September Newsletter

DENVER ART MUSEUM DISCOUNT FOR BELLCO MEMBERS

Denver Art Museum
 

As of August 2016, Bellco became the presenting sponsor of Free for Kids, a program that provides children 18 and under free general admission to the Denver Art Museum (DAM) every day. Thanks to this partnership, the DAM has been able to share the power of art with more kids and families than ever before!

The Free for Kids program includes free general admission for school tours and other youth group visits, such as summer camps and day cares, and a transportation fund that provides bus assistance for Title I schools. 

 

EXCLUSIVE BELLCO MEMBER OFFER!

 

From now through October 31, 2017, Bellco members have the opportunity to receive two free months of Denver Art Museum membership when buying an annual museum membership. Just sign up at DAM for your annual membership, and use the promo code BELLCO to receive your two free months. That’s 14 months of art access for the price of 12!*

ENJOY THESE BENEFITS FROM DAM ALL YEAR LONG:
• Free general admission every day.
• DAM members-only previews offer the chance to see exhibitions first.
• Discounts and priority registrations for programs, lectures, and classes.
• 10% discount in The Shop and additional savings during special sales, including their popular Member Holiday-Shopping Event.

For more information about Bellco and The Denver Art Museum's partnership, visit Bellco.org/FreeForKids. To learn more about the Denver Art Museum, visit DenverArtMuseum.org.

*Limited-time offer for Bellco members only. Valid until October 31, 2017.

DENVER'S EVER EVOLVING REAL ESTATE MARKET

Real Estate

It may come as no surprise that many Coloradans are confused about what is happening in the Denver real estate market. As one of the most dynamic markets in America, Denver has seen home prices rise significantly in the past few years. And one of the most frequently asked questions from our members is whether or not now is a good time to buy a home.

There are many variables at play here. What is the long-term outlook economically? What hidden costs are part of being a homeowner? Here are some things to consider as you enter into the home-buying process:

Qualification—The first step when interested in looking for a new home is to get with your lender and get preapproved. This will prepare you with the knowledge needed to go out and find your home. Your lender will review your credit, income, and assets to determine how much you can qualify for. Once this step is completed, you can start to shop. The first question many realtors will ask before taking you out to see homes is whether or not you have a lender letter. This letter outlines what you qualify for so the realtor can set up appropriate search parameters.

Price Point—For homes priced $250k–$400k, we are seeing fierce competition and bidding wars for properties. Sellers in this price point are looking for well-qualified buyers and will comb through several offers at or above list price to determine which buyer to proceed with. Buyers must be well qualified to help separate themselves in a crowded space. What we see that sets some offers apart from others are: increased earnest money, at or above list price offer, cash vs. financed sales, agreements that go above appraisal, and buyers that agree to waive inspections. 

Economics—Denver is enjoying a significant tailwind from the economy. Our unemployment rate is among the lowest rates in the nation, meaning that those who are seeking work can likely find it. Rates remain near historic lows, which should be conducive to home buying. Wages aren’t keeping up with home prices, meaning that it is harder for the average family to qualify and afford a home. While home prices have continued to rise, we anticipate that these will flatten slightly from double digit percentages to 5–8% depending on ZIP code and location.

Supply—A healthy home market has around six months of supply or inventory of homes for sale.  In Denver, we have around one month of supply. This only adds fuel to the fire as there are far more buyers than available properties. 

Days on Market—Days on market is an expression for how long a home is available before it is sold.  Depending on price point, this can vary widely. As an example, a million dollar home can be on the market for a longer period than a $350k home. 

Deferred Maintenance—Another factor of consideration in homeownership is deferred maintenance   on items like paint, roof, utilities (A/C, appliances, repairs). These expenses are often unplanned, and can be significant. The best advice is to have a cushion in the way of savings as well as considering a home warranty to help cover these costly repairs. 

Bellco representatives would love to sit down and speak with you about any questions you may have with the real estate market.  Stop by any Bellco branch, call us at 1-800-BELLCO-1, or visit us online at www.Bellco.org. Also, be on the lookout for Bellco Home-Buying Seminars coming to a branch near you!

 

#ASK BELLCO - Episode 2: Buying vs. Renting

 

Want to learn more right now? Bellco has partnered with The Denver Post to create short informational videos on various financial topics, called #AskBellco, including our newest episode that covers home buying vs. renting. Click on the video above to check it out!

WATCH OUT FOR WORK-FROM-HOME SCAMS

work from home

For many employment seekers, the lure of a work-from-home job might be irresistible. The idea of workday flexibility, relaxed reporting structure, and no commute can seem like a dream come true. So it might be easy to get sucked in to believing an ad that promises all those things and more. But all too often, those postings are scams. Here’s what to avoid: 

  • Steer clear of a listing that promises fast wealth or high pay for part-time work. The possibility of earning vast sums of money might be tempting, but odds are, the company won’t pay out.
  • If the business asks for money in exchange for a “kit” or a “program,” don’t send it! Legitimate employers won’t ask you to pay in order to be hired.
  • Be wary if the company asks for direct deposit information upfront—it could be a scammer just trying to get into your bank account.

The type of job in the ad might be a clue that the listing is bogus. If the ad claims “no experience necessary” or “entry-level work for great pay,” it’s likely a front for a scam. For example, data entry, craft-kit assembly, and claims processing are keywords job-posting scammers often use to get you to send money for a package or training.  

Before you take a great sounding “work from home” job, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you research the company’s name using the terms “scam,” “complaint,” and “reviews” so that you can find out if people have had any trouble with the business. Also, watch out for fraudsters masquerading as well-known brands. Be sure to go to the brand’s official website to search for the posting—don’t use a link from the listing. Finally, if you think you’ve been a victim of one of these scams, be sure to report it appropriately.

In all, remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and the more skeptical you are, the more likely you’ll be to spot a scam before it does you—or your bank account—some harm. 

This article was written by an independent author and Bellco assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of its content.

SEPTEMBER CHARITY OF THE MONTH

SafeHouse Denver

In September, Bellco will collect donations for SafeHouse Denver, a Denver-based non-profit organization that serves victims of domestic violence and their children through both an emergency shelter and a nonresidential counseling and advocacy center. All of the adults, children, and youth who come to SafeHouse Denver have access to a full range of bilingual programming, including individual counseling, group sessions, advocacy, and safety planning.

Please consider donating to this charitable cause through Bellco’s Charity of the Month page. To learn more about SafeHouse Denver, just visit them online at safehouse-denver.org.