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In Manchester By the Sea, Lee bought another basement apartment with limited furniture.

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But he already had a house. So why did he do that?

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  • Just from reading the synopsis at Wikipedia, it would seem it was his way of not 'making himself comfortable' at a place he had no intention of staying in, once his obligations to his deceased brother were taken care of. – Andrew Thompson Feb 11 '17 at 12:05
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Lee moved to Boston in the aftermath of his house getting burned down which also led to his and Randy's separation. He was overpowered with remorse, anger over self and wanted to move away from the town which took his anger over self to an admission of being guilty of burning the house down. The time where he was shown leaving in his car, when Patrick takes too much time to say goodbye is when he is leaving town and is facing the full blow of trauma of the recent events. He don't want to be bothered by Jo, being a big brother that he is, makes the place habitable. We don't see much of this place later because most of the movie happens in Manchester.

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