So you’re thinking about moving to North Andover, MA, huh? Congratulations! You’re going to love it here.
But you’re probably feeling a little conflicted. Moving from one town to another is hard. So to help, we’ve put together some information for newcomers.
If you or someone you know are considering moving to North Andover, MA anytime soon, make sure you read this article first!
Is moving to North Andover really for you? I’ll do my best to temper my strong bias and just stick to the facts.
This guide will help you plan your move to North Andover, and get to know your new home — welcome!
Table of Contents
- Facts & Figures
- Beautiful Scenery
- Jobs & Strong Economy
- Thriving Community
- Outdoor Activities
- Easy Commute
- Cost of Living
- Restaurants & Entertainment
- Weather & Climate
- Public Safety
- Schools & Programs
- Final Thoughts
Moving to North Andover, MA: a Complete Guide to North Andover Life
Before we start, let’s go over some boring facts and figures. This is the kind of stuff you could find on Wikipedia, Zillow, or DOL.gov.
But I took the time to compile it all for you in one place. Below, I’ll break down some of these numbers and expand on what they mean for you.
Boring Facts & Figures
- Population: 28,352 (2010)
- Unemployment: 3.3% (Sep 2017)
- Median Home Price: $486,300 (Q4 2017)
- Median Household Income: $94,582
- Average Commute Time: 17-31 minutes
Compare those numbers to other local towns! I think you’ll agree that North Andover looks great on paper.
But beyond just on paper, be sure to check out the affordability of North Andover homes for sale. You’ll see that compared to most other cities & town around this area, buying a home in North Andover is still perfectly affordable.
You’ll love moving to North Andover. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful town, with so much to do and so many great people. If you still need some convincing, you’re in the right place.
I did my best to narrow it down to the top 15 reasons why you’ll love moving to North Andover. I’ve lived in North Andover my entire life, and I’m not going anywhere. Living here just keeps getting better and better.
1. North Andover is beautiful.
Those of us who grew up in North Andover take for granted the beautiful scenery of the Merrimack Valley and our town. I still wake up every morning and smile driving through such a scenic, historic area.
Where else can you have breathtaking, National Geographic-worthy views of sun rising over the Weir Hill and Lake Cochichewick, and then a stunning view of the sun setting over the Merrimack River?
You get an awesome view from anywhere in the Merrimack Valley; a view that people travel long distances to see—our hiking trails are prime leaf-peeping territory.
From early morning sunrises so colorful and amazing that you your day begins with joy and gratitude, to the late afternoon sunsets so powerful that people young and old can’t help but post it on their Instagram or Snapchat—North Andover has it all.
I mean it, it’s crazy.
Every time we have one of those extra special sunsets in North Andover, your news feed will be plastered with everyone’s sunrise/sunset pics.
It’s funny, but also it’s a testament to the natural beauty that we take for granted here in NA… and a reason why YOU should consider moving to North Andover.
2. North Andover Jobs Are Easy to Find
According to Glassdoor, there are currently 404 job openings in North Andover, MA. That’s not breaking any records, for sure.
Expand the search to just 15 miles around North Andover, and the number of job openings near NA skyrockets to 13,827.
The top Glassdoor companies for the area are:
- BAE Systems
- Wright-Pierce Architects
- BAO Marketing
- Empirix Computer Networks
- WellPet Natural Pet Food
- Peabody Properties Real Estate
North Andover is home to Osgood Landing, an office complex that was once home to Lucent Technologies and AT&T—it was the largest AT&T facility in the world at the time. Today, it’s poised to become home to a medical marijuana facility, and has been touted as an “ideal home” for Amazon in its new HQ2 facility search.
North Andover jobs are popping up everywhere.
MA State Economy
Massachusetts proudly boasts the 2nd best Business Environment in the United States, according to US News — combining factors like 2nd best in patent creation, 3rd lowest unemployment rate, and 5th best overall state economy.
Many are moving to MA to get in on this great local economy—especially in life sciences and tech.
A solid, healthy job market also is a great thing for home values. If you own a home in North Andover, and we keep growing like we have been, your home’s value will deliver equity in spades.
