Real Estate

Small Lots Big Design - How Good Design Enhances Small Lots in Northampton, MA

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In 2013 the City of Northampton hosted a “Small Lots, Big Design” competition. The purpose was to demonstrate how good design can enhance small lots throughout the city. 

Since the end of the competition, Bruce Volz, of Shop Development LLC has seen his project progress to the point where it is almost complete. 

Bruce is also the co-owner of VCA, custom builders of unique furniture and architectural millwork in Northampton. His passion is in the design and quality of the pieces his company produces. His clients are varied and can mostly be found in New York and California. So it goes to say that this Small Lots, Big Design project has been a labor of love for him. He has never been involved in the construction of buildings. He paid three firms to come up with a design that he could get behind. In the end he chose Jones Whitsett Architects, and construction began in the Spring of 2015. 

Within walking distance to downtown Northampton, each two story building is made up of two single story dwellings, an upper and a lower dwelling. Each is efficiently organized to provide homeowners a spacious two bedroom apartment, including an outdoor deck and covered parking. The dwellings are low maintenance. The construction exceptional. Standards include double glazed windows, air-source mini-split heating/cooling, solar hot water, and LED lighting.

Inside the homes is all Bruce. The wood used in the counter face is reclaimed wood from a barn that previously stood on the property. Same with the barn doors in the home. The counter tops are recycled paper and resin. The floors are natural ash and teak. The cabinets were made in his company, designed by his people, all excited to be a part of the process. The homes have a rustic but polished look. Every pain staking detail is Bruce.

These homes are truly a work of art. Three of the four homes have been sold. There is an open house this weekend (Sunday, November 6, 2016 from 1-3PM) so feel free to stop in and take a tour. Or for a private viewing, please call Dave Ryan of Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont at 413-977-9184 or visit for renderings, systems, and more information or for more details.


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.


Are You Ready for Homeownership?

36 Sunset Square, Greenfield, MA

36 Sunset Sq, Greenfield, MA

As we wind down 2013 we look forward to the coming year.  The next year may be full of changes for you and your family.

One change you may be considering is buying a home but it is hard to know if you are ready to be a homeowner.  It can be a big step. Buyers that educate themselves on the process and set realistic expectations have the best experiences.

To gauge whether or not you are ready to own your first home you should ask yourself some serious questions.

  • Are you in a lease or is your living situation easily changed?
  • Do you need to remain in your current community or would you be willing to move?
  • Do you have the time and resources necessary to make your first home purchase a success?

If you have answered these questions favorably you may well be on your way to homeownership.

The next step is to evaluate your financial situation. Here are some questions to check your financial readiness.

  • Do you have a steady source of income?
  • Do you know your credit history?
  • Do you have a down payment ?
  • Are you ready for the financial responsibilities that coincide with home ownership?

If your answers to these questions are positive then it is time to get the loan process started to see how much you can afford. A reputable lender will give you realistic expectations and many offer a free consultation for buyers seeking pre-approval.

Now it is time to start your search. Working with  Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors will bring you through the home buying process comfortably.  Our skills include educating you about the buying process, negotiating, having your best interest in mind and helping you find a perfect first home while hopefully saving you time and money.

We live and work throughout the Pioneer Valley with offices located in Amherst, Northampton, Deerfield and Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Let our knowledge and experience go to work for you.

Market Watch in Franklin & Hampshire Counties

 The Spring Real Estate Market appears active with almost no change in the statistics when compared to last year this time. The local MLSPIN information is also showing inventory is down slightly and it appears the prices may be increasing.

Franklin County
Hampshire County
April 2,2013-May 2, 2013
Single Family/Condo Homes Sold:
 *(Up 26.6%)  38
  *(Down 23.9%)   73
Average Sale Price:
Average Days on Market:
*May 2, 2012/May 2,2013
Single Family/Condo Inventory:
Average List Price:
Average Sale Price:
Average Days on Market:
May 2, 2013
Single Family on market today:
Condos on market today:
*When compared to the same time period 1 year ago. 
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. 

Homeownership is a Good Investment

Year after year, study after study, good market, down market the story is always the same...owning a home is a good investment. Not only does it build wealth but it also provides many psychological benefits too.

A survey released earlier this year by the magazine Better Homes and Gardens found that eight in 10 respondents said homeownership is still a good investment and believe owning a home is a smart financial move and a source of pride.

Here are some results of the 2,500 people surveyed online:

  • 86% of home owners still feel owning a home is a good investment.
  • 85% feel "owning a home is one of their proudest accomplishments."
  • 69% of Americans who don't currently own a home agree with the statement, "No matter what happens in the U.S. housing market, owning a home is still an important goal in my life."
  • 68% of Americans plan to spend money on their homes in the next six months, with roughly half (49%) expecting to pay up to $1,000.

To look at real estate available in the Franklin & Hampshire Counties of the Pioneer Valley, Massachuseets, use the links below.  Coldwell Banker | Community Realtors Agents are aready with their arsenault of tools to help you with your real estate needs.


Single-Family Homes in Franklin County, MA

Single-Family Homes in Hampshire County, MA

Condominiums in Franklin County, MA

Condominiums in Hampshire County, MA