Sippican Woods

Sippican Woods in Marion

Sippican Woods to offer affordable homes

By Tanner Harding and Georgia Sparling | Jan 18, 2017

Photo by: Tanner Harding

MARION — More affordable housing is coming to Marion.

Following the completion of the Marion Village Estates apartments, Baywatch Realty is proceeding with its adjacent 36-house development named Sippican Woods. Nine of those homes will go to lower income families in a lottery to be held in February.

The development is part of the plan for 60 apartments and 36 homes approved five years ago to add “40B” affordable housing for residents. The “40B” regulation allows the developer to bypass local zoning restrictions if a percentage of homes are sold or rented at below-market costs to people who meet the income requirements, and if a town has not met the state-required 10 percent minimum  of affordable housing in its boundaries.

The apartments, all of meet the state’s requirement for affordable housing, were completed in August 2015 and are full, said Ken Steen of Baywatch Realty. Affordable housing takes into account the median income in an area.

Preliminary work for the houses is underway, and Steen said the first affordable houses will likely be completed by the end of this summer.

“How many qualified applicants we have will determine the rate at which we construct the affordable houses,” he said.

Each affordable home is approximately 1,600 square feet, will have three bedrooms and one and a half baths, and will cost $213,300. Homeowners Association fees are $45 a month.

The affordable homes will only be sold to households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income. The maximum allowable income starts at $46,000 for a single person and goes up to $76,250 for six people.

Everyone in the household must also qualify as a first-time homebuyer, and the household must be pre-approved for a mortgage.

The town also requires that preference be given to local residents for 70 percent of the homes, or six of the nine.

For this requirement, an applicant must be a current resident of Marion, have resided in Marion for at least five years, have a child who has lived in Marion the past five years, or be a full- or part-time town employee.

The remaining 27 homes are also generating a lot of interest. Though Steen said there isn’t a hard timeline for the project, some of the houses already have buyers.

He also said the project could take a year to finish or it could take three. It depends on demand.

“We started marketing them about four weeks ago,” he said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of interest.”

The deadline for the application to participate in the lottery is Feb. 14 at 2 p.m., and the lottery will be held Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Elizabeth Taber Library.

“We’re excited to get into the for sale portion of the project,” Steen said. “We look forward to completing it. We think it’s a great product. We think it’s something the town is in need of.”

For more information, attend an information session on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Elizabeth Taber Library, or go to

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University of Virginia

Jarred Reuter of University of Virginia Play at Boston College Tonight

At College: Marion’s Jarred Reuter is the quiet Cavalier at Virginia

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The Inn at shipyard park

The Inn at Shipyard Park Woes

Mattapoisett couple appeals nightclub decision

By Georgia Sparling | Dec 26, 2016

Photo by: Georgia Sparling

MATTAPOISETT — The building commissioner and the Zoning Board of Appeals agree that the Inn on Shipyard Park isn’t operating as a nightclub, but neighbors George and Maureen Butler say otherwise. And they’re appealing the Zoning Board’s Sept. 29 decision to Superior Court.

The appeal is the second filed by the couple regarding the Water Street restaurant and bar.

The Butlers filed an enforcement request with Building Commissioner Andy Bobola that sought to stop activities they deemed in keeping with a nightclub, including the volume of the music and the primary usage of the establishment. Since nightclubs are not allowed to operate in Mattapoisett Village, the town would have required the inn to close or to alter its operations.

Bobola declined to respond to the request, and the Butlers, represented by their attorney, Tom Crotty, tried to build a case for the inn as a nightclub with video footage recorded by the couple and other evidence.

The Zoning Board, however, sided with Bobola and denied the request, prompting the Butlers to file an appeal to the Superior Court, according to Crotty.

He said you “never know” what could happen, but for now it doesn’t look like a decision will be made until sometime in 2018 – at least a year and a half from the time the appeal was filed in early November.

Opponents have filed a motion to dismiss the litigation, and Inn owners Nils Johnson and Andrea Perry are hoping the end is in sight.

“I would love it all to just go away,” said Johnson.

The Butlers also appealed a decision upholding the expansion of the inn’s porch. That petition was filed approximately six months before the nightclub appeal and is scheduled to follow a similar 18-month path, unless it gets dismissed.

As for the nightclub appeal, Johnson said it should be between the town and the Butlers and his company shouldn’t be on the list of defendants.

“I’m not the town governing body. There’s no reason I should be in a legal battle. That’s a question for the town,” Johnson said.

Additionally, he said the inn has not overstepped its entertainment license, and they’re not operating the establishment differently than previous owners. At the September meeting, in fact, many supporters spoke up saying the inn is more quiet and orderly now than it was several decades and several owners ago.

