Wanda Mooney

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Don't Miss the Last Two Shows of the Season for Mohawk Trail Concerts

mohawk trail concertsMohawk Trail Concerts has been presenting high quality chamber music to Western Massachusetts in an informal, friendly setting since 1970. Catch the last two events of the Mohawk Trail Concert Series for the 2021 season! 

Come to the Charlemont Federated Church this Saturday, July 24th at 5:00 pm to see the Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo. Sally Pinkas and Evan Hirsch will perform works from Rachmaninoff, Milhaud, and Barber. 

The last performance of the season will be next Saturday, July 31st, featuring Tinky Weisblat, Diva of Delight, and Clifton Jerry Noble on piano. The show will also be held at the Charlemont Federated Church at 5:00 pm. 

Tickets are first come, first served and will be limited to 100 persons inside the church. For more information, go to mohawktrailconcerts.org.

Mohawk Trail Concerts is supported by the Mass Cultural Council.

Photo credit: facebook.com/mohawktrailconcerts

mohawk trail concerts chamber music western mass

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

 

 

 

 

 

Franklin County Farmers' Markets are Open!

farmers markets franklin county massachusetts One of the greatest perks of living in the Pioneer Valley, is the abundance of farms and therefore farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products. Now that summer is officially in full swing, so too are the area Farmers’ Markets. Grab your reusable bag and get over to one of these markets to load up on fresh fruits and veggies for your household.

 

Ashfield Farmers’ Market

Fresh produce, meat, bread, and plants every Saturday from 9am-1pm at the Town Common, Main Street, in Ashfield, MA from May 15th to October 30th. Check their Facebook page for weekly updates and for their live music lineups. Visit ashfieldfarmersmarket.com for more information.

 

Bernardston Farmers’ Market

Located at the United Church Parking Lot in Bernardston, MA, the Bernardston Farmers’ Markets has local produce, baked goods, crafts, and more. Visit them every Saturday from 10am to 1pm through the summer. More information on their Facebook page.

 

Greenfield Farmers’ Market

Start Saturdays fresh at the Greenfield Farmers’ Market at Court Square in Downtown Greenfield, MA. Find a variety of agricultural products and produce sold by farmers and artisans from around the area, every Saturday May through October 8am to 12:30pm. Visit greenfieldfarmersmarket.com for more information.

 

farm to table produce localNorthfield Farmers’ Market

Do Saturday mornings not work for your schedule? Northfield has a Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 3pm to 6pm through October 7th. Find fresh food, crafts, relishes, jams, pies, and more at the market, located at 105 Main Street, Northfield, MA. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

 

Shelburne Falls Farmers’ Market

Every Friday, rain or shine, from 2pm to 6:30pm, through October 29th head over to the corner of Main and Water Streets in Shelburne Falls, MA for fresh, local vegetables, plus hand-spun wools, pasture-raised eggs and meat, home-made bread, and other treats. One Friday of each month will be a special market day. Visit their website shelburnefallsfarmersmarket.org to find out what the next one will be.

 

Orange Farmers’ Market

The Orange Farmers’ Market offers healthy food for you and your family. Located at the Armory on East Main Street in Orange, MA, the market is open every Thursday from 3pm to 6pm. Visit their Facebook page for updates and more information.

 

local produce western massGreat Falls Farmers’ Market

The Great Falls Farmers Market runs every Wednesday from May through October from 2pm-6pm at Peskeomskut Park, on the corner of Avenue A and 2nd Street in Downtown Turners Falls, MA. Vendors may change weekly and include local: meats, in-season produce, flowers, soaps, crafts, jewelry, breads, baked goods and much more! Check out their Facebook page for updates.

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Historic Deerfield is Open for the 2021 Season!

historic deerfield massachusettsHistoric Deerfield has reopened for the 2021 season! Now through November 28, step into the past by touring one of their historic homes, attending a history workshop, or simply strolling the tree-lined streets of this 17th century village. Visit historic-deerfied.org for pricing and hours. Admission includes historic house tours, entry to the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, walking tours, the History Workshop, the Apprentice’s workshop, and any special programs scheduled during your visit. Purchase your tickets online here or at the Flynt Center of Early New England Life.

Deerfield’s first English settlers arrived in 1669, although Native Americans had inhabited the area for at least 8,000 years prior. The area was immediately attractive to settlers because of its fertile soil, due to its proximity to the Deerfield, Green, and Connecticut rivers. Over the years, the settlement was fought over many times, which is why the future generations took so much care in preserving the village’s history. Historic Deerfield, Inc. was founded in 1952 as an outdoor museum and the village has been on the National Register of Historic Landmarks since 1962.

