massachusetts real estate market: 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)

massachusetts real estate market: 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)

massachusetts real estate market: 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)

massachusetts real estate market: 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)

massachusetts real estate market: 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)

massachusetts real estate market: 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)

massachusetts real estate market: 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)

massachusetts real estate market: Market Update - 07/23/21 10:19 AM
The Real Estate market here in the Valley continues to be strong and telling more of the same story.  High demand, low inventory, prices holding and increasing in many areas.
The June numbers show single-family home sales and the median price in the Pioneer Valley combing all three counties are up 20% over June of last year with the exception of Franklin County, which was down slightly, going from 60 sales in 2020 to 54 in 2021. Affecting this decrease is the low supply of homes for sale. At the end of June 2020, there were 140 single-family homes for sale and … (2 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: Percentages can be misleading... - 04/21/21 12:57 PM
Every month, the Realtor Association both local and State releases the monthly single-family and condo sales report. Among other statistics it covers the number of sales and the median price compared to the previous year. It is presented by county and the entire Pioneer Valley as a whole, covering all three counties.
The percentage posted can differ significantly from month to month. As a result, it may give a misleading picture of the market, especially in Franklin County, where the number of homes that sell in any given month is modest. For example, in February, the numbers show that Franklin County saw … (0 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: The Real Estate Contract - 02/10/21 09:48 AM
A real estate contract is slightly different than other contracts in that it must be in writing. While verbal agreements may be allowable in some situations, they are not binding in real estate.
The basic requirements in a real estate contract must include the parties' legal names, the property description, either by the address of deed reference, the purchase price, earnest money deposit to bind the agreement and signatures of both parties. Without all of these elements, the contract is not binding.
The method of payment to the seller, though not a requirement, is expected. The seller will want to know if the … (0 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: November Numbers - 01/12/21 12:23 PM
November was another strong month in Real Estate here in the Valley. The sale of single family homes was up 11.3%, and the median price up 13.5% in all three counties combined compared to November of 2019. Franklin County saw a 37% increase in sales. The median price remained virtually the same, though year to date, it's up 7.2% from $226,750 in 2019 to $243,000 in 2020.
The lack of inventory continues to be a player in the marketplace. At the end of November, there were only 81 single family homes for sale in Franklin County, 108 in 2019. A decrease of … (0 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: Rural Migration - 01/12/21 11:56 AM
COVID has affected us all one way or another, good, bad, sad all the way to feeling lucky and grateful.
Here in the Valley we are fortunate to live in a beautiful rural community. The word is out, others are finding their way here more now than ever.
In the last six months, we have seen an increase in sales, unlike anything I've seen in all my years. We came somewhat close in 1989 and the early 2000s and there has been a continual growth in sales of single-family homes since 2013 and condominiums since 2009, but 2019 is off the charts.  Much … (5 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: The Gift - 12/06/20 11:43 AM
As we enter the Holiday Season, the season of giving, many of us are looking for ideas for gifts for our loved ones.  Why not give the gift that keeps on giving? The gift of homeownership, by providing hope and a goal of owning their first home.
Those who would like to own their first home may need help getting started, whether through support and guidance or financial assistance. Having the funds for a down payment and closing costs can seem like it is so far out of reach for some people.
If you have the means, this is where you can help. … (2 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: Multi-Family vs Single Family Ownership - 12/03/20 06:39 AM
Is owning a multi-family right for you? There is a lot to consider when purchasing a multi-family home. There are pros and cons to choosing to own a multi-family home versus a single-family home. Rental income is a plus, and the driving force more most, but additional responsibility and potential liability need to be considered.
Years ago, many first-time buyers would seek out a multi-family home as their first home. It was and still is a way for them to break into homeownership, get used to being a homeowner, and use the rental income to make improvements to the house and save … (1 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: Multi-Family Ownership 101 - 12/03/20 06:08 AM
So, you want to own a multi-family home? Whether you plan to live in one of the units or plan to purchase a multi-family home as an investment, the process you need to follow, and the responsibilities you will have are very similar. To take this on, you should understand the process.
The first step in choosing a tenant is to advertise, show, and accept applications. The number one rule you must follow is to treat every prospective tenant fairly and the same. Fair housing guidelines can be found at Mass.gov.
Once you have chosen a tenant, you need to decide whether you … (4 comments)

massachusetts real estate market: Checking in on the Market - 11/17/20 10:46 AM
Numbers are in for September numbers confirming the robust market continues. The Sales of Single Family homes throughout the Valley are 6.9%, and the median price is up 15.2%.  Franklin County is up 10%, while Hampshire County is down 24.8%.
Franklin County saw as 9.5% increase in the median price as the high-end homes continue to sell at a record pace. However, year to date, sales are down 4.5%. Considering the market coming to a screeching halt with the announcement of the pandemic, this is understandable. Pending sales up 18.9% 53 to 63 homes in September year over year. The good … (0 comments)