Pioneer Valley

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!

Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center Brings Good Music and Good Times to Greenfield, MA

Greenfield, the capital of Franklin County, is a vibrant arts community. With this year’s addition of Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center, this statement has become even truer. Owned by Steven Goldsher, this popular new business is a restaurant, bar, and concert and event venue all in one. Locals and visitors alike have been drawn to this spot, located in the Arts Block building on the corner of Main St and Court Square in downtown Greenfield, for a full night out. You can come for a delicious meal and then stay for a night of dancing in the ballroom to a live band, or head downstairs to The Wheelhouse, the speak-easy style bar.

In its short life so far, Hawks and Reed has hosted some incredible artists. Lee “Scratch” Perry, ranked one of the 100 greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2004, and Subatomic Sound System performed with The Alchemystics for its grand re-opening in May. Past acts have included artists of styles ranging from Latin big band, to electronic, to swing, and everything in between. Some acts you won’t want to miss coming up this weekend include The Dead Collective on Saturday, September 30, and The Joe Belmont Experience on Sunday, October 1.

To stay updated on events and happenings at Hawks and Reed, visit their website, HawksandReed.com, or follow them on Facebook.

 

Kick Off Fall at the Old Deerfield Fall Arts & Crafts Festival

Looking for something fun to do for the first weekend of fall? The Old Deerfield Fall Arts and Crafts Festival is taking place this Saturday, September 23 from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, September 24 from 10 am to 4 pm. Held on the grounds surrounding Memorial Hall Museum, this festival features crafts of various mediums, including woodworking, jewelry, apparel, glass, and pottery. Over 140 vendors from all over the region will be present, each offering their own handmade creations.

Browsing and shopping won’t be the only activities to do there. Live music will fill the air on Saturday with back-to-back performances under the food tent. On Sunday, make puppets with Caravan Puppets and enjoy live puppet shows. Plus, all weekend long at the Children’s Activity Area, take part in free dinosaur-themed crafting activities.

The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association organizes the Old Deerfield Arts and Crafts Festival and provides the free craft activities. For more information on this wonderful event, visit Deerfield-craft.org. There you will find details on parking and shuttles, vendor listings, and you can even download a printable map. See you there rain or shine!

Comfortable Home With Commercially-Zoned Garage/Workshop For Sale in Shelburne, Mass!

If you are looking for a comfortable living environment along with a fabulous garage/workshop that is located in a highly visible area to operate your home based business, then this is the perfect opportunity for you. It comes with an oversized heated 2 car garage/shop with a 12 x 30 addition that is ideal for any type of a shop, studio space, or hobbyist! The home is move in ready with a good size kitchen, opening dining and living area, newly finished sitting room, 2 bedrooms and an updated full bathroom. If you love to garden and prefer to start from seed, there is a growing room located in the basement area. In addition this home has a newer heating system, newer roof and there is a large back deck that overlooks a pond and backyard. It comes with 4 acres and there is plenty of room for gardens. This property is also zoned commercial and is centrally located on the Mohawk Trail and less than 10 minutes to Shelburne Falls or Greenfield. Call today for details! 413-768-9848

View the full listing!

 

Antique Colonial For Sale in Conway, Mass

Exquisite c.1790 antique Colonial on 9 picturesque open acres is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and majestic trees. This antique treasure is a true representation of a well preserved museum quality home. The interior features many period details including 7 fireplaces with beautiful handcrafted mantels, detailed moldings, wainscoting, wide pine floors and an impressive Palladian window. The owners have tastefully blended the modern conveniences of today with updating the bathrooms, creating a family and laundry room, and adding solar for electricity and hot water. There are separate guest quarters that was once an antique shop and is perfect for a home based business. The open land is ideal for animals to roam and plenty of space to grow your own food. There is frontage on the South River and it does abut conservation land. This special property is conveniently located only 20 minutes from I-91, 30 minutes to Northampton and 10 minutes to Shelburne Falls. This one is a gem!

Click here to view the full listing.

July Real Estate Sales Report for Pioneer Valley

The month of July resulted in a robust real estate market for Franklin County! Compared to July of last year Franklin County beat the Pioneer Valley region with sales up by 15.4%.  

Pioneer Valley - Key Real Estate Points:

Sales - Up 5.3 percent from 586 in July 2016 to 617 in July 2017.

Median Price - Down 1 percent from $222,250 in July 2016 to $220,000 in July 2017.

Inventory of available property - Inventory fell 28.4 percent from 2,536 single family listings at the end of July 2016, to 1,817 single family listings at the end of July 2017.

Supply - At the end of July 2016 there were 5.4 months of supply at the current rate of sale. At the end of July 2017 there were 3.7 months of supply at current rate of sale.

Days on Market - The average days on market dropped 36.3 percent from 99 days in July 2016 to 63 days in July 2017.

Pending Sales - Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are up 24.6 percent from 505 in July 2016 to 629 in July 2017.

Mortgage Rates - 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.9 percent with an average 0.5 points for the week ending July 28, 2017 . Last year at this time the 30-year FRM averaged 3.4 percent with an average 0.5 points. (Source: www.FreddieMac.com)

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

 

 

The Cummington Fair is This Weekend! Celebrating 149 Years!

Summer is winding down but there is still plenty of exciting summer events happening in the valley. Thursday, August 24th kicks off the 149th Cummington Fair, in Cummington, Massachusetts, which will run through Sunday, August 27th. The Fair was initiated in 1883 with the purpose of spreading agricultural knowledge. Today, the Fair holds true to this with a variety of farm-themed events, such as Horse & Ox Draws, various animal showmanships, and judging of livestock.

However, that is not all there is to see at the Cummington Fair! Each day there will be a motorized event, like the tractor pull and Stoney Roberts Demolition Derby. Live music will fill the air with country acts such as Jose Duddy and Truck Stop Troubadours. There will be over 50 vendors selling everything from food, to crafts, to agricultural products. Plus, entertainers such as Kenya Acrobats, Christopher the Magician, and Wayne from Maine will perform multiple times throughout the weekend.

Whether you are a resident of Cummington, or the Pioneer Valley, or you are travelling from surrounding areas, you won’t want to miss this huge event. Purchase your tickets ahead of time at cummingtonfair.com to receive a discount and save time waiting in line. Also visit their website for a full listing of events and other information such as directions, parking, and camping. Hope to see you at the Cummington Fair!

www.cummingtonfair.com

These Two New Eateries in Shelburne Falls Have Captured Our Hearts and Our Stomachs

While Shelburne Falls might have fewer places to eat than the surrounding larger towns, we pride ourselves in the fact that the places we do have are all outstanding. In 2017, two new eateries opened their doors in Shelburne Falls and our taste buds are excited about it.

Delicatesse on Bridge Street is owned and operated by Alice Lee. She calls it a “café-deli-eatery.” Open Tuesday through Sunday, 8 am to 4 pm, the menu is a simple and delicious selection of Jewish cuisine and New York deli-inspired breakfast and lunch options like bagel and lox with “schmear” or roast beef sandwich. I have developed a personal weakness for the roast beef sandwich, which is served on fresh, homemade bread. Her daily specials are always creative and beautifully presented like the recent, Crepes Suzette, rye crepes with local husk cherries and a Grand Marnier sauce. When you stop in, make sure to also peak inside her deli case for an assortment of salads, antipasti, or even chocolate mousse!

Around the corner is another new breakfast and lunch spot, Gretchen Gerstner’s bakery, Baked. Their menu is more traditional American, with a twist, like their mixed portabella beef burger. No matter what delicious meal you order, always save room for one (or two) of Gretchen’s delicious baked goods. From cinnamon rolls, to cookies, to cakes, there is something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Baked also has a full coffee and tea menu, making it a great place to grab something on the fly.

The only downside to these two places is that they are both so close to Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont’s office. I could eat at either one every day and it is so tempting to do so…

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.