Blog :: 02-2014

Why We Love Western Massachusetts - DAR

Tim enjoys fishing with his son

Tim enjoys fishing with his son

Tim Parker, Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont agent, enjoys the DAR State Forest on Cape Street in Goshen, MA.  Just on the Ashfield, border where Tim resides with his family, this state forest delivers the best opportunity for year-round recreational activities.

Whether you love boating, fishing, swimming, camping, cross-country skiing, biking and more! offers Trail maps, Campground map and more information to tTim Biking with friends at DAR State Foresto visit this recreational treasure.

Tim cross-country skiing with friends. Four season recreation at his front door!

Tim cross-country skiing with friends. Four season recreation at his front door!

"I love the year-round recreational activities that Western Massachusetts offers", said Tim.  "If you love the outdoors, check out the DAR State Forest and all that it offers you and your family."

Be sure to LIKE Tim on Facebook....







Why We Love Western Massachusetts-Berkshire East Ski Resort

Tim-Berkshire East skiing copyTim Parker, agent in our Shelburne Falls Office, enjoys a winter afternoon skiing with his daughter at Berkshire East Ski Resort. On the mountain they offer snowboard and tubing as well.  Check out their website for the up-to-date conditions of the slopes, ticket, directions and upcoming events.

So, if you enjoy skiing you will enjoy your day in Charlemont, home of Berkshire East.

The Annual Cardboard Classic, pictured below,  held in March was enjoyed by Tim and his children.  What a fun day for the entire family.  TTim-Berkshire East Cardboard Classic copyhis event is held every year, so there is plenty of time to get your entry built.

Our opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with so many different activities is one reason we are fortunate to live in Western Massachusetts.






Reasons Why You Should Own a Home

The past few years the news has been inundated with recovery news about the housing market and in fact it has always been better to own a home. In fact, there are more reasons than ever to buy a home. If you are on the fence about buying you will want to take note of some of the benefits of homeownership.

Pride of Ownership It belongs to you! That's right, renovate, update, paint, and decorate to your heart's desire and you don't need to ask permission or waste money improving something that you do not own. Your home is your own so plant trees, install a pool, put up a fence, expand the patio, redo the basement or do anything you want. Owning something feels good.

Equity Homeownership is about building long-term wealth. It may seem that buying a home has a lot of upfront costs but historically homes appreciate by about 4 to 6 percent a year. When you purchase a home, you build equity with each payment. Equity is the difference between what the home is worth and what is owed. Equity can be used to build wealth, save for retirement and even to secure a loan. For example, an $800/month rent payment equals out to be $48,000 over five years with no financial gain to you.

Tax Benefits Homeownership has huge tax benefits. In the early years of a loan, mortgage interest is the largest part of your mortgage payment. Mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. For example, a homeowner in a 28% federal tax bracket could lower their borrowing costs by almost a third.

Better Living Studies have shown that owning a home can actually make you healthier, and is better for your family too. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report: says "Homeowners accumulate wealth as the investment in their homes grows, enjoy better living conditions, are often more involved in their communities, and have children who tend on average to do better in school and are less likely to become involved with crime. Communities benefit from real estate taxes homeowners pay, and from stable neighborhoods homeowners create".

The National Association of Realtor's Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing reports homeowners experience:

-Higher educational performance and better behavior of children -Lower community crime rates -Lessened welfare dependency among households -More household participation in civic affairs -Better household health

Bottom line, it's a great time to buy! Interest rates are still at historic lows; homes are more affordable so go ahead and invest in a safer, healthier, better future for you and your family today.  Your professional Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors agent is ready to assist with your home purchase needs.  We are local REALTORS . . . we live here, work here, raise our families here . . . just like you!

Why We Love Western Massachusetts-Beaver Lake

Paula Kyaking copyPaula Davitt, REALTOR in our Amherst Office enjoys a beautiful summer day kayaking on Beaver Lake in Ware, MA

Beaver Lake is a private, man-made lake on approximately 152 acres. The lake is owned and managed by Beaver Lake Trust Inc.  The Trust works with Beaver Lake Club Corp.  to preserve and protect the lake for future generations.

Beaver Lake is one of the few areas in Western Massachusetts with lake front property; by 2012 the lake was surrounded with over 300 small parcels, mostly occupied by single family residence.

Contact Paula if you are a prospective home buyer.  She enjoys the lake and would love to share it with you.


