Marco's Pizza

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It’s late…there’s nothing in the fridge…going to the grocery store seems like a chore…you deserve a good dinner…relax, there’s a way around this internal conversation: Marcos Pizza.  Marcos Pizza is a recently new arrival to the Orchard Mall in Westminster, CO.  Marco’s pizza is located right next to the AMC Theater 12 – Orchard Mall.  They offer delivery which may be a good idea since parking can be a bit dicey.  The Orchard Mall features metered parking which can be tight although they do offer parking around the rear – it is a stroll…This great maker of pizza focuses on three areas: dough, sauces and cheese.  They hit it out of the park on all phases.

From their website:

About Marco’s Pizza

Headquartered in Toledo; OH Marco’s Pizza (Marco’s Franchising, LLC) is the fastest-growing pizza company in the U.S. (based on the number of stores signed into development since 2007). Marco’s was founded by Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco and is committed to making Ah!thentic Italian pizza with fresh ingredients. The company has grown from its roots as a beloved Ohio brand to operate more than 250 stores in 20 states and the Bahamas. Marco’s is now recognized as one of the top-performing restaurant franchises in the country.

Our family just recently had the conversation above last weekend and ordered from our favorite local pizza place: Marcos.  The selection they have to offer is remarkable with some very unique options such as:

  • Chicken Fresco
  • White Cheezy
  • Hawaiian Chicken
Next time you have a need for someone else to make dinner do yourselves a favor and check out Marcos Pizza.
Instead of driving there it may be a good idea to relocate closer so you can walk…(pardon my less than fluid segue into real estate 😉 although here are some great homes for sale  in Westminster, CO that would be in walking distance to Marcos Pizza.
Contact info for Marcos:
14663 Orchard Parkway
Westminster, CO 80023
(303) 953-7881
View of Manhattan from a helicopter, flying ov...

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September 11, 2011, is a ‘remember when’ kind of day. Do you remember what you were doing when you first heard the news? That was the first day my wife began a period of bed rest while carrying our first child Hayden. At the time she was working for an architecture company out of Boulder. She woke up and was hopeful for some time off while finishing out the last couple weeks of her term. She had plans to just enjoy the days relaxing and catching up on daytime tv. We woke to a tragic surprise. What were you doing when you first heard?

It’s hard to imagine that it’s already 10 years later.  We take time out of our day today to say a special thanks to those Americans that are responsible for keeping us safe all these many years later.  Thank you to the soldiers overseas protecting our assets and our allies.  Thank you to the first responders all over America and those that did so much that fateful day 10 years ago.  I’m proud of America and proud to be your fellow American.

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bigger single-family home

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The Villages at Riverdale

Located on the northeast side of Thornton, The Villages of Riverdale answers the call for homeowners who want a lot of living space in an established neighborhood. Built in the early 2000s this neighborhood features a multitude of single family homes with one particular model reaching in the higher 2,000 square feet. The Villages of Riverdale has tons of bike paths and pocket parks with meandering street and traffic calming roundabouts. This neighborhood is down the street from the new Veteran’s Memorial Aquatics Center, Horizon High School and lots of conveniences such as grocery shopping, dry cleaning and the local Starbucks.

The Villages at Riverdale just got more convenient with the introduction of the Wal-Mart located off 128th and Quebec. Just down the street is a new Urgent Care center located on 128th and Holly. Caddy corner to that corner of the intersection is another strip mall with a workout facility, a restaurant, a liquor store and a veterinarian. Several other neighborhoods near The Villages at Riverdale is Woodbridge Station, Holly Crossing and Riverdale Park. For a look at homes for sale in The Villages at Riverdale use the search box:

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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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We have received this question often and the real simple answer is Yes….and No…(mostly no.)

Is that clear enough?  When banks lend money on a home they do so after the borrower(s) prove(s) (without a shadow of doubt these days) that they are willing, able and willing to make the payments for that loan.  Lenders will ask for lots of documents to find the ability to pay, such as:

  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Investment account statements
They also want to know the likelihood of that loan being paid back which is found by the credit report.  A credit score is essentially the track record someone has to repay loan obligations.  The ability to pay also takes into account the amount of the loan verse the amount of income that one makes.  The standard (there are exceptions) is that a bank will want the mortgage payment to be about 25-33% of someone’s monthly gross income.  Gross income is defined by the total amount of income before taxes and withholdingare taken out.  Banks also look at the total amount of structured debt (structured debt is defined by any payments that have a regularly scheduled payment and these will typically show up on your credit report) and they’d like all structured debt (including the mortgage payment) to be less than around 45% of the gross income.

