Blog :: 03-2017

Buying A Home in the Digital Age

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Last year I was a typical home buyer. I had a list of criteria. I went to online and searched for properties. I looked at sites with photos and home listings in the communities I was interested in. Then I contacted my Realtor and together we visited several of the homes I found online and fairly quickly, an offer was made, and accepted. 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their 2017 Report on “Real Estate in a Digital Age.” The findings are not surprising, as each of us, more than likely carries a smartphone. You might be surprised, however, that the average cell phone users touch (type, tap, swipe) their phone 2,617 times per day, according to research firm Dscout. They also found that average users spend 145 minutes a day on their phones.

According to the NAR, the typical home buyer is 44 years old, married without children living at home and has a median income of $88,500. Millennials (19-37 year olds) make up the largest group of first time home buyers at 66%, followed by Generation X (38-52 year olds) at 26%. 

Roughly 77% of Americans own a smartphone*, so it’s no surprise that 72% of home buyers used a mobile device or tablet to search for a home.  99% of Millennials searched for a new home online, compared to 89% of Boomers (53-71 year olds). 

Buying a home can be a complicated process and it may be the biggest financial decision a person makes, so using a Realtor only makes sense, which is why 92% of buyers used a Realtor in their home search. Realtors know the ins and outs and have the knowledge, expertise, and negotiating skills needed.

The most difficult Step in the home buying process? Finding the right property was ranked #1 among all generations, followed by paperwork and understanding the process. Even the simplest real estate transaction involves paperwork. A Realtor will handle the contracts, disclosures, reports, and other technical documents. When navigating a real estate purchase buyers need an experienced professional who can negotiate the best purchase terms on their behalf, and stay on top of the process.

My Realtor was there every step of the way, making sure all the nitty gritty details were taken care of.  That left me plenty of time to dream about the where to put that brand new sofa in my brand new home!






Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

*According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in November 2016.



Shelburne Falls & Piti Theatre

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Spring is not quite here yet, so if you're looking for something to do indoors, check out The Piti Theatre (pronounced pea-tea), out of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. They create new work for the stage and facilitate a unique connection between Switzerland and the United States by making shows in french and english and offering the possibility of artist/student exchange between the two countries. 

Every March, the company produces an annual festival called SYRUP. This Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19 is the 8th annual One Sweet Performing Arts Festival featuring a solo physical comedy performance, entitled Sammy and the Grand Buffet. Also performing is author, songwriter, storyteller, performing and recording artist Bill Harley in slice of life vignettes on growing up, schooling and family life.

The Sammy and the Grand Buffet performance is at 2pm and Bill Harley performs at 4pm. Tickets can be purchased on their website



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    2017 Valley Home Expo & The Original Western Mass Home & Garden Show

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    I know, it's hard to believe, but spring is next week! It's time to start thinking about gardening, outdoor projects, and even indoor projects! It's also the start of a few expos, such as the Western Mass Home & Garden Show (, and the Valley Home Expo (

    The Valley Home Expo will be held at Smith Vocational High School Gymnasium in Northampton, MA on Saturday, March 18 from 10am-6pm and Sunday, March 19 from 11am-5pm. There are "How To" workshops on installing ceramic floor tile, choosing the best alternative heater for your home, installing faucets and toilets, and maintaining your wood or pellet stove. You can also learn about optimizing your solar investment, the right floors for your home, the flooring of the future, and home composting. On Saturday, March 18th the Northampton Winter Farmers Market is also taking place at Smith Vocational High School, so make sure to stop by there as well. Admission to both the Expo and the Farmers Market is free!

    The Original Western Mass Home & Garden Show takes place at the Eastern States Exposition grounds in West Springfield, MA on Thursday, March 23 from 1pm-9pm, Friday, March 24 from 1pm-9pm, Saturday, March 25 from 10am-9pm, and Sunday, March 26 from 10am-5pm. The show is located in the Better Living Center, the Young Building, and the outdoor area between the two buildings. Parking is $5 (cash) per vehicle and general admission is $10 per person, children under 12 are free. There is a special discount coupon available on their website (see above).

    In addition to the many vendors at the Original Western Mass Home & Garden Show there are cooking shows with some of the finest chefs in the Pioneer Valley. There is also a designated kids area with clowns, animals from the Zoo at Forest Park, arts and crafts activities, a butterfly display from Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory, and various other activities sure to amuse any child.




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      Amherst Restaurant Week

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      The second annual Amherst Restaurant week takes place Monday, March 13 through Sunday, March 19, 2017 in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts! The event takes place during UMASS spring break, when the college town is just a little quieter. Most participating restaurants  are offering a 3 course meal for $30 per person. Others offer an entree and drink special, or some other special to celebrate and participate in the event.

      Participating restaurants include:

      30 Boltwood - $30 for a 3-course meal

      Balance Amherst - 3 for $30 Special

      The Lumber Yard - 3 courses for $30

      Top Kabab - 3 course menu for $15

      Chez Albert - 3 course meal

      Osteria Vespa - 3 for $30 Special

      Johnny's Tavern - 3 course meal for $30

      Judie's - 3 course meal for $30

      Bistro 63 - 3 courses for $30

      Bertucci's - 3 courses for $15

      Other participating restaurants:


      Himalaya Friend's Corner

      It's a perfect time to visit Amherst and enjoy some of the great food they have to offer! For more information ~