Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Second Floor Unit for Lease - $850 per month

Beautiful and spacious second floor apartment featuring large eat-in kitchen with plenty of storage, living room with walk-in closet and glistening hardwood floors, full bath, and two bedrooms with wall-to-wall carpets. Living room, kitchen, and both bedrooms have ceiling fans. Monthly rent includes: heat, hot water, water and sewerage and refuse removal. Landlord even takes care of grounds maintenance and snow removal. Just pay your own electric and cable. Convenient location close to area amenities and the MA Pike. No pets and no smoking. Rental not listed on Craigslist.

Landlord requires first, last, and security deposit.

For more details, visit or view a video about this property at

RAPV Shares Single-Family Home Sales Increase

The REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley just released single-family home sales information for September 2016.

As this report indicates, September single-family home sales in the Pioneer Valley were up 3.6 percent compared to the same time last year and median price rose 2.2 percent to $201,000.

Here is information by County:

Franklin County
  • Sales down 6.7 percent
  • Median price up 7.5 percent to $192,500

Hampden County
  • Sales up 12.5 percent
  • Median price up 4.5 percent to $187,875

Hampshire County
  • Sales down 11.6 percent
  • Median price down 9.4 percent to $240.000

The problem we continue to have in the Pioneer Valley--which follows national trends--is not enough homes on the market. Inventory fell 32.4 percent compared to the same time last year. Good news is that the average days on market dropped 17.7% from 101 days in September 2015 to 83 days in September 2016--so buyers are out there and they are investing in homes they see value in. Pending homes sales--those properties listed as under agreement--are up 22.5 percent over last year (598 units this year as compared to 488 last year.)

Looking to buy or sell? Call me at 413-575-5751. I'm passionate about helping people and specialize in working with first-time home buyers and active and retired military. I  have my Military Relocation Professional (MRP) designation. While I work throughout the Pioneer Valley, my focus remains in Chicopee (where I lived for 32 years), my hometown of Wilbraham, Springfield, Belchertown, Ludlow and Palmer.

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Freddie Mac Reports Mortgage Rates Surge to 4-Month High

We knew it was coming...

Freddie Mac reported mortgage rates rose for the second week, bringing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage above 3.5 percent for the first time since June. Check out this article from National Association of REALTORS® talking about the hike:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

NAR Shares 5 Notable Nuggets from Buyer and Seller Survey's 35-Year History

The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was introduced thirty-five years ago by the National Association of Realtors®. It is the "longest-running series of national housing data evaluating the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers."

Here are five notable trends they shared:

  1. Participation from first-time buyers is depressed
  2. The internet is not replacing a real estate agent
  3. Buyers have bought slightly bigger, but the pace is currently at a standstill
  4. Down payments have trended down over time, but not in recent years
  5. The home search is taking longer; tight inventory has slowed the pace in past two years

My thoughts: 

  1. Here is Western Mass, we definitely see these trends to be true. First-time home buyers are finding it tough because of the amount of debt--especially student loan debt--they tend to carry. Student loan debt relief could play a role in helping this situation.
  2. The Internet is a great place to find information, but real estate agents continue to play a crucial role in the home buying--and selling--process. Not only are they local experts, the home buying and selling process involves many potential pitfalls for buyers and sellers. One of our roles is to stay on top of the details and help things run smoothly. One mistake could cost a buyer or seller thousands of dollars. And since the seller pays the entire commission, it only makes sense that a buyer would have some working for their best interest. 
  3. My experience has been the same. Some of my buyers are moving up to substantially larger homes, but many are making lateral moves to get their children into a particular school district, for employment purposes, or just a different community. 
  4. Low down payment programs have impacted this trend. It's important to talk to your lender to know what is available. A real estate agent can recommend a local lender to you if you're unsure where to go.
  5. My buyers and I certainly have tons of experience in this area. Because of fewer homes on the market, the search is taking longer. When I read the data from this report that said 10 weeks I thought, I wish. Some of my buyers spent over 25 weeks before finding what they were looking for. We started our search in Spring 2015, took a break for the winter, and then picked up again this spring. They are all in new homes now, but some did find that waiting made it harder because there were fewer houses on the market this spring than last. 
You can read the syndicated release with more details from this article here.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Annual Home Maintenance Tasks recently published an article titled "8 Maintenance Tasks All Homeowners Should Do Once a Year." Now that fall is here and fall cleaning might be on your mind, now's the perfect time to add these to your list.

