published with The Alaska dispatch news


Whether you are buying, selling, or just interested in different aspects of the residential real estate market - our goal is to provide you with the most current information.


The Ramsey Team had been writing the Residential Real Estate column for the Anchorage Daily News/Alaska Dispatch News for over 27 years.


Below are the most recent real estate articles.

Our Real Estate Articles

Here's some good news from the Anchorage real estate market

March 27, 2020


Within any crisis exists opportunity. The COVID-19 outbreak and lower oil prices have generated a lot of uncertainty in the Anchorage economy, and finding positive news sometimes can be difficult. However, a recent Barron’s article pointed out some byproducts to world events: cheaper gas prices and reduced costs to purchase or refinance real estate.


Selling your home this summer? Start building your curb appeal now.

February 13, 2020


​When homebuyers have choices with lots of homes on the market, the inside amenities and outside appearance of your home set you apart from the competition.

Is it time your house got smarter? Consider the following.

January 24, 2020


A "smart" home used to mean that connectivity was hard-wired into your home during construction - and you had to home to access the smart features through a control panel.  Now, smart is wireless, allowing you to control your home's switches, bulbs, plugs, appliances, doorbell and security systems remotely with your mobile phone or other smart device.  

Here's how "recasting" could help you lower your monthly mortgage payments

May 31, 2019


Finding ways to stretch your budget and decrease monthly expense is a lifelong struggle. When interest rates were falling, homeowners refinanced - sometime multiple times. 

Simple steps can help protect your home against scams and identity theft

April 26, 2019


The equity in your home represents a lifetime of hard-fought savings, so it is especially cruel if you lose your equity or home by falling prey to scammers or identity theft.

To stay or go? How some Alaskans are approaching the topic of retirement

March 22, 2019


Time is running out! Besides completing Permanent Fund Dividend applications by March 31, here are a couple of other deadlines to put on your calendar.By listening to conversations, you can sometimes spot trends. Last year we noticed more clients, friends and family preparing for retirement and talking about where they might eventually call home. Conversations at social gatherings often were sharing information and the stages of retirement each person was in. Below is a culmination of what we’ve learned.

Are you getting all the exemptions you can on your property?

March 3, 2019


Time is running out! Besides completing Permanent Fund Dividend applications by March 31, here are a couple of other deadlines to put on your calendar.

Are you an Anchorage homeowner with a septic tank? You’re going to want to know about this.​

January 25, 2019


If you own a home with a septic system or are thinking about buying a home with a septic system, you might want to save this column. Starting May 1, new Municipality of Anchorage, or MOA, regulations for septic systems go into effect that will definitely affect you.






  If you own a home with a septic system or are thinking about buying a home with a septic system, you might want to save this column. Starting May 1, new Municipality of Anchorage, or MOA, regulations for septic systems go into effect that will definitely affect you.

Natural disasters humble us - but can help us set new priorities

December 10, 2018


Anchorage has always been a close community, and this has become more evident with the recent earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.  Neighbors have shown an even greater degree of empathy, patience and friendliness.

Before the snow falls, prepare your home and yard for the winter ahead

October 25, 2018


What a wonderful fall we've had! With the chill in the air and the predicted rain, only a couple of degrees are separating us from snow. So don't forget to do those fall chores before it gets too cold.

Here are some of the scams currently targeting people buying, selling or a renting a home

September 27, 2018


"Trust, but verify" was a Russian proverb used in the Reagan era. Unfortunately, the words are at odds with each 

other. If you trust, there shouldn't be a need to verify. If you verify, you don't have trust. As a sign of our time, the 

mantra should really be "Verify, then trust."



Your home's doors could be so much more.  Here are ideas to consider.

August 2, 2018


The expression "thinking outside the box" suggests generating innovative solutions. We can apply this practice when

considering home renovations, and today we're going to look especially at doors.

Every home has doorways and doors, so instead of seeing these portals as basic structural necessities (maybe even

annoyances) in the course of home redo, let's be creative.

The age of your house isn't just about the year it was built. 

June 21, 2018


New construction versus pre-owned? This is an age-old question when buying a home. Newer has its benefits:

being the first to occupy; getting the latest in building standards and design trends. The negative is paying extra

for those benefits.