Photo credit: facebook.com/HistoricDeerfield

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Ride the Canalside Rail Trail in Turners Falls

Trestle Bridge Rail Trail Turners Falls MAAround Franklin County, you’ll find many old buildings, structures, and features which were built around the time of the Industrial Revolution and no longer serve a purpose. Rather than letting them sit and deteriorate, many of these outdated relics have been renovated and given a new purpose which serves the community in some way. One example of this is the Canalside Rail Trail, a little treasure in Turners Falls. 

Once a rail bed, which runs along the canal and the Connecticut River, the trail has been paved and made usable for walkers/joggers, cyclists, and other forms of human-powered wheels. The stretch of trail runs 3.7 miles with ample parking on both ends, at Unity Park in Turners Falls, and McClelland Farm Road in Deerfield. Along the way, you’ll cross the 1880 trestle bridge over the Connecticut River, from which you can gaze up and down the river and even see the mouth of the Deerfield River. You’ll also pass many serene rest stops with benches and picnic tables which offer stunning views of the river and the wildlife. Once you reach Turners Falls, you'll be riding alongside the canals and old factories (hence the name!) and eventually come to the fish ladder where you can get a close up view of the migrating fish. The Canalside Rail Trail has a lot to offer and I recommend riding it during different times of year to see the trail in all its forms! 

After the trail, be sure to check out the wonderful village of Turners Falls. There are some great eateries such as The Rendezvous, Five Eyed Fox, and Black Cow Burger Bar to name a few, and some great places to shop, like Tangible Bliss and LOOT Found + Made.

More information on the Canalside Rail Trail here.

 

Happy Trails! 

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls Reopens!

bridge of flowers reopening shelburne falls massWhether you’ve strolled across the Bridge of Flowers one time or thousands of times, there’s no doubt you felt the heartbreak of the Bridge’s closing last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully, life is moving on and the Bridge is once again open to its fans! As of June 1, 2021, the Bridge of Flower’s gates were opened for all to enter and surround themselves with the lovely flowers, vines, and blossoming trees that span the bridge. 

The Bridge of Flowers was once a trolley bridge, which became outdated when automobile usage increased and freight was more frequently transported across the Deerfield River using the nearby Iron Bridge. The trolley company went bankrupt in 1927, leaving the trolley bridge covered in weeds, unable to be demolished since it carried the water main between the two towns. In 1929, Antoinette Burnham proposed the idea of converting the bridge into a garden and the Shelburne Falls Women’s Club sponsored the project. 

For almost a century the bridge has hurdled challenges such as deterioration and flooding due to Hurricane Irene in 2011. However, the community has always stepped up for the bridge and pulled together efforts to raise funds to maintain the bridge and see to it that the plants were always cared for. To this day, the Bridge of Flowers remains a volunteer-run, donation-based project. 

Head Gardener, Carol Laliberte DeLorenzo has held her position for the last 20 years, organizing the other volunteer gardeners, known as the Blossom Brigade. Along with her assistant, Elliston Bingham, Carol has made her gardening visions for the bridge a reality. This was made possible through monetary donations from supporters and friends of the Bridge, and through the hundreds of hours spent annually by the Brigade, planting, watering, and weeding the bridge in the early morning hours before the bridge becomes filled with visitors. 

If you’re lucky enough to live in the village of Shelburne Falls, you might walk across the Bridge of Flowers on a regular basis, on your way to grab a coffee at Mocha Maya’s, or to pick up some groceries from McCusker’s Market, or maybe it’s part of your daily commute to work. If you’re traveling from farther away, the Bridge of Flowers could be the purpose of your visit, or just the cherry on top to your experience in such a lovely place. Either way, we are all grateful to have the Bridge of Flowers back into our lives this summer. Let’s all show our appreciation by making a donation, either small or large, to the Bridge’s donation box at our next visit or on their website, bridgeofflowersmass.org, and let’s see this magical garden over the river survive another century and more. 

