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December
10

The holiday season is upon us and in the spirit of giving our Jones Group Northampton Team participated in the Hot Chocolate Run benefiting Safe Passage. Safe Passage provides emergency shelter in a confidential location for those in need, as well as counseling, advocacy, peer support, and legal services.  You may make donations at safepassage.org

Our Jones Group Amherst Team is please to join the Amherst Survival Center's Warm Winter Items for Kids Drive.  Donations of new hats, gloves/mittens and scarves for children up to age 17 may be made at the 200 Triangle Street location in Amherst through January. 

July
26

Our Northampton office MOVED to 351 Pleasant Street, Suite A, in the heart of Northampton with convenient parking. Stop by and see us at our new HOME.

As the largest independent and family-owned real estate agency in the region with 50+ professional REALTORS®, the philosophy of providing exceptional service has gained the company a loyal following and a fine reputation in the community for over 60 years. Today, more than ever, Jones Group REALTORS® strives to provide the finest in real estate services available by offering a comprehensive marketing approach to the sale of property and quality representation in the purchase of property.

Meet our Northampton Team!

June
22

We are delighted to welcome Danielle van Over to our Amherst Team! Danielle has proven to be sharp with the pace of real estate, which really takes the stress off the clients she works with. In addition to being concise in the business, she is also very compassionate and has a great listening ear, which means your concerns will be heard throughout the process of buying or selling your home. Danielle does an excellent job of ensuring that all her clients get everything they need in a highly proficient way.

Danielle participates in a variety of activities that are sure to keep her outdoors, including photography, film making, camping, mountain biking (and down-hill), off-roading, horseback riding and training, as well as knitting. Danielle has been known to really integrate into community wherever she goes.  You may even find her fishing with coworkers, or taking a walk around town during lunch break with one of her associates. She also offers a very fitting service to the Pioneer Valley, in which she gives biking tours to and from a series of homes with individual clients, on a select basis. This is such a revolutionary way to really connect with the neighborhood of your home-to-be! If this sounds like your scene, you should definitely talk to Danielle.

Danielle has lived in several states including California, Montana, New York (city and upstate), and Washington D.C. However, in 2007 she moved with her husband and family to the Pioneer Valley, starting in Turners Falls and stretching as far as Granby. Because of this, Danielle has a lot of knowledge of the Valley, and will certainly be able to help you pick out a great neighborhood for your needs. Danielle's skill set expands past residential properties, into agricultural properties, as well. She enjoys working in both areas of real estate, and is knowledgeable and hardworking throughout the duration of all transactions.

Contact Danielle at 413-461-0854.

Email danielle@jonesrealtors.com

 

 

October
13

By Tiffani Rice

If you have been in the market for a new home, you may feel like you have been out of luck lately, as if there is just nothing on the market, but that isn't the entirety of the housing situation. Inventory in the housing market has been plummeting over the last several years. The demand to buy homes has been rampaging, after economic situations have started to recover and improve from the 2008 recession, but the supply of homes has yet to match this growing demand in nearly all areas of Massachusetts, from downtown Boston to the Pioneer Valley. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) recently reported, that "closed sales for both single family and condominiums were down over two percent in August (of this year) compared to August of last year"(MAR).  This past quarter, the inventory levels in Massachusetts in comparison to last August decreased over 27%, according to MAR. Last August there were slightly over 18,700 single family homes on the market, but this August, just about 13,600 homes were available for sale. The data also shows that buyers have been buying homes significantly faster these days than they have before. Just last year, it took an average of 75 days for a home to sell, but as of this past summer, houses lasted slightly over 50 days on the market before they sold, a decrease of just under 30% of time it would take a home to sell. Buyers have been pouncing on the houses that are made available for sale and have not been delaying the closing process, but this all comes at a cost.

