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Papineau Partners


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 72

There Is No Substitute for Experience

by Papineau Partners

When we are ready to sell our homes, we know that finding a realtor is step one, but are all agents the same?  In a sea of real estate agents, how do we separate the best from the average.  It is actually quite simple – Experience.  There is no substitute for having navigated the sometimes challenging waters that can arise in many real estate transactions.  

In the current real estate climate, an experienced broker can make the difference between your house sitting on the market for a few weeks versus languishing for months.  Even more appealing is the fact their experience is a definite boon when it comes to negotiating price.

When interviewing agents, ask them how long they have been in business.  The real estate business has no patience for failure.  The agents who have endured, have done so because they always deliver results to their customers.  Those who do not consistently perform simply cannot survive. 

When buying or selling, there are partners we are all required to work with in addition to our agent.  These typically include home inspectors, appraisers, lenders and attorneys.  Having an experienced agent can make all the difference when acting on your behalf with these entities.  They have worked with the best and have learned along the way who they can trust to get the job done right. 

For example, when dealing with a home inspection, an experienced agent will work to develop solutions on a home inspection report a greener agent may miss. Mistakes like these can seriously delay the sale process and add unneeded stress to your life.  
Experience counts when looking for the right lender that fits your situation.  Every buyer has a different need when it comes to financing their new house.  An agent who has been doing business successfully for longer is intimately familiar with a host of lenders that they trust.  They will make sure to connect you with the one that will get the job done. 

For most of us, buying or selling our homes will be the biggest transaction we will ever deal with, don't leave it in the hands of a rookie when there is a hall of fame agent that will score every time.

Moving from the suburbs to the city

by The Papineau Team

So you are thinking about downsizing and moving to the city, but do not know where to start. We have some tips that you may not have thought of to help make the process easy. Downsizing can be a fun adventure in a new place, if you are prepared. The nuances between the suburbs and the city are many and you will want an advisor who knows about both the town you are leaving and the city you are moving to. 

Downsizing by definition means to make smaller and sometimes we forget how much we will need to get rid of when we move from a 2500 square foot house to a 750 square foot apartment or condo. You probably have a basement now, but your new place won't have a basement and you might want to invest in a storage unit if you are still storing your kids' college stuff in the basement. A good way to decide whether or not you need something is if you have used it in the past year and if so how many times. Something that does not get used often shouldn't make the cut.
After years of chauffeuring your children to sporting events and ballet, now you can have the chauffer. Ride sharing apps are another easier way to travel in the city without your own car. Between Uber and Lyft, you can have a car pick you up at your front door and bring you to your next destination. 

Boston's public transportation system is reliable and can get you just about anywhere. Using the subway will save you gas money and introduce you to new parts of the city. You will find that the T is the easiest and cheapest mode of transportation. Your morning commute on the T is the best place to catch up reading your favorite books. If you will be commuting to work by bus or subway, look to see if there are any stops that will bring you directly to your office. 

Finding the right neighborhood for you can be difficult, because cities have many vastly different areas. You should look for a neighborhood that is similar to your current town and that will be near some of the things you enjoy most about the city. For example, if you are from a sleepy town on the north shore you might want to move farther out in the city such as Brookline or Jamaica Plain. If you are moving from a larger busy town you might be comfortable with the hustle and bustle of the city, around the north end. If you love shopping and dining out, the south end has beautiful boutiques and easily accessible restaurants. 

All of these options may seem hard to juggle, but having the right advisor by your side will make all the difference. You want someone who is from the north shore and also knows the intricacies of the big city. "When you are ready to move forward, give us a call and we can help you downsize and enjoy all that Boston has to offer. For more information about the Papineau Partners, visit 

Is It Time to Think about Downsizing?

by Papineau Partners

Are you becoming aware that you have "too much house?" or "Have your circumstances changed recently?" Maybe you're just tired of having too much home to maintain. Or you'd like to cut your mortgage payments in order to pursue other hobbies and interests. If any of these thoughts are on your mind, it might be time to consider downsizing.

More and more, Americans are moving into smaller homes that better fit their lifestyles, and residents of the Andover's are no exception. It's not just retirees and empty-nesters who are listing their larger homes and settling into smaller houses – there is a growing population that are looking to create a smaller global footprint and who want their homes to reflect a more flexible way of life. In fact, many real estate professionals are starting to use the term "rightsizing" to reflect this trend toward smaller homes.

Here are just a few advantages to listing your home in order to downsize:

•    Savings. Saving money may seem like an obvious benefit of moving into a smaller home, but have you considered what you might do with that extra cash you're not spending on your monthly mortgage payment, utility costs for a large home, and services like landscaping and professional cleaning? Many homeowners see this cost savings as a chance to increase their nest eggs, while others enjoy the luxury of more disposable income to spend on hobbies, interests, and travel. 

