Franklin County

Should You Keep Your Home on the Market in the Winter?

Your home is still listed for sale. You might be thinking it is best to take it off the market and re-list in the spring. However if you are serious about selling, rethink removing it from the market for the following 4 reasons.

1.  If you remove your home from the market, you will have less completion on the market place, which means buyers will have less to pick from. You actually might sell at a higher price in the winter than if you wait until spring when you'll have greater competition.

2.   The winter months are the best time for buyers to make a purchase. They normally have more time to look around before the spring, when life gets busy with kids getting out of school and summer vacations being planned.

3.  Buyers want to already be in their new home in winter so they can enjoy the start of the spring and summer season.

4.  Bad weather is no longer an issue for buyers like it used to be in the past, traveling to view different homes. Nine out of ten homebuyers search for their homes online at their workplaces, on their smart phones, and from the comfort of their homes after dark.

I have sold many of my listings during the winter. My sellers were glad they listened to my advice about keeping their homes on the market. Don’t let the winter season discourage you from trying to sell your home.  

Happy Winter Selling!

It's Cold Outside: Fun Things To Do Indoors in Franklin County

As the days get shorter and darker, many of our favorite outdoor activities become less appealing. Fortunately, we live in an area with a variety of things to do, even when it’s dark and cold outside.

Candle Villages

With the holiday season fast approaching, Yankee Candle Village and The Shoppes at Kringle Candle, are both packed with great gifts, holiday decorations, and holiday-themed events. Starting now through December 23, you can have photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Yankee Candle Village, located in South Deerfield. Then, meander through the various shops and eateries, which spans over 90,000 square feet.

At Kringle Candle in Bernardston, there is plenty to see and do, as well. Pick out your favorite scent of their brand of candle, Country Candle. Visit the Shoppes at Kringle Candle to find unique gifts, home decor, toys, gourmet foods, and more. Then, sit down for a nice meal at The Farm Table, a gourmet restaurant which serves brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Galleries

Now is a great time to check out the many local artist galleries in Franklin County. Shelburne Falls boasts several great artists shops and galleries, including Salmon Falls Gallery, which sells Josh Simpson glass planets, amongst other local works of art. The Shelburne Arts Co-op, which is run by local artists, is constantly rotating the works for sale, and features different exhibits monthly. Also, in Shelburne Falls, you can find beautiful handcrafted art in Ann Brauer Quilt Studio, Wandering Moon, A Heart for Art, and more.

If you find yourself in Greenfield, take a walk through the Greenfield Gallery, a boutique art gallery featuring fine art and collectibles. You will also find great local works of art at Artspace Community Arts Center, a non profit educational and creative space or people of all ages. Their gallery shows off the works of local artists and has rotating exhibits. Down the road in Montague, is Sawmill River Arts Gallery, a quaint gallery on the Sawmill River, by the waterfall and next to the Montague Book Mill.

Bowling and The Movies

Of course, there’s always the classic favorite way to spend time indoors - bowling and the movies! In Franklin County, you can still support local businesses while you do. In Erving, visit the French King Bowling Center, or go to the second oldest bowling alley in the country, the Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley! This alley uses duck pins and you keep your own score. Around the corner from the bowling alley in Shelburne Falls is Memorial Hall, where Pothole Pictures has some great films lined up over the next few months, including Julie and Julia, Ratatouille, and Babette’s Feast. Arrive early for some live music before the film starts. For new releases, go to the Greenfield Garden Cinemas in Greenfield.

So, although it is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, remember there is still plenty to do and ways to get out of the house and enjoy all Franklin County has to offer!

 

Drive Off the Beaten Path to Crafts of Colrain Open Studio Tour

Franklin County is a wonderful place to explore a variety of art and handmade crafts, since it is home to so many artists and creatives. Colrain, specifically, is a very concentrated area of talented artists and craftspeople, since it is such an inspiring place, with beautiful rolling hills, and preserved natural areas. Every year, the artists of Colrain open their doors to the public for a self-guided open studio tour. This year, Crafts of Colrain will take place Saturday and Sunday November 10 and 11 from 10 am to 5 pm both days.

