or hardwood.
  5. Show off ALL your living spaces: Don’t forget that outside is the new inside. Make sure that outdoor areas are freshened up and looking great. Outdoor living spaces, which include anything from decks, porches, and grilling areas to fully-furnished outdoor rooms, are very popular and increase the perceived value of a home in the eyes of buyers.
  6. Light it up: Most homes are improperly lit, making them seem dark, dreary or smaller than they are. Turn on all the lights when buyers tour the home. Replace all burned out bulbs and even increase the wattage if needed to light up your home and show off all its best features.
  7. Flowers are always a good idea: Have a few fresh flower arrangement throughout the house, especially during open houses. Living plants are great too for bringing the outside in and providing a fresh, appealing look to each room.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market soon, and would like more ideas that will help you prep your home for sale and set the stage for attracting and motivating buyers, we’re here to help. Please feel free to contact us at 907-694-4800.

How to improve your home's curb appeal

How to boost your home’s curb appeal

If you’re planning on selling your home, one of the first things you can do to attract potential buyers is improve your home’s curb appeal. The first impression that potential buyers have of your home can make or break a sale. How your home and landscaping present themselves from the first moment someone approaches can either be warm and inviting, or messy, unappealing and off-putting.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 88% of homebuyers begin their process of looking for a home online, and 63% of homeowners will be motivated to visit a home in person if they like what they see online. Websites often prominently feature photos of the home’s exterior, including the front entry, driveway, yard and even sidewalk area, which set the mood and serve as a snapshot of what’s to come.

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