Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

Getting Your House Ready to Sell

I will be hosting a presentation on Getting Your House Ready to Sell on Wednesday February 18th at 7PM at the Hollis Social Library.

The topics that will be covered in the hour long program will be:
The benefits to sellers of having a pre-listing home inspection – David Roth of Advisor Home Inspections
Increasing value with repairs/remodels – Branden Bailey of CMG Building & Remodeling
How to stage your house – Kelly Murphy from Decor & You
The importance of curb appeal – Cindy Arrasmith Realtor, BHHS Verani Realty
Timing and pricing considerations – myself35 Dupaw Gould

The program is free, but preregistration is necessary. Preregister at the Hollis Social Library’s website.  The Hollis Social Library is located at 2 Monument Square, Hollis, NH; there is parking in the lot in back of the library and on the street.

USDA Mortgages


Just about everyone has heard about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and VA mortgages.  There is another federal government backed mortgage program that is little known but compares very favorably with these more popular ones.  That’s the USDA Rural Development Mortgage Program.

Don’t be put off by the “Rural” in its name.  USDA mortgages can be used to purchase homes in most towns in New Hampshire and central and western Massachusetts!  In general, only properties in urban areas – larger cities and larger towns – are not eligible.  In southern New Hampshire, for example, only Derry, Hudson, Keene, Londonderry, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, Portsmouth, Salem, and parts of Goffstown and Hooksett are ruled out.  In Massachusetts, most communities west of Lowell and Concord and north of Worcester are eligible, except Fitchburg and Leominster.20140920_141707

Why are USDA mortgage loans attractive?  They require no money down, have low interest rates, and don’t require mortgage insurance.  Rural Housing loans are aimed at families with moderate or low incomes looking to buy (or refinance) a primary residence.  The USDA will not lend to people with incomes over a certain amount, which can be as high as $ 104,000 for a family of four in certain areas of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  For information on income limitations, see the income tables on the USDA RD website.

For more information on which communities are eligible, click here Previously, the USDA had announced that it would be deleting some towns from its program, but they have since reconsidered; there will be no changes in the eligible towns for the next few years. 35 Dupaw Gould

All mortgage programs are complex.  For an overview of the USDA Rural Development mortgage program, consult your banker or financial adviser.  Please note that not all mortgage lenders offer this program, but there are many in every state that do.  If you need assistance in finding a lender that offers USDA mortgages, please give me a call.

The 24th American Independence Festival

Every year, cities and towns across America celebrate Independence Day with parades, barbecues, and fireworks.  Exeter celebrates in a different way, with activities revolving around events that occurred when our country began to come into existence almost 240 years ago.

Inspired by the discovery of one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence in town in 1985, Exeter’s American Independence Festival recreates the spirit of the Revolutionary era.   Through re-enactments of historical events and educational displays, this day-long festival tries to impart to visitors what it was like to be living in America when the thirteen colonies began their rebellion against their mother country.

Revoltionary War Historic Marker, Exeter

Revoltionary War Historic Marker, Exeter

This year the festival will take place on Saturday July 12th.  There will be re-enactments of Exeter scenes from Revolutionary times when Exeter was the rebel capital of New Hampshire.  One of the highlights will be the reading of the Declaration of Independence in the town square, as originally occurred in Exeter on July 16th, 1776.

Visitors to the Festival will be able to tour the historic Ladd-Gilman House and Folsom Tavern, experience Revolutionary Era interpreters, see a battle re-enactment, enjoy an arts and crafts fair, and experience what life was like back in the 1770’s.  The American Independence Museum will have on display the Dunlap Broadside, one of the original handwritten 1776 copies of the Declaration document.   The festivities begin at 10AM and end at 4PM, with Folsom Tavern open to 6:30PM for refreshments.  Exeter Town Hall

There is a charge for some events.  Most activities will take place on the grounds of the American Independence Museum at 1 Governors Lane, Exeter.  For more information about the 24th American Independence Festival, visit its website.

2014 Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition

There are two reasons to visit Hampton Beach this time of year – a refreshing dip in the ocean – and one of New Hampshire’s premier summer events – the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition.

During the weekend of June 19th-21st, competitors will fashion works of art from 250 tons of imported sand. Yes, they import sand to Hampton Beach! The competition, open to registered participants only, results in great sculptures that beautify the beach for several weeks.

