Blog :: 04-2015

Home Maintenance - Spring Outdoor Projects

49 Route 8A South, Heath, MA

Spring has finally arrived in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. After the long, cold winter we experienced it is more important than ever to keep up with our Spring home maintenance. I recently fell upon a nice home maintenance checklist I thought I would share with you. The checklist is provided by the National Center for Healthy Housing, and can be downloaded by clicking here.  Nice resource to help remind us of our home maintenance needs.

I would like to suggest the first thing is a complete inspection of the exterior of your home. Make a list of jobs to be completed and projects you may need to hire professionals to complete.

1. Clean gutters and downspouts. You may have cleaned both these items in the Fall, but with our Spring and Summer rain you will want to be sure they remained cleaned out. Also, test your system to be sure that water is being diverted away from the house.

2. Inspect your chimney for any cracks or damage. Staying on top of your aging chimney will insure a long life span.

3. Touch up peeling or damaged paint on the exterior of your home. This is one of those projects, if maintained on a regular basis, will extend the life or your last painting.

4. Wash your windows and inspect them closely as you clean. Look for cracked windows and calking that is beginning to deteriorate. Window maintenance will save you money in heating and cooling cost. This is also the time to put in screens on your windows and doors.

5. Cleaning decks and porches will be easily done before all the summer furniture is brought out. Power wash to remove stains and dirt that may have accumulated over the winter. This is a great opportunity to inspect the condition of your deck or porch for future maintenance needs.

6. Remove lint from the dryer exhaust with a long, flexible brush. This is a job that needs to be done a few times a year to insure safety. Creating a good system will make this project easy to stay on top of.

7. Service your lawn mower, trimmers and edgers - to insure you are ready for their heavy use over the summer months.

8. Rake the yard; remove branches and debris that may have accumulated over the winter months. Your lawn will love you for the special attention that helps aerate the ground and removes the dead material from last year. Be sure the yard slopes away from the house to help water drain away from the foundation. You may also notice your lawn needs special attention like fertilizer or other nutrients, our local farm supply stores and home supply stores carry all types of lawn care products to help you have a lush, green lawn.

9. Driveway and walkways need close inspection for good upkeep. Seal your driveway to insure it remains in good condition. Examine your walkways closely for cracks or unstable parts that would be easily tripped over.

10. Before you finish up your Spring home maintenance, finalize that list of bigger projects that may need to be accomplished this year. a. Did your roof show any signs of damaged shingles and possible leaks. b. Scan where your electrical line runs to your house to be sure the lines are free from tree limbs. c. If you home has a septic system, Spring-Summer-Fall is the best time to have it pumped.

Last but not least! It is time to bring out the summer furniture and air conditioner. This is when I get really excited because I can now start thinking about the flower pots and gardening. Home maintenance takes a little of your time each season but the reward is overwhelming. Enjoy your Spring!

Real Estate Market Today in the Pioneer Valley

Market WatchComing off of a long, cold winter the real estate markets in Franklin & Hampshire County are picking up as fast as it is warming up.  Glad to see more properties heading to the real estate market giving Buyers more options to find their dream home.

Today in Franklin County there are 306 homes available for sale with the average list price of $259,881.  These properties have been on the market on average 226 days and have an average list price per square foot of $140.00.

In Hampshire County there are 518 homes available for sale with an average list price of $350, 186.  These homes have an average days on market of 189 with a list price average square foot of $169.00

The tables below share real estate stats over the last 3 months for properties under agreement and for properties that have sold.  Tracking this information helps us see the direction of our market in the short term.  Property for sale is down right now but we are seeing signs that the inventory is picking up.  Keep a look out for more information on specific towns in upcoming post.

If you are looking to put you home on the real estate market, we have recently posted some information on getting your home ready and what to do next.  Feel free to contact us for a detailed conversation on the real estate market condition and what the process is to list your property for sale.

Franklin County Real Estate Market Stats for Jan. 14, 2015-April 14, 2015

Single Family Homes for Sale 4/14: 306

Average Days on Market:                    226 Average List Price:                     $259,881 Average List/SqFt:                       $140.00

Single Family Under Agreement:   37 Average Days on Market:                   209 Average Price:                             $185,138 Median Price:                             $179,000

Single Family Homes Sold 1/14-4/14: 32 Average Days on Market:                      151 Average Sale Price:                      $227,892 Median Sale Price                        $182,500 Highest Sale Price:                   $1,150,000 Lowest Sale Price:                         $40,000 Average Sold/SqFt:                        $125.00

Homes Sold Over $300,000:                   5 Homes Sold in $200,000 Range:            8 Homes Sold Up to $199,900:                 19

Hampshire County Real Estate Market Stats for Jan 14, 2015-April 15, 2015

Single Family Homes for Sale 4/14:    518

Average Days on Market:                       189 Average List Price:                        $350,186 Average List/SqFt:                          $169.00

Single Family Under Agreement:         115 Average Days on Market:                      126 Average Price:                               $304,253 Median Price:                               $269,000

Single Family Homes Sold 1/14-4/14: 69 Average Days on Market:                      163 Average Sale Price:                      $268,282 Median Sale Price                        $255,000 Highest Sale Price:                      $525,000 Lowest Sale Price:                          $70,000 Average Sold/SqFt:                         $151.00

Homes Sold Over $300,000:                 27 Homes Sold in $200,000 Range:          16 Homes Sold Up to $199,900:                 26


Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors Agent Phil Pless claims victory at the 4th Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon

Over 160 participants and 113 volunteers made this year's 4th Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon the best yet. Hosted by Berkshire East Ski Area, racers could do the event solo in the Braveheart Laddie or Lassie category, or join with others in teams of 2-5. The race consists of a 4.5 mile trail run, an 18 mile four lap criterium bicycle leg, a 5 mile downstream paddle in the Deerfield River, a 2 mile obstacle course run and a climb to the top of Berkshire East and ski down to the finish. 


Phil had all positive things to say about this event:

"My team is The West County Old Stars. We regained our title in the 50+ 5 person team category. We beat last year's winner, Mighty Molitia, our friends and rival, The Zephyrs, and a new team this year, 4 Lesbians and a Guy in a Skirt. Overall winning team was Team Thunder. In the Under 19 category, Varsity M, from Mohawk, edged Tenacious Turtles from Amherst RHS.  Another thing that made it such a great event is how many of us know each other on various teams and have many friendly rivalries.  John McCarthy from Ludlow won the Braveheart Laddie, first male solo."


We're proud to be part of this great community event and are rooting for The West County Old Stars to continue their claim on the First Place title in the future! Way to go, Phil!

We're a proud sponsor.

We're a proud sponsor.

Phil Pless at the finish!

Phil Pless at the finish!