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All-Inclusive, Affordable Fitness Center Opens in Greenfield

Common Ground Fitness Center

There’s a new fitness center in Greenfield that opened up at the beginning of the year! Locally owned by Eric and Hannah Mosher, the gym is called Common Ground and occupies the space that was formerly ACD Women’s Fitness, a gym that was just for women. The Moshers are taking a different approach to the center. They want the space to be all-inclusive, an environment where everyone feels comfortable to exercise and be healthy. Hence, they chose the name Common Ground.

Classes and More

Common Ground offers a variety of classes, plus personal training ,and exercise equipment. Their classes range from PiYo which is a combination of pilates and yoga, TRX, Boxing, Zumba, and more. Eric also teaches a class called Basic, where he draws on his experiences as an Army Sergeant to push his students to their limits. They plan to add spinning classes and P90X in the near future.

Affordable Rates

Another way that Common Ground allows its center to be all-inclusive, is by offering affordable rates. Eric and Hannah want to offer the lowest rates possible so that their clients feel financially comfortable. In this way, they believe they can make a difference health-wise in the community by making their fitness center accessible to all. On top of their low membership rates, they also offer low drop-in rates for non-members who want to occasionally come in.

So if you are looking for a quality, all-inclusive, affordable gym in Greenfield, stop by Eric and Hannah’s fitness center on High Street or check out their website, www.commongroundfitness.com. Common Ground Fitness is just what our community needs to start off a healthy new year.

K9 Keg Pull at the Greenfield Winter Carnival | February 2nd - 4th

The 96th Annual Greenfield Winter Carnival is happening this weekend with fun events scheduled for the entire family. Here are just some of the events to look forward to, but check their website or Facebook page for a full listing of events.

Starting on Friday, browse the various live ice carvings on display throughout Downtown Greenfield. Then, vote for your favorite sculpture at the ballot box on Town Common. At 7:00 pm, look towards the sky for a fireworks show, being shot from Poet's Seat Tower. 

On Saturday at 10 am, runners will line up for the Sleigh Bell Run, a 4 mile scenic road race. Then at 2 pm, the bicyclists will come out for the Fatbike Group Ride, led by the local bike shop, Bicycle World.

On Sunday, enjoy Breakfast with Olaf at The 99 Restaurant. Then work off your meal with a Snowshoeing Trek, meeting at Highland Park at 10 am. 

Other events for the Winter Carnival will include youth basketball games, an art exhibit, face painting, photography contest, dancing, parade of lights, and so much more. 

Greenfield Winter Carnival Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont RealtorsYou will especially not want to miss the popular K9 Keg Pull starting Sunday at 1:00. Dogs of all sizes will be racing to pull kegs (empty ones, of course) across the finish line. The agents at Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont will be handing out this attractive bandana (photo left) being modeled by Millie! Stop by to say hello and pick one up for your furry friend. 

Ongoing events throughout the weekend will include sledding, outdoor ice skating, snowman village, snow sculpture contest, and marshmallow toasting by the warming fire.

Click here for more information about this weekend's events.

Greenfield Winter Carnival February 2-4

 

Year End Sales Report for Pioneer Valley

Compared to 2016 Franklin County sales for single family homes were up 3% in 2017 and the median price up 2.3%.  The Pioneer Valley sales were up 1.7% and median price 4.5%.  In Franklin County 626 homes sold in 2016 and 645 in 2017.   

Unless something changes over the next few months it is going to be a challenging year for buyers looking to find the right home.   There are fewer homes on the market and if this pattern continues it will be create tension in the market creating an increase in multiple offer situations.  Lets hope once the winter weather breaks and spring arrives you will see a greater selection of homes for sale. 

I will continue to post monthly reports, keeping you informed of local market conditions. 

The following reports are provided by the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.   

PIONEER VALLEY - KEY REAL ESTATE POINTS:

Sales - Rose 1.7% from 5901 in 2016 to 5,999 in 2017.

Median Price - Rose 4.5% from $199,000 in 2016 to $208,000 in 2017.

Days on Market - The average days on market was down 24.5% from 104 days in 2016 to 78 days in 2017.

Pending Sales - Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are up 4.3% from 5,912 in 2016 to 6,167 in 2017.

