Veterans Day in Alaska: Let’s celebrate our Vets!

On November 11 people all across our country will celebrate Veterans Day, a holiday honoring all veterans of past wars as well as those currently serving. Here in Alaska, a state with an exceptionally large military population, we love to celebrate our vets all year round. Veterans Day this month, however, gives us extra incentive to honor and show gratitude for the large veteran population we’re lucky to have.

History of Veterans Day

Before Veterans Day there was Armistice Day, commencing the year after WWI ended. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, an armistice, or agreement made in a war to stop fighting for a period of time, was made between the Allied nations and Germany. Armistice Day was made a national holiday the following year, and became a legal holiday in the United States in 1938. After World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, meant to honor American veterans of all wars as well as those currently serving or those who have served in the past. (Click HERE for a detailed history of Veterans Day.)

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Keeping kids warm and safe this Halloween

Halloween in Alaska – cute kids, fun costumes, lots of treats, and don’t forget the snow. Here in the Anchorage / Eagle River area it can get pretty cold this time of year, so trick-or-treaters have a few more things to take into account for a fun and safe holiday. We’ve got you covered, though, with a few safety tips and ideas for keeping things warm and having lots of fun.

Ghosts and goblins can get cold, too, so it’s important to equip your kids with gear that keeps them warm. If there is snow or ice on the ground, be sure they wear snow boots for warmth and traction. Costumes should be on the larger side so they can fit over snow suits and lots of warm layers. Throw some glove warmers in kids’ treat bags and they’ll be set in case of freezing temps.

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How to survive winter in Alaska | Tips for Alaska winters

How to Survive Winter in Alaska

Alaskans know cold. After all, here in the Anchorage and Eagle River area, temperatures can drop down as low as minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit for days at a time. But despite the frigid temps, locals know how to survive winter in Alaska. We’ve gathered up a few tips for covering your basics (warmth, food, water, safety and mental well-being), and shared one big misconception at the end that you for sure want to avoid. Here goes:

Tips for How to Survive Winter in Alaska:



If you don’t stay warm, you can forget the rest. Staying warm and dry is the name of the game here! Dressing for Alaska winters doesn’t necessarily mean piling it on until you’re waddling across the parking lot and unable to get in your car. Too many clothes will only make you perspire, and once you stop moving around, that moisture will freeze, feeling like you’re wrapped in an icicle. Instead, the secret is to dress in layers, using materials that wick moisture away from the body, rather than soaking it up. Choose fleece or performance fabrics instead of cotton. Warm socks and boots should always be nearby, even if you’re going to a dressy occasion – you never know when you might need to make a quick change. Mittens are better than gloves. And don’t forget a sleeping bag. Yes, a sleeping bag. We know that’s not something you technically “wear,” but standard emergency equipment for traveling in Alaska in the winter often includes a subzero-rated sleeping bag.

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How to get your car ready for winter in Alaska | Alaska Homes by Brooke has tips for winter in Alaska

How to Get Your Car Ready for Winter in Alaska

While the hurricanes in Texas and Florida are a long way away from Alaska, one universal lesson we can all learn from watching their stories unfold is the value of being prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. Here in Alaska, it’s time to start thinking and preparing for winter, and we’ve got checklists for our homes, our cars and just general overall safety that we’re sharing here on our website. If you’re new to the area, use this list to get started, and feel free to reach out to use for any questions you might have about what to expect in the months ahead. But right now it’s time to get your car ready for winter in Alaska:

#1 Change to winter tires

In Alaska, salt is not used on roads to melt ice or snow, so conditions can get pretty slippery out there. That’s why most people who live in Alaska have two sets of tires – one for summer and one for winter. And winter tires can get pretty serious. Talk to your local tire dealership to find the best option for you, which can range from studded tires, to chains, to heavy-duty winter tires such as the Bridgestone Blizzak.

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Prep your home for winter in Alaska | Winter in Alaska | Tips from Brooke Stiltner, Alaska real estate agents

How to Prep Your Home for an Alaskan Winter

There’s winter. And then there’s Alaska winter. As daylight fades and the long, cold months approach, locals know it’s time to prep your home, garden and car and get your personal gear ready to help you survive and thrive until the spring thaw. If you’re new to the area, here are a few ideas to help you prep your home and get started on winterizing your home for an Alaskan winter.

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Prepare your garden for winter in Alaska | Gardens in Alaska

Winter is coming: Time to Put Your Garden to Bed

Prepare Your Garden for Winter

The first official day of fall is September 22, one of only two days a year when day and night are of equal length. After that, our daylight hours will fade fast, so it’s time to get ready to prepare your garden for winter.

When you garden in Alaska, you know you’re dealing with seasons of extremes. Gone are summer days of endless light, dahlias the size of dinner plates, and vegetables that never seem to stop growing. While some people might be desperately holding on to the last remnants of their gardens as long as they can, there’s nothing like a surprise snowfall for a quick dose of reality. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for helping your garden survive whatever winter throws at you – even the occasional moose!

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Bear Safety Tips for Alaska

Bears can be found in many places across the country, but here in Alaska we live in true bear country – one of the few places in the world where all three species of North American bears live in one place. When you’re in Alaska, there are always bears nearby, even if you don’t always see them.

Bears are curious, intelligent and tend to avoid or ignore people, but can be dangerous, as evidenced by two recent fatal bear maulings in our area. Respecting bears and knowing the proper way to behave when you see one can help you avoid conflict so you both can continue on your way, safe and sound.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder also know as SAD

How to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder in Alaska

Feeling blue. Cabin fever. The doldrums. If you live in Alaska, where the winters are long and gray and the spring and summer sometimes struggles to shake the dreariness off, some of these might sound familiar to you. The winter blues are definitely a real thing, but if your symptoms are getting more intense you might have something called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 

While SAD affects people throughout the United States, it’s more prevalent in the northernmost states where winter months are darker, colder, and last longer. Which means for those of us living here in Alaska, we need to watch out. It’s normal to feel less energetic during the winter, but researchers believe that people with seasonal affective disorder have abnormal biological responses to changes in sunlight exposure, adversely affecting their health in many ways. 

Yes, we’re in the summer months now, and if you have SAD your symptoms should be better. But if you weren’t sure why your cabin fever held on so long, and suspect you might have this disorder, it’s good to know what you’re dealing with before next winter rolls around.

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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 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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