While on your house hunt, you may have also noticed that your money hasn't been able to buy what you thought you should have been able to afford. The MAR explains that the median price for single-family homes has increased slightly over 5%, in Massachusetts, in the past year alone. This can be explained by the supply and demand effect; as more and more buyers have been in demand for homes, and as the housing inventory decreases, the result is sharp and sudden increases in the median price of homes. Senior Economist Joe Kirchner, Ph.D recently reported similar findings on the national scale. Kirchner explains that since 2008, home affordability had dropped significantly at the beginning of the year, but has since slightly recovered and leveled off. Prices of homes has indeed increased at a rate of excess wages and salaries, which alleviates some of the pressure on affordability, but mortgages have been doing more damage to impinge affordability than the actual prices of homes have. Mortgage rates have been fluctuating over the last decade and has had a direct impact on affordability of homes, the economist explains. In this situation of affordability, Kirchner believes buyers will do one of two things: either drop out of the housing market and postpone their decision to buy, or push to buy a home faster at a price higher than they can rationally afford, which is what we may be seeing in the Bay State. Kirchner explains that, "They do this because they believe prices and / or mortgage rates will continue to rise. If they delay, they will be in a worse off situation. If they buy now, even more than they can afford, future price, they believe, will increases ensuring the value of their investment". Kirchner's findings on a national level are very similar to the trends MAR has reported to be happening in Massachusetts. Locally, the REALTOR Association of the Pioneer Valley (RAPV) has data which mocks that of the national and statewide trends, right here in the Pioneer Valley and its neighboring counties.

RAPV released a report at the end of September showing that sales in the PV alone has increased nearly 8% with an increase of median sales price of 1.2%. Franklin County showed the sharpest increase in sales to be up nearly 38%, while Hampden County had the largest increase in median home price, up a whopping 6.3% in the median cost of homes in that area, all over the span of one year. All of this data from the MAR, to Senior Economist Kirchner, to the local statistics, all report identical findings. The housing market has seen some wild activity over the past year, throughout Massachusetts and the country, with the spikes in median prices of homes, to fluctuating mortgage rates, to the decreasing availability of homes. We might be able to expect similar, yet possibly more dramatic statistics next year in comparison to this year.

If you're thinking of selling your home in the coming months, you'll want the Jones Team network of 60 REALTORS working for you. Year to date we've closed on 485 properties!

LEGENDARY SERVICE, EVERY CLIENT, EVERY TIME.

March
31

We are delighted to welcome Miriam Sirota to our Northampton office at 238 Bridge Street!

Miriam comes to us from New York City where her seasoned experience, style, and broad-based knowledge made her one of the most popular brokers in the real estate industry.  A successful residential sales specialist for 23 years, Miriam brought her refined professional skills to The Pioneer Valley in 2015...the magnificent place she now calls home.

 

Miriam is a top broker because she is committed to satisfying her clientele and cares deeply for their needs. That means catering to each customer with close attention, patience and follow through until they find the home that best suits them, and tailoring a creative marketing and aggressive sales plan for every property owner to get the optimal results they deserve.

 

When it comes to innovation, Miriam makes the real estate process memorable and enjoyable with her stylish dress, people savvy and humorous approach. But Miriam is all business in facilitating and negotiating deals. As such, she has gained the attention and respect of clients and peers and an ongoing stream of referrals and repeat business.

 

Miriam graduated from Barnard College where she remains highly active mentoring current students. A former actress, she still enjoys performing and currently sings in a local Rockabilly band. Miriam also has a passion for collecting mid-century antiques and unusual oddities, and for animals, particularly her cuddly cats.  Miriam lives in Northampton with her fabulous husband who is a professor at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Contact Miriam Sirota at 917-701-8672

Email - miriam@jonesrealtors.com

 

October
20

This icon of American Federal style architecture offers the discerning buyer the rare opportunity to purchase a historic residence that has remained in the ownership of a single family since its construction in 1822. Built by Dr. Robert Starkweather (1765-1858), who practiced medicine in Chesterfield for more than fifty years, and currently owned by Dr. Starkweather's great, great, great grandson, this property has never before been offered for sale. The beautiful center hall Colonial features many finely preserved period details including a hipped roof, symmetrical windows, fluted pilasters, a fan light over the front entrance, twin chimneys , eight fireplaces, high ceilings, beautiful original moldings and wide-plank hardwood flooring. Without compromising the structure's historic integrity and character, this home this has been tastefully updated with a modern kitchen containing custom cherry cabinetry and French doors to the spacious dining room and library affording additional light and beautiful views of the rear gardens, orchard and hayfield. This spacious fourteen room residence includes five bedrooms,  three and a half baths, two offices, a wine cellar,  a two bedroom guest house (the " Doctor's Cottage") and a twin-bay connected garage. Situated on five plus acres, this house offers convenient commuting to Northampton and the five college area; tennis (5 min.), swimming at the "Bend" in the "wild and scenic" Westfield River (10 min.) and golf at the semi-private Worthington  Golf Club (15min.).

