Condominium

Small Lots Big Design - How Good Design Enhances Small Lots in Northampton, MA

In 2013 the City of Northampton hosted a “Small Lots, Big Design” competition. The purpose was to demonstrate how good design can enhance small lots throughout the city. 

Since the end of the competition, Bruce Volz, of Shop Development LLC has seen his project progress to the point where it is almost complete. 

Bruce is also the co-owner of VCA, custom builders of unique furniture and architectural millwork in Northampton. His passion is in the design and quality of the pieces his company produces. His clients are varied and can mostly be found in New York and California. So it goes to say that this Small Lots, Big Design project has been a labor of love for him. He has never been involved in the construction of buildings. He paid three firms to come up with a design that he could get behind. In the end he chose Jones Whitsett Architects, and construction began in the Spring of 2015. 

Within walking distance to downtown Northampton, each two story building is made up of two single story dwellings, an upper and a lower dwelling. Each is efficiently organized to provide homeowners a spacious two bedroom apartment, including an outdoor deck and covered parking. The dwellings are low maintenance. The construction exceptional. Standards include double glazed windows, air-source mini-split heating/cooling, solar hot water, and LED lighting.

Inside the homes is all Bruce. The wood used in the counter face is reclaimed wood from a barn that previously stood on the property. Same with the barn doors in the home. The counter tops are recycled paper and resin. The floors are natural ash and teak. The cabinets were made in his company, designed by his people, all excited to be a part of the process. The homes have a rustic but polished look. Every pain staking detail is Bruce.

These homes are truly a work of art. Three of the four homes have been sold. There is an open house this weekend (Sunday, November 6, 2016 from 1-3PM) so feel free to stop in and take a tour. Or for a private viewing, please call Dave Ryan of Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont at 413-977-9184 or visit ShopDevelopmentNoho.com for renderings, systems, and more information or http://bit.ly/2dBAyzU for more details.

 

Pamela Sclafani is the Marketing Manager for Coldwell Banker Upton Massamont. She lives in the Pioneer Valley and enjoys everything it has to offer, gorgeous scenery, hills and mountains for hiking, lakes for paddle boarding, the change of seasons, and the close proximity to Boston and New York.

 

What You Need to Know: Condominiums

Is a condominium right for you? The market has been steadily rising for the past few years but condo living may not be for everyone.

Condo buyers typically fall into three categories:

-First-time buyers -Second home or vacation home owners -Retirees looking for a low-maintenance alternative

Under the right set of circumstances a condominium can be a great purchase. Before you run out and shop for condos you have to be comfortable living with rules and restrictions, and in close proximity to others.

There are different types of condominiums. They can take the form of apartment-style complexes, townhouses or converted multi-family dwellings. Most condominiums have common areas, such as stairwells, dividing and outer walls, fitness centers, pools, walking paths and gardens. These common areas are under shared ownership. Each unit owner holds an interest in these spaces.

Because space is shared there needs to a way to manage the maintenance, repair and costs of these common areas. To deal with that and other issues that involve space sharing every condo development has a condominium association. The association is typically elected by condo owners and makes communal decisions in the interest of the community.

When you find a condominium you are interested in you will want to inquire about the association: Some questions you may want to ask are:

  • Does the association maintain reserve of funds to pay for unexpected and potentially expensive repairs? If so, how much is in reserve and how is it managed?
  • Has the association maintained the building in good repair? Are there currently or any planned special assessments?
  • Does the association have plans to add any facilities, such as a swimming pool or gym, in the near future?
  • Does the development have any pending legal actions? Are there any disputes between owners, with developers or with the association that you should know about?

Buying a condo also comes with costs some are similar to a single family home purchase while others are condo specific. These costs include:

  • Down payment, mortgage and property tax
  • Condo fees, otherwise known as maintenance fees. Condo fees are paid by every resident to help with the maintenance of the building, pay the salaries of groundskeepers, concierges or handymen, and provide luxury facilities such as a pool, gym or rooftop garden. Condo fees are paid monthly and are subject to change. The condominium association budgets and determines the condo fees for all units. Condo fees are typically determined by the size of your unit, how many units are currently occupied, and the projected expenses for building maintenance and repair.
  • Special assessment fees. These fees may be requested when an unexpected repair or planned modification exceeds the cost of the condo fees collected

One of the most important considerations is to determine if you can live with the condominium rules or covenants. The rules vary from one condo development to another. Some condominiums may impose restrictions on pet ownership, noise levels, remodeling projects, and renting. Always read the condo rules and regulations to make sure that you are comfortable with them before you make a commitment to purchase.

Our Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont REALTORS cover the entire Pioneer Valley and would love to introduce you to our local condominium properties.  Check out the website at www.cbumr.com or call one of our 4 conventient offices.

Amherst:  (413) 461-3650

South Deerfield:  (413) 665-3771

Northampton:  (413) 586-8355

Shelburne Falls:  (413) 625-6366