Buyers get a little antsy this time of year in my experience because they feel that they’ve missed the best time of year to buy a house in Fairbanks Alaska. Aside from the fact that homes get listed all year long and that there will always be homes to go look at that will fit their needs, there is actually another good reason to shop homes here in deep winter – it is the best time of year to see if the house has heating and ventilation issues.

Good vapor and moisture control within a house are critical in the Interior of Alaska. When it is -40F outside and 70F inside and you are bathing and cooking and breathing all of that moist air has to go somewhere and it is a bad deal if it finds its way into the framing and insulation of the house. Long-term moisture builds up in the walls will lead to mold growth and ultimately wood rot. Ideally, there is a way to ventilate the interior “stale” air directly outside before it has a chance to infiltrate the framing. Typically this is done the usual way with bathroom fans, a hood fan over the range and even though the dryer vent if the laundry facilities are inside. More recently whole house air handling systems, HRVs or HVAC systems, are doing the trick.

If a house has ventilation challenges, however, it is usually pretty easy to spot them in the dead of winter. Frost buildup under the eaves or around the windows is extremely obvious to spot. If there is no reason why there should be frost in that area then you have a potential problem on your hands. Make sure that your home inspector gets up in the attic space and checks it out if there is frost buildup coming from the gable end vents. I’ve seen bathroom fans that vent straight up into the attic space and terminate there – all the moist air from the bathroom goes up into the attic and stays there! Not a good program.

Summer months show things about the property that aren’t visible in the winter, such as the condition of the lawn, but there are things visible in the winter that aren’t in the summer. There are very good reasons to shop for a new home in the winter months. The best Realtors in Fairbanks will make sure that you are getting the full picture of the house you are considering purchasing and will maximize the clues the house has to give no matter the season.

To schedule a consultation with the best Realtors in Fairbanks call Empire Realty at (907) 374-4663.

Joel Johnson


Empire Realty