Governor Deval Patrick proposes state tax on sale of primary residence Reply

Governor Deval Patrick has proposed the taxation of capital gains on the sale of a primary residence as part of a broader effort to eliminate 44 different tax breaks in Massachusetts to raise money for education and transportation. More…

Pioneer Valley homeowners may benefit from joint venture of Honda and SolarCity® Reply

One wouldn’t think that there would be real estate related news in the automotive section of The New York Times, but I recently came across an item regarding a Honda pilot program with SolarCity.The program is simple.  SolarCity will install inexpensive solar systems for the recharging of Honda’s and Acura’s hybrid and electric cars.  Massachusetts is one of 14 states where the $65 million program will be available. More…

Pioneer Valley continues efforts for a greener future, making the region a better place to live Reply

The Pioneer Valley continues its pursuit of clean energy and energy efficiency by participating in a $500,000 pilot program through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources that will help participating communities identify strategies for implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy that meet the specific needs of several communities in the region.  The continued effort affirms the fact the Pioneer Valley is a great place for the environmentally conscious home buyer to live. More…

Belchertown Land Trust donates trails and $12,000 in supporting funds to town Reply

The Belchertown Land Trust is donating approximately 2.75 miles of trails to the town of Belchertown, according to a recent press release from the organization. They are also donating $12,000 to the Belchertown Community Preservation Committee (CPC) to help with the maintenance of the trails that extend from Franklin Street (Route 181) to Bay Road. More…

Why Pioneer Valley home buyers should apply for FHA loans before spring Reply

Pioneer Valley home buyers may want to consider calling their local lender and getting themselves approved for a FHA mortgage and assigned a FHA case number before April 1, 2013.  Federal Housing Administration mortgages, also known as FHA loans, are about to become more expensive over the term of the loan than conventional mortgages as part of an effort to bolster FHA’s capital reserves. More…

Pioneer Valley single-family home prices rose in January, but sales were down in Franklin County and Hampshire County Reply

Pioneer Valley single-family home sales and median single-family prices were up in the month of January, according to data released by the REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley. More…

A look at the efficacy of Amherst’s occupancy restriction Reply

Amherst has a zoning bylaw that restricts the number of unrelated individuals that can live in a home to four.  If you have a family of more than four, however, that is not an issue. The reason for the bylaw restricting the number of those who are not related is to get a grip on the large population of students and their impact on housing and the neighborhoods in which they reside.  However, will Amherst’s occupancy restrictions have the desired effect of mitigating the impacts of off-campus student housing or will it do more harm than good?  Moreover, are they discriminatory and a direct violation of Massachusetts fair housing laws. More…

Lower utility bills on the horizon for residents in participating Pioneer Valley towns. Reply

Many Pioneer Valley homeowners and renters will soon be able to spend less money on electricity through access to wholesale markets made possible by the Hampshire Council of Governments (HCOG), a regional consortium of towns that replaced the county government, through its energy supplier service, Hampshire Power. Hampshire Power has already saved $2.1 million for 100 towns in the five western Massachusetts counties; they are working to expand that service to residents. More…

How Trulia and Zillow can steer you wrong whether buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley Reply

Pioneer Valley home buyers will start their search for a home online. They will usually check out one of the many real estate listing aggregation websites like Trulia.com or Zillow.com.   The properties that are listed on these sites are acquired through relationships with numerous multiple listing services. More…