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Welcome Doreen!

by Fontaine Family

Fontaine Team Welcomes Doreen Jackson


Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader is pleased to announce the addition of Doreen Jackson to our team in our Auburn location.

Doreen grew up in Hartford, Maine, and graduated from Buckfield High School.  She currently resides in Hartford and is the mother of 3 very active boys.  

Doreen is an experienced Realtor® who holds an Associate Broker license. She is a member of the Maine Board of Realtors and the National Board of Realtors.  She enjoys helping both buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.  Doreen is also the owner of Kozy Kennelz and has 20 years of bookkeeping experience.

Doreen can be reached at 207-212-6677 or at doreen@fontaineteam.com.

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll

by Fontaine Family

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running


 

Every year, Gallup surveys Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are given a choice between real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.

For the fifth year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment!

This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26%. The full results are shown in the chart below.

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running | Simplifying The Market

The study makes it a point to draw attention to the contrast in the sentiment over the last five years compared to that of 2011-2012, when gold took the top slot with 34% of the votes. Real estate and stocks took second and third place, respectively, while still in recovery from the Great Recession.

Bottom Line

As the real estate market has recovered, so has the belief of the American people in the stability of housing as a long-term investment.

Welcome to the Team!

by Fontaine Family

WELCOME TO THE TEAM!
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 natalie@fontaineteam.com.


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)357-3778 or at chad@fontaineteam.com.

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

Don't Wait Until Spring!

by Fontaine Family

Are you thinking of listing your home this spring?
 DON'T WAIT UNTIL 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!

What's Happening in the Real Estate Market in Androscoggin County?

by Fontaine Family

Androscoggin County Real Estate Market   2017 vs 2016 Statistics

We hear all kinds of statistics on the news about the real estate market, but real estate varies greatly from region to region.  Check out our infographic comparing the real estate market in Androscoggin County in 2017 vs. 2016.  Check back next week to see the statistics for Cumberland County!

Are you ready to buy or sell a home in Androscoggin County? 
Give us a call today at (207)784-3800!

Should I Price My Home Higher?

by Fontaine Family

Should I price my home higher to leave room to negotiate?


We hear that question almost daily when talking with home owners about selling their homes. 
Sellers feel that if they add a few thousand dollars on top of the price the Realtor® suggests, it will just give them room to negotiate. 

What can it hurt, after all? 
First of all, buyers have to see your house to make an offer.  Keep in mind that they are looking at photos and comparing it to other houses of the same price.  If you are not one of the best homes at that price, buyers may just move on to the next home and never ever set foot in yours.  Any good agent will provide a seller with comparable properties and the prices they have SOLD for.  Those houses actually SOLD.  There could be other houses, priced just a few thousand dollars high still sitting on the market months after being listing.  Now buyers just scroll right past those houses saying "There must be something wrong with it or it would have sold."  Is it worth the risk?  If you price your house right, you can create a sense of urgency.  Buyers will be afraid that someone else may beat them making an offer.  Sometimes that sense of urgency even produces multiple offers and a higher sales price! 

Which situation would you choose? 
The bottom line is overpricing your home is one of the most common and costliest mistakes you can make when selling your home. 

Are you ready to see what your home is worth in today's Maine real estate market? 
Give us a call and one of our talented agents will provide you with a FREE opinion of value! 

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

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 64

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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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