Shop for Your Mortgage Before Buying an Anchorage Home

Just as you are shopping for a great home with your Anchorage Realtor, shop for a great mortgage. A reputable lender will offer you a competitive rate. With interest rates on a recent climb, real estate experts brace for a seller’s market. Getting a better mortgage rate will help you as a buyer because you have more purchasing power. According to a recent article by, a survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showed nearly half of home buyers did not shop around for a mortgage. Instead, they just dealt with one loan provider. By the time you get to the closing table, you will need to have a lender. Some lenders will lock you in at a specific rate for at least 30 days leading up to the closing, but policies vary from lender to lender.     

Finding that edge

Even just a half a percentage point can mean thousands of dollars in savings, depending how large of a loan you take out. According to, it’s best to shop a variety of big banks, small credit unions and regional banks for the best interest rate. By itemizing your taxes, you can deduct your property taxes when you file so a slightly higher rate may not affect your budget.

Timing the transaction

Experts say the rates offered my mortgage lenders often vary, but they tend to set the rates in the morning. If you receive a quote online in the evening, remember the rate quoted will likely change the next day. The rate disparity could be especially pronounced if you check over a weekend, experts say.

Considering lender fees

When shopping for a mortgage, realize you pay the rate and fees as well as “points.” Without knowing the fees and points involved, your rate quote isnt completely accurate. Some lenders don’t charge points, but do charge higher fixed dollar fees. Part of shopping around involves getting the best scenario when it comes to the rate as well as fees and points.

In addition to a 30-day lock in rate, some lenders agree to 45 or 60-day locks. With mortgage rates expected to go up due to the Fed’s movements, consider shopping for a mortgage in 2015. At Wolf Real Estate, we specialize in homes in Anchorage Alaska. For more tips on finding the most attractive mortgage and help hunting for a home in your price range, please contact us at 248-9653 or visit us online at

Heart Run 5K 2015 – Race Recap

Well, I don’t know where that came from. I even surprised myself with my performance at the Heart Run on Saturday. Somehow I managed to run within 11 seconds of my 5K PR yesterday. I ran 19:31 at the Heart Run on Saturday, and my PR is 19:20, which I set at the Bear Paw 5K during the summer of 2013. I am ecstatic that I am in this great of shape at the beginning …

A Day in the Life – 6 Months

This munchkin is 6 months old today! I love this little guy like no other, and I wish he could stay this small forever. He’s such a happy guy–always smiling and laughing. I love it! I am continuing to recap what our days are life each month, so here’s a look at life with a 6-month old. As with any baby/child, each day is very different: sometimes we stay home all day, other days we’re …

Alaska FAQs: Gray Line Answers Seven Burning Questions About the Last Frontier

What do you think of when you imagine Alaska? Ice? Glaciers? Igloos? Did you know that Alaska has its own sand dunes, and that there are areas of the state that get so warm in the summer you could jump and swim in a lake? Here are some answers to seven common questions about the Last Frontier.

How far away is Alaska?

Of course this would depend on your starting point, but chances are it’s not a day trip. Anchorage, Alaska, is 1,436 miles (three-plus hours) from Seattle, Washington, and 3,365 miles from New York City. Regardless of where your starting point is, you’ll be clocking some serious travel time so plan a day for this on both ends of your trip. Trust us, it’ll be worth it.

How long has Alaska been a part of the United States?

Alaska achieved statehood on Jan. 3, 1959, after spending 47 years in territory status. Upgrade achieved!

How many people live in Alaska?

As of a 2014 census, Alaska’s population is 736,732. Nearly half of Alaska residents live in Anchorage, the state’s largest city. Alaska is the largest state with the lowest population density, which makes for some serious wilderness adventures.

What’s the deal with the midnight sun?

It’s no joke — Alaskans really do have a reason to wear their sunglasses at night. In June, you’ll see the sun rising around 4 a.m. and setting close to midnight in the Anchorage area. Travel farther north to Barrow in Alaska’s North Slope and you’re looking at 24 hours of sunlight!

Will I see the northern lights?

It all depends on when you’re visiting, plus several other factors. Chances are somewhat slim in the summer, which isn’t to say the northern lights take a summer break, but there is simply too much light to see them. If you have a winter vacation in the works, cross your fingers for a clear night and an active solar wind forecast. Aurora activity varies and usually gets stronger the farther north you go. A night in Fairbanks with minimal cloud cover is a recipe for a great light show.

Should I be concerned about bears and moose?

Don’t be concerned, but stay alert and aware! We’re all just sharing one big backyard. Chances are you’ll be perfectly fine if you keep a respectful distance from any wild animal you come across. With that said, a little bear spray never hurts (as long as you don’t mistakenly spray it at your travel companions). Find out more about moose and bear safety here and here.

What should I pack?

Alaska’s motto might be “north to the future,” but sometimes it feels like it should be “prepare for any type of weather.” Travelers should pack for warm sunny days, cold sunny days, cloudy days, rainy days and everything in between. The weather here can be unpredictable, but that’s just part of the fun. Check out our ultimate Alaska packing list and maybe use a few of our packing tips to fit everything in your suitcase. If you forget everything else, remember this word: layers!

We’re sure you have plenty of other questions about Alaska. Feel free to ask us in the comments section, or better yet – book a trip and we’ll tell you in person!

Life Lately

Life lately has been good. . . . really good. I have three jobs that I love (stay-at-home mom, running coach, and working at Skinny Raven Sports), running has been going really well, and the days are warming up. Well, except for this snowfall we had yesterday, but thankfully it all melted today. This always happens this late in the season. . . .always! Running Running has been going really well for me. I ran …

Finding the Time to Run with an Infant

I knew running was going to continue to be an important part of my life with a baby. While I had envisions of how I was going to fit in a daily run, I also knew it was going to be a challenge. But it is something that is really important to me, and I’m a firm believer in the fact if it is important enough, you will make time for it. Cullen and I …

Boston Marathon Edition + 60 Miles

One week until Marathon Monday. If you are running the Boston Marathon, best of luck to you! Enjoy the experience and remember how privileged you are to be there–many people make it their life goal to run in one of the most prestigious races. One of my athletes is running, and I can’t wait to see how she does. Despite some injuries, she did not give up and will run strong. Good luck, Jo! I’ve …

Five New Tips to Make the Most of Your Smartphone Photography


Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns

Today’s smartphone cameras are not what they used to be; they’re so much better! The photo quality has improved so greatly that many people are ditching their point-and-shoot cameras altogether, opting for the ease of a multi-purpose smartphone. We are all about finding ways to simplify, especially when on the road exploring the 49th state. Make sure you have plenty of storage available on your phone and use these tips to take incredible photos.

1. Download a fun photo-editing app. Whether you‘re looking for more filter options than the ubiquitous choices on Instagram or you’d just like to make … Read More →

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