“Buy Holyoke Now” offers incentives to attract new families to the city

The City collaboration hosted an Open House Extravaganza on Sunday.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Realtors, insurance agents and nonprofit organizations are uniting in Holyoke to show what the city has to offer.

“We all want one thing and that is to promote Holyoke’s growth,” said Real Estate Agent John Brunelle of B & B Real Estate.

Realtors may compete to sell a house, but they’re working together through the collaboration known as “Buy Holyoke Now.”

It’s an effort to attract new families, like the Horns, to the City. They said they were told Holyoke had crime and wouldn’t be a good place to live. After house hunting in small, quaint towns, Holyoke was still their favorite.

“You’ve got a cross-section of ethnicities and incomes and it’s like real-world and there’s just this huge wealth of beautiful gems in terms of the architecture,” said Linda Horn. She and her husband currently live in a rental home in Holyoke, after recently moving to Massachusetts from Florida.

On Sunday, Buy Holyoke Now sponsored open houses at more than a dozen homes across the City.

Brunelle told 22News “Buy Holyoke Now” has these open houses twice a year. Once in the Fall and once in the Spring, when the housing market is the busiest. “The market is wonderful for either people that are looking to get into their first house or to downsize. We welcome everybody here. We’re a very diverse community,” he said.

Prospective homeowners toured grand Victorians, multifamily homes and condos, learning about both the homes and incentives Holyoke offered.

“[There are] great incentive programs for first-time homebuyers. You don’t necessarily need to be a first time homebuyer in general, but a first time homebuyer in Holyoke. That’s the whole point of the program, trying to get people back into Holyoke,” said real estate agent Shelly Hardy of The Murphys Realtors. She was showing a Victorian home.

City leaders hope to attract new restaurants and businesses to downtown Holyoke, and attracting new families to live in the City is all part of that revitalization effort.

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