Kate Hogan -Amherst, MA real estate, Hadley, MA real estate, Northampton, MA real estate
Kate Hogan - Amherst MA Realtor


Trying to understand what that home description is all about? Whether you're new to the housing market or newly returned, you'll find terms used to describe homes that you might not recognize. Or, you may not understand what they truly mean in context. The word walkable, for instance, shouldn't apply to a home at all, should it? After all, houses can't just get up and walk away.

Defining the real [estate] meaning

In real estate and urban parlance, a walkable neighborhood might refer to a community where services such as grocery and other shops, restaurants, bars, parks, and other recreation areas are reachable on foot within a 10-to-15 minute timeframe.

In another area, walkable might mean that public transportation to urban areas is within walking distance. In this case, the neighborhood itself may not hold the services but does support its being in reach via bus or train access.

Still, other definitions of walkable mean that the community has lighted footpaths, sidewalks, urban (or suburban) trails and other means by which residents may walk for exercise or recreation. Or, that the community provides opportunities and programs for residents to walk.

Breaking down “walkable” themes

With all the various definitions in use, a Harvard study published these themes as most important to walkability.

Environmental dimensions adding to walkability:

  • Traversable: environments with the physical conditions—sidewalks, trails, footpaths—to allow traverse from one place to another without difficulty.
  • Compact: where the distance between places is relatively short.
  • Safe: lower crime rates, lighted pathways, marked and controlled crosswalks, and additional safety features add to the safe walkability of a neighborhood.
  • Physically enticing: settings with full accessibility to pedestrians that include landscaping, signage, benches, shade trees, pathways, street lights, and views.

Outcome dimensions of walkability

  • Social: a location with lively shopping and dining areas, typically mixed-use live/work situations and the friendly people that live, work, or visit there.
  • Transportation: is the perception that both social equality (age, income, disability) and environmental preservation are sustainable via public transit.
  • Exercise-inducing: forced exercise due to proximity to work, transportation, or services, or the lack of suitable parking that goes with living in a more urban area.

Designing for walkability

  • Measurable: the neighborhood design or redevelopment includes walkability as a quantifiable outcome based on specific indicators.
  • Holistic: in this case, walkability references communities of improved urban living with slower pace built in, scaled for human health and happiness, devised to promote interaction.

None of these is definitive, but if you’re looking for a neighborhood that defines “walkable” for you, check the walk score website, which measures over 100 aspects of walkability, and talk to your local real estate professional about what works for you.


Even if you’re not hopping on a jet plane for a getaway anytime soon, you can make your own backyard your very own relaxation spot. There are a variety of ways that you can get your backyard to a place of zen. 


Focus On The Deck


Your deck can become its own destination. If you have room for multiple levels, use each site for different activities like dining and relaxing. You can use plants or other outdoor items to define the designated spaces on the deck. At the same time, the entire landscape of the area will blend in together, looking natural. 


Make Your Yard An Extension Of Your Home


Your yard can become an extension of your home’s interior pretty easily. Whether you have a season room, a deck, or a patio, you’ll want to be outdoors as much as possible. You can design any of these spaces to be an extension of your home’s architectural design and interior design. From the way your furniture is laid out to the colors you choose to the overall design of the room or patio space, you’ll be able to bring the overall feel you want for your home both indoors and out. 


Create Your Dream Kitchen Outdoors


If you love to eat outdoors and spend a lot of time grilling, an outdoor kitchen could be for you. Any kind of grill will do. To make your outdoor kitchen complete, you’ll need a prep space, complete with countertops. Installing a separate burner will bring your outdoor cooking experience to the next level. If you have the resources, add an outdoor refrigerator and sink to make both the preparation of food and the outdoor cleanup process easier.


Keep Your Privacy 


You want to keep your yard private when you create the perfect outdoor space. Enclosing the space will make your yard feel more like a private escape if it has some sort of enclosure. You can use anything from a fence to walls to bushes and trees. Get creative with how you ensure your privacy.


Make Sure You Have Shade


Even if you love the sun, the shade can be welcome on a hot, bright day. There’s so many ways that you can create shade including using umbrellas, awnings, or natural shade from trees and greenery.  