The quandary for empty nesters: When children grow up - what to do with house

May 25, 2018


Life is a series of transitions. Your first home was likely an apartment or small condo. As time passed, your housing needs changed as your family and income grew. By the time the kids move out and start their own lives you will have lived in several homes, with the last being the largest.​

Real estate deal seem too good to be true? Here are a couple of warning signs.

May 3, 2018


Very few things in life have a solely altruistic goal. So sometimes we need to be reminded that if something​ seems too good to be true, there is probably a catch or hook. In the real estate industry, there two areas we can think of quickly that have a hook.

Here's why rooftop gardens are good for your health, your house and your wallet.

March 8, 2018


Our vote is yes! The Baxter Senior Living facility will be designed to allow installation of a rooftop greenhouse,according to a recent Daily News article.  This is exciting! While food self-reliance is a major benefit, there are at least two other reasons why this type of development is a good thing for Anchorage.

Here are some reasons to be optimistic about the Alaska housing market in 2018.

January 11, 2018


Perception can intensify a feeling of a market falling or rising. Many of us look back to the previous year as an indicator of how the coming year may play out. Generally, supply and demand is a good indicator, but the potential of industry growth and future jobs are also important. So if we look back at 2017, what might drive perception in 2018? 





It's a bad idea to let a buyer into your home unaccompanied. Here's why.

October 9, 2017


One of the most important decisions to make when selling a home is: "Do I want a buyer wandering through my home alone, without a real estate professional present?" This may seem like a question that doesn't need to be asked, but sellers may not realize that this situation can happen during the home inspection.


Recent disasters can serve as a preparedness reminder for Alaskan homeowners

September 14, 2017


As we watched Hurricane Harvey ravage Texas late last month, we wondered whether Alaskans were prepared for a full-scale disaster. Then, last week a massive magnitude 8.1 earthquake shook Mexico City and a few days later Hurricane Irma plowed through Florida. Unlike hurricanes Harvey and Irma, earthquakes come without warning and fires can spread faster than you can run. While you can't prepare for everything, you can help shift the odds in your favor with a few steps.​


Anchorage will require flexible, creative housing solutions as it ages.

August 27, 2017


So much is happening and so much is possible. That was how we felt after recently chatting with Robin Ward, chief housing officer for the Municipality of Anchorage. We talked about the projects and incentives being used to help a maturing Anchorage, with limited resources, address its lack of affordable housing with smart growth for our changing demographics. With many needs vying for limited resources, the chief housing officer is tasked with channeling these resources into useful solutions.​


Buying or Selling a Home? Here's what Anchorage's flat real estate market means for you

July 20, 2017


Anchorage's real estate market is flat, with prices remaining the steady over the last year, even as inventory has dropped. But those facts alone don't really tell the whole story. What they mean to you will differ depending on whether you are buying or selling real estate​. 


Take care of these house maintenance items before you head out for this summer's adventures

June 15, 2017


Summers are why some Alaskans tolerate the winters. As the weather warms, the leaves seem to pop and unfurl as you watch. And although you might want to grab fishing and camping gear and head off for a summer adventure, remember to do a few annual maintenance items around the house as well.​



What the rise of big data means for homeowners and homebuyers

May 19, 2017


Most Alaskans enjoy their privacy. We love the lesser-populated spaces and the majestic beauty of remote locations. The respect for privacy is one reason Alaska is one of 14 states that do not disclose the purchase price of a real estate transaction in public tax records. Yet is this sense of privacy just an illusion?​

Energy efficiency improvements bring value to a home now - and when you're ready to sell it

April 20, 2017


Sometimes, make home improvements and repairs can make owners feel like they are spending money without getting anything back.

However, if you were one of the thousands of Anchorage homeowners who participated in the Alaska Home Energy Rebate program, home improvements have extra value.

Buying a house that may have been flipped? Here's how to avoid costly mistakes

March 25, 2017


Here's what you should consider. 

New Year's resolutions abound with the best intentions. However, sometimes you don't know where to start. If one of your 2017 goals is to buy either a new-construction or a pre-owned house, or to remodel or update your current home, we suggest getting a good handle on the cost of each option before moving forward.

