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Offered by: Susan Kline – The Brighton Buzz

Susan Kline

It’s really amazing how quickly the Summer months speed by! Just about the time we’re really starting to enjoy Summer, it’s time to get the kids ready to go back to school.

I remember the flurry that shopping for school clothes, supplies, last minute doctor check-ups, and everything necessary to change these gears requires. While the Summer months can be more relaxing, now is the time to start re-introducing schedules for after school activities, homework and bedtime.

I was searching for inspirational thoughts to share with children and turned my attention to how to keep parents on track with everything they have on their plates. Strong, focused parents make for more confident, secure children. Below are a few of the best quotes/thoughts I found that would be good for parents and children to live by.

Success Is Not Final
Failure Is Not Fatal
It’s The Courage To Continue
That Counts

• “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” — …
• “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — …
• “Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” — …
• “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Please read through our entire issue. Our advertisers have offered many resources, activities, and avenues for you to make this August the best one ever. We hope you enjoy it!

Wishing You and Your Children a Great New School Year!

~ Susan

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Offered by: Scott and Lora Nordby, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Real Estate

Housing experts such as the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun believe that housing demand will continue throughout 2022 and that prices will rise between 4 and 6%. But certain factors could temper the pace of sales by approximately 3%, and that double-digit price increases, multiple offers, and offers over list price won’t be quite as prevalent as they were in 2021.

Does this mean we’re in a housing bubble? Will there be a real estate crash? Or, is homebuying simply slowing down? For the answers, we need to look at economic growth. Among the many factors that are impacting the economy and therefore the housing market, are inflation, rising mortgage interest rates, overall housing affordability, and the uncertainty created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Inflation. According to Sam Khater, chief economist and head of Freddie Mac’s Economic and Housing Research division, inflation poses a risk to economic growth. In its January 2022 quarterly forecast, Freddie Mac reported that consumer price inflation (CPI) surged in 2021, hitting a 40-year high of 7.0% year-over-year in December 2021. Khater told Fox News that inflation is broadening beyond supply-constrained segments and is impacting consumer sentiment. Consumers will curtail spending to keep household costs under control.

Mortgage interest rates. With inflation at its highest level in four decades, the Fed is expected to enact an aggressive 50-basis-point increase to the short-term (overnight) borrowing rates to banks or federal funds rate, which will be the first in a series of hikes throughout 2023. Banks will pass the increases along to consumers so home mortgage loans will be costlier, which could cause sales volume and price escalations in housing to slow down. Mortgage interest rates should be impacted to an annual average of 3.6% in 2022 and 3.9% in 2023, up from approximately 3% in 2021. Yun points out that a four percent average mortgage rate is not a drastic increase. Freddie Mac expects housing price growth to decrease from 15.9% in 2021 to 6.2% in 2022.

Housing affordability. In mid-March 2022, NAR economists released their monthly Housing Affordability Index which showed that affordability declined in January. The median family income fell by 4.5% while the monthly mortgage payment increased 27.0%. Two reasons are to blame – the increase in the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 3.51% compared to 2.79% in January 2021 and the stunning increase in the median existing-home sales price which rose 15.9% from a year ago. These increases caused the monthly mortgage payment to rise to $1,284 from $1,011, an increase of 22.5% year-over-year.

The indices show that a home is affordable when 25% of gross household income or less is devoted to the mortgage payment, or principal and interest. But there are other costs to homeownership – homeowner’s insurance, taxes, mortgage insurance and property maintenance. When housing costs take more than 30% of gross income, then it becomes a burden to pay. First-time homebuyers typically spent 25.6% of their household income on housing, so they had bigger problems with affordability than other homebuyers who could afford a 20% down payment and a monthly mortgage under 25% of income.

Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. According to NAR’s 2021 International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate Report, only approximately 1.8% of total home purchases were made by foreign homebuyers. Russian buyers account for less than 1% of foreign buyers. Economists believe escalating geopolitical tensions will cause investors to reallocate their portfolios toward U.S. Treasuries, which will bring down interest rates. However, as the leading supplier of oil in the world, Russia could cause oil prices to remain above the $100/barrel level, which will deepen inflation and cause more interest rate adjustments as risks to the U.S. housing market. However, oil-producing states such as Texas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Alaska and Wyoming will increase global supplies which should spur more employment, demand for housing, and home prices in those areas.

On the positive side, experts believe that more housing will become available. First, homebuyers are burning out. Tired of escalating home prices and insufficient supplies of homes, and competing with cash offers and over list price offers, some have dropped out of the market. Second, more homeowners, believing that home prices have hit their zenith, will put their homes on the market, which will increase supply. Affluent homebuyers are about to be hit with rising fees on second and vacation homes, which along with rising interest rates should increase inventory. And homebuilders will take advantage of decreasing lumber prices and well-paid labor to increase production.

