Franklin County

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.

 

Colrain Artists Open Their Doors This Weekend!

Colrain, Massachusetts is a beautiful town in northern Franklin County, just below the Vermont line. The town draws many artists who seek inspiration from its natural beauty. There are so many artists, in fact that each year they all come together to host Crafts of Colrain Open Studio Tour. Grab a map and a friend and take a tour around Colrain this Saturday and Sunday, November 11-12.

18 artisans will open their doors to showcase their art and offer live viewings of their processes. Their crafts include woodwork, fiber art, metalwork, painting, pottery, and more. One particular artist whose work I always enjoy is Ruby Rice. She creates visionary healing arts ranging from pillows to wall hangings to notecards and more. Her sanctuary and gallery has the feel of a chapel and is meant to comfort and make guests feel at home.

For more information and to download a free map and schedule, visit www.craftsofcolrain.com.

Franklin County CiderDays Coming This Weekend!

Fall in New England is such a favored time of year; the bright colors of the foliage, a chill in the air, and of course, all things apple. Every fall on the first full weekend in November, I look forward to CiderDays, a Franklin County celebration of apples. Many of the events are free and range from workshops to talks to tastings to festivals with music and more. This weekend, November 3-5 marks the 23rd Annual CiderDays.

Here are a few events happening this weekend that caught my attention:

On Friday from 6:30-8:00 pm, the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center will host “How to Taste Hard Cider.” Learn from cider educators Eric West and Nicole Leibon of Farnum Hill Ciders the thought process behind tasting and evaluating cider. Then, be guided through a tasting of various cider styles. The cost is $30/ticket and includes light hors d'oeuvre.

On Saturday, the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center will host free workshops, talks and tastings from beginner through advanced for cider makers, home orchardists and cider aficionados.

Then, on Sunday from 2:30-3:30 pm at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield, learn how to make Spanish style cider (Sidra) from cidermakers Scott Heath (Tilted Shed, CA), Ryan Burk (Angry Orchard, NY), John Reynolds (Black Duck Cidery, NY), cidermaker/restauranteur Sam Fix (ANXO, Washington DC), and beverage director Brian Rutzen (The Northman, Chicago, IL). Join moderator Darlene Hayes for discussion and samples. Tickets are $30.

Plus, I am very excited about this year’s Cider Salon — the world's longest-running hard cider tasting. This year, the Salons will be held in a large tent in Unity Park, on the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, with more than 90 individual cider brands from across North America and Europe. There will be two sessions — 3:30 - 5:00 and 5:45 - 7:15. Tickets are $30 per session.

For more information, to purchase tickets, and to download the full schedule, visit ciderdays.org.

Attractive Contemporary Style Ranch- Ready for Move In!

Come take a look at this attractive contemporary style Ranch that is available for you to move in and enjoy just in time for the holiday season. It is immaculate and many expensive updates have been done including a new heating system, roof, gutters, kitchen, Pergo flooring, deck and more. You will love the spacious floor plan that features a new kitchen with granite counter tops, new stainless steel appliances and a skylight. In addition it has a dining area with sliding glass doors to the new deck, large living area, master suite with full bath and washer & dryer hookup, 2 additional bedrooms and full bath, freshly sanded wood floors and a front porch. There is a full basement that is neat as a pin with high ceilings providing the perfect space to finish for additional living space. Nicely sited on 2 acres and located across the road from Petticoat Hill Reservation with 60 acres where you can hike, cross country ski and snowshoe! Only 20 min to Northampton!!

Contact Wanda today for a viewing: 413-768-9848 or wanda@wandamooney.com.

View the full listing here!

September Real Estate Sales Report for Pioneer Valley

It was a very busy month for real estate sales in Franklin County! Comparing real estate sales of single family homes for the month of September 2016 vs. September 2017,  Franklin County sales are up 26.3% while Hampshire and Hampden CountIes sales are down.  The following reports will be posted monthly keeping you informed of the local real estate market.   

PIONEER VALLEY - KEY REAL ESTATE POINTS:

Sales—Down 5.9 percent from 578 in September 2016 to 544 in September 2017.

Median Price— Up 9.5 percent from $200,000 in September 2016 to $219,000 in September 2017.

Inventory of available property—Inventory fell 25.2 percent from 2,464 single family listings at the end of September 2016, to 1,843 single family listings at the end of September 2017.

Supply—The supply of single-family properties on the market at the current rate of sale dropped 27.4 percent. At the end of September 2016 there were 5.1 months of supply at the current rate of sale. At the end of September 2017 there were 3.7 months of supply at current rate of sale.

Days on Market—The average days on market dropped 24.3 percent from 83 days in September 2016 to 63 days in September 2017.

Pending Sales—Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are up 4.1 percent from 531 in September 2016 to 553 in September 2017.

Mortgage Rates 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.9 percent with an average 0.5 points for the week ending October 12, 2017 . Last year at this time the 30-year FRM averaged 3.4 percent with an average 0.5 points. (Source: www.FreddieMac.com)

Don't Miss The Great Falls Festival (Pumpkinfest)!

