From the Boston Globe

By Globe Staff

L: Rowley Town Hall, which was built in 1904
R: 145 Gle St., a four-bedroom, 2.5 bath house listed at $798,000.
(Globe photos)

Miles from Boston: 30
Population: 5,500
Median house price: $364,150
Tax rate: $11.36
Transportation: Routes 1, 1A, and 133, and I-95 in Georgetown. MBTA commuter rail stop.
Best things: Rural environment, schools
Worst things: Housing costs
MCAS: Member, Triton Regional School District, which ranked 115 out of 373 school districts, according to a Boston Globe analysis of 2004 results.
Census facts: Median family income is $75,527, compared to national rate of $50,046; 36 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to national rate of 24 percent.
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ROWLEY -- Bill Barrows calls this town "the land between."

Barrows is referring to the town's geographic location between communities like Ipswich, Newburyport, Boxford, and the Andovers, all of which grew steadily over the years following the construction of Route 128 and Interstate 95. Barrows, of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Newburyport, said now it's Rowley's turn.

"There are different developments that have come in over the years just because there is no land north of Rowley . . . and nothing south of Boxford," said Barrows. "No one had heard of Rowley 10 years ago."

But there aren't any starter homes in the coastal community, which hosts a state forest and wildlife management areas within its borders -- at least not price-wise.

Marianne H. Putur of Carlson GMAC in Newburyport is handling a new cluster development of 28 two-bedroom town houses on a 36 acre lot, most of which will remain in its natural state.

"It's just beautiful and private," said Putur, who said the asking price for each unit is $449,000 and that buyer interest is high.

On on a recent week, 38 single-family properties were listed, ranging from $324,900 for a 2,100-square-foot, three-bedroom, 1-bath house to $798,000 for a 3,906-square-foot, four-bedroom home with 2 baths.

"I think Rowley is one of the up-and-coming towns on the North Shore," said Domenica Giordano of Nelson, Bromby & Associates of Lynnfield. "They have land available. There is a lot of new construction and it seems as though you get a little more for your dollar than some places like Topsfield."

Giordano said Rowley "has a lot of New England charm. You still see a lot of farmhouses, older Colonials, and interspersed are these new subdivisions. It's a nice mix of old and new."


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