At Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, we honor community values. Our members are important to us, and we are grateful to them for choosing us as their bank. We work hard to provide them with the sound advice and extra personal service that make banking with us a pleasant experience, and it shows…
“They made everything work...”
Renee Misiaszek grew up in Bar Harbor and had mixed feelings about moving off Mount Desert Island. She and her husband Richard had been staying in rentals or with family, and wanted a permanent home for themselves and their three children.
“We drove out to see several houses in Trenton, and at the first one we both fell in love,” Renee says. “We did not even look at the others.”
It wasn’t all that easy, though. They still had to sort out financing, and the owner of the new house needed to close before they had funds available.
“The Savings and Loan and our realtor made everything work,” Richard says. “It is such a great bank, we just love going in there. Now they have debit cards, we do our checking there as well.”
Renee and Richard Misiaszek with Andruw, Lucille, Ava, and their dog Zeppy
“They were so approachable...”
“Buying a house seemed like a crazy idea, but Bar Harbor Savings and Loan took us seriously and helped make it happen,” Zoe Fassett-Manuszewski says.
“We wanted to find a home we could share with people we care about. It is hard to find year round housing here,” Zeuk Brown says. Zoe and Zeuk, with help from their extended household and neighbors, are renovating a home in a community they feel part of.
“The idea of getting a mortgage seemed complicated, but the bank made the process easy, and they were so approachable,” Zeuk says. “Now, we can concentrate on finishing up the house.”
At Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, we are always willing to listen to ideas and help make our customers’ visions become reality.
Zoe Fassett-Manuszewski, Olivia Robertson, Nate Pronovost, Zeuk Brown, Chris Phillips, and Maya Rappaport
“They made us feel like family.”
Truman the dog is a big fan of Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. “Banking is their business,” says Truman, “but take it from my dads–they’re so much more than just a bank.”
When Rick and Stephen’s wedding plans fell through, the Savings and Loan was there to help. Rhonda, Mortgage Loan Specialist and Notary Public, performed the ceremony; Vicky, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, and Nancy, Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, served as witnesses; and Truman was the best man.
“We could have held a big elaborate ceremony, but my dads felt right at home at the Savings and Loan,” Truman says, adding, “They made us feel like family.”
Congratulations to Stephen and Rick (and Truman) and to all couples who are settling down for the next phase of their lives. Bar Harbor Savings and Loan is here to help.
Truman was best man at the wedding of his dads.
“They were always clear and candid.”
“We needed a home where we could press the reset button at the end of the work day,” Bill Hanley says. He and his wife Heli Mesiniemi have a busy schedule with two children, Aleksandra and Matilda, as well as running their own business. They found a private location near Long Pond, and worked with Bar Harbor Savings and Loan for their financing.
“The bank explained the process at every step, and were very clear about who would be reviewing our application. It felt totally transparent, there were no decisions behind closed doors,” Bill says. “We are deeply rooted in this community, and working with a community bank that shares our values was important,” Heli adds.
At Bar Harbor Savings and Loan our customers are members of the bank. They can vote at annual meetings, and have a voice in bank decisions.
Heli Mesiniemi and Bill Hanley, owners of WMH Architects in Northeast Harbor, Maine, with Sonja the office dog.
“Wouldn’t it be nice…”
Ryan Blotnick had spent several summers working here when he brought Keri Kimura to visit. She fell in love with Maine, and they decided to make it their home.
They would pass real estate signs and think “Wouldn’t it be nice to fix up one of these old houses,” but thought that opportunity would be years away.
A helpful realtor began showing them properties and recommended they talk to Bar Harbor Savings and Loan to see what they could afford. “It is rare for a bank to be so committed to the community,” Ryan says.
“I appreciate that our mortgage will stay local and not be sold,” Keri says, adding, “They understand the realities of people piecing together seasonal and freelance income.”
Ryan Blotnick and Keri Kimura with Nori, in front of their new home. Ryan is a jazz guitarist and music teacher and works at Red Sky. Keri is a painter and works at XYZ.
