Surviving REAL Estate in a Shaken Alaska

It’s only been 3 weeks since Alaskan’s experienced a 7.0 earthquake. As with any traumatic experience each person has his or her unique story, coping mechanism and personal reaction to the quake and the ongoing aftershocks still in play.

As a realtor, I had a property set to record on Friday, November 30th, the day of the quake. Obviously, the recording was delayed, along with dozens of other realtor’s properties set to record that day. First things first– we needed to find out if our buyer clients new property was still standing. Prior to the lender releasing funds for the property, we then needed to schedule another inspection to ensure that the earthquake hadn’t caused any damage. We ended up closing the middle of the next week; not too bad all things considered.

A common question I have been asked is, “How will the earthquake affect the future real estate market for Alaska?” This is a very fair question for potential buyer’s and seller’s to ask. 

At first, the shock and awe of the 7.0 left most Alaskan’s thankful to still have a house; some folks were not so lucky and are left struggling upon the news that their property is no longer habitable, a devastating and unexpected result of the earthquake. 

So, how WILL the earthquake affect Alaska’s market? As with any state and any market, no one can give a definitive answer (except God, and He tends to relay information on an “as-needed” timeline. Keeps us more attuned to living by faith in lieu of sight!).

This realtor’s opinion rests that our market will continue to go strong. History indicates that catastrophe’s tend to strengthen a community, bringing them closer together more so than prior to the given catastrophic event. We have been watching this same scenario play out in the Lower 48 in places affected by floods, fires, hurricanes, etc.

I continue to see camrodery throughout our community in Palmer and Wasilla. Yesterday, some elementary school students returned to their school building for the first time due to the immense damage. In a t.v. interview a girl stated that during the earthquake “everyone cared about everyone.” She said that the normal cliques no longer mattered and that it was really cool to see everyone come together. Well said and Amen.

In addition to the normal home inspections buyer clients invest in for a property under contract, there may be an additional need for a structural engineer to take a look at the property based on the advise of the home inspector and/or for peace of mind and due diligence for the clients. 

Most homes were shaken but not destroyed. Most people were shaken but came out stronger.

I agree with the young elementary student; I have noticed a change in perspective in how we are treating one another. Strangers are having conversations with one another at the gas pumps, neighbors are being more neighborly. Overall, Alaskan’s appear to be a little less hurried in the ordinary, mundane, beautiful moments of each day.

Alaska remains a spectacular place to live. 

If you are looking to buy or sell a property–it would be this realtor’s joy to serve you in every aspect of real estate. Shoot me a text, call me (907-315-1086) or send an email (

Sheila Cote