Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Listing: 69 Shepherd St, Chicopee, MLS # 72199716 - $174,900

Great opportunity awaits with this conveniently located two family. Owner's unit on first floor features a large family room with electric fireplace, dining room with hardwood floors, kitchen with hardwood floors, two bedrooms, laundry off the kitchen and sliders to the back yard. Second floor unit has a living room with skylights, kitchen, family room, two bedrooms, and a deck off the kitchen. Easy access to highways, shopping, parks, and more. Call today for your private showing! (More photos to come.) Call 413-575-5751 today for your private showing. Subject to sellers closing on suitable housing.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Listing: 7 Westernview Drive, Wilbraham $299,900

Welcome home to this updated Colonial on a private dead end street. Spacious family room with fireplace, French doors and bow window, remodeled kitchen with granite countertops and island open to dining room. Living room with hardwood floors and another room that could be used as a den or office. Remodeled full bath on main level. Upstairs includes four bedrooms with hardwood floors and a remodeled full bath. Bring your ideas to the partially finished basement with walk out. Large private backyard with Trex deck and shed. Enclosed porch. New Pella windows throughout (2012), radiant heat in most rooms on first floor, updated electrical (2006), newer oil tank, boiler and roof (2004). All dates per owner. Subject to sellers closing on suitable housing. Call 413-575-5751 today for your private showing. Be in before the new school year starts.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

Wanted to take a minute from our vacation on the Outer Banks to wish all my fellow Americans a happy and safe Independence Day. Thank you to all those who serve(d) our country and their families. God bless you all and God bless America.

Click the link below for some Independence Day history.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Musing Monday - June 12

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.

What a difference a week makes. Last week was damp and rainy. Today is hot and sunny. They are talking record-breaking heat.

Last week was hectic with closings, soccer tryouts, and other end of school year stuff. I'm looking forward to heading to the Outer Banks soon. The pet sitters are all set and John Boy will be living here while we are away. I'm so eager to get away that I've already packed up my reading material. Plan to get some writing done too.

As for my mailbox, the second book in the Da Vinci's Disciples series arrived last week.

In a studiolo behind a church, six women gather to perform an act that is, at once, restorative, powerful, and illegal. They paint. Under the tutelage of Leonardo da Vinci, these six show talent and drive equal to that of any man, but in Renaissance Florence they must hide their skills, or risk the scorn of the city.

A commission to paint a fresco in Santo Spirito is announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage and now free to pursue her artistic passions in secret, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow female artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win.

But the church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and could put them in physical danger.

All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing her joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has her own romantic life to distract her, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.

An author friend of mine also sent me her next book to read to provide an endorsement.

That's it for me. Hope you have a blessed week.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New For Lease - 192 Nassau Drive, Springfield

One floor living in this conveniently located condo. Large dining room and living room combo with sliders leading out to a private patio overlooking the grounds. Fully-applianced kitchen remodeled prior to landlord's ownership. Master bedroom with large closet and laundry hook ups with another bedroom across the hall from the full bath with tiled tub/shower. Complex offers an inground pool, clubhouse with exercise room, and tennis courts. Tenant will have use of owner's deeded parking space. Great location close to shopping and highways. Available July 1st. Call for your private showing. All applicants subject to credit and background check. Tenant must adhere to all rules and regulations of condo complex. No pets and no smoking. Listing not on Craigslist. $1250 a month plus utilities. Landlord requires first, last and security of $1250 each.

For more details visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrnaGNbxOi8

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. While we usually talk about books today, I wanted to pause to reflect on the many men and women who have given their lives to protect freedom around the world. May God continue to look over our troops here and abroad.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

RAPV April 2017 Sales Report: Sales Up, Median Price Down

The REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley reported single-family home sales in April were up 2.3 percent compared to the same time last year. The median price, however, dropped 0.2 percent to $194,000 and inventory dropped 33.7 percent. Here is a breakdown by County.

Hampden County
Sales up 6.7 percent
Median price down 1.3 percent to $177,500

Hampshire County
Sales down 5.1 percent
Median price up 7.9 percent to $280,000

Franklin County
Sales down 5.7 percent
Median price down 11.3 percent to $173,000

In the Pioneer Valley, we continue to struggle with not enough homes to sell. At the end of April 2016 there were 5.2 months of supply at the current rate of sale, but at the end of April 2017 there was only 3.2 months of supply at current rate of sale.