NAR advises homebuyers to widen their perimeters, get prequalified by a lender and to hire a qualified real estate professional to help them find a home.

Whether you’re looking for your first home, forever home, or somewhere in between, you’re ready to meet one of our Forever AgentsSM to help find the perfect home for your lifestyle. Contact us now at 303-905-8850 or visit BHHScore.com.

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Offered by: City of Brighton Communications

In a 7 (yes) to 1 (no) vote (Councilmember Matt Johnston), City Council approved changes to water rates, a water treatment plant fee to finance the non-growth related costs of the project, and enhancements to the City’s Customer Assistance Program.

The reset of water rates will consist of a 9.11-percent increase to water rates to re-establish rates that were in place in 2019. This approved rate reset will be effective starting July 1, 2022. In 2020, water rates were decreased by 8-percent. Prior to that, rates had not increased since 2017. The decrease was intended to be temporary to spend down reserves, and those reserves have been spent. Rates need to be reset in order for the utility to operate in a financially sustainable way.

The water treatment plant fee will start at $6 a month (for a single family home with a standard meter), effective January 1, 2023. This fee will finance the operational (non-growth) costs of constructing the new water treatment plant. The new water treatment plant will replace the City’s current water treatment plant, which is more than 25 years old, and will address its inability to meet the water needs of current and future residents. The new plant will double the capacity of the existing plant and will be funded in part by contributions from developers and by the water treatment plant fee paid by current users. The new plant is set to break ground in July of 2022 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.

The average single-family home that uses approximately 4,000 gallons of water in the winter would see about an increase of about $8.48 per month. In summer, the average household that uses 14,500 gallons of water, would see a $13 increase per month.

Helpful links:

If you need assistance in reducing your water consumption, please contact the City’s Water Conservation Specialist, Louis Morris, at lamorris@brightonco.gov.

If you have questions about the water rate reset, the water treatment plant fee or the City’s Customer Assistance Program, please contact Utility Billing at 303-655-2009.

City of Brighton

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Offered by: John Wilson, B.S., BC-HIS Blue Ribbon Hearing & Tinnitus Center

This month I have been thinking much about the recently passed Memorial Day holiday and the upcoming Independence Day holiday, and what it means to be free and independent. As we were reminded on Memorial Day, freedom is not free.

These thoughts were on my mind when I was taking a continuing education course. The particular course focused on the relationship between hearing loss and falling, as well as the fall detection technology embedded in the most advanced hearing aids available today. As the instructor explained the relationship between hearing loss, isolation, inactivity and fall risk, one of the most important things I took away from the class was that exercising freedom and independence preserves freedom and independence.

Walking is something that most people take for granted. Being able to walk and move around provides freedom to do yardwork, get something to eat, or approach someone to have a conversation. When a child learns to walk, we clap and celebrate the process as they progress from rolling over to sitting to crawling to standing and finally walking. During that process children fall many times and get back up, determined to achieve independence.

Babies start by crawling, then standing, then eventually begin to walk. But before they ever take steps, they almost always fall. And most fall a lot before they can consistently walk. However, most never give up. Most never stop trying to stand and walk just because they fall. They just figure out how to quit falling.

Standing, walking and running are very difficult tasks that require a complicated combination of the brain, muscles, nerves, the eyes and the vestibular system (inner ear) working together for the balance and safety of the individual. Over time, a number of things can cause weakness in any part of these systems leading to decreased mobility and increased risk of falling.

While kids learn from falling and get better at staying upright to avoid pain, many aging adults tend to avoid standing upright and walking to avoid the possibility of falling. The problem is that being sedentary increases the likelihood of falling as muscles atrophy and weaken. Along with a fear of falling, untreated hearing loss tends to lead people to become isolated and less social. Isolated individuals tend to be more sedentary, being sedentary leads to physical weakness, and an increased likelihood of falling. It is a vicious cycle.

Being active increases the likelihood of muscular and neurological strength. Overcoming isolation and a sedentary lifestyle can be difficult, but is possible. Treating hearing loss as soon as possible increases the likelihood of maintaining an active social lifestyle and decreases the amount of time a person is sedentary. Partaking in regular exercise by doing such things as biking, gardening, hiking, walking, weight lifting, yoga, or participating in programs such as Silver Sneakers can help maintain physical strength and balance. Acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and healthy eating can also contribute to better physical health and decreased fall risk.

To find out more about the EVOLV AI hearing aid with fall detection, or any other of the services we offer, please call our office to schedule an appointment. And please have a safe and happy Independence Day this July 4th.

Blue Ribbon Hearing & Tinnitus Center

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Offered by: Rachael Janoso, MD- Brighton Pediatrics, P.C.

