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Thread: Cost of living up here

  1. #1

    Default Cost of living up here

    Hi folks,

    My wife and I were recently transferred up here (Military and professional) that both work in the community. We have lived all over the country and have really noticed the astronomical cost of living up here. What is really noticeable are the prices of homes.

    We love it up here and really want to retire here, but we are concerned about how far the retirement dollars would go up here. Even modest homes prices seem to really be inflated up here.

    How do people afford housing up here without sacrificing their entire salary or retirement?

  2. #2
    Member upinak's Avatar
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    Anchorage or Fairbanks area?

    Quote Originally Posted by wtrdog1 View Post
    Hi folks,

    My wife and I were recently transferred up here (Military and professional) that both work in the community. We have lived all over the country and have really noticed the astronomical cost of living up here. What is really noticeable are the prices of homes.

    We love it up here and really want to retire here, but we are concerned about how far the retirement dollars would go up here. Even modest homes prices seem to really be inflated up here.

    How do people afford housing up here without sacrificing their entire salary or retirement?
    No amount of education can help those who want to remain permanently ignorant of facts, which includes those whom have been educated.

  3. #3

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    Anchorage area

  4. #4
    Member grcg's Avatar
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    Default Don't live in Anchorage


    ....not that I am biased or anything...

    I suspect that the only place generally more expensive in AK is Juneau....maybe Homer is getting there too.

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    Member upinak's Avatar
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    wtr, you might wanna go to relocating in Alaska thread or the Alaska remote/cabin thread. There is a lot of info there that can be useful to you. Not everyone lives in Anchorage.. and to retire you may have to figure on buying land and building a small cabin.

    Just remember when you die, you aren't bringing anything with you!
    No amount of education can help those who want to remain permanently ignorant of facts, which includes those whom have been educated.

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    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtrdog1 View Post
    Hi folks,

    My wife and I were recently transferred up here (Military and professional) that both work in the community. We have lived all over the country and have really noticed the astronomical cost of living up here. What is really noticeable are the prices of homes.

    We love it up here and really want to retire here, but we are concerned about how far the retirement dollars would go up here. Even modest homes prices seem to really be inflated up here.

    How do people afford housing up here without sacrificing their entire salary or retirement?
    I have wondered that myself. I bought my modest home in Indiana for $45,000.00 3 years ago. 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,000 sq/ft with a 2 car garage and 1/4 acre lot in town: monthly payment for taxes, insurance, principle and interest... $365.00 A co worker here just bought a house in town 800 sq/ft 2 bedroom, 1 bath on a small city lot and no garage for $150,000.00. No way could I afford to stay here and live, no way.
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    $150,000 won't get you anything in Ketchikan. Actually $200,000 wont get you much !!!!

  8. #8
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Buy a house in AK??? are you nuts? who in their right mind would want to live up here? the only way to own a house here is to find one already paid off....


    knock the owner off and assume his identity....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  9. #9
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    Buy a house in AK??? are you nuts? who in their right mind would want to live up here? the only way to own a house here is to find one already paid off....


    knock the owner off and assume his identity....
    Ah ha! Are you the real Soggy?

  10. #10

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by wtrdog1 View Post

    How do people afford housing up here without sacrificing their entire salary or retirement?
    Go for it. Buy the biggest, mostest (not modest) house that you cannot afford. Don't worry about it. BHO has promised to lower the mortgage cost to the level you can pay for at something around 31% of your gross combined salaries. But...you need to hurry, cause there is a rush on the available units, particularly in Anchorage. Some would find humor in this, but it is sound advice.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    Default buying a house

    Who buys a house build it yourself. This involves many stages and years to complete. You you will be considered a true alaskan sooner when folk come over and admire your pink and visquine covered walls. (Note a true alaskan will have a set of antlers and a mounted fish hung before the drywall) Brian

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    One of the worst things that you can do in Alaska is become "house poor". Buying a home that you can qualify for is not always a good thing. When we were looking we qualified for well over 100K more home that we needed or wanted. Until you get here and realize that the income pretty much matches the higher cost of living you will believe that things are outrageous.