2014 Real Estate Tax Rate for Hampshire County

House TaxesReal Estate Tax Rates for Hampshire County, Massachusetts in 2014 are listed below.  The information was compiled from the state website (  This information is helpful when purchasing your new home to approximate the cost of your real estate taxes.

Locate the town in the list below that you want to know what your approximate taxes would be.  The rate is then calculated per $1,000 of valuation.  Example:  In the town of Amherst if you purchase a home for $300,000, multiply the cost x $20.97 per thousand  to equal $6,291.00.  Towns also vary with additional taxes fore services like a Fire District.

More information may also be obtained by going to the town website...... We have provided a link below for each town site.  Just click on the town you wish to review.


Hampshire County 2014

Property Tax Rates

(Dollar amount is per $1,000 of assessed property value).  Information compiled from website





























South Hadley












Things to Do... When a Storm is Approaching

Snow DayToday is a Snow Day in the Pioneer Valley.... Just thought it is important to share a few tips to be ready for the matter the form they come in.

One thing is for sure you cannot control mother nature but you can control how prepared you are.  The weather can be unpredictable so it is important to prepare as best you can.

Here are some things you can do when you know a storm is coming:

1. Keep up-to-date on the weather conditions.

2. Charge your cell phone. Make sure to also have a car charger for your cell phone.

3. Charge your laptop computer and tablet devices.

4. Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to coldest settings.

5. Fill the gas tank in your car.

6. Have cash available.

7. Fill your bathtub with water.

8. Shop for bottled water and non perishables for quick and easy meals.

9. Make sure the tank on your gas grill is full.

10. Check flashlights and batteries.

11. Have a battery or hand crank-powered radio.

12. Have a hard-wired land line telephone available.

With just a few easy steps you can be storm-ready in no time.

Mobile Marketing Can Help Sell Homes

Coldwell Bnker Upton-Massamont REALTORS has a mobile website because  a mobile website can help sell your home? According to Mobile Marketing Association Asia  5.1 billion people own a cell phone. The world population is 7 billion people.  More and more consumers are shopping via their mobile phones.  A recent statistic says 91% of all smart phone users have their phone within arm's reach 24/7 - (Morgan Stanley, 2012).

Mobile marketing will account for 15.2% of global online ad spend by 2016. (Berg Insight, 2012). Having a mobile web site allows for your property to come up higher in a mobile search and be viewed more easily on a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone or Android device. Go ahead and type in the website address of this site on your mobile device to see what it looks like.

Mobile consumers are more ready to act too. 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. 70% of online searches result in action in one month. (Mobile Marketer, 2012). Search Engine Land found that 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase. (Search Engine Land, 2012).

If your home isn't being advertised on a mobile device you are missing out. Mobile marketing produces more immediate responses, and a higher response rate, than any other marketing method. So, are you ready to list today and get effective marketing for your home?

To search for your next home, click on the phone image to select your criteria, then call you Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Agent.

Why We Love Western Massachusetts-Jumptown

Ricks Jump copyYes, Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS has a few dare-devils in our midst.  Pictured at left, Rick Davitt and his son Brendon skydiving at Jumptown in Orange, Massachusetts.

Rick list & sells real estate from our Amherst Office and is part of the Davitt Assoc. Team.  For his birthday he decided to enjoy a jump from an airplane.

Jumptown is a skydiving club and dropzone in Orange, MA located 70 miles west of Boston and one of most western towns in Franklin County.  They offer both Tandem and Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) training.  Jumptown is dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable home for new and experienced skydivers.

Their webiste is very informative offering information, online scheduling, purchase of gift certificates and more.  Check out their Facebook Page for the most update photos and information about activities.

Jumptown welcomes spectators to make themselves comfortable in their shaded spectator viewing area and watch the skydivers land right in front of you!  Look out Rick, we will be watching for you!

Market Watch in Hampshire County

Market WatchOn January 30th we completed the following research about the Hampshire County, Massachusetts real estate market.  Research was conducted through the Multiple Listing Service.   Single-family homes continue to sell throughout the county despite the cold weather.

By clicking the link for Single Family Homes For Sale you will see homes on the market now!

Single Family Homes for Sale 1/30:


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Homes Sold Over $300,000:


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Homes Sold Up to $199,900:


All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog and the Multiple Listing Service make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.