•    Free Time. Home maintenance takes a lot of time – particularly a lot of weekend and evening time for working homeowners who would most likely rather be relaxing or having fun. Reducing home upkeep can free up some of those precious hours for more pleasant pursuits (and save you money on maintenance projects as well).

•    Liberation from Excess Baggage. Getting rid of accumulated stuff can create a tremendous sense of freedom. If you think about your belongings and consider which items you actually use, you'll probably realize that years of living in one place has allowed for a buildup of clutter. Moving into a smaller home necessitates some decision making about what is really important to you. And the rest? Sort it into the following categories: Toss, Store, Donate, Recycle, and Sell. You might even make some money at a yard sale or by selling unwanted possessions on the Internet (just exercise caution if selling via Craigslist or similar sites).

•    Lifestyle. What kind of a home is your ideal home? Decorating a smaller space can be easier and more cost effective, allowing you to really express your style. And perhaps there are other conveniences that appeal to you – a more urban setting, walkability to parks, shopping, or entertainment venues – that are located in and around neighborhoods that are comprised of smaller homes.

If the idea of downsizing has crossed your mind, it might be worthwhile to look into your options. The market is hot and homes are selling quickly. It could be that a change in your living space will open up your world.

For more real estate tips and expertise, please visit:


by Papineau Partners

(Andover, MA) July 15, 2016 – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is proud to announce that Gretchen Papineau is one of the top selling agents in the Northeast.

The 2016 REAL Trends America's Best Real Estate Agents list ranks the most productive real estate professionals by state and metropolitan area based on closed transaction sides and closed sales volume. Gretchen placed 85th in sales volume. Agents needed to have closed at least 50 transactions or $20M in sales volume during 2015 to qualify. The list encompasses real estate professionals in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island who were recognized for their extraordinary sales accomplishments.
"I'm honored to be recognized with so many other impressive agents". Gretchen remarked about her recent win. Agents of Coldwell Banker claimed an impressive 119 spots on the list. 


Things You Need to Know When Listing Your House

by Papineau Partners

Selling your house can be simultaneously exciting and stressful. Fortunately, there are plenty of organizational tips that you can use to take a lot of the stress out of the experience. And with the assistance of an experienced real estate agent, the home selling process doesn't have to be intimidating.

There are several tasks that you need to accomplish before putting your home on the market. Start by making a master plan. If you're planning on buying a new home, you'll need to look into financing (securing a loan pre-approval letter is a great step toward being prepared to buy) and do some research into what is available in your target area so that you're ready to buy a new house as soon as your current home sells. Doing a bit of investigation into the current state of the market can help you with both selling and buying, and your best bet for understanding the market is your real estate agent. 

If you don't already have an agent in mind, you'll also want to do a little research here. Collect some recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors about agents they've used and trusted in the past. Then interview those agents. Have each walk through your home and tell you his or her impression of the property and your prospects for a sale. Discuss a potential marketing plan for your home. Most importantly, take care in choosing the agent who gives you sound advice and whom you think you will best be able to work with. A competent agent can provide you with comps (comparable nearby properties) to help you determine the asking price for your home.

From here on out, the process becomes easier because you have an expert by your side. Look to your agent for sales advice. One of the first steps you are going to want to take is to stage your home. First, clean it up! De-clutter to the point at which your home – and not your belongings – shines through and takes center stage. Recycle, donate, store, and toss superfluous furnishings and personal effects. Make your home a clean canvas on which a prospective buyer can imagine his or her own possessions. Next perform any small repairs that you can do yourself. This includes touching up paint, replacing worn fixtures, and shoring up anything that might seem off-putting to a potential buyer. Don't neglect your landscaping! Great curb appeal is the first step in selling a home. If your home is in need of serious work in order to get it market-ready, hire a contractor or handyman for larger or difficult jobs. If necessary, paint the walls for a fresh look. Choose neutral colors that won't obscure the look of the house. Finally, scrub the house from top to bottom. If you have the means, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to really make things sparkle.

You're almost ready to list, so locate your paperwork. Pull all home-related documents together in a folder to hand over to the buyer. Include anything that a new owner could conceivably need down the line, from appliance manuals to receipts for work and installations to information about any renovations or modifications that you've made to the original property.

Now you're ready to list your home. With your agent's help, settle on a fair asking price – it can be tempting to ask for as much as possible, but you must weigh your home's value against the current state of the market. Overpriced homes will take longer to sell, and nobody wants a house that has been on the market too long. 

Getting ready to list your home isn't as daunting as it might initially seem. Educating yourself about the home selling process and partnering with a market-savvy real estate agent are your keys to a smooth sale.

