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Cruising Alaska for a different view on real estate

By Staff | Nov 21, 2013

Laurie and Mac Lowson up close to a glacier.

From the Realtors Association of Maui website statistics: “Inventory down, Sales up, Prices rising… Monthly numbers take seasonal ‘breather’ after Winter-Spring rush.

“Maui Statistics Overview: October’s Sales Unit Volume – Residential sales declined slightly to 81 homes sold while Condominium sales declined to 102 units sold. Land sales came in at 23 lots sold.

“October’s Median SALES prices – The Residential home median price rose to $545,000, while the Condo median price was $360,000. Land median price came in at $370,000. Year-to-Date prices are rising.

“The window of opportunity is quickly closing for first-time home buyers. Inventories have declined over the past 24 months in Residential and Condo classes. REO (Foreclosures) and Short Sales are dwindling, with any ‘hidden inventory’ backlog slowly trickling onto the market. Mortgage Interest Rates are inching up slightly, which may help motivate would-be Buyers to go ahead and buy if they can qualify.”

In early September, Mac and I decided to visit Alaska, the 49th state, and look at very different real estate. We took an eight-day Un-Cruise Adventure from Ketchikan to Juneau. Amazing sunsets, open vistas, glaciers, cool weather and varied wildlife greeted us. Our cruise director was a graduate of Lahainaluna High School. She arranged various daily excursions, including kayaking, hiking, bushwhacking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding and scurfing.

Early one evening, the PA system came on and announced the “big pool is open!” About 25 of us jumped off the ship in to the brisk Alaskan waters. Dual hot tubs warmed us after our “polar bear” dips. Watching humpback whales up close dine on krill was something we do not see when our winter whale visitors are off the shores of Maui.

Needless to say, we were well-fed with three square meals a days as well as the occasional snacks. The “Wilderness Discoverer” was small and able to navigate into tight spaces and close to land.

We visited Petersburg, Alaska, which according to our guide, has the highest real estate values per capita. Juneau, the capital of Alaska, thrives on tourism. We literally watched the streets roll up as the large cruise ships boarded for their 3 p.m. Saturday departures. Our planes were filled with people who had been fishing in the bountiful waters off of Alaska. They had many more pounds of luggage (frozen fish) than when they arrived.

Thinking of buying or selling on Maui? Please feel free to search the web at www.Lowson.com, e-mail me at Laurie@Lowson.com or call (808) 276-8001.