"Spirit of Alaska is serving the community, taking the heat and providing lending money to improve some really ugly properties around Fairbanks, especially in the south-side of town."
We sat down with Ray Brasier, a Realtor for Re/MAX. Here’s what he had to say.
“For just a little background, I (Ray) deal with a lot of commercial real estate investors. Previously, for many years I had worked a local lender. Once the change in the real-estate market had come about in 2007, that lender withdrew loans to investors. This was troubling, because for the bulk of my clients, and as an investor, I had worked really hard to create a market for commercial real estate investment here in Fairbanks.
So I took a look at Spirit in 2007 as I looked around for a new lending partner.
I had been doing business with Spirit of Alaska as a realtor with residential mortgages and knew they had a program doing mini-construction loans. So I met with the mortgage department and said, “I have all of these investors who are fixing up and flipping houses. We have been borrowing against the equity in the purchase price of an investment. Let me show you our numbers.”
And they did, they took a look at the numbers and grew the mini-construction loan program to fit commercial real-estate, even though they had not been a lender in that arena.
Together, we worked through some of the growing pains of pleasing various programs in the state and thinking outside of the lending box.
Life isn’t always in a nice, clean box, and certainly, real-estate in Fairbanks isn’t like that! Spirit of Alaska saw opportunities that weren’t nice and clean, and when they made sense, went for it.
What’s always been one of my biggest pros for working with Spirit of Alaska is the can-do attitude. If it makes sense, if the credit union can protect itself, they will try to find a solution. You don’t always get that with other lenders in Fairbanks. It’s easier to just say no and find an easier loan to do.
Spirit of Alaska is serving the community, taking the heat and providing lending money to improve some really ugly properties around Fairbanks, especially in the south-side of town.
People in those communities are thanking Spirit, thanking my investors, for increasing the value of the neighborhood. Sometimes people don’t even recognize the buildings as renovated, they think they are new. And there’s been a lot of financial opportunity in the middle of that.
People swear I work for Spirit of Alaska, because I’m always “Spirit of Alaska, Spirit of Alaska, you need to come over here for that investment project…”. It’s the attitude, the can-do attitude, where we can look at you, look at the project, and see what makes sense.
I’ve done 5 very large commercial real-estate projects and hundreds of residential mortgages with Spirit of Alaska as a realtor over the last 10 years, and am looking forward to more.”
Thanks, Ray! We are looking forward to the next 10 years of serving Fairbanks as well.