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

$0 DOWN, LOW INTEREST 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.

2014 Home Buyer Fair

Each year the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority sponsors a home buyer’s fair to bring together potential buyers, mortgage lenders, inspection companies, government agencies, and related businesses in one place – one-stop shopping for home buyers! This year the Home Buyer Fair will take place on Saturday March 8th at the Radisson Hotel –  Center of New Hampshire.

The NH Housing Finance Authority has scheduled very informative seminars at the Fair on how to pick the right mortgage, shopping for a home, and evaluating the soundness of a house.Rindge

If you are thinking of purchasing your first home or thinking of downsizing or upsizing, you will find many people ready to assist you. Major New Hampshire lenders such as Residential Mortgage Services and Merrimack Mortgage will be there, as well as Northway Bank, St. Mary’s Bank, and others. Home inspection services will also have booths, as well as insurance companies and real estate agencies.

Admission to the fair and the seminars is free. The hours for the Home Buyer Fair at the Radisson Hotel – Center of New Hampshire (700 Elm Street, Manchester) are 9AM – 2PM, Saturday March 16th. For more information, click here.

Old House & Barn Expo 2014

The 2014 Old House and Barn Expo will be held on March 15 and 16 at the Center of NH at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.  Hours are 9AM to 5PM both Saturday and Sunday. Fitzwilliam

Sponsored by the NH Preservation Alliance, this trade show is designed to present to old house and barn owners the experts that can help them preserve and revitalize their historic buildings.  There will be hourly lectures on a variety of topics and over 60 exhibitors and demonstrators.  DSC_2829

Noted speakers include barn repair specialists Steve Bedard and Ian Blackman, horticulturalist Tovah Martin, and historic interior experts Richard Nylander, Joe Cornish, and Sally Zimmerman.   DSC01410

Some of the programs include how to research the history of a house, maintaining wood floors, restoring old gardens, plaster repair, choosing appropriate paints, lowering energy bills, building stone walls, etc.  Noted architectural historian Tom Hubka will present a program on vernacular homes.   Harrisville 01348 to (42)

There is a modest admission charge.  For more information on the 2014 Old House and Barn Expo, click here.  The Expo will be held at the Center of New Hampshire at 700 Elm Street, Manchester with ample parking at the Center’s parking garage at 65 Granite Street. 

Recouping Costs of Home Remodeling and Renovations

One of the aspects of remodeling or renovating your home is whether the project is a good investment.  Most people want to know if they will recoup the costs of the renovation or remodeling when they sell their property.

The Appraisal Institute, the national organization of professional real estate appraisers, recently published an article indicating which renovations have the highest value added for the cost incurred.  Click here for this short publication.

Their article is based on a country wide study by www.costvsvalue.com.  This study, available online, lists the job costs and resale values of the 20+ most popular remodeling projects. The prices and resale values are given for both mid-range and upscale renovations.

The costs – and the resale value – of a renovation vary significantly throughout the United States, which makes this study so valuable. The Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report not only has national figures, but also the statistics for New England, and various subregions, such as the Manchester-Nashua NH area, the Boston-seacoast NH region, Central Massachusetts, etc.

Access to the statistics is free, and a detailed printout is available by registering with the website.  For greater Nashua-Manchester’s report, click here. The publication for Rockingham County NH and Greater Boston is available on this webpage, and central Massachusetts information is available here.

Considering buying a home? Let me assist you to find the perfect property for you!

Call (cell: 603-321-9895; direct office: 603-459-1103; general office 603-888-4600) or email steve.russo@verani.com.

Steve Russo

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

Website: http://www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

Facebook page: Steve Russo, Realtor

 

The USDA Mortgage Loan Program

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.

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 $ 103,000 for a family of four in certain areas of New Hampshire.  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.  Maps of the eligible and ineligible towns are available here.

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.

Call (cell: 603-321-9895; direct office: 603-459-1103; general office 603-888-4600) or email steve.russo@verani.com.

