Franklin County

The Heath Fair Celebrates 100 Years

As a native of Heath, Massachusetts, I look forward to the Heath Fair every year. This community event, filled with music, food, and agricultural-inspired activities, truly emanates the spirit of the Town of Heath and the surrounding Hill Towns.  The 2017 Heath Fair, happening Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 20, is extra special because it will be the 100th one!

In honor of this milestone, the organizers of this event, the Heath Agricultural Society, have added some new activities. On Saturday, there will be a zucchini race, where participants will decorate a zucchini, plug a set of wheels into it, and send it down the track in hopes it will cross the finish line first! Click here to see all the new added events for 2017, including a goat parade and a raffle for hot air balloon ride.

Traditional Heath Fair events are planned for this year, as well, such as the tractor pull, fireworks, horse draw, cattle pull, wagon rides, square dancing, and more. Live music will include performances by Small Change, Sweetback Sisters, and Patty Carpenter & the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band, to name a few. View the full schedule of events here.

On top of all the fun and excitement, it is the time spent as a community and the memories made each year that make this event so spectacular. The Heath Fair is just one of the many reasons that residents of Heath love their town.

For more information on The Heath Fair go to www.heathfair.org.

Photo: Heath Fair 100th Keepsake Print, Heath Fair at Twilight by Scott Prior: Purchase your own limited edition keepsake print and support the Heath Agricultural Society and the continuation of the Heath Fair. Click here for more information.

Proud Sponsor of the Bridge of Flowers Road Race in Shelburne Falls

The 39th Annual Bridge of Flowers Road Race is this Saturday, August 12 – less than a week away! For almost 40 years, this event has been a staple of Shelburne Falls. Over a thousand runners come from near and far to compete in either the 3K Walk/Run or on one of the toughest 10K courses in New England. The course starts on the Iron Bridge, overlooking the Bridge of Flowers, and then winds through the village of Shelburne Falls, back over the Deerfield River, up the infamous Crittenden Hill (also known as Heartbreak Hill!), up Route 112, and then back down to the village. The course’s figure 8 loop makes it viewer-friendly. So even if you can’t brave Heartbreak Hill, you can come out and cheer on the runners.

Over 130 volunteers make this event possible. They can be spotted in their brightly colored race shirts directing traffic, setting up the finish line, serving food, timing the runners, and more. Some of the volunteers come from one of the five charities supported by the race. This year’s supported charities are DIAL/SELF, Cancer Connection, The Art Garden, Friends of Children, and Academy at Charlemont. The race is also a fundraiser for the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, who coordinates this event.

If you haven’t already registered for the race, online registration is open until Wednesday, August 9 at ShelburneFalls.com. Runners get a free race shirt, spaghetti dinner on Friday night, and access to the post-race party/awards ceremony; plus other free goodies donated by sponsors. Speaking of sponsors, Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Realtors is proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful race, which brings so many new people to our beautiful village. Look for our logo on the mile markers along the racecourse. Good luck to all the runners!

Register Now!

Pioneer Valley Moving Into Seller's Market

An article recently published by Mass Live announced that the Pioneer Valley is moving into a “seller’s market”.  This means that the real estate market is currently favoring sellers, rather than buyers. The lack of homes for sale puts pressure on buyers to move quickly in their purchasing actions, or else risk losing out on getting the house they wanted.

According to the article, sales of single-family homes in June 2017 are fewer than in June 2016, while the median sales price rose. Also, the average number of days a home is on the market for June 2017 has decreased compared to June 2016. Specifically in Franklin County, sales are down 1.3 percent with 75 sales in June 2016 and 74 sales in June 2017 and the median price rose 16.3 percent from $224,000 to $260,500.

So what does all this mean for you? In a seller’s market, desirable houses sell quickly. If you are pursuing a new home, act in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you have been thinking of putting your home on the market, now is a good time to do so. However, sellers sometimes get overexcited in a seller’s market and might ask too high of a price. This leads to their house sitting on the market for too long. Make sure to maintain reason when listing your home.

For more advice on how to act in a seller’s market of if you are thinking of buying or selling, get in touch with Wanda Mooney at (413) 768-9848 or wanda@wandamooney.com.

To read the full article on masslive.com click here.

It's Western Mass Beer Week!

Last Saturday, June 10 was the start of Western Mass Beer Week, a week long celebration of craft beer and those who create it, support it, and love it. Only in its second year, Western Mass Beer Week has over 50 participating breweries, restaurants, venues, and more, covering four counties: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties. At the core of these events are the values of keeping it local, supporting small businesses, and promoting your neighbor.

I encourage you to explore neighboring counties, but there are also many exciting things happening right here in Franklin County this week! All week long, Element Brewing Company & Distillery in Millers Falls is giving away a free Element pint glass with the purchase of a tasting flight and Hope & Olive in Greenfield is featuring The Valley Flight, six 4 oz pours of their favorite local brews. From 5-8 pm daily, Ryan & Casey's Liquors in Greenfield is offering samplings from various Western Mass craft breweries.

Normally only open on Saturdays, Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield will have open tap room hours on Wednesday, June 13, 3-7 pm. Also on Wednesday, The Rendezvous in Turners Falls is throwing a party from 6 to 8 pm for the release of Element's new IPA brewed just for them, Voo P.A.

