Area Updates

Escape the Cold at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield

Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory South DeerfieldDuring this time of year, in the middle of winter in New England, the cold can start to get to me a little bit. When that happens, I like to escape to an oasis from the cold in South Deerfield, Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. The conservatory is 8,000 square-feet and houses nearly 4,000 exotic and domestic butterflies. The butterflies can flutter among various tropical plants and flowers and small ponds which hold Japanese Carp, or Koi fish. If you’re lucky, a butterfly might even land on you! The best part is: they keep the conservatory at tropical temperatures, so you can enjoy the warmth, even when it’s wintry weather outside.

Magic Wings also has a gift shop to purchase some butterfly souvenirs, outdoor gardens for the warmer weather, and a food court. They offer the option to host events in their facilities, as well, such as weddings, birthday parties, meetings, or other private parties.

Magic Wings is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The cost of admission is $16.00 for adults and $10.00 for children under 17. They also offer discounts for seniors and students. So if you need an escape from winter without taking a flight, just drive to Magic Wings in South Deerfield.

Click here to check out their website. 

Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory South Deerfield MA     Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory South Deerfield

Staying Fit: Workout Centers in Franklin County

Was your new year’s resolution to get in shape? The middle of winter can be a tough time to get into a workout routine. The good news is Franklin County has many exercise facilities with a variety of offerings to tailor to your style. So you can stick to your New Years resolution this year!

YMCA in Greenfield

Whether you’re looking for a single or family membership, the YMCA can suit you. They offer different levels of membership and even daily passes if you’re not looking for a commitment. The Y is great for people who are looking to exercise in a variety of ways. They have a full workout room with machines and weights, a pool, a gym, plus they offer classes ranging from spin to aqua aerobics. There are plenty of programs for kids, as well, such as sports teams like gymnastics, and school-aged child care. 

Common Ground Fitness Center

Common Ground Fitness Center is perfect for adults who could use some support getting into and maintaining a healthy workout routine. While you can drop in and use the equipment at your own desire, they promote attendance of their group workout classes and use of personal trainers to help you keep coming. Common Ground offers high intensity workout classes such as TRX, PIYO, and boxing, as well as low-intensity ones like elasticize and yoga. Plus, their memberships are very affordable with tiered levels ranging from $30 to $70 a month.

Riverside Fitness Studio

Sometimes, the best way to take control of your workout routine is by having a personal trainer, someone to hold you accountable for showing up. For those who live in West Franklin County, there is a great personal fitness studio right in Shelburne Falls - Riverside Fitness Studio. Personal Trainer Tim, has been in the fitness industry for over 6 years and has been holding his own steady workout routine for over 10. He offers one-on-one or one-on-two training sessions that give results. 

I hope this list is helpful in your start towards physical health and wellness this new year! Happy training!

 

Attention Air Bnb Hosts: New Short Term Rental Laws in Massachusetts

If you are currently listing part or all of your home on Air Bnb or are considering renting out a space in your home for short term periods, you’ll want to pay close attention to the new short term rental laws in Massachusetts. These new laws will require all short term rentals to be registered in a database with the state. The law also imposes a 5.7% hotel room tax to all short term rentals. Plus, towns and cities can choose to add an additional tax of up to 6% (6.5% in Boston) and a 3% community impact fee. Concerning the matter of insurance, people renting out a room will need to have at least $1 million in liability insurance.

When do these laws go into effect?
The state-level laws are already in effect, but towns and cities will have the option to create their own restrictions around short-term rentals.

How is a short-term rental defined in this law?
These new short term rental laws apply to all rentals for a period of 31 days or less, but does not apply to properties rented less than 14 days out of the year. Ordinary tenancies, such as an annual lease or tenancy-at-will, are not affected by this bill.

How does this law apply to rentals already booked for 2019?
Any 2019 rental booked before December 31, 2018 is exempted from the short term rental law.

Be sure to check with your city or town to see if they will implement any further restrictions on short term rentals.

Click here for more information. 
 

November Real Estate Market Report Pioneer Valley

Franklin County sales were down 23.2% and the median price up 8.1% in November, 2018 compared to November, 2017.  The sales were up in both Hampshire and Hampden County. 

Inventory of single family homes fell in Pioneer Valley 14.9% from 1,800 single family homes for sale at the end of November, 2017 to 1,531 at the end of November, 2018.  

The average days on market is down 13.1% from 79 days in November, 2017 to 69 days in November, 2018. Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are down 8.0% from 464 in November, 2017 to 427 in November, 2018.

The sale reports are provided from the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanda Mooney Selected as Franklin County's Favorite Real Estate Agent

Recently the Greenfield Recorder held their reader’s choice award, Franklin Favorites. I am so honored to have been voted the winner for the category of Best Local Real Estate Agent. Out of all the awards I have received in my career, this one means the most to me. Franklin County is a place I will always call home and it is such a joy to be selected by my neighbors for this award. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me and congrats to all of the other winners. I look forward to continuing to serve Franklin County.

October Real Estate Market Report for Pioneer Valley

Franklin County sales were up 18.9% and the median price up 21.7% in October, 2018 compared to September, 2017.  The sales were down in Hampden County but up in Hampshire County.   

Inventory of single family homes fell in Pioneer Valley 17.1 percent from 2,045 single family listings at the end of October, 2017 to 1,696 single family listings at the end of October, 2018.  

