April 2019 Newsletter

Traditional thinking has suggested that homebuyers should wait to purchase until they’ve saved a sizeable down payment. However, these days, it’s important to think about the downside of waiting.

For example, in 2017, the typical Colorado home sold for $448,784. At that time 30-year fixed interest rates averaged 4% for a loan of 80% of the home’s value (which typically allows a borrower to avoid mortgage insurance). The monthly principal and interest payment would have been $1,714.05.  Currently in 2019, the average home is selling for $500,683, and the interest rates are averaging 4.5%. For a loan of 80% of the home’s value, the monthly principal and interest payment would be $2,029.51—a payment of over $300 more each month for the same home.

This scenario, of course, assumes that the buyer has enough saved for a down payment that brings the loan to 80% of the home’s value. Which comes back to the original issue of waiting to buy a home until a significant down payment (i.e., at least 20%) is established. However, Bellco offers solutions that can get buyers in the market sooner. 

Like most lenders, Bellco offers loan options at 97% of the home’s value, which means that the buyer needs as little as 3% of the home’s value for a down payment (on today’s average home, as described above, that’s around $15,000). What sets us apart from other lenders, though, is that we offer these loans not just to first-time home buyers but to previous homeowners as well. To boot, we can offer a combination loan option that will finance up to 97% of the home value as well.  This first mortgage/home equity line of credit combination option can avoid mortgage insurance altogether. This means that your payments would go toward principal and interest (and possibly escrow for taxes and property insurance), and none of it would go towards insuring the mortgage.

And Bellco offers so much more. We’re an established and local credit union, which is a selling point for many agents who prefer not to work with out-of-state, big-name national, or unknown banks. Plus, we can handle all kinds of financial needs, including car loans, credit cards, standard banking solutions, and more. When members work with us, they get firsthand, experienced customer care with options designed for their needs.

If you’ve been thinking about homeownership, it might be well worth your while to speak with one of our seasoned consultants. With an average of more than 15 years of mortgage experience, any of our loan officers can ensure that you’ll get the right answers to all of your mortgage questions—and maybe even get you on the path to owning your dream home sooner than you had dreamed! Contact us today.

Equal Housing Opportunity Statement: We are pledged to the letter and spirit of the U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

DIY Spring Air Conditioning Tips

By Blue Ribbon Home Warranty

There’s an old saying, “Never plant your outdoor flowers before Mother’s Day”. Take heed of that when getting your AC unit ready for summer. Remember, in Colorado the heaviest snow months are March and April, so don’t get ahead of yourself when it comes to doing an A/C start-up for summer.

Get Started in Mid-May

  • Uncover your outside compressor unit. Before you do, use the hose to wash off the cover while it is still on the unit as it’s easier to clean off the dust in place. Then remove the cover and hang it to dry.
  • Gently hose off the compressor unit. Take care not to use too much pressure as it could bend the fins. Use a mild soap and water solution to help wash away grime if needed.
  • Level the compressor unit. A level unit will result in more efficient air-movement thus more efficient cooling and longer life of your A/C compressor.
  • Repair and replace any damaged piping insulation.
  • Replace your furnace filter every 68 weeks year-round. You don’t need to use an expensive filter if you replace on this schedule.
  • Clean out all return vents and supply grills. Get out all the pet dander and dust that has built up over the winter.

Myths about Using Your A/C Unit

  • Myth: Closed vents in unused rooms will help cool the other parts of your home. This might increase pressure on the vent system causing leaks. Modern A/C systems are balanced for the size of home and closing off rooms might cause an imbalance of the system and less efficiency.
  • Myth: Keeping the A/C system on is an energy-efficient way to have the home cool when you return. Turning off the system when gone increases the life of the unit and allows less energy use. Consider a programmable thermostat that adjusts or turns off when you are away.

Air conditioning units, like all mechanical systems in the home, need regular maintenance to keep them running well and to extend the life of the system. Always consult with a HVAC specialist if you are having any concerns or questions regarding these systems. Blue Ribbon has great local, licensed, and insured professionals that we recommend.

Blue Ribbon Home Warranty offers “preventive maintenance” that can be added to your home warranty that will provide an annual preventive maintenance check on your A/C unit (subject to warranty terms of service).

Bellco members can contact Blue Ribbon to receive a 5% discount by calling 303-986-3900 or by visiting BlueRibbonHomeWarranty.com/Bellco.

Rising Auto Insurance Rates

As you may be aware, auto insurance premiums in Colorado are at an all-time high with many Coloradans asking what they can do. Thanks to lower gas prices and more people moving to Colorado, there are now more cars than ever on our roads.

According to Bellco's preferred partner, First Line Insurance, the auto industry is experiencing a large increase in insurance losses. The frequency of claims and severity of claims is steadily on the rise. Injury claims, vehicle repair, and traffic fatalities have increased by 5%. What used to be a fender bender is now a full fender replacement that includes expensive electronics, like back-up or proximity sensors.

What can you do to mitigate the insurance woes? Contact First Line for a complete insurance evaluation. They take a consultative approach that focuses on your entire insurance picture. They can help search for additional credits and discounts that you may not be receiving. They can also suggest valuable benefits like accident forgiveness, multi-policy discounts, and affordable deductibles.

First Line will match coverage, make recommendations, look for overages and deficiencies while providing superior customer service.  First Line works with multiple top-rated companies, so they’ll be able to find the correct coverage at an affordable price, for your unique situation. Save time and money by letting them do the legwork for you!  Give them a call at 1-800-488-9838 or visit them online at firstlineins.com.

Urban Peak

In April, Bellco will collect donations for Urban Peak Denver, the only non-profit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. 

For ways you can donate to this worthwhile cause, visit Bellco’s Charity of the Month page. To learn more about Urban Peak, you can visit them online at urbanpeak.org.