It's been my experience that buyers are out there, but they simply don't have enough to choose from. Some listings are selling on the first day of showings. Multiple offer situations are happening more often. If a buyer can't get in to see a house soon after it hits the market, they might not get a chance to view it at all.

If you're considering selling or buying, please call me at 413-575-5751. A marketing proposal for your home is entirely FREE as is a buyer's consultation where you are provided with a FREE Buyer's Survival Guide.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mailbox Monday - May 22

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.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. The weather was good here and it gave me a chance to spread some mulch down and refresh that area of the yard I designated for my wildlife friends. I also sold a house. Real estate has kept me very busy this year. The market is booming: low inventory and high buyer demand have increased prices.

On the book front, I've been playing catch up. These reviews were posted recently:

Organizing for Your Lifestyle
Food Junkies
The Joyful Business Planner
Creating a Life Worth Living, Volume 1

The Friends of the Wilbraham Public Library held their annual book sale at the beginning of May. Here's what I picked up from there:

Most of them are research materials for my writing, but I did pick up a couple of novels.

Last week, Charlotte Hubbard sent me her upcoming release. She has a book tour coming up soon.

Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . .

That's it for me this week. Hope you'll share your new mailbox.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Review: The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin

Where has this business planner been for the past three decades of my life? The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin is unlike anything you've probably seen before--which is why the author says she put it together.

Broken down into five sections--Business Overview, Marketing, Yearly Tracking, Calendars, and Wish Lists and Aspirations--this planner has the systems to get you organized and on track to meet your goals.

What I love about this book (everything really, but...):
  • It's less than 100 pages (perfect for busy small business owners like me);
  • It is short on narration and long on helpful templates to put the right systems in place;
  • There is one sheet that is a look at your current year at a glance that you can complete and hang in your office to stay focused;
  • One chapter focuses solely on social media marketing (including blogging);
I could go on and on about The Joyful Business Planner, but in the end all I need to say is this: if you are a small business owner, The Joyful Business Planner is an essential tool for success. 

Paperback: 92 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539141810
ISBN-13: 978-1539141815

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

New Listing: 11 Lang St, Springfield

Come see this conveniently located ranch featuring refinished hardwoods (2011), three bedrooms, dining room, and galley kitchen with newer refrigerator (2010), range and microwave, and a full bath. The pellet stove in the living keeps the main level toasty and has been previously used by the seller as the primary heating source. The finished basement offers plenty of closets and built-ins for extra storage or turn it into a great office space or family room. Step out of the kitchen onto an enclosed porch that leads to the garage and carport or out into the private, fenced-in backyard with patio. Easy access to 291 and the Mass Pike, area restaurants, shopping, and more. Showings start at the open house on Sunday, May 21 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Interior photos coming soon!

For more information visit http://www.realliving.com

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Listing: 28 Nassau Drive, Springfield

Lovingly cared for upper level garden unit in desirable Hampden East complex. Walk into an open living room and dining area with sliders leading out to a private balcony where you can enjoy your morning coffee and a nice view of the grounds. Sizeable kitchen with pantry, master bedroom with his and hers closets and a full bath, and another bedroom across the hallway from the second full bath. Public record shows three bedrooms, but the previous owner opened up the wall and turned it into a fabulous office space. Minor changes would restore it to three bedrooms. Unit is located in the E section of the complex away from the road and it has a parking spot right outside the door. It has extra detached storage space too. This complex is centrally located close to area shops, restaurants, and universites. Monthly condo fees include access to clubroom, tennis courts, and swimming pool. Hampden East is FHA and VA approved. Schedule your private showing today!

For more information visit http://www.circlepix.com/tour/agent.htm

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

2017 Starts Strong: Home Sales Hit 10-year High

Scotsman Guide reported today that despite fast-rising prices and low inventory levels, existing homes sales started the year off at the fastest pace in almost a decade. They said that existing homes sales were running at a pace of 5.69 million in January, the highest level since February 2007. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which was cited in the article, sales increased in all regions except the Midwest.

You can read the entire article at http://www.scotsmanguide.com/News/2017/02/Home-sales-hit-10-year-high-to-start-2017/

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Feb 13

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.

Happy Monday! Hope yours is a little less white than mine...

