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 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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Enjoying Springtime in Alaska

This is an exciting time here in Alaska as spring moves toward summer and we watch the countryside embrace renewal in every direction. Moose calves are born and bears come out of their dens. Whales and other marine life return to our oceans and bays. Snow melts and nature gets ready to bloom. While things can get a bit soggy (and muddy) during this time, it’s also a great time to take on our own renewal projects as we enjoy nature’s show and get ready for summer.

After a long winter of dreary days and inactivity, the sun and warming temperatures offer increased opportunities for outdoor activities, exercise, planting gardens and flowerbeds, and making plans for vacations or relocations in the next season or two. Daylight hours have been increasing for the last couple months, with Anchorage and the Eagle River area gaining an extra 42 minutes of daylight each week. In fact, by the end of March, we officially had more hours of daylight than anywhere in the other 49 states!

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Helping Children Adjust to Moving to a New Home

Helping Children Adjust to a New Home

Moving Can Be Stressful

People move for many reasons. A new job, marriage, divorce, or just a desire for a change of scenery are a few of those reasons. Then there are military families, for whom moving is a necessary part of life. We’ve worked with many families buying and selling homes in the Eagle River and Anchorage, Alaska area.  We’ve seen firsthand how stressful moving can be for children, as much as for the parents. If your family is planning to relocate, here are some tips to help turn moving into a positive experience, especially helping children adjust to moving.

Take a tour

If possible, take your children to visit where you’re moving ahead of time. Check out the local restaurants.  Find the best places to get an ice cream cone. Drive by the schools, parks, malls or other places your kids would be interested in. This will help dissipate some of the fear of the unknown that children often have.

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Eagle River - Mat-Su Valley - Anchorage area named Best Cities to live and work

Anchorage Named Among Best Cities for Entrepreneurs

Anchorage Makes the List

When it comes to living AND launching a business, you just can’t beat Anchorage. According to the current (April 2017) issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Anchorage, Alaska was named as one of the 50 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs that help businesses flourish. According to Peter Cohan, an investor and author of Disciplined Growth Strategies, the location entrepreneurs choose is vital to their success. “Beyond a great product, strong marketing and sufficient capital, startups thrive or fizzle depending on their environment and the people in them,” he said.

Entrepreneur Magazine partnered with to compile the data that led to this list, looking closely at a wide variety of issues that affect business creation and growth including employment rate, affordable homes, per capita spending, commute times, safety, diversity, rates of healthcare coverage, wage growth, household income growth, and more.

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