Define Your Space


You can make your space even more of a pleasant place if you use some sort of structure to define it. Things you can install include a gazebo, pergolas, arbor ways, trellises, or other outdoor structures. If you have a pool, a pool house would add to this division of your yard. It’s not a bad idea to have your entire yard categorized in different spots just like your deck to make your yard an oasis.


This Single-Family in Amherst, MA recently sold for $479,900. This Cape style home was sold by Kate Hogan - Sawicki Real Estate.


17 Elm St, Amherst, MA 01002

Single-Family

$479,900
Price
$479,900
Sale Price

7
Rooms
2
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
In Town!! Stylish Bill Gass original, one of only two houses on Elm Street! Walk to Amherst center, shops, restaurants, UMass, and more. Inside you will find a lovely screened porch that leads out to the patio, renovated kitchen with gorgeous cabinetry and breakfast area, dining room, half bath, office, and inviting, spacious living room with fireplace. On the second level there are 2 bedrooms and a full bath. Wood floors throughout, crown moldings, dutch doors. The yard is perfect for relaxing and entertaining. Attached 1 car garage. Charming Classic New England Cape with modern updates, natural light, and a great location! One of a kind!

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175 N Main St, Deerfield, MA 01373

Single-Family

$315,000
Price

8
Rooms
4
Beds
2
Baths
Great location! Close to town, schools, area amenities, Mt Sugarloaf, and Rt 91. This 4 bedroom, 2 bath farmhouse located on beautiful North Main St in Deerfield has been well cared by one family for years with endless possibilities. Horses? A mini farm? Both would work here. Spacious 2.8 acre lot, attached carport garage, large attached barn, garden and farming options, and screened front porch for those relaxing days. Inside you will find a formal front entry with a large living room, 2 full baths, dining room, eat in kitchen, sun room, breezeway, side entry and back entry. Two sets of stairs take you to the second story where there are 4 bedrooms. Versatile space. Sunlit rooms. Enjoy a nice walk on a warm summer night. This gem of a property has so much to offer. Come see it today!
Open House
Saturday
April 13 at 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 175 N Main St, Deerfield, MA 01373    Get Directions

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If you’d like to increase the value of your home by a slight amount before you even think of putting it on the market, you may be hesitant to make any kind of an investment. There are numerous upgrades that you can make to your home for under one thousand dollars. In the long run, these upgrades could help to save you some serious money. 


Put In A Programmable Thermostat


The majority of energy usage in your home is consumed by your heating and cooling systems. Using a programmable thermostat can help to keep the temperature inside your home stable throughout the day. Your heating and cooling system won’t need to continually start and restart to create a stable temperature in the home. This could be a great assistance in long-term energy and utility bill savings.


Get A New Toilet


If you want to impress buyers, put a new stylish looking toilet in your home. Upgrading your toilet can also bring your energy costs down. It will use less water with each flush and save you on your water bill.


Re-tile The Bathroom


Tiling a room yourself can be fairly inexpensive. It can also help you to breathe new life into the bathroom. Your tub will look brand new. Buyers will leave thinking that you have done an entire remodel of the bathroom. All you really need to do is replace some tile and grout. It’s a DIY project that can truly pay off with big dividends.


Re-tile Your Floors


Just like the bathroom, putting in a new kitchen tile or floor can really bring back some life into the room. Tile helps to rejuvenate the space by getting rid of dirty, tired flooring and backsplashes. 


If you need professional installation for any of these projects, you can splurge on it a bit. It does take some know how to understand the proper installation floor and backsplash tiles. Replacing the floors and tiles gives your home a new, clean look that will be an attractive upgrade to your home. 


Put Up New Window Fixtures


Replacing your blinds can really add something to each room of the house. Blinds can collect a lot of dust and dirt over time. While you may wash and clean them, sometimes, the dirt gets to a point where it’s completely stuck on. If you want to really make your buyers “wow,” try wood blinds. Most home improvement stores have a wide array of options for window blinds that allow you to customize both the size and style of your blinds.


Any upgrades that you can make to your home are an improvement for you while you’re living in it. These changes also allow you to get a bit more of a return on your property once you’re ready to sell.




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