When you envision a quaint and classic New England-style town, Andover, Massachusetts fits all the requirements: historic homes, an adorable downtown packed with local businesses and access to all the natural beauty of the Northeast. Moving to Andover is quite the dream for those looking for high-quality schools, cultural outings and summer weekends swimming and boating in one of the town’s many nearby ponds and lakes.
None of this charm is by accident. The Andover Preservation Commission works hard to maintain the original beauty of living in Andover while working with modern businesses to keep the community active. One of the most well-known interesting facts about Andover is that the song “America” was written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831, earning the town’s nickname of the “Home of America.”
Thinking about moving to Andover, MA? Here’s what you need to know before making the leap.
Andover’s population is pretty affluent
Access to Boston jobs, local corporate offices and prominent tech companies mean that those living in Andover have a median household income of over $140k a year. And with the reasonable population of 35,000 people, there is plenty of space to spread out while keeping that sense of community.
The town is pretty well-educated as well, with nearly 40% of Andover residents holding Master’s degrees. Large companies have brought these highly skilled workers and their families closer to Andover’s high-paying jobs, transforming the agricultural town in just the past 50 years. About a quarter of the town is made up of children under 25, though the median age is nearly 38. As far as demographics, the town isn’t known for its economic or racial diversity but is incredibly liberal and LGBTQ-friendly.
The town is filled with beautiful homes
The city council works hard to maintain the historical integrity of Andover’s architecture. Most American styles from the late 17th century to the present are featured in Andover. Charming Gothic Revivals are maintained to their original beauty up through Tutor Revivals from the early 1900s.
These homes do add to Andover’s high cost of living, however, with a median home value over $600,000. Though only 20% of residents rent their homes, rent prices average just below $1,500 a month. Otherwise, the average cost of living in Andover will still run you less than Boston, but just below city rates.
Andover neighborhoods are safe
Crimes rates in Andover are well below the national average and most problem areas are further outside the city center. The Andover neighborhood of Haggetts surrounds Haggets Pond, a stunning and relatively secluded area with lush greenery and an easy drive to major highways and downtown. Others living in Andover prefer to be within walking distance of their errands and schools toward the center of town. By living downtown or in the neighborhoods just outside of downtown, one could walk to the competitive Phillips Academy or Merrimack College with ease.
You’ll rarely deal with hot summers
Northern New England weather tends to lean on the chillier side, a great thing for those looking to avoid particularly hot summers. The average temperature in Andover at the peak of summer only reaches 82 degrees. This does make for great hiking weather though, which is a popular choice through the nearby Harold Parker State Forest.
This near-coastal town also sees a good deal of precipitation. With above-average rain and snow totals, residents prep themselves for Massachusetts winters and rainy springs. It can also be quite chilly in the winter, with temps often dipping into the teens.
There are plenty of ways to spend an afternoon
One of the biggest draws of moving to town is all the interesting things to do in Andover. Building a sense of balance often comes from having access to outdoor adventure as well as arts and culture. Andover offers both while remaining close to a major city. If you’re looking for a way to get your family out of the house and moving, there are ample natural activities to do with kids in Andover.
Lakes, Ponds and Reservations
Pomp’s Pond sits right in the center of town and offers community memberships, swim lessons and boat rentals. Haggets Pond sits on the other side of town surrounded by beautiful hiking and biking trails including protected watershed lands. Indian Ridge Reservation feature additional places to head out in nature on your own or with the kids.
There are also plenty of restaurants in Andover perfect for a romantic date night or a casual night out with friends. Downtown features plenty of local chain favorites as well as cozy cafes like LaRosa’s plus the unique Shawsheen Luncheonette for vintage charm. If you’re a fan of craft beer, be sure to check out Oak and Iron Brewing Company with taproom for meeting and lounging with the community.
The Art World
Even if you’re simply visiting Andover, it’s important to make time for the Addison Gallery of American Art, with a massive collection of American classics right in town. A series of privately run art galleries dot the town center, adding to the budding culture and art scene of the town.
Small town, big tech scene
As for the jobs in Andover, this smaller town attracts a shocking number of tech startups and popular corporate names. The company Aras, for example, is still one of the most exciting startups in the area, as mentioned recently in the Boston Globe. As of the end of 2018, about 120 employees came from Andover itself. Other recognizable names are Phillips, Raytheon and Pfizer.
Many of the jobs in Andover come from the several schools and universities as well as the countless small business throughout the downtown neighborhood. So although Andover can be quite pricey, it has become a hot spot for tech moguls looking to live a balanced life outside of city life.
You have your choice of Andover schools
Perhaps most notable for those looking to relocate to Andover are the fantastic schools. Elementary, middle and public high schools in Andover all rank some of the highest in the state. The top-rated private school, Phillips Academy, sits right in the center of town as well as some smaller private academies, Quaker schools and Montessori options. Some students even flock to Andover for the colleges and universities within town or a short driving distance. Massachusetts School of Law sits right in town while Merrimack College resides in North Andover. If they wish, students could also commute from home living in Andover to Boston University’s North Campus or even Northeastern University just south of town.
We at Mass Bay Movers aim to make your transition to Andover as smooth and stress-free as possible. We understand that no move is small, whether you’re headed across town to a new apartment or coming from hours away in the outer reaches of New England. Either way, our packing and moving services for Andover residents are some of the best in the region, receiving five-star ratings across the board. Allow our team to help with commercial moves, home restorations, storage needs and everything in between.