Blogs

An article I recently read about beating the winter doldrums included recommendations to become more social. This makes a lot of sense. Folks lucky enough to live in a resident-owned community have a built-in social network of people around them who share so much in common—the ownership of their neighborhood. Does your co-op have a Social Committee? If not, the winter months would be a great time to establish one, or invigorate one that hasn’t been active. CC. Some rights reserved by nep The...
Updated : 5 days 23 hours ago | more
New England institutions spend an estimated $1 billion each year on food, according to a recent report by Farm to Institution New England. That figure represents a significant and largely untapped market for New Hampshire’s farmers and food producers. Selling to this market could create growth opportunities and a more-diverse customer base for local food and agriculture businesses. Bob Perkins of Autumn View Farm in Pittsfield Farm to Healthcare efforts are gaining ground across the nation as...
Updated : 3 days 18 hours ago | more
During the unseasonably warm holiday weather here in New Hampshire, it was nice to not worry about how much heating oil, gas or electricity we used to keep our homes warm. Now we’re in the midst of a cold snap, and pulling out hats, scarves and long johns to battle the biting winds. A colleague remarked that, during cold weather, he noticed his house was warmer because his furnace ran nearly continuously. That’s true of many older homes, particularly those that lack sufficient insulation. When...
Updated : 1 week 5 days ago | more
It’s December and the holiday push is on. Stores have set up displays, catalogs are stuffing mailboxes, and it’s time to start thinking about that dreaded holiday list. Retailers hope we will spend more than ever, that falling gasoline prices and rising consumer confidence will induce us to fill those department-store cash registers. Big box stores gamble that consumers will cave in to the assault of music, lights, decorations, ideas for holiday gatherings and, of course, glitzy offerings to...
Updated : 1 month 3 weeks ago | more
I connect people who need help with the people who supply it. As the receptionist, I’m usually the first contact a caller will have with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. I try to gather as much information I can as to what they are looking for assistance with, and I connect them to the program I feel would best match their needs. A lot of callers don’t really know whether we can help them. They may have been introduced to us by word of mouth, by a social agency, or by searching the web....
Updated : 2 months 6 days ago | more
I recently worked with a borrower who had fallen victim to a payday lender trap. A payday loan is a relatively small amount of money lent at a high rate of interest. Borrowers agree to repay their loans, and interest, when they receive their next paycheck. But if you can’t pay the money back by the next pay day, the lender will “roll over” your loan. Rolling over means that they take the original loan amount, extend the term, and add fees, making the amount you owe significantly higher than...
Updated : 1 month 3 weeks ago | more
My last blog presented three of the six most-common topics I discuss with first-time homebuyers: working with Realtors, seller credits and home inspections/appraisals. Here are the second three: Title insurance Title insurance and home insurance are two different things. Home insurance covers you in the event your home or its contents are damaged. Title insurance ensures that your home has a clear and marketable title on the day you purchase it. A clean title is crucial. Without it, a former...
Updated : 1 month 3 weeks ago | more
The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund is very concerned about employee wellness and encouraging healthy choices. Gunner Siverly served Rustic Crust pizza from a portable oven. Each year we organize wellness activities that include interactions with benefit vendors, on-site flu clinics, group exercise sessions, and, most recently, the opportunity to learn more about and to sample local food products. On a beautiful fall afternoon, members of our staff Wellness Committee and three food producers...
Updated : 3 months 6 days ago | more
I’m impressed with the good ideas that were generated during the brainstorm at NH Food Strategy and Network’s recent Regional Listening Session in Littleton, N.H. One that caught on in our table was helping corner store owners find profitable ways to introduce healthy, locally sourced food. It’s a great idea because convenience store offerings account for a lot of the nutritional choices for many people, in both urban and rural settings. The key to creating this shift is making it profitable...
Updated : 3 months 1 week ago | more
A just-released report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a good reality check on the benefits and challenges that manufactured-home owners experience. The report covers one of the biggest hurdles for people buying a manufactured home−the lack of purchase financing. Manufactured homes (sometimes called mobile homes) account for 6% of all occupied housing, yet receive only 2.5% of all home purchase loans. In 2012, when we studied manufactured-home finance options in...
Updated : 1 month 3 weeks ago | more