Dedham - 02026
Housing in Dedham, MA 02026
Brief SynopsisDedham is the county seat for Norfolk County and enjoys a high percentage of commercial property which provides a tremendous commercial tax base, and which, thankfully, keeps the residential tax rate more affordable. Jim’s family actively considered relocating to Dedham because of its terrific shopping at Legacy Place; but opted for a shorter commute time to Chestnut Hill and Boston’s lower tax rate. Dedham is a diverse community consisting of pockets of million-dollar estates along with more affordable housing. For example, historic Dedham boasts a remarkably well preserved town center with many handsome, historic houses like the Endicott Estate. By and large, Dedham is a community of modest homes – many with less than 2,000 square feet of living area – and very affordable in comparison to Boston’s western suburbs. As one of America’s oldest towns, Dedham is rich in history and culture, not to mention being a family friendly community with a population around 25,000.
Where is Dedham?Dedham, being predominantly inside the 128 loop, enjoys a prime location offering easy, direct access to Boston and other points north, south, and west via SR-128/I-95 and I-93. In fact, commuting time to Boston is just 20 minutes via commuter rail or 30 minutes via I-93. Dedham abuts Boston’s neighborhoods of West Roxbury to the north and Readville to the northeast, the towns of Westwood to the southwest and Canton to the southeast, Needham to the west, and Newton to the northwest.
Legacy PlaceLegacy Place is one of Dedham’s focal points. Jim likes to say, “All (Dedham) roads lead to Legacy Place!” Perhaps this is why Jim and his wife find themselves in Dedham at least twice a week. Why? Because Legacy Place itself boasts a large complex that combines shopping with entertainment: Costco Warehouse and gas station; a Kings entertainment complex with bowling lanes; Showcase Cinema de Lux with 15 screens; JP Licks, Good Eats, Shake Shack, Legal Seafood, Whole Foods market; and on and on. However, the majority of big-box stores are located in the neighboring towns of Newton and Westwood.
A drive through historic Dedham reveals a charming area of rich and diverse architecture. Look at its monumental granite court house of Greek Revival design, a stunning Victorian prison, the limestone Neoclassical Registry of Deeds, a stately Romanesque Revival public library, and the beautiful Renaissance and Georgian Revival schools.And we mustn’t forget the Fairbanks House is the oldest standing timber-frame house in America.
The Neighborhoods of Dedham
- Oakdale, the geographical center of town, roughly confined by East Street to the west, Cedar Street to the south and east, and Whiting Ave to the north.
- Riverdale, an island surrounded by the Charles River and Long Ditch.
- Greenlodge, which runs along the axis of Greenlodge Street and the area between Greenlodge Street and East Street.
- Readville Manor, comprising the neighborhood south of Sprague Street.
- Ashcroft, which lies between Cedar Street to the north and Sprague Street to the south.
- East Dedham, which falls between Mother Brook and the Boston line.
- Precinct One, or Upper Dedham, in the northwest corner of the town, between High Street and Common Street and the Westwood and Needham lines. Precinct One is generally known as the most desirable one to live in.
Outdoor RecreationDedham has several parks to enjoy whether you are into hiking or dog walking. Dedham is home to several state parks managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), as well as properties owned by the Dedham Land Trust, and NewBridge on the Charles, all of which are open to the public. These natural areas offer miles of hiking trails, bird watching, and escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In upper Dedham there is a network of marked trails that lead you from the Town’s Dolan Recreation Center on Common Street to Whitcomb Woods, where you can choose to either cross Common Street to DCR’s Wilson Mountain or continue on to NewBridge on the Charles trails. Although there is a dog park at the Dolan Recreation Centre on 269 Common St, our family’s favorite place to run our dogs is at Wilson Mountain. After a hike up or around the “mountain” our dogs can cool off in the pond located behind Northeastern’s Grass Hockey Field. In East Dedham there is a trail network that leads you from Mill Pond Park on Colburn Street along Mother Brook. And then there’s Dedham Town Forest. It is situated between the northbound and southbound lanes of route 128 (I-95) and is accessed through a gate on 1A. You will need to park in the Holiday Inn or Dedham Savings parking lots or on Fay St. More info here.
Dedham Public & Private SchoolsAccess Dedham’s official website to learn about its services and government. If you have school-age children, Dedham’s school district consists of an Early Childhood Education Center (K – 2), four elementary (3 – 5) schools (Avery, Greenlodge, Oakdale, Riverdale), Dedham Middle School (6 – 8), and Dedham High School (9 – 12). Its transportation policies are outlined here. In addition to Dedham’s public schools are a variety of private schools: Noble and Greenough, co-ed boarding school (7 – 12); Dedham Country Day School (PK – 8) co-ed; Ursuline Academy (7 – 12) girls Catholic; The Rashi School (K – 8) co-ed Jewish; Saint Mary of the Assumption (K – 12) co-ed Catholic.
General InformationTo keep up with daily goings on, in general, you can check in online with the Dedham Patch, The Dedham Transcript, The Dedham Times, Topix, or, of course, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. If you have a specific property in mind that you think you might like to buy, the Town of Dedham maintains a database for the City Assessor which you can access to see what value the City gives the property, what the annual taxes are, etc.
Single family homes in Dedham have been running from $325,000 to $7,900,000 while condos and attached houses have been running from $300,000 to $1,550,000. Pricing varies depending upon size, location, and amenities. Real estate markets are very fluid and can fluctuate in a matter of hours because homes come on and off the market daily… even hourly. The following chart is a visual representation of the cyclical nature of real estate and compares the ups and downs of Dedham to those of Boston proper. The taller the column the better it is for buyers. The shorter the column the better it is for sellers. Hence 2006 was the best time for a buyer to buy in Dedham, while 2018 was a great year for sellers. However, buyers will be happy to know that the graphic below indicates a weakening seller’s market.