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Suns Out - Let's Go Have Some Fun!

by Fontaine Family

The Sun is Finally Out! 


It's time to get out and enjoy all that is going on in Maine in the spring.
There is so much to do in our communities this weekend.
Check out some of these great events!

First Art Walk & Free Tasting
at The Vault in Lewiston on Friday, May 19th
Enjoy the first Lewiston Art Walk of the season and sample a great selection of wines at The Vault.

Food Truck Festival
on the Gardiner waterfront on Saturday, May 20th
Music, Beer, Food, and Fun!

Bend and Brew
at Baxter Brewing Company in Lewiston on Sunday, May 21st
A yoga class followed up with a flight of beer and four courses from Mother India.

Bob Marley - Up At The Franco
at the Franco Heritage Center in Lewiston on Friday, May 19th
You can't go wrong with laughter and drinks on a Friday night! 

Street Eats & Beats
at Thompson Point on Saturday, May 20th
Taste offerings from local and visiting food trucks, as wells as beer, wine, and cocktails! 

Hops For Hope
at Rising Tide Brewing Company in Portland on Friday, May 19th
Drink craft beer, eat good food, and buy raffle tickets for a chance at prizes - all to support local families fighting ALS.

Wine and Food Walk
in Portland on Saturday, May 20th
A guided walking tour in Portland lead by Sommelier Erica Archer, featuring white wines paired with tastes of seafood dishes.

Bags, Brews, and Bikes Cornhole Tournament
at LA Harley in Lewiston on Saturday, May 20th
2 Player teams compete in a cornhole tournament for a chance to win $300 and bragging rights.

Improve Your Home's Value This Spring

by Fontaine Family

Are you considering selling and want to get the most out of your home? 

Your home's value depends on many factors, including location, age, size, and condition.  While you may not be able to do anything about your home's location or age, you can do things to improve the condition and sometimes the size to add value to your home! 


Boost Curb Appeal
Curb appeal isn't just the concern of the home sellers.  Even homeowners who are staying put are investing time and effort into maintaining the curb appeal of their homes.  Since anyone driving by will only see your home from the street, how well your property is kept from the outside provides a glimpse into how well it is maintained on the inside.

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

  1. Maintain Your Lawn
    Mow, pull weeks, and make sure your walkways and driveway are free of debris.
  2. Keep Your Landscaping in Check
    Well-maintained shrubs and landscaping improve the look of your property.
  3. Clean Your Windows and Gutters
    Not only will this improve the look of your home, it is good home maintenance.
  4. Maintain Your Home's Exterior
    Keep your home looking like new by washing your siding or applying a new coat of paint every few years.  Touching up the stain on decks and the paint on trim and handrails can do wonders.
  5. Spring for New Home Accents
    Spruce things up with new accessories like new house numbers, fresh paint on the shutters, or colorful plant and flowers in the window boxes and garden beds.

Renovations That Pay Off
Remodeling is a great way to bring your home up to date, adapt to changing needs, and improve its value.  If you are planning on selling, making a few home improvements may make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

5 Renovations that Offer the Biggest Returns

  1. New Front Door
    Refresh your entryway and impress potential buyers with a new front door.  If your current front door is in good condition, a coat of paint or stain can make it look as good as new.
  2. Deck Addition
    Improve the indoor/outdoor versatility of your home by adding a wooden deck.
  3. Attic Bedroom
    An extra room that can serve as a bedroom, guest room, or home office can add value and make the home more attractive.  If you have attic space that is unused, this could be a great option.
  4. New Garage Door
    If your garage doors are old or dated, replacing them will add value to your home.  If they are still in good shape, consider painting them to freshen up the look of your home.
  5. Minor Kitchen Remodel
    The kitchen is one of the most popular renovations that homeowners tackle.  A minor remodel can update the space and entice potential buyer. 

Are you interested in knowing the value of your home in today's real estate market? 
We can help! 
Call today for a FREE opinion of value and talk with one of our talented agents
about what you can do to sell your home for top dollar faster!

Call our Auburn office at (207)784-3800
Call our Scarborough office at (207)289-3830

Homes Wanted!

by Fontaine Family

The Spring Real Estate Market is Heating Up!

Buyers are out shopping for homes but we are seeing a shortage of inventory on the market. 

