Are You Coming to Our Eat and Greet?


Join us for our Buyers Eat and Greet on Friday, July 24!

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

We want to invite you to a very fun event: our Buyers Eat and Greet! On Friday, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., join us at our Madden Real Estate office at 728 Gaffney Road. This is an addition to our July Food Truck Friday event, and our Eat and Greet will be catered by the Between the Bus food truck. There will be 60 meals available—first come, first served. 

Please bring any real estate questions you have as a buyer. We’ll have listing partners, buyer specialists, lenders, and title professionals here to answer all your questions. To respect social distancing guidelines, tables located in the parking lot will be properly spaced. Masks are kindly requested. We want to thank our food sponsors: Fidelity Title Agency of Alaska and First Rate Financial. 



Our Eat and Greet will be catered by the Between the Bus food truck!


I also want to point out a few tools available to you right here on our video blog. For those looking to sell a home, there’s a free home value report link to the right of this post. If you’re looking to buy a new house, there’s a home search link to the right as well. Lastly, if you’re interested in an exciting career in real estate, we’re always looking for new talent to join our team, so click the "search available positions" button on the right. 

We look forward to seeing you at our Buyers Eat and Greet, and we’ll be ready to discuss all of your real estate needs. 

If you have any other questions about real estate, please call us at (907) 452-3000 or email us. We would be happy to speak with you.

What Can Bent Birch Property Management Do for You?


Here’s what Bent Birch Property Management can offer property owners.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

As you may know, Bent Birch Property Management is a subsidiary of Madden Real Estate, and today we’ll share a few details about this company and how it can assist you.  


Bent Birch has been a part of Madden Real Estate for about three years and is headed by Denzle Higgins, who’s worked in property management for about 10 years and has extensive experience dealing with tenants and owners. 

Roughly 55 properties are managed by this company—52 of which are currently rented. As you can see, they’re low on available rentals, but they’re still getting daily calls inquiring about new properties. Since there isn’t enough supply to meet this kind of demand, we’d like to reach out to all the property owners out there and offer their services if they’re thinking of renting out their homes. 



If you’re not sure whether to sell or rent your property or which will happen first, we can put it up for rent and list it for sale simultaneously.


One of the main benefits of working with Bent Birch is that they have a great relationship with Madden Real Estate. They have their own office inside our building, and this close proximity allows us to cultivate relationships with their renters who’ll hopefully someday be buyers. The same goes for their property owners, who’ll someday either sell or buy more property. 

Additionally, there are many options for potential sellers or rental owners because they can handle both transactions at once. If you’re not sure whether to sell or rent your property or which will happen first, they can put it up for rent and list it for sale simultaneously. This will double the property’s exposure, give you an idea of which transaction will happen first, and indicate which market is best. Also, if you’re not ready to sell but are leaving town, they can rent your property in the meantime and then have you meet with one of our listing partners afterward to see whether the time to sell has arrived. 

If you’d like to get in touch with Denzle, you can email him at bentbirchpm@gmail.com, check out their website bentbirchpm.com, or call (907) 452-3000.

What’s Happening in Alaska Real Estate?


As we head into June, the Alaska real estate market is continuing to move.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Today we have the latest Alaska real estate numbers to share with you. Fairbanks has 264 homes on the market with 134 of them under contract. We have right around two months of inventory, so we’re still in a seller’s market here and in the North Pole area.

After two months of looking at the data, it’s clear that the market here in Alaska is going strong. To learn more, watch this short video above.

Q: What Does the Economic Future Look Like?


What does the future of our economy look like?

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Recently, Freddie Mac released a statement saying that the bulk of the economic damage caused by the nationwide shutdowns would be contained within the first half of 2020 and that they expect to see economic relief by the third quarter.

On the lending side, Freddie Mac went on to say that the fiscal stimulus provided by the C.A.R.E.S. Act will mute the pandemic’s impact on our housing market. This is especially exciting because they predict that, after the next four quarters, housing prices should continue to appreciate by 2% or 3%, which is what’s typical for a very healthy market.


Many people fear that our current situation is similar to what happened back in 2008 when the housing bubble burst and that their property values will plummet. However, the economic forecast shows a different view of our financial future—there is a big difference between the financial crisis of 2008 and the public health crisis of 2020. 



There may be some short-term pain, but there will be a long-term gain.


Through January of this year, until the coronavirus hit our shores, we were in a very strong economic position, and the stock market had been on its single longest bull market run in history. In the mortgage community, delinquency rates were near 20-year lows. Those are signs of a really healthy market, and I have confidence that we’re going to see a great recovery.

I do know, however, that this is an unprecedented time and that there’s a lot of fear when it comes to the unknown, but overall, the data shows a positive long-term outlook. There may be some short-term pain, but there will be a long-term gain. 

If you have any questions or would like to speak more about the housing market and economy, feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.

