Thursday, May 18, 2017

Our Alaskan House Hunt - Part 1

If you don't want all the details about the search - and simply want to see the home we put an offer on - click here for Part 2 of the story. 

Details! Everyone wants details! We went to Alaska last week, we looked at 26 homes, we put an offer on a house, we received a counter-offer, we accepted the offer pending nothing unexpected shows up on the inspection.  Sounds simple and straight-forward. It was EXHAUSTING...and it was GREAT FUN!

At JaRissa's starting out - sure we'd get one of our top five!
A word before I say much more - if you're moving to the Anchorage area and need a realtor we highly recommend Mark Mandigo at Mandigo Manor Home Team - Office  907-223-8422.
Hopeful at our first viewing
Day 1 - Tuesday. We had looked at hundreds of homes online. We had settled on about eight we wanted to see. The time to buy a home was now, so that it can be closed on before the kids move up.  We were sure one of them would be the right one.....we had decided land was more important than the house. We didn't want to buy a "mini-mansion," we wanted to have room for the kids to explore, garden etc.  We knew we had a houseful moving with us and needed to fit in the home. A big RV barn would be a bonus.

WHY did we want so much land? We wanted to build a guest home for visitors. We wanted the option of some day having a Christian B/B, or getaway for ministry couples or retreat center....

We fell in LOVE with a home on 9 acres - the owners obviously took great pride in their home and  land.  It was delightfully quirky - a bit "too much" going on with colors, but I could take care of that. After the first day of looking, we were 90% sure this was our home. It had EVERYTHING we wanted - land, hot tub, decks, gardens, green house.....I wasn't quite sure how we'd fit.....but we were brainstorming that issue.

We saw all our favorites in one day! This one turned out to be disappointing - though I love the carved bears.....

At the end of looking at all our favorites, we liked the first one on 9 acres and this home with a fantastic view. This one had 4 acres (though much of it is downhill) and a layout that we could all fit into for the winter. The garage/workshop was GREAT and it had a RV hook up. 

 We spent day 2 - Wednesday -  thinking through the houses. We decided the 9 acre home was our first choice and the one with the fantastic view was our second. Both would work in the short term - and had possibilities for the long term.

The home on 9 acres was on a corner lot. We spent so much time at this home, that we were running late for our next appointment. We drove in and out the same way. We prayed through the night, talked in the morning and decided we needed to drive by both homes again. We drove through the neighborhood and realized our neighbors were wildly unique....across from us was a septic sucking business - that didn't bother us and we knew they were there. From our research we also knew there was a car junk yard next to the home - but there was a privacy fence.  When we drove by we realized things had changed since google earth and Matsu parcel viewer had taken photos.😜 The cars were spilling out gates, into the road, all the way to the porch of the home. The house next to this one was the SAME way - they were cutting down trees to load more cars in when we went by. They weren't very friendly. Next to the septic place was a recycling place. We began to wonder....and then noticed there were many homes for sale in the area. If this place went south, we'd not be able to sell 9 acres in this location.  I also didn't feel it a safe place to raise kids....and our thought was we'd eventually give some of the land to kids to build homes.....

We were sad  - and drove by the other home we liked again. We checked the property from the bottom of the hill, checked the streets around it. We decided it would be easier to buy land if we were IN AK - because we want land, but we want a nice area too.

We went home to think and have fun with JaRissa

Day three - Thursday, we decided we wanted to put an offer in on the home with the fantastic view.....but it wasn't on the market.  They were re-evaluating their asking price and doing a TON of work - gorgeous home - but it wasn't on the market and we didn't know what the price would be when it was. We knew we needed to buy one now in order to have a home by July.

We talked with Mark and told him we'd decided to look for homes with less land. That we still wanted to be able to have chickens.....but we'd buy a small home and place now and then look for land after things settled from the great migration. He sent us links to homes with 1 - 2 acres. Previously, he'd only sent us 3 acres or bigger per our request.  We headed out again.

I'll spare you all the details - we stayed out late into the evening driving by lots of houses which we were now in the running since we were not looking for 5 acres or more.

We drove by this one and both thought, "This may be the one."  We couldn't see much....but we texted Mark and told him we had two more homes to look at.,,,,this one and a smaller one in a residential neighborhood.

*Please note if you happen to have links to these homes - we don't want to share addresses online.

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