Archive for the ‘Colorado’ Category


questions about short sales and foreclosurfe

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When is a property that is available for sale not really available for Sale?  How about when is a property under contract but not really under contract?  Answers to these riddles are coming up soon…

Metrolist, Denver’s MLS (Multiple Listing Service), answered a call for a change to the system Realtors use from some confusing status options as we saw an increase in short sales and foreclosures properties.  Last year when a property was being offered as a short sale

…A short sale is when a mortgage loan is or may be facing foreclosure and the owner is trying to get an offer to take to theColorado Foreclosures bank to have them accept short of what is owed…

there was a lack of uniformity for how to handle these when marketing the houses for sale.  When a short sale is being processed the bank is reviewing an offer for acceptance (typically that has taken between 30-90+ days) so while that is being reviewed the house is in a limbo state where it isn’t necessarily under contract (the contracts are contingent on the bank accepting the offer) and it’s not exactly available since there is a contract running on the house.  Last year this was handled by language written into the super secret section of the MLS where only the brokers can see whether or not there was an offer being reviewed.

That system lent itself to errors and slow recording new information.  This year Metrolist developed a new status called “Pending”.  This indicates whether or not a bank is reviewing a contract and that it does have someone who has essentially ‘first dibs’.  The new confusion is that when people are searching for homes for sale in the Metro Denver area they will often see properties in the ‘available’ section that are in fact ‘Pending’.  Many websites are not able to differentiate between the ACTIVE and the PENDING properties so they all show as ACTIVE.  It’s frustrating – although it is the best of the worst options and will be corrected with a new fix before too much longer I imagine.  When searching for homes for sale in the Metro Denver area have you come across this scenario?

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Keller Williams Realty

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We here at Keller Williams Preferred Realty keep a close eye on the market and watch closely trends to make sure we stay on top of the market.  We personally hold daily real estate sales team meetings and our whole office holds bi-monthly meetings with all or most of our 170+ agents.  Today was one of those meetings where we discussed market updates, new home community builder Meritage, financing and interest rate updates and upcoming training opportunities.

Market update
For the month of August 2011 we had a total of 16,631 homes for sale which is a decrease from last year by around 28%.  Last year was an anomaly because of the tax credit hype which caused people to show up to the party – albeit a little late since the credit expired June 30, 2010.  We did see a jump in inventory this time last year.  The numbers this year are more in line with our typical market.

We did see a 14% increase in homes that went under contract from last year.  This type of activity combined with lower inventory suggests that a seller is more likely to sell right now because demand is up and supply is down.

New Home Community by Builder 

In the world we currently live it’s just the right thing to do to conserve and reuse when we can.  The green movement is here and it’s time to get involved.  Meritage has answered the call.  Focusing on energy efficiency they have developed a home that comes in around 60 HERS compared to the average resale which is around 135 HERS.  Here are a few of places where they are building:

North Creek Farms is located across from Larkridge shopping plaza on Highway 7 in Thornton, CO.

Coal Creek Village in Lafayette with close proximity to shopping and major thoroughfares.

Interest rate updates

Rates are hovering right around 4% with an FHA loan.  Anytime an interest rate goes up by 1% it buys 10% less house for the same monthly payment.  If you or someone you know is on the fence about getting into this market it may be time to get off that fence.

Upcoming training
Mega agent camp in Austin, TX, is being held next Tuesday, September 20-21, 2011. The core belief for this organization is that ‘Iron sharpens iron’. This is an intensive couple of days focussed solely on finding out what the best agents are doing in their markets to really help people with their real estate needs at a high level. We at the  The Strange Team average 30 days in training each year. In order to stay on top of the market and marketing trends it’s important to learn from people in different markets dealing with different situations.

What do you do to stay on top of the industry in which you work?

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LoHi (the trendy name for Lower Highland) is an area that has a vast amount of revitalization taking place. Spurred by the great walking bridge connecting LoHi to Commons Park and the Platte River Bike Trail this area has seen a lot of growth in recent years and there’s no sign of slowing any time soon. The photograph above this blog site is taking from one of the life-sized sculptures in the park which features many different installations. The proximity to the Platte River offers walks to the banks where any given weekend will have people sunning, swimming, tubing, fishing and you can often see numerous dogs taking a swim to cool off as well.


I’ve worked in this area for years and have driven by this bridge and the weird sculpture (referred to as ‘the pile of red blood cells’) for years without having spent any time actually walking the pavement. I’ve even had lunch at bar and had taken the most direct route from my car to the table. Last weekend my wife and I took our three kids downtown to LoHi to visit the area, walk the bridge and test the pavement.



The big bribe was the promise of ice cream. Having seen Little Big Man Ice Cream for seemingly forever we finally made the trek to check it out firsthand. This place made me a hero for the afternoon. The building is a giant tin milk jug and it’s above a patio which, on the day we visited, had a live three-piece blues band. The patio has a slide for the kids and had a mister keeping the place cool. The selection was large and unique and they have a charitable spin – for each scoop they donate a certain amount of rice to a country in need. There’s a picture of an explanations board below:

They have a pancake breakfast scheduled for Saturday mornings occasionally. Check out Little Man’s Ice Cream’s website for moire information.  Check out Little Man Ice Cream’s menu board too.


Want a conversation piece? Have a friend describe what they think an art piece titled ‘National Velvet’ looks like without having seen it…then show them this picture and wait for their response. Weird, right?