3. Thriving, Welcoming Community
Our town has nearly 30,000 people in it, so it’s hard to call it a “small town,” but it definitely feels like one. That’s because the community here is thriving.
There are events, hangouts, meetups, clubs, groups— you name it. The list goes on.
For example, I looked up Facebook groups centered around some part of North Andover life. I stopped counting after 50.
When you search for local community events hosted by the Town of North Andover’s official Festival Committee?
One every 2 weeks for the rest of the year, including a parade, a road race, a tree lighting, and more—and that’s only the official town events.
When you zoom out to see ALL events in North andover the for rest of this year, the total comes in at 91.
Ninety one! In only 57 days remaining this year. That’s basically 2 events per day, every day.
Screenshots from recent events
This is just a tiny sampling of the TONS of community events that happen every week around North Andover.
Music, art, athletics, worship, business, nature, wildlife, social, charity, dining—it’s all here!
4. Hiking, Skiing & Outdoor Activities
Not every suburban paradise offers so much for outdoor activities. And the ones that do are usually cut off from civilization.
We’ve got the best of both worlds. Even though we’re so close to Boston, we still get to enjoy some outstanding hiking, walking/jogging, swimming, pickup sports, and youth sports facilities right here in town.
These spots are perfect for hiking and snowshoeing, and they represent only 3 of countless other perfect locations around town. All 3 are meticulously maintained by the Friends of NA Trails, the Trustees, or by the town DPW.
All are gorgeous spots, especially the ones that overlook the Merrimack Valley!
On any given day, especially summer nights and any weekend morning, you’ll find hundreds of NA residents out for a walk or jog.
The popular spots are the Middle School track, High School track, and Town Common—not to mention the countless others on various sidewalks!
Ok, so the YMCA isn’t actually in North Andover. But it’s less than a mile from the town line with Andover, so I think it counts.
Stevens Pond is a very popular location in the summer months, and Delano Pond is about as remote and idyllic as any swimming hole you could find.
These 3 spots are just the tip of the iceberg. In researching this article, I discovered 2 new parks I didn’t even know about—and I grew up here!
We have more parks and playgrounds than you could visit in a day. And they’re always buzzing with activity.
The youth sports programs might be North Andover’s strongest assets. There are dozens of teams and organizations for kids to choose from.
The 3 baseball diamonds pictured above get heavy use, but there are dozens more.
Here’s a list:
Bonus: Skiing Nearby
All of these ski areas are under an hour from North Andover. Bradford especially—that one is right next door in Haverhill.
LOTS of North Andover folks learn to ski or snowboard at Bradford. Nashoba and Wachusett are both close enough to hit the slopes after work or on an impromptu weekend trip.
Access to some picture-perfect outdoor activity spots is just one of many perks of living in North Andover.
The Full List
We took the time to compile an interactive Google Map with every park, field, playground, and open public space in North Andover.
The red pins are parks, fields, and playgrounds. Blue are public schools. And green are open spaces like Weir Hill and the Town Common.
Look at how many that is! There’s always someplace to get outdoors and get moving!
5. Commuting from North Andover is easy
I can tell you from personal experience that most folks who commute for typical middle-class or white collar jobs (doctor, lawyer, bio/pharma, high tech, management, etc) are driving into Boston every day.
So let’s take a look at what it’s like to commute to some of these metro areas from North Andover. Quicky! To another custom Google Map!
The map above shows the general area and routes many commuters follow driving to work in and around Boston. Your mileage may vary, of course.
But what if you don’t want to deal with rush hour traffic alone in your car every day?
Here are the other commuting options available for the North Andover-to-Boston-area commute.
Route 93 H.O.V. Lane
Mass.gov has some basic info on the 93 Carpool Lane on their website. It’s about a mile and a half long. It starts near Mystic Ave. in Medford (exit 30) and ends as you enter the Zakim Bridge.
Like any carpool lane, the I-93 HOV Lane is open to southbound HOV traffic peak traffic hours: Mon–Friday, 6am—10am.
During non-HOV hours, the lane is open to all vehicles, including those with just the driver and no passengers.