You can find the full article at

Friday, October 7, 2016

REALTORS® Help Avoid Potential Appraisal Delays

As reported in this article that appeared yesterday in RealEstateRama, concerns expressed by REALTORS® earlier this year help to avoid potential appraisal delays and increased cost for consumers.

Updates to the Federal Housing Administration’s “Single Family Housing Policy Handbook” included new requirements for appraisers to operate and physically observe appliances on a property during the completion of an appraisal; a policy which REALTORS believed would exceed previously understood appraiser duties.

You can read the entire article, including comments from National Association of REALTORS® president Tom Salomone at

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mailbox Monday - Oct 3

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Here we are again. Hope you all had a nice weekend. Ours was busy.

My youngest niece got married this weekend. She was a lovely bride and we all had a fun time. Food was great.

It was also a soccer weekend. The Lil' Princess was waiting for play to start in that photo. She's having a good year, but her team isn't winning any games. At least she is enjoying herself. 

As far as books go, all the books that arrived were not requested, but they are all books I would like to read.

This first one is from a series I've read in the past. Haven't read the last few, but they are in my pile.

The terrorist organization ISIS is after a deadly toxin that could be the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. The same toxin holds the potential to eradicate cancer. There is a frantic race to see who can get to it first, even as Caitlin Strong begins to assemble the disparate pieces of a deadly puzzle.

At the center of that puzzle is an Indian reservation where a vengeful tycoon is mining the toxin, disguising his effort as an oil-drilling operation. This is the same reservation where Caitlin’s great-great-grandfather, also a Texas Ranger, once waged a similar battle against the forces of John D. Rockefeller.

In her highest-stakes adventure yet, Caitlin Strong faces off against a host of adversaries that just might include the beautiful Comanche girl with whom the son of her ex-outlaw boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters has fallen in love, along with a mythic monster culled from Native American folklore that the tribe believes has risen to protect its land. The lives of those Caitlin loves most are threatened by the villains she’s pursuing; her own moral code is challenged. The fate of both the country and the state she loves are dangling on the precipice of a strong cold death.

For as long as Lottie can remember, the only people who seem to care about her have been her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter-writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things and people are arriving on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot's getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie doesn't know what she can possibly do—until a door opens in the apple tree. Down through the roots is another world—a world of treacherous, beautiful, impossible magic that just might lead to a cure for Eliot.

Even after escaping from the Southerly Kingdom, Lottie Fiske and her best friend Eliot have returned to the magical Albion Isle, despite the fact that she is a wanted criminal there, because she is seeking answers about her abilities, and her parents--but war is threatening Limn, and the answers she needs seem to lie in the Northerly Kingdom, along a road full of dangers.

Jane Austen's family is eager to secure her future by marrying her off. But Jane is much more interested in writing her novels, and finds every suitor lacking—until the mysterious Mr. Lefroy arrives. Could he be the one? Before Jane can find out, she must solve a murder, clear her family's name, and face a decision that might cost her true love.

That's it for now. I'll be away at a conference part of the week, so not sure how much blogging I'll do. Make it a great one.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

New Price - 31 Saratoga Ave, Chicopee Now $189,000

MLS# 72065756 - 31 Saratoga Ave, Chicopee

Curb appeal and charm await you in this updated Colonial. Located within walking distance of Elms College, this home features a spacious kitchen, living room, dining room, updated half bath, and four good size bedrooms. Large back yard with above ground pool.