Williamstown, Massachusetts — Green Home For Sale

Solar panels, added insulation, no pesticides, highly efficient oil furnace. So many more features!


Listing ID: 19361


  • Green Home
  • Healthy Home
  • Photovoltaic (PV)

Asking Price (USD) $445,000
Annual Property Tax $5,624
Annual Utility Cost $1,484
Home Area 1,360 sq ft
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 1
Total Property Area 5.6 acres
Year Built 1957

Property Description

In a rural setting with 5+ acres of wetland, stream, woods, and meadow, this airy, light-filled, 1360-square foot home offers quiet privacy, yet connects you easily to the nature and culture of the Berkshires. A short walk down a private road brings you to conserved land with a beaver pond and hiking trails. Bike two miles to a farm that sells raw milk, cage-free chickens and eggs, and grass-fed beef. Go three miles to the concerts and plays at Williams College, avant-garde films at the arts theater, or the world-renowned Clark Museum. Fifteen minute drive to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and under an hour to Jacobs Pillow Dance Company, Tanglewood (summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), and many more. You won’t ever want to leave, but if you do, the Albany, NY airport, with service by all major airlines, is an hour away.

The main floor has two bedrooms plus den and 2 bathrooms. A walk-out lower level has two more finished rooms that could be study, den, or additional sleeping space. One of these rooms has a large window wall looking out onto woods and fields. A screen porch and flagstone patio extend your living to the outdoors.

Every room in the house has mountain views—year round or seasonal. Hardwood floors, many windows, and a cathedral ceiling enhance the elegant simplicity. The light in this home is extraordinary.

In the past five years, this 1950’s home has been significantly upgraded with nontoxic materials to enhance its energy efficiency and indoor air quality. No smoking, pets, or carpet. The owner, who has asthma and multiple-chemical sensitivity, has been able to stop taking steroids and all other medications since moving to this house.

A detached studio building, 24 x 24, has a cathedral ceiling, large window wall, mountain view, and electric heat, plus a wood stove. Perfect for wood working, art studio, teen hang-out, gardening shed, study, or just a quiet retreat. There are two single-car garages—one attached and one detached, plus a new 10 x 16 shed constructed from locally-harvested lumber.

The hilltop location and large shade trees mean that the current owners have not needed the air conditioning, but a wall-mounted unit is in place, and it cools the living area and master bedroom.

A large garden with richly-composted soil has had no pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers in five years. Also reap the harvest from four mature heritage apple trees, raspberries, asparagus, and several blueberry bushes. Another potential half acre of garden space, together with the property’s agricultural zoning, mean that you could feed your family from this land.


What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?

The hot-water heating system carries clean, quiet heat to every room—no forced-air distribution of dust and pollen through the home. A new, high-efficiency oil furnace, as well as added blown-in cellulose insulation in walls and ceilings, have reduced the heating costs. The original glazed, single-pane windows are insulated with storm windows on the outside and the inside (the inside ones are removable for summer use with screens). The Solar panels, grid-tied, provide 80% of the electric.

Only low-VOC or no-VOC finishes have been used for the past five years. The original European-style kitchen cabinets have been modernized with easy-glide drawers and pull-outs, without new cabinetry or other off-gassing materials. There has been no carpet, no pets, no smoking, and only “green” cleaning products in the house for the past five years. To our knowledge, no pets or smoking in years prior to that, either. The original hardwood floors were refinished with lo-VOC polyurethane five years ago, and there is ceramic tile in the bathrooms. The dry basement has never had water. Since purchasing this home five years ago, the current owner has been able to stop taking steroids and other medications for asthma. This home lets you breathe free.

The property’s 5+ acres connect to other conserved wetlands, wood, and meadows, going on up into the Taconic mountains. In this important setting, the current owners have undertaken a major project to restore native habitat. A professional native habitat restoration company has removed invasive honeysuckle, buckthorn, and multiflora rose from 2 acres of wetland, and now native plants are arising. As we write this, in early spring, native cuckoo flower and golden Alexander drift across the wetland under native dogwoods, witch hazel, and pussy willow.

In the 2+ acres of woods, the owners have removed garlic mustard, barberry, multiflora rose, vinca, and pachysandra to make room for flourishing native jack-in-the-pulpit, baneberry, white snake root, aster, and others.

On the one-acre meadow, which five years ago was an expanse of mowed lawn, mowing has stopped, and native wild flowers are gradually coming in or being planted. Bees and butterflies now gather nectar from native beebalm, cardinal flower, boneset, Joe Pye, oxeye daisy, black-eyed Susan, lobelia, blue lupine, foxglove beard-tongue, and others.


Neighborhood Description

Neighborhood Description
The property is situated on a paved road with little traffic. Along the road is a mix of conserved land, farmland, and well-maintained homes that range from modest ranches to high-priced mansions. Gently rolling hills are crisscrossed by streams. Across the road is a well-kept horse farm. We have never smelled any manure or other smells from the farm. We just get to watch the elegant thoroughbreds and their foals. About a mile down the road is a lovely country store with great sandwiches and pastries, which you can enjoy in their sunny lunch room.
The Williamstown high school is a ten-minute walk through the woods.


Market Area

Three miles away is the town of Williamstown (population 6,000), site of Williams College and the world-renowned Clark Museum of Art. Many concerts, plays, and speakers are open to residents at little or no cost. Images Cinema shows art films. Restaurants serve local organic foods as well as Thai, Indian, and other cuisines. Williamstown has a thriving natural foods coop store where you can buy organic food from local farms and dairies. Hiking and biking trails abound. Lakes and rivers offer canoeing and kayaking.

A few miles away is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, where you can buy organic produce. Two miles to a farm where you can see the cows in their pastures, pigs in their pens, and hens in the yard, and you can buy their meat, eggs, raw milk, artisan cheeses, and fresh-baked breads. A half mile to a farm that sells local maple syrup. The Village of Williamstown still has town meetings. The Village, together with many conservation organizations such as the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation and the Hoosick River Watershed Association work to enhance and preserve the agricultural and natural resources. People who care about nature and the land will find many companions here.

Less than an hour drive brings you to Albany (New York’s state capital). The Albany airport serves all major airlines. You can catch a train there to New York City (about 2 hours train ride), Philadelphia, and other East Coast cities, or west to Rochester and Buffalo. Three hours drive takes you to Boston.

Surrounding towns contain old mills that have attracted artists and art studios. Two local colleges serve the area: Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts. An hour takes you to SUNY University at Albany, and under two hours to the University of Massachusetts’ flagship campus at Amherst.


School District

Williamstown Elementary/ Greylock High School


Community


Home Type or Land

Single Family - Single Level


Location of Home or Land

Rural


Elevation of Home

Mountain


Building Details

Air Quality

Agriculture in Area Yes
Industry in Area No
Air Pollution in Area No
Pesticide Free Yes
Fragrance Free Yes
Cleaned with Green Products Yes

Interior Environment

Heating System Hydronic Floor Heat (radiant)
Cooling System Conventional Forced Air - A/C
Ventilation System Other
Whole House Filtration Other
Whole House Vacuum Yes

Energy & Water

Energy System Municipal Energy
Photovoltaic (PV)
Other
Water System Well
Wastewater System Septic System

Construction Information

Construction Type Wood Framing: 2x4, 2x6, etc.
Exterior Finish Wood
Interior Finish Gypsum Board - Sheet Rock
Interior Paint AFM
Low VOC
Floor Material Tile
Wood - Solid
Roof Material Other
Window Material Wood Single Glazed
Other
Insulation Material Fiberglass

Garage / Car Port

Garage / Carport Yes
Garage Type Attached
Number of Cars 2
Garage Area 0 sqft