Finders, fixers.

caribbean vacation
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Live alone? 14 awesome things you could afford if you had roommates

Last month I wrote a piece for the Boston Globe Magazine praising the virtues of roommates. Almost everyone in Boston has shared a living space at some point — the rent here is just too ridiculous not to. But many people give up roommate life as they cross some psychological threshold — age 30 or 40 or whatever it…

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rooftop solar panels - photo by edmund tse
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3 green improvements that will add to your home’s value

I wish more people (myself included) would do good for good’s sake — and sometimes they do. But by and large, people’s decisions are driven by money and self interest. This is painfully true when it comes to the environment. Forget, for a moment, that an unfathomable half of Americans don’t even accept the scientific consensus around climate change…

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starter toolbox

15 must-have tools for DIY homeowners

Making the leap from renting to home ownership means fixing a lot more stuff on your own — and that’s not to be feared. It’s actually awesome in many ways. You might be surprised by how quickly you grow to enjoy the very visible, tangible reward of repairing and building things with your own hands. I used…

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porch swing in newburyport

Wish Listing: Newburyport

I fell in love with Newburyport because of jury duty. All through college and for a few years after, whenever I’d get summoned for jury duty, it was in Newburyport. (And I did a LOT of jury duty — it was years before I realized they had me in the system under two different names!) Inevitably, I…

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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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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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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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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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