On Thursday, June 15, The Lady Killigrew is combining two of their favorite things: waterfalls and beer. They will host a relaxing afternoon featuring Brick and Feather's In Absentia on cask and draft from noon to 4 pm. Then from 6 to 8 pm, Champney's Restaurant & Tavern in Deerfield will host a "talk & sample" with Hitchcock Brewing Company's owner and brewer, Rich Pedersen. 

Even the library is getting involved with Western Mass Beer Week! On Thursday, the friends of the Montague Public Libraries and Element Brewing Company will host Booz, Books, and Brews at the Millers Falls Library from 6:30-7:30 pm, where you can learn about the brewing process from the breweries and access books that give more information on brewing.

On Friday, June 16, Artisan Beverage Cooperative in Greenfield is having a party in the parking lot from 4-7 pm, with tasting room full pours of mead, kombucha, and libations. Also on Friday, and again on Saturday from 5-11 pm, Margaret Fitzpatrick will serve up some special, creative dishes to be paired with local brews, plus live music at Underdogs Lounge in Shelburne Falls. 

Check out all of the events at westernmassbeerweek.org.

Cheers!

Maple Sugar Season in Western Mass!

The spring thaw is upon us and the sap is running!   It is the ideal time to visit the local maple sugarhouses and enjoy some freshly made maple syrup on pancakes, waffles and french toast.  YUM!! Treat yourself to my personal favorite, "maple cream" and have it on home made bread.  When you visit the restaurants be prepared to wait in line but don’t worry it will be worth it.  You can watch the demonstrations on how they turn sap into syrup.   

Below is the list of my favorite places!    

 

 

 

 

 

Davenport Maple Farm, Shelburne, Ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gould’s Sugar House,  Shelburne, Ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williams Farm Sugarhouse in Deerfield, Ma

Western Mass Real Estate Sales

 

2016 was my best year in real estate and I know it is the same for many of my colleagues.  I'm anticipating the real estate market to remain stable in 2017 and don't foresee any increases in sale prices or number of transactions.  January has already started off to be very busy with many sellers getting their homes ready to sell this spring.    

Below is a 3 year market snapshot showing you the median sale price, number of real estate sales and average amount of time to sell of single family homes in the Pioneer Valley, Franklin County area and the hill towns of West County.   As you can see the hill towns still take longer to sell but our median price range is higher than Franklin County and entire Pioneer Valley region.  There is a drastic increase across the region in the number of homes that sold.   As long as the mortgage interest rates continue to be at an all time low giving buyers the ability to borrow more, I don't foresee a slow down in the market.  

If you have interest in moving and would like to know the value of your home, feel free to give me a call at 413-337-8344 or email wanda@wandamooney.com.   

The figures below are taken from the multiple listing service and do not include private sales.  West County includes the towns of Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Heath, Hawley, Monroe, Rowe, and Shelburne.

 

 

 

 

 

Shop Small Saturday November 26th in Greenfield and Shelburne Falls, Ma

 

 

SHOP SMALL SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

 

Forget the malls and shop small at your local stores this holiday season.  This Saturday November 26th visit your favorite town and get into the spirit of the holiday season.  You will not only support the local businesses but will find a great selection of unique gifts.

If you are visiting the Franklin County area in Greenfield or Shelburne Falls, here are some of my favorite places:

Wilson's Department Store - family owned department store 

World Eye Bookstore - wonderful locally owned bookstore

Greenfield Cooperative Exchange - great selection of something special for your pets

Shelburne Garden Center - perfect place for those who love to garden

Salmon Falls Artisan Showroom - amazing selection by local artisans including Josh Simpson glass

Young and Constantin - unique clothes and gifts

Molly Cantor Pottery - ideal gift for someone special

Avery's General Store - this one has it all!!  Worth the trip to Charlemont.

 

 

 

Berkshire East - A Destination for Outdoor Recreation

Berkshire East Resort is the outdoor destination of New England!! This local family owned business has transformed into an amazing place to visit for those who love outdoor recreation.  It offers down hill skiing, ziplines, alpine slide and now fabulous mountain bike trails.   In addition the Shelburne Falls and West County area has white water rafting, fly fishing, hiking trails, snowmobiling, and so much more.  If you are looking to vacation or wish to purchase a getaway home, come visit this beautiful area of Western Massachusetts

Enjoy the video!

 

Berkshire East Mountain Resort's Summer Activities from Berkshire East Mountain Resort on Vimeo.

January & February Local Real Estate Market Updates

The 2016 housing market is off to a good start.  I've noticed an increase in online buyer leads which is a positive sign people are already looking starting to look.  Buyers know that the mortgage rates are at an all time low and it is a great time to buy.    The national real estate statistics are showing a shortage of homes on the market.   This area might be experiencing the same but it is still too early to tell. 

Stay tuned for continued local market updates!

Shop Small Saturday in Pioneer Valley

Shop Small Business Saturday

This is the biggest shopping weekend to find that special gift for someone, remember to support your local businesses and buy in the area which you live. Every $1 that you spend locally compounds into $1,000's back into the local economy. You can find great gift items in Greenfield, Shelburne Falls and the Northampton area.