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August News-Blog

Here's a photo of April and Dave's 'new' backyard...offering all the privacy and possibility they were looking for. If you're after privacy, possibility or your perfect place, Team@Susan Sells wants to be your guide. It's a great time for move-up buyers and move-up sellers. 

1st Time Opportunity in North Andover



Susan's mother Irene- an 85th Birthday Bash!


Always a reason to Celebrate

It was a grand celebration! Just what Irene said she wanted…old-time friends, newer friends, young and old, music, lawn games, karaoke and plenty for everyone to eat and drink home-cooked with love. We came together to celebrate Susan’s mother, Irene, and her 85th birthday recently with a huge gathering of relatives from far and near, friends, like Susan Lenoe of Andover who told me she’d been friends with Irene for over 55 years. That hardly seems possible. There were people from the old Wildwood Road neighborhood, like Selma and Bucky Fleider and son Jeff, and Sylvia Niestadt who worked with Irene many years ago at the JCC Early Childhood Center at the inception of her career caring for families and children (outside of her own).
Irene Rochwarg has touched many people in her 85 years. She was the first director of the Early Childhood Learning Center, known to families as ECLC in North Andover (now KinderCare) spanning a long career. Susan is always running in to former students or parents whose kids went there and ask about Irene. Some even ask if Susan is her sister. You get the picture here. Young at heart and always up for a new adventure, Irene is extremely proud of her Finnish heritage. She has forged new friendships over the past few years with a number of Finns in Maine and Massachusetts through a Finnish language group, aimed at resurrecting her rusty Finnish. At 80 she learned to play the Finnish string instrument, the kantele, and joined a kantele band, performing with them several times a year around New England at cultural events and Christmas concerts.  An avid gardener, you can find her out early in the morning pulling weeds and tending to the many gardens, under blueberry bushes and harvesting raspberries around her home in Haverhill. We should all hope to be as active and healthy in our 85th year!  I say, ‘Celebrate often. It’ll change your perspective (and maybe keep you young, like Irene.)”
Contributed by Jeff French, Marketing Director, Susan Sells Real Estate Team
WARD RESERVATION: Climb a hill for great views extending from the surrounding Merrimack Valley to the Boston skyline, or explore this sprawling landscape along almost 10 miles of trails. 

Credit Mabel Ward for her foresight, generosity, and enduring love. In 1940, seven years after the death of her husband, Charles W. Ward, she paid tribute to his memory and their union by making an original donation of 153 acres to The Trustees. In ensuing years, the Ward family and others have made additional gifts; the reservation now totals 700 acres. 
Trails link three major hills – Shrub, Boston, and Holt – and looking out from their summits you can see how the property melds with the surrounding landscape. The “Solstice Stones” mark the grassy summit of Holt Hill, the highest point in Essex County. This compass-like arrangement of stones indicates the cardinal points on the compass, the points of the summer and winter solstices, and the points of the spring and autumnal equinoxes. 

At the base of Holt Hill, step onto a boardwalk that leads to Pine Hole Pond, at which point you may ask: Is this water or land? In fact, you are walking across a rare quaking bog, comprised of concentric rings of floating vegetation, each with unique growing conditions. The bog is home to a number of interesting plant species, including orchids and insect-eating pitcher plants. Stop at the numbered stations along the way, each of which signals an interesting botanical or geologic feature. Pick up an interpretive booklet at the bulletin board to follow numbered stations along the boardwalk and learn more about this rare natural phenomenon. 
Almost 10 miles of trails, easy-to-moderate hiking, strenuous in places. Some of the trails here are part of the Bay Circuit Trail, a regional greenway linking the North Shore and South Shore. 
AVIS Reservations- Andover Village Improvement Society
AVIS is a non-profit land trust dedicated to acquiring land and preserving it in its natural state and encouraging public use and quiet enjoyment.  Founded in 1894, AVIS is one of the oldest conservation groups in the country.  Walk or ski the 30 miles of trails, boardwalks, and bridges that are open to the public on over 1100 acres of AVIS reservations in Andover. Visit http://www.avisandover.org for an interactive map and list of the 29 reservations under AVIS care.
Harold Parker State Forest, which lies in Andover, North Andover, North Reading and Middleton, comprises just over 3,000 acres of Central Hardwood-Hemlock-White Pine type of forest. The forest is twenty miles north of Boston and within one hour's drive of three million people. Recreational opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, camping and picnicking. The forest has over 35 miles of logging roads and trails and offers quiet seclusion to off-road hikers and bikers.



Here is a link to Neighborhood trails: 








Treading through North Andover and Boxford

The absolute best tool for exploring North Andover, Andover, and Boxford's wonderful trails and nature is through this Interactive Map

Some of my favorite trails to explore, walk, run and hike are below:

Weir Hill
I often run around Weir Hill. My typical route is to start at North Andover High School. Run down Stevens Street and through the Trails of Edgewood which abut Weir Hill. Once in Weir Hill, it is easy to feel as if you're moving much faster than your actual pace as the trees and leaves race by, your feet gliding across the elevated wooden pathways. I often encounter dog-walkers along the route and enjoy the challenge of avoiding their excited, wagging tails. 
As I run under the power-lines which border Stevens Pond near Weir Hill, the water flies by as I finally emerge and turn back towards the High School. It is one of my favorite running routes but can be enjoyed at a slower pace as well. I have also hiked up Weir Hill, looking down upon some of the fields and churches of North Andover as they reach out of the typically green landscape. They have cleared some of the area at the top which not only improves the view, but is similarly good for the environment. Don't sleep on what is in your backyard. Weir Hill has over 190 acres to explore.