Here's what is behind the surge of "Coming Soon" signs in Alaska real estate 

February 25, 2017


Here's what you should consider. 

New Year's resolutions abound with the best intentions. However, sometimes you don't know where to start. If one of your 2017 goals is to buy either a new-construction or a pre-owned house, or to remodel or update your current home, we suggest getting a good handle on the cost of each option before moving forward.

Did your New Year's resolution include buying, selling or remodeling a home?

January 21, 2017


Here's what you should consider. 

New Year's resolutions abound with the best intentions. However, sometimes you don't know where to start. If one of your 2017 goals is to buy either a new-construction or a pre-owned house, or to remodel or update your current home, we suggest getting a good handle on the cost of each option before moving forward.

As real estate sales slow for holidays, it's a good time to remember what makes a house a home​

December 16, 2016


Unless you are one of the few people who need to buy or sell a house during the holidays, you tend to forget about the real estate market and think instead about things that are more important. With Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas almost here, let's remember we want to create a home, not just a house.​

Winter's almost here! Here's what you need to do to prepare your home.​

October 22, 2016


Crisp days, cool nights and flocks of geese heading south are reminders to prepare your home for winter. Here are a few checklist items we recommend for this time of year and why.​

Staying in your current home as you age may not be your best option​

September 24, 2016


At some point in life, understanding a Miller Trust could be an important part in your decision to continue owning a home or not. To start, homeownership can be viewed in a circular fashion — like a wheel of life. For many of us, our first home-away-from-home was likely a one-bedroom apartment or community dorm room with a roommate. As we made our way through life, the homes got bigger to accommodate a spouse, kids and toys.​

The McHugh wildfire holds lessons for Anchorage homeowners​

September 3, 2016


The recent McHugh Creek fire was a wake-up call for Anchorage. We've heard for years how a fire could sweep across the Anchorage Hillside and in July we got a sense of the possibility.


This time we were on the lucky side of the "ifs."


In today's real estate market, timing really is everything​

July 23, 2016


The old adage "Timing is everything" is particularly relevant to the real estate market. The timing of a

purchase or sale can increase the chances for a profitable real estate investment. Unfortunately, you often

don't realize the opportunity until the time has passed.

Moving with kids? Here's how to make it the least stressful experience you can​

June 23, 2016


The end of school and the beginning of summer can be an exciting time for kids whose thoughts are of friends and free time. However more people move over the summer than any other time of the year. So when it is time to move, whether across town or across the country, the people we love the most – our children – may not share our enthusiasm.

Here's what you need to know about home inspections



April 17, 2016



A critical step in selling or buying a home is the home inspection.  This is when a qualified home inspector visits to determine if a property has any structural, mechanical, electrical, or code issues.  The resulting report is important in the pending sale.



Despite low oil prices, Anchorage real estate market will be OK



March 19, 2016



Take a deep breath, Anchorage. While you might sense panic in the real estate market, we have been here before. While the names and events that led us here are different, we will survive. Here are a few statistics to help put things in perspective.



How To Understand Home Lighting Systems



February 14, 2016


How often have you been asked by someone outside Alaska, “How do you handle the short hours of daylight in the winter?” If anyone should be knowledgeable about the effects of light, Alaskans should be. However, have we just learned to live with darker days? Could we do better? In our previous column we talked about the technical aspect of lighting our homes. Now let’s talk about the practical use.



What Homeowners Should Know About LEDs



January 17, 2016


Maintaining a home’s value requires a combination of maintenance and updating. Some updates can be cost-prohibitive for the average homeowner until consumers adopt new technology and prices drop. Light-emitting diodes, more commonly known as LEDs, are one of those technologies — prices have dropped 83 percent in the last four years, according to a recent Consumer Reports article. 



Thinking Of Renovating Your Home? Here's What You Should Consider


September 12, 2015


Anchorage folks, many of us are getting older -- and our homes are as well. The average age of housing in Anchorage is 34 years, with 75 percent of homes built between 1960 and 1990 and 15 percent built after 2000. Chances are you are living in one of the 75 percent now.