That's great news for home sellers!  If you list your home at the right price, you could see multiple offers in a matter of days!


Right now, we have buyers looking for...

  • Lisbon - 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a 2 car garage - up to $250,000
  • Turner - 4 bedroom home up to $400,000
  • Waterfront Home - in areas surrounding Lewiston/Auburn - up to $400,000
  • Greene - homes priced between $150,000 and $200,000
  • Multi-Unit Properties - with 1-4 units in Portland or Lewiston/Auburn

If you are considering selling this year, and your home meets any of the criteria above...
give us a call today!  Your buyer could be waiting!

To find a buyer for your home fast,
Call our Auburn location at (207)784-3800 or
Call our Scarborough location at (207)289-3830.

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’

by Fontaine Family

Why Should You List Your Home TODAY?


In school, we all learned the theory of supply and demand. When the demand for an item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.

SUPPLY

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 3.8-month supply. This is considerably lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market.

DEMAND

Every month NAR reports on the number of buyers out in the market looking for homes, which is also known as buyer traffic. As seen on the map below, buyer demand in March was strong or very strong in 45 out of 50 states nationwide, and Washington, DC.

Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream homes (if they are even able to find a home they wish to purchase).

Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale in the market, which will translate into a better pricing situation.

HOME EQUITY

Many homeowners underestimate the amount of equity they currently have in their homes. According to a recent Fannie Mae study, 37% of homeowners believe that they have more than 20% equity in their homes. In reality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report tells us that 78.9% actually do!

3 Charts That Shout, ‘List Your Home Today!’ | Simplifying The Market

Many homeowners who are undervaluing the equity they have in their homes may feel trapped, which may be contributing to the lack of inventory in the market.

Bottom Line

If you are debating selling your home this year, let's meet up to evaluate the equity you have in your home, as well as the opportunities available in your market.

Sell Your Home Faster!

by Fontaine Family

Sell For Top Dollar Faster

What is the goal of almost every homeowner selling their home?
To get the most money possible in the shortest time possible!  Let's face it, when you decide to move, you want it over yesterday!

Did you know that Fontaine Team listings spend less average time on the market than homes sold by other companies? 
A Fontaine listing spends an average of only 64 days on the market! 

Are you ready to get your home sold FAST?

Call or e-mail us today to get started!

Auburn - (207)784-3800
Scarborough - (207)289-3830
brenda@fontaineteam.com

5 Tips for Spring Home Buying

by Fontaine Family

5 Tips for Buying a Home in the Spring Market

Spring in the Real Estate Market is typically the busiest time of year.  There are more buyers out there looking and properties are selling fast!  The market is more competitive in the spring than in other times of the year.  That is why it is so important to be prepared when you plan to buy a home in the spring market. 


Here are a few tips to help you buy your new home this spring:

Get Preapproved By A Local Lender 
Shop around and find out who can offer the best program for your situation and then get a pre-approval.  Having that in hand will make your offer more attractive to sellers.  Most banks will not even consider an offer on a short sale or a foreclosure property without a pre-approval or a proof of funds letter.

Hire A Buyer Agent 
Choose an agent who knows the area and who you are comfortable with and then sign an agreement to have the represent you.  If you are just calling around to the listing agent, there is nobody looking out for you during one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.  In most cases the fee for the buyer agent is paid by the seller anyway so why wouldn't you have someone working for your best interests? 

Accept That There Is No Perfect House 
Decide what your most important "must-haves" are and what you are willing to compromise on.  No house is perfect...they might need some work, might not have a room as big as wanted, might have less land, or might not be in the perfect location.  What is most important to you?

Prepare To Move Quickly 
When you fall in love with a house, be prepared to make an offer quickly.  In the spring market, properties can sell quickly so if you don't make an offer quickly...someone might beat you to it.

Don't Be Opposed To Negotiating 
This time of year it is common to have multiple offers on the same property.  If you get stuck on getting the house for less that it is listed for, instead of what it is worth, you could miss out on a great house.  Negotiating on closing date can also be attractive to a seller. 

Buying a home is a big decision.  Being prepared and having the right agent to advise you along the way will make the process much easier and give you a better chance at finding your dream home!  Are you ready to start your search? 

Call us today to meet with one of our experienced buyer's agents.

