Home Buyers

41 Pine Island Lake, Westhampton MA NEW LISTING

Check out our new lakeside listing at 41 Pine Island Lake in Westhampton, MA.

Front view of house with stone patio and private outdoor shower on the right side. Storage shed sits behind house

Private beach, steps from the house

View from kitchen, looking towards dining room and living room. Sleeping loft above.

Living room, overlooking the lake

Kitchen, with small balcony off the side of house with steps down to the patio

The larger of the two bedrooms

Wonderful getaway beach bungalow on the peaceful Pine Island Lake in Westhampton. This cozy home features 2 bedrooms, a newly constructed 245 sf insulated sleeping loft with skylights, a separate office on the first floor which could be used as a third bedroom, an open concept living/dining room off of the well-equipped kitchen. A Jotul propane stove for heating and ambience. Step outside onto the spacious patio to enjoy beautiful sunsets, private beach with great freshwater swimming, fishing and kayaking or canoeing, or just a chance to sit back and unwind and take in the views. Pine Island Lake does not allow motor boats which adds to the tranquility of the setting. Property has a large storage shed and private outdoor shower. Tight tank septic installed in 2005. 60 Gallon hot water heater installed in 2011. This home is the perfect spring/summer and early fall getaway - just 20 minutes to downtown Northampton!

Contact Julie Starr to set up a private showing. This home is offered at $345,000. There is a $225 annual HOA plus $100 fee for private road maintenance.

 

Gorgeous, Historic Downtown Northampton Condo - Price Reduced!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - 2 Pomeroy Terrace, Unit 3 in Northampton is a special and unique property! A seamless mix of historic and modern elements blend together to create a cozy, yet spacious, and beautiful home. A stone's throw to all that Northampton has to offer, and conveniently located within a mile of the entrance to 91 - this 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo has so much to offer! Newly reduced price of $399,900! This is a must-see unit! 

- Beautifully maintained grounds and building.

- Healthy financial picture for this well-established condo association. No special assessments expected for the foreseeable future

- 1 bay garage for each unit, with ample parking for a second vehicle.

- Subletting allowed (though all units are currently owner-occupied).

- Condo association is pricing central air right now. Buy now and opt-in for central air in Unit 3.

- This unit has a beautifully remodeled 4 year old kitchen, but has the most original architectural details in the building. Dentil moldings, pocket doors, parquet floors, hand-carved mantle piece, etc.

- Cool, peaceful downstairs bedrooms with hardwood floors and exposed brick. Laundry downstairs in unit as well.

Contact Julie Starr to set up a showing!

 

Living Room with curved seating area and original (restored) windows

Pocket doors and hand carved fireplace mantle - looking into dining room and kitchen from living room

Dining room into kitchen

Remodeled kitchen with custom cabinetry and granite countertops - views of Mt. Tom in the distance.

Kitchen into dining room

Cozy master bedroom

Pocket doors and parquet floors

Hand-carved mantlepiece from the mid-1800s.

Exposed brick, hardwood floors and storage closets in lower level.

​

 

 

What's with the Low Inventory of Homes for Sale in Northampton?

LOW INVENTORY OF SINGLE FAMILY HOMES FOR SALE

According the the MLSPIN (Pioneer Valley chapter of MLS), there were 61 single family homes listed for sale between March 1st and May 1st of 2016 alone. Here we are in mid April of 2017, and there are only 45 single family homes on the market in Northampton. Some of these are new construction opportunities, and some are already under agreement. 

Pictured Above, 32 Liberty Street in Northampton, MA

Agents within our office have anecdotes of packed open houses, with multiple offers being submitted and buyers being outbid on the few houses that have come on the market this spring. This article from realestate.boston.com confirms that housing inventory in Massachusetts is at an all-time low.

Whatever the factors are behind the dearth of new single-family listings - the fact is that now is a great time to sell! Buyers are eager to buy, interest rates are still low. So, if you are a seller thinking about possibly selling your home - the first step is to reach out to your agent to find out what our opinion of market value would be. There is no question that the demand is high, and many houses are selling for above asking price in this climate. Contact us today to set up your comparative market analysis!

The Joys of a Properly Finished Basement

This time of year, better known as the "spring market" to Northampton Area realtors, we find ourselves showing a lot of houses to potential buyers. With all of the rain we've been having, the dryness (or dampness) of a basement is at the forefront of the minds of home buyers. There are many factors that can add to or take away from the potential livability of a basement space. Inheriting moisture problems from a previous owner is something one hopes to avoid when purchasing a home. 

