A New Home in an Old House

… loan fund helps a couple steward a house into its next phase of life


  • Housing Loan Fund
  • Rehab construction and septic replacement

Mary & Harvey Carter


The couple could not say enough about the help provided by project manager Dennis Williams, who they call “a treasure.” “It was so easy to deal with him,” recollected Harvey. “He knows what he’s doing, lays out your options very clearly, and helps you choose reliable contractors.”

a loan with a mission keeps a home sound

In 2010, Harvey and Mary Carter bought a light-filled 1870 farmhouse in South Hero. They were making a major life change—retiring from running a sheep farm and producing cheese in Corinth. They wanted to be closer to their children in the Burlington area, but also wanted enough land to keep a few of their favorite sheep. Realizing that they were priced out of options in Chittenden County, they started looking in the islands.

“It was literally a dark and stormy night when we first saw the house,” commented Mary, “and the power was out. But we liked it immediately. We’d lived in old houses before. We love the big old trees here and could tell this was a special spot.”

The Carters knew the house would need some work. Problems with the roof were clearly visible. A septic inspection showed that the tank had to be replaced. And once they moved in they discovered a few more issues, including a water heater that failed on Thanksgiving! “We boiled a lot of water to do the dishes that year,” Mary recalled. So they set about looking for financing, with special concern for the septic work. “If as a homeowner you have a failed septic system—especially with a leach field—then you’re stuck,” Mary noted.

When they found CHT’s low-interest loan fund, the Carters looked no further. In addition to its great lending terms, the loan program offers an unusual benefit: it provides project management at no extra cost.

“It was just such a good experience! The contractors, especially our general contractor, were very efficient and respectful, and did excellent work. Some final bills even came in below their estimates,” Mary concluded.

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