example of a best old house in the neighborhood of anchorage, alaska
Photo: Linda Lane
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Anchorage, Alaska

Unlike other Alaskan cities, Anchorage didn't start out as a fishing town or mining camp. Established as a port for the Alaska Railroad in 1914, transportation—both commercial (two airports) and military (two bases)—has long since dominated the economy. But it's the unique blend of urban sophistication and rustic charm that entices over 40 percent of the Alaskan population to live here. Downtown is a mix of modern skyscrapers and old wood-framed architecture. With Denali National Park just a day trip away, six mountain ranges surrounding the city, and dozens of meandering creeks stocked with salmon, Anchorage is a true outdoorsman's paradise.

The Houses
A 1964 earthquake and landslide damaged many of the city's older homes. But you can find mid-century Ranches starting around $200,000. Expect higher prices downtown, where rows of charming World War II–era saltbox-style houses line the streets and a few early-20th-century log homes still stand.

Why Buy Now?
Sure, home prices are a little high here, but there's no income or sales tax. Kiplinger.com named Anchorage the number 1 pick for its "Top 10 Tax-Friendly Cities" last April.

Among the best for: City Life, Cottages and Bungalows, Outdoor Activities, Singles, West and Northwest
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