“They never let me down.”
After a fire claimed Dennis Smith’s home, and insurance was not enough to cover the rebuild, Dennis and his wife Karen Zimmermann turned to Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. They had a long history with the bank, and knew they would get the help they needed.
“Everything cost more than the estimates, and new building codes meant building better, which meant costing even more,” Dennis says. “I kept going back to renegotiate, and the Savings and Loan never let me down.”
“It seemed like rebuilding took over our lives,” Karen says, “but it is finally over, and we are grateful the bank made it so easy.”
We always want to make things as easy as possible for our customers, and we thank Dennis and Karen for choosing Bar Harbor Savings and Loan.
Dennis Smith at the new house next door to the seasonal Hot Shower business in Otter Creek.
“I’ve come home, with help.”
Ronda Alley grew up by the landmark stone barn in Bar Harbor, not far from where she lives now, and she and her husband moved back to the area after raising their family. They were looking forward to a new chapter of their lives when he passed away.
“I felt unsure, unsettled, and renting made me feel insecure,” Ronda says. She did not think she was in a position to buy, but went to Bar Harbor Savings and Loan to see what her options were.
“They made it so simple,” Ronda says. “They helped with the paperwork, guided me through the process. I feel excited about my new journey now.”
We are always willing to see if we can help a family finance a home, and are glad we could help Ronda move securely into the future.
Ronda Alley works at Mount Desert Island Hospital and feels right at home in her new house in Northeast Creek.
“They always had the answers.”
Heidi Arey had land, but was renting a home. “I wanted equity, but wasn’t sure I wanted to rebuild,” Heidi says. “My daughter was really inspirational, and as a family we found the courage to go ahead.”
Heidi works at Coastline Homes in Hancock, and knew they could help with the planning and construction. She turned to Bar Harbor Savings and Loan for the missing piece, financing. “They answered all of my questions, kept me informed, and were there every step of the way,” Heidi says. “What a wonderful community bank!”
We thank Heidi Arey for choosing Bar Harbor Savings and Loan to provide her construction loan and mortgage.
Heidi Arey (on right) shares her new home with children Eli, Cassidy, and Brigitte (not pictured) Parady.
“It was a holistic banking experience.”
Nick Jenei and Jasmine Smith met while students at College of the Atlantic. They left after graduation, but were drawn back by the community they had discovered here.
“We moved here to be part of this community, but were unable to find an affordable home,” Nick says. Jasmine adds, “After founding the Community School two years ago, whose philosophy includes a deep connection to and stewardship for our MDI communities, commuting from another area just did not seem right.”
They started working with Island Housing Trust, and got support from Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. “The bank really advocated for us. It was a holistic experience. We were not just assessed just by numbers, but by our commitment and contribution to this island,” Nick says.
Nick Jenei and Jasmine Smith at Spring Farm, the historic island home they are restoring with help from family and friends, and financing from Bar Harbor Savings and Loan and Island Housing Trust.
“They made the process easy.”
“We were in a place where we needed more room and the Savings and Loan was willing to make this purchase work. They worked hard to get us into that house and we will always be grateful to them for that.” says Zach Soares.
His wife Autumn says, “They helped us navigate a move that felt impossible to achieve. We didn’t know how we were going to mange to buy a bigger house before our smaller house sold. They made the process easy on us and included the kids in every step.”
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan views every mortgage as unique, and works with families to find the best plan for them.
Zach and Autumn Soares with Mason, Tryg, Plum, and Piper.
Family-friendly may not be a term one associates with banks, but for the Cole family it describes Bar Harbor Savings and Loan to perfection.
“We brought our kids to the closing, and now they feel a part of the whole home-buying process,” Scott says. “Not many banks would do that.”
“We saw this house and fell in love, but tried not to get our hopes up,” Jillian adds. “The bank really worked with us, tailoring a mortgage to meet our needs. And they even let us bring our kids to our meetings. They made it all so easy.”
“I am so glad we bought it,” says Griffin. “Now I can ride my bike over to visit my friends.”
