Blog :: 08-2012

Hurricane Irene - One year later!

Shelburne Falls, MA Bridge of FlowersThe streets are a-buzz today remembering just 1-year ago when Hurricane Irene tore through the Western Mass. region leaving destruction in its path.  It took a while but, the overwhelming majority of residents and business owners have been able to recover from the storm.

News crews have been in the area interviewing residents about the recovery.

Channel 22 of Springfield, MA shares this segment about the hurricane and the recovery.

One year later, looking back on Hurricane Irene




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Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

The one thing that every home should have is a home emergency preparedness kit. It is something you hope you will never have to use but in case of a disaster you will be happy you were prepared.

Here are the essentials of a home emergency preparedness kit.

  • Water: You will need one gallon per person per day for at least three days. Double up if you live in a very hot climate, have young kids, or are nursing.
  • Food: Plan for at least a three-day supply of non-perishables and a can opener. Make sure to pack protein, fruit, and vegetables and store food in pest-proof containers.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First-aid supplies
  • Sanitation and hygiene supplies: Pack moist towelettes in sealed packets, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and plastic ties. More good options are travel-size shampoo, toothpaste/toothbrush, and deodorant.
  • Radio or TV: You will definitely want a portable, battery- or crank-operated radio or television and extra batteries.
  • Cash: Have at least $100 in your kit.

As an alternative to making your own kit, you can buy a fully stocked kit from the American Red Cross. A kit with a three-day supply of essentials for one adult costs $50 to $70.

In Franklin County, Massachusetts we are fortunate to have the FRCOG (Franklin County Council of Goverments). One of the many services they provide is helping us prepare for HERE to read more.

Single-Family - 144 Avery Brook Rd Charlemont, MA 01339 is now new to the market!

Immaculate and spacious single level living is yours less than 10 minutes from Shelburne Falls. This well-maintained home features a large fireplaced living room and huge country kitchen. There's a newer kitchen island with cooktop range and stone counter and a practical tile floor that's easy to clean. Large yard with a screened gazebo and plenty of room for gardens or critters. Whether you're looking to downsize and want single living ease or just starting out, look at this affordable home.

This is a Ranch style home and features 4 total rooms, 1 full bath, 2 bedrooms, 3.74 Acres, and is currently available for $178,000.

For complete details click here.

You Can Clean With That?

Did you know you can clean your house with things you already have in the cabinets? No need to buy expensive cleaning products. Save time, money and clean with less chemicals by using everyday products.

Here are some unusual ways to clean your home.

Use white bread to: Dust an oil painting. Gently dab a slice of white bread over the surface to pick up dirt and grime.

Use ketchup to: Remove tarnish from copper and brass cookware. Squeeze ketchup onto a cloth and rub it on pots and pans. They should go back to their coppery color in minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry with a towel.

Use oatmeal to: Scrub very dirty hands. Make a thick paste of oatmeal and water; rinse well

Use rice to: Clean the inside of a vase or a thin-necked bottle. Fill three quarters of the vessel with warm water and add a tablespoon of uncooked rice. Cup your hand over the opening, shake vigor-ously, and rinse.

Use club soda to: Shine up a scuffed stainless-steel sink. Buff with a cloth dampened with club soda, then wipe dry with another clean cloth.

Use hydrogen peroxide to: Disinfect a keyboard. Dip a cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide to get into those nooks and crannies.

Use cornstarch to: Clean grease spills on carpets. Pour cornstarch onto spots and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming.

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Who doesn't love a vegetable garden? There is nothing better than fresh green beans or vine-ripened tomatoes. Getting started with your very own vegetable garden is easier than you think.

It all starts with choosing the right crops and space for your garden.

1. Choose your vegetables. Only grow vegetables you enjoy eating. Don't waste your efforts on things you will not eat or give away. There are some vegetable which are extremely well suited for eating fresh. Most people agree that tomatoes, squash, beans and peas are especially good from the garden.

2. Pick your space. You will want to pick an area that is flat, has easy access and gets full sun

3. Prepare your space. Preparing the soil is one of the most important parts of the garden. Make sure the soil is free from rocks and weeds. Make sure to turn the soil. You may also want to add organic material such as compost. It is best to consult the garden center for what they recommend.

4. Plant accordingly. Figure out how much growing space you have and plant accordingly. Lettuce, for example, can be grown in a solid mat, but tomatoes need to be spaced about 2 feet (60 cm) apart. Give pumpkins at least 4 feet (120 cm) of growing room. Growing requirements are provided on seed packets, in catalogs, and on nursery tags, as well as in books on growing vegetables.

5. Schedule your plantings. There are two main growing seasons which vary by region: cool (spring and fall) and warm (summer). Vegetables that typically do well in the cool-season are lettuce, peas, potatoes, and beets. Warm-season crops include beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes. Consult your garden center for the time of year and what is best in your area.

6. Enjoy the fruits or veggies of your labor.

More Properties Sold in Deerfield, MA Greenfield, MA , and Northampton, MA

Deerfield, MA:

This Single-Family in Deerfield, MA recently sold for $225,000.
This is a Cape style home and features 4 total rooms, 1 full bath, 1 half bath, 1 bedroom, 10.10 acres, and was sold by
Office - Shelburne Falls - Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont REALTORS

Here are some other properties available in Deerfield,MA you may like:

Greenfield, MA:

This Single-Family in Greenfield, MA recently sold for $170,000.
This is a Cape style home and features 6 total rooms, 2 full baths, 3 bedrooms, 0.91 acres, and was sold by
Office - Shelburne Falls - Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont REALTORS

Here are some other properties available in Greenfield,MA you may like:

Northampton, MA:

This Condo in Northampton, MA recently sold for $84,500.
This is a Garden style home and features 3 total rooms, 1 full bath, 1 bedroom, and was sold by
Office - Shelburne Falls - Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont REALTORS

Here are some other properties available in Northampton,MA you may like:

Of course there are plenty more to choose from. If you would like to see these or any others feel free to contact us or start searching now or register for more powerful searches and daily email alerts.

