Some people move in mysterious ways

Paula and Irwin Nesoff moved to Hull to be closer to family.
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Paula and Irwin Nesoff moved to Hull to be closer to family.

HULL — Sometimes a house hunter is looking for something a little quirkier than good schools, an easy commute, and a stable tax base. Take the man who wanted to be close to a club across from Nantasket Beach.

“He wanted to be near the C Note,” said realtor Gail Bell. “It plays really good blues music, and he wanted to be able to go there.”

She’s also had “foodies” moving from Boston who wanted easy access to specific restaurants in Hingham and Hull, she said. They’ll mention Tosca’s, Bridgeman’s,

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Stacie Kolbeth moved to Duxbury so her son, Chris, could learn to sail as she had.

or the Square Cafe, she said.

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In Milton, realtor Melvin Vieira Jr. said he’s had clients specify which side of the street they’ll look at. “Some people will buy so their kids will never have to cross the street, so their kid can walk on the sidewalk all the way to Milton Academy,” he said.

Avid golfers have bought to be near Wollaston Golf Club, he said, and nature lovers focus their search around the Blue Hills so they can use its trails for hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding.

“We have some people who have decided to move back to Milton because of the fond memories they had of growing up here. Sometimes the grandparents will move in because their kids live in the neighborhood and they want to be close to the grandkids,” Vieira said.

Paula Nesoff and her husband, Irwin, left tenured teaching jobs in New York to be closer to their only child’s young family in Jamaica Plain, but they didn’t want to lose the liberal ethos they valued. They moved to Hull four and a half years ago, in part because it was one of the first communities in the state to endorse a No-Place-for-Hate campaign.


“We felt Hull had pockets of progressive thinking,” Paula Nesoff said. “It seemed more out there. Many of our friends were gay and we wanted them to be comfortable.”

In addition, her husband had grown up in Rockaway, a peninsula community outside New York City that felt similar to Hull, she said. By coincidence, the house they bought is in a small neighborhood called Rockaway Annex. “All the pieces fell together,” she said.

Her mother also moved from New York, at age 83. A Holocaust survivor, she chose a Jewish retirement community in Brookline and is “happy as a clam,” Nesoff said.

Stacie Kolbeth decided to leave New York City, and her successful job as an advertising executive, when she had her son, Christopher, 16 years ago.

“I wanted to bring him up where there wasn’t all that money, all that noise, all that drama. I wanted him in a real environment where he could flourish,” she said.


Growing up outside Philadelphia, she’d never heard of Duxbury until a family friend living on Cape Cod sent her a real estate magazine with photos of the picturesque town. It looked like what she’d been dreaming about, she said.

She drove up to look and was astonished at the beauty of the homes, the beach, and the harbor. She had grown up sailing in the Chesapeake Bay and wanted her son to sail, too. The clincher to choosing Duxbury: the Duxbury Bay Maritime School and its sailing program.

She bought a house “within five days,” rented a shop for her new business as a designer and importer of country French antiques, and settled into the small town where she “didn’t know a soul.”

“I came here because I envisioned what my son’s life would be,” Kolbeth said. “And everything I dreamed about is exactly what happened. He started sailing when he was 7 years old, and he hasn’t gotten off the water since.”

Bill Santo and his wife, Janice Brogan, were empty-nesters who wanted to get away from their dependence on the automobile and live where they could walk more. They’re moving from Westwood to an old Victorian in Dedham’s Precinct One neighborhood in June.

“It’s a five- or six-minute walk to the downtown, a great little town center with a funky little movie theater that shows indie films and serves beer and wine,” Santo said. “It also has five or six restaurants. Our first big date night [after the move] will be dinner at one of the restaurants and a movie at the local theater.”

Their realtor, Elena Price, said she’s helped others who wanted to be near Dedham’s town center. She said she also has worked with many people who want to move either within or back to Norwood to be near their families.

“Norwood has generations of people who live there,” she said.

Michelle Kundzicz, a realtor in Hull, said she sees a lot of people who came to the town as children.

“They say, ‘I remember summering with my grandparents here and I always wanted to come back and make this my home,’” she said. “They’re always so surprised at how much the fabric of the community hasn’t changed. I’m a Hull kid, born and bred. It gets into you. At some point, you come back.”

Michelle Gagne at Prudential Page Realty in Wrentham said numerous people look in the King Philip regional school district because of its celebrated music program. Other realtors said that Foxborough attracts families for the same reason.

Stacy McGhehey said she knew no one when her husband’s company transferred him from North Carolina to Norwood three years ago. But since her older daughter, Kayla, played the flute, she sent an e-mail to the music director at King Philip Regional High School. His immediate and enthusiastic reply — and offer to let Kayla go to band camp even though she wasn’t technically a student — is why they now live , in Wrentham, McGhehey said.

The school’s current music director, Joshua Wolloff, said his parents actually moved to Wrentham for the music program when he was a child. The family was relocating from Plymouth and looked at both Wrentham and Foxborough, Wolloff said.

“Music was a big part of our lives,” he said. “The tipping point was that my grandfather had land in Wrentham. The free land is what decided it.”

Johanna Seltz can be reached at