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Be Transported to Medieval Times at the Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival

Joust Mutton Mead Medieval FestivalDo you want to be transported to medieval times? This weekend you can at the Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival in Montague, Massachusetts. Started in 2011, the Mutton and Mead Festival is a highly anticipated annual event, where medieval England comes alive in Western Massachusetts. Once a year, the fictitious Mutton and Mead Tavern hosts their town’s summer festival and festival goers are brought back to the 13th century.

Children and adults alike are bound to find something that intrigues them at the Mutton and Mead Festival. The schedule is filled with events for Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16 from 10 am to 6:30 pm. See the joust where brave knights on horseback compete on the field of honor. Play games of skill and shoot a round of archery. Meet medieval characters such as Robin Hood and Maiden Marion. Explore the enchanted forest. Plus, enjoy many more comedy, stunt, and Shakespeare acts. View the full lineup here.

Local vendors from around the valley will be there as well, selling artisanal crafts, costumes, art, body products, tarot card readings, and more. Come hungry because there will also be lots of food for sale, and of course ales and mead too. See the full list of vendors here.  

The Mutton and Mead Festival is a project by the Knighten Guild. For directions to the festival, to purchase tickets, and for more details, visit their website.

Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival Montague Mass

April Sales Report of Single Family Homes in Pioneer Valley

Pioneer Valley Real Estate Sales ReportsSales of single family homes in Franklin County were up 22.7% and median price up 4.6% in April 2019 compared to April 2018. The sales were up in Hampshire and Hampden Counties. Median price was also up in both Hampden and Hampshire Counties. 

The average days on market was up 8.9% from 77 days in April 2018 compared to 84 days in April 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 8.3% from 593 listings pending in April 2018 to 642 listings pending sale in April 2019.

April Sales Report Key PointsApril Sales Report County AveragesApril Sales Report Franklin County

Cost vs. Value: Is Your Home Renovation Worth It?

Deciding Whether to Renovate

Renovated Kitchen Western MassachusettsHow do you know whether it’s worth it to make a renovation to your home? Perhaps you want to improve the quality of living at your home, but don’t necessarily want to sell in the near future. Maybe you are planning to sell soon and want to increase your resale value. No matter what your reason, below is a helpful table which compares the average costs of specific home renovations to the resale value and cost recouped for New England.

Reach out to Wanda Mooney to discuss which renovations will provide the highest return for your home based on when you plan to sell. Email Wanda at Wanda@WandaMooney.com or call (413) 768-9848. 

New England Home Renovation Cost vs Value ReportNew England Home Renovation Cost vs Value Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Builders in Western Massachusetts

Once you have made the decision to renovate, check out these local businesses who can help you in your home renovations.

Bathroom Renovation Western MassachusettsWright Builders, Inc: Wright Builders is a Western Massachusetts' sustainable, high performance and zero net energy construction expert. With nearly 45 years of high-performance building practices; from planning, to design, to construction, their expertise and commitment to excellence will bring your home, workplace, institutional or commercial project from concept to fruition. They have ongoing partnerships with the EPA's ENERGY STAR and Indoor airPlus programs to enhance the quality of the living and work environments they create with you. Contact Wright Builders at (413) 586-8287 or info@wright-builders.com.

Scott DiGeorge/DiGeorge Builders: Based out of Bernardston, Mass, DiGeorge Builders provides excellent service in custom building and remodeling. Contact Scott DiGeorge at (413) 648-0584. 

JPH Building, Inc: JPH Building is a full service residential and light commercial building company. Located in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts and founded by Jay Heilman, a master craftsman with over twenty years of experience. Contact JPH Building at (413) 775-3305 or Jay@jphbuilding.com

AIP Builders: AIP or Aging in Place Builders specializes in renovations which help the elderly or those with disabilities to renovate their home in a way which allows them to continue to live comfortably in their home. They are a family owned and operated business based out of Northfield, MA. Contact AIP Builders at (413) 225-3047.

 

(Source: https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/new-england/)

 

Why Buyers Love Living at Green River Commons

Welcome to Green River Commons: 

green river commons7 beautiful single level, sustainable, comfortable and net zero ready townhome condominiums. Green River Homes, LLC and Wright Builders, Inc. are proud to be working with the Town of Greenfield to offer 4 of the 7 homes at a reduced market rate to qualified buyers who meet certain income guidelines. There is an application process, and if selected, you will have an opportunity to live in one of these energy efficient homes. Each home features an open concept design with sloping high ceilings in the living area, a state of the art heating and cooling mini split system, ENERGY STAR appliances, engineered pre-finished wood floors, triple glazed double hung windows and an outside patio and storage shed. All homes are Net Zero ready for a buyer purchased photo voltaic system, giving the owner an opportunity to experience even lower monthly utility costs. Located just steps from the future bike path, transit center, restaurants, and performing arts center!