A few years ago, friends of mine purchased a ranch in Florence. It was in solid shape, with a damp basement. They intended to ultimately turn the basement into living space. The advice they received from their contractor was to demo the space and live with it for a year to see if/where/when/how water was getting into the basement. This was great advice! They eventually found an area where water was seeping in - not from below ground, but from the outside. They put in a perimeter drain, and diverted the downspouts from the gutters away from the house. Presto! No more water in the basement. Now they have begun the project of finishing their basement properly. 

The article below, from the RAPV newsletter, gives good advice about how to properly finish a basement.

How to Finish Your Basement Right!

 

Like most things, planning a basement renovation is easier when you have all the right tools at your disposal. Read on to learn about a few tips and tricks you can use to make your project as quick and inexpensive as possible.

Tip #1: Find a good contractor.

Finding an experienced contractor can help make the renovation proceed as smoothly as possible. The contractor will be able to help you acquire all the necessary building permits that might be required by your city. This person's business network and connections can also be a huge asset when you are arranging subcontractors to help you with specific parts of the basement renovation. 

Tip #2: Choose the right materials.

You will have to order or purchase the building materials for each phase of your basement upgrade, and it is important to make sure you choose the best materials for the job in every scenario. A good contractor will be able to help you make the right decisions about each of your building materials. 

Tip #3: Increase airflow.

The basement tends to be the coldest room in the house. Many homes have the furnace at one end of the basement, making the opposite end chilly by comparison. Consider installing ducts with an in-line fan in order to even out your basement's temperature.

Tip #4: Check for signs of possible water damage.

Before you proceed with the renovation, check the foundation for cracks and check the basement floor for any pools or drips. Repairing any potential problems before you begin to renovate can save a lot of time and money down the road. If you live in a particularly damp climate, you might want to consider adding a vapor barrier before sealing off your walls and floors. Another way to reduce moisture in your basement is to offset the interior walls from the home's exterior walls. This can be done using thin strips of wood or metal, and can also be used to balance out an uneven exterior wall.

Tip #5: Add additional insulation.

Most basements are not as well insulated as the home's other levels, so if you are planning to start spending more time in the basement, it might be a good idea to add some extra insulation to your basement's walls.

Tip #6: Sand down your ceiling joists.

Many older homes have ceiling joists that are beginning to sag, and this can cause problems if you are installing a new ceiling in your basement. Sanding or planing these joists can help make your ceiling appear as smooth as possible. You can easily do this yourself by using a level and an electric sander. 

These basic steps can help give your newly finished basement a solid foundation to grow from and become an integral part of your family's life.

Two Elegant Homes For Sale in the Smith College Neighborhood of Northampton, MA

Spring is upon us, and, as per usual for the *spring market*, we are starting to see more houses on the market in Northampton and the surrounding areas. There are a handful of grand, high-end houses available right now for buyers who are looking in the $1,000,000 and above price range. We have two listings in the Smith College neighborhood which fit the bill! Spacious, elegant, glorious homes within walking distance to Northampton Center. 

91 Round Hill Road :This superb and rare top-tier property was built in 2008 and is located in the most desirable Smith College neighborhood, moments to the rich cultural, dining and shopping attractions of downtown Northampton. Extraordinary level of quality and finish throughout with dramatic architecture featuring a soaring two-story entry way, columns and arches, cathedral-ceilinged open kitchen, dining and great room with a grand stone fireplace. Magnificent chef's quality kitchen with double Wolf stove. Illuminated tray ceilings in the foyer and dining room, main floor master bathroom with a Japanese soaking tub and whimsical curved shower. Elegant office with wood paneling and fireplace. The lower level contains 2 more bedrooms and an open plan kitchen and living room ideal for entertaining, guests or in-laws. State of the art heating and cooling systems, high capacity generator and oversized 2-car garage. Offered for $1,700,000. Contact Julie Held for showings.

 

 

 

27 Norfolk Avenue One of the most distinctive and elegant houses in Northampton. On 1.6 acres near Child's Park, this captivating 1 story California-style contemporary has 5000 s.f.—including a recent 1250 s.f. addition. It offers gracious and light-filled open spaces, blended seamlessly with the private living areas with 5/6 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half baths. The entry guides you into the living room, illuminated by oversized windows that look out on a serene, professionally-landscaped garden on one side and a stone patio on the other. The spacious chef's kitchen has a large island, abundant lighting, granite counters and custom cabinets. One wing of the house has 3 bedrooms, full bath and den/media space. The owner's wing includes an office, bedroom with built-ins, walk-in closet with skylight and en suite bath. Through the library, you enter the final wing with a suite of rooms including a large den, laundry room and half bath, serene multi-purpose space and large bedroom with bath. Minutes to town! Offered at $1,370,000. Contact Julie Held to schedule a showing.