The consistent support from customers has been an encouragement to Johnson as communication with the Butlers has not improved the situation.

“We are really humbled by everyone taking the time to care about the inn,” he said.


This blog was posted on   on January 17, 2016.

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Kathy Eunsuk Song joins BOLD Moves Real Estate

Kathy Eunsuk SongBOLD Moves Real Estate is happy to announce that Kathy (Eunsuk) Song  has joined the BOLD Moves Real Estate team.  Kathy  characterizes integrity, hard work ,and  detail to  service.  Although just starting out,  Kathy has the energy and dedication to help you through every aspect  of your real estate transaction. She is excited to work all facets of the real estate market including representing sellers, buyers, and investors in both the residential and commercial market.

Kathy is fluent in Korean and greatly values  family with a devotion to God. She resides with her husband and two teenagers. She loves to cook and enjoys feeding her family and friends with diverse menus, such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, etc..

She has been trained and inspired in sales by Kate Lanagan MacGregor and Agent Rising Real Estate School.   She uses her experience and foresight to proactively address details before they become a problem. She works with love, integrity, commitment and  passion.   She is  fun to meet and prides herself on “100% Customer Satisfaction” because she treats her clients as a King or Queen.

Kathy can be reached at 413.313.4165 or

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Digging out after the Storm

Tri-town residents dig out after storm

By Georgia Sparling | Jan 08, 2017

Photo by: Georgia SparlingThe fluffy flakes didn’t exactly make great snowballs, but Christian Monty of Rochester had a great time trying to throw it anyway.

Tri-town residents woke up Sunday morning to find a winter wonderland and lots of snow, but for many it was good to be outside again.

“He’s been dying for snow,” said Susan Hagan said of her son Griffin.

The pair did make the most of Saturday’s snowstorm from their Marion home.

“We went sledding, had a snowball fight, made some cornbread,” she said.

The pair also had a painting project, but first they had to find the paint, which was delivered sometime after the snow started to fall.

“We had to go dig it out of the snow,” Hagan said as she shoved out her driveway.

Across the street, firefighters made their rounds, shoveling out hydrants.

Marion Firefighter Joel Waters said there were 250 to 300 hydrants in town that needed to be cleared of snow, in case of an emergency. About an hour into the job, Waters said, “So far, so good.”

During the blizzard, he noted that there had been some accidents on 195 as people slipped on the road.

In Mattapoisett, Fire Chief Andy Murray said it was relatively quiet during the storm.

“Seems like everyone was well prepared and stayed off the roads for the most part,” he said.

Mattapoisett resident Joanne Lane just moved back to the area after spending the past 20 years in Arizona.

“I had to learn how to drive in the snow again,” she laughed. “The snow was beautiful and lightweight. It was the perfect first snow.”

Other residents seemed to agree that it was the perfect snow.

“This is my kind of blizzard,” Sandy Hering said.

People felt lucky that the storm happened on a Saturday, allowing them to stay inside and off the roads.

“It’s unavoidable, so this was a beautiful way for it to happen,” Don Bamberger said. “And nobody lost power.”

Now, let’s see how long it takes to melt!

Tim Bolick doesn’t let the cold weather or snow keep him from training. “It’s just my normal training routine,” he said. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

The Dubreil kids have an adventure in Rochester. (Photo by: Heidi Dubreil)

Susan and Griffin Hagan enjoy the snow. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

This Mattapoisett snowman is the cat’s meow. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

Joel Waters and Dylan Glavin of the Marion Fire Department dig out fire hydrants. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

Sara Audette captured this photo of her niece Lila. (Photo by: Sara Audette )

Jim Wheeler and his dog Annie out for a walk after the storm. “We walked everywhere yesterday,” he said. “The roads were treacherous.” (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
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Freezin" for a Reason

Freezin’ for a Reason

Freezin’ for a reason

By Tanner Harding | Jan 01, 2017

Photo by: Tanner HardingResidents run into (and out of) the water quickly at the polar plunge.

MATTAPOISETT — Hundreds of brave residents welcomed in the new year with a quick dip in the ocean on Sunday afternoon.

The polar plunge was hosted by the Huggins family to raise money for the hidden costs cancer patients and their families face, such as childcare, gas, parking and food.

Michelle Huggins said she wasn’t sure the exact number of participants, but that she had 500 prayer ties at the entrance of Mattapoisett Town Beach and all of them were gone.

“At the entrance we give each person a prayer tie, so they can make a wish for the new year,” she said.

The prayer ties were then tied to ropes that were strung from the tent to a lifeguard stand.

Last year, the event raised $10,000, and so far, it has raised $10,800 this year.

“It’s a huge group effort,” she said. “One hundred percent of the money goes to tri-town families with cancer diagnoses.”

This year, the event added a DJ to amp swimmers up before running into the cold ocean.

It’s the event’s fifth year, and Huggins is grateful to see it grow year after year.

“It’s an amazing act of compassion and kindness when people come out on a holiday,” she said. “It just shows you that humans are kind in their intentions.”

To donate, go to

Hundreds turned out for the event at Mattapoisett Town Beach. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)

Hundreds of colorful prayer ties fly in the wind. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
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real estate

10 Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2017

real estateBy Beth Braverman

November22, 2016

Nearly a decade after the real estate crisis set off wild swings in the housing market, most markets finally stabilized last year. The election of Donald Trump has brought uncertainty into the industry, however. While the President-elect built his empire on real estate, he has said relatively little about what policy changes he might make regarding housing.  That’s not too unusual, since when the housing market is doing well it is generally not a campaign issue.

Here’s what the experts we spoke with expect to see in 2017:

1. Rising prices will keep pushing up homeowners’ net worth.
After a 6.3 percent increase over the past year, home prices are poised to rise another 5.2 percent through September 2017, according to a recent report from CoreLogic. Rising prices have doubled the amount of home equity held by Americans with the average homeowner gaining more than $11,000 in home-equity wealth last year alone. If home prices continue to increase as projected, Americans would add $1 trillion in home equity to their collective balance sheets next year.

2. But mortgage rates are going up.
Rates for conventional loans shot up nearly a quarter of a percentage point in the days following the election, the fastest increase since the ‘taper tantrum’ of 2013. That could be just the beginning; the Fed is expected to continue raising rates on a strong economy, and even before Trump’s election, the Mortgage Bankers Association was predicting that rates would reach 4.8 percent (an increase of nearly two percentage points) by the end of 2017. 

That means that borrowers who are looking to re-fi should do so earlier in the year, and buyers should consider locking in their rates during the closing process. While some worry that rising rates could dampen the housing market, job security and wage growth are larger factors on home activity than interest rates.

3. It’s getting easier to get a mortgage.
It’s easier to get a mortgage now than at any time in the past eight years, according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index. That reflects an increased availability of both jumbo loans and low down-payment loans. Banks may also be more willing to work with borrowers over the next few years as they look to make up for a decline in refinancing business when interest rates go up. “The pendulum has been swinging toward a loosening of the credit box a bit,” says Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president with Attom Data Solutions. “I don’t think we’ll see a reversal of that with the new administration. We’ll likely see an acceleration.”

4. Rents will continue to level off.
While rents in most large metro areas will continue to increase next year, they’ll grow at just 1.7 percent next year, following a similar growth this year, according to Zillow’s rent forecast. The modest gains follow years of double-digit growths in many places and reflect inventory finally catching up with demand as builders create new apartment buildings to accommodate the nearly 40 percent of Americans who are choosing to rent rather than buy housing.

5. The share of cash buyers will move closer to normal.
All-cash buyers fell below 30 percent of home sales this year for the first time since 2007, and they’re projected to decline for the next two years until they get back to their historical average of about 25 percent, according to CoreLogic. That’s good news for some homebuyers who have struggled in recent years to compete with all-cash buyers in bidding wars.

6. New homes are getting smaller.
The median square footage for new homes this year fell for the first time since the recession. Smaller homes are the product of several trends driving the real estate market, including higher demand for homes close to city centers where space is tight, and continued growth in the “tiny home” movement.

The shift also reflects a renewed focus by builders on the neglected market of entry-level buyers. “They’re building smaller homes because people can’t afford to buy the larger homes anymore,” Chief Economist at Texas A & M’s Real Estate Center.

7. Inventory will remain tight.
While builders have increased production, they’re still only putting homes up at about 60 percent of the normal pace. Total housing inventory at the end of September increased 1.5 percent to 2.04 million existing homes for sale, but that’s still 7 percent lower than last year. Unsold inventory in September was at a 4.5 percent-month supply, down from 4.6 percent the previous month. (A six-month supply is considered a healthy market.)

That continued lack of inventory is one of the main factors behind rising prices. “It’s driven by supply and demand,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “The lack of affordable supply is really driving up home prices.”

8. Foreign buyers will play a smaller role.
Foreign buyers, who have helped fuel the luxury real estate market in recent years, backed off a bit this year amid rising prices and an appreciated dollar and increased scrutiny from the Treasury Department. That trend may accelerate as foreign investors weigh the impact of a Trump presidency on their purchase.

9. It’s getting easier for first-time buyers. After years of shutting them out, the market has become slightly more welcoming to first-time buyers. “On the supply side, builders are finding business models to provide the level of product, such as townhouses, that first-time buyers are looking for,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders. “And on the demand side, wage gains and the demographics of today’s millennials who are marrying and having kids later, will help.” 

Millennials are more secure in their jobs, so they’re better qualified for mortgages, particularly the low down payment options.  While inventory is still tight, many institutional investors have left the market, which makes it easier for first-time home buyers to compete for entry-level properties.

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Mattapoisett 13th Annual Christmas Day Swim

Swimmers take a cold plunge for charity

By Zarrin Tasnim Ahmed | Dec 25, 2016

Photo by: Zarrin Tasnim AhmedDavid Smutny (left) and Bill Foley (right) went in the water with their santa beards on.

MATTAPOISETT — Low tide during a polar plunge isn’t easy, according to swimmers that took a dive into Mattapoisett Harbor for the 13th annual Christmas Day Swim.

“Low tide is rough, ’cause you gotta walk out half a mile,” said David Smutny, a visitor from Washington, D.C.

Donning Santa hats and other festive gear, 49 swimmers signed up for the plunge, which took place at the Mattapoisett Town Beach at 11 a.m.

Though the weather was only a few degrees above freezing, sentiments were warm and cozy among swimmers and family members, many who brought towels and hot chocolate to the chilly folks after the swim.

The swim was a fundraiser for Helping Hands and Hooves, a therapeutic horseback riding program for people with special needs. Proceeds will fund the organization’s riding lessons.

Organizers Jackie and Abby Dyson said this year’s swim was a success.

“It turned out much better than it normally is,” said Jackie. “There are a lot of little kids here this year.”

Volunteers dressed in Santa suits help run the event, organized by Helping Hands and Hooves. (Photo by: Zarrin Tasnim Ahmed)
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Toys for Tots

Tri-town Toys for Tots

Tri-town students, police fill three cruisers

By Tanner Harding | Dec 14, 2016

Photo by: Tanner HardingA giant teddy bear takes up the last bit of space in the back of a Marion cruiser.

MATTAPOISETT — Old Rochester Regional National Honor Society students teamed up with the Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester Police Departments for a good cause this holiday season.

On Wednesday morning, students and police officers collected toy donations to support Toys for Tots, filling three police cruisers.

The cruisers sat in the parking lot and parents, teachers and other donators were able drop off any gifts they had.

The ORR Honor Society has done this event for the past four years, but this is the group’s first time working with the police, teacher Sarabeth Morell said.

“[Mattapoisett officer] Matt McGraw is the student resource officer here, and decided he wanted to help,” Morell said. “He was able to help get the police departments on board.”

Collections will continue through Dec. 16 at the school during business hours.

The Rochester cruiser also had a furry friend in the back seat. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)

All three cruisers were stuffed full with donations. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)

Students stood at Route 6 in front of the school to draw attention to the toy drive. (Courtesy of: Sarabeth Morrell)

The cruisers had their lights on so there was no confusion as to where the toy drive was.(Courtesy of: Sarabeth Morrell)

Sgt. Teddy Bear reporting for duty. (Photo by: Sarabeth Morrell)
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Mattapoisett’s Holiday in the Park

Hundreds attend Mattapoisett’s Holiday in the Park

By Georgia Sparling | Dec 10, 2016

Photo by: Georgia SparlingSanta, Mrs. Claus and their elf helper greeted a line of kids with Christmas wishes.

MATTAPOISETT — Holiday in the Park had snacks, singing and, of course, Santa.

Held annually at Shipyard Park, the event brings together hundreds of residents to celebrate the season. Local restaurants provide food to sample, there is face painting and coloring for kids, and Christmas music from The Occasion Singers and student musicians.

At 4:30 p.m. everyone gathered to see the tree lights go on for the first time.

The tree was decorated with ornaments and wishes from Mattapoisett elementary students.


The Christmas tree lights come on! (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

A sweet Christmas wish from a local student. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

The Occasion Singers perform. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

Frosty and Rudolph give a high five. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

Sally Butler, Julia Sheridan, Maggie Brogioli and Sarah DeSousa take a seat in the giant chair.(Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

The Mattapoisett Boy Scouts try to sell the last of their wreaths. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

Jacob Castanhinha, 4, is a mini Rudolph. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)

Baby Ethan Lorenco meets Santa. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
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