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


Buying a home that works for both seniors and young children can be complicated, if not impossible. When searching for a new home, it’s important to keep in mind the special requirements for every member of your family both now, and as they continue to age.

Parents or other older relatives may need assistance getting upstairs or in and out of a tub. Even if they are fine now, aging is a tricky thing and mobility issues can crop up at any time. Planning for them now can save you money and stress in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum, child-proofing a home is important for small children or new infants, so keep an eye out for sharp edges and remember you’ll have to bring strollers, high-chairs, car seats and more so plan for easy-to-open doors. Don’t forget that as your kids get older, their needs will change as well: plan for privacy and personal space where you can to save on upgrading your home in the future.

For the best home search, make sure to let your real estate agent know who all will be living with you. He or she can assist in finding homes with the features you need and can provide advice about what things are feasible to change yourself, and what will make a house cost more than your budget in the long run.

Some important features to look for include:

  • Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.
  • Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? We can help! Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.
  • Wide Doorways: A door without a turning requirement (and those that open wider than a right angle) need to be at least 32 inches wide to ensure that wheelchairs and walkers will fit. Right angle doorways or those that require turning to enter or exit should be at least 36 inches wide.
  • Wide Hallways: For comfortable use by strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs, look for hallways that are at least 42 inches wide. That much space gives you the option of installing handrails on one or both sides. Handrails can help both small children learning to walk, and elderly people with mobility issues.

That’s the easy part. The hardest room for both the very young and the elderly is the bathroom. It’s a good idea to ensure that your home has a minimum of 2 full bathrooms to allow you to accommodate the needs of all members of your family. Seniors need ADA toilets (also called comfort height) and grab bars, while your small child would need an extra-tall stool to use the taller toilet. Large showers with floor level entrances, seats and grab bars are best for the elderly, but its often easier to wash your kids in a tub, especially when they’re young. With two bathrooms, you can satisfy the needs of everyone in the family.

Last, but not least, pay attention to faucets, handles, and knobs. Rounded ones can be difficult for both the old and young members of your family. Look for a single handle, lever and touchless options for the best results all around. Don’t forget to test cabinets and drawers for weight or friction pull closers since those are more difficult than soft close or magnetic options. It’s okay if the home doesn’t come pre-fitted with the knobs, handles, etc. you want, a quick trip to your local hardware store will solve it.

Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.

Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.


This Single-Family in Belchertown, MA recently sold for $328,000. This Cape style home was sold by Kate Hogan - Sawicki Real Estate.


9 Sheffield Dr, Belchertown, MA 01007

Single-Family

$324,900
Price
$328,000
Sale Price

7
Rooms
4
Beds
2
Baths
Welcome to this well maintained 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom Cape in Sheffield Estates on just over an acre! The first floor features a country style kitchen, dining room with bay window, large cozy living room with pellet stove, a full bath, two bedrooms that are flexible and could be used as an office if one desires. The 2nd floor features two spacious bedrooms with plenty of closet space as well as a full bathroom. Many updates have been done recently, pellet stove with auto battery back up installed in 2009, new well pump in 2011, new roof/siding 2005, new garage door 2013, Brand new furnace and Central air just installed April 2019! Enjoy the large deck on the rear of the house overlooking the nicely landscaped backyard. In need of additional square footage?? Nice size basement to finish and do what you wish with. Just a ten minute drive to downtown Amherst!

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Many are often overwhelmed by the situations that come with moving such as stress and the need to adjust to a new environment. In this excitement, it is easy to divert attention from the security of the house to other things.

You are probably saying 'It is a new home and should be safe by default.' The truth is: even in the safest neighborhood, crimes happen occasionally. Also, when the environment is safe, there is a need to add an extra layer of security to check unwarranted intrusion, theft, and harm to you.Here are essential home security tips you need to keep your new home safe.

Change the locks

A new home is an investment, and you don't want to lose it, or parts of it, to burglars. Old locks are vulnerable to lock picks if they are not the latest, more advanced types. Also, chances are someone else out there is still holding on to the key of your home. Therefore, the first thing to do when you move into a new house is to change all the locks to your outside doors.