144th Annual Cummington Fair

The Cummington Fair has been around since 1883 devoting attention to growing livestock and crops along with encouraging domestic fine arts.  Always known as a special spot in Hampshire County to usher in the fall season and bring families together to enjoy all the fair has to offer.

The fair opens at 4pm this Thursday (8/23/12) with events spread throughout the whole weekend.

  • Fair website:
  • Schedule of Events
  • Download Schedule
  • Directions:  Cummington Fairgrounds is located one mile south of  State Route 9 in the center of Cummington 20 miles west of Northampton and 22 miles east of Pittsfield
  • Road Map

Market Watch for Franklin County, MA

Snapshot of Franklin County, MA

Today's Franklin County real estate market is host to 517 single family and condominiums for sale with prices ranging $41,900 to $849,000.  There are 81 single family and condominiums Under Agreement  expecting to close over the next few months.

Since January 1st, 2012 there have been 296 sold single family and condo properties.  The average sale price of single family homes dropped to $176,017 this year a 9.15% decrease over the same period last year,

This sure looks like a good time to buy in Franklin County Massachusetts.  Inventory is still plentiful and prices appear to be lower, for the moment. Check out Single-family homes for sale by clicking HERE.  Check out Condominiums by clicking HERE.


Single-Family - 72 Green St Athol, MA 01331 now has a new price!

Spacious 4 bedroom Colonial offering 2,200+/- sq ft. of living area, high ceilings, vinyl siding, wood floors, 2 fireplaces, 1.5 baths, walk up attic, in-ground pool & more. Come take a look!

This is a Colonial style home and features 8 total rooms, 1 full bath, 1 half bath, 4 bedrooms, 0.66 Acres, and is currently available for $91,900.

For complete details click here.

12 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2012

If you think the dream of homeownership is lost; think again! The American dream of homeownership is quickly becoming more and more feasible in  2012.

There are many benefits of owning a home.  Due to negative press about the real estate market, buyers are skeptical of purchasing with the uncertainty surrounding the housing market. Here are 12 reasons to buy a home in 2012.

1. Rents are at an All Time High- Due to the influx of foreclosures and fewer people making a decision to buy a home, the demand for rentals the past few years has increased. All prices are based on supply and demand and that is pushing up rental prices.

2. The Worst is Over-From the market peak in 2006, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 housing markets is down 32 percent. What does that mean? The housing market could be at a turning point. Signs are showing we are moving from steeply falling home prices to an extended period of stabilizing prices.  You can't predict the market and you won't know when low prices are over until they start to go up. Stability is your first clue.

3. Historically Low Mortgage Rates-Long-term mortgage rates fell to new lows in January. According to FreddieMac, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89 percent in the week ending Jan. 12, falling from 3.91 percent last week and marking the lowest since Freddie Mac began keeping track. A 15-year fix fell to a record low 3.16 percent.

4. Mortgage Rates Won't Stay Low-Just like you can't predict when housing prices will rise; you also cannot predict the mortgage market. It is however unlikely that mortgage rates will remain low for long. This is especially true if demand starts rising and prices stabilize.

5.  Less competition-The slow sales pace is proof that there are fewer buyers out there. That is good news for a serious buyer; they will be less likely to end up in a bidding war. It doesn't mean that homes that are priced aggressively to sell will not end up with lots of offers. Wait too long to jump in the buyer pool and there may be more competition. The market is showing signals of recovery, meaning demand will pick up. Being a little ahead of the curve gives buyers more elbow room.

6.  Appreciation-Odds are that buying a home at the current rates can almost ensure your home's appreciation in the future.  With the double advantage of low prices and low mortgage rates the perfect storm for home appreciation is brewing.

7. Build Equity-Your home can actually work as a wealth building or even savings plan for you. Some homeowners are now adding money to their monthly payment to decrease the principal balance of their loans at a much faster pace.  This is called equity building. Because home equity is the largest single source of household wealth for most Americans it is a smart move to ensure financial stability.

8. Tax Deductions-If you are looking to save more money on your taxes than buying might just be the answer. Real estate property taxes for a vacation home and first home are fully deductible.  The IRS Publication 530 provides detailed tax information for first-time buyers that may answer many questions about what deductions homeowners are eligible for.

9. Homes are More Affordable- According to Kiplinger, the percent of family income consumed by a mortgage payment is at record lows. The average family pays only 12% of their monthly income to pay for today's mortgage. Affordability has not been that low since 1971. Additionally, the Fed's financial obligation ratio for mortgage holders have fallen to levels not seen since 2003.

10. Moving Up is More Affordable-If you are thinking about buying a bigger or more expensive home this is a great opportunity to save money. Homes in a lower prices range have not lost as much as higher-end homes. For example, if your home in 2006 was worth $125,000 it may now be worth $100,000. The home you may be looking to buy in 2006 was priced at $350,000 but now is under $300,000. You have made a gain of $25,000 in your upward move.

11. Buy Low, Sell High-The uncertainty surrounding the housing market will wane. When the housing market rebounds prices will go up.  Owning a home may eventually be more than just a pride issue, it could also become a profit through a home sale.

12. Pride of Ownership-There are more benefits than just financial gain in homeownership. Some of those benefits may be painting the walls the color of your choice, or landscaping the yard, or having a pet. No matter the reason; homeownership will give you pride.

Start your search here..... Single Family Homes in Franklin County or Hampshire County, Massachusetts