Alaska, also known as the Great North, represents the largest land mass state in the Union, predominantly wilderness and undeveloped territory. For many who like to live in or on the edge of the natural world, Alaska is home. The state economy continues to boom with far north mineral exploration and oil mining as well as timber harvesting. Tourism doesn't hurt either but mainly benefits the coastal locations. Major population centers are located in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The interior of Alaska is still predominantly wild and dangerous. That said, there are plenty of beautiful locations and properties in Alaska to move into, especially when someone wants to live in nature and away from suburbia.
Despite its immense size, Alaska is the fourth least populous state in America with a total population of just over 730,000 people. Around half of this population lives in or around Anchorage. Not surprisingly, the state also has one of the smallest economies in the US, clocking in as the 45th largest with an annual GDP of under $45 billion. Alaska does much better on a per capita basis, with an average income of around $40,000. This is 15th best in the nation.
Here are two interesting facts about the state of Alaska: the United States purchased it from Russia in the 1860s for around 2 cents per acre, and the state sport is dog mushing.
As we mentioned previously, almost half of Alaska's population resides in or around Anchorage. However, there are still other notable parts of the state.
Anchorage is well known for its economy, which is heavily reliant on the extraction of natural resources such as petroleum. The city is also very well located, and it's often the first stop for tourists who are visiting Alaska. Anchorage seems poised to continue to grow into the foreseeable future.
Although lesser known than Anchorage, Fairbanks is still a notable city for a few reasons. First, it is home to the oldest university in the state, the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The city is also a popular tourist destination, offering attractions such as the Northern Lights and ice carving.
Juneau is the capital of Alaska. Although it is just a city, Juneau is actually larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware, and it is almost as big as the two combined. The city's economy is heavily reliant on government employment; the government makes up about 25% of Juneau's economy.
College, Alaska is located next to the city of Fairbanks, and it is actually considered part of the Fairbanks Metropolitan area.
Wasilla, Alaska is located near Anchorage, and it is considered part of the Anchorage metropolitan area. A large percentage of Wasilla's citizens commute to Anchorage for work.
The following banks and credit unions are headquartered in Alaska:
There are also national banks that operate in Alaska. These include KeyBank and Wells Fargo. Whether you're looking for a local bank, a national bank, or a credit union, there are a wide variety of options to consider. Each financial institution offers its own pros and cons and finding the right deal will require shopping around.
RateZip.com can help identify some of the best mortgage rates available for buying a home in the state of Alaska. Before you begin shopping, it's important to understand the type of home loan that may be of interest to you. Fixed-rate mortgages - whether 10, 15, 20, or 30 years in term - are among the most popular out there. A fixed rate loan offers payment security, since you know your exact monthly payment over the life of the loan. An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) offers a lower payment for the first few years of the loan, but payments can rise over time. ARMs are perfect for homeowners who do not plan on remaining in the home for too many years. Additionally, citizens of Alaska can qualify for USDA loans from the US Department of Agriculture. Find more information here.