Blog :: 04-2014

5-Tips For Your Home Purchase Wish List

ChecklistWhen dreaming of a next home the options are endless. From a backyard oasis with a patio and swimming pool, to a gourmet kitchen with the most up-to-date appliances, plenty of space to entertain friends or a gorgeous master bedroom suite, no home buyers wish list is the same. However, in reality, it is not always possible to find a home with everything, so we must decide in advance what items are "must-haves" and "nice-to-haves" on a first home wish list.

To help home buyers, Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS has provided the following 5-tips to help determine what you will need vs. what is nice to have in a home.

1.      Know your budget: The first step to creating a list of "must-haves" is to be realistic about what is affordable and determine a budget. Buyers should enlist a local real estate agent to help with the home search. An agent with years of expertise understands the local market and can help  find comparable home prices and determine what is affordable in their budget.

2.      Find that perfect "location, location, location": Everyone has heard this phrase before when it comes to real estate, and while the surrounding neighborhood and home itself may improve over time, the physical location will remain the same. Buyers should determine in advance how close they would like to live to their work, schools or extended family. A short commute to work, proximity to family or having easy access to highways and mass transit are often "must-haves." The location will also determine some home amenities that are possible or difficult to have within the buyer's budget. For example, if you have to live close to work in the city, you may have to cross a garage or outdoor space from your wish list.

3.      Determine non-negotiable accommodations: A comfortable place for everyone in the family is always a "must have." For the family of four, three bedrooms may be non-negotiable.  For the family with grandparents living at home, an extra bedroom on the first floor may also be non-negotiable.  After determining the budget and neighborhood, the most important factor is that everyone living in the home has a comfortable place to stay.

4.      Pick a lifestyle fit: After fulfilling the most important needs, you should find out what features of a home will best fit your lifestyle.  For example, if you love to cook and entertain you may want a home with a gourmet kitchen and decide to give up the large master bedroom.  Or, if you love to spend time outdoors you may compromise on a large family room for a big backyard.

5.      Have a vision:  When looking for your home, you should avoid getting distracted by decorations, paint or flooring that may not fit your taste.  Items such as paint color or carpeting are easy to fix and always worth compromising on.  If everything else about a home fits your wish list, a new coat of paint and a little redecorating are easy finishing touches on a dream home.

Your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTOR will be glad to help your locate the home that will fit your "Must Have" List and hopefully your "Nice to Haves" as well!

Springtime Spruce Up for Sellers

Spruce Up copyHome value is top of mind for sellers and renovations or remodeling can play a critical role in both increasing the value of a home and ensuring that it stands out to potential buyers. 

Most consumers are looking to do more with less, few homeowners may be ready to commit the thousands of dollars it can take to fully redo even a single room.  Before breaking out the tool belt, Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors advises homeowners to check out the free online tools that can help them chart their home remodeling efforts, such as "Tips for Selling Your Home" available at  Homeowners can also speak with your Coldwell Banker real estate professional to learn more about specific home improvements that most appeal to buyers in your area.

The professionals at Coldwell Banker suggest the following 8-affordable home improvements for potentially increasing the overall value of a home, without breaking the budget:

NOTE* We always recommend to homeowners who are not comfortable taking on a home improvement project themselves should always hire a qualified professional.

1.  Reface Kitchen Cabinets. Kitchen updates are among the smartest remodeling projects when it comes to "upping" the resale value of a home. But homeowners do not need to spring for an entire new cabinet set to improve the room's appeal. Refacing existing cabinets, applying a fresh coat of paint or replacing tarnished pulls and knobs with new hardware might be just the quick fix a kitchen needs to make it look and feel like new.  light bulb

 2.  Improve the Lighting. Updating lights and lighting fixtures is another simple enhancement that does not require a major investment. Replacing old bulbs with stronger, more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will brighten up the house and make it more inviting - while cutting down on energy costs over the long term. In addition, replacing recessed lights in a dining or living room with an affordable chandelier or installing accent lighting to draw attention to artwork or other room features can create an entirely fresh ambiance.