MBTA Commuter Rail
The Haverhill Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail (inbound) stops at the Andover Station on a typical weekday at:
Or about every half hour, starting at 5:30 in the morning (except 7:30, for some reason).
The Andover and Lawrence stops are considered Zone 5. A ticket from Zone 5 costs $9.25 per way (so $18.50 round-trip), and a monthly pass costs $291.50.
The monthly pass is good for a month of unlimited travel on Commuter Rail (within Zone 1A up to 5), plus local bus, T/subway, and Charlestown Ferry.
Many north shore folks find the MBTA’s Orange Line most convenient for travel into the city.
The Orange Line overlaps with I-93 around Assembly Square in Somerville and Sullivan Square in Charlestown.
But if that’s too much highway before hitting the T, you can always start at the Oak Grove stop in Malden.
For the morning commute, the Orange Line starts at Oak Grove at 5:16am and visits each stop southbound on its way to North Station every 6-15 minutes during rush hour.
Since 2015, the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority has offered weekday Boston Commuter bus service from Methuen and North Andover.
Passes can be purchased for one-way travel (either direction) for $5 with a Charlie Card or $6 with cash. 10-ride passes cost $50.
Check out the MVRTA’s Boston Commuter PDF doc for more details.
It’s easy to see that getting from NA to the Boston area—for work or any other reason—is easy and convenient. Just another reason why you should move here!
6. Living in North Andover is affordable
Homes in NA are some of the most affordable in the Greater Boston area. You can find starter homes in North Andover for under $400,000.
Whether you’re trying to stay under $400k or you want a new, custom-construction home in NA… you’ll quickly find that homes are priced very reasonably for the quality of life, low cost of living, and economy.
To put our low cost of living in perspective, the cost of living in North Andover is 36.92% lower than in Boston (these data are actually from next-door Andover).
|Expense||Boston, MA||Andover, MA||Difference|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||15.00$||14.50$||-3.33 %|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||70.00$||55.00$||-21.43 %|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||8.00$||7.70$||-3.81 %|
|Domestic Beer (1 pint draught)||6.00$||5.25$||-12.50 %|
|Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle)||7.00$||7.00$||0.00 %|
|Cappuccino (regular)||3.85$||4.25$||+10.51 %|
|Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle)||1.83$||1.78$||-2.97 %|
|Water (11.2 oz small bottle)||1.58$||1.58$||+0.15 %|
A note on relative costs
At this point, it’s worth reminding you that costs are relative. The prices listed in the table above and in Numbeo’s data may seem high to you, especially if you’re not from New England.
But prices are relative. This is what it costs because this is what it costs. Boston and New England are expensive areas to live in, when compared to the rest of the US.
But if you’re already here, and your point of reference is Boston Metrowest (for example), the North Andover prices probably seem pretty reasonable.
7. We have GREAT Restaurants in North Andover
Living in North Andover, you’d swear it were just a small town. But then we hear a stat like this: there are 58 different restaurants in North Andover.
Before researching this article, I could probably have named 20 off the top of my head.
And for such a small-feeling town, there’s a lot of diversity in the restaurant options, too. Those 58 eateries break down into 15 different categories.