What You Should Know About Mortgage Forbearance


Is a mortgage forbearance the right option for you? Today Kristen Brown of First Rate Financial joins us to help answer that question.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Today we’re joined by Kristen Brown of First Rate Financial to discuss an important and timely topic: forbearance. 

According to Kristen, there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding forbearance. A forbearance is when a lender agrees to lower or suspend a person’s mortgage payment for a certain period. Typically, they’ll initially offer a three-month grace period, and then oftentimes extend it to six months. 

After the forbearance period is over, though, you’re still responsible for paying the amount you would’ve owed during that time. For example, if your mortgage is $1,500 per month and your forbearance is three months, that $4,500 is due on the fourth month. A lot of people assume the forbearance amount gets tacked on at the end of the mortgage, but that’s not the case. 

A forbearance is meant to be a temporary financial solution, but it only works if you can return to full financial health by the time it’s over. Otherwise, it’s not a good option. You’re better off trying to pay your mortgage month by month. 



A forbearance is when a lender agrees to lower or suspend a person’s mortgage payment for a certain period.


If forbearance isn’t a good option, you can also try refinancing. This is another topic Kristen and her office are getting a lot of calls about, and her advice is to look at refinancing your mortgage from a holistic perspective. In other words, does it fall in line with your short-term and long-term goals? 

Too often, she says, people get tempted by low interest rates. They look at where they are while forgetting where they’ve been. Ask yourself: Where are you in your amortization? Are you trying to take out cash? How long will you remain at your current residence? What are the costs associated with living there? Consider all of these factors before deciding whether refinancing makes sense. In some cases, it makes perfect sense; in other cases, it doesn’t. 

Make sure you work with a trusted financial advisor who will be honest about your situation so you can know what’s right for you. They won’t tell you what you want to hear—they’ll tell you what you need to hear. 

Stay tuned for our next video where Kristen joins us once again to talk about the future of our economy. As always, if you have questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help.

The Coronavirus & Its Impact on Real Estate


With everything that’s happening, our main priority is to take care of our families, clients, and friends in the community.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

With the coronavirus pandemic gripping the nation, it’s time for a quick market recap and a rundown of how we at Madden Real Estate have adjusted to help those in real estate and beyond. Our main priority is to take care of our families, clients, and friends in the community. 

As far as real estate transactions go, it’s been business as usual. Homes are still being bought and sold, but how they’re bought and sold has changed dramatically. If you’re selling a home with us, we’ve probably already contacted you to verify how you want us to show your property. 

If you’re buying with us, we’ve likewise probably already contacted you to discuss your timeline moving forward. People still need to move, and there are movers who are hoping not to be delayed too much by what’s going on, and we’re working hard to not let that happen. 

In any case, we’re taking our technology game to the next level. We’re showing homes virtually, conducting video tours, and hosting FaceTime consultations and Facebook Live events. 



Our main priority is to take care of our families, clients, and friends in the community.


The Fed has dropped their interest rate to zero, and mortgage rates were down to 3% a few weeks ago but have climbed back up to 4% recently. There’s still a great opportunity to buy and refinance, and we’d love to work with your lender to help make that happen. 

With all the businesses that have temporarily closed and services suspended, we’re also working to ensure everyone has the supplies to stay safe and healthy. We’ve volunteered at the local food bank and are considering donating vehicles to Meals on Wheels. 

We especially want to support the businesspeople we work with daily—the lenders, inspectors, contractors, movers, appraisers, etc. With the exception of the lenders, most of these people need to work inside homes to make transactions happen. That’s why we’re advising buyers and sellers to take all necessary precautions during the home sale process. If you’d like to know all of our tips to stay safe, go ahead and reach out to us. 

We’re a secluded community, but that doesn’t mean we’re not at risk, and we’re doing everything we can to help buyers and sellers in a safe and cautious manner. We know there are still people out there who urgently need to move, and we’re here to assist you in any way we can. 

If you have questions about any of these topics, give us a call or send us an email. You can also tune into our radio show on AM 970 every Friday at 12:30 p.m. for more information. We care about you and our community, and we hope you stay safe out there.

How Can You Improve Your Financial Health Now?


If your financial health isn’t great at the moment, here are a few ways you can improve it.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation


Want to improve your finances but aren’t quite sure how to do so? Here are five tips to help you become more financially responsible:

1. Develop a budget. It’s boring, but it’s the cornerstone of financial responsibility. Instead of asking where all your money went at the end of the month, you’ll have peace of mind if you work on a budget. 


Transfer a bit into savings before you pay monthly bills.


2. Use credit cards correctly. When used correctly, credit cards can be a valuable financial tool. Avoid getting caught in a bad cycle by only buying the things that you can afford. Period.

3. Pay yourself first. Before you take care of your monthly bills, transfer a little bit of money into savings. It’s always important to have savings accounts.