"The Missile Site"
On the border of North Andover and Boxford is a peculiar but also intriguing landscape great for walking or running. In 1968, this land off of Sharpners Pond Road in North Andover was acquired with the goal of creating a missile detection center. The project was halted soon after by President Nixon, However the inital excavations as well as the access road are still present, intertwined with the nature trails and present only as lakes now, not the potential concrete bunkers they would have been. 

"Bald Hill"
Me and my friends sometimes go hike the trails of the Boxford State Forest and Bald Hill is one of the best. Wandering around the elevated paths over swamps and wandering through the tall pine trees is an easy way to pass time. Check it out on the interactive map.

.A Simon and Garfunkel Approach to Buying a Home….
Amale was referred by one of our clients for help. Ironically, Amale had previously encouraged her friend Clara to buy her first place and when Clara and Joel bought last year, they insisted that Amale get in touch with the Susan Sells Team in order to make her dream of homeownership a reality too.
We got focused on her ‘life just right’ place quickly and found what looked and felt like a match.  We were able to bring the buyer and seller together on price and terms, and the home inspection was clean.  Done deal, right?  Not so fast. Challenges came up in our due diligence (What is due diligence for a buyer? Find out next news-blog when we talk about due diligence in detail.)
You see, we discovered that half of the unit could be flood zone AE. Condominium documents had problems too. To top it off, we found out the seller had a contentious relationship with the adjacent unit owner. Triple trouble. Amale loved this home but we could not advise entering into a situation where she would inherit these issues as-is.  Walking away from a goal was a hard thing to do.  We made sure her deposits had been properly protected, but emotionally, it hurt.  Walking away also hit home with the seller and other unit owner; these problems were not going to go away.  Committed to tireless effort towards a resolution and ‘life just right’ for Amale, the Team continued to help in the untangling of the situation one step at a time. Calling on a select few of our trusted lenders, a couple top insurance agents and attorneys too, we were able to rekindle the purchase after being pushed off for a month’s delay.  Fast Forward with enthusiasm for everyone involved, Amale moved into her new home last week.  When we called to check on her, she was sitting on her deck and then in her living room “feeling” the space. Home ownership was so important to Amale.
You may know someone like Amale that really dreams of owning their own place, doesn’t know where to begin or who to trust to help, and couldn’t imagine the obstacles all along the way. Amale was committed to go from renting to home-ownership, always asked good questions and was a shining example of the emotional buy when she asked herself time and time again ‘how does it feel’ or “Can I see myself here’ during the search and elimination. Lots of buyers in today’s market believe finding a property they love is the biggest part of their agent’s job.   It took patience, empathy, critical thinking skills, not being afraid to hear ‘no’ and the ability to tap into trusted partners plus teamwork to bring this deal to the finish line(all after we found the perfect place). You can trust the Susan Sells Team and our allied resources to help you construct a bridge over any troubled waters!

Contributed by Jen Houlihan, Lead Buyer Agent, Buyer Team @Susan Sells


August is Here. Make it point to get out and
enjoy the warm days of summer.

Despite whispers of "Back to school", "Clearance Sale" or cleared out garden center shelves, Summer is far from over. 

If anything, these signs are only the first bell to remind us that we have a great opportunity in front of us. Often you can buy wonderful perennials at deeply discounted prices, bring them home, plant in your garden to enjoy for the remainder of the season and many years to come.

Perhaps it's time to buy the fancy lawn mover you have always dreamed about. Now is the time as many are on clearance as stores prepare to make room for their fall inventory. 

We are so fortunate to live in New England with easy access to great trails right in our communities. Meet a friend, catch up and explore. Perhaps a short ride after work to one of the great beaches in Maine, New Hampshire or Massachusetts for dinner over looking the beach.

August is a month of Opportunity. So take advantage of the summer clearance sales, meet a friend for a walk along one of our community trails, take an evening drive real soon to the beach and feel the salt water breeze at your back.  

Happy Summer Days




Contributed by Stephen Arnold, Client Service & Support @SST


Coming Soon: 36 Dole Hill Lane, Boxford MA 

Architect's design for Neo-Classical styled colonial on prime lot in Boxford. Incredible!
A gorgeous home on an AMAZING Lot in Boxford!

Coming Soon: 3 Buxton Court, Andover MA

Great Multi-Family Opportunity in Downtown Andover

2 Units, 3-4 Beds
Don't miss out! 
Call your us today!

Check with us regularly for a sneak-peak. Every one of our listed properties gets a full service Preview Marketing Plan for maximum opportunities for sellers to have an increased and enthusiastic buyer pool and for buyers to get hints and first looks at ‘coming soon’ homes. 


SHOUT OUT TO a couple of our select vendors serving clients caring for, upgrading, selling or buying their homes. They really make us look good. Here's what you're saying.

"Mike Rivers, Rivers Plumbing and Heating was responsive and checked out our heating system for proper operation so that we will shine for buyers and through inspections...and Brian from Advanced Mold Detection came and found a tiny bit of mold, treated it, will supply us with a short report to make a part of our house file AND didn't charge for any of his work!!!!  That's amazing."

Preparation and conditioning proactively allows our move-up and right-size sellers to remain in charge of the market, to consider offers including price and terms with the confidence of knowing they are properly prepared to turn over their house to a new owner. Thank you to our select vendors who work with a return call policy, service standard including do what you say you will, charge a fair price and do good, honest work. Whatever you need, we can help. 

Client Services and Support @Susan Sells Team 978.470.2048

Here's to a 'life just right' for you. Your feedback appreciated.
AUGUST will fly by so take advantage of SPECIAL MOMENTS with SPECIAL PEOPLE doing SPECIAL THINGS every day. That'll make your Life Just Right! 
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