Category Archives: Colorado Real Estate

Highlands Ranch Beauty

485 Angus Way, Highlands Ranch, CO     4259 Sq Ft       6 Bedrooms        4 Baths $609,000


Cincopa WordPress plugin


Property Description
Live Large, Live Comfortably, Live In Style!! This 6-bedroom 4-bath 2-story Contemporary Home.
Too Many Features To List All.   Some Of The Highlights Include: 8-person Spa (included); 7-tier Outdoor Waterfall And Amazing Private Back Yard That Backs To Open Space With Mountain Views.
Walk-in Wine Cooler (360 Bottle), Finished Basement That Includes Wet Bar, Custom Home Theater (all Included), Main Floor Living Includes Gourmet Kitchen, Large Greatroom With Full Surround Sound, Formal Dining Room, Study And Main-floor Bedroom.
Upstairs You Will Find An Amazing Master Suite With Deck, And Four Additional Bedrooms; All Large And All With Walk-in Closets. Seeing Is Believing; Schedule Your Showing Today!!


We have found that home buyers love to search the MLS.  We have made it possible for you to search any criteria necessary to locate the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood.

         Free MLS Search Here

LOGO        Equal Opp Lender Logo


“Mortgage Monster … or Mortgage Mastermind?”

Why a Pre-Approval is Necessary!

We all love to look at houses that are for sale.  We may be in the market to purchase now or we may be in a future market but either way the first step is always to get Pre-Approved!

Did you know that Realtors will not accept any offer from a potential buyer without a Pre-Approval letter signed by a well known lender like myself?

In fact most Realtors are trained to not even show you a house until they know that you qualify.

Getting people qualified is my job!

Get Approved

Once you are Pre-Approved, I will issue a letter to your Realtor and only then will they start showing you homes, it’s just how they work!

Think about how important this actually is!  What if you qualify for a house of $150,000 but you are looking at houses for $200,000?  Even if you put an offer in at $180,000 and got it accepted, you would not get an approval for a loan–make sense?

Take just a moment and email me for a Quick Application.  I will let you know how much you qualify for–then you can start working with the Realtor.

Are you a Veteran?  CLICK HERE

Are you a Native American?  CLICK HERE

All others CLICK HERE







It may be better to purchase sooner than later!

Denver is the most expensive inland city to buy a house, according to a study released Tuesday by, a mortgage information website. looked at mortgage rates and median home prices in 25 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas to determine how much salary is needed to cover the principal and interest payments on the average home. Property taxes, insurance and other expenses do not factor in this calculation.

Chuck Strauss Listing

Denver was wedged between Portland, Ore., and Seattle as the 18th most affordable city out of 25, requiring an annual salary of $48,122 to afford a median-priced home here. (Entire list below.) used a mortgage rate of 4.43 percent and a median home price of $279,300 to calculate its Denver salary requirement.

(That seems like a low salary needed to afford the payments for a $279,300 home, but I just report what they tell me.)

In fact, reports that a 2.65 percent drop in the media home price in Denver in the fourth quarter of 2013 and a slight drop in mortgage rates equated to drop of about $2,500 in the salary requirement here.

“The Denver housing market has been known for its consistency — prices never rose too fast or fell too hard. The depreciation in quarterly prices was milder compared with some cities,” said in the report.

Nationally, found that affordability has increased significantly since the third quarter of 2013 as home prices and mortgage rates have fallen.

Not so much in San Francisco, though, where you’d need a salary of $115,510 to afford a median-priced home at $682,410.

