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Welcome to the Team!

by Fontaine Family

We are pleased to welcome two new team members to our Auburn location.

Natalie Kramer

Natalie grew up in South Paris and graduated from Beverly High School in Beverly, MA. She then attended Andover College. She now resides in South Paris with her husband and is looking forward to helping buyers and sellers in and around her home town fulfill their real estate needs.

Natalie’s past work experience includes sales, customer service, and she also worked for Carlson GMAC Real Estate in Massachusetts. Natalie will be working with both buyers and sellers. When she is not working, Natalie is active at the South Paris Congregational Church and with the Kairos Ministry.

Natalie can be reached at (207)740-2716 or at

Chad Doucette

Chad grew up in Mexico, Maine, graduated from Mountain Valley High School, and attended the University of Southern Maine.  He currently lives in Auburn with his wife and 3 children.

Chad's strong self-employment work history gives him a unique advantage when it comes to working with clients to help them fulfill their real estate needs.  Chad is working with both buyers and sellers out of our Auburn office.  When not busy with clients, Chad enjoys hunting, fishing, and reading. 

Chad can be reached at (207)357-3378 or at

A Tale of Two Markets

by Fontaine Family

A Tale of Two Markets

A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market 

Some Highlights:

  • A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices!
  • Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
  • Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise!

Are you interested in knowing more about today's market? 
Give us a call at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830!

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Avoid These Mistakes When Buying A Home

by Fontaine Family

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Home

Anytime you are buying a home, it can be stressful. 
In today's market where it is shifting toward a seller's market, it is especially important to be prepared
and to avoid missteps that could cost you a home that you have fallen in love with.
Here are our top 6 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Home!

1.  Waiting To Arrange Financing
"I am sure I won't have any problem getting a loan.  I just want to find the right house first."  We hear this sentence every day and I cringe every time.  Today's market is competitive and homes are selling quickly.  The seller is not going to wait for you to get your financing lined up.  You should meet with a lender and get pre-qualified or pre-approved before you start your search.  That is the only way you can be ready to make an offer when you fall in love with a home.

2.  Not Using A Reputable Lender
When shopping for a lender, make sure you ask for recommendations.  Your real estate agent and friends or family who have recently purchased are great resources.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!  Were they able to the loans they took?  Did they close on time?  Were there unexpected costs?  Did they stay in touch during the process?  This is one of the largest purchases you will make and involves a great deal of your hard earned money.  Make sure who you choose to handle the financing is trustworthy.

3.  Shopping Outside Your Price Range
It is tempting to "just want to take a look" at that home that is $25,000 outside your price range. In such a competitive market, this just sets you up for frustration.  If you love the house, you can't make an offer that is close to asking price so it will be difficult to compete with other buyers. 

4.  Making Lowball Offers
You may think it can't hurt to try a lowball offer...just to see if the seller will accept.  Don't assume the seller will counter offer.  In a seller's market, it is not unusual for a home to sell at or above the asking price.  There could be other buyers making offers at the same time.  One of those offers could be better than yours.  You may not get a second chance to offer.  Your real estate agent can be a huge help in the negotiation process.  They can compare the home you are interested in to other homes that have sold to give you the best chance at winning your bid without overpaying. 

5.  Spending Money After Getting Pre-Approved
Once you set up your financing for a home purchase, don't open any new accounts, don't make any big purchases on credit, don't withdraw large amount of money, don't change or quit your job.  In short, don't do anything to change your finances.  Your lender will re-check your credit prior to closing and if your credit score or debt-to-income ratio has changed, the lender may not be able to close your loan.  It might be tempting to go buy new living room furniture, but just wait until after closing. 

6.  Not Planning For Closing Costs
While there are great financing options out there, almost all loans require that the buyer pay some closing costs.  Your lender should be giving you an estimate of what your out of pocket costs to close should be.  Make sure you talk to the lender about how much those costs could be and make sure you plan to have that available for closing day.  You could also have other expenses outside of closing such as inspection costs.  Your real estate agent can help you plan for those expenses.

Buying a home is exciting and scary at the same time.  Working with the right real estate agent can make the process much smoother and less stressful.  Are you ready to get started?  Give us a call today and let us guide you through your new home purchase!

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

Specialized To Serve You

by Fontaine Family
We Are Each Specialized To Serve You
And We Are Focused On You!

When you buy or sell a home with the Fontaine Team, you automatically benefit from the unique and powerful home selling system that has been engineered, but more importantly PROVEN, to give you better service and results.

With our true team approach, you will never have to worry if your agent takes the weekend off because our whole team provides 24 hour, 7 day-a-week marketing and servicing back up for your home. There will always be someone knowledgeable, competent, and experienced handling all inquiries on your home.

Besides your own personal agent, you have access to a professional licensed support staff of Realtors®. These talented Realtors® handle all the behind the scenes details giving your agent the opportunity to cater to your needs and it will not cost you more!

When you want your home SOLD for Top Dollar Faster and experience a stress-free process, pick up the phone or e-mail us for a FREE, no obligation consultation.