Steve Russo

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

Website: http://www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

Facebook page: Steve Russo, Realtor

2013 Home Buyers Fair

Each year the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority sponsors a home buyer’s fair to bring together potential buyers, mortgage lenders, inspection companies, government agencies, and related business in one place – one-stop shopping for home buyers! This year the Home Buyers Fair will take place on Saturday, March 16th at the Radisson Hotel – Center of New Hampshire.

The NH Housing Finance Authority has scheduled three very informative seminars on mortgages (at 9:45AM), how to shop for a home (at 11AM), and how to check out if a home is physically sound (at 12:15PM).

If you are thinking of purchasing your first home or  thinking of downsizing or upsizing, you will find many people ready to assist you. Major New Hampshire lenders such as Residential Mortgage Services and Merrimack Mortgage will be there, as well as Citizen’s Bank, St. Mary’s Bank, and others. Home inspection services will also have booths, as well as insurance companies and real estate agencies.

Representing Prudential Verani Realty – NH’s largest real estate company – will be myself and my fellow agents, Kathy DeMello, Betsy Levesque, Tanya Verfaillie, and Denise Witham.  Drop by our booth and say hello – and enter our raffle for some great prizes!

Admission to the fair and the seminars is free. The hours for the Home Buyers Fair at the Radisson Hotel – Center of New Hampshire (700 Elm Street, Manchester) are 9AM – 2PM, Saturday March 16th. For more information, click here.

Considering buying a home? Let me assist you to find the perfect property for you!

Call (cell: 603-321-9895; direct office: 603-459-1103; general office 603-888-4600) or email steve.russo@verani.com.

Steve Russo

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

Website: http://www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

Facebook page: Steve Russo, Realtor

The New Hampshire State Home Show

What better way to fight off the winter blahs than to start thinking about spring and summer improvement projects for your house?  That’s why this is he perfect time for the New Hampshire State Home Show!  Now in its 46th year, the annual NH State Home Show brings to Manchester over 300 companies that can help you build or renovatel your home.  From building contractors to painters, if a company has anything to do with housing, chances are, they’ll be here.

Not sure what kind of paint to buy?  Sherwin Williams will be here.  Don’t want to paint yourself?  Talk with Brushworks Painting and other painting contractors.  Thinking of renovating the kitchen?  RE Marble and Granite will be here, as well as Kitchen Magic, Kitchen and Bath Unlimited, and many others. Several roofers, landscape servicers, and flooring specialists will also be attending.  Wondering  how to finance a major project?  Consult with one of the banks at the show.

This annual event is sponsored by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of NH.  The 2013 NH State Home Show will be held Friday March 1st through Sunday March 3rd at the Center of NH at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester. Hours: Friday 1 – 8PM, Saturday 10AM – 8PM, Sunday 10AM – 4PM. This website offers more details about the 2013 New Hampshire State Home Show.  To purchase tickets online, click here.

Weighing whether to undertake a major remodel or to look for a new home?  I can help you decide whether buying a new home might be preferable to a major remodel or addition.

Call or email me at: 603-321-9895 or 603-459-1103.

Steve Russo

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

Website: http://www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

Facebook page: 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

One Stop Shopping for a New Home in Southern New Hampshire

Finding a new home can be daunting.  Going through countless property listings, considering what type of town or city you want to live in, checking out schools systems, considering what type of mortgage to get, etc., etc.

For help with this effort, turn to my facebook page. I’ve included app icons for the latest MLS listings, community information websites, school evaluation reports, and companies that will help you with your lending decisions.  When you’re ready to check out some homes, give me a call (603-321-9895).  I’ll be pleased to show you what’s available and assist you with the purchase and sale process.

On my facebook page, there’s an app icon for my business website, which includes descriptions of many southern New Hampshire towns and links to their web pages.  For more information on Southern New Hampshire towns and cities, turn to my community information blog; for more information on schools, see my school ranking article.

I’m always ready to help you on your journey to discovering your new home in Southern New Hampshire!

–        Steve Russo

My website: www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

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

Connecting People with Homes in Southern New Hampshire