Mortgage Rates - 30 year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.99 percent for the week ending December 29, 2017.  Last year at this time the 30 year FRM averaged 4.32 percent. (Source: Mortgage-x.com)

 

 

Why Smaller Homes are Making a Big Impression

A survey done recently by Houzz, a home remodeling and design website, showed that more and more homeowners prefer small houses, 1,000 feet or less. Often the smallest home in the neighborhood, these homes are relaxed and easy to keep clean, according to the owners.  

However, these homeowners use certain tactics to utilize their space and make their home still feel open. One method is having a lot of natural light. Another way to make the space feel less constricted is having an open floor plan, and expanding the living space to the exterior, as well.

In line with this trend, I am proud to be a part of a new project in Greenfield, Green River Commons (pictured right). Construction of these seven sustainable, ground level townhouses began in early November, just steps from downtown Greenfield. These low-cost condominiums are designed to be energy-efficient with LED lighting, roofs to support solar panels, energy star appliances, and more. They also have sensible floor plans that utilize the smaller space to maximize comfort.

Contact me today to learn more about these new affordable, sustainable homes or visit GreenRiverCommons.com.

View the survey here.

 

Do You Have These 9 Items Ready as You Prep Your Home for Sale?

9 Items to Prepare Your Home For SaleRecently I came across an article in Coldwell Banker’s blog about 9 overlooked items necessary to prepare your home for sale, by David Marine. I found the list to be very helpful since we often are so focused on the big, cosmetic tasks, that we skip some of the details behind the scenes. Here are some things you should be sure to have done before putting your house on the market:

1. Survey

Keep a current copy of your home’s survey and be sure to give your listing agent a copy, as well. This document will provide important information to buyers, such as property lines, easements, conservation buffers, etc.

2. Floorplan or Appraisal Sketch

Whether deciding on furniture placement or parking space, a floorplan is crucial for a buyer to know property dimensions. It is suggested to have an appraisal sketch done to confirm exact square footage of a home, rather than using tax records.

3. Utility Bills

Review your utility bills to give buyers an average cost for heating and cooling your home. This helps them figure out total costs of owning the home.

4. Termite Bond

A termite bond is a protection plan in the case of a termite infestation. In many markets where termites are common, buyers are interested in knowing the termite bond policy.

5. Pest Control

If your propety requires any type of pest control maintenance, have all of the details ready. Include how much you pay, how often maintenance is done, and who your provider is.

6. Insurance

Buyers are interested in knowing the seller’s current home insurance provider, since sometimes it can be easier for them to go through the same provider, rather than trying to acquire a new one.

7. Product Manuals and Warranty Documents

For any home appliances that will remain in the home, such as water heaters, ceiling fans, refrigerators, etc., have the manuals and warranty information ready.

8. Service Providers

Have a list of all vendors and service providers. The buyer may eventually opt to find their own providers, however they will appreciate having help available initially.

9. Covenants and Restrictions, Neighborhood Rules and Information

This information is very important to new owners. You can find it by contacting your neighborhood association or going to your municipality’s website.

If you really want to go above and beyond as a seller, once you have all this information, store it in handy binder or folder that can be easily passed on to the buyer. While it may seem like a lot to compile, it will be less stressful to do it before putting your home on the market and can even move your sale along faster.

Read the full article here.

Contact me today for help in preparing your home for sale!

Source: Marine, David. “9 Overlooked Items to Prep Your Home for Sale.” Coldwell Banker Blue Matter, 7 Dec. 2017, www.coldwellbanker.com/blog/9-overlooked-items-to-prep-your-home-for-sale/.

 

Get Ready for the Holidays With These Festive Events in Franklin County, MA

With the holidays being right around the corner, all of the towns in Franklin County are lighting up with holiday festivities and cheer. This weekend in particular, two seasonal events are happening: JingleFest in Downtown Greenfield and A Special Day in Northfield. Support your local community and enjoy either or both of these festive events.

 

JingleFest | Greenfield, MA

On Friday, December 8, the Greenfield Business Association and downtown merchants of Greenfield are hosting JingleFest from 5 to 8 pm. The theme for this year’s event is “Light the Way,” as festival goers will enter a totally lit up downtown. There will be tons of kid-friendly activities such as holiday crafts, a Children’s Holiday Parade, and visits with Santa Claus at Wilson’s Department Store.

