Refrigerators

When purchasing a refrigerator keep in mind that It will have the large surface exposed to everyone, perhaps two surfaces (front and side) – pick a finish that you like. We’ve gotten used to the wooden cabinet/metal appliance look, but plain old white works fine. Black adds a level of heaviness to the kicthen, but… Read More Refrigerators

Title Insurance

Title insurance protects you against challenges to the title to property by forking over legal fees and in an extreme case, compensating you for lost property. The boston.com article gives an estimate of $3.65 per $1000 of home value (which is somewhat steep, but it is a one time fee). You can get direct estimates of… Read More Title Insurance

GFCI

A lot of old houses have fuses and regular two prong outlets. GFCI sockets are a boon to a no fuss DIY rewiring of the house to make it much safer. A nice description of GFCI sockets is given here (In general stackexchange is awesome and I would recommend joining). A nice description, with pictures, of how… Read More GFCI

Interior modeling software

Google sketchup – at least the free version – is not as great as it once was. I found an open source tool called Sweet Home 3D that is pretty elegant to use. It does not let you do multiple stories at the same time, but is really really good.

Oliver

You want to know about OLIVER. This is Massachusett’s GIS tool which is long form for magic. Basically you can find various pieces of information about the land, zoning, buildings and infrastructure. I would have really liked a sewer map, but I could not find it. What I used the GIS for was to find the… Read More Oliver

Lead

Lead paint is a scary topic, especially in Massachusetts where a lot of the housing is old. Lead paint is also a complex topic. Because the effects of lead paint on children and adults are dire and since many children have suffered permanent disability because of exposure to lead paint, state and federal governments take… Read More Lead

Sunlight

The only way to judge natural lighting in a house is to go there at different times of the day and at different days of the year. Houses rarely stay on the market that long (but in this market …) and realtors might get annoyed at the 10th or 20th showing. In general, if you… Read More Sunlight