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Photo Credit: Bridge of Flower's Facebook Page

 

Annual Bridge of Flowers Plant Sale in Shelburne Falls

bridge of flowers shelburne falls massachusettsThe Bridge of Flowers is a landmark in Shelburne Falls which draws visitors each year from all over. Once a trolley bridge, the Bridge of Flowers runs across the Deerfield River, next to the Iron Bridge, connecting the towns of Shelburne and Buckland. A group of volunteers from the community, known as the Blossom Brigade, maintain the bridge’s beautiful gardens, so that people can enjoy the spectacular plants and flowers as they walk across the bridge. 

This Saturday, May 15th, 2021, support the Bridge of Flowers at the Bridge of Flowers Annual Plant Sale. From 9 am to noon, head over to the Baptist Corner Green in Shelburne Falls to find a variety of perennials, annuals, and other garden related items. Some of the plants have been dug up from the Bridge of Flowers itself! All proceeds will benefit the Bridge of Flowers. Masks and social distancing regulations will be observed. 

If you are unable to attend the plant sale but still wish to support the Bridge of Flowers, you can donate online at www.bridgeofflowersmass.org/copy-of-donate.

Visit bridgeofflowersmass.org for more information and follow the Bridge of Flowers on Facebook!

While you're in the spirit of working on your yard and garden, be sure to visit these local shops for more tools, plants, and more for your garden:

Shelburne Farm and Garden

Located on the Mohawk Trail right outside of Shelburne Falls, they offer everything for your home and garden, plus nursery, pet, birding, and livestock supplies.
www.shelburnefarmandgarden.com
(413) 625-6650

Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange

A farmer owned Cooperative with thousands of products for your home, farm, garden, and pets.
www.greenfieldfarmerscoop.com
(413) 773-9639

Baystate Perennial

A plant nursery in Whately, Mass, offering an assortment of perennials, trees, and shrubs.
www.baystateperennial.com
(413) 665-3525

Gardener's Supply at Hadley Garden Center

Long-running store selling plants & gardening supplies, plus bird food & accessories.
www.hadleygardencenter.com
(413) 584-1423

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

 

Greenfield Farmers' Market Opens This Saturday!

The Greenfield Farmers’ Market opens this Saturday, May 1, 2021 at the Court Square in downtown Greenfield. Since 1975, the Greenfield Farmers’ Market has been a wonderful resource for community members, giving them easy access to beautiful, fresh, local agricultural products. At the market you’ll find not only organic produce, plants, and flowers, but other local products such as jams, meats, cheeses, baked goods, maple syrup, herbal ointments and salves, quilts, home-made soaps, handcrafted clothing, and more. Find a list of market vendors at greenfieldfarmersmarket.com/businesses.

Stop by the Manager’s booth to purchase tokens using your credit or debit card and then use the tokens to pay at the vendor booths. You can also purchase Greenfield Farmers’ Market T-shirts, sweatshirts, and totes. Sign up for a frequent shopper card and after 6 visits, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a basket full of market goods!

The Greenfield Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from May 1st to October 31st from 8 am to 12:30 pm in downtown Greenfield. Visit greenfieldfarmersmarket.com for more information and follow the market on Facebook!

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Buy Land and Build in the Western Mass Hilltowns!

Spring is the perfect time of year to explore the option of buying land and building your dream home.  Before you begin the search for finding the right parcel, I recommend meeting with a building contractor or architect to discuss the process of constructing a home in addition to knowing the costs associated with building.  You will want to make sure it is within your budget before you begin your search.

If you plan on getting a construction loan to finance your home, make sure you meet with local lenders to get pre-qualified.  The process and rates are different than if you were to buy a home already constructed. They will provide a timeline as to how the funds are distributed based on the status of the construction.    

Prior to searching for land, make a list of what is most important to you.  Is it having a brook or mountain view, having an open meadow so you can garden or raise a few animals or just having a private wooded setting?  Once you have identified some land for sale you will want to view the surrounding properties to see what is nearby.  How close are you to neighbors?  Is there any development potential or do you hear road noise or businesses?  If you are new to the area, check out the communities in the Western Mass area and make sure the land is in a convenient location and that you can get high speed internet! 

Once you have selected a parcel and have an agreement to purchase you will want to meet with your builder and various contractors to inspect the property and get a sense of what the site costs will be.  They will also make sure your home can be constructed within the requirements of the zoning bylaws. 

Building your home can be very stressful. But having the opportunity to create a place designed to fit your needs is so rewarding.  

Below are links to help you get started.  If you have any questions about the building process, you can contact Wanda Mooney at 413-768-9848 or email.  She has 28 years experience in selling land and also built her own home!  Learn more about Wanda here and review her credentials.

