Calculating my home’s energy inputs and outputs.

I’ve been wondering what the inputs and outputs are of my home energy usage. For some months now, I’ve used a CurrentCost Envi to track my house’s energy usage, so I know the numbers in kilowatt hours: 8,166 kWh in the past 12 months, an average of 680 kWh/month, with a low of 454 kWh […]

How we got our mortgage. Or: Why so many people bought houses they couldn’t afford.

Our loan officer was insistent: we’d be nuts not to get an adjustable rate mortgage. It was October of 2007. We’d met with this SunTrust loan officer—I’ll call him “Jim”—a couple of times so far, and we were moving ahead with a construction loan to be rolled into a permanent loan when our new house […]

Siting our house.

The great majority of my time in the past couple of years—and certainly the past six months—has been spent on the design and construction of our new house, which is slated for completion by the end of winter. The process has been enormously educational, and I’ve been intending to share some of what I’ve learned […]