There will be several special events in conjunction with the competition, including sand sculpting classes, fireworks (June 21st), and voting for a people’s choice award winner. The creations will be on display through July 6th.    Beach

For more details and for photos of the impressive works of past award winners, go to the Sand Sculpture website by clicking here. Master sand sculptors who would like to participate in the competition should contact the event co-sponsor, Greg Grady, via his website.

The 2014 Hampton Beach Sand Sculpture Competition is supported by the Hampton Beach Village District, the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, and the NH Division of Parks.

Rock’n Ribfest 2014

June 13 through 15 is Rock’n Ribfest weekend in New Hampshire.  The Ribfest starts Friday June 14 at 4PM (to 11PM) and continues Saturday 11AM to 10:30PM and Sunday 11AM to 3PM.  Barbecue is king at the Ribfest, but there will also be many snack, dessert, dining, and drink vendors.

Entertainment includes well-known entertainers Josh Logan, The Slakas, and The Psychedelic Relics, and many others.  There will be a teen band competition, tours of the Budweiser Brewery, and many other activities for people of all ages.

Tickets for the Rock’n Ribfest can be purchased at the gate or prior to June 6 online; they provide general admission to many activities.  General ticket information is available here. There are additional charges for A Taste of Ribfest, the Saturday night comedy show, rides, food vendors, etc.  Sunday June 16 is Military Appreciation Day; there will be free admission for anyone with a military ID and up to four family members.

Sponsored by the Nashua West Rotary Club, all proceeds from the Rock’n Ribfest will go to support local nonprofits.  This site lists some of the organizations that have benefited in the past.  The Rock’n Ribfest is held at the Anheuser-Busch complex, 221 Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack.  There will be parking at nearby lots and shuttle buses.  Click here for directions and parking info.

The 2014 Rock’n Ribfest website offers extensive information on this great annual event.

20th Annual Taste of Downtown Nashua

Twenty-four area food and drink vendors will be participating in the 2014 Taste of Downtown Nashua on Wednesday June 4th from 6 to 8:30PM.  Eateries will be offering their wares at over twenty Main Street locations. Nashua City Hall

The establishments taking part include Agave Azul, Arena, Cava de Vino, Celebrations Catering, Edible Arrangements, Estabrook Grill, Fody’s Tavern, JaJaBelles, Margaritas, MT’s Local Kitchen, O’Brien’s Sports Bar, Old Amsterdam Bar and Lounge, The Peddler’s Daughter, Portland Pie Co., Riverside Barbecue, San Francisco Kitchen, Stella Blu, Surf, Unums, and Villa Banca.  Bellavance Beverage, King David Coffee Roasters, and the WineNot Boutique will be there to slake your thirst.

Participants will be entertained by Monument Square Brass, Queen City Soul, and Dan Searl.

Advance tickets are $ 35; they are $ 40 the day of the event.  For more information or to buy tickets online, click here.  Tickets for the Taste of Downtown Nashua are also available at these Main Street area stores: Beckonings, Fortin Gage, Fresh of Nashua, and Scontsas Fine Jewelry and Home Décor.

The 5th Annual Taste of Milford

On Friday May 30th  from 6 to 8:30PM, the Milford Oval will be alive with the 5th Annual Taste of Milford.  Visitors will be able to sample the offerings of twenty-five local restaurants and food vendors at stores in and around the celebrated Milford Oval.  Musicians will provide entertainment to the strollers as they wend their way around the various shops lining the downtown area.

The Oval

The restaurants and food purveyors participating include: Amigos, Café on the Oval, Carole’s Cake Creations, Chapanga’s, Clark’s Tavern, Earthlings Baked Goods, Foodees, the Francestown Village Store, Fuzzies Ice Cream & Deli, Giorgio’s Ristorante, Jade Dragon, Jake’s Ice Cream, Maple Lane Farm, the Milford Goat Dairy, the Mont Vernon General Store, Noni’s Homemade English Toffee, Papa Joe’s Humble Pie, Pasta Loft, the Red Arrow Diner, Swirl n Serve, Trombly Farm, Two Happy Butchers, Windows on West Street, and The  Yankee Chef.

More information is available on the Taste of Milford webpage.  Tickets are $ 30, but if ordered in advance, there is a $ 5 discount; tickets are available by clicking here.  Tickets are limited and this event has sold out in previous years – so don’t wait to place your order.

