Interview the school professionals, coaches, etc.
Drive around and meet people.
Ask those who live there.
Park in a neighborhood and see who notices you sitting there in your car.
Walk and talk.
Of course choosing a local real estate pro can help you save a lot of time.
(Not me, I'm on the Cape, but I can help you choose a local pro when you are ready.)
(Please note: when you choose an answer as a Best Answer, or at least give a thumbs up, it helps those who answer questions here.)
If you are interested in crime statistics, this website is great because you can search by street:
Everything on the market in Andover:
Everything in North Andover:
Hope that helps!
Territory Real Estate
Massachusetts Destination for Home Buyer's
617 848 5407 ext 704
I have a client that just moved from that side of town who had two young ones in the school who may be willing to answer specific questions for you. The Thomson has a smaller school sort of feel that many like. The parents that I speak to who have children in the school are very clear that they love it. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to put the two of you in touch.