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The Cost of Renting vs. Buying

by Keeping Current Matters

Renting vs. Buying: What Does it Really Cost? [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you have been considering buying this year...you need to see this!  Buying can be more affordable than renting.

Renting vs. Buying: What Does it Really Cost? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights: 
  • The percentage of income needed to afford a median priced home is almost half the percentage of income needed to afford median rent.
  • Buying costs are significantly less than renting costs.
  • The percentage of income needed to afford a median priced home is less than the historic norm.

Do Your Walls Need Repair?

by Fontaine Family


Repair Walls to Give Rooms a Fresh Face

Article From HouseLogic.com
 

By: Jane Hoback
Published: January 14, 2011


Sooner or later you'll repair walls that make rooms look worn out. Erasing dings, dents, and scuffs is an easy fix. We'll show you how.

Repair walls filled with dents, dings, and scuffs, and you'll make rooms look young and fresh and maintain the value of your home. Fortunately, repairing walls is a good weekend warrior project. Here's how to fix your home's face in a hurry.

 

 Patch Drywall to Smooth Walls

 A putty knife, spackle, or joint compound can repair wall damage that ages a room.

  • Dents and dings:  A quart of spackle ($11) and a putty knife can fill dozens of small wall indentations. Spackle adheres to painted walls better than joint compound, though it takes a bit longer to dry. Cut wall repair time by thoroughly wiping away excess spackle.
  • Fist-sized holes: Joint compound is your best bet when covering the mesh or drywall patches that cover big holes. You'll need at least two thin coats of compound and fine grit sandpaper to blend repairs into the rest of the wall.
  • Nail pops: Nail pops travel in packs: Rarely do you see just one. To repair walls pocked with pops, hammer the popped nail back into the wall or pull it out with a needle-nose pliers; refasten the drywall to the nearest stud with a couple of screws, then fill dents with two or three coats of joint compound. Sand until smooth and flush with the rest of the wall, then repaint.

 

 Remove Marks for a Clean Start

 Microfiber cloths are little miracles that erase the evidence of a childhood well spent, drawing on and caroming off walls. To get rid of scuff marks and fingerprints:

          •Spray an all-purpose cleaner onto the cloth (never directly onto walls to avoid drips) and swipe the scuff. (Test a hidden spot to make sure the cleaner doesn't take off paint with the mark.)

          •Pour a little dish soap onto a damp cloth and wipe the mark.

          •Dip a sponge into an earth-friendly and slightly abrasive paste of dish soap, baking soda, and water, and gently scrub grime.

          •To repair walls decorated with crayon marks, dab toothpaste onto a towel or toothbrush and scrub marks.

          •Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($3), the best instant wall cleaner around. Wet and wring the eraser before attacking scuffs.

Touch Up What You Can't Wipe Out

Prepare for inevitable touch-ups by keeping leftover paint or at least recording the paint number and/or formula (paint names change). Don't have the original? Scrape off a little and ask your paint store to match it.

For touch-ups, use the same type of brush or roller the original painter used. Feather the paint from the outside borders in.

If touch-ups stand out, paint the entire wall, making sure to paint corner to corner and avoid splatters onto the ceiling and adjacent walls.

Is it Time to Buy Your Dream Home?

by Fontaine Family

4 Reasons to Move Up to Your Dream Home This Spring | Simplifying The Market

4 Reasons to Move Up to Your Dream Home This Spring

Spring is in full force; the summer months are right around the corner. If you are debating moving up to your dream home, here are four great reasons to consider listing your current home and moving up to your dream home now, instead of waiting.

1. Buyer Demand is High & Inventory is Low

Recent numbers show that buyer demand is at the highest peak experienced in years, and inventory for sale is at a 4.5-month supply, which is still markedly lower than the 6 months needed for a historically normal market.

Demand in many markets is far exceeding the supply, and more properties in March sold in less than 30 days (42%) than in any month since last July.

Listing your home today can greatly increase exposure to buyers who are out in force and ready to act.

2. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic recently released their latest Home Price Index in which they predict that national home values will appreciate by 5.3% by this time next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting for your current home’s value to increase before selling could price you out of your new home if you aren’t careful.

3. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Still Near Record Lows

Interest rates have remained below 4% for some time now and are substantially lower than the rate previous generations paid when getting a mortgage.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will rise over the next 12 months.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Even an increase of half a percentage point can put a dent in your family’s net worth. Whether you are moving up or buying your first home, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your home.

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 whether it is worth waiting. Have you always wanted to live in a certain neighborhood? Would a climate change be just what the doctor ordered? Would you like to be closer to your family?

Bottom Line

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

Are you ready to find your dream home?
Call us today at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830!

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

by Fontaine Family

There snow is gone (mostly)...
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! 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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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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