House Hunting by Proxy

By , March 24, 2010

Wouldn’t you love to house hunt just for the fun of it, without all the suspense and uncertainty, or the burden of needing to find The Right House for you and your family? Last week, we got an opportunity to do just that. This is why we were up the valley, watching swans. We spent the day looking at houses for loved ones who are looking at housing opportunities in our area.

Our guide was the local Realtor who showed and helped us buy the homestead. She’s also a fellow graduate from Michelle’s and my college. We hadn’t seen her for a while, so the day was a combination of friends’ outing and house snoop.

We haven’t had a lot of of house hunting experience. We bought our first house after a prolonged viewing process back in 1993, when Aly was a newborn. The only other “house hunting” we did was to come see the homestead originally. We found that the responsibility of looking at houses for other people pales in comparison to looking at houses for one’s self. We were much more relaxed, and had a lot more fun than the last time we did this. The game of “what if” lacked the high stakes it normally implies.

We only saw three homes, all very nice, each in their own way. There’s a fair amount of good real estate in Haines. It was fun to get to peak inside a few houses that we’ve seen in passing, and wondered what they looked like inside. It gave me a lot of satisfaction, though, to view these nice properties, but still feel no twinge of regret to leave them and return to our homestead.

4 Responses to “House Hunting by Proxy”

  1. Paula says:

    Good morning. I love your blog and read it everyday. I am facinated by ANYTHING Alaska. I have never been but (literally) dream about going. I have looked at different web sites about Alaska real estate and the prices are way way out of my league. I know there must be vacant land there that won’t cost you half a million dollars (or more) but it is just a matter of finding the right realtor to help you find it. I realize most are out for the big commissions, but not everyone has that kind of money. Do you have any advise for finding a web site or a realtor that is a little less self serving and actually interested in helping someone?

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi Paula,

    Thanks for commenting on the blog! It helps to know that people are interested in what I choose to ramble about.

    The housing bubble has not really burst in Alaska–it seems everything’s holding its value well. But, there really ARE Realtors like the one you describe. I probably shouldn’t “expose” her here, so let me know if you’d like me to send your email to her, and I will. She’s a Realtor on the side, and has a great, genuine concern for matching people with homes, rather than matching clients with houses–that makes all the difference in the world!

  3. Paula says:

    Thank you so much. If you wouldn’t mind forwarding my e-mail that would be great. I’m not looking to buy something tomorrow or anything like that, but if a good deal in the right location comes around I would really be interested. I feel kind of stupid looking for land in a place I’ve never seen (except in pictures), but I hope that one of these days I will be able to visit or even move there. There are a couple of issues that must be overcome before that can happen. My version of a perfect life: no debt, living off the land, no debt, candle light or lanters, no debt, living in beautiful surroundings, no debt, getting out of this rat-race, growing a big garden, nice, warm wood heat, etc etc etc. My husbands idea of a perfect life: lots of hot water for 2 or 3 30 minute showers a day, tv for basketball games, golf, mma cage fighting or whatever, lights that come on when you flip a switch….you catch my drift. Modern 100%. Maybe one of these days everything will line up just right and I can escape this place and really live. Thank you so much for showing me the view from your little paradise.

  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    Gosh, Paula . . . good luck with your coming divorce! Seriously, if both partners aren’t on the same page, this lifestyle is more than likely impossible. That’s not to say that you can’t both have all those things on a homestead, it just takes a lot of commitment. Best of luck to you in this! I’ll pass your email to my friend.

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