As a First-Timer, How to Commit to Homeownership

 

 

I thought the following piece on realtor.com was an interesting follow up to our last week’s blog post about renting vs. home ownership.  When we realtors work with first time home buyer’s, we often talk them through some (if not all) of the following list of topics:  speak to a bank about your finances to gain clarity about what you can comfortably afford, explain why it is beneficial to work with a buyer’s agent vs. looking on one’s own (real time info, having a dedicated advocate), realize that there is a certain amount of inherent risk in any home purchase, understand what our local market in the Northampton, MA area has to offer – and work towards adjusting your wish list to jive with the real list of options, have your ducks in a row to be ready to make a bid, and, lastly, enjoy your new home!  Anne Miller and Melissa Paul sum these topics up nicely in the following blog post…

Trouble Pulling the Trigger? Here’s How to Commit to Homeownership

Trouble Pulling the Trigger? Heres How to Commit to Homeownership photo

You’ve saved for a down payment. You’ve pored over the local listings for months. Touring open houses has become part of your weekend ritual. But months, perhaps years, have passed and you are still in your rental.

For many first-time homebuyers, pulling the trigger on a purchase can be a frightening experience. Will you be happy there? Will you like your neighbors? Will you be tied down—house rich and cash poor? What if you lose your job? Will you hate your commute? In short, your fears stem from the unknown.Meanwhile, your current home is familiar. You’ve come to accept its shortcomings—the loud neighbors, the leaky ceiling, the scant street parking. It has few surprises.Take Paolo Forte, the eternal condo-shopper, who looked for years in Boston.“I have actually seen condos come on the market, sell, and then be resold a second time,” Forte said. “While I’ve been waiting, condo prices continue to rise, and I keep spending more money on rent.”In Betsy Townsend’s years as a REALTOR® in Boston’s pricey Beacon Hill, she’s seen everything.“I find that people often hesitate to make the ‘biggest purchase of their life’ because they fear they will make a ‘bad investment’ and pay too much,” Townsend said. “Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that they are looking for a place to live instead of just an investment.”Still, there’s hope. Your family, friends and co-workers took the leap and are reaping the benefits. Give these steps a try and you could be one of them:

Firm Up Your Finances

Anticipate the new costs that you will incur, such as taxes, homeowners insurance, utility bills and commuting. This will help determine the maximum price you can spend on a house. If your daily budget will change with a new home, consider a trial run living on that budget for a few weeks, to make sure you can. Enlisting the help of a financial expert will give you an objective view of your finances. Remember, the first year is the most difficult. After that you will begin receiving tax benefits.

Partner With an Agent

Even though the Internet gives you access to endless amounts of market information, don’t be tempted to go it alone. Instead, interview several real estate agents and find one you like who listens to you. He or she can line up properties to view, answer many of your questions and make connections for you in your new community. Agents often have the inside track on new properties just coming on the market.

Accept Some Risk

Realize that there is uncertainty in everything, but no matter what happens, you will deal with it. Ask family and friends about their experiences and learn from them. Be sure to keep some cash reserves in the bank as a safety net. And remember, you have homeowner’s insurance for a reason.

Fine Tune Your ‘Must-Haves’

Is there a community that you absolutely must live in? Are you adamant about a garage, a fireplace or a finished basement? Make your list of what’s vital. You may find that you are willing to sacrifice one feature if the rest are fabulous. If you are not crazy about the house, don’t bid. It’s important that you love it at the outset.

Be Ready to Bid

Regardless of the market, great houses do not stay available for long. One open house can lead to three offers. If you love it, be ready to make your best offer. If you are wavering, ask yourself, “How will I feel if I don’t get this house?” You might just get it, and if not, at least you will know you tried.

Reap the Reward

Owning a home can be one of the most exciting and satisfying things you will do in your life. It’s an investment that can pay you personal dividends as well as financial benefits.