Also during JingleFest, GreenFields Market will sell hot chocolates for just 25 cents and luminarias will be lit throughout Main St. Plus, businesses will compete for the best-decorated display window, voted on by shoppers themselves. All voters will be entered into a drawing for a free shopping spree.

Of course, our local passionate art community will be represented at JingleFest, with the reveal of several art displays in storefront windows. Local artists created these works to beautify Main Street for all the shoppers and celebrate the holidays. New this year is the Greenfield Holiday Pop-Up Market, thanks to Yankee Candle, which will be filled with local artisans, music, food, and libations.

For more information on JingleFest, visit their Facebook page.

 

12th Annual A Special Day in Northfield | Northfield, MA

Since you can never have too much holiday fun, the next day, Saturday, December 9, head over to Northfield for their 12th Annual A Special Day in Northfield: Olde Fashioned Holiday Celebration.  Happening from 10 am “through the evening”, this event is produced and sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Northfield and the Northfield Area Tourism & Business Association. Blue and white snowflakes, signs and holiday wreaths on utility poles will guide people to event locations.

There are several new events this year such as dinner at Cameron’s Winery, the Friday eve before A Special Day and the strolling players from the Pioneer Valley Regional High School Band. Also new this year is the Buxton Christmas Barn with fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreaths, and accessories and the Indoor Farmers and Craft Market downstairs at the First Parish Church.

A Special Day will also boast a ton of kid-friendly activities. Mim’s Market is offering free gingerbread people decorating plus live music by Phil Watson and Friends on the Porch. Kids can also make winter-themed crafts at Dickinson Memorial Library and pine cone bird feeders at Kidder & Co. Other special events will include horse-drawn wagon rides, live theater, WHAI Radio Personality Nick Danjer, and even a bonfire at Northfield Golf Club.

Click here to download the full event schedule.

 

Happy Holiday Season, everyone!

Photo: Getting Ready for Santa at Centennial House Bed & Breakfast

Benefits of Listing Your Home During The Winter

Your home is still listed for sale. You might be thinking it is best to take it off the market and re-list in the spring. However if you are serious about selling, rethink removing it from the market for the following 4 reasons.

1.  If you remove your home from the market, you will have less completion on the market place, which means buyers will have less to pick from. You actually might sell at a higher price in the winter than if you wait until spring when you'll have greater competition.

2.   The winter months are the best time for buyers to make a purchase. They normally have more time to look around before the spring, when life gets busy with kids getting out of school and summer vacations being planned.

3.  Buyers want to already be in their new home in winter so they can enjoy the start of the spring and summer season.

4.  Bad weather is no longer an issue for buyers like it used to be in the past, traveling to view different homes. Nine out of ten homebuyers search for their homes online at their workplaces, on their smart phones, and from the comfort of their homes after dark.

I have sold many of my listings during the winter. My sellers were glad they listened to my advice about keeping their homes on the market. Don’t let the winter season discourage you from trying to sell your home.  

Happy Winter Selling!

 

October Real Estate Sales Report for Pioneer Valley

Franklin County sales were down 13.1% and the median price was down 13.1% in October, 2017 compared to October, 2016.  The sales and median price was up in Hampshire and Hampden County.  I anticipate a reduction in the number of sales as we approach the winter season.  The inventory of homes for sale is low which means it is a great time to keep your house on the market.  Your house will stand out more because there is less competition on the marketplace and buyers do purchase homes during the winter months.  

The following reports will be posted monthly keeping you informed of the local real estate market.   

PIONEER VALLEY - KEY REAL ESTATE POINTS:

Sales—Up 20.6 percent from 432 in October 2016 to 521 in October, 2017.

Median Price— Up 6 percent from $194,000 in October 2016 to $205,550 in October 2017.

Inventory of available property—Inventory fell 24.7 percent from 2,303 single family listings at the end of October 2016, to 1,734 single family listings at the end of October 2017.

Supply—The supply of single-family properties on the market at the current rate of sale dropped 28.9 percent. At the end of October 2016 there were 4.9 months of supply at the current rate of sale. At the end of October 2017 there were 3.5 months of supply at current rate of sale.

Days on Market—The average days on market dropped 21.2 percent from 81 days in October 2016 to 64 days in October 2017.

Pending Sales—Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are up 21.1 percent from 475 in October 2016 to 575 in October 2017.

