Amherst, Hadley, & Northampton among eleven Pioneer Valley towns on Boston Globe’s list of “Dreamtowns” Reply

Amherst fit the bill to rank 2nd on the Boston Globe's list of "Dream towns".

Amherst fit the bill to rank 2nd on the Boston Globe’s list of “Dreamtowns”.

The Boston Globe recently released results from their Dreamtown Finder, an online tool to help determine a person’s own dream town in Massachusetts. From the data collected from this tool, The Globe put together a list of the top 25 dream towns. Eleven of these dream towns are located in the Pioneer Valley.

Northampton ranked 14th on The Globe's list.

Northampton ranked 14th on The Globe’s list.

“Everyone has a different set of criteria, of course, but the factors we chose for the tool include the following: schools (SAT scores), fun (movie theaters, restaurants), hipster (number of colleges, Starbucks, hybrid cars, for example), location (crime, public transit, grocery stores), and housing costs (assessed values),” The Globe explained. (For more information about their methodology, click here.)

Citing the Turners Falls Dam, affordable housing, and the high education rate of its residents, the Franklin County town of Gill ranked at 25. Northfield, another Franklin County town, ranked 21 due to the fact that it is bisected by the Connecticut River and its relatively remote location.  Because of its large population density, popular historic district with a variety of architectural styles, and 30 restaurants, Greenfield, the Franklin County seat, was 20th on the list.

The town of Rowe, also in Franklin County, ranked 17th on the The Globe’s list for its small population; the great student-to-teacher ratio; and because there is “not a Starbucks in sight for those against corporate infiltration.”

Hadley ranked 15th on The Globe's list.

Hadley ranked 15th on The Globe’s list.

Referring to it as “one boppin’ place”, the Hampshire County town of Hadley was ranked 15th because of the two malls located there, the number 0f hybrid vehicles, above-average schools, and low housing costs.

Located right across the river from Hadley, Northampton, the Hampshire County seat, came in at 13th because the city is the “home of Smith College and a fair amount of hipsters.” The Globe also cited Northampton’s well-performing schools, the amount of protected open space, low crime rate, and high number of restaurants.

Leverett was ranked 11th on The Globe's list.

Leverett was ranked 11th on The Globe’s list.

Although Leverett, located in Franklin County, was described as “no fun”, it ranked 11th on The Globe’s list of dream towns. However, good schools and housing costs made up the difference. Another town that made the list that is no fun was Hampshire County’s Cummington, which was ranked 9th because of its low housing costs and very low crime rates.

Low housing costs was the primary reason cited for Hampshire County’s Chesterfield being the 7th on the list, while Franklin County’s Shelburne made 5th for its, “set of solid schools, location and housing scores.”

Finally, if you ever find yourself in Amherst, you might want to stop by my office at Sawicki Real Estate at 35 University Dr. and ask for me, Michael Seward, because Amherst came in as the 2nd best dream town in the commonwealth. The Globe cited UMass, Amherst, strong schools, decent housing costs, and the fact that it is also a safe community for the ranking.

If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, home of the commonwealth’s best dream towns, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 or email

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