How Governor Patrick’s tax plan can harm the Pioneer Valley real estate market. Reply

Before his visit to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on Thursday was cancelled due to a scheduling conflict; I was looking forward to sharing my concerns with Governor Deval Patrick.  If I didn’t know better and had a bigger ego, I’d say that he cancelled because he somehow knew that I had planned on doing so.  I voted for the governor twice and am disappointed that he would propose throwing the real estate market under the bus now that he has decided not to run for re-election, especially while it is trying to recover from being run over by one of the worst financial crises in history.   More…

Grant for up to $15,000 available to first-time home buyers 2

Pioneer Valley first-time home buyers can now qualify for up to $15,000 in grant money to buy a home as part of a federal grant available through participating lenders.   All a buyer needs is $500 of their own money and qualify for a mortgage appropriate to the sale price of home.  After you own the home for five years, the grant money is forgiven.   In other words, you won’t have to pay it back. More…

Median single-family home prices up in the Pioneer Valley, sales dip less than 1% overall. Reply

Single-family home sales dipped slightly, while median sale prices were up in the Pioneer Valley in the month of February, according to the REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley.   There were two less sales than in February of 2012 for a .9% decrease, but median prices jumped 7.1% ―rising from $167,537 to $185, 879 in 2012 and 2013, respectively.  More…

How much should you invest in improvements when selling a Pioneer Valley home? Reply

Whenever I speak to a Pioneer Valley home seller, I am usually asked what they can do to improve the value of their home, and subsequently, the list price.  While many improvements may add value, home sellers need to consider how much value will be added relative to the amount invested in the improvement.  Once a home seller performs this calculation, it is likely that they will find it more cost-effective to simply go after the low-hanging fruit. More…

Pioneer Valley Condo sales were up in 2012, median prices down Reply

Pioneer Valley condominium sales improved slightly in 2012, according to MLS PIN data.  There were 626 condo sales in 2012 in the valley, which was up from the 591 condo sales in 2011.  Out of all of the counties that make of the Pioneer Valley, only Franklin County saw an increase in median sale prices.

Here are the 2012 sales figures by Pioneer Valley County :

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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 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…

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…

New rules regarding mortgage servicing and “qualified mortgages” could be good for Pioneer Valley home sales Reply

The new rules regulating mortgages servicing recently released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offer new protections for homeowners facing foreclosure, but could also make getting a mortgage even more challenging than it already is by increasing borrowing costs and restricting credit availability. Similarly, new regulations regarding a category of mortgage known as a “qualified mortgage” may have unintended consequences as well.  The new rules will take effect on January 10, 2014. More…