Proceeds from the 2014 Taste of Milford benefit the Milford Improvement Team, which works to promote the downtown Milford area.

Young Eagles Spring Rally at the Nashua Airport

Young Eagles flights will be taking off from Boire Field at the Nashua Airport on Saturday June 7th.  If you are between the ages of 8 and 17 and interested in flying – or just seeing Nashua from the air – drop by the Nashua Airport to get a free ride!Blue Plane

There is no obligation; totally free, the flights are provided by local licensed pilots who want to bring their love of flying to others.  Most of the planes are single-engine crafts based at the Nashua Airport.  Participants must be 8 to 17 years old and be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Flights will be taking off every few minutes from 10AM to 1PM.006

This international program is enjoyed by over 100,000 kids a year; over 1.6 million in 90 countries have participated.  Kids taking a fight will receive a certificate and have their name entered in the Logbook at the Experimental Aircraft Association headquarters.

The planes will be leaving from Infinity Aviation, 117 Perimeter Road, at the Nashua Airport (Boire Field).  No reservations required or accepted.  In case of inclement weather, the Young Eagles Flights will be held on Sunday, June 8th.  For more information about the Young Eagles Program, check out their website.Bob's Plane

In 2010 students at Nashua High School South produced a great informative video about the Young Eagle Rally at the Nashua Airport.  To see this video on YouTube, click here.Joe's

This spring’s Young Eagles Rally is sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association, the International Aerobatic Club, and local businesses Infinity Aviation and the Midfield Cafe.  For more information, call Greg Lison at Infinity Aviation: 603-598-4526.

Restaurant Week New Hampshire – May 16th – 23rd

The third annual Restaurant Week New Hampshire is coming soon!  Establishments throughout the state will be offering specially priced 3-course lunch and/or dinner menus from Friday May 16th through Friday the 23rd. Enjoy a meal at your favorite eating place or sample new ones as many of New Hampshire’s best restaurants offer their cuisine at cut-rate prices.  Lunches will be offered at $ 10 to $ 20 and dinners at $ 15 to $ 35.

There will be a special kick-off event the evening of Thursday May 15th at the Bedford Village Inn.  Chefs from all over the state – from Josh Farrington of the White Mountain Hotel and Lauent Geroli at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort to Chris Volkmann from the Copper Door and Nicole Barreira of T-Bones will be featured.  Only 100 lucky food aficionados will be able to sample their special dishes.  Tickets are available at the Bedford Village Inn.  For more information on this event, click here.The Copper Door

Over 150 establishments will be participating in Restaurant Week New Hampshire 2014, ranging from informal restaurants like Lui Lui (Nashua), the Airport Diner (Manchester) and Molly’s Tavern (New Boston) to formal eateries like the Copper Door (Bedford), Luca’s (Keene) and the Three Chimneys Inn (Dover).  To explore a list of all the participating eateries and see details of their offers, go to the Restaurant Week website.

Airport Diner, manchester

The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire 2014

If you like Game of Thrones, the New Hampshire Renaissance Fair is the fair for you! This is a much more family friendly event than that television series, but it captures some of the same adventure and fantasy as that very popular show.  This family friendly faire will take place from 10AM to 5PM on Saturdays and Sundays May 10 -11 and 17-18.  

NH Ren Fair 514

Entertainers will include pirates, singers, magicians, fairies, storytellers, musicians, and knights a-jousting. The competing  knights will be from the Neville Companye and  Les Jeux des Roi. Music will be provided by a wide variety of  medieval, Renaissance, and Celtic groups, including  Diabolis in Musica, Myschyffe Managed, and the Misfits of Avalon. 

There will also be a Maypole for dancing,  a Children’s Glen for younger folk, and demonstrations of traditional crafts.  On Saturday May 10th at 5PM plan to stay late for a special Beltane celebration to welcome in summer.  

Over 40 venders will be offering medieval-style wood- and leather- crafted wares, jewelry, and costumes, and also more contemporary articles.  In addition, there will be an auction to benefit local charities. 

NH Ren Fair 514

The faire grounds are off of 9 Thorne Road in Kingston; there’s ample parking nearby.  There is an admission charge, with discounted admission for active military, veterans, and children.  This year proceeds from the Faire will be going to the NH Food Bank and Rockingham Meals on Wheels.

The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire has an extensive website with detailed information on parking, the entertainers and crafters, performance schedules, and everything to help you plan your day at the faire.