What is the outlook for real estate in the North Adams – Williamstown corridor?
By Bishop
May 8, 2017

We are experiencing investments in the area that are bound to bring a lot of tourist and visitor traffic in; bound to be a catalyst for new jobs creation; and bound to make the area grow  more than we can possibly imagine right now!

Development means more jobs.  Jobs increase the demand for homes. Here are highlights of a few of the bigger development projects in North Adams and neighboring Williamstown:

  • The newly upgraded Clark Art Institute has already had a huge impact on the North County corridor with their recently completed $145 million expansion and brings 200,000 visitors to the area annually.
  • Williams College is planning to spend nearly $300 million on 9 new construction projects in Williamstown (with 10 more on the long-range plan).
  • Mass MoCA is internationally known, and about to open Building 6 later this spring which will make it the largest contemporary art museum in the U.S. At a cost of $65 million, it adds 130,000 square feet of space to the complex.
  • A $20 million model-railroading and architecture museum in Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams is underway. It is expected to bring 200,000 to 300,000 visitors to the area every year.
  • Thomas Krens has selected a designer for the 160,000-square-foot Global Contemporary Art Museum which will be located at the Harriman-West Airport in North Adams and built at an estimated cost between $10 and $15 million.
  • Berkshire Health Systems has invested upward of $10 million in the purchase and upgrade of the former North Adams Regional Hospital.

Even more millions of $$$ are being spent on other renovation projects which involve massive outside investment. This tells us that investors from outside the region see great opportunities in our area and are willing to put significant dollars into it.  Some other projects include:

  • The Redwood Motel project is estimated at $2.5 million and has expanded to include the Blackington Mill. It will contain a resort where the Appalachian Trail, Hoosic River and Mohawk Trail converge.
  • The 342,000 square foot Cariddi Mill is targeted for a multi-million dollar revitalization project (between North Adams and Williamstown). "Greylock Works plans extensive, phased development, including retail, manufacturing, restaurant and hotel operations".
  • Jack & Suzy Wadsworth have poured $$$ into our neighborhoods (The Porches Inn, UNO Community Center and donation of land for a skateboard and bike park near Noel Field).
  • Moresi Associates has completed major renovation of the Mulcare Block on Marshall Street in downtown North Adams.
  • Cumberland Farms has made a huge investment in our area.
  •  Walmart has built a new super center on the Curran Highway. 
  • Owners of Ramunto's Brick Oven Pizza in North Adams did complete new build-out on Main Street.
  • Bright Ideas Brewing is up and running on the MoCA campus.
  • A new dog park opened in North Adams near The Porches Inn and Mass MoCA.
  • The Hoosic River Revival is planning a radical revision of the flood control chute and incorporation of gardens and recreational areas.

I could probably keep going, but I hope you get the idea...  things are really taking off!

This perception from a relative newcomer to North Adams: “I quite agree that the outlook for N.A. is great, despite the negativism that comes from some quarters ... the reality is that we are among that handful of old mill towns in the northeast that are well along in climbing out of the abyss of decades-long economic collapse.  We've a ways to go, for sure ... but much has already come together ... and success does breed success… It will probably take a decade, and the road to get to where we can be will have some twists and turns ... but we're on the right path, for sure. And that will certainly have a huge impact on the real estate market.”.

North Adams had been on a downhill slide for many years, but now we are experiencing investments in the area that are bound to bring a lot of tourist and visitor traffic in; bound to be a catalyst for new jobs creation; and bound to make the area grow  more than we can possibly imagine right now. Tie that into the existing and expanding activities in Williamstown and it’s obvious that the efforts at attracting tourism and business into the corridor are off to a great start. 

So, if you have been “on the fence” about buying a new home or selling your current home in the northern Berkshire County area, but waiting for a better real estate market, we are standing on the doorstep of that market right now!

Why work with a buyer's agent?
By Bishop
August 28, 2017

If you are looking to purchase a house in the Berkshires or nearby, care should be taken so you’re not jumping into something without expert guidance. A good buyer's agent will provide that guidance.

Shopping for a home, whether in Pittsfield, North Adams, Lenox or anywhere in Berkshire County, can be an exciting and often stressful time. Now that you have decided it’s time to “buy my next home” or “buy my first home”, and you’re looking for a house anywhere in the Berkshires or nearby, care should be taken so you’re not jumping into something without expert guidance.

You probably have been looking online, been pre-approved for a mortgage (if not you should do that right now) and maybe have driven by a few homes or stopped at an open house. Now, what should you do next?  It may seem that the easiest thing to do is just call the agent whose name is on the sign, however, that could work against you. The agent selling the property represents the seller exclusively. Of course, they know details about the house, but it is important to for you to understand that the listing agent represents the only seller and has a responsibility to put the seller’s best interests first. In legal terms, the selling agent has a fiduciary duty to the seller. That means they need to get the best price and terms for the seller and not you!  

Think about it.  Could there be value in securing a buyer’s agent?   Most of the time, the cost of having a buyer’s agent is covered by the seller anyway, so why not have an advocate on your side? When looking to buy a home, it is best to hire a buyer’s. That agent will represent YOU, not the SELLER. A buyer’s agent will help you by providing an unbiased representation as to the value of the home and also by bringing knowledge of the local marketplace. A buyer’s agent will provide guidance, pricing analysis, negotiation, and assist you in making an informed decision.

Now, that brings up another question. How do I find the “right” buyer’s agent? One may assume that all agents are the same and provide the same level of service. This is simply not the case! True, any licensee may act as a buyer’s agent, however, you should learn more. The first thing a buyer must research is the agent’s experience and training as a buyer’s representative.  An agent with the ABR designation is a professional certified by the National Association of REALTORS®. He/she has taken advanced education and just as importantly, has a demonstrated track record of successfully closed transactions in which they represented the buyer.  Look for that designation when shopping for a buyer agent.

Bring a trained and experienced buyer’s agent into your property search. By the way… most seller’s agents LOVE buyer’s agents!  They know that a buyer’s agent will qualify, counsel and prepare their buyer before any negotiations begin.  What does this mean for the buyer?  They can proceed with their home search and now have an agent that has taken the time to understand their needs and will work to guide and counsel them through their purchase of the right home (and not one that is exclusively represented by the seller’s agent).

Finding the right house is a challenging task that should not be taken lightly. Hire a trained professional buyer’s agent to be by your side during the process.