Melissa Paul contributed to this article.

via As a First-Timer, How to Commit to Homeownership — realtor.com. By: Anne Miller

Net Worth of Homeowners vs. Renters

I recently found myself in a conversation with a new acquaintance, about the benefits of buying vs. renting a home.  The person I was speaking with, an adult in his mid-60’s, and a lifelong New Yorker, had never owned a home!  This is not unusual for a New Yorker, of course, where housing prices are astronomical.  But he now lives here in Northampton, MA, and in this part of the country, the financial benefits of owning vs. renting arguably weigh in favor of buying.  Loan interest rates are still low (in the 4% range, depending on the product) – so it is a great time to be a home buyer.  Of course, it is a personal choice.  Some people prefer not to have the responsibility of home ownership.  For me, purchasing our first home was a wonderful milestone – and lead me to my current career.

I happened upon this interesting tidbit on the NAR (National Association of Realtors) blog this morning – and wanted to share it.

Net Worth of Homeowners vs. Renters

Posted in Economic Updates, In the past 15 years, the net worth of the typical homeowner has ranged between 31 and 46 times that of the net worth of the typical renter.Homeowner equity is a substantial component of homeowner wealth. The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted once every three years, provides a snapshot of family income and net worth along with basic demographic details and more detailed information on where families keep the wealth they have accumulated.The most recent survey, conducted in 2013, offers a picture of the situation as home and equity prices normalized for most household balance sheets.Data shows that median homeowners had nearly $200,000 in net worth or 36 times that of the median renter who had just over $5,000. The median value of owners’ homes was $170,000.Many households own a primary residence 65.2 percent. It is the most commonly held non-financial assets after vehicles 86.3 percent.

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posted by Danielle Hale, Director of Housing Statistics on September 8, 2014 via Net Worth of Homeowners vs. Renters.

217 Prospect Street, Northampton MA

Northampton Home for Sale | MLS# 71740765

View from front of house

Nestled among an array of flowering and fruit trees sits this tidy and charming Craftsman-style home.  Enjoy an afternoon iced tea on the beautiful front porch or on the brick patio in the back, curl up with a good book in the cozy living room,  or cook up a gourmet meal for friends in the newly renovated kitchen.  The dining room is plenty spacious enough to accommodate a dinner party.  Although compact, this sweet home has a good deal of room inside.  On the second floor, there are 3 sizable bedrooms, a full bath with a claw foot tub, wainscoting and storage for toiletries.  In addition, there is a 4th room with a closet, and access to the attic.  At the moment, the 4th room is being used as a closet and dressing room – but could easily be transformed into a home office, nursery or place to do morning yoga and meditation.

 

On the third floor is a spacious bedroom, with additional storage, and ample room to add a full bath if you chose to turn this into a master suite.  The current owner has plans for an added powder room on the 1st floor, tucked away off the kitchen.  There are beautiful hardwood floors throughout the house, as well as a full basement with storage and laundry.  At the moment, a bit of water tends to pool in one corner of the basement during heavy rainstorms only.  It is likely an issue easily remedied by redirecting water from the gutter downspouts away from the house.  The boiler and hot water heater in good shape, and the electrical system has been updated to 200 AMPS of service.  There is some leftover active knob and tube wiring, but the current owner plans to have it removed before the sale of the house.

 

This house has been lovingly cared for, and updates throughout include a new kitchen, newer roof, updated electrical, recent interior and exterior paint and many replacement windows.  Located at 217 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA — it is very close to town, the bike path, the YMCA and shopping.  You may contact Julie Starr or Julie Held directly for a showing, after the first showings at the open house this Sunday, September 14th from 12-2 pm.  Offered at $329,000.