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan thinks family is important, and helping families find homes is what we do.
Scott and Jillian Cole with Griffin and Stella
“I was not going to give up…”
“I had to trek through deep snow to see this house, but I knew it belonged to me,” Amy Niemczura describes her first look at what is now her home. It was a stretch for her to buy a house, but she was persistent, refusing to give up. “I was at Bar Harbor Savings and Loan constantly, trying to make it work.”
“Amy crowd-sourced for part of her down payment, and friends and family all chipped in. Amy says it still would not have happened without help from the Savings and Loan. Persistence finally made the house hers. “It is a fairytale story, and I feel like a princess.” The house, which had been empty, is vibrant with color and life. “I think the house is happy, too,” Amy says.
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan works alongside our customers to help them make their dreams come true.
Amy Niemczura in her dream house, where she sleeps at the foot of Sargent Mountain, and wakes to see the water in Somes Sound.
“The future looks bright.”
Marc and Victoria Chalfoun believe starting a savings account for their newborn sets the mood to think about the future. Is 11 days old too early to start an account? They don’t think so.
“We chose the Savings and Loan because we have been customers there over 10 years,” Marc says. “It is a local, all-American institution, and we are fortunate our son can be a part of it.”
Victoria, an artist, says, “Our generation does not always think of savings, but we want to have funds so William can take classes, learn new things, art, music, whatever he wants.”
We welcome the youngest customer and member of Bar Harbor Savings and Loan and applaud Marc and Victoria for saving for the future.
Victoria and Marc Chalfoun with William James.
Marc is a Real Estate Broker with The Davis Agency, and Victoria manages Anna’s Quietside Cottages, the family business.
“We feel valued as customers.”
Pat and George Fowler are both retired and have IRAs, so interest rates are important to them. They found Bar Harbor Savings and Loan online, and liked that rates were posted right there, with no need to call or inquire.
“Many banks have consolidated and grown beyond recognition. The Savings and Loan is a true local bank,” George says. “Their rates are better than the national average, and they treat their depositors with appreciation.”
“Very few banks keep mortgages local, and we like knowing that our money is helping our community,” Pat adds.
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan posts current rates at www.bhsla.com so the Fowlers and any one else can check them 24/7. Thank you, Pat and George, for saving with us.
Pat and George Fowler are long-time customers of the Savings and Loan.
“They answered my questions.”
Wendy Jo Davis wanted a fixed rate mortgage so she could reliably project her finances. Her brother had just taken out a mortgage with Bar Harbor Savings and Loan and suggested she go there.
“They answered all my questions and gave me options,” Wendy Jo says. Wendy Jo is a licensed massage therapist, and passionate painter. She paints every morning before her first client. “I never have enough time, so I am grateful to the bank for making the process so simple. They offered automatic payments, which saves time, too.”
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan is pleased to provide Wendy Jo a bit more time for her art, and look forward to seeing her first show on our walls.
Wendy Jo Davis operates her Massage Therapy business on the Bucksport Road in Ellsworth.
“It was time for our own business.”
Cyndi Bridges and Drew Smith were delighted by the opportunity to own their own home as well as start a business. After many years working in the hospitality industry they wanted to venture out on their own. “We love to interact with people, and decided to work for ourselves for a change,“ says Cyndi.
“It’s been a lot of hard work. We want to provide downtown with a place to buy fresh local seafood and Maine specialty items,” says Drew. They both love that they live right above their business. “It’s our first mortgage and our first business — we couldn’t have done it without the Savings and Loan.”
We thank Cyndi and Drew for financing their dream at Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, and applaud their willingness to work hard for their vision.
Cyndi Bridges and Drew Smith with their dog Cider Smidges at Peekytoe Provisions, their Maine specialty foods market in Bar Harbor.
“I’ll come back for my next loan.”
Melinda Workman lives in Ellsworth, works in Bar Harbor, but comes from Deer Isle. When her mother’s house had to be rebuilt, she and her husband Gordon organized it.
