Hilltowns

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!

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.

 

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:

 

The Heath Fair Returns for a Weekend of Community, Food, Music, and Agriculture

The Heath Fair is one of the few country fairs still around that stays true to its agricultural roots. For over 100 years, it has offered events such as the ox draw, sheep shows, and various trade demonstrations to teach the community about agriculture in an engaging way. Every year the residents of Heath and visitors from surrounding towns look forward to this end of summer event. This year, the 101st Heath Fair will take place this weekend, Friday, August 17th to Sunday, August 19th.

It is truly incredible to see how a large event like this with a variety of activities comes together in such an organized way. It is because of the commitment of volunteers who run each of the events that the Heath Fair is so successful. This year’s lineup of events include the antique tractor pull, rabbit show, goat show, horse draw, truck pull, and sheep show. Bring the kids because there will be so much for them to do too like the zucchini races, wagon rides, demonstrations, and the parade!

Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty to eat! Join the organized meals such as the Church Ladies Ham and Bean Supper on Friday, the Heath Firefighters Association BBQ on both Saturday and Sunday, or the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Sunday. There will also be a great group of vendors selling food, including Lucia’s Latin Kitchen, Kailash Kitchen, and of course Hager’s Farm Market’s fried dough and maple cream.

A country fair needs music and this year’s artist lineup is spectacular. On Friday night, check out Upstate Rubdown and then join in on the square dancing, led by Doug Wilkins. On Saturday, the music starts at 11 am with The Uncles of the Pioneers and continues through the day with The Green Sisters, Li’l BeeDee & The Doo-Rites, and The Whiskey Treaty Road Show. On Sunday, the Ageless Waves of Rhythm will kick off the day with their drumming, followed by the Shelburne Falls Military Band, and Banish Misfortune.

For the full schedule of events, visit heathfair.org. The Heath Fair is presented by the Heath Agricultural Society. Admission is only $8 or $6 for seniors and free for children 9 and under. See you at the Heath Fair!

 

Celebrate Shelburne's 250th Anniversary this Weekend!

Celebrate with Shelburne as it turns 250 years old! There is a full weekend of events planned including dinner, dancing, farm tours, a parade, food and craft vendors, live bands, square dancing, children’s games, militia re-enactment, fireworks, book sale, and more. It is sure to be a great time for family, community members, and anyone else who wants to join in the celebration of this wonderful town.

Shelburne is located in Franklin County, west of Greenfield along the Mohawk Trail (State Route 2). It was first settled in 1756 as part of Deerfield, MA and was later incorporated as a town in 1775. Much of the history of Shelburne is based in the vicinity of Shelburne Falls, a small village composed of part of Buckland and part of Shelburne. Shelburne has been largely an agricultural town. However, the manufacturing industry thrived in Shelburne Falls due to the railroad through town and the existence of Lamson and Goodnow, a cutlery manufacturing company. Today, Shelburne Falls is geared more towards the tourism industry with a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries. The rest of Shelburne remains beautifully natural, with dairy farms, sugarhouses, orchards, and majestic rolling hills.

Don’t miss the chance to celebrate this milestone for Shelburne this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Here is the full schedule for the weekend:

Friday, June 22

5:15 p.m. Opening Ceremony, Baptist Corner Lot, Main Street

6-10:30 p.m. Reception dinner and dancing at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center, tickets $25

Saturday, June 23

All day - self-guided tours of 100-year old farms

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - crafts & skill from yesteryear on display, plus quilt show at First Congregational Church

1 p.m. - militia camp set-up at Shelburne Historical Society

3 p.m. Parade starting at Cricket Field and ending at Buckland Elementary School

4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Food & craft vendors, children's games, square dancing, live bands at Buckland Shelburne Elementary School

9:30 p.m. Fireworks

Sunday, June 24 (rain date for Saturday events)

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Militia re-enactment - 10th MA Volunteer Infantry Militia Company C

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open House at Historical Society

Click here for the event flyer.

