Kate Hogan -Amherst, MA real estate, Hadley, MA real estate, Northampton, MA real estate
Kate Hogan - Amherst & Pioneer Valley Realtor

When we think of smart home appliances, it can be easy to think of virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri. But the truth is that smart home technology is integrated into nearly every appliance you can think of. Some of these gadgets are created primarily for convenience (e.g., starting your coffee maker when your alarm clock goes off). Some are designed to pay for themselves many times over. We'll look at five that have great rates of return.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats track resident location to determine where you are and when you'll be back home. This kind of intuitive feature has been known to save up to 15% on cooling and 12% on heating. It's calibrated to cut energy by just enough to conserve your resources but not enough so it has to overwork by the time you get back. The return on investment (ROI) of your smart thermostat will depend on how often you're home and what temperature you target. If nothing else, it means you don't have to reset it every time you go on vacation.

Smart Moisture Sensors

Water damage is a seriously expensive problem for any homeowner to have. Smart moisture sensors can detect a puddle tucked in a back corner or a small leak in the walls that hasn't yet made its presence known. Before you even have the chance to expose residents to mold or make the call to a repairman to fix the walls, you'll get an alert whenever there's trouble. It's a great way to stave off excess bills.

Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smart detectors will send alerts to your phone just in case you're not there when something occurs. This makes it easier for you to take action during the initial stages of the problem. Luckily, the smart smoke detectors of today were built to distinguish between dangerous smoke and someone who burnt their toast. They're so effective that many insurance companies give discounts or rebates when you buy them.

Smart Sprinklers

Do you always forget to turn off your sprinklers when there's rain in the forecast? Don't take the chance when you install smart sprinkler systems. By automatically adjusting the output based on external conditions, you'll avoid drowning your lawn. This appliance is controlled by an app and highly recommended for anyone who prizes their garden or lawn.

Smart Plugs

It's easy to leave the light on when you leave a room. A smart plug gives you the option of controlling your electricity even when you're not home so that you don't have to pay the bills for one simple mistake. Whether you go to the store for an hour or on vacation for a week, you get total peace of mind. Plus, you can use smart plugs to make it look like someone is there even if they're not.

People invest in smart home technology for many reasons, but a common one is because they're looking to actually make more money than they spend. When you prioritize efficiency with better technology, you can cut back on your utility bills.

408 N Main St, Sunderland, MA 01375



Up on the hill in Sunderland sits this beautiful 3 bedroom custom built Colonial on almost an acre of land with a spacious yard, attached 3 car garage, shed, and garden area. Peaceful and serene. Built in 1988 with classic charm. Inside you will find a large breezeway sitting area, office space, living room with pellet stove, gorgeous woodworking throughout, a 1st floor full bath, eat in kitchen with walkout to the deck, and dining room. Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms, a full bath attached to a large primary bedroom with balcony and walk through closet. Full basement ample space for plenty of storage. There is a bonus room above the garage. Large deck for relaxing. Close to the town center. A charming setting. Showings start Sat 7/31 from (9am- noon), Sun 8/1 (9am - noon), Monday 8/2 12-4 by appt only.
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No scheduled Open Houses

162 Pine Grove Dr, South Hadley, MA 01075



Full/Half Baths
Looking for an affordable condo in a nice complex with tennis courts and community pools? Pine Grove is centrally located and very well maintained close to all area amenities. One level living. This beautiful garden style condo includes an open floor plan with spacious kitchen, dining area, a half bath, large living room with stone fireplace, cathedral ceilings, and deck perfect for grilling and entertaining. Down the hallway you will find a full bath with laundry, guest bedroom, and large primary bedroom. Natural light throughout. Finished basement with utilities and a work out space. New water heater. Two assigned parking spaces. Sit back and relax at Pine Grove. Come see it today!
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No scheduled Open Houses

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Modern homes are built with your comfort, convenience and safety in mind. And that’s exactly why so many come with video doorbells and camera systems installed. With this equipment at your fingertips, you can monitor the security of your home right from your phone, tablet or computer. It’s really as easy as that. Here’s what you need to know about these helpful systems as you look to buy a new home.

