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Top 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the North Shore of Massachusetts

The North Shore of Massachusetts is one of the most beautiful and interesting regions in New England—not to mention all throughout the East Coast. Its uniqueness comes as a result of an extremely rich heritage dating back to the Pilgrims and equally as impressive culture centered around good old fashioned Yankee ingenuity. If you’re considering taking up residence in one of the many communities throughout the North Shore of Massachusetts (the area between Boston and the New Hampshire border) and getting a Massachusetts mortgage, make sure you remember these 12 key details first!

Life’s a Beach

Crane Beach

Aside from its occasional rocky coastline, the North Shore of Massachusetts features some of the best beaches around for summertime fun and pristine views of the Atlantic Ocean. By far the best beach of them all is Crane Beach in Ipswich. This white beach stretches for miles and is part of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for piping plovers. Plum Island in Newburyport is OK too—if you like miles of public sandy beaches and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to over 800 species of birds, plants and animals on 4,662 acres.

You’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat

The fishing scene along the North Shore is second to none. If you’re looking to catch some fish, check out the fleet, or just get a feel of a true fishing community, Gloucester is the place to be. If you love Stripers (aka Stripahs), or enjoy watching fishermen unload giant Blue Fin Tuna, swing by one of the many fishing piers situated along the North Shore. The Swampscott Fish House, aka Swampscott Yacht Club, is the oldest active fishing supply storage house in the whole country. Oh, and for all you Jaws fans out there, there always seems to be occasional shark sightings somewhere off the coastline.

Locals Love Their Sports

Fenway Park

The first thing anyone moving to the North Shore of Massachusetts should do is go out and buy a Red Sox ball cap, a Bruins hockey sweater, and Patriots and Celtics jersey. Sports fans in the North Shore are like no other. They live and die by their local sports teams. It probably helps that nearby Boston has been dubbed “Title Town” thanks to all the championship each of the professional sports teams have accumulated over the last 15 years. Get used to watching NESN, as well as hearing names like Tom Brady, David Ortiz and Zdeno Chara used a lot. And if you don’t yet know who Carl Yastrzemski, Bobby Orr, or Larry Bird are, well you better hit the books before stepping foot in a North Shore sports bar.

Plenty of Historic (And Sometimes Haunted) Happenings

Salem Witch MuseumSalem Witch Museum

It’s not even funny how much history there is in the North Shore of Massachusetts. Ipswich has more historic houses than any other town in America. Known for it’s massive amount of mill buildings, Lawrence is considered the nation’s first planned industrial city. Don’t forget about Salem.

Ever heard of the Salem Witch Trials? If not, you’re in for a (trick or) treat. Salem becomes the epicenter of spooky-ness during Halloween each year—routinely drawing fear fanatics from all over. Because of places like the Salem Witch Museum, along with other witch-themed museums and shops, this North Shore town is pretty much the spookiest place to be all year round.

You May Need an Interpretah

MA DOT Road Sign
Mass DOT

North Shore accents are thick, heavy and unmistakable. If you’re going to call this place home, be prepared for some of it to rub off on you. That’s just how it is around these parts (aka Pahts). Expect pretty much any word that ends with a ‘er’ to be pronounced with an “ah” at the end. The best example is chowder = chowdah. You’ve also probably heard of the classic; pahk your cahs in Hahvuhd Yahd. That’s really how people talk here. And believe it or not, the accents have become so well known that someone actually created a wicked good guide to the local language.

Don’t Drive into Boston, Take the Train

Mass DOT

Everyone who lives in the North Shore lives close enough to some sort of alternative transit option run by the MBTA. Most locals don’t even think about trying to drive into the city, instead take a bus or train to one of the many T stations. Once you’re in Boston, the T is easily the most popular way to get around to see a Bruins game at the TD Garden, catch a Sox game at Fenway, or just walk around the Commons for the day. The T is also how most North Shore residents get to work in Boston. Winters can be tough however, so be prepared for long waits and interrupted service.
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Tax Free New Hampshire is Right Down the Road

Merrimack Premium OutletsMerrimack Premium Outlets

Residents in North Shore communities commonly make the trip up to New Hampshire to enjoy the tax-free shopping experience. Depending upon where you live, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to about an hour to get north of the border. Popular travel routes include I-95 and Route One. Another popular reason North Shore folks make the trip to New Hampshire is for the liquor stores, the closest of which is literally on the border in Seabrook.

A+ for Academia

Phillips Academy
Phillips Andover Academy

Public schools in the North Shore are consistently among the best performing in Massachusetts. Private schools like Phillips Andover Academy in Andover and The Governor’s Academy in Byfield are among the most prestigious in the country. Many of the best universities and colleges in the state can be found in the North Shore as well.


There’s Plenty To Do—All Year Long

Topsfield Fair
Topsfield Fair

Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, there’s always plenty to do in the North Shore. In the winter, head over to Bradford ski area. If it’s the spring, go check out the Singing Beach at Manchester-By-The-Sea. Summer time is perfect for boating in the harbors of Gloucester, Marblehead and Newburyport. In the fall, pay a visit to the Topsfield Fair—America’s oldster agriculture fair.

Ready to call the North Shore home? If you have any questions about securing a mortgage in Massachusetts, contact us today.

Lagers, Ciders and Ales…Oh My!

The North Shore is bountiful when it comes to its brews. Great beer and even bettah cider is abundant at places like Far From the Tree Cider from Salem, Newburyport Brewing Company in Newburyport, Clown Shoes in Ipswich Cape Ann Brewing Company in Gloucester and Tap Brewing Company in Haverhill. Many of these world-class breweries feature ingredients from throughout Massachusetts—such as locally grown and malted grains, fresh hops and more.

11. So Much Seafood

Woodman's Sign

Few others places in the country feature the amount of delicious seafood options as the North Shore. The North Shore’s Ipswich Clams, which are hand-harvested from the muddy tidal flats of the Essex River, are unlike any other. Legend has it that fried clams were invented in Essex. No matter if you like sitting outside of a traditional shack, or inside a quaint family restaurant setting, the Seafood in the North Shore is wicked good.

12. It’s a Superstar of a Setting

Rockport, M.A. Harbor

Some of the places around the North Shore may seem familiar in some fashion—that’s because they are. The North Shore has been used as the setting of many famous Hollywood hits. There’s Shutter Island, which was partly shot on location around the North Shore; The Perfect Storm, a movie based on the famed fishermen’s tale out of Gloucester and The Crucible starring Danielle Day Lewis. In addition to movies, the North Shore is also a well-known setting in the literary world. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables still stands in Salem.

So there you have it—a dozen great reasons to call the North Shore of Massachusetts home. Blue Water Mortgage has helped countless numbers of families get the help they need to move to this region of the Bay State. In fact, many of our own loan officers call the North Shore home as well. If you are considering making the move to the North Shore and are looking for a Massachusetts mortgage, we know how to get you the money you need to make that happen.

Feel free to set up a financial planning session including a full mortgage review to make sure you are in the best financial position before you make the leap to your new home. Our experienced loan officers can get the ball rolling with the right financing for your situation. Contact us today to get moving in the right direction.

Roger Odoardi

Roger is an owner and licensed Loan Officer at Blue Water Mortgage. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and has been a leader in the mortgage industry for over 20 years. Roger has personally originated over 2500 residential loans and is considered to be in the top 1% of NH Loan Officers by leading national lender United Wholesale Mortgage.