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During a time when lack of housing inventory is driving demand and prices through the roof (no pun intended), why is now the time to buy and more specifically, why is now the time to buy using an AHFC loan? First and foremost, we keep our business in Alaska. Our loans are originated and serviced in state, and we provide loan programs that fit most urban and rural Alaskan homebuyer needs.

Aside from being based in Alaska, AHFC has competitive, low interest rates that you don’t have to jump through hoops to take advantage of. Our loans are assumable so when interest rates rise, your loan can be assumed by a buyer at the lower interest rate the home was originally purchased with. Whether you’re  looking to buy, build or renovate a home in Alaska, AHFC is here to work you through the process!

Bryan Butcher
CEO/Executive Director

Misconceptions about AHFC: Part I

*Misconception:  AHFC only finances first-time homebuyers.
*Fact:  AHFC can finance residential loans for all qualified Alaskans, as well as multifamily properties and/or those that contain mixed use such as retail and office space.

*Misconception:  AHFC requires 50 percent owner-occupancy on condos for project approval.
*Fact:  AHFC does not have an owner-occupancy requirement for condo project approvals.

*Misconception:  AHFC cannot finance homes if the proper PURs were not recorded.
*Fact:  Under the Non-Conforming II loan program, homes without properly recorded PURs may be financed by AHFC if they are at least five years old and a PUR-103 is completed. 

*Misconception:  Buyers get a percentage discount off their closing costs when they take a free HomeChoice™ class.
*Fact: Buyers receive a certificate that is good for up to $250 off their commitment fee when used with an AHFC loan.

*Misconception:  The Home Energy Rebate and Weatherization programs offer the same services.
*Fact:  Each program has its own set of requirements and restrictions. The Home Energy Rebate Program is for homeowners who may receive a rebate up to $10,000 after they address energy efficiency issues that were determined during their energy rating. The Weatherization program has income limits that determine eligibility where the Home Energy Rebate Program does not. The Weatherization Program uses an approved contractor that will make energy efficiency revisions to the home at no cost to the homeowner or landlord, and the Home Energy Rebate program allows the homeowner to have total control over any improvements made by themselves or licensed and bonded contractors.

Many homeowners have signed up for the Home Energy Rebate program even though they qualify for the Weatherization program. Preference is granted in the weatherization program for individuals with disabilities, elderly or those who have young children in the home. To learn more about AHFC’s energy programs click here.

*Misconception:  I do not have to pay taxes on the rebate I receive from the Home Energy Rebate Program.
*Fact: Participating homeowners will receive a 1099 in January or February of the year following the distribution of their rebate check. Participants are responsible for paying taxes accordingly.

Meet AHFC's One Minute Energy Man

Jimmy Ord has worked at AHFC for more than three years as Energy Information Manager educating homeowners statewide about the benefits of AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate and Weatherization programs.
Here's what Jimmy had to say when asked for an interview:

Q. “What do you like most about your job?”
A. I like the positive impacts our programs and education have on Alaskans. The programs really make a difference not only by lowering energy bills but also improving health and safety of homes.

Q. What do you find most challenging about your job?
A. Reaching those who are unaware of the benefits our programs and education can provide. Also, energy efficiency takes a back seat to their sexy renewable energy cousin. In reality energy efficiency is the first choice and should be implemented before any other project.

Q. What is something you think people might be surprised to know about AHFC?
A. AHFC’s weatherization program has been around for more than 30 years and was an early pioneer of the program nationwide. Our two programs (Weatherization and Home Energy Rebate) are appropriated more money by the Alaska State Legislature than any other state funded efficiency program. This allows AHFC to weatherize more homes and offer higher energy rebates. Of the eligible homes in Alaska, more than 21,000 have participated in the Home Energy Rebate program and more than 14,500 received weatherization improvements through the Weatherization Program since 2008.

Q. What is the easiest thing for someone to fix on their house that will have the biggest impact?
A. There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to energy efficiency improvements. The house is a system of components including heat, air movement, moisture, and pressures, and when one component is changed it affects another. The best thing you can do is have an energy rating diagnose the specific improvements your house needs to be safe, affordable and energy efficient.

Want to see Jimmy in action? Watch him in this short One Minute Energy Man video where he discusses energy efficiency.

Multifamily boom – Alaska’s Turn Next?

Nationally the commercial lending industry is poised to come back in a big way. The Mortgage Bankers Association is projecting a record year for commercial and multifamily originations, with volume growing to $300 billion – a 7 percent spike from 2013 numbers – and hitting $333 billion by 2016. The MBA projects that outstanding commercial and multifamily mortgage debt will hit nearly $2.6 trillion by the end of the year and approach $2.7 trillion by the end of 2016.
“Alaska is probably six months to a year behind the national trend but the fundamentals are here already with continued job and population growth.  When the trend gets traction here, AHFC is ready for business,” says Eric Havelock, AHFC’s senior loan officer, referring to HB50 that was passed during  theh 2013 legislative session allowing AHFC to finance multiuse buildings for residential housing that contains non-residential uses such as retail or office space.

For more information about AHFC’s multifamily loan programs, please contact Eric Havelock at (907) 330-8245 or ehavelock@ahfc.us.