If you want a bargain, try Ohio, which had the top two most affordable cities on the list — Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Here’s the top 25 metro areas, ranked in order of affordability in terms of annual salary requirements:

  1. Cleveland: $19,435.17
  2. Cincinnati: $22,226.95
  3. St. Louis: $22,397.54
  4. Atlanta: $24,390.94
  5. Tampa: $24,650.88
  6. Orlando: $28,298.47
  7. San Antonio: $29,305.47
  8. Dallas: $29,751.24
  9. Houston: $31,298.99
  10. Chicago: $32,388.90
  11. Phoenix: $32,811.94
  12. Minneapolis: $33,800.09
  13. Philadelphia: $36,836.47
  14. Baltimore: $41,155.40
  15. Sacramento: $42,832.20
  16. Miami: $43,918.66
  17. Portland, Ore.: $45,872.78
  18. Denver: $48,122.72
  19. Seattle: $59,129.86
  20. Washington, D.C.: $62,809.63
  21. Boston: $63,673.13
  22. New York City: $66,167.27
  23. Los Angeles: $72,126.90
  24. San Diego: $81,570.40
  25. San Francisco: $115,510.06

How did determine these salaries? took the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 fourth-quarter data for median home prices as well as our 2013 fourth-quarter average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to determine how much money homebuyers in 25 major cities would need to earn in order to purchase the median-priced home in their market.

We determined the after-tax income required to cover only the mortgage’s principal and interest payment. We used standard 28 percent “front-end” debt ratios, and a 20 percent down payment subtracted from the median home price data to arrive at our figures.

There is no doubt that your income will need to be much higher, possibly even double or triple this level, to cover the needed taxes, insurances and other expenses to live in the home, plus the down payment and any other debts you might have. Since those are highly variable, down to even the individual property level and personal choice, there is no adequate way to factor for them.

That’s where you come in. We’ve given you the basic, bottom-line income you need to cover the mortgage; to this, add the annual cost of taxes and insurance to arrive at a realistic cost to obtain a home in your chosen city. Depending upon where you are, these can add up to as much as the mortgage payment itself, or more!

The best bet is to get a payment estimate up front when you request your credit report.

To find out how much you qualify for  CLICK HERE

A Shared Post from:  Reporter- Denver Business Journal





Homes with walkout basements and decks looking over the golf course–Watch those hackers HACK

 My house on Red Hawk Golf Course Has one of the best Walkout Basements in Castle Rock.  Walk right out to the long par 5.  Go upstairs to the deck and see the hackers HACK!
But when buyers Google “homes for sale with walk-out basements” what do they have in mind?  Let’s find out. 

One of the things we like about our walkout basement is that the dog can stay down stairs in winter months and go outside from the walkout basement and never come up stairs.  Love it!

It is also a great place to play ping pong and pool.  Let’s take a look at a few awesome basements and then we will look at homes for sale in Denver with walkout basements.

Walk out basement pool room

Inside View of Walkout Basement and Pool Table Room

Walk out Basement 1

Great Exterior View of a Walkout Basement —  The Dog Loves It!

Walk out basement theater room

Awesome Finished Basement with Theater Room — Rockies Room!

Walk out Basement with potential

Check Out Walkout Basement with great potential–what would you do here?

Ok, The Todd Blog would not be complete without a look at some current Denver homes for sale.
While most houses for sale with a walkout basement also require a jumbo loan, I did dig down and find some real nice homes available in Denver.  Let’s take a look.
2975 Piper Dr, Erie, Colorado has pretty much everything, from the walkout basement to a pool table room to a theater room. 

Walkout to the back yard from the fabulous basement!


Google:  Houses for sale with pool table rooms


Google:  Houses for sale with theater rooms
Well, that’s it for your Friend in the Business real estate blog for this weekend, we have reviewed homes for sale with wine cellars, homes for sale with swimming pools, homes for sale with tennis courts, and now homes for sale with home theater and walkout basements.
Coming soon–Homes for sale with a bar.  Should be fun!  The Passion of Blog!  Be Empowered!



Homes for sale with a deck — The Margarita Spot

 Great Homes for sale with a deck.  For me this is a fabulous place to entertain friends and share a margarita. My house on Red Hawk Golf Course Has one of the best decks in Castle Rock.  From the deck I can look right out over the long par 5 and see the hackers HACK! One thing we like about our deck is a view.  We have a view of the mountains, views of the golf course, views of city lights and even a view of the Castle Rock.  Love it!


It is also a great place to rest up after a long day of work.  Let’s take a look at a few awesome decks and then we will look at homes for sale in Denver with walkout basements.

