Buying or renting in Anchorage? Here's what to consider
A new study suggests it's cheaper to buy than rent in Anchorage — by about a hundred dollars a month. But before you trade your rent payment for a monthly mortgage sum, local realtors say there's more to consider.
"If you're not planning on being here for five years, you're going to have a hard time paying down principal," said Savanna Wiita of Re/Max Dynamic Properties. "You don't want to cut a check at closing to sell your house."
Additionally, realtor Dan Wolf advises Alaskans to carefully consider their financial situation — beyond whether they can afford the monthly mortgage payment.
According to GOBankingRates, the average monthly rent payment in Anchorage is $1,817, compared to an average monthly mortgage payment of $1,708.
"If you put every penny you earned into your down payment, you may not have the funds to fix any issues that may arise," Wolf notes in a 2013 article on the topic.
Another factor to consider — interest rates on home loans, which are now at a near-historic low. According to Mortgage Watch, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged about 3.82% during the week of July 13.
"If you have a good credit score and you have job stability, [it] could be a really good choice for you," said Wiita.
If you're on the fence, both Wiita and Wolf recommend talking with lenders to explore more personalized options based on your credit. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has a list of preferred lenders.
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