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Old 02-12-2009, 08:43 AM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 5,115,220 times
Reputation: 765

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Hello!

My husband recently applied for a position in Andover. We have lived in MA (western part) before and most recently Atlanta. Before he does any kind of interviewing, I want to see what we can afford and what kind of lifestyle would be available in our price range. Great public schools would be our number one priority. One of our children is classified as highly gifted with dyslexia and is currently in public school but we may need a private school option down the road. So any town near a dyslexia school would be a big plus (if there are any). We really like walkable town centers. We'd prefer not be in vast suburbia as is the case now! Our meager Northeastern budget is around $600K but can we may be able to go as high as low 7's. (want to conserve some cash for private school for our child).

I want to make sure we can have a good quality of life and our kids educational needs are met. We don't need a big house but after 5 relocations in 12 years, I'd like to not have to update anything if at all possible.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:16 AM
 
967 posts, read 4,502,384 times
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I would think Andover itself would be a good option due to the school system, although I don't know about dyslexia schools in particular. It is a walkable downtown and you could certainly get something nice for your money there. I used to work in Andover myself a few days a week and liked it. I didn't live there but several of my colleagues did and felt the school programs were quite good.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:17 PM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 5,115,220 times
Reputation: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletfire View Post
I would think Andover itself would be a good option due to the school system, although I don't know about dyslexia schools in particular. It is a walkable downtown and you could certainly get something nice for your money there. I used to work in Andover myself a few days a week and liked it. I didn't live there but several of my colleagues did and felt the school programs were quite good.
Thanks. I looked online and there does not seem to be much in our price range. Are the prices there pretty true/realistic or are people slow to adapt to the downturn?
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,602 posts, read 12,786,015 times
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kaday, there are only a couple of schools for dyslexia that would be within commuting distance to Andover.

The Bedford Learning School for Dyslexia in Bedford would probably be the closest, and being a "reverse commute" actually doable. You could also consider Burlington, Concord, maybe even Lexington. There is also the Landmark School in Beverly (Landmark School | Welcome to Landmark School). Beverly is a really nice town, right on the coast)

Just a week or two ago, I was in a nice 4-bedroom Andover property, priced in the high 5's. Granite/cherry kitchen, lots of hard wood, finished basement, close to 3000 square feet. Are you looking for something similar?

While asking prices are still high in many cases, it's been my experience that when an offer to purchase comes in, many Sellers are willing to negotiate. I would suggest that you get a qualified Buyer's Agent to begin your search, check out some homes in person, be up front about your specific needs in a home, neighborhood and town. After all of your previous relocations, you probably already know this, but the agent's name on the sign (or on MLS) is working for the seller, and isn't going to negotiate on your behalf... Keep your confidential information to yourself
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 9,981,893 times
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I agree with Valerie C.

The rule of thumb is... further away from Boston... sellers more willing to negotiate... especially when they see houses are not moving...

I'm not sure where you're moving from... but the public school here in many towns actually deals with special education better than private schools. I suggest calling Andover's special education adminstrator and talk about the services that you need or want. Especially good if you can set up a time to talk while coming to visit.

I also suggest looking at MA Depart of Education for laws regarding special education.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:56 AM
 
Location: a warmer place
1,748 posts, read 5,115,220 times
Reputation: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by smarty View Post
I agree with Valerie C.

The rule of thumb is... further away from Boston... sellers more willing to negotiate... especially when they see houses are not moving...

I'm not sure where you're moving from... but the public school here in many towns actually deals with special education better than private schools. I suggest calling Andover's special education adminstrator and talk about the services that you need or want. Especially good if you can set up a time to talk while coming to visit.

I also suggest looking at MA Depart of Education for laws regarding special education.
Thanks Smarty and Valerie very helpfull. Since I only have access via the internet now it is really hard to get an idea of what the housing really looks like. But I am glad to hear there are some nice homes in our range.

We really hope to stick with public schools if at all possible. We just want back up near by if it doesn't work out. I will contact the schools and see what type of programs they might have. Andover looks like a good fit on paper.

Does anyone have any idea where I can see some pictures of Andover? I'd especially like to see the downtown area.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,602 posts, read 12,786,015 times
Reputation: 4405
kaday, just so you are aware, this week is Massachusetts February School Vacation week, so the answers you seek may not be available at this time.

While you're fact-seeking, you'll might also want to review your child's current 504 or IEP to be sure that it's working well for his or her needs BEFORE moving to a new district. Some districts will work well in formulating a plan that works for the student, others just... don't. Andover is one of the better school systems in the area, as well as the other towns that I mentioned. There are other nearby towns that I can think of that might not be willing (or financially able) to provide the specialized instruction that may be necessary. As a mom with a special-needs child, I understand that this is probably one of the most important factors in your decision to come back to Massachusetts.

It's good that you've previously lived in MA, as the cold winters may not be such a shock with your possible move from Atlanta. The cost of living here I would imagine is quite a bit higher than in Georgia, but quality of life is something that everybody qualifies differently, and of course one person's utopia is another's worst nightmare.

I have pictures taken in Andover, but not on this computer. I'll try to post some to my photobucket account later today... In the meantime, here are some links that might help with more info for you:

//www.city-data.com/city/Andove...achusetts.html

andoverma.gov - Official website of the Town of Andover, MA

Andover School District schools, Andover - MA: charter and public schools. Andover school district - Andover MA school district

These are links to next-door North Andover's schools... don't know if it might be under consideration as well...

North Andover Public Schools - Special Education

North Andover Public School System - North Andover, MA

EDIT: You might want to post your questions on the main Massachusetts area of the forum for more responses. Speaking for myself, I seldom venture into the Boston sub-topic area, as I don't have a knowledge base of the city itself.

Last edited by Valerie C; 02-16-2009 at 09:31 AM.. Reason: suggestion...
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:53 AM
 
Location: Metrowest, MA
1,810 posts, read 9,981,893 times
Reputation: 921
One thing I find much easier to do nowadays is to read local newspaper... they give you an idea what residence are talking about... from sports, town budget, local politics, teen drinking, .... I find it an interesting way to know the town...

Home - Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Last edited by CaseyB; 02-17-2009 at 04:22 AM.. Reason: link to competitor site
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