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New program will encourage people to 'Buy Holyoke'

Date: 6/6/2012

June 6, 2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

HOLYOKE — A new program to encourage prospective homeowners to consider settling down in Holyoke will have a formal kick-off June 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Holyoke Heritage State Park.

"Buy Holyoke Now" is an on-going campaign that will offer incentives for people to purchase a home in Holyoke. Mayor Alex Morse explained to Reminder Publications that the program is modeled after other successful "Buy Now" programs across the state.

The program in Springfield has yielded more than 100 new home purchases.

Morse said one of the advantages to the Holyoke program is the diversity of homes and locations in the city. He said the housing stock ranges from modern to Victorian and there are urban, suburban and rural locations.

Another plus for considering the city, he noted, is the affordability of the properties and the less expensive taxes.

"You get more for your money here," Morse said.

The event on June 7 will feature businesses participating in the program. The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, Children's Museum and the Volleyball Hall of Fame will be open and there will be prizes raffled off throughout the evening for those in attendance.

Morse said that participants in the program would be the recipients of special discounts and offers. He noted that Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) will offer homeowners through the program a 20 percent discount during the first year of ownership. Another offer from HG&E would be a $5,000 no interest loan on new boilers.

"Buy Holyoke Now" has partnered with several law offices that offer discounts on closing costs. Morse will send a welcome basket to each new homebuyer and other city businesses will be offering discounts for goods and services.

PeoplesBank and Holyoke Credit Union are also participating in the program with their mortgage programs.

Morse also hopes that other businesses will participate in the program. He added there will be on-going events and the launch of a website, www.buyholyokenow.

"I am excited to launch 'Buy Holyoke Now,'" Morse said. "This initiative has been successful for other communities in the area, and I am confident that Holyoke's housing market and local economy will benefit from this program. The goal of 'Buy Holyoke Now' is to not only encourage homeownership in the city of Holyoke, but also to help stimulate local business in the process. As mayor, it is my priority to market Holyoke as an exciting place to live, work, have fun, and most importantly, buy a home. I encourage those who are contemplating buying a home in Holyoke to stop by this event to see how 'Buy Holyoke Now' can help them in the process."

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