Juneau, AK Real Estate News

By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
Recently I read another blog on Active Rain that inspired this post.  Scott Daniels in Florida wrote http://activerain.com/blogsview/301871/Sorry-we-re-Realtors .  In his blog, he wrote about the "clients" who call REALTORS° thinking it's an easy way to get a free tour of a place they visit.Being in Juneau, Alaska, I've got an idea of what he's talking about.  Juneau is only about 30,000 people, yet we get over one million visitors over the summer.  The majority of these visitors come by cruise ship.  We will have as many as five LARGE cruise ships in our port in a single day.  It's a little overwhelming, and I really don't go downtown often during the summer, at least not unless I have to.The "Buyer off the Ship" (BS) is a standing joke.  We get daily calls like this.  Sometimes, knowi...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
When I'm not selling real estate or out fishing, you can be sure I'm in the kitchen making something.  I love to cook, especially for a crowd.  My home was designed around my large kitchen.  All my real estate clients know that just before Christmas they will receive a delivery of homemade goodies.  The first year, it was easy.  Including friends and family there were less than 50 deliveries.  These days it is close to 200.The first year, the packages included peanut brittle, sugar cookies, gingerbread men, peanut blossom cookies, cashew/caramel/chocalate chews, mocha truffles, homemade jam and I think at least a few other things.  As my career took hold, the number of deliveries increased and the number of items in the bags gradually diminished.  This year, I'm hoping to pare it down t...
Comments 6
In Parts One, Two and Three, I gave the background to this story of exceptional customer service.There are quite a few dentists in my community, but plenty of business to go around.  Somehow I'd found this magical man who was able to work on my teeth.  I was no longer afraid of him.  I'm still afraid of the needle, but we found a way to work around that.  Now I'm all caught up on the dental work, and still get cleanings four times a year.  The sensitivity is gone thanks to additional fluoride and other treatments I can do at home.  We are now even talking cosmetic work!Believe it or not, I once let him work on a tooth with no anesthetic.  I just couldn't stop long enough to take a day off so I just let him fix the tooth.  That would have never happened before!So, it's time to wrap this ...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
In Part One and Part Two, I set the stage for how I feel my dentist taught me the basics of customer service.After our long discussion in his regular office, sitting at his desk instead of in the torture chamber, my dentist and I come up with a plan.  First order of business is a long overdue cleaning.  He asks me if I am scared of that part.  I'm not.  In fact, I find that most hygienists are very conscientious and try to be pleasant and careful.  We schedule the cleaning, x-rays and such for just a few days away.The hygienist has concerns once she's cleaning.  My teeth are extremely sensitive, and she uses warm water for the rinses (nice, much better than cold!)  After a very long cleaning session and a full set of x-rays, I sit and wait for the dentist to come see me.While I am waiti...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
In Part One, I explained how I ended up learning more about dentists and their relationship with their employees.  It was surprising to see how certain dentists had no trouble attracting and retaining the best hygienists and dental assistants.  I'd never thought about shopping for a dentist this way.At first I wasn't going to bore everyone with my scary dentist stories, but since decided that in order to give us all a place to vent, perhaps I should give the short version.  There seems to be an entire generation of Americans that had mean dentists.Slapping children that cried was pretty common.  Pinching one cheek, while putting the Novocain in the other side of the mouth was a standard practice.  Physical restraints were used on the patient during a procedure, when the area to be worke...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
I have an exceptional dentist.  I don't even like dentists, but I like him.  He is kind and gentle and he truly cares.  He's also a gardener and people who dig in the dirt are generally just good people.  I will even cross the street to say hello to him.  Everybody seems to love him.  I'm going to have a tough time when he retires.  There's nobody like him.  A little background is necessary here.  I am not going to go into gory details about my horrible dentist history but I will say it is bad.  I had several terrible experiences with dentists and in their offices and even on the way to appointments.  It's enough to make someone not want to ever see a dentist again.  Because I care about you and your pearly whites, I will spare you!Several years ago I had a client looking to relocate to...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
Recently I read a comment someone else made on a blog that really rubbed me the wrong way.  (Usually when that happens, it's time to let it out in my own blog.)  Basically a "friend" was expecting this person to list and sell their home for NO commission.  After all, they were friends.Friends don't ask friends to work for free.When I was a child, my father had a wrecking yard and towing business.  My father was a good-hearted man and would have probably done a lot for free if my mother hadn't intervened.  Fortunately, she was the one who took care of the books and the billings.  Over the years, I've heard my mother tell the story many times (as older people do - yes it's not just your family - they all do it).  When approached, my mother would simply say "If you were truly his friend, y...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
