All posts in category Protecting yourself as a buyer

Mafia Houses, the Gas Tax, and buying a home…

In the early to mid 1980’s Michael Franzese of the Colombo crime family made millions of dollars selling gasoline.  He and his associates would buy gas stations under shell companies and sell gas at lower prices than their legitimate competition.   Thy could do this because they would collect the state and federal taxes due […]

How the business works…

Does your Realtor send you tons of zero-value emails? Does your Realtor burden you with tasks and paperwork? Does your Realtor utilize third parties to make their life easier at the cost of personalized service to you? Here’s a hint… Most do.  It is how the business works.  But it doesn’t have to, and it […]

The six hour window…

Plumbing is the only job I know of where you really can’t test your work until you’ve completed it. For this reason, I really don’t enjoy doing plumbing.  Yet in the past I have always done my own plumbing.  But that was pre-kids, and pre-having to have the plumbing working in the house for my […]

Zillow, Trulia, and the rest…

Voyerism is alive and rampant in the Real Estate industry… We love to see what our neighbors and friends paid for their house, and we like to see the insides of homes with a for sale sign up.  And we do so with Google.  We plug an address into Google, and up comes multiple options […]

Daddy I so hungry!

Due to the unorthodox hours my wife keeps, and my own failure as a dad in enforcing regular table set meals, my kids are grazers.  It is not uncommon for my kids to ask for something to eat or drink multiple times an hour, and they ask with the all the drama of someone who […]

Trust but verify

I’ll tell anybody who will listen to me about the merits of the MassSave program.  For those who don’t know, essentially if you are willing to have someone come give your home an energy audit and implement the insulation recommendations (which are subsidized), any other energy efficiency improvements that are recommended by the auditor (such […]

Keeping a clean house

Before I capitulated (spoiler alert), my wife and I argued incessantly about both the abundance of clutter in our house, and our inability to prioritize time to address the issue.  In my perception of a normal household this would not be a problem, but in ours my wife also wants the house to be spotlessly […]

Time is of the Essence

A Realtor® may portend to be many things, but in reality, a Realtor® is nothing more than a member of a lobbying group called the National Association of Realtors.  The term Realtor® is a registered trademark owned by that organization, and that organization invests much money and effort in both building up the reputation of […]

So you want a fence…

As a barrier to contain or bar something or someone from entering or exiting a space, or to create a sense of privacy, fences are pretty simple things.  And as far as contraptions go, using the standard of how strictly a building inspector or zoning regulation regulates the construction, their design and assembly, they also […]

The $500 tomatoes

I’m a big believer in experiential learning, and with a three year old daughter to entertain, I’m always game for anything that combines my hobbies with her learning.  So this summer we decided to plant a small container garden.  Small being the key word – low maintenance, easy setup, and low cost. We (well I) […]