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

Buyer Demand Outpacing Supply of Homes

by Fontaine Family

Buyer Demand Still Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as market demand. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

Buyer Demand Still Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale | Simplifying The Market

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only four states had a ‘stable’ demand level.

Seller Supply

The index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

As you can see from the map below, 25 states reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 21 states reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, 3 states and Washington D.C. reported ‘strong’ seller traffic, and only 1 state reported ‘very strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.

Buyer Demand Still Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!

Maine Maple Sunday

by Fontaine Family

It is officially spring and that means it is time for
Maine Maple Sunday!

Maine Maple Sunday is always the 4th Sunday of March and is one of the rituals that signal the start of spring!  This year is the 35th anniversary of Maine Maple Sunday, and while it may not feel or look like spring yet this year, Maple Sunday will still go on!  On Sunday, March 25th, sugarhouses all over Maine will open their doors Sunday with samples, activities and demonstrations. 

Each sugarhouse is different and offers a unique experience.
Click here to see a list of participating sugarhouses.

Don't Wait Until Spring!

by Fontaine Family

Are you thinking of listing your home this spring?

There may be snow on the ground,
but it w
ill melt soon and right now inventory is low. 
That means
that buyers are jumping on homes when they are listed
so homes are selling faster and for top dollar! 

There might be more buyers looking in the spring,
but there will also be more houses on the market. 
That means more competition for you!

One of our knowledgeable listing agents will be happy to meet with you
and provide you with a FREE opinion of value and expert advice
on how to get top dollar for you home without waiting until spring! 

Give us a call today at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830! 

Housing Market Expected to Spring Forward!

by Fontaine Family
Housing Market Expected To "Spring Forward" This Year | Simplifying The Market

Housing Market Expected To “Spring Forward” This Year

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” 
Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.
Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.
Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows.
Even with the recent increase in rates, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment.
Many more buyers are jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2017 all fell in April, May, or June.
Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line 
If you are planning on selling your home in 2018, let’s get together to evaluate the opportunities in our market.
Call us at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830 to get started today! 

Tax Refund for Down Payment?

by Fontaine Family

It’s Tax Season…
Use Your Refund to Jump Start Your Down Payment Savings!

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,840 this year when filing their taxes.
This is down slightly from the average refund of $2,895, last year.

Tax refunds are often thought of as ‘extra money’ that can be used toward larger goals;
for anyone looking to buy a home in 2018, this can be a great jump start toward a down payment!

The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state.
(The refunds received for the 2017 tax year should continue to reflect these numbers as the new tax code will go into effect for 2018 tax filings.)

It's Tax Season… Use Your Refund to Jump Start Your Down Payment Savings! | Simplifying The Market

Many first-time buyers believe that a 20% down payment is required to qualify for a mortgage.
Programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all allow for down payments as low as 3%,
with Veterans Affairs Loans allowing many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.

If you started your down payment savings with your tax refund check this year, how close would you be to a 3% down payment?

The map below shows what percentage of a 3% down payment is covered by the average tax refund
by taking into account the median price of homes sold by state.

It's Tax Season… Use Your Refund to Jump Start Your Down Payment Savings! | Simplifying The Market

The darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership!
For those in Alabama looking to purchase their first homes, their tax refund could potentially get them 69% closer to that dream!

Bottom Line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task. But the more you know about what’s required,
the more prepared you can be to make the best decision for you and your family! This tax season, your refund could be your key to homeownership!

Avoid Wire Fraud

by Fontaine Family

Do you know how to
Avoid Wire Fraud?

Wire Fraud seems to be happening more and more in real estate transactions and it is not always easy to spot.  Often someone involved in a real estate transaction gets an e-mail with a change to the wiring instructions.  Sometimes the buyer will get an e-mail that looks like it is coming from the Lender, Title Company, or even their Real Estate Agent saying where to wire the funds for closing.  A title company could get a request that looks like it is coming from the seller saying they want the proceeds from closing wired into a different account.  There are too many scenarios to list.  There are some common things to look for to avoid wire fraud. 

Spelling & Grammar
A lot of spelling and grammar mistakes.  They are often lacking punctuation and capitalization.

Logos & Company Names
Scammers e-mails are often missing logos or the Company Name.  Sometimes the logo and signature is copied from a legitimate e-mail but then the phone number might be changed. 

E-Mail Links
Often the e-mail looks just like the e-mail of someone involved in the transaction.  If you hover over the e-mail link before clicking on it, the e-mail may be different.  Even if it does look the same, avoid using the links in an e-mail.  They could lead to a phishing site that looks identical to the site you expect.

Password Changes
Lately there have been a lot of phishing e-mails arriving that look like they are from Outlook, saying you need to change your password.  When you click on it, it appears identical to the Outlook log-in but once you enter your password, the scammer has it and can access your e-mail. 

The bottom line is...
you can't be too careful when you are trying to avoid wire fraud. 
Always double check before giving out personal information or wiring any funds. 
Pick up the phone and call your agent or lender or both! 
Better safe than sorry! 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 187

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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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