Finders, fixers.

marlborough st brownstones in bostons back bay

If you’ve always dreamed of living in the Back Bay, this might be your chance

Over the past decade or so, there’s been an accelerating “back to the city” movement, as young people and downsizing boomers alike seemed to prize walkable, vibrant, diverse neighborhoods. As prices in the urban core spiraled higher, many Millennials sacrificed size for prime location while retirees in desirable suburbs like Wellesley or Needham cashed in…

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biden/harris lawn sign with rabbit nearby

Why this October is a great time to scout new neighborhoods

Some friends of ours spent most of the summer searching for a home in Portsmouth, N.H. The finally found a property in their price range that they really liked, but the house across the street gave them pause. It had a giant “Trump 2020” banner draped across the garage, flapping high in the wind, that…

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casas de colores in the south end

Diverse communities in Massachusetts

Unlike its northern New England neighbors, Massachusetts is at least somewhat racially diverse: 72% White, 7% Black, 6% Asian, and 12% Latino, according to Census estimates. (The U.S. as a whole is 61%, 12%, 5%, and 18%, respectively.) But a lot of our minority residents are clustered in Boston (which is actually a lot more diverse…

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blue recycling bin - how to recycle in massachusetts

How to recycle (without screwing up the whole works)

Recycling is the least we can do to to help our ailing planet. It’s not hard. Single-stream (all-in-one bin) recycling has made the process easier than ever for homeowners. And yet, it’s clear a lot of people just don’t know how to recycle properly. In our neighborhood, I see pesky plastic bags stuffed in blue bins all…

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halibut point state park in rockport, mass

Looking for a cooler place to live (literally)

I love our city of Quincy — I think it’s one of the best places to live around Boston, in fact — but when you scour real estate listings for a living, you’re bound to get some wanderlust once in awhile. And that gets especially acute during a heat wave. Here by the ocean, our…

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home in reading, mass. - the best places to live around Boston, Massachusetts

The best places to live in and around Boston

Last week, the Boston Globe Magazine published its annual “Top Spots to Live in Greater Boston” feature, which I’ve been fortunate enough to write for the past two years. For want of a better metric, the list is based on the spots with the biggest increases in median home prices over the previous five years — the…

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blown in insulation cost

Here’s how much blown-in insulation cost us, and how much it’s saved us so far

Over the summer, we finally got around to doing something that had been on our (lengthy) house to-do list ever since we moved in: We got insulation blown into our walls, at a steep 90% discount courtesy of MassSave. At 90% off, you’d wonder what the hell were we waiting for all these years. Well, we had…

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house for sale in quincy

Three reasons right now might be your best chance to buy a home in Boston

The past few years have seen home prices — all over the country and state, but particularly in and around Boston — race upward. To say it’s been a seller’s market would be a vast understatement. With too few homes on the market, fierce competition has forced buyers into costly bidding wars, waiving important contingencies, and rushing what should be…

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two prong light bulb adapter GU24 to E27 light bulb adapter

Need to replace a two prong light bulb? This gadget is a life saver.

We have a ceiling fan and light fixture that’s slowly grown dimmer as each of its three light bulbs burned out. The first time, I grabbed a new LED bulb out of the closet, unscrewed the lamp, and removed the burned-out bulb — only to find a light bulb with two prongs at the bottom, instead…

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victorian with tree out front

The simplest, cheapest, and prettiest way to save on home energy bills

From huge tax credits on solar panels to big rebates on efficient heating equipment and other appliances, there are a lot of financial incentives out there to encourage home improvements that save you both energy and money. This is especially true in Massachusetts, where Mass Save programs sweeten the deal even further; I recently wrote a guide for…

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best commutes in boston charles river esplanade bike path

Eight Boston-area commutes, ranked

In the past 20 years, I’ve lived and worked all over Boston. Until we bought our house, I rarely stayed at an apartment longer than a year or two, and the nature of the media and publishing industries meant I didn’t stay at any one job too long either. And in that time, I’ve had…

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house for sale - the real monthly costs of owning a home

The real monthly costs of owning a home (and how they add up)

You’ll find all kinds of articles online about the real or hidden monthly costs of owning a home. I’ve even written some of them. The gist of all these pieces is this: Owning a home is generally more expensive than you think. As a renter, there are a lot of hidden expenses bundled up in your monthly rent…

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