Covid-19 Vaccines and Boosters
Now that summer is officially underway, it is time to get your children in for their annual physicals and overdue vaccinations, including the Covid-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older be vaccinated against Covid-19. The vaccine series for infants and young children is expected later this summer. There have been some updates to the CDC guidelines for Covid-19 vaccines and boosters.

Children 6 months – 4 years
The FDA now recommends the Covid-19 vaccine to all young children 6 months and up. Please check the CDC website for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/index.html

Children 5 years – 17 years
The initial Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is recommended and approved for all children 5 years and up.

Adults 18 years and up
Currently the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and J&J/Janssen is approved for everyone 18 years and older.

Boosters
Covid-19 vaccine boosters can enhance or restore protection against Covid-19 that may have decreased over time since your primary series vaccination. The booster is still recommended even if you have gotten Covid to reduce the risk of serious illness or hospitalization in the future. The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 5 years who has already received 2 doses should receive a booster shot.

Children 5 years – 17 years: eligible for a booster (Pfizer-BioNTech) 5 months after their 2nd dose.

18 years and up: eligible for a booster (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) 5 months after the 2nd Covid vaccine. For the J&J/Janssen, you are eligible for the booster 2 months after their first vaccine. Note that you must receive a booster from the same vaccine manufacturer as your first dose(s).

Please visit our website at www.brightonpeds.com

Brighton Pediatrics

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Offered by: Integrity Insurance – Lisa Asmussen

It looks like we may soon be facing the end of the Public Health Emergency in the coming weeks or months. We have about 14 million Medicaid members across the country that enrolled since February 2020, when the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 began. This Act required states to implement a continuous coverage requirement to ensure that workers who lost their employer-provided health coverage would have insurance through Medicaid or other sources. This law also provided states with additional federal funding of 6.2% to maintain Medicaid enrollment for nearly all members.

Since this Act went into effect there has been about a 20% increase in enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A recent estimate from the Kaiser Foundation found that as of November 2021 the number of members on Medicaid is up approximately 20%.

States will be required to verify Medicaid members based on the usual measures that were used prior to the Public Health Emergency. It is projected that many people losing Medicaid may be able to enroll in plans through the ACA marketplace. The increased tax credits from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will allow many to maintain affordable coverage. Still, those most at risk are possibly the Medicaid members who are also eligible for Medicare.

When the time comes, I can assist with both Marketplace coverage in Colorado to find coverage for individuals through Connect for Health Colorado, as well as those individuals that will need to make changes that are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

Call for assistance and information Lisa Asmussen 303-887-8584

Integrity Insurance

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Offered by: Melissa Rippy, Rippy Insurance Agency / Allstate

When the Rippy Agency first opened in November of 2013, we made a commitment to annually award a Brighton High School senior with a scholarship in the amount of $1,000. Our recipients have all been involved in community service and pose a financial need for advanced education expenses. In late May, the Rippy Agency Awarded the 9th Annual Brighton High School Scholarship to Giana Rocha. Our agency was impressed with her community service thus far, as she was involved with DECA, Brighton Youth Commission, National Honor Society and more. She will attend University of Colorado (CU) and major in political science. Her long-term goal is to serve as a United States Senator. Congratulations to Giana and
all of the 2022 Graduates!

The dog days of summer are officially here (July 3rd through August 11th). This means longer and hotter days and more kids and people outside overall. Be on the lookout for motorcycles and children on the streets. This is also a time where there are more teen drivers on the road since school is out. More than half of all teens will get into an accident in their first year of driving. Car accidents during the summer involving teen drivers are commonly caused by inexperience behind the wheel. If you’d like to receive a Parent Teen Driving Agreement for your teen driver, call or text 303.219.1470 and we’ll send you one. Remember, your kids are always watching, so set a good example behind the wheel. Buckle your seatbelt, don’t text and drive and obey the rules of the road. Stay safe!

Allstate Rippy Insurance

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Offered by: Colorado Karate Club

I was 22 years old, my first daughter was one month old, and I was celebrating my first year working at USWEST Communications, the local Mountain Bell phone company. It was my first corporate job, having upgraded from fast food cook and gas station cashier. Still, I was at the bottom of the totem pole. With barely a high school education from Peru my job was to make telemarketing calls to landline customers selling exciting products such as Call Waiting, Caller ID, and VoiceMail. I know, I’m old.

At USWEST I loved my co-workers, my manager, Carol McCaffrey was wonderful and we remained friends for many years. The work, however, was tedious, making hundreds of calls a day for $6 an hour plus commission wasn’t glamorous but it was good work I thought, and I was thankful to have it. My broken English was a challenge, to say the least. Many times people, who were already annoyed that I had interrupted their day, barked at me: “I can’t understand anything you’re saying…click.”

