Archive for the 'Wasilla Real Estate News' Category

Palmer Alaska Website May 23rd, 2009

Categories: Wasilla Real Estate News

Palmer Alaska

We are starting a website about Palmer... PalmerAlaska.net.

It seems that Wasilla is getting plenty of glory these days thanks to Governor Palin, but Palmer is is a nice town too.

My daughter Tamara is doing most of the writing but we are open to guest authors as well. If you would like to write about a Palmer business, or a place, or an article on Palmer’s history just send the article to [email protected]

We would be happy to post your article about your business or anything else Palmeranian. Of course, we want to retain editorial rights to censor objectionable material, but we are pretty open. We would be ecstatic if this became a community website for Palmer, but even if it isn’t that, we will continue to write about how great Palmer is.

Take a look… PalmerAlaska.net.

Written by Marty Van Diest

Supply and Demand in Palmer and Wasilla May 22nd, 2009

Categories: Wasilla Real Estate News

Date Active Pending
5/21/2006 761 296
5/20/2007 741 184
5/20/2008 640 201
5/20/2009 656 209

Tim Vereide of Prudential Vista in Wasilla gave me a copy of his statistics comparing active listings to pending listings. He has been keeping track of single family pendings/actives every month for four years.

Pending listings are properties that were for sale and are currently under contract with a buyer. Active listings are properties still on the market and looking for a buyer. Looking at the amount of pending listings compared to the amount of active listings gives one a snapshot look at the current market demand.

This is not easy data to find.. It has to be recorded by someone at the time and kept for future comparison. Thankfully, Tim has been doing that and this month marks the fourth year.

Although Tim gave me 37 months worth of data, the chart shows just four months. The month of May for each year since 2006.

This data is for the borough map areas of PA, WA, HO, and OC. To view these map areas go to the Mat-Su Borough Website. You may have to download a special viewer to view the maps. The map areas for Tim’s statistics are the core area of the borough where more than 80% of the population lives.


Reminder :

I just sent out the deals of the week. Sign up to get on the list.

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by, and to, the subscribers of Alaska Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (AK MLS, Inc.) and the Valley Board of Real Estate. AK MLS, Inc. and Valley Board of Real Estate do not guarantee nor are they in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by AK MLS, Inc. and Valley Board of Real Estate are for their own use and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Written by Marty Van Diest

In-Pipe Technology, The Answer To Our Sewer Problems? May 20th, 2009

Categories: Wasilla Real Estate News

In-Pipe Doserr I just attended a noon lunch meeting with the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce. They have a special speaker each week…two weeks ago it was on Green Infrastructure. This week was on digestion.

Actually Norman Kroening talked about In-Pipe Technology for sewer systems. At first it sounded like a pretty boring speech about an inappropriate lunch subject, but the luncheon became more satisfactory as the speech went on.

In-Pipe Technology has the potential to revolutionize sewer and septic systems in this state if it really works. Right now, home owners with septic systems—read… almost everyone in the borough on more than one acre of land—have to pump their septic systems every year or two. If they don’t pump it, sludge will build up and eventually plug the leach field causing the house to flood with sewer water. And we know that’s everyone’s idea of a fun time.

According to Mr. Kroening by this fall In-Pipe technology will have a doser available similar to the one in the photo above that can be installed in a house that will continuously pump beneficial microbes into a septic system that will cause it to turn that sludge into clear liquid. That liquid will easily leach into the ground.

It should cost around $300 up front and maybe $200 or so per year to keep working.

No more pumping, no more rebuilding septic systems, no more cleaning smelly basements….hopefully. I’ll keep looking into this and write an update as I find out more about it.

Written by Marty Van Diest

Mat-Su Assembly Tightens The Budget May 14th, 2009

Categories: Wasilla Real Estate News

Matanuska Borough Assembly

I had to sit out of the Board of Equlization Meeting for awhile last night so I stepped into the Borough Assembly Meeting to watch the proceedings. They were working on the budget. The assembly is made up of seven members plus the mayor.

It was obvious that they were trying to hold the line on the budget. In fact, when I walked out at 10PM the mill rate stood at 9.980. It would likely change a little but it appeared that their target was to keep the area wide mill rate below 10 mills. Ten is one percent of property value. So a $100,000 property would be taxed $1,000 a year. The overall mill rate is higher than that because road service taxes and a few others are added on top of that. Most people had a total mill rate last year of just under 14 mills.

The assembly was still at it when I left at 10PM but had just passed the education portion of the budget. Education is by far the largest chunk of the budget. In fact, close to 80% of the property taxes paid by homeowners funds education. They agreed to give the school district just over $45 million dollars which is about $10 million less than the school board wanted. Frustration was heard about how the school district lobbies the public for money. They are always talking about cutting teachers, sports programs and other popular programs. The school district never uses the hollow threat of cutting the myriad of employees in the head shed.

When they assembly is working to hold the line on spending it is easier to see each assembly members priorities.

They were debating items as small as $200. Michelle Church moved to increase the budget by $1,000 to so that the borough could join the Renewable Energy Alaska Project. This is an organization directed by Palmer resident Chris Rose whose mission is to advocate for renewable energy in Alaska. The motion passed unanamously.

One of the more contentious motions was one made by Robert Wells. He moved to decrease the amount of money in the budget for the Farm Land Trust from $300,000 to $100,000. The Farm Land Trust is money to preserve farm land in the borough. He said the best way to preserve farm land is not to buy the land or the development rights to the land but for people to put a higher value on the produce from the land. He said that if the market is there for the produce, the land will be farmed. If the market is not good enough for the farmers to make a decent living off their land, it will be developed.

Michelle Church, Pete Houston and Deputy Mayor Wood argued to keep the money to preserve the farm land. Robert Wells said “the borough currently owns over 300,000 acres of land, we should be talking about selling some of it, not buying more”. His motion passed by 4-3.

There was plenty said at this meeting that concerns me as a tax payer. There were also some encouraging things that came out. Sometimes the same mouth both encouraged me and discouraged me. For example, although Tom Kluberton voted with the majority to hold the line on the Farm Land Trust budget, he said that you could preserve the farm land “with a stroke of the pen” by zoning the land agricultural. Then the farmers could not develop the land but only farm it. There was seemingly no concern at all about the millions of dollars of wealth that would be taken from the private land owners in the borough with that “stroke of the pen”. He spoke with approval about his visit to Malheur County in Oregon where many areas are zoned so that you need 320 acres in order to build one residential home. That certainly helps to reduce development. He didn’t mention that Malheur County currently has a decreasing population. Apparently, for some reason, people are leaving the area. I wonder if it has anything to do with that zoning?

It is apparent that more restictions will be forthcoming from this assembly, the mayoral election in June is important. Better show up at the mayoral forum tonight.

Written by Marty Van Diest

Mat-Su Borough Mayor Forum Today, May 14, 2009 May 13th, 2009

Categories: Wasilla Real Estate News

Mat-Su Mayor Candidate Forum

A Mat-Su Borough Mayoral Candidate Forum on Thursday May 14 is open to the public. There will be a question and answer time during the session.

A special election to replace Mayor Curt Menard who recently passed away is scheduled for June 9, 2009. The candidates for this election are: Talis Colberg, Butch Fondahn, Steve Menard, Frank Shor, David Straub, and Bruce Walden.

The forum is at 7 PM in Sophia’s Cafe Neo across from the ATT Sports Center at 7331 Palmer-Wasilla Highway. I would urge anyone interested in the future of the Mat-Su Valley to attend.

The forum is sponsored by the District 13 Republicans.

Written by Marty Van Diest

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