Porch of Northampton Home | MLS# 71740765

Back porch

Patio of Northampton Home | MLS# 71740765

Back patio off the driveway- 1 car garage at end of driveway

Kitchen of Northampton Home for Sale | MLS# 71740765

Newly renovated kitchen

Kitchen of Northampton Home | MLS# 71740765

Second view of kitchen

Living room of Northampton Home | MLS# 71740765

Living room with french doors to main entrance, dining room is off living room

Bathroom of Northampton Home | MLS# 71740765

Charming full bath w/ wainscoting and claw foot tub/shower

Room of Northampton Home with attic access | MLS# 71740765

4th room with attic access

Master Bedroom of Northampton Home | MLS# 71740765

Master Bedroom

 

 

Check out full listing details here.

 

 

Beautiful Oasis on Crooked Ledge Road in Southampton, MA

Tudor-style stunner with beautiful light and a contemporary feel, set on 10+ private acres in Southampton, MA.  Custom eat-in kitchen with gleaming hardwood floors, granite counters, full pantry and top-of-the line appliances.  Enjoy meals underneath the flower-covered pergola on the deck just off the kitchen, overlooking the beautifully landscaped grounds and above ground swimming pool.  On the first floor is the master suite complete with cozy window seat, walk-in closet, full bath with deep-set tub and separate a shower. There are two additional bedrooms on the second floor, one with a window seat, the other with a cozy sleeping loft. Bonus family/media room with custom tongue and groove woodwork, built-in cabinetry, skylights and additional office space. Mechanical updates though out the house include; Buderus boiler, central vac, security system, wiring for sound system, generator hookup, new roof, freshly paved driveway and basement workshop. Enjoy the peaceful setting of the back yard from the deck or screen porch while entertaining or just relaxing.  Both overlook the perennial gardens, koi pond and above-ground pool, with the woods beyond.  Listed for $499,900.  For more information, contact Kate Iles. To see full details and photos, click here.

 

Southampton MA Home for Sale | MLS #71691628

View from the front of the house

Southampton MA Kitchen Interior | MLS #71691628

Custom Kitchen off of deck with pergola

Southampton MA Sitting Room | MLS #71691628

Living room off of deck, with gas fireplace

Southampton MA Bedroom with Loft | MLS #71691628

Bedroom with sleeping loft

Southampton MA Master Suite | MLS #71691628

Master Suite with window seat overlooking grounds

Southampton MA Media Room | MLS #71691628

Bonus media/room – could be a second master or guest room

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Third bedroom with built in window seat

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Perennial gardens

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Koi Pond

Three County Fair Opens Today!

Today at 4 pm, the gates open at the county fairgrounds in Northampton for the annual Three County Fair.  This year, the fair features a great line up of live music, performed by many favorite local bands – in addition to the usual fanfare.  If you are feeling melancholy about summer coming to an end, the fair is a fun last hurrah.  Read on for the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s article outlining the many highlights of the historic event.

Fine tuning: This year’s Three County Fair adds music festival

  • JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Matt Jackewich, of Easthampton, who works in maintenance at Three-County Fairgrounds in Northampton, waters flowers near the main gate Wednesday.JERREY ROBERTS Matt Jackewich, of Easthampton, who works in maintenance at Three-County Fairgrounds in Northampton, waters flowers near the main gate Wednesday. Purchase photo reprints 

Among those setting up Wednesday in preparation for the fair’s opening day Friday was volunteer Janet Mollison. She was overseeing exhibitors as they set up their displays of fruits and vegetables. About 50 exhibitors from age 4 to 80 will compete this year, she said.

“The exhibit hall to me is a place where no matter your age or abilities, we can find something for you. There’s a place for the kid with a bouquet of wildflowers,” she gestured to where two girls were arranging vegetables on a table, centered around a giant cabbage. “These kids are setting up their vegetable displays, and they’ve been working on them all summer.”

While old standbys like the exhibit hall are ever popular, organizers have added something new this year that they hope will appeal to young adults, said Bruce Shallcross, general manager of the fair.