Our market has changed and some newer agents are having a tough time adjusting.  Less than two years ago, we were all scratching for listings and now it seems they are coming in faster than we can build ads and web pages.  The number of buyer calls has decreased dramatically over the last few months.  All the bad press hasn't helped!   My personal opinion is that things aren't as bad as the media would lead us all to believe.  After all, good news doesn't sell newspapers.  Juneau is healthy.  There's a very low unemployment rate and salaries are likely to increase as businesses scramble to retain good employees.  The mines are employing lots of new professionals that relocate to Juneau and we seem to be starting to move in the right direction for them to be fully operational.  There are...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
We enjoy a healthy economy in our little city.  Just a little background...Juneau's population is approximately 30,000 - give or take several hundred.  Juneau is right on the ocean.  We are surrounded by 3,000 foot mountains so the community is built in little fringes along the coast and into several small and two medium sized valleys.  This area was completely covered by ice several hundred years ago.  We are now surrounded by Sitka Spruce, Hemlock and alder trees.  We have less than 100 miles of two lane paved road and only about 10 miles of four lane road.  You cannot drive to here.  Everything comes in by boat or plane.  Everything leaves by boat or plane!According to the McDowell Group, a local statistics and consulting firm, we've lost several hundred people over the last five yea...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
I've had someone asking me questions, by email only, about land in my area.  Building lots can be hard to come by and of course there are so many questions... covenants, where are the lot lines, etc.This person has only dealt with me by email.  We've probably had six to ten emails back and forth over the last few days.  The latest one took a little longer to answer:Debbie,Thanks again for being so fast to reply!  I tried to drive out there to check out the lot by *** I was going that way anyways, but is it at a mile marker or marked in any other way?Also, I have a friend who is a realtor, can he take me out to look at it, or do i need to go through someone in particular?  I am a bit green on all the realtor stuff, when I was looking at property years ago, things worked a lot different!....
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
For the last several days, I've tried to write this post.  I wanted it to be effective, persuasive and perfectly written.  I'm still not thinking straight but I've just got to do something.Earlier this week, a 17 year-old in Juneau committed suicide.This was the fourth teenage suicide in about a year.  Our town is only about 30,000 people.How many others tried?  How many more have to die before people start to talk about this?I just don't understand taking a temporary problem and giving it a permanent solution.My heart breaks for the families and friends left behind.  The kids themselves are getting numb.This has got to stop.  Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teens and is quickly moving towards #2.       Recognize the Signs Of Depression and Possible Suicide RiskTalking A...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
Most people who know me are aware that I'm not available for work this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  For those of you who don't, I'm out fishing, but nothing for the freezer or the grill.  I'll be giving every fish away.The Golden North Salmon Derby has been around a lot longer than I have.  This will be the 61st year.  This event started in 1947.Territorial Sportsmen runs the derby as a fundraiser to offer scholarships to Juneau students.  In fact, over 1.2 MILLION dollars to over 200 students in scholarships have been awarded.This year, I was chair of the prize committee.  That was my punishment for winning the derby in 2005.  Generous local businesses have donated over $87,000 in prizes this year!  In addition, there are tagged fish worth $1,000 to $100,000.  There are a lot of speci...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
View a Fact Sheet for a race, ethnic, or ancestry group Reference MapCensus 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights:General Characteristics - show more >>NumberPercentU.S.  Total population30,711  mapbriefMale15,46950.449.1%mapbriefFemale15,24249.650.9%mapbriefMedian age (years)35.3(X)35.3mapbriefUnder 5 years2,0036.56.8%map 18 years and over22,29472.674.3%  65 years and over1,8686.112.4%mapbriefOne race28,59093.197.6%  White22,96974.875.1%mapbriefBlack or African American2480.812.3%mapbriefAmerican Indian and Alaska Native3,49611.40.9%mapbriefAsian1,4384.73.6%mapbriefNative Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1160.40.1%mapbriefSome other race3231.15.5%map Two or more races2,1216.92.4%mapbriefHispanic or Latino (of any race)1,0403.412.5%mapbriefHousehold population30,03397.897.2%mapbriefGrou...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
