Friday, September 12, 2014

Parade of Homes Special

Parade of Homes is a yearly showcase of both new and remodeled homes in several parts of the United States. The annual event was started by Salt Lake Home Builders Association back in 1946.  The Showcases include single family homes, condominium, duplex and townhomes. You'll find a wide range of prices, sizes and styles featuring the latest in construction, design, and decorating techniques. 

This year, the Anchorage Home Builders Association will present the 50th Annual Parade of Homes in Alaska.  Some of the finest homes in Anchorage and Eagle River will be open to the public during the dates and time mentioned below:

Open House Times 
Friday, September 12, 5 - 8 p.m.
Saturday, September 13, 12 – 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 14, 12 – 6 p.m.
The Golden Parade of Homes will feature "Made in Alaska" products which includes asphalt and insulation to windows and decorative finishes. "Made in Alaska Home" showcases building products that manufactured in Alaska.

James Team Real Estate listing is part of the entry in this 50th Annual Parade of Homes - featuring 12286 Vista Ridge Loop, Eagle River - a brand new townhouse in Eagle River minutes from schools, shopping, restaurants and bases minutes from schools, shopping, restaurants and bases. 15 minutes from Downtown Anchorage with 
great views of Alaska Range and Sleeping Lady! 

Big names in community development such as Spinell Homes, Spenard Builders Supply, FM Home Builders, Colony Builders and Petersen Group to name a few will be joining this year's Annual Parade of Homes.

Enjoy the weekend and hope to see you on the tour! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Specialty Room - A Selling Point

We all know that kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom are main selling points of a home.  For sellers, you can generate buyer's interest if you have a room designed for special purposes where buyers can relate.  If you have an extra room or space that isn't really being used, consider staging it as a specialty room. It can be a media room, kids' study hall, art studio or a home office.  

If you have exercise equipment lying around your home, consider combining the exercise pieces into one room. Once you combine the pieces into one room, the buyer can see this room designed for exercising.  It also removes the extra clutter from bedrooms and living room. 

If you want to have a children's study area set up. Just remove excess toys and memorabilia from the children's bedrooms and create a small space for a reading/study nook.
Home offices are very popular these days. Refrain from combining your office furniture and your kid's toys in one room.  It's hard for the buyers to visualize them getting the work done if all the toys are lying around in the room. Take the toys and other items that don't belong in an office. 

There's no need to redo entire rooms to create that look and feel of the specialty rooms. You can easily convert a room into a specialty room by gathering out items that don't belong in a particular room. Maybe just shift some furniture to other rooms and then reorganize so it has a purpose. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Energy Efficient Mortgage Loan

Nowadays, new home buyers look for energy efficient homes when shortlisting their homes. Good news for potential buyers that are looking for energy efficient homes! The government is providing assistance to potential home buyers that opt for energy efficient homes. 

The Energy Efficient Mortgage Loan program is an FHA insured mortgage loan that helps current or potential homeowners significantly lower their monthly utility bills by enabling them to incorporate the cost of adding energy efficient improvements into their new home or existing housing. (Source:

It is also used to purchase an energy-efficient new home or to purchase or rehab an existing home in need of energy improvements.  If the borrower is purchasing a new home, the home must be rated by a qualified energy "rater" to qualify for the loan.  

Typically, the loan is increased by 5% of the purchase price if a borrower applies for the EEM loan.

The borrower must meet FHA's Section 203(b) income requirements and can make the monthly mortgage payments for him/her to qualify for the EEM loan. Maximum amount of $200 - inspection report cost, may be included in the mortgage. 

Energy efficient home not only saves you money but it is also good for the environment in the long run.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Winning the Bidding War

With low housing inventory, properties are receiving multiple offers left and right and sparking bidding wars among buyers.  Here are some strategies on how to win your dream home:

1. Make sure you have a pre-approved financing before making an offer. Nowadays, you may be competing with all-cash buyers, having financing ready to go can help reassure the sellers that you will not back out of the transaction.  

2. Make a competitive first offer. Always put your best foot forward when making an offer. Buyers often regret not making the right offer because they would have paid the price anyway.  Also, make sure that your paperwork is complete and organized - this can help make a good impression on sellers.

3. Be available to your agent. Once you make an offer and the seller responds, you will have a limited time for accepting or countering their offer.  If the seller needs a reply ASAP, then your agent may need to reach you quickly, and if you turn off your phone or miss your emails during a bidding situation, you may miss out the property.

4. Be flexible. While most sellers look for the highest bidder, but it is not always the case. Sometimes terms and conditions are as important.  Flexibility can be a factor as well.  If you know the seller needs a quick escrow because they just bought a new house, give it to them.  If they just had a baby and need some extra time, have a longer closing time. 

5. Be prepared to offer full price or sometimes offer even over full price of the property.  If the seller requests that all offers submit their final and best offer then there are techniques, like an escalation clause, that may win the bidding war.  Being strategic and aggressive with the initial offer and final offer may win you and your family your next home.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call, I'll be happy to help.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation

Are you planning to take a long vacation this summer? Now that summer has officially begun, a lot of families are planning a long out of town trip to enjoy the good weather.  Whether you're hitting the road for a getaway or flying out of town to visit another country/state do not forget to take safety precautions to avoid harm to your home while you're gone.  Here are some tips to assure your home is secure before you leave for vacation:

1. Stop mail and newspaper delivery.  Hold your newspaper subscription while you're away.  A pile of newspapers or letters sticking out of the mailbox gives away a signal that you haven't been home for a while.