This was what my front yard looked like before yesterday's snowstorm that dumped an additional five or so inches on top of that. I guess Old Man Winter is making up for our lack of snow by sharing it all at once. We are due for a tiny bit more on Wednesday. 

Believe it or not, I was actually out driving to appointments yesterday. Old Reliable--my Chevy Tahoe--picked up a rock on Saturday and I can't get the tire fixed until today, so I was driving my husband's car instead. Narrowly avoided a telephone pole. Was saying prayers of Thanksgiving when I got home safely. 

Other than the snow making my crazy schedule more challenging, I've entered into a coaching program that I take once a week on Mondays. It got cancelled today--like a lot of things. I'll be glad to see spring. 

Here are the books that arrived recently.

I'm really excited about Charlotte Hubbard's latest, A Mother's Love. I'm all into getting and staying organized, to I figured Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller would be a helpful read. The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson was a blog giveaway win. 

What did the mailman bring you last week? Any other fun news you would like to share? 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, February 10, 2017

MLSPIN 2016 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile Now Available

The MLSPIN 2016 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile was recently released. This is an in-depth examination into the consumer preferences of non-homeowners, meaning those who are currently renting or living with someone else--like a family member or friend--and not paying rent. This data contrasts the perceptions of homeownership, the American Dream, and housing affordability from the perspective of non-homeowners. It was collected in 2016 on a monthly basis as part of the National Association of REALTORS®' Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Report.

Please email me at ccmalandrinos.realtor@gmail.com or call/text me at 413-575-5751 if you would like a copy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Review: Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi

This is a book that I feel all career women could be interested in, which is why I'm featuring it at this blog. Every day people make judgments about us based upon our appearance. In business, feeling confident is highly important to success.

Looking for some helpful, quick fashion tips to make an immediate difference in selecting the best colors, prints, and styles for your body? Then you need to buy a copy of Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi.

Award-winning couture fashion designer Rani St. Pucchi shares decades of experience in this informative guide that you'll be able to implement without much effort. Within a day I had started make changes that brought about positive results.

St. Pucchi shares the defining moment that changed her life forever and credits her parents for introducing her to the world that would become her destiny. After a discussion of body shapes, she shares dos and don'ts for each shape, dressing for your age, the importance of proper fitting undergarments, what and how to pack, how to organize your closet, defining your personal style, and more. Perhaps my favorite part of the book--other than the color photographs of her work--is the 101 styling tips.

When I make my annual spring/summer changeover I'll be implementing some of the more time-consuming changes, like laying out all my clothes by color and finding out which colors work best for my skin tone. I've never really been into fashion or thought much about personal style, but Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi has definitely piqued my interest. I see a new, more fashionable me right around the corner.

Highly recommended!

Publisher: Koehler Books (October 15, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997697717
ISBN-13: 978-0997697711

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

New Listing: Lot 3 Butterworth Road, Holland for $65,000

Build your dream home on 6 plus acres of land within a mile or two of Hamilton Reservoir. Over 500 feet of frontage, perc tested, and an approved building lot. Enjoy this tranquil setting while still being close to the Mass Pike and Route 84.

Email me at ccmalandrinos.realtor@gmail.com for additional details

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mailbox Monday - January 20

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.

The month has flown by around here. I can't believe it is almost over. One of my Christmas trees is still up. What has been going on in my busy little world?

We gained a new family member......

This is Theo. We love him. The cats hate him. He's a puppy and he's still learning, so everyone is adjusting.

Career is going well. In 2016 I increased my business 66% over the previous year and I've set an aggressive goal for myself for 2017. This month I had a closing and have a buyer under contract in town. Looking forward to another closing in a few weeks. I also listed two commercial properties for lease. 

Our company unveiled a cash back program for sellers listing their homes with Real Living. It's a great program and they will have an ad running during the Super Bowl. Go Pats!

My father-in-law has been very ill. We brought him home from the nursing home two Mondays ago and I had to rush him to the hospital Tuesday. After days of antibiotics and fluids he pulled through and is now in rehab. Taking care of my in-laws has definitely made life challenging, but family comes first.

As for reading, not much going on around here, but I did receive two books last week. I won this first one from Virginia Vaughn. 

This next one I received from Bill Fields when I signed up for an eight-week training program with him. I've worked with Bill before. He has a lot of great advice and he's helped me to put some habits into place for my business to run more efficiently. 