    I am a retired E7. I have LOTS of toys.

  13. #13
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Buy before you retire to pay the retirement home.

  14. #14

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    Home buying today is much different than it was six months ago. The govt actually wants to spur the economy by allowing you to own a home that you cannot afford to pay for. Applications for mortgage averaging are now out. Get hold of Alaska Housing and Fannie Mae. They will reduce your mortgage to the level of the lowest possible amount of your gross income. This advice is only good for those currently in default or are willing to get that way. Bottom line, if you want a great big house, you can have one. The very most you will have to pay is 31% of your income. No matter how big the mortgage is. Lots of folks that have bought houses in the past are not aware of this. Lots of folks bought too small of a house and don't qualify.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    31% is too much to me. 15% is better. I can make extra payments at will.

    Remember that you have to maintain, heat, and clean. The less house the more time in the woods.

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    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    31% is too much to me. 15% is better. I can make extra payments at will.

    Remember that you have to maintain, heat, and clean. The less house the more time in the woods.
    Buy some land and put a travel trailer on it. Then you can always build a small cabin at your liesure.
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

  17. #17

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    I'm not talking about some mansion. A modest 3b 2b for a family would suffice. Seems like homes in that price range are going for 300k +(1700sf). C'mon, that is inflated.

    Good fiscal responsibility revolves around the ability to afford a home, one shouldn't have to pool two incomes to make a house payment. If that is the case, then yes, you have bitten off more than you can chew.

    Why are they so high in Anchorage? I don't believe its because things have to be shipped. Other parts of the state have similar homes for much less.

  18. #18
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    31% is too much to me. 15% is better. I can make extra payments at will.

    Remember that you have to maintain, heat, and clean. The less house the more time in the woods.

  19. #19
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    Default have to disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    Until you get here and realize that the income pretty much matches the higher cost of living.
    I don't think that is a universally true statement.

    I have a graduate degree and a good professional job in my field. The two people in this job before me were there for a long time and retired from the position. I make less than $60K a year (and no, that's not net) and it's not easy to support my family of five in what I believe is a middle class fashion. I absolutely cannot afford a decent 3 bedroom family home. Our rent alone is nearly 40% of my income and that's with rent that is considered a screaming good deal in fairbanks.

    Making the choice to live on a single income instead of the now normal two incomes is of course the main reason we aren't doing great financially. Recession??? Heck I've been in recession mode for years...the rest of the country is just now catching up!

    Really though I'm not bad off. I have a job, I can feed my family, I still get to play a little, and in most cases I can pay my bills (although even paying my 20% share of health care costs with kids and a wife is enough to break me).

    I'm not in near as bad of shape as some people out there, I'm just offering up a little different point of view.

    Oh one final thought has to do with a large percentage of homeowners out there, specifically those people that owned a home before the massive housing inflation in the last 10 years. I believe this group of people may not realize how bad it has gotten, because their homes appreciated and then they were able to leverage that new found equity into the next home or into their pocket. Many salaraies have not kept up with that big bump in house prices, so if you don't have a house to sell that appreciated a great deal in the last ten years and you don't have a great salary then it's not so easy to get into the family housing market.

  20. #20
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    Wink Owning a home...

    If I were going to build in Alaska,it would be to live away from it all,but still have road access.When people talk about 250-300,000 for a home, thats nuts.I don't care what you say,that will buy me one heck alot of material and a lot,even in Alaska..This place is about 950 sq ft...475 each floor,daylight bedroom down stairs.Couldn't get a concrete truck up the mt, so had to hand mix all the grout for the concrete block wall foundation and bond beams,bedroom slab was out of a mixer and five gallon buckets.Can heat it with a match...ok maybe two.Nice part, all I pay for a mortgage is taxes(900 a year with the 11 acres)Everything is free and clear.I couldn't even dream of owning a place and paying a 1000 dollar mortgage every month for 30 yrs.I'd rough it and build.GR

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