Amherst selectmen approve $100 rental property registration fee; occupancy restriction seems to conflict with fair housing law Reply

Call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 if you are planning on buying or selling a home in Amherst or surround communities.

Call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 if you are planning on buying or selling a home in Amherst or surround communities.

The Amherst Board of Selectmen recently approved a rental registration fee of $100 that will go into effect January 1 and will need to be renewed annually, according to Masslive. The new fee is part of a rental housing bylaw that was approved by Town Meeting back in May, but the town’s occupancy restriction seems to conflict with Massachusetts fair housing laws as it targets single and young people. More…

Studies find that Amherst needs to increase affordable housing, public forum scheduled for June 18. Reply

North Amherst Village center is located just north of the UMass campus

North Amherst Village center is located just north of the UMass campus

A couple of recent housing studies published on Amherst.gov—a housing production plan and a housing market study —that demonstrate that Amherst is going through some growing pains, which are having an adverse affect on the ability of key demographics to afford a home in town.

In a letter from Town Manager John Musante to Town Meeting members, he explains that the purpose of the housing production plan was to address Amherst’s affordable housing needs, while the housing market study addressed the student and non-student housing market and zoning issues. More…

Amherst approves rental property registration and permitting requirement Reply

A residential street lies adjacent to the UMass campus.

A residential street lies adjacent to the UMass campus. Note the UMass library in the background.

To address issues resulting from the density of off-campus student housing and absentee landlords, the town of Amherst recently adopted a permitting system for rental properties.  It will go into effect on January 1, 2014. More…

Multiple Listing Service that serves Pioneer Valley REALTORS® ends flagged listing option Reply

A list of Amherst that shows how popular the flagged "ACT" status is.

A list of Amherst that shows how popular the flagged “ACT” status is. Click to enlarge.

Starting on Tuesday, May 21, REALTORS® and other real estate agents will no longer have the ability to flag a listing on MLSPIN.com, which is the multiple listing service that serves the Pioneer Valley and most of the state.

More…

Amherst railroad to get over $1.5 million improvement near Station Road Reply

An Amtrack passenger train crosses Station Road in Amherst, MA, where two derailments occurred in 2011.

An Amtrack passenger train crosses Station Road in Amherst, MA, where two derailments occurred in 2011.

The Patrick administration recently announced a $500,000 grant for improvements to the New England Central Railroad (NECR) in Amherst.  The railroad is matching the grant with $1,052,597.  The purpose of the grant is to help support economic growth, which the railroad has been doing for Amherst and the Pioneer Valley for over 150 years.

More…

SOLD!! Amherst home for sale: 54 Justice Dr. Reply

Located in the town of Amherst, in an established subdivision off of East Hadley Road, this raised-ranch style home located at 54 Justice Drive offers 3 bedrooms, a full bathroom, and two half bathrooms and is situated on a spacious half-acre lot (.55 acres to be exact, according to the public record).

 

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…

Amherst real estate market improved markedly in 2012. Reply

More Amherst single-family homes sold in 2012 than in 2011; while median home prices decreased, according to MLS Property Information Network data.  There were also more condominium sales in 2012, but with an increase in median sale prices. Land sales also increased. More…

Hampshire County year-end single-family home sales figures by town at a glance. Reply

See how sales of single-family homes fared in your Hampshire town below.  Using data from MLS PIN, I included the total number of sales for each town in Hampshire County in 2011 and 2012.  Also included is he average price per foot of living space and the average days on market.  This data is for information purposes only.  It should not be used to price your home.  If you would like to know what homes comparable to yours are selling for, call me at 413-531-7129 or email me at michael.seward@comcast.net.

More…