3.  Freshen up a Fan. An updated ceiling fan can give a room a more contemporary feel, but purchasing a new one isn't always a necessity when looking to upgrade. Improving an existing fan is simpler than homeowners might think and does not have to come at a high price.  First, try unscrewing the fan blades and turning them over. Typically, blades have alternate colors or patterns on the reverse side. If not, simply add a coat of paint and reattach. One can even install new pull chains to complete the look as well as match the fan accents to new lighting fixtures or cabinet hardware.

4.  Hang More Mirrors. It sounds simple, but the addition of a mirror on any wall adds depth and light to a room, making even the smallest space seem larger. Mirrors also add elegance and charm to a home's décor, and often at a reasonable price.

5.Paint Can-Brush  Break Out the Paint Brushes. Applying a couple coats of paint can make a remarkable difference and is always a low-cost, high-return project. Coldwell Banker recommends a warm, neutral wall color that can make a room seem more spacious, create a more modern feel and appeal to a wider variety of buyers.

6.  Install Laminate Flooring. Even if the cost of hardwood or tile floors is out of the question, for under $5 per square foot, homeowners can easily install laminate flooring in their kitchens, hallways and bathrooms - provided that floors are level with those in adjacent rooms. Laminate flooring can hide chipped tiles or old linoleum and give the room a more modern feel.

7.  Refinish Your Appliances. Purchasing brand new matching appliances can cost thousands of dollars. However, for a few hundred dollars, an appliance refinisher can re-enamel the surfaces of appliances covering up any out-dated colors that may be ruining the look of your kitchen.yard tools

8.  Spruce up Your Home's Exterior. When planning to put money into a house, homeowners should not overlook simple exterior renovations that can add substantial worth and attract more buyers. A freshly-mowed lawn, a clean, even walkway and a few well-placed bushes can make a huge difference. If you don't have a green thumb, consider hiring a landscaper on a one-time basis to plant some shrubs or give the front yard a good cleanup.

*Homeowners who are not comfortable taking on a home improvement project themselves should always hire a qualified professional.

What Sellers Should Know About Home Buyers

CB-for sale 3Spring is in the air and many homeowners are now gearing up to put their home on the market for sale.   If you are a seller who needs to know what buyers think, then this study by the National Association of Realtors is for you.  Here is just a few highlights from that study which provides detailed insight into the home buyer's experience.

Here are highlights from that report.

  • 66% of recent home buyers were married couples--the highest share since 2001.
  • For 42% of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. While fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information on the complete home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search process rose slightly to 92%.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • 88%  of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This share steadily increased from sixty-nine percent in 2001.
  • 88% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was 9%. 40% knew the buyer prior to home purchase.

Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors is highly aware of the conditions of the real estate market and look forward helping you navigate through the process.  Give one of our agents a call today?


Market Watch

Market WatchFor our Market Watch today we researched Franklin & Hampshire Counties and the On- Market condition of single-family & condominium homes. 

The on-market snapshot in Franklin County shows the Median Price up 4.7% .  There are 3.6% fewer homes on the market compared to the same time last year and the average days on the market are 2.4% less with an average of 239 days on the market.

The on-market snapshot in Hampshire County shows the Median Price up 6.5% .  There are 4.4% more homes on the market compared to the same time last year and the average days on the market are 11.8% less with an average of 186 days on the market.

The Spring shows to be an active market for single family/condominium sales and we are ready to offer our award winning service to Buyers & Sellers.  Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Agents have Franklin & Hampshire County covered with 4 convenient offices.  Feel free to click the links below to contact your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTOR and search available listings.

Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors - click HERE

Search Single Family homes in Franklin County by clicking HERE

Search Condominium homes in Franklin County by clicking HERE

Search Single Family homes in Hampshire County by clicking HERE

Search Condominium homes in Hampshire County by clicking HERE

How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

With Easter coming up soon, there is one decorating job to get done, "Color Easter Eggs".  If you and your family follow this tradition, then this post is for you....

There is a science to making the perfect hard boiled egg. Whether it is for Easter or egg salad, or a protein packed breakfast a hard boiled egg makes a great meal.

