Hello, Mister!

We are so happy to share that our Baby B is here! He arrived on January 30th, and so far we’ve had a great transition to being a family of four.  Little B is the sweetest big sister, and it’s been such a joy to watch her with her baby brother. She and I made a quick trip to the grocery store the other night while Papa B hung out with Baby B at home. After we got in the truck to head home, she told me, “I go see baby brother.” Today, after she woke up from her nap, she heard him crying as Papa B changed his diaper in the other room and told me, “Baby brother crying. I go check on him.” It just makes my heart melt.


Read more Hello, Mister!

Winter Solstice & the Dark Days of Winter

With the shortest day of the year now behind us, we’ve gotten a taste of what winter darkness means here in Homer.  Hailing from Minnesota, dark, cold winters are nothing new to us, but it’s been interesting to experience it firsthand.

Here’s a snapshot of the sunrise and sunset times on the winter solstice for comparison:

2015-12-25_2209 2015-12-25_2211

Read more Winter Solstice & the Dark Days of Winter

Real Estate Shopping in Homer, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a two-part post on real estate shopping in Homer. If you missed Part 1, check it out here.  Again, take these observations for whatever they’re worth to you. No refunds.

If there’s one thing you better be comfortable with as a Homer resident, it’s water. The bay is a source of employment, recreation, and sustenance. Our close proximity to the ocean means we see plenty of water falling from the sky. On the ground creeks, streams, and wetlands abound. The latter became particularly significant in our real estate search. Homer and the surrounding area contains a lot of glacial moraine. The soil has some organic material on top, and then silt beneath. When rainfall hits the top layer it’s absorbed and starts filtering down until it hits the silt, which severely impedes the water’s flow. This means the soil doesn’t drain well, and after the top few inches become saturated you get standing water or very sloppy/spongy vegetation.  Nearly every piece of property we examined had some wetlands. Creeks, streams, small areas of flowing water, and spongy ground are all very, very common. Unlike the great plains in the center of the US, Homer’s anything but flat. Set between mountains to the north and an ocean to the south, water is continually making its way to the sea and much of it does so above ground.

Here’s a topographic map with major water features

Read more Real Estate Shopping in Homer, Part 2

Real Estate Shopping in Homer, Part 1

We recently purchased some land in Homer. Real estate shopping here was a learning experience, to say the least. For anyone out there contemplating a move to Alaska, here are some of our observations. Take these for whatever they’re worth to you. No warranty is expressed or implied.

First and foremost, land in Alaska is expensive. “What?” you say, “How could that be? Alaska is huge! Don’t you all live on 100 acre parcels with magnificent views from log homes you built by hand?” Alaska most certainly is huge. It encompasses over 570k square miles of land, which is roughly 16% of the total land mass of the United States or approximately 19% of the land in the contiguous “Lower 48”. It has more land than Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa combined. Alaska’s percentages are even larger when considering waters of the United States.

"Alaska area compared to conterminous US" by Eric Gaba (Sting - fr:Sting) - Own work. Data:NGDC World Coast Line (public domain) NGDC World Data Bank II (public domain). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alaska_area_compared_to_conterminous_US.svg#/media/File:Alaska_area_compared_to_conterminous_US.svg
“Alaska area compared to conterminous US” by Eric Gaba (Sting – fr:Sting) – Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Read more Real Estate Shopping in Homer, Part 1