“The house had been ordered, ground work scheduled, but the financing became complicated. We were in a bind.“ Melinda says. She had seen her clients get mortgages with the Savings and Loan, so she approached the bank.
“They were awesome,” Melinda recalls. “By the time the house arrived, all the financing was in place. Gordon and I will go straight to them for our next loan, and my mom was so relieved she baked them cookies.”
We thank Melinda for financing her mother’s new home with Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, and her mother for the cookies.
Melinda Hamblen Workman works at Coston & McIsaac, CPAs in Bar Harbor.
“They honor their commitment.”
Mike Woodard and his wife have had many mortgages in the last 25 years, and every one was with Bar Harbor Savings and Loan.
“Whatever the bank says they will do–a rate, closing costs–that is exactly what they do. No surprises, no changes,” Mike says. Mike is a property owner, and he is also a Realtor. “I send clients there because I know they will make the mortgage process as easy as possible.” Mike also likes the hometown feel of the Savings and Loan. “The handwritten mortgage passbook is rare these days, but really sweet.”
We thank Mike for financing his properties with us over the years, and hope to do business with him long into the future.
Mike Woodard owns Mike Woodard Realty in Bar Harbor
“I like the way they treat us.”
Jeff Miller has a long history with Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. He has financed several investment properties with the bank, and as a realtor includes them when he recommends mortgage options to his clients.
When he and his fiancé, Liz Cutler, decided to purchase a building for his office, their home, and a community art center, Jeff knew he would use the Savings and Loan. “I like the way they treat me as a customer,” Jeff says. Liz agrees, and adds, “They share work by local artists on their walls. For me that was the clincher.”
We thank Jeff for being a loyal, repeat customer with the bank, and wish ArtWaves and Coastal Maine Realty much success.
Liz Cutler and Jeff Miller at ArtWaves in Bar Harbor.
“They gave us a sense of security.”
Steve Carter and Jessica Bass bought their first home with help from Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. When their family grew Steve knew it was time to build a new house. “We knocked the old one down and lived out of a tent,” Jessica says, adding, “Life was stressful, but working with the Savings and Loan was not.”
When they decided to build fresh, they financed their new home with the Savings and Loan. “We never even though of switching,” Steve says, “they give us such a great sense of security.”
Helping kids and their families have safe, healthy homes is important to us. Thank you Steve and Jessica for choosing Bar Harbor Savings and Loan for your bank.
Jessica Bass and Steve Carter with Liberty and Steve, Jr.
"They keep everything simple."
Robert Davis has roots on Mount Desert Island. His business is here, his family is here, and it is here he chooses to invest. When he decided to buy a rental property in Bar Harbor, he chose Bar Harbor Savings and Loan for his mortgage.
“Their closing fees were simple and reasonable, they had the best rates around, and I could get a fixed rate,” Bob says. “They even helped untangle some confusion about the flood zone—how many banks would do that for you?”
He also likes the personal treatment. “It is comfortable in the bank—relaxed, not stuffy,” he says. “And I like that they greet me by name.”
We thank Bob for using Bar Harbor Savings and Loan for his financial needs, and work hard to keep things simple for all our customers.
Robert Davis owns Bob’s Auto Repair in Bar Harbor.
“We love the sense of community.”
Ian and Ellen Rowberry came from different continents, but together they have found their place in Maine. “We love the feeling of community here,” Ellen says. “Ian is from Wales, and I am from New York, but this is home.”
Ian and Ellen were first time-homebuyers. “The bank helped establish credit for Ian, and guided us through the mortgage process. We never dreamed our first home would be so wonderful. It did need work, but Ian did most of it,” Ellen says. “We are grateful to the Savings and Loan for helping it to happen.”
“And they are so friendly, it makes it easy to work with them,” Ian adds.
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan is happy to guide Ellen and Ian, and other first time home owners, through the mortgage process.
Ellen, a speech language pathologist at Pemetic Elementary School, and Ian Rowberry with Longley, the hamster. Ian works for Eden Builders.
“We’re lucky to have this bank!”