Interior Painting Makes For A Noticeable Home Improvement


July 19, 2015


We all typically have to do this task sometime during homeownership; whether for a remodel, for maintenance, or in preparation to sell -- painting a home’s interior is all but inevitable. Painting is the most noticeable home improvement because it covers so much surface area. Paint can create a mood, denote a style, and give your home personality. However, the numerous decisions involved in painting can make this improvement feel intimidating.


Upcoming classes help homeowners and real estate pros understand value of energy efficiency


June 21, 2015


It is not often that you are able to look to the future and back to the past as events change around you. This is happening now as the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. pushes forward to show that there is a greater value in energy-efficient housing.


Do tax exemptions create unfair burden?


May 17, 2015


In a recent mayoral debate, the candidates were questioned about tax-exempt properties. They were asked if laws should be changed to do away with property tax exemptions for nonprofits and church property. With state government and local agencies struggling with budget deficits, the real question might have been: “Am I paying more than my fair share of taxes?”

April 18, 2015


Most people believe they have their homes and rental properties adequately insured against unforeseen disasters. The policy gaps are evident only when a problem occurs. Then you find out what is not covered.

March 16, 2015


For some homeowners, the most difficult space to find in a home is storage space. As your clutter grows, you may think you need a larger home with more storage space. But maybe not. Instead, think organization. With spring just around the corner, here are a couple of tips we have learned over the years to manage and organize the overflow of stuff.

February 16, 2015


Looking at new homes just completed or still under construction can be fun and informative. It’s like looking at the latest models at a new-car show. The builder/car manufacturer hopes to encourage you to fall in love with the newest design. However with a home, consider the differences between buying new or “pre-owned.”

January 19, 2015


Imagine if the grocery store offered two bags of groceries at $30 each. Which one would you choose? Chances are you’d want to know what was inside each before making a decision.

November 17, 2014


You’ve found a home, the home inspection is done, and you’ve submitted duplicates of the lender- required documentation. Now your loan is approved and everything ready to go to the title company to sign the closing documents. One of the questions during the loan process that you will be asked is, “How do you want to take title?” This question deserves more thought than...

October 20, 2014


This summer, transferring real estate between parties just got a little easier under the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (Alaska Statute 13.48) with Transfer on Death Deeds.

September 15, 2014


Updates to Alaska landlord-tenant laws go into effect Sept. 15, 2014, with changes to rules governing pets, water service, PFD garnishment and other matters affecting property owners and renters.

August 24, 2014


Most new homeowners and prospective buyers assume a home has good water quality since previous homeowners drank the water. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and occupants are not aware until a health problem occurs.

July 20, 2014


So how is the market? At midway through the selling season, now is a good time to take the pulse of the Anchorage real estate market. Are we doing better than last year? Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? Are property values going up? Well, this all depends. For a general perspective, let’s look at location and price range.

June 15, 2014


Real estate professionals and buyers are constantly asking the same thing in today's market: "Do you know of anything new coming on the market?"


May 18, 2014


When budgeting for expensive home-related items, replacing the roof or furnace may be the first things you think about. However, many Anchorage residents need to remember another expensive home necessity to include in their rainy day fund. About 20,000 Anchorage residents depend on home sewage systems and should budget for replacing failed septic tanks.

April 20, 2014


A home is so much more than just a structure. What you do and say in your home speaks volumes to your children. Our childhood memories are about more than the size of our parents' house but what went on inside. More importantly, we need to realize that memories are created with active participation. A recent presentation from local charities reminded us that charities...

March 23, 2014


Life is a series of choices and risks. When you buy a home -- the largest asset most people have -- how do you know your new purchase was built properly? Is the structure safe for your family to live in? What precautions were taken to protect against fire? Can this home withstand an earthquake, high winds or a flood? If remodeled, was work completed to code...

February 23, 2014


Buying a home is a similar to playing a game of chess. Thinking ahead -- past the initial moves of acquiring a property to the next step of maintaining it -- pays off. Whether a new or pre-owned home, time and money are needed to win this investment game.

January 26, 2014


No matter what you call the extra space -- mother-in-law apartment, nanny's quarter or Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) -- many homeowners have been confused about whether they could turn a portion of their home into a legal rental unit. However, since January 2014, changes in the Title 21 Land Use Ordinances allow more homeowners to designate...