Alaska - Real Estate
Move to Alaska
Despite being father north and a little harder to move your boxes there, Alaska welcomes new residents with breathtaking natural beauty, which creates a unique landscape to call home. Alaska's beauty and vast wilderness areas are among its greatest treasures. Alaska's parks and monuments offer extensive recreational possibilities totaling almost 3.2 million acres of land and water. The state is characterized by a vast and unspoiled natural beauty, extreme and varied climate zones and a rich culture influenced by Native tribes. Nature lovers and outdoor-sport enthusiasts are right at home here, especially during the summer. Long hours of sunlight and temperatures in the 70s and 80s in the most populated areas make for pleasant living from late spring to early fall. Come winter, the temperatures drop well below zero and sunlight is scarce; however, the spirited residents know how to handle the winter weather with a smile and make the most of the recreational offerings to be enjoyed in the snow.
Alaska's population is concentrated in a handful of major cities. What may be most surprising about life in these areas is how similar it is to bustling cities in the lower 48 states. Most Alaskans live in modern homes, drive cars and shop in modern stores. The larger communities such as Anchorage, Fairbanks and the capitol of Juneau have fast-food restaurants, theaters, recreation facilities and modern health care. Art galleries, museums, concerts, live theater and a statewide university system also contribute to an excellent quality of life.
Although Alaska is not the most affordable place to live, there are many metro areas elsewhere in the United States where the cost of living is just as high. The arrival of discount and chain stores such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Barnes & Noble has brought Alaska's consumer prices closer to the rest of the nation. Housing costs have remained high. The average sales price of condominiums is roughly $180,000. Additionally, the statewide average sales price of a detached, single-family home nears $260,000 and Anchorage's homes rank even higher at $300,000. Alaska's three major cities-Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage-rank among the country's 10 most expensive cities to live in. Balancing out some of the higher expenses, income in Alaska is above the national average. Additionally, the government gives its residents a break with Alaska being one of only six states with no state sales tax and one of seven states that do not levy an individual income tax. Property taxes are also relatively low, with only 25 of 161 incorporated municipalities or boroughs in the state assessing property taxes.
Alaska's economy relies heavily on petroleum extraction, with more than 80 percent of the state's revenues derived from this industry. Alaska's main export product (excluding oil and natural gas) is seafood, primarily salmon, cod, pollock and crab. The state's largest private employers include Providence Alaska Medical Center, Safeway Stores/Carrs, Wal-Mart/Sam's Club, Fred Meyer and Alaska Airlines.
The climate of Alaska, as would be expected given its location, is cold compared to the climate of the other 49 states; however, there is a great variety in the climate between the various regions, which one would also expect from a state as large as Alaska. The climate is somewhat milder in South Central Alaska as well. Anchorage gets a lot of snow, about 70 inches annually, but also sees more sunshine than other parts of the state.
To learn more about specific communities in Alaska, request a Free Relocation Packet prepared by a HomeRoute Preferred local community expert. This exclusive guide will be customized to your specific home search and help you prepare for your upcoming move to Alaska.
Information provided courtesy of HomeRoute.