 

Register Now for the 2018 Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop

The Pioneer Valley is a hub for the creative arts. It’s a place where many musicians, artists, performers, and creatives come to gain inspiration for their work and to find an artistic community where they can thrive. This is not only true for adults, but for children and teens as well. There are many opportunities in the Valley for kids to follow their artistic intuitions and to gain experience working as a team to create something wonderful. One opportunity in particular is right here in Franklin County, specifically in Charlemont. Since 2010, the Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Programs has been running their Hilltown Youth Theatre Summer Workshop. Their mission is to build a supportive community for youth to develop personally and artistically and to train and collaborate on theatrical productions at a high level, therefore giving them an appreciation for hilltown life and a passion for the arts.

This program, for youth aged 10-18 years old, is an intensive arts experience for aspiring actors, musicians, dancers, and set designers. Guest artists and master teachers, direct participants to create performances which incorporate movement, puppets, mask making, voice work, circus arts, and work on large apparatus such as stilts, aerial fabrics, spools, flying trapeze, and more. At the end of the workshop, the performance takes to the streets, or rather the mountains for audiences to enjoy. This year’s production of Avatar: The Last Airbender will be hosted by Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont.

The 2018 Summer Workshop runs from July 16 to August 8, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. Registration is open now and financial assistance is available. No previous experience is necessary but the ideal candidates will be artists, musicians, athletes, or any other active creative types. For more information, visit their website here.

Come to an Open House This Saturday for 94 S Deerfield Road in Conway MA

You’re invited to view this charming antique Farmhouse this Saturday, June 2 from 12-2 pm.  Admire the recently completed renovations. Well-known Integrity Builders rebuilt one end of the home and constructed a fabulous second floor bonus room that features a beautiful staircase, wood floors, cathedral ceiling and westerly views. This wonderful space is bright and cheery and perfect for a studio, bedroom, or home office. In addition a 1 car attached garage was added with new entry including a laundry area and tile floors. The main house has a large eat-in kitchen with Ashfield stone countertops, vintage sink, and new appliances. Dining room with built-in cabinet, 3 bedrooms one with walk-in closet, 1 ½ baths, wood floors, updated electrical panel, Buderus heating system and Comcast internet. It has a picturesque back yard, surrounded by nice landscape and lovely flowers. Conveniently located near downtown, library, park, bank, town swimming pool and less than 20 min to I-91 and Shelburne Falls.

View the full listing!

Contact Wanda today at 413-768-9848 or Wanda@WandaMooney.com

 

Northfield Drive-In Celebrates 70 Years

As a lifelong resident of Franklin County, I always appreciate seeing older businesses that are still running strong. One in particular is the Northfield Drive-In, located on the Northfield, MA/Hinsdale, NH line. In August of 1948, the Northfield Drive-In began showing their “movies under the stars.” Now, they will celebrate 70 years of business with their opening for the 2018 season. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 25th, 26th, and 27th, Northfield Drive-In will be showing Solo at 8:50 pm and Avengers: Infinity War at 10:50 pm.

This drive-in is 1 of only 20 drive-in theaters still in operation in New England, and the only one remaining of the 15 that the original owner, Carl Nilman, owned. Although the original screen was damaged by a hurricane in 1951, the second screen built kept the same dimensions and is still the one that exists today. In 1967, Northfield Drive-In changed ownership to the Shakour family, who still operate it today. They pride themselves in having a family-run business, where even the children would lend a hand at the snack stand and ticket booth on summer nights.

So take a drive out this weekend to the Northfield Drive-In and support this locally-owned gem. They are located in a beautiful scenic area and have a variety of delights at their snack bar. Plus, the rates are much lower than any indoor movie theater. Tickets are only $12 for adults and $7 for children (cash only). Visit their website for more information and to see what other films they will feature throughout the season.