A music festival called Fair Fest will be held from 2 to 10 p.m. Monday on two stages. “It’s going to be awesome,” Shallcross said, adding that local and regional bands will take to the stage for performances throughout the fair’s four-day run, Friday through Labor Day.

Exhibits galore

In the exhibit hall Wednesday, Lou Chadwick of Second Chance Farm in Greenfield took red- and green-hued Gravenstein apples from a crate and carefully polished each one with a towel before arranging them in a diamond shape on the table.

“We’ve been doing this for probably 30 years at different fairs, and we’ve been here for a good 15 years,” said Chadwick, who also shows off his antique engine at the Antique Engine and Tractor Show at the fair.

Meanwhile, outside under the hot sun, workers for Rockwell Amusements set up some of the 20 rides on the midway off Bridge Street. The circular skeleton of the Ferris wheel rotated slowly, even though there were no seats yet attached.

Shallcross said the workers rolled into Northampton Sunday and have been setting up a variety of rides, including some for young children and many for the more adventurous fairgoers who enjoy adrenaline-inducing drops or being spun until they are green.

The oldest, continually run agricultural fair in the country, according to Three-County Fair officials, is a mix of traditions such as the exhibit hall and livestock judging, and more modern entertainment, such as the roaring monster truck shows, demolition derby and wine tastings.

Add the latest versions of food — think deep-fried Oreos and an ice cream filled doughnut called the Moo-nut — and you’ve got a fair.

“Hopefully, if the weather is good, we’ll have around 40,000 total attendance,” Shallcross said. “Last year with the bad weather we probably had 32,000 to 33,000.”

The holiday weekend forecast is for partly cloudy weather with temperatures ranging from the high 70s to the high 80s, and thunderstorms possible Sunday.

Shallcross said advance ticket sales have been good for fair entry as well as for the $5 grandstand tickets for demolition derbies scheduled for Friday and Sunday nights.

Music festival born

While busy staff and volunteers bustled around him with last minute preparations in the fair’s office Wednesday, Shallcross said the impetus for organizing a music festival for Labor Day was the fact that attendance has declined over the years on the fair’s last day.

“Usually school starts the next day, so people leave early,” he said. “So we said, ‘Who will come out on a school night?’ Young adults.” And young adults in the Northampton area like live music.

He hired Tom Schack, a musician who books bands at area bars, to set the lineup. On the outdoor stage, next to the Polish Kitchen booth, will be The Dire Honeys, The Sun Parade, Groove Shoes, The Mary Jane Jones, Fat Bradley and Bella’s Bartok. In the arena, the bands will include Gone by Daylight, Rhythm Incorporated, Lux Deluxe, Mammal Dap, The Alchemystics, Outer Stylie, and headliner Potty Mouth. For the full lineup, visit the Three County Fair Fest Facebook page.

Fair Fest entry is free with admission to the fair: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and veterans, and free for those 11 and younger.

Live music has long had a place at the fair with the clubhouse featuring bands nightly, Shallcross said. In recent years, the fair has added “Preachin’ the Blues,” a series of blues performers on Sundays, and a Battle of the Bands featuring many young musicians, on Saturdays.

“Over the past eight years, one thing we’ve developed is music,” Shallcross said. “We don’t have some of the more country stuff that other fairs have, but people in Northampton like music. That’s something we have that’s a little different.”

The Three County Fair, 54 Fair St., is open Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For a full schedule for the fair, visit www.threecountyfair.com.

How to Win the Bidding War on the Home You Want to Buy

Have you ever noticed how things that are going on for you in work or in your personal life often seem to pop up in the media at that exact moment?  I have been assisting a buyer over the past 24 hours, in making an offer on a desirable property in Northampton.  We are in a bidding war, about to submit our “highest and best offer”, along with the other buyers who submitted an offer on the same property.  A bidding war is essentially a blind auction.  We use the tools at our disposal, but we never know what the strength is of the competing offer.  My client and I have pored over the comparable properties which have sold recently, and discussed the pros/cons and projected resale value for the property.  However, at the end of the day. he can only offer an amount at which he won’t be disappointed that he didn’t offer more if he doesn’t get it; or that he didn’t offer less if he does get it.  Negotiating offers is not black and white.  To that end, I happened upon this informative piece on realtor.com today.

