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North Shore Neighborhoods

We get the scoop on what makes some of our favorite neighborhoods such a fantastic place to live.

Andover’s Johnson Acres

Old-Fashioned Charm If it’s a gorgeous early autumn weekend, don’t be surprised to find a few roads closed in Andover’s Johnson Acres neighborhood, where instead of cars you’ll see a huge block party spilling into the street with a bouncy house for kids, cotton candy machine, fired-up grills, and maybe even a big outdoor screen with a Patriots game playing. Consisting of a handful of tree-lined roads off of Elm Street, Johnson Acres is a special neighborhood with old-fashioned charm. The Johnson Acres Book Group meets regularly to discuss their latest selections (The Life She Was Given was a recent favorite) over wine and potluck desserts. There are Yankee Swaps, email chains about neighborhood news, kids playing, and families walking their dogs. Plus, Johnson Acres is imminently walkable, with access to both downtown abd the nearby Carmel Woods. Some neighbors are longtime residents, like Sarita Broccoli, who’s lived there for nearly 30 years and even renovated a too-small house when her family outgrew it because “I couldn’t bring myself to leave the neighborhood.” According to Joanne Doherty Dee, a realtor with William Raveis and lifelong Andover resident, the Johnson Acres neighborhood was built in the 1950s, and its homes are a mix of everything from small capes and ranches to stately English Tudors and everything in between—complemented by “just enough yard to tend.” Not only do the many styles of homes blend beautifully together—and “fly” off the market when they’re listed, Dee says—but there are options for nearly every stage of life. “I love when you have people who have lived in the neighborhood for 35-plus years combined with people who are just starting their families,” she says. “It’s just a great neighborhood feel.”   Photos by Adrien Bisson
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