Artist Inc. Class 5 – Real Estate Concerns for Artists

The afternoon session of Class 5 focused on Real Estate topics. Led by Matt Hanson and Laura Cowperthwaite of the Thriving Artist Alliance. Based in Denver, TAA works directly with those in the arts, entertainment and related fields and creates strategic alliances between arts & cultural organizations and the businesses that support them, philanthropic foundations, city planners, developers and those who work in our artistic community to invest in ourselves and our city.

Here’s a brief recap from their session:

Matt Hanson started by telling the artists that we are part of a billon dollar industry. He briefly described Richard Florida’s findings in his book “Rise of the Creative Class” which discusses the important influence artists and other ‘creatives’ have on lifestyle and other trends.

A discussion about budgeting followed. Matt encouraged the group to find and fill in the gaps in their financial world. Where does money come into your life, what do you do with it and how do you protect it? Think about yourself in terms of “You, Inc.”

Tips for building wealth:
– Prepare a monthly budget
– Analyze and start to see the patterns in your spending and income generation
– Pay yourself first – the goal is to have 6 months of bills set aside in the bank.
– Check your credit reports
– 35% of your score is based on timely payment; 30% based on credit card balance (stay w/in 10% of your
credit card limit); The rest is determined by how old/recent you’ve had accounts open. Keep your old
accounts in use (even if only once a year)
– Don’t consolidate your credit cards – instead have your credit limits increased
– If you find errors on your credit report, can do Credit Repair which will work to remove erroneous debts.
You can also dispute with the three credit reporters. Be sure to follow up!
– If you’ve had a bankruptcy, it can stay with you for 7-10 years, however you can still qualify for a loan w/in 2 years. Student loans can’t be included in a bankruptcy, and can follow you for a while.

Thriving Artist Alliance programs of interest:
Co-op Program – for sharing commercial live/work space between several artists. TAA can help find property and negotiate the deal, etc.
Patron Program – where patrons assist artists purchase property.

Credit Score & Report Links:
myfico.com
experian.com
equifax.com
freecreditreport.com

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