But don't just take my word for it - hear why these two buyers love their condo at Green River Commons: 

View the listings at Green River Commons.

Call or email Wanda today for more information! 413-768-9848 or Wanda@WandaMooney.com

You're Invited to the Hope Against Hunger Annual Auction!

Monday, May 13th, 5-7 pm at Hope & Olive in Greenfield, MA

Franklin County Community Meals ProgramEnjoy an evening of delicious appetizers and the chance to win amazing local auction items at the 16th Annual Hope Against Hunger Auction. Guest auctioneer Lis Fisk from WHAI/Bear Country will be there, as well as the members of Franklin County Community Meals Program (FCCMP). Hosted by Hope & Olive restaurant in Greenfield, the auction benefits FCCMP. Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance - ask a FCCMP board member or stop into the Greenfield Savings Bank , 400 Main St in Greenfield to purchase.

The FCCMP runs the Orange and GCC Food Pantries, which provide food and household supplies monthly to area residents and GCC students and staff, respectfully, with emergency needs. 

So come out and show your support for this wonderful cause this Monday! 

 

Hope against hunger annual auction

Respond to their Facebook Event!

How to Spot Foundation Issues When Buying a Home

Recently, Coldwell Banker's blog, Blue Matter, posted about spotting foundation issues when buying a home, something that might not be so obvious if you don't look for these signs. Here is the article, a guest post by Sarah Hutchinson. 

Spotting Foundation Issues When Buying a Home

Buying a home is both exciting and stressful. Consider these tips about how to spot potential issues when viewing homes with your real estate agent.

 MAR 29, 2019

The following guest post is from Sarah Hutchinson

Buying a home is both exciting and stressful. After all, you want to find a place that suits your living needs and is in great condition. One of the biggest concerns is that the property you purchase is structurally sound, and this often starts with the foundation. Consider these tips about how to spot potential issues when viewing homes with your real estate agent.

spotting foundation issues coldwell banker

Photo Courtesy of Ram Jack

Watch for these warning signs

When touring homes, keep an eye out for the following signs of foundation problems. Pay extra attention if you’re looking at homes built more than a decade ago or in an area with clay soil, which is notorious for damaging foundations.

What to look for on the outside:
• Horizontal cracks in the foundation itself
• Stair-step cracking in exterior bricks
• A chimney that leans away from the house
• Gaps above windows and doors or around the garage door
• Sunken porches or stairs

What to look for on the inside:
• Cracks in the drywall
• Misaligned windows or doors that are hard to open and close
• Sloping floors or cracked tiles
• Cracks in the ceiling
• Any separation between walls and the ceiling
• Moisture in crawl spaces or the basement

What should I do if I see these warning signs?

Many buyers run for the hills when they think a home’s foundation isn’t structurally sound, but you don’t need to immediately rule out a house if you believe it has foundation problems. Take a deep breath and investigate the issues—the more you know, the better decisions you can make. Keep in mind that some situations will only require minor repairs, while others can be quite complex.

Start here to weigh the pros and cons:
• Ask the seller if they’ve had foundation repair work or an inspection done. In most cases, sellers are required by law to disclose foundation issues.
• A routine home inspection may not be enough, so have a specialized foundation company, like Ram Jack, assess the home.
• Research the potential cost of repairs to help you determine a fair price. A wealth of information is available online—search for “foundation repair cost” to get an overview of what to expect.
• Find out if the issues will affect your financing. Often, houses with unresolved foundation problems can only be purchased with cash or a special type of mortgage.

What if a home I’d like to buy has had the foundation repaired?

Many buyers would look at this as a positive, especially if the repairs were done by a reputable contractor who offers a warranty. The best foundation repair companies offer a lifetime warranty that is transferable when the home sells. Just be sure that all the proper permits were pulled at the time of the repair and that there hasn’t been any trouble since. If the foundation has been stabilized, any remaining cosmetic issues can be resolved easily and quickly.

What if I’d like to make an offer but don’t want to end up with a nightmare on my hands?

Make sure your offer is written up with contingencies that protect you if things turn out differently than expected. A contingency will make your offer dependent on specific conditions, such as inspections or repairs. Discuss your options with your real estate agent.

Should I ask the seller to fix the foundation as part of the sale?