1. Put the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan, covered by an inch of cold water.

2. Gently bring the eggs to a boil will help keep them from cracking.

3. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to keep the egg whites from running out of any eggs that happen to crack while cooking,

4. Add a half teaspoon of salt to help both with the preventing of cracking and making the eggs easier to peel.

5. When the water starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds.

6. Remove the pan from the heat.

7. Cover the pan and let sit for 12 minutes.

8. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them into a bowl of ice water.

9. Eat within 5 days.

10. Enjoy!


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No Appointment Necessary- Open Houses

CB OH SignColdwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS will open the properties below for your "No Appointment Necessary" viewing on April 12th & 13th.  Feel free to stop by and visit with our professional, knowledgeable agents.  Come see if one of these fine properties could be your new home!

Stop and see Wanda Mooney on Saturday 12pm-2pm


Stop and see Maureen Borg on Sunday 11am-1pm


Stop and see Gretchen O'Neil on Sunday 11am-12:30pm


Stop by and see Mike Packard on Sunday 12pm-2pm


Stop and see Don Mailloux on Sunday 12pm-2pm


And Don will also host Sunday 3pm-5pm










Buying a Home with a Well

If you have a water well in your home or you are considering buying a home with a well there are some things you need to know. When purchasing a home with a well the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends an initial water quality test. The test should include coliform, bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, and pH. Additional recommendations for well testing include arsenic, lead, copper, radon, a gross alpha screen, and volatile organic compounds. While living in the home the well should be tested annually.

If the home has a water treatment system, a test should be done on both the raw water coming into the house before the treatment system and after the water has passed through the treatment system. This will identify contaminants in the water and ensure the treatment system is functioning properly.

If the home is being financed with an FHA or VA loan, the lender will most likely require a well test. The FHA Scan tests for coliform, lead, nitrates and nitrites. Prospective buyers should also hire an independent professional to have the water tested at a state certified lab. For more information on drinking water quality standards, visit EPA's website:

In addition to a well quality water test, the mechanical workings of the water system should also be inspected also known as a quantity test. The pump, pressure tank, water treatment system, condition of the area around the well, and the well's proximity to potential contamination sources will all be examined.

Q & A on Sellers Use of Facebook!

There are currently over 900 million people on Facebook with 526 million daily active users. So why not advertise where people are? It only makes sense to get the maximum exposure when you are trying to sell your home.

Facebook makes this possible in a way that is unique to online marketing and you should expect from your real estate professional that Facebook is part of the marketing plan. Real estate has always been something that online consumers search for from the comfort of their home and now mobile device.

There is a shift in our society to communicating and searching for information online, traditional advertising models may not be as effective as they were in past. Facebook offers the ability to target an audience like never before and the opportunity for your message to go viral or across the internet.

Here are a few Questions & Answers to help you decide who your REALTOR will be:

1. Q:  Do they have a Facebook business page?  A: Yes we do.

2. Q:  What does it look like? Is it professionally designed? The way they market is a reflection of how your home will be marketed.  A:  We would be delighted if you would check out our page - Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors Facebook

3. Q:  Does the Facebook page have a property search?  A:  Yes we do, you are able to search all of the Pioneer Valley right from our Facebook page.

4. Q:  Does the Facebook business page have a way to capture the lead or inquiry?  A:  Yes, All emails from the Facebook search go though our lead generation system to ensure quick response to inquiries.

5. Q:  Will your home be promoted on Facebook with photos, and written descriptions? A: Yes it will, in fact if they click on your address they will obtain complete listing information and that also includes photos.

At Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors our agents are trained to use all the cutting edge services that will sell your home in today market place.  Give your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Agent today!

OPEN HOUSES in the Pioneer Valley

CB OH SignSping is in the air and we are getting excited to be out and about!  This weekend Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTRS will open the doors for your viewing pleasure.

Home Buyers STOP by and check them out.

Join Mike Packard on

Saturday from 1pm-3pm


Join Don Mailloux on

Saturday from 1pm-3pm


Join Mooney & Roberts on

Saturday from 12pm-2pm


Join Mike Packard on

Sunday from 12pm-2pm


Join Dave Ryan on

Sunday from 1pm-3pm


Join Don Mailloux on

Sunday 12pm-2pm


and Don will host this open house on

Sunday from 3pm-5pm