 About a week or so ago, I was in Haines.  I heard about a humpback whale mamma and her calf spending a lot of time near the harbor.  Oh, how I wish I could have been there for this!  Notice the whale watching boat.  I hear they never left the dock, telling the passengers it wasn't getting any better than this!Then, a few days ago, my husband sent me this link.  Jay is a friend of ours who takes excellent still shots, in fact I keep several of his photos on my computer.  My favorite is of our boat.  Anyway, Jay is a charter boat captain and had quite the fishing trip.  If profanity offends you, turn off your speakers.  If you've ever caught a really nice fish, though, you'll understand why!http://vector.xyxx.com/~contortion/fish/Jays%20Orca-Salmon.mpgOh, how I love Alaska in the summer!...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
A few weeks ago, I was definitely unsettled.  My oldest son graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School and while I was happy for him, I was a little down in the dumps because this was the end of a chapter.  I've since tried to embrace that it's the beginning of another, and I'm getting there!  Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful words and concern as I poured out my heart to the world.Part of the healing through this was spending my son's 18th birthday with him at this special property.  The sellers kept asking if I'd made time to go visit, and it was finally warm enough to really enjoy.  Samson turned 18 on Memorial Day.  After getting permission from the sellers to camp on the property, we loaded up the little boat with all the gear and enough food for an army.The boat ride from A...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
May 10, 2007Right now there are 91 single-family homes on the MLS in Juneau, ranging in price from $185,000 - $1,400,000.  The average asking price is $383,382.  The median is $345,000<250,000 - 11 listings<300,000 - 13 listings<350,000 - 26 listings<400,000 - 13 listings<450,000 - 12 listings<500,000 - 4 listings<600,000 - 6 listings>600,000 - 6 listingsThere are currently 33 listings under contract, meaning they have an accepted offer and are heading to closing.  They range in price from $135,000 - 650,000.  The average asking price is $370,207 and the median asking price is $357,000.At this time there is about a three-month supply of homes on the market - or at least that's how these numbers appear, but with seasonal adjustments, I'd call it five.  National statistics indicate that a...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
With an average single-family home running over $375,000 (Median just under $350,000) in Juneau, it is a common decision to pursue the condominium as an "affordable housing option".  As of April 29, 2007 there are 33 condominiums available in the Juneau area ranging in price from $107,000 - 293,635.  Thirteen of those units are new construction divided almost equally between two developments.< 150,000 - 7 Units (4 Single Bedroom, 3 Two bedroom)< 200,000 - 7 Units (All Two Bedroom)> 200,000 - 19 Units (10 Two Bedroom, 9 Three Bedroom)At first glance that doesn't appear to be too bad.  Until we look at HOA dues!  These range from $223 - 400 per month.  I've heard some in Juneau are pushing $500.  It is vitally important to look at what is included.  Granted, many times heat and hot water ...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
The sky is not falling!  The Juneau real estate market is NOT crashing.Right now there are 76 single family homes on the MLS in Juneau.  That is a LOT for this market.  Most of 2006 there were only about 35 single family homes available at any given time.  Everywhere you look there are "For Sale" signs.  It makes a person wonder.What I've noticed is a noticeable lack of "FSBO" signs.  There are a few, but not like what we saw during 2005 and 2006.  Sellers didn't even want to talk to a real estate professional.  Most agents were begging for listings.  In the seller's eyes, they didn't need us.  Maybe a small percentage managed just fine on their own, but in my talks with appraisers and title officers, it wasn't always smooth sailing.  Many deals had problems... the kind a real estate pr...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
    Elfin Cove 58.11North 136.20 WestElfin Cove lies on the northern shore of Chichagof Island, 33 miles west of Hoonah and 85 miles west of Juneau.  It is tucked into a safe harbor on the northern corner of Chichagof Island.  Only a few miles off the Gulf of Alaska, it offers spectacular fishing of safe inside waters, or a short boat ride to the open ocean where the really big fish live.  Halibut over 100 pounds are caught all season, and occasionally well over 300 pound trophy fish are brought in by lucky anglers.  These large fish are the breeding stock, so limits are strictly enforced.  (Most locals prefer to keep fish in the 35-80 pound range for that reason.)  King (Chinook) and Silver (Coho) are abundant as well.The community, built mostly around the inner harbor, has no streets,...
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By Debbie White, I Sell Alaska!
(Southeast Alaska Real Estate)
Angoon -   57.30N - 134.35WThe Tlingit word for Angoon means "Town on the Portage" or "Isthmus Town".Angoon is the only permanent settlement on Admiralty Island.  It is a traditional Tlingit community, located on the southwest side at Kootzhahoo Inlet, west of Mitchell Bay, facing Chatham Straight.  It is approximately 60 miles southwest of Juneau, nestled in a scenic area of islands, narrow channels, estuaries and lagoons.  It is only accessible by float plane or boat.  High winds can delay access at any time of the year, but particularly in winter.  Scheduled and charter float plane services are available.  There is also a deep draft dock, small boat harbor, and a State owned ferry terminal.  Generally there is monthly barge service available as well.Admiralty Island National Monumen...
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