Buying a Home: Tips on Financial Planning & Navigating a Wild Market (5/20)

Join us IN PERSON at Weston Hall at Williams College from 12 to 1:30pm. This information session is open to all spouses/partners and Williams employees.

A casual lunch will be offered.

Registration is essential; please register on this Google form by 5/15.

Are you looking for a home in this region? Are you trying to figure out the ins and outs of  such a big financial commitment, and wondering if this wild market is even worth dipping your toes into?

Join us to hear from a panel of experts who tackle these questions daily and are ready to inform, dispel myths and offer some important tips on the home-buying process. As one of our panelists states, “It doesn’t end when you get the offer accepted.” We will go through back-end essentials, such as strategizing and saving for a large purchase, and the on-the-ground realities of searching for and negotiating a home in the area. Laura Gura, Associate General Counsel at Williams, will also be on hand to represent the Williams Real Estate Program.

Our panelists:

  • Home Inspector Emily Coughlin
  • Mortgage and Business Development Officer Sarah Gaffey
  • Financial planner Ellen Janis
  • Realtors Carrie Wright and Matthew Chow

Also present to offer feedback and meet participants will be Mary O’Connell, Mortgage Originator for Mountain One Bank, and Jake Dabrowski, AVP Mortgage Originations for Adams Community Bank (and a spouse/partner!)

About our panelists:
  • Matthew Chow is originally from Los Angeles and a long time resident in the Berkshires, having relocated here as a spouse/partner of a Williams employee. Matt is a full-time licensed Realtor with Alton & Westall Real Estate Agency LLC who has been involved in assisting sellers and buyers in residential real estate since 2004.  He brings his conversational Mandarin Chinese and basic Spanish skills to buyers and sellers.
  • Emily Coughlin, Certified Home Inspector with Northeast Home Inspections LTD.  This Dalton-based business has been providing certified home inspections, construction inspections, multi-family inspections, commercial inspections, condominium inspections, pre-listing inspections and more since 1995.
  • Sarah Gaffey, “… a banking professional with 25 years of experience, began her career as a bank teller, later evolving into management for seven years. She continued her experience in the lending department for an additional 14 years. Equipped with longstanding experience in her field, Sarah takes exceptional pride in guiding her members through the home buying process from application to closing and beyond.” She has been with Greylock Federal Credit Union since 2018.
  • Ellen Janis has been a financial planner with Commonwealth Financial Group for 8 years. Her background in non-profit fundraising lends itself perfectly to supporting those who are associated with educational institutions.  Ellen notes that this career combines “her love for helping people with the skills she had gained at business school.” She believes “that relationship building is key to helping her clients develop long-term strategies that truly fit who they are and where they want to go.” Ellen lives in North Adams and serves on the board of numerous local non-profits.
  • Carrie Wright is a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty. A lifelong resident of the Berkshires, she is centrally located in the Pittsfield area and has been selling homes in every price bracket. She notes that, with her “multifaceted background as a marketing director, curator, art educator, and gallery manager, I offer a holistic approach to real estate.”