9/29/2013: Patio lighting for under $100

Every fall I try to add more lighting in and around the house. Maybe it’s because the days get shorter. Maybe it’s because the Pottery Barn catalog tells me to. But mostly it’s because Management and I can’t be stuck in the house all winter with 2 & 5 year olds. We can’t sit around listening to the kids say HEY MOM! HEY DAD! GUESS WHAT! 500 times everyday.

So this year’s project was to add patio lighting without dropping a ton of USDs. Here’s how it turned out:


This project is quick & easy you guys. Here’s what you do:

Cruise to Home Depot
Pick up 4 electrical conduit pipes (10′ feet each, 3/4″ diameter)
1 piece of PVC pipe (4-5′ long, 1″ diameter)
4 conduit hangers with bolts (1-2″ long)
4 stainless steel S hooks (1.5-2″ long)
3 cans of Rustoleum spray paint

You’ll need to order string lights from Target, Amazon or Smith & Hawken — if you’re big time. (Can’t find them in stores anymore because they’re out of season.) 2 strings of 20′ or 25′ should be enough.

Start by cutting the PVC into four 12″ pieces. PVC is easily cut with a hand saw. Cut the top of each piece straight so you have a level surface to hammer. The bottom should be cut at angle so it can be pushed into the ground more easily.


Decide where you’d like each pole to be along the perimeter of the patio. Using a rubber hammer, pound each piece of PVC into the ground – leaving the top few inches exposed. Make sure the PVC is straight into the ground – otherwise pole will lean. (Doing this during the summer or fall is a lot easier because the ground is soft.)


Attach the conduit hangers to the top of each piece of electrical conduit and put the S hooks (not pictured) through the hole in hanger.


Spray paint conduits, hangers & S hooks with Rustoleum. Watch your background!


Drop conduits into PVC. They’re like camo once you spray paint them!

conduits in ground

Attach string lights to S hooks and light it up!

9/25/2013: Upcoming home improvement project

Sorry I’ve been sleeping on the blog lately you guys.  Been working on a home improvement project that should be done tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more on that.

Also been busy at work trying to sell these places…

One of these townhouses
One of these townhouses.  Sailboats not included.
Don't like opening doors or parking your own car?  No problem -- guys at Intercontinental do it for you.
Don’t like opening doors or parking your own car? No problem — guys at Intercontinental do it for you.
Yours in Beacon Hill for only $3.99M!
Yours in Beacon Hill for only $3.99M!

9/17/2013: Congrats to Matt Callahan (109 Randlett)

Matt is a freshman at Northeastern and has started all 5 games for NU soccer this year. Scored his first goal in a win against Fordham last week.  Matt played 3 seasons for Newton North and was a 2-time captain for the FC Bolts Celtic of the US Soccer Development Academy.  Matt’s class of 2018 and plans to major in Business.

Great to see a local kid doing well.  Not just talking about soccer, but also getting into Northeastern.  Good school.  When I went to NU back in the day, you didn’t bother applying.  You just got off the T and walked into class.  Not so anymore.

Congrats to Matt.  Off to a good start on Huntington Avenue.


9/3/2013: Monster home listed in W Newton Hill for $6.3M (lots of pics)

Last month, I blogged about how big your home addition could be.  If you read that and thought – I need way more than 3,700 sq/ft bro — I have the home for you.

60 Howland Rd was just listed for $6.3M.  This home has 7 beds, 7.5 baths and 12,000 sq/ft.  There’s a wine cellar, movie theater and gym.  Gigantic yard with 1.36 acres.  Only thing this place is missing is a helipad.

Here’s how the numbers look at $6.3M:

25% downpayment: $1.575M

Mortgage amount: $4.725M

Monthly payment (principal & interest): $31,435

Annual taxes: $52,369

60 howland1 60 howland2 60 howland3 60 howland4 60 howland5 60 howland6