That's it from my neck of the woods. Hope all is well with you. Feel free to share what was in your mailbox last week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

RAPV Reports 2016 Strong Year for Sale

The REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley reported that single family sales were up 13.1 percent in 2016 when compared to 2015 and median price was up 0.8 percent. A report by County appears below.

Pioneer Valley
Sales up 13.1 percent
Median price up 0.8 percent to $199,000

Franklin County
Sales up 13.2 percent
Median price up 7.8 percent to $199,500

Hampden County
Sales up 16.2 percent
Median price remains the same at $180,000

Hampshire County
Sales up 5.3 percent
Median price up 1 percent to $260,550

December sales were up 16.3 percent compared to the same time last year and the median price was up 5.1 percent to $199,700; though County Reports vary.

Is now the right time for you to buy or sell? Call me at 413-575-5751 or email me at ccmalandrinos.realtor@gmail.com to discuss your options.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 9

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.

My mailbox certainly looks like that one in the picture after the 4 inches or so of the white stuff we received Saturday. We had a good week overall. I'm fully back to work now that the holidays are over and my father-in-law should be coming home from the nursing home in a few days, so we are preparing for that.

Nothing new in my mailbox, but I did pick up this freebie from Tonya Kappes recently.

For Holly Englehardt, Christmas has always been a special day filled with family, friends, and a wacky tradition of watching Breakfast At Tiffany's while dressed up in the stars costumes. . .…tiara tiaras and all.

Holly's biggest client insists on having a Skype call on Christmas day to secure a deal of a lifetime, which is fine with her, because this year she's going to make a new tradition. ; Celebrating Christmas alone with her cat at her snowy remote family cabin as family and friends go their separate ways to celebrate the holiday.

When things everything start starts to go array, Holly has to call on her hunky neighbor for help in order to secure the her deal of a lifetime.

Will it all work out or will Holly pull the quilt over her head waiting for Christmas to be over?

That's it from me. Hope you have a great week.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Realtor.com Shares 5 Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2017

Realtor.com came out in November with what they see as the 5 Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2017. Who will be moving the market? Where will buyers be looking? What about pricing and inventory? See what they predicted at http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-real-estate-trends-2017/

What are your thoughts on these predictions?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 2

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.

Happy new year, everyone! I hope you had a nice holiday season. I'm spending this last day before getting back to full-time work organizing my office and enjoying some peace and quiet.

It's also goal setting time. I've set my writing goals and reading goals. My first business planning meeting of the year is Friday. While my business plan has been set for a few weeks now, I need to nail down my goals to achieve that plan by then. As for personal goals, I have just two (and one of them is related to my work schedule):
  • Dedicate time each week to what I enjoy most: family, reading, cooking and gardening;
  • Continue my health and wellness plan from 2016. 
I think Tuesday will be my day off from real estate. Weekends are usually busy for agents, so that's not feasible. Eventually I hope to have a couple of agents working with me so that I can take weekends off, but until then I must plan Saturdays and Sundays as work days.

Last year, I lost 14 pounds to bring me to my goal weight. In the past couple of months I've been so busy I haven't exercised much, but better food choices have allowed me to maintain my weight. This morning, I decided to exercise and plan to time block three days a week to exercise going forward. 

As far as my mailbox goes, it's been slow since Christmas. I did, however, download a couple of writing craft books on character development.

Character development can be one of the hardest aspects of great writing. You may have a great plot and story line but if the characters aren't real or just don't fit in--the whole story is a flop.

This short workshop will help you develop meaningful, true-to-life characters. Get personal with them, get inside their head and learn to create compelling characters from the inside-out.

How do you create a main character readers won't forget? How do you write a book in multiple-third-person point of view without confusing your readers (or yourself)? How do you plant essential information about a character's past into a story?

Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by award-winning author Nancy Kress answers all of these questions and more! This accessible book is filled with interactive exercises and valuable advice that teaches you how to:

•Choose and execute the best point of view for your story
•Create three-dimensional and believable characters
•Develop your characters' emotions
•Create realistic love, fight, and death scenes
•Use frustration to motivate your characters and drive your story

With dozens of excerpts from some of today's most popular writers, Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint provides you with the techniques you need to create characters and stories sure to linger in the hearts and minds of agents, editors, and readers long after they've finished your book.

That's it for this week. Wishing all of you a year filled with health and happiness.