Install an alarm and motion sensors

This security measure is one of the best ways to protect your home from burglary. These alarms come in different designs and technicalities for every budget. Also, consider installing motion sensitive outdoor lamps to pick any strange movement within your perimeter.

Install a video doorbell

With a video doorbell, you get visuals of everyone approaching your door. Some come with motion sensors and are even smart enough to transmit to your smartphone when you're away from home.

Video doorbells come with a two-way audio system as well. For instance, if you're in or away, you can communicate with anyone at your door.

Landscape your yard

If there are tall hedges, obstructing trees or bushes that can serve as hideouts for burglars, you are playing cards in their favor. It is best to get those shears to work. Trim hedges, cut branches of trees and if you must have the bushes, consider installing lighting fixtures there to scare the bad guys away.

The aim of landscaping your yard is to deny burglars the chance to hide and plan hideous crimes. Also, when your yard is free from obstructions, you can see all that is going on outside with ease.

Though moving into a new home involves different processes, never neglect the security of your home. These tips have worked and will keep working. Stay safe!


Moving groceries is not the most ideal of situations. You’re left worrying about spoilage, spillage and, let’s be honest, having another thing to move. Lighten your moving day load by planning ahead of time so that you have little to nothing left in your fridge and pantry to take with you.

To do this well it’s important to start at least a month before the move. Start by cleaning everything out - the pantry, your fridge and your freezer chest if you have one. Get rid of everything that is expired, stale or you just aren’t going to eat.

Take inventory of what’s left and categorize this list much like you would when creating your grocery list. So categories could be: meats/proteins, frozen vegetables, toaster/microwave items, desserts, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, sauces, condiments, and snacks.

Next, it’s time to get creative and meal plan around these ingredients supplementing with items from the store occasionally as needed. The idea though is to do as little shopping and use up as much as you can with your meals for the month ahead. If you feel stumped on how to use what you have on hand utilize recipe websites that can pull recipes based on the ingredients you input into their system.  

Write down the meals you plan into your calendar or day planner. If you use an app for planning you can write down the recipe and set a reminder to it. Apps like Trello, Evernote and Asana are all free and perfect for this.

A few meal ideas:

Use ingredients to create items that are more stable, like baked goods, to take with you. Make homemade pizzas, soups, stews, salads, omelets and casseroles. The beauty of these types of dishes is the variety of ingredients you’re able to use in them. Be playful and make hybrid meals - spaghetti on pizza, taco omelets, a buffalo chicken rice bowl, french fries in a casserole (similar to hotdish, a Midwestern classic).

Hectic. Chaotic. Busy.

Moving week is many things, but there is one thing it is not - the time to cook elaborate or the creative dinners you’ve been eating throughout the month to use up items.

Plan this week well ahead of time, if not first, and make it all the easier by planning freezer meals you can just pull out and heat up.

Cooking items to keep out as you begin packing:

Salt and pepper

Cooking spray or oil

Spatula and a pan or two

A chef knife

A mixing bowl

Enough cutlery for everyone

Enough plates, cups, and bowls for everyone

Sponge and dish soap

By using up all your items as much as possible before the move you are creating the perfect opportunity to start over with your pantry. As you clean out items take note of what your tossing and steer clear of those when restocking or note to buy a smaller package to avoid future waste.



81 E Hadley Rd, Amherst, MA 01002

Single-Family

$275,000
Price

7
Rooms
4
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
Charming, well cared for home close to schools, town, and all area amenities. This inviting 4 bedroom Cape sits on a half acre lot perfect for gardening, relaxing, and entertaining. One car attached garage. Inside you will find inviting living room with wood floors and newer windows, spacious eat in kitchen, full bath, and two first floor bedrooms. Attached 1 car garage. Upstairs is a half bath and two bedrooms. Perfect starter home. Convenient location! First showing Open House Sun 6/9 11-1.
Open House
Sunday
June 09 at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 81 E Hadley Rd, Amherst, MA 01002    Get Directions

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