For more real estate tips and expertise, please visit:

Papineau Partners of Andover announce the start of construction of Regency Place, a new development within Newcastle Estates. 

Regency Place is a new development that will feature eight new construction homes that are all fully customizable.  The neighborhood is near the Old Center and within ten minutes of Franklin elementary, North Andover Middle and High schools. The homes feature the latest technology and energy efficiency with upgraded special features. The high quality homes are single family with gorgeous wooded views in a secluded cul de sac. 

Carroll Construction, a third generation family of builders is the developer and builder for this project and has previously created successful neighborhoods in North Andover and Andover.  The construction company, in concert with Papineau Partners, recently built and sold the Autumn Chase development.  The 4500 plus square foot houses of Regency Place will be similar to those in Autumn Chase and are expected to create strong buyer demand. 

The new development will have a model home shortly that can be viewed by appointment "We want to help you create your dream home, and starting from the ground up is the best way to get exactly what you want" Gretchen Papineau remarked of the customizable houses.  If you are interested in this new development, contact Papineau Partners for more information.

Relocating - How to find the right community for you in Massachusetts

by Papineau Partners

Last time, we discussed the first steps you should be taking when you decide to relocate. Now, we’re here to talk about finding the perfect community for you.  There’s no doubt that Massachusetts is a desirable state to live in. The beautiful coast, bustling cities, and rich history surround us in the Bay state. So how are you supposed to choose the best community when there are so many options? Here are some ways to narrow down your search.


Finding a community that allows you to live comfortably and within your means is important.  If you’re relocating for a job that’s located in the city, you’ll have to choose between living a more expensive lifestyle closer to your job, or a less expensive lifestyle with a commute. Choosing to live in a community just outside of the city can dramatically decrease the cost of your living expenses. This is a popular choice for many people living in Massachusetts and working in cities like Boston. Towns located right outside of the city usually offer accessible public transportation right into the city.

Education system

Of course, if you’re a parent, this is a very important aspect of where you choose to settle down. However, even if you don’t have children, the state of an education system can tell you a lot about a community. A strong and growing education system typically translates into a thriving community with strong resale values. There are many communities in Massachusetts that offer great public and private school choices. 

Local amenities

When you’re not at home what are you doing? If you’re not much of a homebody, you may want to look into communities that have many local amenities close by. Are there good restaurants? Shopping? Town events? Parks? If you enjoy farmers markets and small businesses you will most likely find these in smaller communities. If you like the convenience of a store around every corner, you might prefer a larger community. Finding a community that matches your lifestyle is important.


Are you looking for a community where you can leave your door unlocked? Believe it or not, there are many communities in Massachusetts that are extremely safe and have little to no record of violence or crime. You may even be able to find communities that provide extra security. For example, the town of Andover provides an officer who is solely dedicated to patrolling the town square. Various communities also have police departments actively post FYI’s and safety information for the community on social media sites, such as Facebook.


So, do you have an idea of the community that will best fit your needs? Now that you’ve found the perfect community, it’s time to find the perfect home. For our next blog, we’ll help you narrow down your home search. Stay tuned for part three of our relocating series!





Relocating? – First Steps

by Papineau Partners

When you decide to relocate, you're doing much more than just buying a new home. Relocating is about building a life and a home around something that you are pursuing, such as a career. This is an important life event that should be handled with care, which is why we have dedicated a four part series for you homeowners taking the plunge.  Lets start with the "first steps" or as we like to call it, the "foundation" of your move.

Stay organized.

This is the number one thing to remember as you take your first steps in your relocation journey.  Being organized and on top of it all makes everything easier in the long run.  You know that "crazy coupon lady" you see at the store with the binder full of colored tabs?  Well, she's not crazy; she has the right idea.  Whether you keep a binder full of important documents, to-do lists, or an excel sheet of your budget, staying organized will keep you sane during your relocation.

Plan the logistics.

If you need to sell your current home in order to buy your new home, you should look into this as soon as possible. If you find your dream home in your new location, but you can't sell your current home, it can delay your ability to make an offer. The last thing that you want to do is add more stress onto your move. If you have the flexibility to buy a new home while your old home is still on the market this may not be an issue. Be sure to think about your current situation and options so that you can plan ahead if you hit any roadblocks.

Keep a safety net.

The second that you decide to relocate, it may be a good idea to put aside some extra money for the big move. Even if you plan everything and have an idea of the costs, you never know what wrench could be thrown into your plans.  I think that we have all heard the phrase "better safe than sorry." Having a safety net of funds will not only help you if you encounter issues but will also give you peace of mind during the process. 

Pick the right realtor.

Relocating is not something that you want to do on your own. Finding the best real estate agent for your needs is essential and can make your move much easier.  It may be a good idea to find an agent that specializes in the area that you are relocating to. Yes, this means having one agent for your home sale and another for your home buying needs. It pays to have someone knowledgeable on your side, especially when you are moving to an unfamiliar area.