2.  Store valuables - and not just electronics.  Burglars are out for more than just jewelry and electronics these days.  Lock away any highly personal information like social security cards, insurance and banking or credit card details to secure not onlyyour identity but your cash flow.  Also safe keep your computer's hard drive to protect the sensitive information kept in your computer. 

3.  Empty refrigerator of perishable items.  No one wants to come home to a stench of rotting food or have to go on a cleaning spree immediately from your enjoyable vacation.  Stock up on a few nonperishable items in the house to ensure you have food readily available to eat and won't need to dine out post-vacation. 

4.  Pay bills before travelling.  Do you know that almost all electricity, water, credit, insurance companies, etc., allow you to schedule a future payment or pay in advance. Take advantage of this! You won't have to worry about late charges and will know ahead of time how much money you have available while on vacation. 

5. Keep porch lights on a timer. Do not leave your porch lights on while you're away.  Leaving it on gives the "I'm not home" signal.  If possible, keep the lights on a timer from dusk to dawn, just to keep your home and valuables safe.  

6. Keep off social media.  Keep your travel plans quiet and away from the public.  While it is fun to share your photos enjoying your vacation, delay uploading your photos to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram until your return.

Follow these simple tips and take your mind off your home during vacation.  With these safety precautions, you are more prepared and protected against burglaries.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Advance HAPPY Independence Day to all! 4th of July celebration is one of the most anticipated event of every year. To celebrate our Independence Day, kids to adults will be treated to brilliant fireworks, sports, parades, carnivals, fairs, marathon and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbeques. There's an activity for everybody!  If you're looking for things to do on this 4th of July, take a look at the list of events below and you will surely find something to enjoy: 

Anchorage 4th of July Celebration
When: July 4, 8am onwards
Where: Anchorage's Delaney Park Strip
            8am - Pancake Breakfast
          11am - Anchorage July 4th Parade
            1pm - Reading of the Declaration of Independence
           noon - 6pm - Festival on the Park Strip with 2 stages of free entertainment, rides, games, vendors and  great food! For more information, visit

Anchorage Glacier Pilots Games
When:    July 4, 5pm onwards then Fireworks at 11:20pm  
Where:   Mulcahy Stadium

Live After Five Friday Night Concert
When:    July 4, 5-8pm
Where:  Town Square Park

Eagle River 4th of July Fireworks
When:    July 3, Midnight 
Where:   Lions Community Park

Eagle River Independence Day Celebration 
When:    July 3  (6:30pm - midnight)
Where:   Lions Community Park

Chugiak 4th of July Parade
When:    July 4, 2pm
Where:   Latimer Fire Station on Old Glenn Highway to Chugiak Senior Center

Mount Marathon Race
When:    July 4, 10am
Where:   Downtown Seward

City of Wasilla Independence Day Celebration
When:    July 4, 11am-3pm (Mayors Picnic 1-3pm, Free hotdogs, music, games for the kids)
Where:   Wasilla Iditapark

FUN FACTS about 4th of July:

Do you know that an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th? 

Do you also know that 3 of the first 5 presidents died on July 4? 2 presidents died on the same year (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson).

Do you know that in 2013, a total of $203.6 million was spent on fireworks for the 4th of July celebration?

From James Team Real Estate have a fun 4th of July celebration! Have a safe long weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Choosing Your Home Design

One of the most exciting times in your life is choosing a home.  According to the recent survey by National Association of Home Builders, buyers prefer convenient, livable and energy efficient when choosing their homes.

Here are some home designs that most home buyers look for in their new home:

1. Granite Counter tops 

Granite kitchen counter tops are some of the most desirable kitchen counter tops in the US today.  It adds value to your home.  Granite counter tops is durable, functional and good to the eye as well.  The surface is sanitary and easy to clean with just warm water and mild detergent.  

2. Game Room

The home concept nowadays is to have everything in your house within your reach.  Gone are the days wherein you have to go out of your house to watch a movie.  You can now bring your favorite movie within the comforts of your own home through the help of a home theater.  You can also make your own popcorn in your own kitchen.
So why not a game room? Game room is designed to relax your mind and body after a hard day's work.  Nowadays, home buyers look for that specific room as part of the house - just like a bedroom.

3. Open Floor Plans

Open layouts are becoming more and more popular making it today's bestselling plans. Homes with open floor plans combine the kitchen and adjacent living room where family members can interact easily because of the open space.  Having an open layout is a great way to maximize space in a small plan. 

4. Tile Floors

Tile floors are durable. Quality installation can last from 10 - 20 years and longer if well maintained.  If a single tile cracks due to severe impact, it is easy to replace it with a new one.  

Tile floors are easy to care for.  Dirt, stains and liquids can easily be wiped or mopped.  Regular maintenance only involves sweeping or vacuuming or mopping.

5. Stainless Steel Appliances 

Restaurants and commercial kitchen have been using stainless steel appliances and equipment for decades because of its long life span.  It doesn't fade or discolor over time.  It's also rust-proof and stain resistant material, thus maintaining the shine of your appliances for a long time. 

It's also easy to clean and maintain.  Stainless steel appliances can be wiped down with a damp cloth. 

Stainless steel appliances does not harbor germs. Since it is made out of non-porous materials, it resists bacteria and germs more effectively than wood or plastic surfaces. It also resists smudges, fingerprints and scuff marks easily.

Choosing the right home is a major decision.  Consider how you and your family will use your home and make sure that it will suit your lifestyle.  From the size and shape to where the rooms are located, the furnishings and your budget.  If you have any questions on what are the trends in home design, don't hesitate to contact me.