But when buyers search Google for “homes for sale with a deck” what else do they have in mind?  Views of the swimming pool, views of the tennis court, fresh air, sunshine?  Let’s find out.

Here are a few beautiful decks I found pictures of that I would like to share.

Deck and Bar

This deck is cool because it also serves as a refreshing bar  –  a great place to entertain!

Deck 2

Love the mountain in the back ground!  Deck with a view!


My place for Filet Mignon and great fresh air.

Deck Denver

How about the Fire Pit!

Ok, now it’s time to reveal some “homes for sale in Denver with great decks”

Being the mortgage guy with the passion for real estate, especially Colorado real estate, I was scanning some more listings today and ran across one just up the hill from Castle Rock, in Castle Pines.

This listing belongs to Rike Palese and Jonathan Keiler of Re/Max Professionals in Englewood, Colorado.

Here’s what makes this one special to me…this is a home with a view!  A view of pine trees which are my favorite.  It is also a home with a three car garage.  Like I always say, I like space.

OK, want to see it?  Here are this pictures that make it special to me:  The deck next to the pines.


Castle Pines Beauty


Love the protection of the stone wall and flagstone

Why do I take the time to blog about real estate?  Two reasons, I help buyers who need a loan, whether a Jumbo Loan or any other loan type, to buy a beautiful property like this one and I enjoy blogging.


I ran into a great company, Empower Network, that specializes in Internet Marketing including blogging and much more.  I would encourage anyone who runs their own business, especially Realtors to investigate Empower Network to see how they can use it to grow their business.

So The Todd Blog was born!

Contributors to this Blog:


Ok, I love real estate, while I love historic homes like the ones in downtown Denver, most of us buy newer homes, the ones we find in Golden, Boulder, Castle Rock, Parker and so on.

Tonight, I want to promote my ”Featured Realtor” portion of The Todd Blog. The Realtor From Down Under!  Yes, Mandy Dowell of Re/Max Alliance Here is my blog from January 6:     Click Here

Since I am passionate about real estate, I watch Realtor sites and listings regularly.
I ran across Mandy Dowell and the fact that she is originally from Australia caught my attention.  As an alumn of the University of New Mexico, I am a huge fan of the UNM Lobos. 
Why does this fact make a difference?  The Lobos have two players in the starting lineup from Australia.  Cameron Bairstow just scored 29 points in the conference opener last night against Colorado State.
Now:  Why Mandy?

I have a house I need to list and sell, WHY do I hire Mandy? One word:  Staging!  She how Mandy stages her listings:

Staging is the Key to My Success

Staging is completely 100% included, no additional fees! Staging your home, adding designer colors, adding new lighting or retiring the old carpet can be the key to selling your home faster.

Interesting Facts About Staged Homes

1. Staged properties are 83% less time on the market.  2. Staged properties are sold at 17% higher average selling price   3. Staged properties sell 2-5 times faster than un-staged properties  4. Homes with staged on-line photos attract more showings than homes not staged  5. Studies also show that small rooms appear larger when properly staged.

Top Five Reasons for Staging

Here are five of the top reasons why staging is one of the best investments the owner of a vacant listed property could possible make in what is now widely considered to be a highly competitive “buyers market.”

1. Today’s buyer is shopping the INTERNET FIRST – Statistics have shown that 85% of buyers are starting the home buying process by surfing the net before even contacting a realtor. And because many of the photographs are so poor on the MLS listings, there are great homes that are not even being physically seen. Needless to say, a large number of the homes that fall into this category are vacant.

2. Today’s buyer is no longer just searching for a place to live – they are searching for a home that will provide a LIFESTYLE! Buyers want to see themselves living in the property, raising their family there, entertaining friends there. Sellers must make that very important emotional connection with a home that tells them, “this is it, this is the one!” That connect is very difficult when they are looking at are bare walls and empty rooms which lack the warmth and personality of the homes that have been stylishly furnished! 