- See more at: http://www.brendafontaine.com/Newsletter#sthash.6cpqD2tr.dpuf

Awards Earned

by Fontaine Family

Fontaine Agents Earn Awards

Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader held their Awards Banquet at The Muddy Rudder in Yarmouth on March 2nd, 2016 for the team’s sales production of both their Auburn and Scarborough locations.



Clayton Larochelle earned the Sales Leader Award for 80 closed units.

Bill Bergeron earned the Peak Producer Award for 60 closed units. 

Outstanding Achiever Awards were earned by Pat Long-Cressey for 41 closed units, Cindy Moring for 40 closed units, Kelly Webb for 34 closed units, Kathy Lee Cook for 33 closed units, Dawn Marston for 28 closed units, and Charmaine Raby for 25 closed units. 

Maria Morrissette received the Rookie of the Year Award for 23 closed units in her first full year in the business. 

Mathew Zimmerman earned a gold medal for the highest average sale price. 

Other Top Producer Award winners were Harriet Cummings, Maryanne Bear, Megan Fortin, Diane Brule, and Barbara McGuire.

The Fontaine Family Team serves 7 counties – Androscoggin, Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Oxford, Kennebec, and Franklin in two locations – 336 Center Street in Auburn and 432 US Route One in Scarborough.  The Scarborough location (opened in 2015) has recently had a growth spurt adding five more agents in the first quarter of 2017.

The Team helped 551 families buy and sell their properties in 2016.  Fontaine is ranked as America’s Top 1000 Real Estate Professional Teams for closed units by Real Trends and published in the Wall Street Journal. 

Are you ready to put one of our talented agents to work for you?   Visit brendafontaine.com or call (207)289-3830 or (207)784-3800.

Home Maintenance for Spring

by Fontaine Family

There snow is melting...
and spring has arrived in Maine! 

It's time for spring cleaning and spring maintenance on your home.  Your home is one of the biggest purchase you will ever make, so it's a good idea to take care of it with a little preventative maintenance. 

Check out our Homeowner's Spring Maintenance Checklist and get your home spring ready! 

Are your thinking of selling your home this spring? 
Give us a call to find out how the market is in your area!

Auburn (207)784-3800
Scarborough (207)289-3830

4 Great Reasons To Buy This Spring

by Fontaine Family

Spring is Here...
and it's a great time to buy a home!
Here are 4 great reasons to buy this spring...

 

Spring Welcome Birdhouse

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.9% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4% over the last couple months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by at least a half a percentage point this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage 

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage - either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Buying After A Short Sale or Foreclosure

by Fontaine Family

How Soon After a Short Sale or Foreclosure Can I Buy a Home?

This is a question we get all the time.  Millions of people have lost their homes to Foreclosures or Short Sales over the past 10 years.  Many of these people were just experience a difficult time and are now in a much better place and ready to consider homeownership once again. 


The waiting period before you can purchase varies depending on the program:

Conventional Loan: 4-7 years
FHA Loans: 3 years
USDA Loans: 3 years
VA Loans: 2 years

There are circumstances where each of these timeframes can be reduced, so if you think you are ready, it is a good idea to meet with a lender to get some advice.

There are also some things you can do to make sure you are ready as soon as possible.

  • Work on repairing your credit.  Lenders want to see a good credit score, so check yours out and work on repairing it as much as possible.  You can pull your credit report for free from annualcreditreport.com...just keep in mind that the lender will be seeing a slightly different report. 
  • Make payments on time.  Lenders will look to see if you are on track with keeping up with your payments.  Making sure you are not late and are making all payments will help you out!
  • Have a steady job.  Lenders will verify your employment. They want to see steady employment so people who change jobs often or work several part time jobs instead of a full time job, may have a more difficult time. 

Having a foreclosure or short sale will not keep you from ever owning a home again...it just takes a little time and work! 

Are you recovering from a short sale or foreclousre and think you are ready to buy?  Give us a call and let one of our experienced agent point you in the right direction. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 143

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Contact Information

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Fontaine Family - The Real Estate Leader
336 Center St. Auburn, ME 04210
432 US Route 1 Scarborough ME 04074
(207)784-3800 Auburn
(207)289-3830 Scarborough
Fax: (207)786-2957

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Listing data is derived in whole or in part from the Maine IDX and is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use only. Dimensions are approximate and not guaranteed. All data should be independently verified. © 2014 Maine Real Estate Information System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.