After doing their due diligence and deciding whether or not someone is worthy of a loan they will issue that loan. That loan is based on the financial picture at that time and of the people that went through that process.  When a loan is in two (or more) people’s name the bank is counting on those people to fulfill their obligation and repay the loan according to the terms set forth.  When a situation changes and those that are on the loan no longer want to be connected to each other by way of that property and wish to be removed from the loan a problem occurs.  Since the bank is counting on all parties who got the loan to repay they have no interest in releasing anyone from liability since it’s not in their best interest.  If you find yourself on a loan that you no longer wish to be party to you have a couple options:
  • You can sell the property: one way to get off of a loan is to get rid of that loan.
  • You can refinance the property: another way is to have the property refinanced with either one of the original members or one of the original members plus another thus removing the 2nd party.
  • You can try to fake your death – I cannot condone this although I believe it worked for D.B. Cooper (although I think even he was seen recently so it may not work forever).
It’s rare to have only two solutions to a problem although that is the case here.  Banks just aren’t interested in releasing liabilities when they are in a better position and more likely to collect from two people than from one person.  As with nearly everything there are some exceptions – Have you seen other situation where a bank has flexed their rules to allow people out of a mortgage obligation without selling or refinancing?
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The Strange Team Hiking Quandary PeakThere’s nothing like doing something you like to do and having friends join you.  Especially when what you like to do is see the view from the top of the world.  About 3 years ago I decided that a good way to connect with friends, associates and to meet new friends would be to do something I enjoy and invite them to come along. Being a Colorado resident the obvious bucket list item was to climb a 14’er. We started 3 years ago with Grays, last year was Mt. Bierstadt and this year it was Quandary Peak.

Most of us came from the Denver area so we met at I70 and exit 259 at the park and ride (T-Rex lot) to caravan to the trailhead. There were 11 of us and we had plans to meet another six in Breckenridge. We gathered everyone and started on the trailhead at 9am. I realize it’s a little late (although to sell a gathering like this it takes some caressing) so a little later start was required.

Before getting started we missed the turn (the driver was pretty excited and drove by the obvious sign indicating where the trailhead was) and headed down 850 to the lake. This is worth a visit. There’s a cool stream that runs from the lake through the valley. On this road we came across some goats that we believe we saw again on the trail to the summit.

We had a good mix of seasoned hikers, some have hiked before and several were doing this for the first time (one of which was my 9-year-old son). The trail starts out with a pretty good incline through a forest. The trail is very well marked and is a nice treat with some interesting sights. There was lots of cool fallen trees and some great meadows. The first break in the trees is in a meadow of sorts with some breathtaking views of the valley and neighboring peaks. After seemingly forever we peaked above the tree line. The path remained relatively easy to see. Several large rock piles help guide the way as the path does look a little worn in some places.
The rock path goes on forever until you reach the ridge separating the last pitch to the summit. A slower pace would lend this segment to another hour of hiking. This is where we were greeted by a tribe (I googled this Wink ) of goats. There were several babies and they were pretty docile. I saw a marmot on the trip as well as numerous pikas (mouse like creatures).

Of the 17 that joined us 14 summited. My 9 year old was one of them. He managed pretty well and he’s pretty athletic. We did experience some rain and heard thunder. We made out after getting a good looking storm that came from behind the peak that only brough rain and not lightning.

Sunday traffic in the afternoon is not ideal so instead of heading down I-70 we  went down CO Road 9 to HWY 85 going through Fairplay and Bailey and made it back in less than 2 hours. The folks that went down I70 said they got stuck in painfully slow traffic.

With a large group like this the fastest of us made it to the top in 3 hours and the longest time on trail had our last group down around 4pm. All in all it was another great experience and I look forward to it again next year.

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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.