Median home price: Single family, $500,500; condominiums, $228,000
Residential tax rate: $11.40
Average tax bill: $5,867
Choice location: Rising above Lake Cochichewick, Weir Hill offers hiking trails. Historically the hill's name was pronounced "Wire Hill." The lake is part of the town's public drinking water supply.
Cocktail party nugget: More people from North Andover were accused of being witches during the Salem witch trials than people from Danvers, where the trials were held.
SOURCES: Warren Group, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Trustees of the Reservations
THE GOODS: This family-oriented outer suburb has New England charm, with wooded areas, stately homes, and an older housing stock.
It offers good proximity to the high technology sector in the Merrimack Valley, as well to the Route 128 employment belts and downtown Boston.
North Andover has undergone rapid growth and transformation in recent years.
Merrimack College, located within the town, is also a significant presence in community life.
PROS: A varied housing stock can accommodate first-time buyers as well as those looking for a multimillion-dollar estate.
Closer to the commercial centers, the town had a building boom of new homes for the inflow of new residents in recent years.
Properties can be spacious and many neighborhoods are close to woods, fields, and other natural spaces.
CONS: Big and new dominate the upper end of the market and younger homes in many price ranges have a cookie-cutter sameness to them.
The public schools have been plagued with problems of underperformance in recent years.
The school district is currently searching for a new superintendent.