So now you're organized, have a plan, a back up plan, and an agent to represent you – but now what? Well, it's time to find the best community for you!  In our next blog, we will discuss how to find the right community for your relocation in Massachusetts.

Stay tuned for part two of our relocating series. 


Follow Me to the First Floor!

by Papineau Partners

If you are searching for a new home, you will most likely discover that master bedrooms are found on the second floor of most multi-level homes. Traditionally, most homes have been built this way for a long time. For some, it just makes sense to have the master bedroom on the same floor as the other bedrooms and above the "living" area of the home. You can sum it up as the first floor being the "active," day time part of the traditional home and the second floor being the "low key" night time, and more private area. 

Well, the industry is always changing and so are our beloved master bedrooms. Today, you may start to find more and more master bedrooms on the first floor of homes. Here are some of the benefits to owning a home with a first floor master suite.

Growing pains
Many home buyers, especially those in the Baby Boomer generation, are finding that first floor master bedrooms can ease the adjustment into growing older. Having a master bedroom on the first floor alleviates any issues that some may have constantly traveling up and down the stairs. Even minor arthritis problems that can start earlier can be somewhat relieved by avoiding the trips up and down the stairs.

We need some space 
Home buyers with children, particularly teenagers, may find a first floor master bedroom helpful for privacy and space. Many parents have chosen to keep their children's bedrooms upstairs while they settle in the downstairs master bedroom. This can be especially helpful for larger families that just need some space and quiet time away from one another. You can also take advantage of your master bedroom being on the first floor once your home becomes an "empty nest." Homeowners with zoned heating can turn down or turn off the heat on the second floor to cut unnecessary costs.

Be our guest
Another perk of the first floor master is that it's great for "multigenerational living." Today, there are many households with parents, children and grandparents living together under one roof. Older family members can use the master bedroom while the rest of the family uses the upstairs bedrooms. If you have family members, or even guests that frequently visit and stay for periods of time, this can be helpful. It's always great to be able to have loved ones close by.

Show me the money
If you ever decide to downsize or relocate and sell your home, your master bedroom on the first floor could possibly increase your home's value. If you have a buyer that is specifically looking for a master suite on the first floor, this becomes an excellent match. Since first floor masters are a new trend, they may be rarer to find and therefore more desirable for buyers.

If you are on the fence about buying a home with a first floor master bedroom, consider these perks as you continue on your home search. We can help you find a home that provides you with absolutely everything that you want and need!


How do you Know You Picked the Right Agent?

by Papineau Partners

One of the first steps in buying or selling a home is finding a real estate agent to represent you and your real estate needs. While there are many resources available to help you pick the right agent, however, it's hard to know if they are the best match until you start working with them. Here are some signs that will indicate you've picked the right agent.

They are responsive.
Of course your agent won't be available 24/7 but that doesn't mean they can't respond to you in a timely manner. Your agent should be able to make the time to answer you within an hour, or at least acknowledge your needs and provide a better response at a later time.  There is no excuse for an agent not responding in a reasonable amount of time. This punctuality can be the difference between your real estate transaction being finalized in days or months. Even if an agent is busy, they should have a proven system for communicating on an ongoing basis with clients.

They listen to you.
Yes, your agent is the expert, but that doesn't mean they should dictate every decision for you. A good agent will listen to you and be there for you, rather than running the whole show. They should ask questions that allow them to get to the desired result, and they should listen intently to your answers. Your agent should always ask for your input and should never try to push you.

They are experienced.
This is a given.  Of course you want an agent that has copious experience in real estate and once you start working with them, it will be easy to tell. Experienced agents will treat real estate as their career, not just a side job. They are up-to-date with current market trends and will have many connections in the field.

They are professional.
While having a relaxed and friendly agent is generally a good thing, that shouldn't overshadow a professional demeanor. A good agent will always keep it professional no matter what.  If your agent is canceling appointments, showing up late, or even appearing sloppy and disorganized, you may want to cut ties. An agent like this sends the wrong message to all involved and reflects bad business behavior.

They make you feel comfortable.
You could have a very successful and knowledgeable agent, but if they make you feel uncomfortable at all, that is just not a good sign. If your agent has poor social skills or doesn't mesh well with your personality, this can make for a bad pairing. This is where you need to trust your gut and ask yourself if this is the best agent for you. Buying or selling a home is stressful enough; you shouldn't be worrying about any uneasiness between you and your agent.

In conclusion, if you are struggling to pick the right agent, keep these points in mind. Even if you have an agent, and things aren't running smoothly, take the time to think about each of these points and how your agent compares. With the right agent, your buying or selling experience can be close to flawless and even enjoyable.


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 72