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


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.

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., 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.


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


Facebook page: Steve Russo, Realtor

The Southern New Hampshire Expo

Mark your calendars for October 18th. The 2012 Southern New Hampshire Expo is an event you won’t want to miss!  Over 200 local businesses will be on hand to introduce themselves, show their products, and answer questions about their services.  More than 4,000 people came to the Hampshire Dome in Milford, NH to experience last year’s Expo, and it looks like this year’s fair will be bigger and better than ever.

The Expo is a great way to find out about the wide variety of services and products available in the area.  Big companies and small, old and new, they’ll be there! You are sure to discover businesses you didn’t know about – products you didn’t know were available – and services you didn’t think you could find. The scope of companies range from Antiques at Mayfair to Walmart, services like Amherst Recreation and Bridges to the Milford Rotary and Welcome Wagon.  Hampshire Hills will have a booth, as will Chappell, Scentsy, Staples, and hundreds of others.

Several eating establishments will also be present – offering free tastings. Sample the savory flavors of some of the area’s best restaurants, including Giorgio’s, the Mile Away, and the Rustic Leaf Bistro.  Casual dining restaurants like Chrysanthi’s, the Red Arrow Diner, and Foodie’s will also be well-represented.  In addition, many other quality food purveyors such as The Cozy Tea Cart, The Good Loaf, and A&E Coffee Roastery will be distributing samples of their flavorful creations.

The service companies that will be represented cover a wide field, from institutions like the Beaver Brook Association and Planet Aid to the Birth Cottage of Milford and Living at Home Senior Care.

The Expo will once again be hosting the student VEX Robotics Competition this year. Teams from six area high schools will be on hand to demonstrate their innovative robotic creations.  Come visit with some of the brightest engineers and scientists of tomorrow and see what they have designed.

I and some of my associates from Prudential Verani Realty will have a booth at the Expo.  Please stop by and say hello!

The Southern New Hampshire Expo is a program of the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce. Expo hours will be 2 to 7:30PM Thursday October 18th at the Hampshire Dome on Emerson Road in Milford.  More information may be found on the Expo’s website.  For a floor plan on the Expo exhibit hall and list of vendors, click here.

Considering a move to Southern New Hampshire?  The Southern New Hampshire Expo is a great place to find out about what the area has to offer.  I would be happy to help you discover your new home.  Check out my website and facebook page and give me a call.  I’m always ready to assist you with your home buying needs.

– Steve Russo, Prudential Verani Realty


603-888-4600 ext. 1103