We are thinking about downsizing. Brookside at Andover seems worth looking at as an option. Any comments would be appreciated.?

Asked by Lizzie, Andover, MA Fri Mar 19, 2010

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Lisa Johnson…, Agent, Winchester, MA
Sun May 16, 2010
Hi Lizzie,
I have worked with Andover condo buyers who were ONLY interested in Brookside condominiums because of the location, design and amenity.
Are you thinking of a garden style or a townhome?

The inventory on the market there is currently lower than it has been in some time.
One thing to know before you rule it in or out is that the development is not fha financeable.
You would most likely need a conventional loan.
I worked with one couple recently who had put a home under contract there only to find out their financing wouldn't allow the unit.
They were devestated because they loved it so much.

The unit they were attempting to purchase was a quiet , end unit on the ground level.
We did our research and they were pleased all around with what they found.

Hope this helps.
If you have specific questions feel free to call or email me and if I can help you I will be happy to.

Best wishes!
Web Reference:  http://www.route495.com
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Mandy, , Andover, MA
Fri Mar 19, 2010
I've lived at Brookside for almost 6 years. We moved in as renters & then purchased our condo when they decided to convert. Brookside is very family friendly. I have children and the love living here. They always have a friend to play with outside & most of the community knows one another. For many families it feels like the type of neighborhoods we grew up in. The pool is great & the clubhouse is great too. You can rent it for personal parties (that includes the movie theater, kitchen, living room area). There are some retired couples around. We have some great retired neighbors that have their grandkids over every week.
There is only one maintenance person that is on staff here. They used to have a property manager in the clubhouse but it was costing too much.
There are very few noise issues here compared with other places I've lived. I live underneath someone with hardwood floors & I never hear footsteps. I only hear if someone drops something or their washing machine goes off balance. I do have new neighbors to the side of me and I can hear their children on the stairs occassionally. But the units are constructed very well (better than my parents home). My husband agrees that this place is constructed very well.
There were some management issues when Brookside went condo and they are still being resolved. But from what I hear it is no different at other condo associations.
Right now, the prices are very good on these units. So buying here is probably a steal if you can hold on to it for a few more years. I think the other person who commented on resales is not seeing Brookside for what it is. Since this place was built (even as apartments), people have moved here to get their kids into Andover schools & then move into a bigger home. Most people I know that have moved or sold their unit are upgrading to a bigger home, retiring or they have been transferred. The market has made these condos even more affordable.
I just wish we had storage units & garages. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
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Val Cloutier, Agent, Londonderry, NH
Fri Mar 19, 2010
Lizzie, are you currently in Andover? If you've been a single-family homeowner, it might be difficult to transition to a condo community as populated as Brookside. Also, keep in mind that Brookside was not constructed as single-owned condos, but as apartment rentals. I've heard complaints that sound travels easily from one unit to the other. Units seem to become available for sale quite often, and also seem to more quickly (as compared to similar developments) There are some spacious and beautiful units over there, so I would recommend visiting and viewing as many as possible to help make your decision.

Valerie Cloutier
Web Reference:  http://www.SNHhome.com
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Matt Heisler, Agent, Westborough, MA
Fri Mar 19, 2010
Hi Lizzie:
Your response is far more specific! Those items might seem "obvious" to you, but not everyone cares about those items. The complex was built in 89-90, most of the complexes where people complain about noise were built well before that: 60's, 70's, early 80's. Current building codes generally require a little more insulation to help keep shared wall spaces quiet. In terms of who lives there, generally agents (such as myself) have to be very careful not to give out demographic information which could be used in a discriminatory manner, including age related information. In my experience though, young complexes like this attract a range of folks, single young professionals, downsizers like yourself, and the larger units may attract single parent families or families themselves, but that is rarer. If your looking to up the odds, there are many "over 55" communities where at least one owner has to be over 55, and many are affordable complexes such as Brookside. Swimming Pool, Snow Removal, Tennis Court, Playground, Recreational Facilities, Exercise Room, Clubroom are among the amenities.
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Lizzie, Home Buyer, Andover, MA
Fri Mar 19, 2010
Yes, thank you. But, what is it like to live at Brookside? Quality of construction? Staff? Noise? Amenities?
Other owners? Is it a family type complex? Would we find other retired folks?
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Matt Heisler, Agent, Westborough, MA
Fri Mar 19, 2010

Whether or not Brookside makes sense depends on what you need for space, condition, floor plan, convenience and price. The short answer is anything that is A) smaller B) Cheaper is a downsize option. Whether or not it's an option for you depends on your needs and preferences. Without knowing them, it's hard to make a true recommendation.
Web Reference:  http://www.bjheisler.com
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