Quincy, MA - rental market and city knowledge

11 Replies


Happy Monday! Glad the Patriots won last night and we continue to celebrate despite a foot of snow on the ground (in addition to 18" from last Monday).

Question: I am looking into a potential deal of a 2 family in Quincy that might turn into a 3 family since it's business zoned.

I am curious as to rental markets are in the area. I am familiar with Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, etc (north part of the city) and not so much in the south. Any positive/negative comparisons? Easiness to rent to students vs. families? 

Also, any experience working with the city? Are they easy to negotiate/propose modifications and/or improvements to properties? 

I would love to hear your experiences.

Thanks in advance for your help/answers...


Hi Flavio,

I would consider Quincy a strong rental market. There are 4 MBTA redline stops (Wollaston, North Quincy, Quincy Center, and Quincy Adams). If this property is walking distance to any of these stations you will have no problem getting the units rented. Even if there not walking distance to the stations there always plenty of parking available at them.

A lot of students and people working in the Boston like to live in Quincy because of the distance to the city and the more reasonable rent prices. The rents aren't going to be as high as Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea but there still decent. There are also a lot of family's in Quincy as well so there is a large demographic.

I don't have any experience working with the City but maybe someone else might be able to chime in.

Good luck.


Hello @Russell Chin  

Thanks for your quick reply... The property is located in Houghs Neck. A block away (few steps) from the beach...


@Flavio Zanetti  

Are you looking to have this property as a Buy and Hold?

I ask because I am still looking for any property that meets the 1% rule within 25 miles of the center of Boston.  Congrats if you found one.  Is the place actually worth buying?

I agree that Quincy is a great rentor's market.  I've been looking seriously in this market for years with no luck on even the 1% rule.  I'd love for someone to prove me wrong.  What are the numbers on this place?

@Russell Chin   and @Aaron Montague  , here are the #'s:

Motivated seller will list house for 377.5K

Plan to offer $350K

Taxes @ 4800

Insurance @2000

2 unit on the bus line in Houghs Neck - easy 10 min ride to Quincy Center.

Unit 1: 2 bed / 2 bath very spacious. Rents between 1600-2200 - fair?

Unit 2: 4 bed / 1.5 bath de-leaded. Rents between 1200-1500 - fair?

Both units are in decent shape, nothing fancy and wall-to-wall carpet plus dated yet decent shape kitchens. Huge fenced-in backyard.

Oppt: work with city to change this back to a 3 family since it sits on major road and there are some opportunities for a commercial room, or another studio.

Drawbacks: only one car parking/driveway. Major road, not very convenient for families with kids.

I do welcome your comments folks!


@Aaron Montague and @Russell Chin  got those units figures mixed up:

Unit 1: 4 bed / 1.5 bath very spacious and de-leaded. Rents between 1600-2200 - fair?

Unit 2: 2 bed / 2 bath very spacious. Rents between 1200-1500 - fair?

Overall seems like a decent property and good price for a multifamily in Quincy. I would say your about right on your rent prices. 

Is there plenty of on street parking in front of the property?


@Flavio Zanetti 2 to 3 depends on the City/Town. Do you ever get to any of the Zoning Board meetings to see what others are going through. This helped me with a Property in the Historic district in my Town. They would not allow me to put Architect Shingles and Velux skylights on. Even when I referred to two recent cases they were still reluctant but finally succumbed...

Yes... @Mike Hurney  and @Russell Chin  this is the main drawback... There are, however, plenty of parking on adjacent street.

Still debating if I should take the plunge on this one of not...

@Flavio Zanetti @Russell Chin At one time I had a 3 family with no parking and used to advertise it for rentals and then for sale with:

"Ample on street Parking"

@Flavio Zanetti  

If you can confirm $2200 and $1500 on the rents it might be worth buying.  As Boston based rentals go, this is a good one :)  I wouldn't buy it as I like my Cash on Cash to be 15%+.  This is as good a deal as I've seen on a rental in the Boston area in a while.

My main concern is the range you listed on your rents.  Knowing that a 4/1.5 rents for $2100-2200 would make this a much easier decision.  You need to hammer those numbers down to something much narrower before making a the final decision.

Get your offer in there contingent on whatever allows you to back out if your research doesn't pan out.  I assume the place is not currently rented, correct?

Here is how I view the numbers:

Mortgage Rate 5.00%

Length of Mortgage in years 30

Monthly Mortgage payment $1,503.10

Taxes $400.00

Sewer and Water $100.00

Trash $-

Heat/Utilities $-

HOA $-

Cap Ex and Ops $175.00

Insurance $166.67

Mgmt Fee $370.00

Vacancy $296.00

Total Expenses $3,010.77

Unit 1 $2,200.00

Unit 2 $1,500.00

Total Revenue $3,700.00

Cashflow/month $689.23

Cash on Cash Return 11.18%

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