4. Invest wisely. Whether you invest in stocks, business, or real estate, learning how to invest properly is a keystone of financial health and wealth.

5. Live within your means. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to financial responsibility. If you have any questions for us about real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tips for a Successful Alaska Home Purchase


What are the five Ps of buying an Alaskan home? Find out today.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation


So you’ve either decided to move to Fairbanks or North Pole from another location, or you’re already living here and you just want to move to a different house—what do you need to do to be successful buying a home? Today we’ll share the five Ps that will bring about your success:

1. Choose a professional. Here at Madden Real Estate, we’re trained professionals who engage in about 600 transactions a year, which is more than anyone else in the state. In fact, we’re among the top 50 in the nation in terms of both size and number of transactions. We have all the experience, resources, and tools you need to win.
2. Know your price. You need to know what you want to spend so you can get enough cash or a home loan to be able to buy. If you’re not paying in cash, speak with your lender to find out how much you’ll qualify for so you can have an idea of what kind of home you can buy and how much you’ll pay each month once you buy it.
3. Know your preferences. Figure out what it is you want in a home. One way to do this is to visit www.MaddenRealEstate.com and take a look at all the homes currently available. How many bedrooms do you need? Do you need an acreage along with the property? Do you need a garage that fits one or three cars? Where is your ideal location? 
4. Find perspective. During the buyer’s consultation with us, we can help you pin down available homes that meet your criteria, like your desired price, school districts, and so on.
5. Put your plan in play. When you’re ready to pull the trigger, our experts will be ready to help.

If you’re in the market to move to Fairbanks, North Pole, or the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Madden Real Estate for any needs or questions you may have. We’re here to help you.

6 Blunders Homebuyers Make After Pre-Approval


Here are six common mistakes we see homebuyers do that can cost them the home of their dreams.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation


If you’ve gotten pre-approved for a mortgage and are ready to start seriously shopping, here are some things we suggest you avoid doing in that time between pre-approval and recording on your house: 

1. Don’t quit your job. If you’re forced to leave your job, let us know right away and talk to your lender. Few things will raise your lender’s eyebrows faster than finding out that you no longer have employment or a steady stream of income. 

2. Don’t buy or lease a vehicle. I lost a house for a guy one time because he was stationed in the lower 48, had to move up to Alaska, and thought it a perfect time to buy a new Dodge Ram pick-up; his loan-to-value ratio spiked, disqualifying him for the loan. We still found him a home, but he missed out on the one he really wanted. 

3. Don’t increase the balances on your credit cards. During this period, it’d be better to just put the cards in a drawer and forget they’re even there.



Keep your Realtor and lender informed about what you’re doing every step of the way.

4. Don’t use money you’ve set aside for your closing cost or your down payment. To avoid temptation, put those funds in an entirely separate account. 

5. Don’t omit any liabilities. Accurately report loan debts and things like child support. Not doing so will only come back to bite you. 

6. Don’t buy furniture or appliances. Prior to moving, it’s easy to become antsy and go out and buy stuff for your new house—focus on actually getting the house first, though. Other large purchases can impact your loan-to-value ratings. 

Keep your Realtor and lender informed about what you’re doing every step of the way. Communication is key. Speaking of which, if you have any questions about the information covered in today’s message, feel free to call or email us. We’d love to help you.

What Should You Know About Online Lenders?


For those of you who are buying a home, you might be tempted to work with an online lender. Here are the pros and cons of doing so.

Looking to buy in Alaska?  Get a full home search
 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation


We’re so busy these days that a lot of us prefer the simplified version of everything. We’d rather text than call and shop online than go to a store, so it makes sense that the next big trend is to use full-service, online mortgage companies.

However, is that the best decision? Here are some pros and cons when it comes to online mortgages:

Con: There’s an increased risk of fraud and scams. Remember, you never need to pay money for a quote or pre-approval. You may have to pay an application fee later on in the process, but be careful who you’re giving your money to.

Pro: Faster and cheaper. Online lenders generally dumb down the process, which is why they’re so popular. They’re fast, easy, and often offer lower interest rates to attract buyers.



Rates with online lenders can be extremely high.

Con: If you use an online lender, you have to be careful with the online forms. Since there is nobody there to answer your questions, it can be easy to misunderstand the questions and the payments you will be making. It could also affect your approval later on.

Pro: They can usually help people with lower credit scores. You might be able to qualify for a loan with an online lender that you couldn’t qualify for with a big bank.

Con: Although they approve lower credit scores, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford to buy a home. Their interest rates can be extremely high. 

One thing an online lender can’t do is give you the same advice that an in-person lender can. That’s why we suggest that all of our clients work with one. A lender can help you improve your credit score, understand your budget, and more. We’d be happy to connect you with a lender that we trust.

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you.