37 Village Hill Road - Midcentury Oasis!

Perched on a 7.8 acre open lot, surrounded by woods, yet close to Williamsburg Center, sits this unique and charming property. The handbuilt stone fireplace, built-in cabinets, beds and seating give this home a cozy and modern feel. There is so much potential in this home and lot. Built in 1947, it does need some TLC, but with a home of this character and charm, sited on a spacious and beautiful lot, the possibilities are endless!

Currently a 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath home, 37 Village Hill Road in Williamsburg, MA is listed by our very own Winnie Gorman. Showings begin at the open house this Sunday, October 9th from 2-4 p.m. Bring your ideas for expansion and updates! Offered at $299,000. It won't last long!

Side Yard

View from the other side of the house

Living room with built in seating and stone fireplace

Living room

Master Bedroom

What a special property!! This charming custom built ranch, in the Frank Lloyd Wright style, is in a prime Williamsburg location. Sitting atop a knoll this handsome home is surrounded by both spacious lush lawn & breathtaking woods on three sides. Only moments from downtown Williamsburg, the best of both worlds awaits you here with the quiet, peaceful, woods offering a buffer from the outside world. A unique interior, containing a lovely stone fireplace & large picture windows that truly bring the beauty of the outdoors directly into the home. Many closets as well as generous storage offer ample space to keep things neat and tidy. A rare opportunity, indeed. Come take a look!!

Choosing the Right Siding for your Home

We lived in a 100 year old house with clapboard siding for 8 years. We loved the look of painted clapboards, but we quickly tired of the upkeep and expense of the exterior paint job. 2 years ago we bought a new home, with Hardie Plank siding. The exterior paint has shown no signs of wear and tear since it was painted. In fact, the paint job looks new! 

Here in the Northampton area, we realtors sell a mix of +/- 100 year old homes with clapboard siding (or clapboards covered over with vinyl siding, aluminum siding and, sometimes, asbestos shingles), as well as mid-century homes with aluminum or vinyl siding, and, lastly, some new construction which usually has vinyl or Hardie plank siding. The Daily Hampshire Gazette recently ran a special section on homes, including this interesting article about choosing the right siding for your home. If you are a homeowner who is thinking about residing your current home, or you are building a home and wondering what siding might be best for you, this article should come in handy.

Here is an example of Hardie Plank siding.

Vintage Farmhouse, www.jameshardie.com

Deciding on siding

GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

Tim Uhlig, pictured in photo at left, from Wilcox Builders in Hatfield, primes a new edge on a fiber cement soffit

board being installed on a home in the Village Hill development at Northampton. At right, and below, Michael

Cendrowski, works on the soffits while Uhlig cuts the siding, shown above right.

4 HOME MAGAZINE, Wednesday, September 14, 2016

 By LINDA ENERSON

For the Gazette

Siding is just one element of a home, but it’s an important one, as siding is often the first thing people notice when

they walk up to or drive by a home —and there’s a lot of it. If, for some reason, you don’t like the siding you’ve picked

out for your new or renovated home, it’s pretty hard to overlook it. Siding is made from a variety of materials,

some of them time-tested, like vinyl and wood, but there are also some newer products on the market, such as

fiber cement and OSB. With so many options to choose from, it can be a confusing task for homeowners to pick the siding

option that will serve their needs best.

Wright Builders constructs new homes and commercial buildings around the Valley using all kinds of siding. Roger Cooney, vice president

of design, sales and estimating, helps customers make decisions about what siding they want based on price, environmental impact,

aesthetics, durabilityand maintenance. According to Cooney, the key to picking

the right siding is for homeowners to understand their own priorities. For example, how critical is it for their home’s

siding to be eco-friendly, and what price point will their budget allow?

Vinyl

Vinyl is the least expensive siding option. When it comes to the environmental impact, “it’s pretty nasty,” Cooney said. Vinyl siding is largely

composed of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). During the manufacturingprocess of PVC, dioxin (a carcinogen) and other toxic gases are

produced, which are harmful to the  health of workers, as well as people and animals in the surrounding area. Dioxin and other toxins are 

also released when vinyl begins to  break down through the natural weathering process or when the siding materials finally make their way 

to a landfill. And Cooney said that in the unfortunate circumstance of a house fire, vinyl can actually melt, releasing more toxic chemicals.