Visit the newest member of our Luxury Portfiolo International collection presented by Karen Dunn.

 

September
8

We are delighted to welcome Jeanne Comeau to our Northampton Team at 238 Bridge Street!  

When Jeanne Comeau left Maine to establish roots in Pioneer Valley, she brought a no-nonsense problem-solving background with her. Growing up, she was always the kid others approached when they couldn't quite figure something out, and that has remained true.

Jeanne worked for fifteen years in the information technology field before a complete renovation of her first home (a dilapidated farmhouse) inspired her to shift her career into the home building and design industry and to become a certified Building Analyst (BA). From managing projects for a national home renovation organization to advising local clients how to improve and sell their homes, Jeanne has established a long history of successfully helping clients make the best decisions they can about their homes.

Jeanne specializes in applying her expertise and market knowledge to negotiate any home transaction. Her background in technology helps to streamline the process of buying and selling, and her knowledge of homes, home renovations, and green building practices are integral to her success. Clients appreciate her tech-savvy buying and selling methods, her clear explanations of complex variables and choices, and her concise, grounded evaluations. Jeanne is known for her integrity, her ease in navigating the market, and her ability to help people feel comfortable and safe during what can be a stressful time

From studs to shingles, systems to solutions, Jeanne knows homes and is excited to show clients the best Western Massachusetts has to offer.

Email Jeanne at jc@jonesrealtors.com

Cell/Txt - 413-219-3744

 

July
15

 UPDATE - The filming was completed last Saturday at an area Home.  We'll let you know when it airs - stay tuned!

 

Exciting NEWS! Our Donna Wesoloski will be appearing in an upcoming episode of HGTV'S House Hunters being filmed in Northampton, Massachusetts this week! You may have seen the HGTV crew on Thursday (7/21)  filming in downtown Northampton at various spots including Mama Iguana's, Spoleto's, Paradise Pizzeria, and Sheldon Field. 

Donna is based in our Northampton office located at 238 Bridge Street and may be reached at 413-427-8662. Learn all about Donna at her website!

We thank HGTV and homebuyers, David Gontaruk and Ranny Zamperlini for this fantastic opportunity!

June
28

"June 28, 2016 – The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® (MAR) reported today that the busy early spring and late winter showed no sign of slowing down as closed home sales rose over 17 percent in May from this time last year. Median prices also rose incrementally as new listings coming on the market fell for the second month in a row. Condominium sales also closed higher with median prices up close to three percent from 2015." Read more from MAR.  Here in the Valley Homes that were correctly priced received multiple offers especially in the towns of Amherst, Northampton and Hadley. 

For more information about today's market contact a Jones Agent/Advisor today!

April
22

The 2016 Market is HOT!  We're seeing many Jones open houses flooded with buyers - the buyers are here and ready to buy!  As a result, several properties have gone under a multiple bid process, especially in the towns of Northampton, Amherst, Easthampton and Hadley. The buyers are waiting for that special home in the perfect location and price point. So, we've put together some helpful tips on how to be a winner in a today's competitive  market here in the Valley:

 

 

 

 

  9 Tips on How to Win a Bidding War

  1. Know your area. Learn the values and the recent sales in the area in which you want to live. Connect early in the process with your Jones agent so that you will have all of the current market information. Then you will know what is  an appropriate offer.
  2. When it comes to price, be realistic. Low offers in this market will not be productive and may waste valuable time.
  3. Pick your "walk away" number, and stick with it. It may be best to offer your top price first in a hot market.
  4. Be flexible on offer terms. Have your agent learn what the sellers are looking for in terms of closing date, and other considerations. If you are able, accomodate them.
  5. Don't dawdle-if you love the house, act fast. Chances are someone else loves it too.
  6. Get preapproved by a bank, otherwise your offer will not be seriously considered (this should be your 1st step.)
  7. Decide what you want to do if the appraisal is below asking price. Some buyers are willing to pay the difference in cash to get the house of their dreams.
  8. Position yourself as a backup in case another buyer pulls out.
  9. Connect with sellers. Write a personal letter to the sellers telling them why you would like to buy their house. Your agent can present it with the offer.

While going through a multiple bidding process can be challenging, our Jones Team in Amherst, Belchertown and Northampton has the experience to help you realize your dream of home ownership. Contact a Jones agent/advisor today to put the leading real estate company to work for you!