On Saturday, October 21, 2017 the Great Falls Festival will fill Avenue A in Turners Falls from 2-9 pm. Formerly known as Pumpkinfest, the event organizers decided to change the name of the event to pay tribute to the village’s pre-colonial era name, the falls on the Connecticut River, and of course, the season.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring cash for food and craft vendors who will set up booths along the street, or for tickets for the beer tent.

Show your Halloween spirit by wearing your costume and bring your own carved pumpkin to display. You can also decorate your own pumpkin for free from 2 to 6 pm.

Remember to bring your dancing shoes! There will be live music all event-long on either of the two music stages. Musical acts include Blue Prints of the Heart, Honey Badger, and Jimmy Just Quit, to name a few. Check out the live performances by the North County Line Dancers, Zumba Dancers, Fire Dancers, and more.

Easily avoid the hassle of parking near the event. There will be a free shuttle from Turners Falls High School from 2 to 10 pm.

For more information on the Great Falls Festival and a full schedule of events, go to www.facebook.com/greatfallsfestival.

Completely Renovated Antique Cape for Sale in Colrain, Mass

82 Christian Hill Road, Colrain, MA

Completely renovated in 2016, this charming antique Cape is the perfect home for those who appreciate the old, but desire modern conveniences. Sun-filled rooms with an open concept design create a warm and welcoming environment in every New England season. Fabulous kitchen features Silestone countertops, center island, and original pine flooring. The kitchen opens to a large dining and living area that showcases the colonial fireplace and hearth, beamed ceilings and reclaimed pine floor. You will luxuriate in a master suite that has exposed posts and beams, skylights, a large full custom bath and walk-in closet. The second upstairs bedroom also has exposed beams and a skylight. The first floor features a third bedroom/den, full custom bathroom, laundry/pantry, large entry and attached insulated and heated garage. It is sited on 3.7 acres on both sides of the road and close to Cook State Forest. Near Shelburne Falls, Berkshire Resort, Harriman Reservoir, outdoor recreation abounds.

View the full listing!

Contact me today for a tour at 413-768-9848 or Wanda@WandaMooney.com.

 

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August Real Estate Sales Report for Pioneer Valley

Real estate sales of single family homes in Franklin County for the month of August was up 37.9% and the median price up 3.2% compared to August of 2016.  The market continues to be very busy and there is no sign of a slow down.  There is a limited amount of homes for sale and in some areas real estate agents are experiencing multiple offer situations.  It is a great time to sell!

Pioneer Valley - Key Real Estate Points:

Sales - Up 7.8 percent from 639 in August 2016 to 689 in August 2017.

Median Price - Up 1.2 percent from $210,000 in August 2016 to $212,500 in August 2017.

Inventory of available property - Inventory fell 25.9 percent from 2,517 single family listings at the end of August 2016, to 1,865 single family listings at the end of August 2017.

Supply - At the end of August 2016 there were 5.3 months of supply at the current rate of sale. At the end of August 2017 there were 3.8 months of supply at current rate of sale.

Days on Market - The average days on market dropped 27.1 percent from 88 days in August 2016 to 64 days in August 2017.

Pending Sales - Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are up 12.9 percent from 533 in August 2016 to 602 in August 2017.

Mortgage Rates - 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.8 percent with an average 0.5 points for the week ending August 31, 2017 . Last year at this time the 30-year FRM averaged 3.8 percent with an average 0.6 points. (Source: www.FreddieMac.com)

Check out the charts for detailed comparisons provided by Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley and Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

One Long Weekend, Two Fabulous Festivals

This Columbus Weekend, the Pioneer Valley will host two popular festivals. On Saturday, October 7 through Monday, October 9, the Paradise City Arts Festival will take place at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Meanwhile, only 30 minutes Northwest of Northampton, Ashfield will host its Fall Festival on Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8 up and down Ashfield’s Main Street.

Founded by two artists 23 years ago, the Paradise City Arts Festival now fills up three buildings, an outdoor sculpture promenade, and a festival dining tent. Many artists apply to have a booth at the festival, but only some are selected to attend. Their works for sale range from wearable arts to furniture and home décor to fine art and sculpture. Under the dining tent, local food vendors bring flavors from around the world. Enjoy live music while you dine from The Jazz Divas, The O-Tones, and The Blend. Returning this year is the Silent Art Auction to benefit WGBY/57 public television.

The Ashfield Fall Festival also features arts and crafts exhibitors, but with more of a hometown feel. More than 50 exhibitors will line the Main Street in Ashfield. You can also pick up some locally grown and prepared foods, enjoy live music and dance, and participate in fall-themed games, like pumpkin bowling! Although the Ashfield Fall Festival has been around for almost 50 years, the purpose of it is still to celebrate Ashfield, showcase local business, fundraise, and provide opportunity for the town’s youth to practice creative, social, and business skills.

For more information on the Paradise City Arts festival go to https://festivals.paradisecityarts.com/shows/northampton-october-show

For more information on the Ashfield Fall Festival go to http://www.ashfieldfallfestival.org/.

Whatever you do, enjoy the weekend!