Home 'n' hearth

By - 12/16/08 - 9:31 am

Kevn McCrea explains how that could happen - basically, commericial property values are plummeting even faster than residential ones:

The result is that residential taxes will rise, perhaps substantially, even if home values continue to deteriorate in 2009. Successful lawsuits from owners of larger commercial properties may exacerbate the shift of tax liability from commercial properties to residential properties in 2010 and beyond.

Because, remember: Prop. 2 1/2 only limits the total amount of money a city can take in in property taxes, not how much an individual property owner pays.

By - 12/12/08 - 3:24 pm

The state Attorney General's office has gotten a temporary restraining order against a mortgage broker who allegedly soaked troubled homeowners for fees he claimed would help him stave off their foreclosures. According to the lawsuit filed against David Coleman of Methuen yesterday:

... Coleman would target vulnerable homeowners on the brink of foreclosure by combing newspapers for victims' contact information in foreclosure notices. He would then allegedly make unsolicited calls to the homeowners where he would offer to save their homes from foreclosure by assisting them in filing for bankruptcy in exchange for a $1,000 cash fee upfront. The complaint further states that Coleman held himself out to consumers as a bankruptcy expert and an attorney, even though he does not hold a license to practice law in Massachusetts or in any other state. ... In many instances, the bankruptcy petitions were deficient and dismissed because they were incomplete or lacked the proper information. Homeowners allege that when they attempted to contact Coleman about these deficiencies, he was either not reachable or, if reached, he brushed off consumers’ concerns. ...

By - 12/10/08 - 11:47 am

The 7NEWS team has cooked up a great way to help feed the hungry. For a modest contribution to Project Bread, the state’s leading antihunger organization, donors can treat themselves to more than 20 different holiday recipes - from Randy Price’s “Mud Bug Salad,” and Frances Rivera’s “Crusted Baked Brie and Apricot Dip;” to Pete Bouchard’s “Homemade Chocolate Coconut Bars,” and Joe Amorosino’s “Pan-Seared Halibut with Black Bean Salsa Fresca.” These recipes and more are now available online.

By - 12/1/08 - 10:17 am

With Plum Island washing plum out to sea, David Robichaud asks the question.

By - 11/30/08 - 1:01 pm

Spatch is not happy with whoever's remodeling the kitchen in the apartment under his:

... [P]ower drills are whirring and things are getting hammered and slammed and pulled down and stuff.

At 7:30 in the goddamn morning. On a Sunday. ...

By - 11/25/08 - 2:05 pm

With the holiday season upon us, and being sure that there are at least some posters here who're amiable to homemade desserts and/or side dishes, I thought I'd post a couple of recipes that might be of interest to any dessert lovers or lovers or fresh side dishes. Here goes:

This is a dessert for people who're chocolate freaks. (I count myself in there):

Rich Chocolate Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze:

I) Cake:

2 cups sugar
2 cups white, all-purpose flour
2 sticks melted unsalted butter
6 squares melted unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tsp. baking powder

By - 11/20/08 - 10:14 am

In these hard economic times, we're all looking for ways to save some cash. The State, as well as The City of Boston and other local municipalities, say they are strapped. Well, here's an idea: Don't put up or turn on Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving.

By - 10/31/08 - 9:01 am

Third House Journal awakens on a cold October morning:

The house rouses, her reassuring furnace below, thump and ping of pipes and radiator, muffled rushes of the first cars far beyond. Early light seeps through her ribs.

By - 10/26/08 - 6:53 pm

When the economy is going in the tank what do you do? Design a neighborhood based on Feng shui!

NECN with the story.

By - 10/21/08 - 7:56 pm

Maggie is looking at a great apartment, but with a hitch: Heat and hot water are not included in the rent (it's in a house). She wonders how much people around here pay for heat.

By - 9/30/08 - 10:58 pm

MLS no longer requires a login to see addresses of available homes on maps. Try searching Boston Redfin, for example (you'll still need to log in to see details of specific listings).

Via Anthony Longo at Condo Domain, who says he'll be dropping his address registration ASAP.

By - 9/16/08 - 12:20 pm

Or pulling it out, as Jim Sullivan reports he was forced to do when he managed to lock his keys in his car.

By - 9/15/08 - 12:52 pm

Pax Arcana explains why he won't be buying the house with the "psychotic demon succubus" sitting on one of its beds.

By - 8/23/08 - 2:30 pm

They might not be exterminators. They might be burglars.

Via The Missus.

By - 8/8/08 - 12:33 pm

HELP!!! Does anyone know a company or individual who can identify and spray to destroy poison ivy? This is the 4th time I've caught it since May, and I am ready to just concrete my whole yard in West Roxbury & paint it green (there goes the neighborhood!!)....I have searched the internet to no avail. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

By - 8/5/08 - 5:40 pm

Carolyn, who stocked her rain barrel with goldfish to keep mosquitoes at bay, has also turned wormy. She reports on her efforts at vermicomposting (bonus fun fact: You know that vermicelli you love? Guess what "vermicelli" means in Italian?). She snagged a bunch of worms from an online retailer, after first digging up what turned out to be the wrong kind of worms from her garden when her son, surprisingly, refused to do so. Her report is complete with wormy photos.

By - 7/23/08 - 11:30 pm

Carolyn reports that when she got a rain barrel to collect water for a vegetable garden, she had to figure out how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in it. And rather than use chemicals or BT, she invested in some goldfish, figuring they would eat any mosquito larvae:

... This has worked really well. The fish, which were previously designated as food for larger pet fish, have 55 gallons of space, both fresh bugs and dried fish food for dinner, and no predators. It's a bit boring in there, but I'm guessing it's suitable for a fish-style attention span. They've grown appreciably in the past couple of months. I think they're happy. At least they haven't complained. Or died. Yet. ...

By - 7/17/08 - 10:16 pm

David Prior reports what happens when one of your dogs gets loose and decides to go after a skunk, which does what skunks do, after which the dog runs right into the house. You know it's pretty bad when National Grid shows up because the downstairs neighbor called to report what he thought was a gas leak.