Jon Gorey

I’m a past-life musician, part-time stay-at-home dad, and founder of House & Hammer, a blog about real estate and home improvement. I write about homes, travel, and other life essentials.
The 4 Big Reasons Renters Aren’t Buying Homes
More than a third of American households are renting their homes — thought not all of them want to be.
Oct 3, 2023
The Colors You Should Never Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets
According to real estate experts.
Nov 16, 2022
Why You Might Want to Take a Location-First Approach in Your Home Search
Prioritize place over property.
Feb 14, 2022
Can a Home Renovation Ever Truly Be Green?
It's a big question, but the answer will surprise you.
Apr 30, 2021
The Fascinating Reason Why Ceiling Medallions Exist
You'd never guess their original purpose.
Apr 26, 2021
How Renting Crappy Apartments Prepared Me for Life in a Fixer-Upper
On living in homes with a medley of maladies.
Mar 24, 2021
8 Things in Your House You're Probably Calling by the Wrong Name
Can you properly define your floors and ceilings?
Dec 11, 2020
5 Unexpected Things I Never Thought to Consider When Buying My First House
Now I know about the importance of flat driveways and old windows.
Oct 6, 2020
Some Real Estate Companies Will Front $15K to Help You Renovate Your House
Care for an interest-free loan?
Sep 27, 2020
Poll Workers Share What Their Job Is Like—and Why You Should Volunteer
When counties or towns don’t have enough poll workers, they’re forced to shut down polling locations — making it harder for people to cast their ballot on election day.
Sep 23, 2020
This Special Account Lets You Save for Retirement, College, and a House At Once
Saving for any one of those goals is daunting enough, much less some combination of the three. So where do you even begin?
Sep 14, 2020
What Is a NIMBY?
And what's so bad about "Not In My Backyard?"
Sep 11, 2020
5 Things You Really Should Read About Before Leaving the City for the Suburbs
Did zoning and permitting ever cross your mind?
Aug 17, 2020
How “White Flight” Segregated American Cities and Suburbs
This racist housing pattern isn't a thing of the past.
Aug 15, 2020
Here’s Why You Should Support That New Building Going Up in Your Neighborhood
Diverse housing options = diverse residents.
Jul 22, 2020
The Most Expensive Cities in the World for Renters Are in the US
Everybody knows the rent is stupid high in San Francisco, New York City, and Boston — it’s one of those sad running jokes, an absurdity that’s nonetheless become an accepted fact of life at this point. But a new study by London real-estate startup Nested shows that America’s most notoriously expensive rental markets are now the priciest in the whole world.
Jul 17, 2020
One Reason to Renew: Staying Put Can Save Renters Thousands of Dollars a Year, New Study Says
Your landlord just sent a lease renewal form, but you’re not sure you want to sign it again this year. The rent is going up, the parking situation sucks, and the upstairs neighbors always seem to drag furniture across the floor in those fleeting seconds between consciousness and sleep. The average rent nationwide has been rising, but market rate rents — those advertised to new renters — are climbing even faster, according to new research by Zillow.
Jul 17, 2020
These Are The Top 3 Reasons You Might Not Get a Mortgage
You thought doing your taxes was a nightmare? Wait until you apply for a mortgage.
Jun 11, 2020
The One Unexpected Thing That's Driving Buyers Out of Your House
Put the baking sheet down.
May 17, 2020
8 Old-School Gardening Tips from the Father of Landscape Architecture
Grow with FLO (Frederick Law Olmsted).
May 14, 2020
5 Ways Real Estate Listings from the 1920s Are Wildly Different From Today’s
1920S WEEK
Plus, a few striking similarities.
Jan 27, 2020
Before and After: A Cramped ‘80s Kitchen Gets Upgraded to First Class
See this "coffin of a kitchen" open up.
May 21, 2019
Ani DiFranco’s House is the Beautiful Bohemia I Need Today
Given the events of the past couple of months, and today in particular, I was really happy to hear new music from Ani DiFranco this week. The DIY folk hero and acoustic activist released a video for “Deferred Gratification,” a song off her upcoming album “Binary,” due out in March. When you consider the tenor of political discourse lately, and DiFranco’s legendary feisty streak, it’s a surprisingly gentle song.
May 3, 2019
Here’s What the Homes in Annie Hall Are Worth, 40 Years Later
Annie Hall is 40 years old this month. Ever wonder what the property in the film costs now? Let’s investigate. Annie Hall came out in April 1977. Winner of four Academy Awards, including those for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Diane Keaton, it’s always been one of my favorite romantic comedies (up there with When Harry Met Sally) and certainly my favorite Woody Allen film.
May 3, 2019
Move Over Avocado Toast: Bachelor Parties Are Why You Can’t Afford a Down Payment
Want to buy a home but having trouble saving up a 20% down payment? You could theoretically try bailing on your buddy’s upcoming bachelor party. Zillow recently crunched some numbers to find that attending a string of destination bachelor parties in your 20s and 30s can add up — to a full third of a down payment on a typical home. Bachelor party attendees reported spending an average of $738 apiece, according to survey data from wedding website The Knot.
May 3, 2019
Here’s What It’s Like to House Hunt In the (Frustratingly Expensive) Bay Area
While it might not be as nightmarish as Toronto just yet, the real estate market in and around San Francisco has been getting worse for years. Here’s what homes are really selling for: The backstory: My cousin and her family have lived in Berkeley, Calif., for several years, renting because they couldn’t afford to buy there even five years ago.
May 3, 2019
The Unexpected Home Buying Lesson I Learned from “Home Alone”
We introduced our daughter to Home Alone this month, one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. (Now we watch it almost every day, because that’s how things go with a five-year-old.
May 3, 2019
It’s Official: These Three Kitchen Features Are Falling Out of Favor
Like the outdated finishes they were once meant to refresh, some staples of the all-American kitchen renovation are starting to show their age and are waning in popularity — including the longtime king of countertops. That’s according to Houzz’s 2018 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study.
May 3, 2019
This Is What People Are Splurging On In Kitchens
Americans spend an average of $25,800 to remodel a small to mid-sized kitchen, according to the 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. That’s for a full overhaul including all new cabinetry and appliances; upgrading a larger kitchen (more than 200 square feet) averages $42,000. Those are big numbers, and no doubt most people do their best to trim them down if possible.
May 3, 2019
How Having Roommates Is Good For Your Health (& Your Wallet)
The United Kingdom last week created a new government leadership role, naming Tracey Crouch the world’s first “minister of loneliness.” While the idea might lend itself to punchlines, the role is designed to address what has become a surprisingly serious public health crisis. Loneliness contributes to addiction, depression, heart disease, and dementia; its long-term mortality effect is on par with smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
May 3, 2019
Is It Time to Reconsider Track Lighting?
I don’t know about you, but when I hear “track lighting,” I picture a sad ’80s sitcom bachelor pad. But what do I know? Even the most precision-dated trends can make a comeback once nostalgia gets the best of us. Denim jackets, leg warmers, big blazers — all have seen a resurgence in the past few years. I’ve even heard teenagers singing Phil Collins without irony.
May 3, 2019