Finders, fixers.

make way for ducklings statue on boston common - spring real estate guide home buying timeline

Countdown to closing: A first-time home buyer checklist and timeline

As in baseball, winter is the real estate off-season; if you’re a first-time home buyer who’s been scouting homes on Redfin or Trulia or Zillow, you probably noticed there wasn’t much coming up for sale the past few months, which can be really frustrating (or a great opportunity, since many other buyers put their search on hold for…

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before and during bathroom remodel

Bathroom remodel: Part 1

One of the things we really liked about our house when we first saw it was the dated but relatively big (for Boston, anyway) bathroom. It was never nice, and certainly not modern or trendy. In fact, it was kind of dingy in spots. But cheerfully so, if that makes any sense. The pink-and-white checkered…

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remodeled ikea kitchen - how much should your kitchen remodel cost
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How much should my kitchen remodel cost?

For my latest piece in the Boston Globe, I dug into one of the great mysteries of home ownership: How much should you expect to pay for some of the most common home improvement projects, in ballpark terms? How much should a kitchen remodel cost, in general? How about a bathroom remodel? Or a new roof? This…

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electric meters

6 household services you can switch to save money

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Choose Energy, an online marketplace where consumers can compare rates from electricity and natural gas suppliers. I’m a member of their compensated blogger program; however, all opinions expressed here are my own. When you move into a new house, it’s a whirlwind getting everything set up. You have to wait for the…

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1920s dutch colonial

6 things I love about 1920s houses

I didn’t know a whole lot about architecture or housing styles before we started house shopping years back. But the the more homes you look at, the more you start to pick up on things you really like — and, just as importantly, things you don’t. At first, having rented in fairly crappy Boston apartments our entire…

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first time home buyers in front of sold house

A guide to first-time home buyer programs

So you want to buy a house, but you don’t have a ton of money saved up (and you didn’t win the Powerball drawing)? It’s a common conundrum that many, many first-time home buyers face, but don’t worry: There’s an app(lication) for that. First-time home buyers are great for the economy — they make up about a…

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the best ways to save energy include installing LED bulbs

4 resolutions to save energy this year

This post is sponsored by Choose Energy, an online marketplace where you can compare rates from electricity and natural gas suppliers. I’m a bundle of good intentions. I’ve got so many New Year’s resolutions I can barely keep them straight. My phone alarm now goes off nightly at 8:45pm, reminding me to either exercise or practice Spanish for at…

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northampton entryway

Wish Listing: Northampton

My wife and I love Quincy, but it’s not like we grew up here or have any deep, philosophical connection to the town. We just felt like it offered the best bang for our buck when we were ready to buy a house: It’s got the ocean, pretty good schools, walkable neighborhoods with shops and restaurants,…

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rockport harbor

Wish Listing: Rockport

Earlier this month, we met some friends up in Rockport for the town’s annual Christmas celebration and tree lighting ceremony. Each year, Santa Claus arrives by lobster boat and leads a parade through town riding on an antique fire truck. Later we watched Kris Kringle light the big tree in Dock Square as a choir sang Christmas…

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leaky pipes; photo by 13 of clubs via flickr

Plumbing is sexy

A friend of mine recently bought her first home, and it’s an old one. Real old. Like 200-year-old farmhouse old. Now, as much as there is to love about an old house like that, you know you’re probably going to discover some unpleasant surprises — especially if you’re the first ones to update it in…

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5 cool gadgets to cut your energy costs

This post is sponsored by Choose Energy, an online marketplace where you can compare rates from electricity and natural gas suppliers. The cold is coming — and with it, higher energy bills. Heating is the No. 1 energy cost for most Americans, and that’s especially true in New England. And as people draw more natural gas to…

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Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want via Denver Library

Wish Listing: Stockbridge

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, and maybe no artist is so distinctly associated with American life as Norman Rockwell. Put them together and you get “Freedom From Want,” Rockwell’s classic portrait of a 1940s American family gathered for Thanksgiving dinner. Rockwell was living in Arlington, Vt., when he painted this portrait in 1942 — one in…

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