Grab a map and drive through Colrain to as many as 18 artisans’ studios. You’ll see a wide variety of art, from craft beer to woodworking, fiber art to photography, and more. Kedalby Farm, home of Moonshine Design, raises angora goats to provide the mohair for their hand-dyed, hand-woven goods. Visit their farm and learn about this process, which takes place entirely on-site. See a variety of art in one stop at stop #17- Sarah and Hans Schoedel. Hans makes scratchboard illustrations and prints, wooden bowls using wood from local trees, and decorative and functioning fishing lures. While Sarah makes handwoven baskets and jewelry using recycled fence wire, copper, silver, and gemstones. If you’re a collector or even just an admirer of pottery and stoneware, you’ll want to check out Cliff Daniels’ studio. Cliff’s original and decorative designs uses a broad color palette and durable glazes.

Before you hit the road, be sure to print out a map, located here. You can also find all the participating artists, sponsors, and partners at craftsofcolrain.com. Support local artists and farms, while you enjoy the beautiful scenery of Colrain, hopping around to these open studios.

 

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.

 

September Real Estate Market Report for Pioneer Valley

Franklin County sales were down 9.9% and the median price down 5.5% in September, 2018 compared to September, 2017.  The sales were also down in both Hampshire and Hampden County. 

Inventory of single family homes fell in Pioneer Valley 14.3 percent from 2,107 single family listings at the end of September 2017, to 1,806 single family listings at the end of September, 2018.  

The average days on market increase 3.7%  from 63 days in September, 2017 to 66 days in September, 2018. Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are down 5.2%  from 520 in September, 2017 to 493 in September, 2018.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarecrow in the Park: Happening This Weekend!

Looking for something fun and fall-y to do this weekend? Head to Bernardston for the 6th Annual Scarecrow in the Park, hosted by the Bernardston Kiwanis Club! This two-day event, happening Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st has become an annual tradition, where Cushman Park becomes filled with artists and craftspeople, live music, food vendors, a Halloween dance party, and of course, handcrafted scarecrows, on top of much more.

The scarecrow contest is a signature part of this event, where participants can pay $10 to enter their scarecrow and could win a cash prize. This year, scarecrows will be judged based on the categories of scariest, funniest, prettiest, most interesting use of materials, and best art. The radio station, Bear Country 95.3, also gives a prize to the best “Bearcrow.” Enter your own specially made scarecrow or simply walk around and enjoy viewing all of the amazing ones made by other people. For more information on the contest, click here.

Be sure to bring the whole family because there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Browse the artists’ booths, featuring fiber arts, preserves, gourd art, seasonal decorations, home adornments, and more. Listen to live music by local favorites Appalachian Still and enjoy a live performance by Celtic Heels, local Irish step dancers, as well as the Tractor and Rag Shag Parade. There will also be hay rides, a visit and demonstration with local canine police officers, and face-painting and balloon-sculpting by Melha Shriners clowns.

For more information on Scarecrow in the Park, visit their Facebook page. Don't miss this awesome event!



 

August, 2018 Sales Report for Single Family Homes in Western Mass

Pioneer Valley single-family home sales in August, 2017 had 699 closed transactions and 659 in August, 2018, down 5.7%.  Franklin County had 90 closed transactions in August, 2017 and 74 in August, 2018, down 17.8%.    

Pioneer Valley average days of market was down to 56 days in August 2018 vs. 63 days in August 2017.  Pending sales are up and inventory of homes for sale remains down.

For more information regarding single family sales in August review the following provided by the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Completely Renovated Colonial For Sale in Ashfield

Serenity surrounds this completely renovated 1817 Colonial that combines period details of yesteryear with the modern conveniences of today. State of the art green technology features a geothermal heating/cooling system, solar array, high rated foam insulation and Pella Low-E Argon windows while attractive woodwork, restored mantels, original wood floors and exposed posts and beams enhance the interior. There is a gorgeous kitchen w/soapstone countertop, fabulous great room with cathedral ceiling & gas fireplace, dining room, formal living room with original fireplace, first floor bedroom & full bath. Three additional bedrooms and a luxurious bathroom with slate and soapstone open shower & custom built vanity are upstairs. In addition, there are 3 outbuildings, 2-3 car attached garage, screened-in porch and a deck with views of the pond, stream and hills beyond. A nature lover's oasis, the private 11.8 acres is mostly open, perfect for gardening & animals. Less than 30 min to Northampton/Greenfield.

                

Click here to view the full listing.

Contact Wanda Mooney today for a tour! 
Wanda@Wandamooney.com or 413-768-9848

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: