Last spring we opened our South Hadley location, celebrating Swenson Granite Works’ ninth store opening in New England and our fifth store in Massachusetts (Rowley, Medway, Hanover and Shrewsbury). It’s been fun getting to know the community. One year later, we heard from a few of our new neighbors, including realtor Aimee Kelly, that they thought we weren’t open to the public. Wow! That was a big surprise to us and we’re about to change that impression in a big way.
South Hadley Store Manager Daniel Richard and Assistant Manager Thomas "TJ" Gajewski
We’re getting the word out with a big celebration and have invited all homeowners, diy’ers, home builders, contractors, landscapers, designers and architects to an Open House on Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our South Hadley store located at 489 Granby Rd, South Hadley MA. Join us as we kick off the outdoor renovation season with tips for increasing your home’s value, product demos and discounts, a fire pit giveaway, food, and more.
Learn about the natural stone quarried right in New England and available to you in South Hadley for your next outdoor project – granite steps, mailbox post, lamp post, pavers, edging, fire pit, bench, pool coping and more. Make your home your own with us!
During the Open House, we’re partnering with local realtor Aimee Kelly, where she will share her tips for adding value to your home with natural stone. We recently had a chance to catch up with Aimee during this interview and hope you’ll enjoy the time as much as we did.
Q: Tell us a bit about how you got into real estate?
A: I was introduced into real estate when I lived on the West Coast. I had just graduated San Diego State University with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and we decided to move from California to Arizona. My husband decided to get into the business because the market was booming at that time! I chose to stay at home and raise our three children but watched, listened and learned from behind the scenes. My husband and I purchased two homes by the time I was 26, which gave us added exposure to the home buying process early in life. That being said, I really felt a connection to the real estate process and everything it entailed. I knew once all my children were in school that real estate was the business I wanted to be in full-time.
Q: When did you move to South Hadley and what do you love about the community?
A: After living in Arizona for five years we decided to relocate to Massachusetts. I knew nothing about MA and wanted to see homes in every town in western MA before deciding where to live. We moved to South Hadley in December 2006. It was Christmas and the South Hadley Village Commons was decorated with beautiful lights and wreaths and there were kids lined up to see Santa Clause in the Pavilion. I knew instantly that South Hadley was the town I wanted to live in! I always say, "I didn’t choose South Hadley, it chose me." It had everything we were looking for. It has an adorable small town feel but with amazing amenities and yet close to any where you need to be.
Q: You mention sourcing and buying local as being important to you. Explain.
A: It’s extremely important to source and buy local within our community. I have found that there are plenty of business owners nearby who work extremely hard to provide quality products and services. I want to support the people around me because they are a part of what makes this town so great.
Q: How will you incorporate the call to “buy local” into your work and home renovations?
A: I’m producing a series on social media called "Making Your Home Your Own” where I’ll spotlight local businesses and share educational fun facts, tips and tricks, ideas and upcoming design trends to inspire others to do the same in their homes. Launching the program at Swenson's South Hadley Open House is going to be tons of fun!
Q: Please share some tips for increasing your home’s value with curb appeal.
A: As a realtor, I am asked all the time if I put "X" into my home will I be able to see the return on investment? I'm also the expert that sits down with these potential sellers to determine what their home’s value is and why certain home renovations produce a greater ROI than others. This is largely based on what potential buyers are willing to pay more for.
Curb appeal is extremely important as it sets the tone immediately as to whether or not the prospective buyer feels instantly impressed or perhaps let down. It also gives the buyer a feeling as if the home has been well taken care of or let go. There are all kinds of things a homeowner can do to enhance their home’s curb appeal, both big and small.
Some of my favorite things that someone can do to "make their home their own" are in the little things such as improving something as simple as a mailbox. It could very well be the first thing someone sees depending on where it's placed. I love the idea of making a statement with something you utilize on a daily basis and something that most people see from the moment they arrive. It’s the little things that can make a big impression. So why not use a timeless piece of beautiful granite to be the statement you make with your mailbox post?
Woodbury Gray granite mailbox post
If you are going to go big and get the most value for your dollar, then you can’t go wrong with a well-kept walkway and front steps that lead you up to that all important front door. There are so many ways to make your home your own from creating walkways with unique stone and granite pavers to a new patio for entertaining. And, you really can’t go wrong with stone. It’s timeless, durable and attractive.
So many times I show homes where the concrete front steps are pulling away from the front door due to settling or the New England weather taking a toll on them. Most buyers instantly think it’s going to be very expensive for them to fix the issue. I think it might be surprising for most homeowners to know that depending on the height of your front steps, the cost to replace concrete with granite steps and a landing is more affordable than one might think. A basic three step set of stairs is around $1,000 and the return on investment is well-worth it.
Q: Since we’re talking about first impressions, what was your impression of our South Hadley retail store?
A: The showroom was much larger than I expected and it was filled with beautiful ornamental products that most homeowners would love to have in their yard such as bird baths, lamp posts, benches and fountains. Outside, the options seemed endless. The products are laid out very nicely for the public to see. The staff is very helpful and friendly and on-hand to answer all of my questions. Swenson is an absolute wonderful addition to our business community. I'm looking forward to the Open House and introducing more locals like myself to the products!
Check out Aimee's promo video for the South Hadley Open House!
Get more info on the Open House where you can hang out with Aimee, enter to win a Swenson Granite Works DIY fire pit kit and download a coupon for 10% off your entire purchase.