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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. 

Winter Hacks

by Fontaine Family

Here Comes The Snow


Okay...so here comes MORE snow is more accurate.
With several storms in the past week and a half, everyone is looking for ways to make dealing with the snow, ice, and cold weather easier.
Here are a few "Winter Hacks" to try out during the storm today and tomorrow. 

1.  Melt Ice Off Your Car
If you spray your car windshield with a mixture of 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water, it should melt the ice making it easier for you to clear it off.  Anything that makes removing ice is worth a try!

2.  Make Shoveling Easier
Spraying your snow shovel with cooking spray should help the snow slide off instead of sticking to your shovel.

3.  Remove Salt Stains From Your Shoes
If you happen to be caught out without your "Bean Boots", you know all about salt stains on your shoes.  Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of water, dip a cloth in it, and wipe your shoes to remove those ugly stains. 

Click here to check out more ideas to make your winter easier on "Winter Ready" board on Pinterest.


Can A Home Be Romantic?

by Fontaine Family

Can a Home Be Romantic?
It can certainly have some romantic features.
Here are our top 3 romantic features for your next home.


1.  Cozy Fireplace
What's more romantic that curling up with your valentine in front of a crackling fire on a snowy February night? 

2.  Private Master Bedroom
Soft colors, plush bedding, gorgeous chandelier...away from the kiddo's rooms and bustle of the family areas...that's romantic!


3.  Lights on Dimmers
You can change the whole mood of a room by just dimming the lights.  Turn the lights down low, and open up a bottle of wine! 

What are your top romantic wish list items for your next home? 
We can help you find them! 
Call us today! 

Maine Home Sales Are Up!

by Fontaine Family

Maine Home Sales and Prices Were Up in 2016!

The year-end numbers are in and both the number of homes sold and the sale prices for Maine overall were up in 2016 over 2015. 


The number of Maine home sales increased
11.71%
from 15,672 homes sold in 2015 to 17,507 homes sold in 2016

Home prices in Maine also increased
4.93%
from a median sale price of $180,500 in 2015 to a median sale price of $189,400 in 2016

Are you interested in what prices are doing in your neighborhood or what your home is worth in today's market?
 
Call today and one of our experienced agents will be happy to answer all your questions! 

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

Kick Cabin Fever

by Fontaine Family

6 Ideas to Kick Cabin Fever This Weekend!

It's that time of year when the winter starts to feel long and cabin-fever starts to set in.  What's the best cure for cabin-fever?  Get up, Get out, and do something fun!  Here are a few ideas of things you can to this weekend to get out of the house and have a great time! 

Rangeley Lakes Snowdeo 
Friday & Saturday, January 20-21 
Snowmobile races, demos, & a radar run along with fireworks, a parade, & entertainment!  Bundle up and check it out! 
Click here
for more information.


LA Harley Chili Cook-off  
Saturday, January 21st 
You can Compete or Eat...Enter your favorite chili recipe for a chance to win some cash or go and taste all types of chili.  A sure way to warm up on a Maine Saturday.
  Click here for more information.

Sleigh Rides at Pineland Farms  
Saturday, January 21st 
Enjoy a sleigh ride behind a team a draft horses through beautiful Pineland Farms!  What a way to enjoy Maine's beauty!
Click here for more information. 

Maker's Farmers Market at Urban Farms Fermentory  
Saturday, January 21st 
Swing by and shop some of Maine's best local goods and check out the tasting room!  Support the local economy and get out of the house...win, win! 
Click here for more information. 

Robert Burns 10K 
Sunday, January 22nd 
Get out and run to benefit the Westbrook High School Alternative Learning Bike Shop.  Get moving and help out some kids!
  Click here for more information.


Snowshoe Hike at Davis Rancourt Preserve 
Sunday, January 22nd 
Enjoy a snowshoe walk lead by Androscoggin Land Trust along trails with views of the Androscoggin River. Bundle up and enjoy some pretty scenery. 
Click here for more information. 

You Need a Professional on Your Team When Buying A Home

by Fontaine Family

You Need a Professional on Your Team When Buying a Home

Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to do it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

You Need an Expert Guide if You Are Traveling a Dangerous Path

The field of real estate is loaded with land mines; you need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and is ready for you to move into can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift through the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”

A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home. 

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?

If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal. 

Bottom Line

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money…not cost you money.

Achieve Your Goals In 2017

by Fontaine Family

Do you have big goals for the New Year?


Make 2017 the year that your dreams come true!
  No matter what your dream, setting measurable goals will help you achieve what you want! 
Not sure how to start? 
Here are a few tips....

Think Big 
What is the one thing that would improve your life dramatically?  Think of the one thing that would give you the biggest boost and turn it into your goal.

Analyze your Habits and Behaviors 
Don't let bad habits and behaviors sabotage your hard work.  Once you have set your goal, as yourself...  What current habits or behaviors will help me reach my goal?  What current habits or behaviors will impede my efforts?   You can then adjust your behavior to help you reach your goal. 

Write it Down 
Studies show that writing down your goal will improve your chances of achieving it. 

  • Be Specific - The more specific your goals, the better.  Instead of setting a goal to save money, make your goal to save $100 each month.
  • Divide it into Smaller Short Term Goals - Large goals are easier to reach if you divide them into small short-term goals.  If you want to run a marathon, make your short term goal to run a 5K by the end of January.
  • Set a Deadline - Setting a deadline will help you maintain focus.   Setting deadlines for your smaller short-term goals will help keep you on track and focused on the big goal.
  • Track your Progress - Tracking how far you have come allows you to see your progress and give you the extra motivation you need if you become discouraged. 

This time next year you can look forward to a sense of accomplishment when all your hard work pays off! 
Happy Goal Setting!

Happy 2017

by Fontaine Family

 

We hope 2017 brings you much success and happiness!

Fontaine Family Team

Merry Christmas from the Fontaine Team

by Fontaine Family

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 135

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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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