How to Win the Bidding War on the Home You Want to Buy

By: Michele Lerner  How to Win the Bidding War on the Home You Want photo

If you are buying a home at the height of a citywide seller’s market or simply want a sought-after house

Competing against faceless prospective buyers may bring out the warrior in you, but before you decide to go all out in your battle, you need to step back and decide how much you really want that particular home.in a neighborhood with limited turnover, you may find yourself in the midst of a real estate bidding war.

Should You Compete in a Bidding War?

In the thick of competition you may forget your end goal is a home you love and can afford to own. If your offers have been turned down by several sellers because of competing buyers, then you may feel pushed to make an aggressive offer for the next home you like.

You should stop yourself from competing just because you think the time is right to become a homeowner or to move up into a new place. Instead, think about whether you really want the particular house enough to fight for it.

To guard against making an emotion-fueled offer for a house, take a hard look at your finances. While it may feel good at first to beat out other buyers and to purchase a property, it won’t feel so great in a year or two when you are struggling to make the payments on a house beyond your means. Know your limits before you begin to bid.

Prep for Battle

Your first step before entering a bidding war should be to consult with a lender to understand the maximum amount you can borrow, to evaluate how much cash you have to spend while keeping enough money in a reserve fund.

Next, make sure you hire an experienced REALTOR® who can share information about local market conditions and communicate with the seller’s agent. You should rely on your REALTOR® for advice about how to handle a bidding war, but be sure to do your own research: visit a lot of homes in the area where you want to buy so you understand the value of various properties before you make an offer.

Bidding War Strategies

Your REALTOR® should work with you to craft an attractive offer based on the list price for the home, a comparative market analysis of similar homes, and knowledge gained from the sellers’ agent about the sellers’ motivations and preferences.

In a bidding war, it’s important to work with a REALTOR® who will move quickly to present your offer and any counteroffer, one who is easy to communicate with during the transaction.

While you may assume money is the motivator that steers sellers to one buyer over another, there are other ways to make your offer attractive, such as these ideas:

Solid financing: You may be competing against cash buyers, so make sure your loan pre-approval is in place and you have completed all required documentation other than identifying a specific property.

Eliminate contingencies—carefully: If you own a home now, you may want to offer to buy another home without making your contract contingent on the sale of your current home. You take the risk of carrying two mortgages for a while, so make sure you can safely handle the payments. You can also decide to have an “information only” home inspection rather than making your offer contingent on the outcome of the inspection.

Make the settlement date convenient for the sellers: Rather than negotiating on a closing date convenient to all sides, you can tell the sellers you will work with their schedule or rent back the property to them after the closing.

Offer to pay all closing costs: You can reduce the sellers’ out-of-pocket expenses by offering to pay their share of the settlement fees, but before you do this get an accurate estimate of what those costs will be and make sure you have the funds available to pay them.

Personalize the transaction: Sometimes the tipping point for sellers who receive multiple offers is something emotional rather than financial. A personal letter describing your love of their home may tilt the scale in your favor.

Try an escalation clause: Money talks, too, so you can add an escalation clause to your offer that increases your bid by a certain amount above other offers. Just make sure you set a limit on how high your offer will go.

Control yourself: Remember that any offer is subject to an appraisal (unless you waive that contingency, but that’s not recommended unless you have plenty of cash), so be careful not to bid above the market value of any property.

via How to Win the Bidding War on the Home You Want – Buy – realtor.com.