Here’s the list—
|99 Restaurants||267 Chickering Road||(978) 683-9999|
|Top of The Scales||4 Johnson St||(978) 681-8848|
|Burtons Grill||145 Turnpike St||(978) 688-5600|
|Shadi’s Restaurant||585 Chickering Rd||(978) 683-9559|
|Nora’s Kitchen||166 Sutton Street||(978) 655-8567|
|Lots of Eats Thai Kitchen||1211 Osgood St||(978) 682-8888|
|Hokkaido Restaurant & Bar||1250 Osgood St||(978) 552-3950|
|China Blossom||946 Osgood St||(978) 682-2242|
|Shun Ju||733 Turnpike St||(978) 681-1888|
|Thyme Japanese Cuisine||97 Turnpike St||(978) 686-5888|
|China Wok||129 Main St||(978) 689-4495|
Bakery & Desserts
|Sweetpea Vegan Eats||46 Ashland St||(978) 809-6830|
|Dottie’s Delights||733 Turnpike St||(978) 974-0077|
Coffee & Breakfast
|Good Day Cafe||19 High St||(978) 688-6006|
|Heav’nly Donuts||50 Main St||(978) 688-6890|
|Perfecto’s Caffe||1115 Osgood St||(978) 689-4292|
|Full Bloom Cafe||1211 Osgood St||(603) 320-5387|
|The Green Apple Cafe||57 Water Street||(978) 965-5102|
|Dominic’s Diner||492 Sutton St||(978) 682-8822|
|Fari’s Diner||350 Winthrop Ave||(978) 682-0824|
Fast Food & Burgers
|Fuddruckers||550 Tpke St||(978) 557-1100|
|Boston Market||435 Waverley Rd||(978) 725-8100|
|McDonald’s||660 Chickering Rd||(978) 685-9757|
|Burger King||188 Turnpike Street||(508) 685-4490|
|Bollywood Grill||350 Winthrop Ave||(978) 689-7800|
|Buono Bistro||220 Sutton St||(978) 258-0658|
|Chama Grill||115 Main St||(978) 258-2238|
|Dicor Italian & Argentinian Restaurant||1060 Osgood St||(978) 688-0099|
|Luigi’s Ristorante||15 1st Street||(978) 682-2222|
|Orzo Trattoria||1085 Osgood St||(978) 686-6921|
|Bertucci’s||435 Andover St||(978) 685-4498|
|Sultan Mediterranean Cafe||166 Sutton St||(978) 686-7867|
|Chipotle||93 Turnpike Rd||(978) 688-1883|
|Bad Boy Burrito Company||815 Turnpike St||(978) 853-8922|
|Amici’s Pizzeria||127 Waverley Rd||(978) 725-9339|
|Captain Pizza||733 Turnpike St||(978) 975-1230|
|North Andover House of Pizza||133 Main St||(978) 208-7528|
|J&M Subs, Seafood & Pizzeria||69 Main St||(978) 682-1481|
|Jimmy’s Famous Pizza||1595 Osgood St||(978) 685-7777|
|Sal’s Pizza North Andover||476 Chickering Rd||(978) 689-7374|
|Stachey’s Olde Time Pizzeria||9 High St||(978) 683-1999|
|Taki’s Pizza||705 Salem St||(978) 682-8200|
|Tripoli Pizza & Bakery||542 Turnpike St||(978) 682-0003|
|Pizza Factory||535 Chickering Rd||(978) 682-0088|
Pub & Grill
|Jimmy’s Culpeppers||815 Turnpike St||(978) 794-1100|
|Jaime’s Restaurant||25 High St||(978) 655-4735|
|The Loft||1140 Osgood St||(978) 686-0026|
|Augie’s Pub||315 Turnpike Street||(978) 837-5000|
|Pete’s Kitchen at Rolf’s||39 Main St||(978) 687-9712|
|Niki’s Famous Roast Beef||208 Sutton St||(978) 258-1355|
|Harrison’s Roast Beef||80 Chickering Rd||(978) 687-9158|
|Bella’s Roast Beef||1211 Osgood st||(978) 258-1123|
|Subway||137 Turnpike St||(978) 258-6730|
|B.GOOD||99 Turnpike St||(978) 681-9125|
|Panera Bread||58 Peters Street||(978) 682-8636|
|Boston Chowda Co.||109 Main St||(978) 685-9610|
|Joe Fish||1120 Osgood Street||(978) 685-3663|
|Lobster Tail||1081 Osgood St||(978) 682-7713|
I’ve personally sampled almost all of these establishments and I can earnestly recommend each of them!
8. North Andover Weather
As someone who has been living in North Andover my entire life, I can say that our weather is great, and never gets boring.
We have 4 very distinct seasons. I love each season for what it offers. And when the seasons start to change, it’s exciting.
No other region in the country offers the unique weather patterns that New England has.
Before moving to North Andover, you should know that it can get hot and humid in the summer, and very cold and dry in the winter.
But most of us wouldn’t have it any other way!
Massachusetts ranks in the top 15 rainiest states in the US with yearly precipitation averaging 47.7 inches. Data specific to North Andover aren’t available, but nextdoor Haverhill is rainier still, with an average of 50 inches of precipitation, according to currentresults.com.
