Buying A Home

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.



10 Home Amenities Contractors Love

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Rising numbers of creative artists, freelancers and contractors are working from home. The numbers are expected to increase. Leasing agents, employers and manufacturers of home amenities aren't the only people who have to accommodate for shifts that America's changing workforce will bring. Real estate agents, home builders, mortgage lenders and home buyers may also have to adjust to the changes.

Home amenities must keep up with changing times

The shifts that may have far reaching impact are expected to see half of America's workforce earning income from the contractor and freelancer ranks. According to Forbes, 53 million workers in the United States already freelance. By 2020, that number is expected to double. Many of these workers will work from home.

Add in telecommuters, and don't be surprised if members of the gig and freelance economy start looking for home amenities and home floor layouts that fit their work-from-home needs. Following are 10 home amenities that contractors may start looking for more and more in home designs.

  1. Open floor plan - Houses that are designed with an open floor plan make it easier for contractors to multi-task. Whether they are working from their home office, the living room or the kitchen island, contractors can keep an eye on young children, pets or a meal that's cooking in the oven while they work.
  2. Solar energy - Homes built with solar energy panels help to cut down on utility expenses for work-at-home professionals, and who doesn't love opening a utility bill and seeing that the costs has dropped?
  3. Great outdoor views - Of all home amenities, this one is tops. Great views can keep freelancers from feeling isolated. Outdoor views help contractors feel connected to the world around them, even as contractors work for 8 or more hours a day from home.
  4. Built-in bookcases - Apartment management companies are already designing apartment units with built-in bookcases. Not only are built-in-bookcases visually attractive, they are space savers.
  5. Large home office - A large home office is a contractor's bread and butter. Contractors may start asking real estate agents to only show them houses that have a large home office. These rooms need to be big enough to fit a desk, chair, two filing cabinets, a printer and computer inside. The space shouldn't be cramped.
  6. Indoor exercise space - A large extra room or a basement could serve as an indoor exercise space. Because contractors tend to be independent thinkers, they value and take care of their health.
  7. Wifi access - This is a must when it comes to home amenities. Even houses in the country may need Wifi access to land a sale with freelancers.
  8. Stylish home lighting - Task, accent and general or natural lighting are winners. Home offices should be designed with at least task and general lighting.
  9. Wall computer stands and monitor stands - Similar to built-in bookcases, these home amenities computer and monitor stands are attractive space savers. Houses designed with these two home amenities also keep contractors from having to spend money on separate computer and monitor stands.
  10. Finished basement - Documents, videotapes, artist equipment and supplies and additional filing cabinets can be stored in a finished basement. A portion of a finished basement could also serve as a home office, especially if both people buying the same house are contractors.

Location is also important to contractors and freelancers. Homes that these workers, particularly full-time contractors, live in come with real advantages if the homes are located within walking distance of public train and bus stations. If the houses are not within walking distance, contractors should not have to drive more than 10 to 15 minutes to reach public transportation facilities.

Until the shifts change, these home amenities may seem far fetched. Manufacturers, home builders and real estate agents who see and prepare for these shifts now, may find themselves ahead of the curve now and in the future.

The Story of Our Home

I couldn't agree more with this commercial.  This commercial shows such a simple story but one many of us relate to or make us think of our own story.  My home has a story that started many years ago, it is where all my memories are -  from getting married, bringing the babies home, running to the ball games, plays and even doctor appointments.   It all happened starting at home, the biggest and best purchase I have every made.

How about you, what is your story?

Feel free to share below.

The Best Way to Search For Homes

CB-for sale 3One of the best ways to shop for property is by doing it through the Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS blog and website. Our website and blog will provide you the most up to date information on homes for sale in your area.  The only thing you need to do is click the search button and decide which of the homes you feel suits your needs. One reason why this site is so effective in helping you find the perfect home is because new updates happen every 15 minutes. You will have the latest information on new listings, price changes, back on markets and open houses.

The best part is that once you begin searching through the lists of homes this site has for sale, you do not have to leave the comfort of your own home. With less stress surrounding you, it becomes easier to begin your search, and this in turn means that you will have the right mindset to find a great piece of property that you can call home.

If you want to keep up to date without searching, you can sign up to receive daily email alerts. The alert will email you every morning with new listings, price changes, back on markets and open houses in your towns and price range. This daily email program allows you to find you the perfect home. In your search you can choose the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you prefer, the area it should be located in, and the overall price range that you are willing to budget for.

And don't forget a Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont AGENT is only a phone call away when you are ready to learn more about the homes you have been searching.

Open Houses - Nov. 15th & 16th

CB OH SignColdwell Banker | Community Realtors are opening the following doors for your convenient viewing on November 15th & 16th, 2014.  We would love to have you stop by.

