Blog :: 03-2014

Welcome to our blog! Here you will find posts about can't miss properties, local events, and more! Here at Maple and Main Realty we pride ourselves on our knowledge of the Northampton area. Feel free to leave a comment, we would love to hear from you! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us

Spring Cleaning


Now that a lot of the snow has melted - and the latest snow storm seems to have passed us by - it may be a good time to start thinking about some springtime home maintenance projects!  Whether you are preparing your home to sell, or you just want to maintain a certain level of curb appeal, here are some items for your to do list:

1.  Clear out yard debris.  The winter storms may have left branches, leaves, pine needles and other detritus on your lawn.

2.  Assess the need for an exterior paint job.  Are certain areas of paint bubbling, peeling or cracking?  Is the damage localized on one side vs. the entire house?  You may be able to get away with just having one side of your house painted, or perhaps just certain areas need to be addressed.  Make sure to hire a licensed/insured and experienced house painter (unless you are planning to take this on yourself).  A properly prepared and executed paint job will last a good deal longer than a sub-par paint job!

3.  Have gutters cleaned out (especially if you didn't have this done in the fall).  Assess for any damage to gutters by winter storms or ice damming.

4.  Repair cracked windowpanes.  As I sit here writing, I hear the wind howling outside!  Flying debris can damage windows.  Our handyman has repaired individual windowpanes for us and the cost was reasonable.  Speak to your realtor about handyman recommendations if this is not work you'd want to take on yourself.

5.  This Old House has a great check list for landscape clean up in preparation for springtime as well!

6.  If it's still too cold for you outside, here is an exhaustive to-do list for interior spring cleaning, thanks to Martha Stewart.

Happy Cleaning!

A New Coat of Paint


I was visiting some clients last week to advise them about readying their house to potentially sell.  They wanted advice about any work I might recommend they do before listing it.  The house is a well-kept single-floor home (ranch-style), with some very nice attributes:  wider hallways (custom designed to accommodate a wheelchair) which creates a sense of spaciousness often missing from certain houses of that era; a master suite (uncommon in many ranch style homes), a large eat-in kitchen, a dining/living room, two wooden decks and a semi-finished basement.  The house was built in the 60's - so some of the original wallpaper has not held up, stylistically-speaking.  The bathrooms and kitchen are somewhat dated, but, overall the house is lovely, it has a sense of being well-built and spacious.  The thing that struck me most, on this second visit to the house, was how refreshed the kitchen and baths looked from the first time I had visited.  And to what could I attribute this fresh new look?  A few coats of paint!


Even though as realtors we come across this all the time, I am still so amazed a what a huge difference a freshly painted room can make.  A room with a dingy paint job, or with cracks in the paint, conveys a message akin to "this house requires a great deal of work to take care of, and the owners have been too overwhelmed to stay on top of it" (or some such notion).  The truth is, we tend to become comfortable with our surroundings and don't always notice when a paint job has run it's course.  By the same token, if you are preparing your house to put on the market, a complete renovation of a kitchen or bathroom won't necessarily equal the same increase in value or profit when you go to sell.  Whereas, less expensive measures such as cleaning windows, decluttering and organizing, a very thorough overall house cleaning, a yard cleared of debris, and freshly painted walls (usually best in neutral colors vs. dark or bright colors) can go a long way towards conveying a message of "home sweet home" to prospective buyers.


So, look closely at your walls.  Are there small handprints placed at kid-level throughout the house?  Has the paint around your framed artwork and photos faded?  Are there cracks in the paint?  If so, it may be time to start thinking about repainting - one room at a time!



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      Our Newest Addition


      We are happy to announce that we have a new realtor!  Susan Mayhew, of Northampton, has joined our team.  She is available to represent both buyers and sellers in the sale of residential and commercial real estate.

      Susan Mayhew, Northampton MA Realtor

      Susan grew up in New Hampshire, and is a graduate of Hampshire College.  She has lived in the Pioneer Valley off and on since graduating.  She has a great appreciation for the array of activities and amenities that the region provides. Whether it be hiking in the woods on a fall day, celebrating a special occasion with a great meal, listening to live music downtown, attending a hockey game at UMass, or enjoying a maple breakfast at a local sugar shack, she feels fortunate to call Northampton her home.


      Susan has worked both in the the fields of human services and physical therapy for many years before deciding to make the switch to real estate sales.  Her interest in real estate grew out of her personal experiences in buying, improving and selling real estate.  She and her husband Jeff have two children in the Northampton schools.  Susan is an active member of the Jackson Street School PTO and she volunteers regularly at the Northampton Survival Center.  She and her family live in Florence in their third home, which they continue to update and enjoy.


      Susan understands the ups and downs of buying or selling a home.  She is available to help clients with all of their real estate needs.  Having been through the process a number of times herself, she understands the importance of patience and careful planning.  


      We are very pleased to have her here at Maple and Main Realty!

      Where Have All The Listings Gone?


      March is here!  But spring still seems a long way off.  My driveway is a sheet of ice, it's too cold to be outside for any length of time and remain comfortable, the skies are grey... and buyers are wondering - "where is all the inventory of houses for sale?"  I have heard this question many times recently - from buyer clients, friends, people in line at the post office, etc.  I assure everyone I speak with that we can certainly expect to see more and more houses coming on the market as the weather improves and as spring gets closer.  It does seem to be taking awhile this year though, I have to say:


      IMG_2837 How can the poor dog find the bone she buried last summer when her yard is crusted over with many inches of snow? 

      How can the poor dog find the bone she buried last summer when her yard is crusted over with many inches of snow? 

      It feels as if we are nearing the tipping point.  Buyers are eager to see inventory, and we have word of a number of listings coming on towards the end of March or early April.  My colleagues tell me the same of their seller clients - listings will be coming on this month.  I have to believe that this trend is similar in other local real estate offices as well.


      If we all just keep the faith, since this pattern is well-established in the Pioneer Valley, we will see some great houses coming on the market imminently.  While it would be nice to have a more steady selling and buying season throughout the year, we realtors have come to expect this pattern of March though July being super busy, things slowing down in August, picking up again in the early fall and becoming extremely quiet from Thanksgiving through New Year's.  While there are always exceptions to the rules - based on our experience (and our specific knowledge about upcoming new listings) this is what we predict.... A healthy spring market around the corner!


      Keep your eyes on our new listings for up to the minute information.  Or sign up here to receive daily listing updates directly!