Obviously, the winter months see more snow than rain. And yes, that can be inconvenient for travel. But it also provides a charm to the New England winter.
Plus, it’s fun for the kids to sled and make snowmen, and it’s more opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air—going skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing.
Most, if not all, of the hiking trails mentioned above become perfect settings for winter scenery hikes or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing tips once the flurries fly.
We’ll talk more about the schools below, but NA Public Schools see their fair share of school cancellations in a given year due to inclement weather.
And nothing cures the winter blues like a snow day!
9. North Andover Crime is almost Zero
Lots of buyers and residents are curious about crime rates. Naturally, everyone wants to feel safe in their home.
There are laws about how much Realtors can say regarding crime and safety in towns and neighborhoods, so I won’t make any observations or conclusions. You should draw those conclusions for yourself.
Below is a table taken from the FBI’s annual crime statistics report, from 2016. North Andover’s stats are highlighted in yellow, with several other Merrimack Valley towns provided for comparison.
MA Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by City, 2016
|City||Population||Violent Crime||Murder||Rape||Robbery||Agg. Assault||Property||Burglary||Theft||Vehicle Theft||Total||Crimes per Thousand|
The “Crimes per Thousand” column represents the total number of incidents reported, divided by total population.
The stat didn’t come from the FBI, but it helps provide a generic overview metric to compare frequency of crimes per town.
North Andover Law Enforcement
The North Andover Police Department are second to none. Their hard work and tireless dedication to the safety and protection of NA residents is as inspiring as it is reassuring.
I’ve personally known many of North Andover’s Finest for many years and I’m proud to call them my friends and neighbors.
Bonus: Voted 12th Safest in MA
SafeWise.com ranked North Andover the 12th safest town in the state.
To identify the 20 safest cities in MA, SafeWise reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data.
Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system.
Their evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city.
10. North Andover Schools
The public schools in North Andover have won multiple awards throughout the years. Their extracurricular programs have traveled the US competing, performing, and making North Andover proud.
And we have more private schools in town than many people realize. Most of them are early childhood or preschools, but we have at least one private school for every grade level—up through a Masters Degree!
Map of all North Andover Schools
Time for another interactive map. Here’s every school in North Andover, along with related administration and/or municipal buildings.
North Andover has two high schools: one public and one private.
NA High School
North Andover has two middle schools: one public and one private.
NA Middle School
St. Michael School
In North Andover, the Elementary Schools cover Kindergarten through 5th grade. We have 5 public and 1 private elementary schools.
Atkinson Elementary School
Franklin Elementary School
Kittredge Elementary School
Sargent Elementary School
Thomson Elementary School
St. Michael School
Preschools & Early Childhood
North Andover has 8 private preschools and/or daycare centers, and one public preschool.
Early Childhood Center
115 Phillips Brooks Road
Marylou Connors, Director
Community Cooperative Pre-School
Family Co-Op Pre-School
New England Montessori School
North Andover KinderCare #1485
72 Elm Street
Pam Rasetta, Director
Little Learners Child Care Center
North Andover is blessed enough to host a thriving college campus. Merrimack College straddles our western border with Andover. For 60+ years, there has been a strong connection between the Merrimack Golden Warriors and the community of North Andover residents.
Youth education & programs in NA
Not enough is said about the youth programs in North Andover. I said above how our youth sports teams may be our strongest asset. That’s only part of the story.
The programs and facilities available to our kids are beyond excellent. The neighborhood kids of North Andover have access to everything a suburban kid could want: schools, music, art, athletics, community service, you name it.
This is, by far, my favorite feature about our town. And I know many would agree with me when I say that North Andover is the perfect place to grow up.
Final Thoughts on Moving to North Andover
If you’re moving to North Andover or are considering it, it’s is truly a fantastic place to live, work, and play. You’ll never run out of things to do and there will always be more friendly people to meet.
If you’re seriously thinking about moving to North Andover, or just have a few more questions before deciding, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the North Andover area.
Still have questions about a potential move to North Andover? You can get in touch with me HERE. I have lived here for 30+ years —I know the area!
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