Catholic family seeks new home: Us!

Catholic family seeks new home: Us!


This one is for Boston-area readers. As most of you know by now, I work for The Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Boston. Next week, the offices of the archdiocese’s central administration are moving from the historic grounds of the chancery in Brighton to the suburb of Braintree, which happens to lies on the opposite side of Boston from where Melanie and I live in Peabody.

For the past year, I’ve been commuting from Peabody to Brighton, about 30 miles and about 1-1/2 hours each way and even then that’s during my flex hours of 7:30 to 3:30. While the commute to Braintree will be only about 6 miles longer, it’s getting to be too much, especially with the rising gasoline prices and so it’s time to move.

Do you know of a nice affordable house or apartment for rent?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to buy a house unless we happen upon an absolutely stunning deal and so we will continue to rent for another couple of years at least. Meanwhile, the rental market in the suburbs south of Boston is not all that great so I’m throwing this question out there for all of you: Do you know of a nice affordable house or apartment for rent in Braintree, Randolph, Stoughton, Canton, Dedham, or Norwood? (We’d even expand that circle a bit, but we’d like to be close to family.)

We’re hoping to find a 3-bedroom dwelling, preferably gas heat, not oil for obvious reasons, that might have a bit of a yard for the girls to play in. My current landlord says we’re good tenants and hates to see us go and I’m not averse to doing some fix-it work around the place as I’m capable.

So if you know of a place for rent that might work for a small Catholic family of median means who are working for the Church, please drop a comment or email me.

(N.B. Yes, I’m continuing to monitor Cragislist, but I’m hoping to tap other possible sources as well.)

Photo credit: photo by Neubie on Used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Image Credit

  • forsale.jpg: Unknown | Copyright by owner. Used under Fair Use doctrine
  • Hey Dom, I’m sure you’ve been checking for some affordable places.    And I know you know it’s a decent time to buy and in a few years, it may not be.    Anyway, you might try bidding on fixer uppers that are almost in your price range.  We purchased our home in Feb of ‘97 – during the last downturn in housing.    We bought the dumpiest house in a decent neighborhood.    We offered 20,000 less than the asking price and to our shock our offer (130,000) was accepted.    With it being such a buyer’s market, you may be the only offer in months.    We actually bought from the original owners’ adult children after the owners died.    The kids just wanted to be done with it.

    Here’s a large looking affordable condo in Stoughton.    Don’t know the maintenance fees or what kind of neighborhood it is.

  • Maybe their are some houses that foreclosed that will be auctioned off you could get a good deal on? I’ve also asked two friends who live in the Boston area if they know of anything.

  • Hi Dom,

    First time post, but long-time lurker!  I’m from around that area (though we’re exiled to central Mass for now!), and am still there quite often as all my family are in the general area.

    Have you considered looking at Easton, or not to much further south to Bridgewater or Raynham?  Easy access to 24 giving you a straight shot into Braintree, as well as a commuter rail stop in Bridgewater on the line that goes through Braintree.  Rents might tend to be higher in Easton and Raynham, but I’ve seen some not-so-bad deals, and I know of a few condos/apartment places near the highway there that rents probably aren’t so bad at.  Heck I have even seen some smaller homes selling at not-so-bad prices (at least for that area).

    For the most part these are pretty quiet towns, decent for families.  I used to work in Stoughton, and there are some tougher areas there, so ask around.  Same for Canton, at least so friends tell me. 

    The Brockton Enterprise usually has a real estate insert for the Easton/Bridgewater/Raynham area on Fri/Sat or Sun (one of the weekend papers anyway!) that will give you a good idea. 

    Good luck to you and your family!  If you have questions about any of these areas, please feel free to drop me an email.

  • Hi Dom,

    Nothing specific, just a suggestion that you check the local papers rather than the Globe.  Here in Needham, the Times always has a small number of available apartments.  Plus it’s the way to get to the very small-scale local realtors who have one or two clients, the biggest landlords in town.  I suspect there may be similar situations in other places.

    Wishing you luck!

  • Hi Dom,

    My wife and I just purchased a home in Weymouth, MA. We are a one income family like yours, and were able to purchase by using a state program called “Soft-Second”. It’s really great, and if you qualify, can get you into a house pretty fast. There is information online, as well as calculators to help you determine how much of a mortgage you qualify for. You also don’t need to have too much money for a down payment, either. Check it out here:

    There are also grant programs out there that you may qualify for, some providing up to $10,000 for down payment and closing costs. Good luck!