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

One of the pieces of advice we often give our seller clients as listing agents, is that a fresh coat of paint goes a long way towards making a home (or an individual room) look better.  In addition, it is a relatively small investment to make when thinking about how to improve the look of your home.  I found this relevant blog post on Apartment Therapy which gives concise tips about choosing paint colors.  Of course, you can always speak to your realtor about local painters who also specialize in help with color choices.  Whether you are more into the DIY approach or not, this information may be of interest.

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

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We think Marilyn and Peter got it just right when they chose this shade of gray-green for their accent wall, but as winners of the 2006 Fall Colors Contest, they’ve got a natural knack for color. Not everyone is so adept at picking out paint, so we’ve listed a few tips below for choosing paint colors…

Just to kick off the conversation, these are ideas we’ve collected (especially over the last couple weeks, as we’ve been choosing paint colors for all the rooms in our new apartment). Add your tips and tricks in the comments below.

5-12-08painting4.jpgFlickr Finds: Dior Gray Accent Wall

• Choose a color that works with your furniture. It’s much easier to change your walls than buy a new living room set, so use what you already own to guide your choices.

• Consider a room’s natural light when choosing whether to go dark or pale. Generally, rooms with lot of natural light can handle dark colors better than a poorly lit room. Pale shades will usually reflect natural light.

• Choosing the right color is all about balance. If you have colorful furnishings or accent pieces in your home, try balancing them with more neutral walls. If your all-neutral furniture feels bland, use a bold color to give the room some kick.

5-12-08painting5.jpgColorTherapy: Coastal Fog

• If you see a color you like in a photograph, try to match it to a color chip. Although colors aren’t reliable online, a photograph of a whole room gives you a better idea of a color than a swatch on your screen. For rooms that list color sources from AT, see NY’s Color Therapy posts.

• Collect chips in a range of colors and look at them against any upholstery, rugs, and wood tones in the room.

• Pair wall colors with a complimentary trim, or paint trim and baseboards the same color as the walls for a modern look. When choosing trim, remember that colors change in relation to one another. Collect chips and samples for both your main and accent colors.

5-12-08painting3.jpgColor Combo: Gray and Blue

• In our experience, paint almost always looks darker on the wall than it does on the chip. If you’re working off a chip, choose the color you want, then consider going a shade lighter.

• Choose the type of finish you want for your room. Flat finishes hide imperfections, while glossy finishes reflect light. Flat finishes are harder to keep clean (so they’re not ideal for a kitchen or bathroom), but glossy finishes can look cheap if the walls aren’t in top form.

• Even if you have to pay a little, invest in a small sample pot and paint a few swatches in your room, near the windows and in dark corners.

• Although painting can be stressful, it’s one of the least expensive changes you can make in a room, so don’t get too upset if you make a mistake. You can always change it later.

via Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Apartment Therapy.

Testing the Connecticut River

I came across this article today in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton‘s local newspaper.  Since many of us living in the PioneerValley tend to spend a good deal of time in local bodies of water during the summertime (and beyond), I thought it would be a good idea to repost this information for our readers.  How healthy is our beautiful and picturesque Connecticut River?