Fiber cement

Fiber cement siding is a composite material made from cement, cellulose and sand. It is produced in a variety of styles, including shingles,

lap siding, vertical siding, and panels, and like wood, can be easily painted or stained, though unlike wood, it is impervious

to water and termite damage. Cooney said his company is installing fiber cement on many of the homes and commercials they build

because it is very durable, reasonably priced (about $3 per square foot at R.K. Miles), and more aesthetically pleasing than vinyl, as well

as fireproof. Fiber cement siding is used on all of the homes that Wright Builders recently constructed at the Village Hill developmenton the

old State Hospital grounds in Northampton. In terms of the environmental impact of fiber cement, Cooney said that while it is inert once

produced, fiber cement siding does require a fair amount of energy to manufacture. During installation, workers must wear a respirator to

prevent inhalation of silica dust when they cut the product.

OSB (Oriented strand board)

(OSB) is a siding product made of many glued layers or strands of wood. The price point of OSBproducts is similar to fiber cement siding

materials. According to Cooney, when it comes to durability and environmental impact, OSB scores less favorably than fiber cement. “It’s

has a lot of formaldehyde and glue in it,” he said.

Wood

The old standard, wood clapboard siding is still among the most environmentally friendly siding available, as long as it is sourced from

companies that practice sustainable forestry. Cooney said consumers should look for The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo, which

certifies that responsible forestry standards have been maintained in the production of wood products bearing that label. Consumers

should also be aware that FSC certification adds cost. While not FSC certified, most locally harvested wood products are managed 

suitably and sustainably, according to Cooney. Pine and cedar are the two types of wood siding. Both can be sourced locally, as Eastern 

cedar and Eastern white pine grow in the Northeast. Pine is relatively inexpensive. Clogston says pine clapboards run between $1.50 and 

$2 a square foot at R. K. Miles. Cedar, which Cooney said holds up to the elements better than pine, showing less discoloration from

weathering, is the most expensive of all siding. Clogston said cedar runs in the range of $5 to $7 per square foot. The problem with wood

is that it requires a new coat of stain or paint about everydecade. According to Cooney, the best way to preserve wood siding is to paint or

stain all sides of it including any cuts made during installation, and install it over a drain plane to allow rain and other “bulk water ” to exit. 

But maintaining wood is only a problem if you don’t like to paint. Cooney recentlypainted his own house over Labor Day weekend. 

“Personally, I find it meditativeand satisfying … I’m sure I’m unusual in enjoying that type of work!” he said.

45 Spaulding Street, Amherst MA

Charming, updated 5 bedroom farmhouse, spacious and beautiful yard with lovely plantings, heated workshop/studio. All of this just a stone's throw from Amherst center! Our listing at 45 Spaulding Street is a gem of a home. Listing agent Scott Rebmann with be hosting an open house this Sunday, September 11th from 12-2 pm. Come take a look! A home this special will not last long!

45 Spaulding Street, Amherst MA

View from the street

Cozy side porch

Updated farmhouse eat-in kitchen

Master bedroom

Adjacent studio/loft

 

Beautifully sited on a nearly 1/2 acre lot, this classic farmhouse has retained its period charm while having today's modern updates. A gorgeous side sunporch welcomes you into the expanded dining room/kitchen area, updated with new cabinets, a farmhouse sink and lovely butler's pantry. Beautiful hardwoods lead you to the living room and a bedroom/office and updated bath round out the main floor. Upstairs are 4 additional bedrooms and a hall bath. The rear deck overlooks the beautiful yard with perennial gardens and fruit trees. There's also a heated studio space with a loft, perfect for the artist, writer, or entrepreneur. Do you want chickens? There's even a newer chicken coop! The updates are numerous...newer slates on the roof with copper flashing, new kitchen/dining room, new upstairs windows, new insulation, new gas boiler and radiators...the list goes on and on. All of this and you're just moments from all of the shopping, dining and entertainment venues of downtown Amherst! Offered at $425,000. 

2 Beautiful Homes for Sale in the Smith College Neighborhood of Northampton!

Boston Magazine recently mentioned our fair city in a comparison of real estate prices between Northampton vs. Boston. It's no surprise that you get MUCH more bang for your buck in the Pioneer Valley! To that end, we wanted to bring our reader's attention to two very special Maple and Main Realty listings that are for sale in the same desirable Smith College neighborhood mentioned in the Boston Magazine article!

