Finders, fixers.

new home checklist: couple moving into new house

New home checklist: 12 things homeowners should do right away

The weeks leading up to a home purchase are super stressful. Between the home inspection and finalizing your financing, you also have to start packing up your entire life and maybe arranging for movers — or even selling your old house under a tight timeline. Then there’s the actual closing, when you sign your life…

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ikea cabinets vs. home depot cabinets
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DIY kitchen cabinets: IKEA vs. Home Depot

A few years ago, we did a budget remodel of our gross, outdated kitchen. You can read about it here in detail, but here’s a before-and-after shot to provide a visual summary: During our planning, I researched the hell out of stock, ready-to-assemble, and custom cabinets. We ultimately decided to go with IKEA cabinets because they’re cheap, pretty easy…

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berkshires lake house for sale

Wish Listing: Robin Hood Lake, Becket

We recently spent a few days at a rented lake house in the Berkshires, and man… it was beautiful. Serene. The good life. The lake was big, but still manageable enough to kayak across – which is easy to do when both the kayak and the water are right there in front of you. One evening…

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delivery at boston building resources center

Shopping the Habitat ReStore and Boston Building Resources Center

One of the challenges of owning an old house — and there are many! — is finding stuff that matches your home. It can be tough to find doors that go with the ones in your 1890s Victorian or window molding as wide or as detailed as the trim in your 1920s bungalow. And that’s…

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habitat volunteers, photo by rob swystun

Free or cheap ways to hone your DIY skills

As much as we may want to, most of us don’t have the time to become a carpenter’s apprentice, nor the money to go to the North Bennet Street School. Fortunately there are other ways to pick up some basic home improvement and DIY know-how. I recently wrote an article for the Boston Globe about a…

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148 monument st. exterior

Wish Listing: Concord

I spent a day in Concord a couple weeks ago while I was working on this story for Sunday’s Boston Globe. And just… wow. It’s really an idyllic place. Between the central town square, the shops on Main Street, the rolling green hills, active farms, the miles of bike paths, and a grip on local and literary history that…

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DIY end table from reclaimed wood

How to build a rustic DIY end table from reclaimed wood

I’ll admit it: I’m a garbage picker. On Sunday evenings I like to go for a jog or a walk through the neighborhood, and it just so happens that Monday is trash day. And honestly, people throw out a lot of good stuff! Now, my wife likes a clutter-free (not to mention trash-free) house, and…

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20 simmons road exterior

Wish Listing: Hingham

When it comes to the South Shore, Hingham has it all. It’s beautiful. It’s historic. It has a cute downtown. Grand old houses dot sidewalked, tree-lined streets. It’s on the ocean. There’s a harbor and a public beach. And it’s got commuter rail service, a ferry to Boston, and a major highway. Not even fancy Concord can say…

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Is Angie’s List worth the money?

When we first bought our house about seven years ago, our to-do list, based in part on our lengthy, detailed home inspection report, was literally pages long. More like a to-do binder. We knew next to no one in Quincy, and after renting for all of our adult lives, we certainly didn’t have a ready…

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Wish Listing: Craigville Beach

Summer’s officially here — and with it, visions of the Cape. This week’s lust-worthy listing is a big-but-somehow-quaint cottage near Craigville Beach in Centerville, where ocean breezes keep things cool and comfortable even as the rest of us sweat through our underwear on the streets of Boston. Oh, and it has a pretty nice view: I love living…

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photo of uhaul truck by kai schreiber
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11 ways moving can improve your life

The American Dream has always been linked to mobility. Religious exiles sailed here to start a new, better life. Millions of immigrants later followed in their wake seeking the same. In fact, mobility was part of the American Dream even before there was an “American Dream” — many Plains Indians tribes were nomads who followed the…

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Wish Listing: Quincy

I know you’re not supposed to covet they neighbor’s stuff and whatnot, but compared to our monstrous two-family, the cute dutch colonial next door has always seemed downright adorable. And now it’s for sale! Won’t you be my neighbor? Sure, it’s not a million-dollar Milton mansion or anything. But Redfin pegs our neighbor’s place as a…

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