Market Snapshot (2016 Averages)
Home Sales Price: $162,189
Days on Market: 167
List-to-Sales Price: 93%
Willow is a small community with a population of 2100, 27 miles northwest of Wasilla on the Parks Highway. It has a community center, several restaurants and gas stations, as well as flight services. In general, Willow is relatively commute friendly for those wanting to work in Wasilla or Palmer, but desiring to live away from things. (Some even commute the 70 miles to Anchorage!) Willow is a great recreation area, and is known for local dog mushing. If you are looking for small community feel, larger lots, and lower home prices – and don’t mind driving a bit – Willow might be a good fit!
There is not a huge base of homes in Willow, so options may be limited, depending on the current inventory and your home buying goals. With that said, homes tend to be more affordable than in the core Wasilla/Palmer area and especially Eagle River and Anchorage. They generally sit on larger lots, and you may get huge bonuses like large parcel sizes, lake frontage, views, and/or a shop without having to spend much more. For 2016, the average sales price in the Willow area was $162,189, with 167 days on the market and a 93% list-to-sale price.
Parks and Recreation
Willow abounds with recreational opportunities! Many years, Willow Lake hosts the Iditarod Race restart. There are quite a few lakes with public access in the area: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSport.region&StockingAreaID=7
Willow Creek, just north of Willow, provides world class salmon and trout fishing, as do numerous Parks Highway streams to the north, such as Little Willow River, Kashwitna River, Caswell Creek, Sheep Creek, and more.
Both Deshka Landing and Susitna Landing provide nearby access to boat launches on the Big Susitna River, a huge river system that also accesses another huge river system, the Yenta River. If one has a boat (or snow machine during the winter), these provide virtually unlimited hunting, fishing, trapping, and camping opportunities, with remote parcels and cabins coming available frequently further out.
The northwest side of Hatchers Pass is accessible just north of Willow on Willow Fishhook Rd., providing lots of hiking, gold panning, and ATV opportunities. Summer and winter ATV and snowmachine (snowmobile in the lower-48) trails abound.
Willow typically receives more snow, and more consistent snow, compared to Wasilla and Palmer. Snowmachining, dog mushing, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing are favorite winter sports.
Dining and Shopping
Willow is a very small community. There is not an abundance of dining options, but there are several in the area, including Sheep Creek Lodge and a restaurant in the Willow gas station. Otherwise, Talkeetna is a fun small-town dining destination 45 miles to the north, and there are a number of dining options as you head back into Wasilla. Shopping is fairly limited, although many basics can be found in Willow. The majority of shopping is 20-30 minutes away in Wasilla.