You can ask the seller to make the repairs, but it’s common for them to reduce the price of the home and sell it “as is.” If you aren’t up for making the repairs yourself, you may need to look for a different house. Additionally, some buyers worry that if the seller is held responsible, they will choose the most affordable option, not the most thorough one.

Image courtesy of Flickr user ArmchairBuilder.com 

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sarah hutchinson Sarah Hutchinson is the Director of Digital Content at ConcreteNetwork.com, the top online resource for the decorative concrete and repair industry. For ten years, Sarah has worked with industry experts and contractors across the U.S. and Canada to educate consumers about the possibilities of concrete. ConcreteNetwork.com can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

 

Sam Shalom

Sam is the Marketing Coordinator for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He is Jersey born and bred, and currently resides in Roseland, NJ. He is an avid reader, loves Games of Thrones and is a New York Yankees die-hard.

You can follow him on Twitter @World_Shalom

 

Link to article

 

Get Your Yard Spring Ready: Local Landscapers and More

There’s no denying it now -- Spring is here. Birds are chirping, buds are blooming and the snow has melted away. Now’s the time to get your yard ready for spring!

If you enjoy working outside, perhaps you prefer to do it all yourself. However, time doesn’t always allow for that. Get some help with the weeding, mowing, and clean up, by calling these local professionals:

Canepari’s Landscaping

A small local company providing professional landscaping services to Franklin County and the hilltowns since 2003.
www.CaneparisLandscaping.com
(413)625-2324

CountryScape Landscape

Professional landscape design and construction services for residential and commercial customers.
www.countryscape.com
(413)625-9501

Snow & Sons Landscaping

They offer a complete line of services for every aspect of lawn maintenance, snow removal, excavating, landscaping and hardscaping work.
www.snowandsons.com
(413)774-2604

If you do have the time and energy to do it yourself you can pick up supplies and tips from these local garden vendors:

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

landscaping yards spring new england


 

Greenfield Farmers' Market Opens This Saturday!

Start Saturdays Fresh!

Greenfield Farmers' Market Massachusetts

Head over to the Greenfield Farmers' Market this Saturday to help them kick off the 2019 season. Going 45 years strong, the Greenfield Farmers' Market continues to provide fresh organic produce and local crafts such as herbal ointments and salves, hand-made wooden bowls, home-made soap, handcrafted clothing, and more. You'll also find delicious food ready to eat. Check out the various vendors from 8 am to 12:30 pm in Court Square in downtown Greenfield. 

This Saturday, enjoy live music by Tom Gizzi while you visit the following vendors:

FARMERS

PRODUCE/PRODUCTS

Balky Farm Wool, fleece, rovings, wool blankets, sheepskins, yarn, pickles, barbeque sauce, quilted table runners. 
Bear Meadow Farm Hard cider and vinegar from their own apples; honey.
Beaumont’s Berries Homemade preserves/jams, including low and no-sugar, and jarred pickles, relish, picalilli. 
Bostrom Farms Grass fed beef, pork, ham. 
Clarkdale Fruit Farms Apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries and cider. 
Eden Pond Farm Heritage breed pastured chicken, whole and parts, fresh and frozen, eggs from pastured chickens. Starting in July. 
Hart Farm Vegetables, currants, blueberries, gooseberries, raspberries, early greens, eggs from chickens fed non-gmo local grain, fruit popsicles. 
Heart Rock Ranch Farm Native pollinator plants.
Johnson Farm We offer a large variety of produce including sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, peas, strawberries, potatoes, cabbage, annuals, peppers, carrots, and lots more.
Just Roots Just Roots grows over 50 different types of fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Lyonsville Farm Raspberries, strawberries, herbs, vegetables, starts, annuals, perennials, fresh and dried flower bouquets, eggs.
Rainbow Harvest Farms Organically grown but not certified, heirloom tomato plants and other nursery plants, salad mix, greens, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, peas, other heirloom & unique veg & herbs, dried chiles, dried heirloom tomatoes, dried mushrooms, seasoning salts, berry plants, wheatgrass.
Sage Farms Prepared food vendor providing grilled sausage served with sides of vegetables, onions, peppers, salad with ingredients from other local farms and from pigs raised by the farm.  Breakfast sandwiches and pastry available as well as their own pork cuts available for purchase and eggs. 
Shoestring Farm Plant starts.
Sunrise Farms Maple Syrup & rhubarb, fire wood, pumpkins, gift baskets, small tree saplings, maple candy, cream.  
Warner Farm Asparagus, strawberries, peas, farm made jams and pickles. 
Wing and a Prayer Nursery Plant starts. 
P.K. Industries

Annuals, perennials, jams and jellies.