SATURDAY, 12pm-2pm  [RLSProperty]71717695[/RLSProperty]

SATURDAY, 12pm-2pm  [RLSProperty]71731189[/RLSProperty]

SATURDAY, 12pm-2pm   [RLSProperty]71636146[/RLSProperty]

SATURDAY, 1pm-3pm   [RLSProperty]71745874[/RLSProperty]

SATURDAY, 3pm-5pm   [RLSProperty]71729985[/RLSProperty]

SUNDAY, 1pm-2:30pm   [RLSProperty]71749744[/RLSProperty]

SUNDAY, 1pm-3pm   [RLSProperty]71755607[/RLSProperty]

SUNDAY, 1pm-3pm   [RLSProperty]71724468[/RLSProperty]

Should You Buy a Multi-Family Home?

CB-for sale 3If you are thinking about owning a piece of property to live in while wanting to have an extra section to help pay the bills, then you will find that there is an effective way to do it. Today, many people are considering the idea of buying a multi-family home, because this allows you to have your own space for you and your family while getting extra income from renting the other apartments. Keep in mind that as advantageous as this is, there are a few points that you have to consider.

1.  Keep in mind becoming a landlord will require some extra work. When repairs are needed, or a tenant does not pay the rent it can cause some unwanted worries. This being said it can also be a great way to start off allowing you to live, in some cases, rent free while getting monthly income to help pay down your mortgage.

2.  In choosing the right tenants,  think like you are running a business, as you will be collecting an income from the home you are renting. Take the time to choose the right tenant, a credit check, otherwise you might find yourself in a situation where you will be losing money if your tenant does not pay up at the end of the month. If you are willing to put in the work, purchasing a multi-family home can be a great way to invest.

For more information on purchasing a multi-family contact your Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTOR today.  Our agents are live and work in the Pioneer Valley and look forward to assisting Buyers find just the right home.

To start your search click HERE to see all the multi-families available in Franklin County, MA

To start your search click HERE to sell all the multi-families available in Hampshire County, MA

Market Watch - Hampshire County MA

Market WatchOur Monday Market Watch brings us to Hampshire County, MA where there has been a very active market over the last month.  We presently have 646 properties available for sale in Hampshire County.  The average list price is $336,286 however, you will find 273 of those homes listed under $300,000.

Out of the 92 listings sold between October 10th and November 10th the average original price to sale price is 93% and were under agreement in 64 days. For the same period 185 homes listed changed their price with an overall average of -4.64%.

The chart below reflects the activity from October 10th to November 10th, 2014.  If you are in the market for a new home, Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors keeps their eyes on the pulse of the real estate market. Click the Number of Homes on the market to see all the available homes.

Stat Charts for Hampshire County 10/10-11/10

Single Family Homes for Sale 11/10: 646 Average Days on Market: 189 Average List Price: $336,286 Average List/SqFt: $164.00

Single Family Under Agreement: 91 Average Days on Market: 149 Average Price: $282,652 Median Price: $259,500

Single Family Homes Sold: 92 Average Days on Market: 93 Average Sale Price: $251,722 Median Sale Price $240,000 Highest Sale Price: $563,810 Lowest Sale Price: $50,000 Average Per Sq.Ft. Sale Price: $152.00

Homes Sold Over $300,000: 26 Homes Sold in $200,000 Range: 35 Homes Sold Up to $199,900: 30

Open Homes for You-Nov. 8th & 9th

CB OH SignColdwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS opens the doors again this weekend (November 8th & 9th) to some lovely homes throughout the Pioneer Valley.  If you are looking for your next home this is a great opportunity to see what our market has to offer.  If you need assistance, feel free to contact one of our REALTORS.













SUNDAY 12pm-2pm




Market Watch Update!

Market WatchWWLP News reported that Massachusetts single-family home sales for the month of August is down by 7%, while the Pioneer Valley has increased by 8%.  That is fantastic news for us in the Pioneer Valley!  Median price of homes have dropped to $205,000 for the Pioneer Valley, however, that is an increase of 3.5% since August of 2009.  Check out the article by clicking HERE.

Feel free to check out available homes throughout the Pioneer Valley at Coldwell Banker | Community  Our professional, knowledgeable agents are ready to server all your real estate needs.

Open Houses - Hampshire County, MA

CB OH SignColdwell Banker | Community Realtors are opening doors to home ownership. This weekend you are welcome to visit the following homes to consider as your next home purchase.

Hampshire & Hampden County Open Houses - September 6th & 7th, 2014

Open Saturday 1pm-3pm


Open Saturday 1:30pm-3pm


Open Sunday 12pm-2pm


Open Sunday 1pm-3pm


Open Sunday 1pm-3pm


Open Sunday 10am-12pm


Open Sunday 1pm-3pm