 

25 Harrison Avenue, Northampton MA. Offered at $798,000

Gracious and comfortable Victorian beauty on a tree-lined street in one of the most desirable neighborhoods near Smith College, minutes to town. The front wrap around porch welcomes you into the elegant entry foyer with stained glass, turned railings on staircase, 10 foot ceilings, and pocket doors. With almost 4000 square feet of living space, there are 6 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, which includes a legal accessory apartment. 1st floor has a formal living room and a family room that opens to the dining room with fireplace. The updated kitchen with Ashfield stone countertops has 2 pantries and exterior access to a porch and side yard. 2nd floor includes 4 bedrooms, including a master with its own bathroom and the 3rd floor has 2 bedrooms, kitchen and living room. Intricate details throughout the house including elaborate door knobs, exterior and interior trim, 4 sets of pocket doors, bay windows, screened second floor porch. Lovely landscaped yard and 1-car garage. 

Listed by Julie Held and Kate Iles

 

 

 

94 Crescent Street, Northampton MA. Offered at $875,000

Rare and elegant Craftsman style home majestically sits on a hill in the coveted Smith College area, minutes to Northampton's vibrant downtown. Rich with original details, the house features custom built-ins, beamed ceiling, french doors that open to a grand front porch, spacious dining room with china closet and fireplace, den with window seat and built-ins. A large butlers pantry serves as a mudroom and laundry room. The newly remodeled eat-in kitchen has granite counters and stainless appliances with dining area that overlooks the private landscaped patio. On the 2nd floor there is a large master bedroom suite with tiled bath plus an east facing sunroom/sitting room with working fireplace. 3 additional bedrooms and a tiled bath with shower and separate tub complete the 2nd floor.The 3rd floor has 2 additional bedrooms and a full bath. 2 car garage with an attached shed for bikes and gardening tools. Exquisite yard is a private oasis filled with perennial beds, a gardeners dream!

Listed by Julie Held

 

Spring Real Estate Market Stats

We are in the midst of our Pioneer Valley and Northampton MA area spring real estate market. Since it is widely known that more inventory of houses and condos for sale tend to become available starting in March in the Northampton, MA area -- we Realtors often find ourselves in conversations with friends, family and clients wondering "how is the market?".  To that end, I have included a blog post below from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) with statistics to address this widely asked question. 

While it seems home sales are on the rise, inventory has continued to dwindle. This suggests that homeowners are choosing to stay put and make improvements to their existing homes, rather than selling and moving into newer homes, thus leading to less inventory available to new home buyers.
 
For you stats lovers, read on for more info about real estate sales in Massachusetts.
 
 
 

March Closed Home Sales Hit another High for the Month

by Eric Berman - eberman@marealtor.com - 781-839-5507 | Apr 26, 2016

The number of homes for sale still down despite increase in new listings 

added to the market

 

WALTHAM, Mass. - April 26, 2016 - The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that heavy buyer activity in the first quarter pushed March closed home sales to a new high for the month. Median prices were back up after ticking down in February for the first time in nine months. Condominium sales also closed up with median prices essentially flat from 2015.

March Closed Sales:

Single-Family

March 2016

March 2015

%Change

Sales

3,452

2,801

+23.2%

Median Price

$329,505

$320,000

+3.0%

  • Most closed sales in the month of March since 2004
  • Closed sales have been up 14 out of the last 21 months
  • Median prices have been up for the 11 out of the last 12 months
 

Condominium

March 2016

March 2015

%Change

Sales

1,429

1,145

+24.8%

Median Price

$307,900

$307,000

+0.3

  • Most closed sales in the month of March since 2007
  • Closed sales have been up or flat nine of the last 13 months
  • Median prices have been up eight out of the last 12 months

"March has proved again this year that buyer activity in the first quarter of this year and the last few months of last year was very, very strong," said 2016 MAR President Annie Blatz, branch executive at Kinlin Grover Real Estate in Brewster. "We've seen a good increase in the number of new listings added to the market and it's a trend we really need to continue as were still faced with an ongoing shortage of homes."

 Inventory and Days on Market

Single-Family

March 2016

March 2015

%Change

Inventory

15,442

17,729

-12.9%

Months of Supply

3.1

4.4

-29.5%

Days on Market

117

127

-7.9%

New Listings

8,296

6,343

+30.8%

  • 50th straight month of year-over-year inventory decreases 

Condominium

March 2016

March 2015

%Change

Inventory

4,306

4,900

-12.1%

Months of Supply

2.3

3.0

-23.3%

Days on Market

85

98

-13.3%

New Listings

2,971

2,551

+16.5%

  • 63rd straight month of year-over-year inventory decreases

About the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®: 

Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade organization with more than 22,000+ members.  The term REALTOR® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of REALTORS® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs.  

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