 

CRAFTERS/ARTISANS

(most of whom come occasionally throughout
the season)

PRODUCTS

Bake My Day Baked goods.
Comida Latina  Fresh and delicious Handmade tamales– chicken, bean, or cheese, hot or frozen.
Cozy Home Critters Pet Accessories.
Earthern Herbal (Blue Dragon Apothecary) Botanica cocktail bitters, rose & hibiscus elixir, aromatherapy blends. 
Harper Keehn Knife and Tool Sharpening Knife and tool sharpening.
Hearthstone Artisan Bakery Artisanal sourdough and ciabatta bread.
Nuthatch Studios Linen clothing and housewares.
Prospect Prints Hand-screened pre-loved shirts with a message you can get behind.
Square Knot Flour sack towels.
Sweet Latina Baked goods.
Taproot Threads Original designs screened on responsibly sourced clothing. 
Dr. Cookie Homemade baked goods including cookies, coffee cake, and all kinds of delicious treats.

 

Information taken from greenfieldfarmersmarket.org -- Visit their website for more details!

March Sales Report of Single Family Homes in Pioneer Valley

 

Sales of single family homes in Franklin County were down 25% and median price up 2.2% in March 2019 compared to March 2018. The sales were down in Hampshire and up in Hampden County. Median price was down in both Hampden and Hampshire County. 

The average days on market was up 15% from 97 days in March 2018 compared to 82 days in March 2019. Listings that are pending (under agreement to sell) were up 17.6% from 518 listings pending in March 2018 to 609 listings pending sale in March 2019.

 

March Sales Report by County

 

March Sales Report Key Points

March Local Market Update Franklin County

March Local Market Update Franklin County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Ready to Build: Parcels For Sale!

This Spring, get ready to build your home the way you want it. Check out these beautiful parcels of land for sale in Franklin County, Massachusetts. Then contact Wanda today for questions about these properties or building your own home.

East Hawley Road, Hawley, MA

138 wooded acres located high in the hills of Hawley! Potentially be a great spot to build a getaway place or year round home. There is plenty of room to roam and enjoy the sounds of nature. For those who are outdoor enthusiast Berkshire East Resort is located at the base of the hill where you can downhill ski, have fun on the alpine and zipline rides or the latest addition numerous mountain bike trails. In addition this area offers white water rafting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and so much more! Only 10 minutes away is the charming Village of Shelburne Falls and not far from the Berkshires. Call today for a map and go take a hike.

Phillips Hill Road, Colrain, MA

Secluded 4 acre wooded setting is the perfect spot to build your getaway in the country. It is located at the end of a quiet country road and abuts the Vermont State line and near Cooke State Forest. There is a passed percolation test on file and it is surveyed and ready to go. Near plenty of recreational activities including down hill skiing, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and more!

Legate Hill Road, Charlemont, MA

Beautiful 33 acre building site located on top of a knoll overlooking picturesque southwesterly mountain views. This private setting is the ideal spot to build your dream home or a getaway cabin in the woods. It is ready to go with a entrance roughed in, power at the street, surveyed and comes with a valid percolation test. It abuts snowmobile trails and located just minutes to Berkshire Resort that offers downhill skiing, zipline, alpine slide, and fabulous mountain bike trails. It is also located near the Deerfield River which is known for fly fishing and white water rafting. Charlemont is becoming the recreational capitol of New England and the perfect area for outdoor enthusiast. 

Colrain Shelburne Road, Shelburne, MA

Beautiful Shelburne building lot with lovely views and open land. There is a very large pole barn that needs work but could be converted to provide excellent storage or enclose for shop space. This is a great spot to build and it is conveniently located less than 10 minutes from I-91 in Greenfield and Shelburne Falls. You are not far from Vermont or the Berkshires. Surrounded by fabulous recreational and cultural activities. The land has a passed percolation test, power at the street and survey on file. 

Hosmer Road, Heath, MA

Attractive 13 acre wooded parcel with 1928ft of frontage on two town maintained roads. It is a peaceful setting on a quiet country road. The land is relatively flat and there is a brook on the property. There is a recent passed percolation test and power along the street. It is perfect for someone who wants to build a getaway place to enjoy on weekends. It is located near many popular recreational activities that include Berkshire Resort that offers downhill skiing, alpine slide, zip lines, and popular mountain bike trails. In addition there is fly fishing and white water rafting on the Deerfield River, hiking trails, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and more. It is near Shelburne Falls, not far from Vermont and only 45 minutes to the Berkshires.