Your live-aboard plans are realistic...but dock space is at a premium in the NY/NJ area so you might want to plan on keeping the boat elsewhere since your schedule doesn't allow you to "weekend" on the boat.
For example...there are many marinas on the Chesapeake Bay that are less expensive...still an easy drive from NY...and it is a great cruising ground for Catalinas/Beneteaus/Hunters etc. like you are considering. Also you have a sailing/living season that is much longer, insurance is cheaper and even in the winter, you can live aboard without ice. Something to think about.
As to your Catalina question...I owned two and was happy with both of them but each boat has it's own specific issues and the Catalina forums right here and owners groups (google it!) can provide much more specific model advice than I can. Get the boat surveyed when you find the one you want!