If you have interest in Lower Highland (LoHi) and would like more information on the market and what is for sale at any given time click the picture below:






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Under water graphic

A recent story published reports that a majority of home owners who went through a loan modification ended up defaulting again down the road.  Here’s a link to a story outlining Why a Loan Modification Won’t Solve Your Problems.

What is a loan modification? Many lenders are exploring alternatives to foreclosure and one of those alternatives is a loan modification. When a home owner is facing foreclosure they may be eligible to have the lender adjust the payment due each month to accommodate a temporary hardship that the home owner may be experiences. This can be done in myriad ways. Lenders can adjust temporarily a borrower’s mortgage rate for a set period of months to help that home owner through a tight spot. Until recently the term ‘cram down’ has been a myth. Cram downs are when a lender reduces the principle of a borrower’s loan to get in line with market values in an area. This is showing up in increasing numbers as lenders would rather lose some value of the loan then to have an owner walk away and leave them with the whole balance in a foreclosure.

If you are facing any of the above situations make sure you have a knowledgable and impartial party to help advise you through the process. Licensed real estate agents are not to negotiate loan modifications as it is outside our area of expertise. There are great non-profits that have trained experts to help with these matters. Here are a few:

Colorado Foreclosure Hotline  1-877-601-HOPEColorado Foreclosures

US Department of HUD Housing Counselors

Should foreclosure become imminent please contact someone you trust that has expertise in this area before emptying all of your retirement accounts, savings or before borrowing from family and friends.  If you need someone to talk with please do not hesitate to call us for some guidance.  We can direct you to parties that can shed light on your specific situation.

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September 3, 2011:  The sun is starting to reach the apex of it’s daily trek, the artificial turf is glistening and there is electricity in the air.  After a full month of practices and late nights in coaches strategy sessions our work is being put to the test…oh yeah, and the kids will be there too…it’s…

Opening Day forYouth Football!

Go North Suburban Thunder

your North Metro Denver

Pop Warner Team!

Having grown up playing youth football and starting out in Florida with the Cypress Lake Hornets I remember how game days felt.  It’s great to relive that through my two sons.  There really is nothing like the sense of community as parents start to arrive with their players dressed to the nines for the games upcoming.

Pop Warner has been established for years nationwide and is getting a foothold in the Colorado region.  We’ve had exponential growth over the last couple of years. 70% of the NFL came from a Pop Warner program.  One big difference that differentiates itself from other programs is the age/weight matrix which allows kids to play against kids their own size and eliminates the need for patch or X players (those restricted to blocking only due to their size) and allows kids to learn and get a feel for all different position.  We also play on a 100 yard field and use high school rules so players do not have to ‘relearn’ later should they choose to continue to play in middle and high school.

If you are available on any given Saturday and want a wholesome way to spend a couple of  hours with the family. I would encourage you to come by and help our families and the cheerleaders cheer on the North Suburban Thunder.  We currently play our home games at Prairie View High School.  To all players beginning their season: “Play hard and have a fantastic (and safe) season!”.

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We’ve been hearing about this ‘paperless movement’ for some time so we’ll understand if you’re not ready to believe us just yet 😉 although it’s hear for real.  I’ve joked for years that the paperless thing really took off when lenders started combining one specific set of documents that buyer’s sign at closing from four forms to just one form.  That cut down on the typical 80 page packet to 76…wow.

Noticing a huge waste in the amount of paper we print off and do not use we felt ‘enough is enough’.  Over the years we’ve been able to make small subtle changes such as:

1. the use of QR (Quick Response) codes which allow people to view a property brochure by taking a picture of it with their smart phone

2. the use of an iPad when viewing homes to eliminate the need for our team to bring along a printed brochure for ourselves

3. the use of online contracts which allow us to reduce the amount of driving by having the ability to email contracts, get electronic signatures and uploading the contract until the file needed to be turned into our office for the required four years of storage (Dept. of Real Estate regulation).

Now we are fully green.  We no longer are required to have paper copies on hand.  Everything is kept online and stored under encryption to prevent nefarious eyes from seeing.  Keller Williams, in conjunction with Dotloop,  has established an easy to follow system that has a very low learning curve and brings our firm into high technology by making it more convenient for our clients and lessening our impact on the environment.

For more information on our team visit our site and view great photos of Colorado that we’d like to keep around for the next 1,000 years.


The Strange Team at Keller Williams Realty
(303) 668-5208 Direct

Search all Metro Denver Foreclosure Homes

Search all Metro Denver Golf Course Homes

View Photos from all over the Denver Metro Area

List of Homes for First Time Home Buyers

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Red Day Banner - Keller Williams Preferred Realty Gives Back

Food Drive

Every year Keller Williams agents from around the world take off one day from their businesses to give back to our communities in a charitable way. Join me and Keller Williams Preferred Realty on May 12, 2011 as we collect food for those in need as we partner with Broomfield Fish. Last year we teamed up with The Food Bank of the Rockies and collected over 1,800 pounds of food. This year we’ve increased our goal to 5,000 pounds of food.

The Strange Team dropped off bags in several of our neighboring communities and will be picking those up the day of the drive. Feel free to join us in dropping off your donations at 11859 Pecos Street #200 Westminster, CO 80234 at the grand finale drop off point between 3-5pm. Stay tuned for an update on your success.

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