List of Builders, Contractors, Architects, and Engineers here

List of Local Lenders here

Search Land Listing here 

Explore the area here 

Support These Local Maple Syrup Farms in Western Massachusetts

maple syrup sugar house massachusettsSupporting Local Sugarhouses is Sweet!

While the state is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, sugarhouses are still boiling their sap to make delicious maple syrup. Hager’s Farm Market in Shelburne has plenty of syrup available that is made directly from their farm at Hager Bros. Farm.  Visit Hager's Farm Market located at 1232 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne Falls. Go to hagersfarmmarket.com for more information.

Davenport Maple Farm Restaurant will also be open this weekend. At the start of the year, the restaurant owners, Todd and Michelle Olanyk, were not even sure if they would be opening the restaurant this sugaring season. They made the decision one week before opening on March 6th, and will be open for dine-in and takeout Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm until the end of the month. Although the restaurant doesn’t have the usual amount of business as in past years, the Olanyks are pleased to see their customers happy to be there and that they are choosing to buy local maple syrup. Customers can also purchase the maple syrup during the week by calling the restaurant at 413-625-2866. You can also follow Davenport Maple Farm on Facebook at facebook.com/DavenportMaple/.

Another local favorite maple farm is Sunrise Farms, a 5th generation family-owned and operated maple farm in Colrain, Mass. Their syrup is boiled in an electrical evaporator that is offset with renewable, zero carbon solar arrays right on the farm. Plus their maple syrup is certified organic, as well as the other delicious maple products they offer such as maple cream, candy, and sugar. Sunrise Farms offers curbside pickup at 87 Thayer Road in Greenfield or right at the farm at 24 Heath Branch Road in Colrain. They also offer shipping! Call Sunrise Farms at 1 413-624-3210 to place an order. Visit their website, sunrisefarmsmaple.com, for more information and to make an appointment. 


Discover more Massachusetts Maple Farms at massmaple.org!

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Buyers Get Ready

Buyers Get Ready

The inventory of homes for sale is at an all time low.  It has been reported nationally that the inventory of properties for sale in rural areas has seen a 44% drop compared to previous years.  We normally see low inventory during the winter months but never like this.  The combination of the winter season, recent spike in COVID and lack of homes for sellers to relocate to makes this year even worse.

Buyers need to be even more prepared than ever.  Spring will be here soon and I anticipate an influx of new listings hitting the market.

Here are a few tips to help you get ready:
1).   Pre-Qualification - If you are getting a mortgage make sure your pre-qualification is current and from a local lender.  If there are multiple offers, a seller will feel more comfortable working with a buyer who is getting their mortgage through a local lender compared to one from afar.

2).  Paying Cash - You will need to have proof of funds available that needs to accompany an offer.  I suggest to put whatever amount you have to buy a home in a separate account so you are not sharing your entire portfolio.  When you submit a copy make sure you cover up your account numbers.  

3).  Gift Money -  If you have a friend or family member gifting you cash to either purchase a home outright or with the down payment, make sure you have proper documentation to support this.

4). Write a Letter to the Seller - Selling a home can be very emotional for the homeowner. I suggest to write them a personal letter explaining why you love their home.  When a seller reviews the offers, sometimes a letter will help them make the final decision as to which one they feel comfortable accepting.

5) Multiple Offers -   When preparing your Offer to Purchase, I suggest you submit your best offer, as you may not get a second chance to change it.  I recently had a situation where the listing agent told me and my buyer that we would be informed if another offer came in and that agent failed to let us know.  You also need to know that the seller makes the final decision as to how multiple offers will be handled.  Sometimes they will want to go highest and best but sometimes they will just accept an offer and you will not have another chance.  This is a complicated process and your agent will advise the best way to proceed.

6). Take your Time -  I strongly recommend taking your time to find the right home.  Don’t buy out of fear that you will not find another place.  You are buying during a time when the prices are inflated, you want to make sure this home will be one you will enjoy for many years to come. There are always fluctuations in market values and when you buy at the height of a market, most likely, your home could drop in value in a few years. If you plan on remaining at the premises for a long period of time then these fluctuations don’t matter.

A list of lenders can be found here:  Local Lenders
Check out Wanda’s Buyer’s Guide here:  Buyers Guide     To search the MLS:  Search

If you have any additional questions about buying a home feel free to contact Wanda at 413-768-9838 or send email.  She will be happy to answer any questions to help you get started in the right direction.   

 

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