Blog :: 2011

Town Assessments vs Sale Value?

No, "Property taxes are more a function of how much money a community, municipality, and/or county need to operate", said James Lumley, author in a recent Greenfield Recorder articled by Erik J. Martin.
There are steps you can take to figure out if your real estate tax burden is inaccurate; the town's process leaves room for human error.
1. Check the accuracy of the town information on your property.  Is information like the number of bathrooms, garage and square footage correct?
2.  Examine comparable properties in your neighborhood to see how you match up.
3.  Talk to your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTOR about current real estate values and possibly obtain a comparative market analysis.  Consider paying for an appraisal by an independent professional.  This information will give you current property values in today's real estate market.
Ultimately, the information to keep in mind is town assessments have nothing to do with current selling prices of real estate and are used as part of the formula to generate income to operate your town.  For more information from this Recorder article go to .

Overlooking Hidden Value?

When in the process of shopping for a new home, many buyers may overlook properties which have potential beyond their current appearance.  Be specific in your need for location and floor plan, but remain open to the appearance or decor that can easily  be remedied.  Look for the hidden value!  Read more . . .
57 Warner Hill Road
Charlemont, MA
This 3 bedroom cape offers an open concept floor plan with a first floor master bedroom and agreat location if your love outdoor recreation all year.  Click on photo for listing information.
1594 Cape Street
Ashfield, MA
If the location you need is an easy commute to Northampton, MA then your bonus of colorful sunsets with this nice 3 bedroom home.  The updates make this a must see. Click on photo for listing information.
1879 Shelburne Falls Road
Conway, MA
Spacious single level home in great condition offering a large yard and relaxing deck.  This home comes with all appiances, furnishings and even the TV stays to help make your transition easy. Click on photo for listing information.
Phil Pless
(413) 625-6366 x104

Western MA Market Watch

Western, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR) reported this week that the number of single-family homes put under agreement in November went up again for the seventh straight month compared to the same time in 2010.  Condominium sales were also up from the same time last year.  Read more . . .
This is the kind of news we have been waiting for.  As stated many times before, a good inventory with affordable homes, mortgage interest rates low and better employment market has consumer confidence is rising. 
Start your home search now to determine what the market holds for you.  Just click on the link that fits your search criteria or go to to create your own.
Single family:
       Franklin County          Hampshire County
       Franklin County          Hampshire County
       Franklin County          Hampshire County


Contact your Coldwell Banker REALTOR today to see how they can help you begin your search.


Western MA Holiday Events

An Old Fashioned Holiday Celebration

Northfield, MA
An old-fashioned holiday celebration along Northfield's historic Main Street begins at 10am on Saturday, December 10th.  Featuring holiday menus, cookie decorating, music, horse-drawn hayrides, stories with Mrs. Claus, gifts, gift-making and holiday craft workshops and much more!  Great Family Event!


Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Bernardston, MA

Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and all-around holiday cheer.  Tree lighting begins at 5pm on Sunday, December 11th at Cushman Park located at the corner of Routes 5 & 10.  Share the joy and bring non-perishable items to be donated to the Survival Center.

Santa's Train at Look Park

Florence, Northampton MA

Take a ride on Santa's train beginning Saturday through December 23rd. Rides run from 4-8 and donations are appreciated.  More information can be found at the Look Park website.
Holiday Lights/Bright Nights

Forest Park, Springfield, MA
The park holiday exhibit is open from 5pm-9pm throughout the holiday.  More information may be found at the Bright Nights website.





















Market Watch in Western Massachusetts

Market Watch for Franklin & Hampshire Counties
Massachusetts Association of REALTORS (MAR) stated this week, "Home Sales up in October as Positive Trend continued for the Fourth Straight Month".  MAR sites a better job market combined with affordable prices and super-low interest rates continue to be the engine that is pushing sales to positive ground. Read more...
Below is a quick look at sales in both counties over the last 30 days. This information is based on single-family homes, only for the month of November 2011. In Franklin County home the sale price are up 25% and in Hampshire County the sold prices are up 12% compared to November 2010.  
In addition to sales activity in November, there is 55 single family homes pending sale in Franklin County and 113 pending sale in Hampshire County today.
Our website provides a complete search of all property available along the Pioneer Valley.  Enjoy your search of homes in our exceptional area.

Franklin County

Hampshire County

Single Family Homes for Sale:



Average List Price:



Single Family Homes Sold in Nov:



Average Sale Price:



Highest Sale Price:



Lowest Sale Price:



Homes Sold Over $300,000:



Homes Sold in $200,000 Range:



Homes Sold below $200,000:



The attached statistics are obtained through research in the MLSPIN system and the system is not responsible for errors produced as a result of this research.

Western MA Weekend Events

Amherst, MA
Friday, December 2nd
4:30 -Hayrides begin
4:30 - Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus
4:30 - 5:30 - Craft Room with face painting and kids' crafts in Town Room in Town Hall
4:45 - Tree Lighting!
5:30 - UMass Minuteman Marching Band arrives with Santa!
6:30 - Visit with Santa at the Amherst History Museum

Check out the website for more details.

Greenfield's Winter Farmers Market
Greenfield, MA
December 3rd from 10am to 1pm
Held at the 2nd Congregational Church in Court Square (next to Town Hall)
The winter market host 17 vendors with an array of vegetables, eggs, meats, jams, pickles, etc.

Buying a home?

Exciting and Stressful?
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, downsizing, upgrading or looking to invest, purchasing a home can be exciting and stressful. Along with your local Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTOR, the internet can be a great tool to help with your questions.
w First-time Hombuyers may want to check out the Coldwell Banker Buyer Resources.
w The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS offers homebuyers information and  
     disclosures information specific to our state.
w offers the largest database of homes across the country. Tapping into
     all the Multiple Listing Services across the country. 
In some cases, purchasing a bank owned property may offer the homebuyer the ability to buy more home than they would be able to otherwise.  The HomePath website offers information and the ability to search their bank owned properties.
Don Mailloux works with the HomePath, listing their homes in our local area. Here are a few of the most recent homes listed:

Western MA Holiday Parades

MAGIC 2011
Friday, November 25th from 4:30pm-10pm the streets of Shelburne Falls, MA will host the annual opening of the holiday season. 
-4:30pm-  Lighting of the Villiage with 1,200 luminaries lining the streets donated by Mole Hollow Candle Company.
-5:15pm-  Parade of Lights welcomes Sanya, the Grinch & Max, Clifford, the Snow Princess and many more characters make their way through town.
-6:00pm- Throughout the evening you will see street performers, local vocal and instrumental groups and shops will be open for the start of your holiday shopping.
Be sure to visit the Visitor's Center and Santa's Workshop.  Shuttles are available, check out the website.


Florence Civic & Business Association

Holiday Parade 2011

The Florence Annual Holiday Parade to celebrate the start of the Holiday season is on Saturday, November 26, 2011. Assembly begins at 9:30am at Trinity Row on South Main Street, the parade begins at 10am and will end at 10:45am at the Florence Civic Center on Park Street.

The parade will host the Shriner's, Florence Community Band, local groups and musicians followed by Santa.  Family fun event to open your holiday season.
Be sure to stop by Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors, they are offering hot chocolate and balloons free to the public.