The Avila family does many things together, and one thing they all share is saving for the future at Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. Daughter Rosie wants to go to Portugal, and her brother Haji is saving for a computer.
Kyle likes the handwritten passbooks. “It’s personal, and makes our savings feel tangible,“ he says.
“We are lucky to have a bank like this,” Lelania says, “I suggest all kids start a savings account there if they can, it’s a fun bank.” She also likes that the kids are learning that saving now can help them realize their dreams.
We thank the Avilas for banking with Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, and creating a family tradition of saving.
The Avila family, clockwise from top left; Rosie, Lelania, Haji, and Kyle
"They see the big picture.”
Robin Wright, owner of the Downeast Deli, is no stranger to hard work. She knew opening another business would be challenging, but it was an opportunity she could not pass up. “I had worked with the Bar Harbor Savings and Loan before and knew they could help,” Robin says. She went to them with her plan to refinance a vacation rental to help open the bakery. “They really looked at the big picture, and were there to answer questions,” she says. Robin also loves that the Bar Harbor Savings and Loan is a local bank. “It’s great that my money is kept here to help other businesses, but I also really like that they are my neighbors, and we say ‘hi’ almost every day.”
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan welcomes The Pink Pastry Shop to the neighborhood, and is glad to help Robin on her new venture.
Robin Wright at her new business, The Pink Pastry Shop.
"Something had to change...”
Tyson and Christa Starling were waiting for their old house to sell before buying their new one, but things got complicated. “We were faced with paperwork every few weeks, and renewing our application while trying to hold onto a good rate. It wasn’t working, so our Realtor told us about Bar Harbor Savings and Loan,” Tyson says. “It was so easy,” Christa says. “They really listened to what we needed.” Tyson adds, “We put ridiculous constraints on the bank, but they came through every time.” A few years ago, Christa and Tyson had switched to an online bank. For them, going back to a bank where everyone knows them by name is a great experience. “Now that we have found Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, we’ll never switch,” Tyson says.
We always want to make things as easy as possible for our customers, and we thank Tyson and Christa Starling for choosing Bar Harbor Savings and Loan.
Tyson and Christa Starling with daughter Emelia and their dog Gary.
“They put a lot of trust in us.”
Jessica and Cody Seavey have family roots going back generations on Mount Desert Island. Someday they hope to live on MDI, but when they found affordable land in Surry, they decided to build a house there. “Everyone in the family helped us out. It was a real hands-on project,” Cody says. “We had a tight budget, and sometimes had doubts we could do it, but Bar Harbor Savings and Loan was always willing to talk things through,” Jessica adds. The Seaveys like that the bank treats them personally, not just as numbers on an application. “It feels good to bank locally,” Jessica says.
We thank Jessica and Cody for building their home with financing from Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, and are proud to help them realize their dreams.
Jessica and Cody Seavey now live in the home they built with help from family, and Bar Harbor Savings and Loan.
“They were there when I needed help.”
Kari Leach bought her first house with financing from Bar Harbor Savings and Loan twenty years ago. She used it as a rental property, and it was empty a while, too. When she decided to move into it herself, she found it was in disrepair. Her mortgage still had a few years to go and she didn‘t know what to do. “I went to the bank, concerned I was going to have to build a new house, and they said, ‘Don’t worry, we‘ll take care of you,’” Kari recalls. In just a few months the old house was gone, and a neat, modern cape was in its place. “They really helped make this happen,” Kari says. “I never once thought of going anywhere else.“
Kari and her daughter are settled in a safe and new energy efficient house, and we at Bar Harbor Savings and Loan are pleased we could help.
Kari Leach in the kitchen of her new home.
"We feel safe here. It’s home...”
Traci Patton and her family rented for years before getting their own home. “We had to move a lot, and so we gardened in containers,” Traci says. Dillon, a student at Mount Desert Island High School adds, “One place we rented just felt uncomfortable for me, but now I like to have friends come and visit.” They found a house in a friendly neighborhood near Traci’s parents, but did not think they could afford it. “Bar Harbor Savings and Loan really helped us out,” Traci says. “They connected us with Island Housing Trust, and now, for the first time in our lives, we can say we are going home, to our own house.”