Mortgage Rates 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.95 percent with an average 0.5 points for the week ending November 16, 2017 . Last year at this time the 30-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.5 points. (Source: www.FreddieMac.com)

 

 

Shop Local this Small Business Saturday in Western Massachusetts

Living in Western Massachusetts, we are surrounded by tons of small, locally-owned businesses. It is easy to regularly shop local and support small businesses. However, this Saturday, November 25, is a particularly special time to visit these stores, since it is Small Business Saturday, a national shopping holiday. You can finish all of your holiday shopping, while supporting our local economy.

Here a few stores that I highly recommend for Small Business Saturday:

Wilson’s Department Store: Wilson’s has been a fixture on Main Street in downtown Greenfield for over 125 years. It is one of few family-owned department stores left in the country and boasts 4 floors of name-brand merchandise.

Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange: Located on High Street in Greenfield, the Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange sells thousands of products for the home, farm, garden, pets, and more. Over 800 farmers comprise the co-op, which is almost 100 years old!

Shelburne Farm & Garden: Shelburne Farm & Garden is another great store for finding home, garden, and pet supplies. It is located on the Mohawk Trail/Route 2, close to the village of Shelburne Falls. Check out their end of fall specials and other deals for the holiday season.

The Outlet Store: The Outlet Store on Chapman Street in Greenfield is the go-to spot for work shirts, boots, Carhartt brand clothing, and other heavy duty outdoor and work attire. It’s a small store with friendly staff who will help you find anything you’re looking for. Plus, the prices are very reasonable.

Salmon Falls Gallery: Up on the hill, overlooking Shelburne Falls and the Deerfield River, Salmon Falls Gallery represents over 100 local artists. Owned by local glassblower, Josh Simpson, the gallery has rotating exhibits, so there is always something new to see. You will be sure to find something special for a loved one or yourself, since there is such a wide range of art; woodwork, jewelry, paintings, ceramics, and more.

Shelburne Arts Co-op: The Shelburne Arts Co-op is another great source of fine crafts and art in Shelburne Falls. The Co-op has been owned and operated by local artists since 1998, who are ready to help you find something special.

To find more local small businesses in the area, type in your location on the Shop Small Map. Happy shopping!

Moonlight Magic Kicks Off the Holiday Season in Shelburne Falls This Friday!

Thanksgiving is this Thursday! While I am looking forward to spending time with family and reflecting on what I am grateful for, in the back of my mind I am thinking about Moonlight Magic. Moonlight Magic is the annual holiday kick-off event in Shelburne Falls. Every year on Black Friday, which this year is November 24th, from 4-9 pm, the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association closes off Bridge Street and the Iron Bridge to host this magical event.

Vendors will line the streets, selling crafts, candles, maple and other farm products, wreaths, and other delightful things perfect for gifting for the holidays. Barberic Farm will be selling their delicious frozen meat pies, jams, jellies, pickles, plus their handmade wool and leather products. Shelburne Farm & Garden will also have a booth, selling birding supplies, pet toys, hats, and gloves. You could get all your holiday shopping done without having to even look at a mall!

School groups and other non-profits will also set up to fundraise for their special projects. Colrain Central School will be raffling off gift baskets, and Hawlemont Elementary School will sell baked goods and offer cookie decoration as a fundraiser for their Nature’s Classroom trip. Of course, don’t forget to look for the Salvation Army kettle to make a donation.

While you’re shopping around, there will be a bunch of performances, both indoors and out. Keep your ears open for roaming performers, Welcome Yule, a group of carolers, and Tom Crean, banjoist. At 5:15 pm, be sure to be outside to watch the Parade of Lights come down Conway Street to Bridge Street. Wave to Santa Claus and his crew, plus a special horse drawn wagon courtesy of Greenfield Savings Bank. Then, pay Santa and Mrs. Claus a visit at the Mason’s Lodge on Main Street. Some other acts you won’t want to miss include Ageless Waves of Rhythm, the Senior Center’s drumming group, who will perform in Greenfield Savings Bank, and Celtic Heels, Irish step-dancing group.

My favorite part of Moonlight Magic are the beautiful lights and decorations throughout the village of Shelburne Falls. Luminaria line the streets and christmas lights and garlands drape overhead, making this cozy village even more serene.

For more information and specific event details, go to shelburnefalls.com.