Agencies team up for first ‘Samplepalooza’ to test Connecticut River

health

By DIANE BRONCACCIO Recorder Staff
Just how pollutant-free is the Connecticut River, from the top of Vermont to the Long Island Sound? A group of agencies will pool their efforts Wednesday to collect data on nitrogen and phosphorous content, along with other algae-growing nutrients, during a one-day water-testing event they are calling “Samplepalooza 2014.” Teams of volunteers and professionals will visit at least 50 locations on the Connecticut River and its tributaries, covering more than 1,000 river-miles in Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. They will be taking water samples and testing for phosphorous, chloride, pollutants and nutrients, which can cause algae blooms that choke oxygen from the water. Nitrogen from the Connecticut River and other rivers entering the Long Island Sound has been determined to be the cause of a “dead zone” documented by researchers, according to the Connecticut River Watershed Council. Local samples will be taken near Route 10 in Northfield, in the Millers River, near the Erving/Wendell line, in the Deerfield River in Deerfield and along Fort River in Hadley, said Andrea Donlon, river steward for the watershed council. “What we’re trying to get is a sense of — on the same day, with no rain — how these places compare with one another in terms of nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients,” Donlon explained. This strategy allows for more accurate comparisons to be made among samples while minimizing differences in weather and river flow. Donlon said Connecticut has already done a lot of work trying to reduce nutrients that lead to oxygen depletion in Long Island Sound, but that the upper states along the 410-mile river have not done as much research. She said the findings from this sampling might help the upper states decide “how to get the most bang for their buck” by targeting cleanup efforts on locations that are most in need of improvement. “This effort is a one-day-only snapshot of the nutrient levels,” said Donlon. Emily Bird, an environmental analyst for the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in Lowell, said that portions of Long Island Sound bottom waters become hypoxic during summer months. Hypoxic means the water lacks adequate oxygen for aquatic life. She said excess discharges of nutrients such as nitrogen cause excess algae growth; when the algae dies, it sinks to the bottom and decomposes. The decomposition process uses up oxygen in the water. Between 1987 and 2000, the size of Long Island Sound’s hypoxic area averaged 208 square miles. From 2000 to 2013, after a plan was adopted to reduce nitrogen loading to Long Island Sound, the area of hypoxia was reduced to an average of 176 square miles. From 1987 until 2013, the average duration of the hypoxia has been about 58 days. Groups participating in this effort include the Connecticut River Watershed Council, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Welcome Scott Rebmann!

We are very happy to announce the newest Realtor/Associate Broker to join our ranks at Maple and Main Realty – welcome Scott Rebmann!  Scott has been working in Real Estate since 2009 and he is excited to be living and working in the field he loves right here in the heart of the Pioneer Valley.  Read on to find out more about Scott, and how he can assist you with your real estate needs.  You can also contact him directly at scott@mapleandmainrealty.com.

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After attending the a University of Missouri-Columbia, I spent 20 years in Tucson, AZ; where I explored my passion for food by owning and operating my own cafe and catering business.  Real estate beckoned and I discovered my love of historic homes; purchasing and renovating two beautiful properties in Tucson. In 2009 I moved to Washington, D.C. where I honed my customer service skills working with one of the metro areas top producing real estate teams. During this time, I would often visit friends and family in western Massachusetts and fell in love with the beauty and bounty of the area. Now I’m proud and happy to be in a place that truly feels like home. 

As an associate broker, I feel that one of my greatest strengths is my love of the real estate contract. Yes, I said it…I love contracts!  I see myself as your real estate concierge…you get to fall in love with the house that you will call home and it’s my job to help you navigate and negotiate your way through the process; making it as easy and enjoyable as possible.  My attention to detail and a great sense of perspective go a long way in creating a smooth experience. 

295 South Street, Northampton MA

Set back from the road in Northampton, MA, sits this beautiful 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home at 295 South Street.  We invite you to click on the hotlink and take a tour of this charming family home, within walking distance to Northampton Center.  Please note, there are actually two year round porches – off of the master bedroom and living room respectively – as well as a three season porch off of the kitchen.

The house has been in the same family for over 40 years.  While a new owner would likely want to make cosmetic updates, this house has great bones, a lovely slate roof in great condition, the heat and hot water systems have been maintained and are in good working order, the house has a large, beautiful and quiet lot behind the house – which abuts town land and the Mill River.  There are lovely original architectural details, hardwood floors and windows throughout.  There is a full, dry walk out basement and a full attic.  You can see from the video footage that the house has great curb appeal!

The house is currently listed for $375,000 and the sellers are motivated.  They want to pass their beloved family home onto a new family who will appreciate it’s inherent charm and beauty, and also appreciate that it is priced with the need for cosmetic updates in mind.

Contact Julie Starr for a showing at juliestarr@mapleandmainrealty.com.