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan works with Island Housing Trust to help local families find homes of their own. Thank you, Traci, for choosing us for your bank.
Traci Patton and her son Dillon.
“They were so patient...”
Dana Foster had been staying at her property during the summers, but wanted to be there year-round. There was an old garage that needed work, and with a clear vision, financial assistance and a creative builder, it all came together. “I spent a couple of years working on my plan, and with the bank. They were very patient,” Dana says. “It was worth it, it would not have come out as well if we rushed.” Once she was ready, things moved quickly. “Bar Harbor Savings and Loan approved my financing in August. In October, that garage had been transformed into an bright and comfortable home.” Dana says.
We thank Dana for choosing Bar Harbor Savings and Loan to help turn her vision into reality, and a garage into a home.
Dana Foster, employed by Salsbury‘s Organics, stands with her dog Iris Ann at her home, built by Bar Harbor Builders.
“We live in the family compound...”
Dave and Lacey Schlag had lived in six homes in five years, and were ready to stay put. Nothing on the Island, where Lacey grew up, was affordable for them, though. When Lacey’s aunt offered to sell them her house, located in a family neighborhood, they wanted to make it work. “Bar Harbor Savings and Loan helped make it happen.” Dave says. “They kept us motivated, and connected us with Island Housing Trust.” Happy to be in their own home, with their two rescue dogs, they are just a short walk from Lacey‘s grandmother. “We can help shovel Nana‘s walkway out. It‘s a nice way to live,” Lacey says.
Helping the younger generation of island families stay here is an important part of Bar Harbor Savings and Loan‘s mission, and Island Housing Trust helps that happen.
Dave and Lacey Schlag in their new home.
"I knew it was the bank for me!”
Jessica Sprague decided she was ready for a home she could call her own. She found the perfect house, and went straight to Bar Harbor Savings and Loan for her mortgage. “I never even thought of going elsewhere,” Jessica says. “I started saving with them years ago. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew it was the bank for me.” Born and raised in Bar Harbor, Jessica likes that the bank is a community bank, keeping mortgages local and helping other people like herself own their own homes.
At Bar Harbor Savings and Loan we build relationships for life, and we thank Jessica for saving with us and then financing her home with us.
Jessica Sprague and Couture in front of her new home in Ellsworth, Maine.
"They gave us answers the same day"
Ray Price and Janice Ormsby had the opportunity to buy a property with several cottages. They had been through the mortgage process before and were not looking forward to it. Another building was added to the sale, and things became complicated. “We expected problems,” Janice says, “but they really listened.” “I don’t think anyone else could have handled it,” Ray says. “Whenever I called with a question, I got an answer that day.” Ray and Jan were also pleased that their mortgage will never be sold on the secondary market. “We’ve had out-of-state mortgages before,” Janice says, “working locally is much easier.”
The previous owners of Jan’s Cottages are customers of Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, and we thank them for recommending us, and Ray and Janice for choosing us.
Janice Ormsby and Ray Price at Jan’s Cottages in Bar Harbor
"Everyday we say, 'This is ours!'"
When Robyn Clark and her husband Dan realized they had rented eight houses in fourteen years, they knew it was time to stop. Fortunately they found just the right property, with plenty of space for Dan’s lobster gear and Robyn’s sideline, baking pies. “Things just fell into place,” Robyn says, “thanks to Bar Harbor Savings and Loan. We didn’t believe the house was really going to be ours until we signed the papers.” Nine years ago Robyn lost a friend to breast cancer, and has been walking for Susan G. Komen ever since. “The bank is a sponsor I know I can count on. They were there when we needed a mortgage, and they are there to support my walk.”
Bar Harbor Savings and Loan is proud to sponsor Robyn as she walks 60 miles to raise awareness and donations for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Learn more about Robyn Clark’s walk at www.the3day.org/goto/walkinrobyn