Types of Residential Camera Systems

Home builders have a ton of camera styles and brands to choose from as they look to upgrade the safety and security of each residence.

The most popular styles used in new construction homes include:

  • Video doorbell: Allows you to view who is at the door or review prior visitors 
  • Floodlight camera: Most often used to provide a clear view of the driveway or backyard
  • Basic outdoor cam: Works best in well-illuminated areas that benefit from monitoring
  • Indoor cameras: Usually installed in shared living areas for checking up on kids and pets

They may include just one type or all of them, largely depending on their prospective buyers’ preferences. You can also add cameras to the systems if you want additional coverage after buying the home.

Benefits of Using Cams Around Your Home

Without video cameras, you have to get up and look around every time you feel like something is amiss. And if you’re not home, then it’s impossible to know until you get back. But if you have the right equipment in all the key areas, you can use them in the following ways.

Detect Intruders

Video doorbells and outdoor cameras continuously monitor the area for motion and send a notification through the app upon noticing activity. If you notice someone who shouldn’t be there, then you can set off the alarm and use the microphone to tell them to leave. If that doesn’t work, you can call the authorities, and they will send help out right away.

Screen Your Visitors

If you want to screen your visitors, you can easily do that with a doorbell camera. Just listen for notifications and open up the app each time someone approaches the door. Then, you can let them know that you just put the baby down for a nap or are otherwise not taking visitors at that time – all without getting up from your seat.

Keep Your Kids Safe

With video cameras indoors and out, you can keep a close eye on your kids whether you’re home or away. You can even talk to them through the speakers to see how they are doing or remind them about the house rules. And if a vase gets broken while you’re away and no one claims responsibility? You can review the activity to see who’s responsible for cleaning up the mess and buying a new one.

Monitor Pets

If you want to see what your pets are up to while you’re away from them, then video cameras are the way to go. You can monitor their activity while they’re in the backyard or inside as long as you have the right devices set up. You can even offer them reassurance if they’re feeling a little nervous while you’re away, keeping separation anxiety induced behavior to a minimum.

As you can see, the sky is the limit in how you can use your video doorbells and camera systems to monitor the security and wellbeing of your household.

How to Start Using Your Cameras

If you’re buying a new construction home decked out with video doorbells and camera systems, the seller will let you know how to use them. You’ll likely just need to download the app, connect to the cameras, and you’re ready to start monitoring your home. If you have any problems after that, you can contact the equipment manufacturer with your questions and concerns.

After you complete a home showing, you may face a dilemma. If you like a house following a showing, you may want to set up a follow-up showing or submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you are dissatisfied with the results of a home showing, you may want to continue your house search.

It helps to know what to expect after you attend a house showing. Because if you know what to do following a showing, you may be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you make the best-possible decision about a house following a showing.

1. Assess the Pros and Cons of a House

Performing a comprehensive home analysis is a must after a showing. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of a residence and decide whether a house is right for you.

Think about how you felt as you walked through each room of a house. If you can envision yourself as the owner of a home, you may want to move sooner rather than later to submit an offer to purchase.

Conversely, if you find a house is in need of major repairs or simply does not suit your lifestyle, you should not hesitate to continue your house search. With a diligent approach to home evaluations, you should have no trouble discovering your dream residence in the foreseeable future.

2. Consider the Next Step in Your Homebuying Journey

When it comes to finding the perfect residence, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. And if you have a plan in place for what to do after a home showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

For example, a home seller could accept a rival buyer's offer to purchase before you have time to consider your options following a showing. But if you have a backup plan in place, you can move quickly to continue your homebuying journey, regardless of how a showing pans out.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about the best course of action at a home showing's conclusion, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This will enable you to gain expert insights into the housing market and make an informed decision about how to proceed with a particular residence.

A real estate agent is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. Following a home showing, a real estate agent can meet with you and help you review all of the options at your disposal. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will make it easy to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

There is no need to worry about what to do after a house showing. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision following a home showing.