The average days on market are down slightly by 0.7% from 65 days in October, 2017 to 64 days in October, 2018. Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are up 18.3 from 507 in October, 2017 to 600 in October, 2018.

The sale reports are provided from the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Magic Kicks of the Holiday Season in Style in Shelburne Falls

This Friday, many shoppers will head to corporate stores across the country for Black Friday shopping. However, here in Franklin County, we like to do things differently by supporting our local businesses and kicking off the holiday season in style with Moonlight Magic.

This annual event known across the region will take place in the beautiful village of Shelburne Falls. The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association has worked together with local businesses to put on this magnificent event. The village has already been beautifully decorated with holiday lights and garlands spiraling up the lamp posts along with pole tags with sponsors’ names showing their support. On the eve of Moonlight Magic, luminaria will line the streets directing event goers to various points of interest throughout the village.

Moonlight Magic is also one of the few times of the year where Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave will be shut down to traffic, allowing pedestrians to wander the streets, browsing vendor tents and businesses, which will stay open later for the event. Soon after sunset, the Parade of Lights will make its way down Conway Street, over the Iron Bridge and down Bridge Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be part of the parade, greeting shoppers and then ending at the Mason’s Lodge, for visits and photos. Throughout the event, there will also be various performances, including one of my favorites, the Ageless Waves of Rhythm, Shelburne Senior Center’s drumming group.

Moonlight Magic starts at 4 pm, giving you plenty of time to sleep in the day after Thanksgiving! Visit shelburnefalls.com for more information or pick up an event brochure the day of to find out what’s happening around the village.

24th Annual Franklin County CiderDays

For a long time, cider has been the traditional drink of New England. Right here in Franklin County, we are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful orchards and cideries, who make this delicious fall drink. For 24 years, Franklin County has celebrated cider with their Annual CiderDays. This 3-day event, always occurring on the first full weekend in November, brings together cider lovers across the county. This year, CiderDays is happening November 2-4 and includes 19 participating venues.

From Friday evening to Sunday evening, there will be a wide variety of events all based around cider, but not necessarily just based around drinking it. There will be talks around cider and apples, demonstrations and cider-making workshops, orchard rides, cider and cheese pairings, and more. You can view the full schedule of events at CiderDays.org, but here are some highlights:

The Shelburne Buckland Community Center will hold talks, tastings, and workshops Saturday and Sunday for beginner through advanced cider lovers. The events at the Community Center will be FREE!

Check out the world’s longest-running hard cider tasting at the Cider Salon in Unity Park, Turners Falls. There will be two sessions on Saturday (3:30-5 and 5:45-7:15) where you can try 120 different ciders from across North America and Europe. Make sure you purchase your tickets for the salon soon because this event sells out.

Bring the whole family to the Cider and Apple Festival, hosted by New Salem Preserves and Orchards on Saturday and Sunday. Attend free workshops, child-friendly apple pressing, and browse local artisan exhibits and farm products.

For the full schedule of events and to purchase tickets for specific events, visit ciderdays.org.

 

Fall Festivals in Franklin County!

It’s October! That means pumpkins, cider, foliage, and Fall Festivals! Next weekend, October 6 and 7, Ashfield’s main street will be filled with people for the Ashfield Fall Festival. Admission is free to this annual event, which started in 1970. Celebrate Ashfield and browse over 50 arts and crafts exhibitors, book sales, and tag sales. Enjoy locally-grown and prepared foods, live music, and dancing. There will also be plenty of kids’ events, including the annual Pumpkingames! For more information, visit www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

Another great fall festival that you won’t want to miss is the Great Falls Festival aka Pumpkinfest in Turners Falls on October 20th. From 2 to 9 pm, Avenue A in Turners Falls will be filled with over 150 food and craft vendors, 3 live music stages, 2 performance stages, a beer garden and of course, a pumpkin display! Bring your own pumpkin to add to the beautiful pumpkin display or carve one there for free. There will also be free kids activities. For more information check out their Facebook page.

Here are some other exciting fall festivals in Franklin County coming soon:

8th Annual Riverside Blues, Brews, and BBQs - October 6 - Greenfield

Old 78 Festival - October 6 - Orange

Scarecrow in the Park - October 20 - Bernardston

24th Annual Franklin County Cider Days - November 2-4 - Various locations throughout Franklin County

 

It's That Time of Year for Festivals and Fairs!

As summer winds down, fairs and festivals are popping up all over Western Mass. Last weekend, hundreds came out for the 101st Heath Fair. This coming weekend marks the 150th Cummington Fair in Cummington, MA. The Fair was started in 1868 but was initiated in 1883 as the Hillside Agricultural Society. Today, the Cummington Fair remains true to its agricultural roots with events based around livestock and tractors, such as the livestock shows, horse draws, and antique engine and tractor shows.

But that’s not the only reason to go to the Cummington Fair. This year’s 4-day event will include a bike stunt show, fireworks, a craft barn, demolition derby and more. The stages will fill with live entertainers such as Zoe Darrow, Presley and Taylor, Jose Duddy, and others. Plus, there will be all sorts of vendors selling food, crafts, and other items. The Cummington Fair starts Thursday, August 23 and runs through Sunday, August 26. Purchase tickets online and get more information at cummingtonfair.com.

Here are some other great festivals and fairs coming up soon: