franklin county: Make friends with fences - 06/15/22 08:16 AM
This time of year, homeowners focus more on outside projects. If you are considering putting a fence around or in a section of your yard and are looking to put it on or near your property line, there are a few things you should consider.
First, be sure you know your property line(s). The only way to be 100% sure of your property lines is by the surveyors' pins or cement monuments. It is common for properties not to have the markers in the ground, or leaves or grass may have covered them. You can use a metal detector to try … (1 comments)

franklin county: Being Competitive - 04/12/22 08:12 AM
In this ultra-competitive Real Estate market, buyers are often competing with multiple offers, and some have lost out numerous times. If you want to purchase a home, a few things could help you.
First, be sure you have representation. Having a buyers' agent representing you is highly recommended. It will give you the best opportunity to get the advice and guidance you need to make a solid offer. Next, make sure you are set up on the Auto email program in MLS. The market is moving very fast. With this program, you will receive an email within a minute of the home … (3 comments)

franklin county: Trees... - 03/14/22 07:42 AM
You may wonder what trees have to do with buying and selling a home, but they are an essential part of real estate and should be considered when purchasing a home. In the winter months, especially, they tend to be given less thought, mainly because all but the evergreens are without leaves and it’s hard to visualize what the trees will look like with leaves. Once Spring and Summer come around, those bare trees will have leaves and can affect the lighting into the home, and when Autumn rolls around, those leaves will fall and you should know what fall cleanup … (2 comments)

franklin county: Selling your home in the winter... - 03/11/22 09:17 AM
Selling a home in the winter can be beneficial. There are benefits of putting our house on the market in the winter and some tips to help you reach your goal of selling your home in the next few months.
Some believe selling your home is best in Spring and summer. Some will hold off putting their house on the market until Spring. Yes, Spring offers more cheerful surroundings. The grass is green. Trees are full of leaves and bushes, and flowers begin to bloom, adding much-welcomed color after the gray, brown, and while monotone of winter. Days are longer, the sun … (0 comments)

franklin county: Let the light in... - 02/11/22 09:32 AM
Short days and cabin fever can bring on winter blues. Don't despair. There are ways to brighten up your home to get more light in. By doing this, it can help get you through the winter blues. Here are a few suggestions…. 
Taking screens off the windows will bring 30% more light into your home. It can also prolong the life span of your screens, and it's easier to clean them when they are off. Cleaning the window always helps. Consider washing the inside every few months and the outside once a year.
Changing light bulbs from incandescent to LEDs, going from warm … (1 comments)

franklin county: Year End Numbers... - 01/24/22 07:12 AM
2021 was another banner year in Real Estate. Single-family home sales in the Pioneer Valley were up .7% over 2020, a record high year in its own right. However, Franklin County was slightly down 5%, with 616 single-family homes sold in 2021, whereas 649 sold in 2020. Hampshire County is down 2%, with 1,269 sold in 2021 compared to 1,272 in 2020.
The Median Price throughout the Valley was up 14%. Franklin County went from $245000 in 2020 to $281,500. Hampshire County $320,000 to $365,777. The original list to sale price was 101% on average.
Days on market, (from list date to accepted … (3 comments)

franklin county: New Year's Resloution Continued... - 01/14/22 07:54 AM
If your goal is to purchase a home in 2022, what steps should you take in preparation for that move?
If your home purchase requires a loan, the first step should be to get pre-qualified to know what price point you should be looking in and have a clear understanding of what to expect and feel comfortable with your monthly payment.
Once you know the price range you are comfortable in, you should start thinking about what you want in a home, things like how far from work, your family & friends, and places you frequent to choose the locations/towns in your search. … (1 comments)

franklin county: New Year's Resolution - 01/10/22 07:54 AM
If you think that you would like to make a move in 2022 and selling your home is part of your plan, what steps can you expect to take to reach that goal?
Being prepared and starting the process as soon as you decide to go in that direction is highly recommended, if possible, as it usually will result in a much smoother process with minimal stress. Let's face it, moving is a daunting experience for most people. Just the thought of it can cause stress.
The first thing you should do is set up an in-person meeting with a Real Estate professional, … (3 comments)

franklin county: Condo Check In - 12/31/21 06:05 AM
When it comes to reporting the Real Estate activity numbers, I report on the single-family homes most of the time. Rarely reporting on the Condominium numbers. Mainly because there is so little activity here in the upper valley. It is not so much that there is little interest, because there is, but more because there are fewer condominium developments than in the lower valley.
To put this into perspective, condominium sales were up 28% in  Pioneer Valley, with 706 sold in 2020 to 908 in 2021 through November. Only 27 of those sales came from Franklin County, a 22% drop from 2020, … (1 comments)

franklin county: The Gift That Keeps Giving... - 12/23/21 06:55 AM
Most people say home ownership is one of the most important things to them only second to a child's birth, their partner, and marriage. In many cases, getting to the point of purchasing a home takes time and money, especially their first home. The ability to qualify for a loan to buy a home is the first step in the process.
First-time buyers sometimes find it challenging to save enough money to have what they need for a down payment and closing costs. There is good news for those who would like to help a loved one purchase a home if they … (3 comments)

franklin county: Preparing to close... - 12/13/21 08:21 AM
Once all the contingencies in the contract are met the last part of the buying and selling process is preparing to close. If the buyer is financing their purchase, they will receive a commitment letter from their lender outlining any final conditions to get the "clear to close."
A lot is going on behind the scenes. The buyer's attorney will order the title search to make sure the chain of ownership is clear. They will be preparing the settlement statement with the buyer and sellers expenses. They will order the payoff figure for the seller's mortgage, the final water reading, the (MLC) … (1 comments)

franklin county: Pending... - 12/02/21 07:19 AM
When a seller accepts an offer from a buyer,  they do not just agree to the price. They also agree to the dates and conditions spelled within the agreement. Once the seller accepts an offer from the buyer, the property is considered under agreement, or sometimes you will see "Pending", which means it is pending conditions of the sale. It could be pending home inspection, financing approval or other conditions like the sale of the buyers home.
During the pending process, the buyer is following through with the conditions of the sale. If they require a loan to purchase the home, they … (1 comments)

franklin county: Time to sell... What's next? - 11/22/21 09:07 AM
You decided to sell your home, what's next? The first question on most prospective sellers minds is, what can I sell my home for? So, that is usually the first place we start.
In the initial meeting, we gather the information on the house and property, talk about any planned changes or suggested improvements to maximize the value if the homeowner is looking for that information, and set up another appt to go over the market data to establish the recommended list price.
Time to Sell? What’s next
Once the homeowner is on board with selling, it's time to move toward the pre-listing phase. … (0 comments)

franklin county: The Perc Test - 10/01/21 08:37 AM
If you own a home with a private sewer system and the system fails the Title 5 inspection because of the leach field, it will require a new one. The next step is a Perc Test to determine the location, size, and type of system needed to replace the old system.
"Perc" test is short for a Percolation Test. The purpose of the Perc Test is to allow the fluid's safe distribution to dissipate into the ground preventing it from entering any water supply.  To that end, it must also be placed over 100' from you and your neighbors well/water supply.
The Perc … (1 comments)

franklin county: More Resources... - 08/26/21 08:24 AM
You can find just about anything you are looking for by searching on the internet. Real Estate is no exception. Many websites offer the ability to search for homes that provide pictures, maps, taxes, and other information pertinent to the home search. There are so many to choose from. You can also find other information surrounding buying and selling homes and home buying and selling tips. They are also readily available on the internet if you know where to look.
On our website, FITZGERALD-RealEstate.com, we also have a 'Community Info' section in addition to homes for sale, setting up home searches, and … (0 comments)

franklin county: Resources... - 08/18/21 08:19 AM
Whether you are a homeowner, soon-to-be homeowner, thinking about being a homeowner, thinking of selling your home, in the process of selling, or just sold your home, most likely, you will need the help of some type of contractor or service provider.
There are the more commonly used providers such as electricians, plumbers, heating and cooling technicians, inspectors, mortgage lenders, attorneys, painters, landscapers, house cleaners, and movers to the more specialist type like environmental consultants, structural engineers, architects, well drillers, and water testing and septic installers and title 5 inspectors. There are many more.
Since the pandemic, with more people at home, there … (0 comments)

franklin county: Rainy Days - 07/19/21 10:15 AM
With all the rain we have seen this summer, showing property tends to be less fun and takes longer than sunny days. Rainy day, especially long spells, like we have been experiencing lately, requires us to be more cautious about tracking water and mud into the homes prospective buyers view in the warm months and snow in the winter. A lot of times, buyers will walk around the house and yard before going inside. It's fair to say at that point, it would be easy to track in dirt, water, snow, or worst of all, mud.
So, what is the proper etiquette … (5 comments)

franklin county: Pool or No Pool? - 07/12/21 08:12 AM
Pool or no pool, that is the question. Homebuyers historically either look for a house with a pool or do not want a home with a pool. It is rare to find a buyer that is lukewarm about it. However, last summer, with the pandemic in full force, vacations canceled, and people were staying home, pools were in high demand to the point that the pool companies could not keep up with the demand. Many were on backorder, and it seems to have carried over to this year for many folks.
 
This year the sediment about pools also seems to have changed … (1 comments)

franklin county: Winter on your mind **even when the sun shines** - 06/18/21 10:09 AM
In the summer, it's safe to say that people are not thinking about getting ready to heat their homes in the colder months soon to come. We New Englanders tend to like to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and though the seasons change every few months, we tend to live and enjoy the season we are in, especially those warm summer days and cool summer nights. Thinking ahead to the next season, especially winter while in the summer, is usually not top of mind. 
However, when you own a home, you should think about a few things … (0 comments)

franklin county: The Pressure - 05/21/21 09:53 AM
The competitive real estate market that we are experiencing here in the Valley, across the state, and much of the country has created incredible pressure on all participants in the real estate transaction. In any part of the real estate cycle, whether it be a seller's market or a buyer's market, there typically is pressure and competition on one side. But, in this market, the pressure has been building and is now being felt on all sides.
It's fair to say that we are still in a seller's market—low inventory and an abundance of qualified buyers. Some are local, and some are … (4 comments)