Why Work With Us?
Here's what our satisfied customers are saying about us:
When we bought our first home, our starter home some would call it, back in 2005, we went with someone we knew through friends as our realtor. Katie Lyons helped us find a fixer-upper duplex in Easthampton that was perfect for us at the time. The home needed work, but it had solid bones, was in a good location, and the price was right. We were beginners at this whole homebuying game, and she walked us through every step with confidence, explaining to us the process as we went along. We couldn't have been happier with how she helped us find and purchase our home, and we went from aquaintances to friends. Fast forward seven years, and two children (plus one on the way), we had outgrown our home in Easthampton. We knew we wanted to be somewhere more rural, we just weren't sure exactly where. Once we made up our mind to move, we didn't hesitate to call Katie again. On a whirlwind tour of the valley, Katie showed us over ten houses in five days from Hatfield to Williamsburg to Southampton. The fifth day she showed us the home we now live in and love in Southampton. We cannot speak highly enough about Katie's professionalism, promptness, and attention to detail. Plus, she makes the homebuying process fun, which is really what it should be.
When my husband and I started thinking about relocating from Brooklyn, NY to the Pioneer Valley, we decided to make an exploratory mission to Northampton. We wanted to spend a day with a local realtor there to get a sense of the area and what kind of properties might be available in our price range. We spoke to a couple realtors by phone and decided to go with Julie Starr over the others based on her personality (very easy to talk to- I felt like she "got it") and her expertise with our particular situation (moving from a dense urban area to a small town). The enormity of such a transition cannot be underestimated, and having made the same transition herself several years ago, Julie was able to provide us with valuable insights we knew another realtor would not be able to provide.
Although we told Julie we would not be buying a property for at least two years, she was happy to spend an entire afternoon with us looking at houses. I felt she got a real sense of our taste and planned our short time there accordingly, making excellent recommendations for which properties to see and which ones to leave for another day. Aside from looking at properties, she drove us around describing the different parts of town, etc.
We both fell in love with the town almost immediately and lo and behold(!) ended up seeing a house that we loved so much we could not possibly pass it up! But our newly hatched plan -to buy the house before selling our old one- would only work if we were able to get a second mortgage. When the bank we had chosen to work with failed to come through we thought for sure we had lost our chance. But Julie was able to connect us to a WONDERFUL mortgage broker at a local bank who enabled us to obtain a mortgage and buy the house! Julie also helped us find an excellent local lawyer to handle the negotiations. My husband and I were both shocked at how easy the entire process was, and I believe Julie played a big role to that effect.
Julie provided excellent support throughout the entire process of buying the house of our dreams in which to raise our two young sons. She has excellent knowledge about all the different neighborhoods, knows all the local businesses and other important little tidbits about the area. She also seems to know a lot of people in the area which made us feel like if we ever needed anything, Julie would be able to help us find the right person or business.
One thing in particular I appreciated about our experience with Julie was her honesty. I never once felt like she was trying to sell us something we didn't want, or cover anything up (none of the typical "salesman" type stuff). She was honest about what she felt might be a property's shortcomings, and very helpful when discussing the pros and cons of any particular property or neighborhood. Also, the fact that she was so incredibly willing and helpful -even when we believed we were not going to buy at that time- speaks volumes.
I would not hesitate to work with Julie Starr again and give her my highest recommendation. She provided us with an incredible "introduction" to the Northampton area and is, I believe, characteristic of the wonderful "vibe" that pervades this beautiful town.
Jodi Shaw, Brooklyn NY
"Kate knows a house is yours before you do." This is how Kate Iles was described to me when we were looking for a realtor, and this is how I have described Kate to friends and family who are now looking for homes with her help! She is an invaluable resource. As a local, she knows the area intimately--who grew up in which house, who your potential new neighbors are, where the best place is to do or buy anything. She is funny, direct, and smart--house hunting is a pleasant experience with her. She is very honest about possible problems with a property and never declares that anything is perfect. I, however, will say that she found a house that is perfect for us!
I am a lawyer in Northampton Mass. My real estate practice includes the four western counties of Massachusetts. I have worked with Kate Iles in her representation of both buyers and sellers for more than ten years. Kate (Iles) is professional and personable. Her closings go off without a hitch. I frequently refer my best clients to her. She and her new office Maple and Main Realty are a great asset to the real estate business.