Undaunted, I pushed forward, the company provided lots of sales training, my manager listened to my calls and gave me feedback on how to improve my sales presentation. In a short time, I was at the top of the sales team and some of my coworkers commented on my success: “It’s your accent, people love accents. That’s why you’re doing so well.” I didn’t care if it was my accent or my improved skills, I just wanted to get better and make more money. I still hated the job of calling people, but I figured I’d take full advantage of the opportunity to learn sales, improve my English, and make more money.

I stayed at that job for a couple of years until the center got outsourced and some of us were moved into customer service, where I spent another two years learning to help customers of all walks of life from across fourteen US Western States. Thinking back to those times, I remember how those jobs were not my first choice, how much I dreaded picking up my headset each time. But I also realize that those years were tremendously helpful to me later in life. The skills I learned, the people I met, the customers I helped, it was some of the best post-high school education I ever got, and I made the most of it.

When I meet with students, parents, or friends who are going through a difficult time (school, work, or family issues), I try to convey this message, that whatever you may be going through at this time, it is possibly a preparation for something better to come. Whatever the situation, there is always something positive you can learn from it. Some years later, you may be able to look back and say: “Wow, I know it was hard, but it was well worth it, and I’m glad I pushed through.”

Sensei Willy Strohmeier – Colorado Karate Club

Colorado Karate Club

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Offered by: Tim Roberts – Edward Jones

Next week, we observe Independence Day, an opportunity to celebrate all the liberties we enjoy in this country. Of course, there are different types of freedoms – such as financial freedom, which can open the doors to many other opportunities. What steps can you take to gain your financial independence?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Save, invest … and repeat. There’s really no shortcut to achieving financial freedom – you do have to save and invest for many years. And that means you should take full advantage of the opportunities available to you. If you have a 401(k) or similar retirement plan at work, try to put in as much as you can afford each year, and when your salary goes up, increase your contributions. Even if you have a 401(k), you may also be eligible to fund an IRA. Both a 401(k) and an IRA offer tax benefits and an array of investment options, so they are powerful retirement savings vehicles.
  • Invest for growth. How much you invest is obviously a key factor in reaching your financial freedom. But how you invest is also important. If you’re going to accumulate the resources you need to retire comfortably and meet your other financial goals, you will need to devote a reasonable percentage of your investment dollars to growth-oriented vehicles, including stocks and stock-based mutual funds. Of course, these investments will fluctuate in value, so you’ll need to be prepared to accept a certain level of risk. Your individual risk tolerance will help determine how much of your portfolio should be devoted to growth investments.
  • Put financial windfalls to work. Whenever you receive a financial windfall, such as a bonus from your employer, a tax refund or even an inheritance, consider putting some of it to work in your investment portfolio. Over time, these windfalls can add up.
  • Reduce your debts. It may be easier said than done, but try to reduce, or eliminate, as many debts as you can. The less money you have to pay each month on your debts, the more you’ll have available to save and invest. Of course, some debts, such as your mortgage, can’t be easily erased, but if you can find ways to cut down on spending, you may be surprised at how much progress you can make toward debt reduction.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Life is unpredictable – and some unforeseen events could threaten your ability to achieve, and maintain, your financial independence. For example, if you were unable to work for a while due to illness or injury, you might be forced to dip into your savings and long-term investments just to help meet your cost of living. You can help protect yourself from this risk by building an emergency fund containing several months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. And you may want to consult with a financial professional to learn about other protection strategies.

It will take a concerted effort to reach your financial independence – but, like all freedoms, it offers immense benefits.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

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Offered by: Jan Hepp-Struck, Hepp Realty

Today’s housing market can feel akin to a scene out of Hunger Games. It’s a reality that can prove daunting, especially for first time buyers. But there are a few ways you can strengthen your position when you are ready to buy.

  • Get an Approval Letter: this is a document, also known as a commitment letter, from your lender. It goes beyond the standard “pre-approval,” and it generally outlines the type of loan, the amount, terms, and the interest rate. It shows the seller that your lender has gone beyond just pulling your credit, so the seller has less to worry about the deal unraveling over financing.
  • Look a little lower: The days of getting everything on your wish list in a “move-in-ready dream home” are gone. Figure out what is essential and be open to looking at a lower price point in an “up-and-coming neighborhood” or at a fixer-upper. It could help you get a better deal and leave some money for improvements to add some of the items from your wish list after you close.
  • Make sure you have a broker or agent who really understands the nuances of negotiating a solid real estate deal, and how to employ strategies that make your offer more attractive to the seller. A knowledgeable broker/agent has some tricks that can absolutely make a difference and influence the seller’s decision while still protecting your interests so you aren’t on the losing end of the deal—things like knowing when and what to waive or not waive, how and when to throw-in a lease-back, utilizing an escalation clause and for how much, or how and when to enhance earnest money.

For proven expertise in establishing your home value and/or searching for a new or existing home, please call Jan at (303) 520-4340.

Hepp Realty