Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor


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

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.

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

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

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

Home Buyer Fair – April 14th

Don’t miss the Home Buyer Fair today at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, 9AM – 2PM   Organized by the nonprofit New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, this fair will present three programs on mortgage basics, how to look for a home, and what to expect in today’s housing market.  Admission is free; the fair is sponsored by the NH Association of Realtors, PSNH, and NeighborWorks America.

And after you attend the fair, if you have any questions about buying or selling a home, contact me.  See my contact info on my website: http://www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

– Steve Russo – Connecting People With Homes in Southern New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire Life

Welcome to my corner of the world.  Southern New Hampshire is one of the fastest growing regions in the Northeast.  Despite this growth, many towns have kept their rural atmosphere and quiet charm.  I moved here over a dozen years ago, attracted like many visitors to all that this region has to offer – historic small towns just a short drive to cultural activities in Portsmouth, Peterborough and Boston, great recreational opportunities in the lakes region, the White Mountains, and seacoast, and an easy commute to most of New England’s major employers.

In this blog I’ll share some of what’s best about living in the southern part of New Hampshire.  I’ll be posting articles for people who are considering moving here or have recently moved here, so they can get the “flavor” of living in our area.  I welcome long-time residents visiting my blog also – there’s always something new to learn about this great region of the state.  I hope you’ll like what you see!

– Steve Russo

My real estate website: http://www.SteveRusso4Homes.com

Thinking of buying or selling a home?  Contact me at: steve.russo@verani.com

About me:  http://about.me/steverusssorealtor