Oregon offering "Smart Homes" – Ogle County News

Ground was being broken for an incoming 1,944 square feet single-family ranch home to be built in Stonegate Ridge in Oregon. Photo by Zach Arbogast
Ground was being broken for an incoming 1,944 square feet single-family ranch home to be built in Stonegate Ridge in Oregon. Photo by Zach Arbogast

Smart homes are available for building in Oregon’s Stonegate Ridge.

Stonegate, formerly known as Settler’s Ridge, is a subdivision project in east Oregon, near the corner of Ill. 64 and South Daysville Road.

It began in 2007, fell victim to the recession, and wound up in foreclosure.

It had been the property of Sycamore National Bank & Trust since 2010, before being auctioned Feb. 28 to Nitram Properties, Oregon.

The 19.85-acre, 47-lot subdivision officially opened November for building, and includes door-to-door fiber optic internet – the first available residentially in the region.

“The subdivision offers some cutting-edge opportunities, especially with smart homes now being in the picture,” said Mayor Ken Williams.

The Rockford-based builders of Ambassador Homes, LLC, have indeed added Stonegate Ridge to their locations where smart homes are available for building.

Stonegate Ridge is one of 11 areas Ambassador builds in, and the only such in Ogle County.

According to Ambassador’s website, “Smart Homes” have appliances, lightning, heating and air conditioning, and virtually anything else electronic being controlled remotely by phone or internet.

This includes being able to check your phone remotely to see if you locked your door, and lock it if you did not.

Ground was broke on Monday, May 15, for a single-family ranch-style home and a side-by-side two-unit condominium, at 203 Woods Drive and 202 Martin Ave. respectively.

Both homes will feature the “smart home” amenities.

“This is part of an initiative to get buyers looking at Oregon,” said Rebecca Hazzard, owner of the Oregon Re/Max of Rock Valley and member of the Economic Development Committee. “We’re bringing the features people are looking for to Oregon.

According to Hazzard, the push to get buyers looking at Oregon comes from a shortage in homes with amenities people currently want. She says inventory is at a 20-year low.

“We currently have very little to offer those people looking to move out of their first houses and into bigger, family-sized homes,” said Hazzard. “That means they end up looking at other communities.”

Hazzard says her agents get calls constantly from people who are attracted to Oregon’s features, but are looking for newer, more modern-constructed homes.

The smart homes are only part of the equation to get people looking to buy lots and build, or to buy already-constructed homes, in the new subdivision; the city is also looking to make said building more affordable.

During the April 18 city council meeting, per a recommendation from Hazzard and the ECDC, the council voted to reduce impact and utility connection fees for the first year or first 12 homes built in Stonegate Ridge by an average of around $3,000.

Impact and connection fees are additional costs added to building a new home and connecting utilities, and are enforced to help fund infrastructure and public services.

“The city is still breaking even on putting in the utilities, and any incentive we can offer to get people to move to Oregon is only going to help our community,” said Hazzard. “We need to be forward-thinking, and focusing on growth.”

The two homes currently being built in Stonegate Ridge are only the beginning; Hazzard said as these homes sell, more will be built, to accommodate people looking for a home with new amenities, but not looking to buy a plot and build from scratch.

Hazzard wants the public to know that Re/Max of Rock Valley can answer any questions they have regarding the subdivision or smart homes, 815-732-9100.

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