Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor


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

Hospital Rankings

When relocating to a new community, the quality of medical care is often an important consideration.  Hospitals are an important factor, especially for families with young children or for older individuals.  Thankfully, to assist you there are several organizations which publish the standings of hospitals online.  Please note: the organizations which maintain these sites are continually evaluating hospitals, so the rank of an institution will probably fluctuate up and down over time.  Southern NH Medical Center

The Hospital Safety Score site is sponsored by The Leapfrog Group, an independent not-for-profit organization that was founded by some of the country’s leading employers and private healthcare experts over a decade ago.  They try to promote quality care by promoting transparency and value-based hospital incentives.  The Hospital Safety Score rates medical facilities by evaluating 26 factors of patient care. The website tabulates scores like a report card, rating hospitals from A (best) to F (worst).  The site has a section explaining how the score was determined and how potential patients should use it.  At the time this blog was published Portsmouth Regional was rated “A,” Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, Parkland in Derry, and Exeter were rated “B,” and Elliot in Manchester  and Cheshire Medical Center in Keene were rated “C.”  For details, go to this site and click on the hospital’s listing.

HealthInsight’s “National Rankings for Hospital” tabulates its rankings from hospital care in four areas: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. It covers over 4,500 institutions, many more than The Leapfrog Group’s site.  To check on their rankings, click here.

Medicare.com, the official U.S. government website for Medicare,  includes a “Hospital Compare” webpage feature which can be used to find all the hospitals within 50 miles of a town and then allows you to compare them with each other.  To use their hospital compare feature, click here.St. Joseph's Hospital

U. S. News’s list of the best hospitals in the country is on US News’s health website.  They have identified three New Hampshire hospitals as meeting their criteria for strong performance within the state (in Concord, Dartmouth, and Dover); they are listed on the “Best Hospitals in New Hampshire” pageU. S. News selected several Massachusetts hospitals as among the best in the country; they can be accessed by clicking here.

Consumer Reports has a hospital rankings site, but it is only accessible to subscribers of Consumer Reports Online.

And lastly, this is a link to a USA Today article that discusses some of the most popular hospital ranking systems and explains why a hospital may rank differently in each one; it counsels that potential patients shouldn’t pick a hospital solely on its standing in one of the rating systems.

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If you are considering a move in or to Southern New Hampshire, please give me a call so I can assist you with your search for your new home!

– Steve Russo, Connecting People with Homes in Southern New Hampshire and North Central Massachusetts.  Steve Russo

Website: www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

Facebook page: Steve Russo, Realtor

Researching Your New Town

Southern New Hampshire is a great place to live.  Because of its attractiveness, every year many people move here from other states.  Others move from one town to another within New Hampshire.  This article is for those who are thinking of moving and who want to know about the city or town to which they are considering relocating to.

You may get an impression of a town by driving around, checking local newspapers for recent articles (easily done online), looking at its entry in Wikipedia, etc.

You can get more in-depth background information by checking some of the community statistical websites that are available.  The state of New Hampshire’s Community Profiles site is a good place to begin looking.  This website has basic city and town economic and statistical data such as tax rates, population characteristics, distance to major cities, lists of major employers and recreational opportunities, etc.

City-Data.com has a wealth of details that can answer just about any question you may have on a town’s population, home values, crime, employment, weather, education, health, etc.  It even lists the radio stations that offer the best reception.  Unfortunately, the ads can be a little distracting, but the charts and graphs make many of the statistics much easier to understand than plain statistical sites.

Another website, NH.com, offers a lot of information a soon-to-be homeowner may want, such as contact details for town schools and departments, the names of utility companies, and each town’s URL.

Knowing that many house hunters are interested in the character of a community, the company I am affiliated with, Prudential Verani Realty, recently launched town websites to not only present facts, but to give some of the “flavor” of each town in its service area.  Videos presenting a tour through the town, photos of well-known sites, and reviews of restaurants, stores, etc., helps one get a more complete picture of the locality.  These features are complemented by up-to-date information on each town’s housing market and links to homes for sale by type and price range.  To access these town sites, visit the main Prudential Verani site and scroll down to the “Popular NH & MA Towns” section.

For information on schools, please see my Checking Up on School Systems blog.  For information on property taxes, see my NH Property Tax Rates blog.

Thinking of buying a home?  Let me help you!

Contact me via my website: www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

About Me:  http://about.me/SteveRusssoRealtor

Connecting People with Homes in Southern New Hampshire

– Steve Russo

Checking up on School Systems

Many people when looking for a new home want to make sure that they will be moving to a community with good schools for their children.  It’s difficult to check out a school system objectively; people often rely on hearsay.  There’s a free website that can really help people find a good school match – SchoolDigger.com.  The website sates that its purpose is “…to empower parents like you to make informed choices about choosing a school for your child.”  The site contains information on over 130,000 public and private schools in all 50 states.  Data includes: national test score results, enrollment information, student/teacher ratios, school and district rankings, etc.  Test score results are up to date – even 2012 results are listed, along with those for 2009-2011.  Other stats are similarly current. You can find schools by name, address, town/city, district, and location.  The website is very easy to use and contains a wealth of information.   House hunters will benefit from checking it out.

There are a few other sites that can give you additional facts about New Hampshire schools. Great Schools has articles about how to choose a good school, educational issues, etc.  It includes standardized test scores and, unique to this site,  reviews from parents and students.  Unfortunately it has lots of ads, and one has to go to several pages to get a full portrait of a school.  Public School Review lets you compare three schools in these areas: student, teacher, and town demographics; poverty stats; and expenditures.  It also includes recent newspaper articles that have mentioned the school and a link to the NH Dept of Education’s standardized test score website.  The NH State Dept. of Education’s  website offers basic statistical information on every school in the state; administration contact names and numbers; standardized test scores; and basic demographics about the town’s population.  The MA Dept. of Education has similar stats for Massachusetts school systems on their site.

Thinking of buying a new home?  Let me help you!

Contact me via my website: www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

About Me:  http://about.me/SteveRusssoRealtor

Connecting People with Homes in Southern New Hampshire
                          – Steve Russo

NH Property Tax Rates

If you’re looking for a new home, how much money you’ll have to spend on property taxes is probably one factor you’re considering.  Property taxes in New Hampshire are higher than many states to compensate for the lack of a sales or income tax.  There’s an easy way to check what the tax rate is in the various NH towns, by going to the website of the NH Dept. of Revenue Administration.   Please note:  new property tax rates are determined in the fall for the coming year; the 2013 tax rates are in effect until late in 2014.  The latest tax rates are always displayed on the above site.

For charts showing comparative rates for NH cities and towns click here. For a map showing tax rates in adjoining towns, check out this unofficial tax map; unfortunately this resource is now a year out of date.

Looking for a new home? Let me help you!  Check out my website.  Give me a call: 603-321-9895.  Connecting People with Homes in Southern New Hampshire. 

– Steve Russo