3. Only 10% of Home Buyers that actually tour the property can actually VISUALIZE the potential of a vacant home, which means 9 out of 10 people cannot. Buyers must have a frame of reference that shows them scale and size of the rooms… where they would put their sofa and entertainment center OR if their king size bed would even fit in the Master Bedroom OR how would they furnish that odd little room off the Kitchen. Is it supposed to be an office, another family room… guest room, what? All they can see are bare walls.

Most Buyers cannot imagine all of this wonderful possibilities of the home, and without answers to their questions, they walk away. This is something production home builders have known for many years, and this is why they have elected to make the investment to show their model homes fully furnished! 4

. When a home is vacant, buyers FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVES – They have nothing else to look at so their eyes will zero in on the negatives i.e. the small crack in the wall, the tile that is chipped, the carpeting that needs to replaced, or the wall covering in the Master Bathroom that they really don’t like. Home Staging is designed to accentuate the positive features of the home while de-emphasizing the negatives.

5. Vacant homes statistically STAY ON THE MARKET LONGER than a home that has been staged – and will SEND OUT A DISTRESS SIGNAL… suggesting buyers that you, the sellers, have moved on and are going to be DESPERATE TO SELL. Invariably, this will result in receiving LOWER OFFERS. It is certainly better to price your home attractively, and give the appearance of occupancy. Statistically, homes that have been staged sell more quickly, and for top dollar! To Reach Mandy, Click Here  or email her at 

If you are in the market to purchase a home but you have not yet Pre-Qualified for a JUMBO loan, please go to   We specialize in Jumbo loans.

You can also get pre-qualified by contacting me at:


Featured Realtor — Chuck Strauss– Native American Specialist

 As a mortgage professional, I like to link my business with ultra real estate professionals! There are many Realtors to choose from but there are FEW that should be chosen to list your most precious asset. I surveyed dozens of Realtors and ask them:  ”WHY SHOULD I LIST MY PROPERTY WITH YOU?”   I asked the 12 questions that I would want to know.  Please note the responses from Chuck Stauss.  I consider Chuck as a VERY Serious Real Estate Professional and a Specialist in Native American Homes. Check this out!  Chuck’s answers are in Blue!
While doing some research to choose a real estate professional, the first thing I noticed is there are so many Realtors! 
Of course, as a seller, I like the competition because I believe I will find just the right agent to represent me and get me the highest price, but I do have a few questions:1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales? 8 Years as a Realtor® and another 30 as a small business owner                    

2.  What designations do you hold 
SRES® (Seniors Real Estate Specialis); CDPE® (Certified Distressed Property Expert) 3. How many homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year?
I did 15 transactions last year (same as 2012) not sure on the total for Your Castle, but we are the 2nd largest non-franchised brokerage in Denver.  4. How many days did it take you to sell the average home?  and How did that compare to the overall market?
Average in 2012 was 42 days, which is better than the market average. 5. How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices?  
97% 6. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home?   and 
  What has been your best tool?  Send me to your Website or blog address, this is a big factor to me, I love technology..
I market, market, market! Some tools include (and these can be better demonstrated in person) Circle Pix (internet and youtube videos) property specific HD photography and website, weekly email blasts to 10,000 Realtors®. As examples, please check out . My personal site (with great search capabilities) is
 7. Will you represent me exclusively if you find a buyer, or will you represent both me  and the buyer in the transaction?        and How will it benefit me? 
My first choice is to represent seller only. This can be accomplished by dealing with the buyer as a customer. If this does not fit their ideal, then we will find them a buyer’s agent so that I can represent the seller exclusively, as opposed to changing the relationship to transaction.
 8. Can you recommend a contractor/handy man to make home repairs needed after inspections?   and 
Do you have skill at staging my home?   Explain – if you have pictures, 
please send.
I have an extensive list of contractors to do minor and/or major repairs that are necessary. I recommend a pre-list inspection so that there are no surprises. I have a stager that I really respect and offer an initial staging consultation at my cost (additional services, if contracted, would be your responsibility). While I can make recommendations, I feel that a professional opinion on staging makes a huge difference. A recent listing used a professional stagers services; home sold in less than 30 days at full asking price.
 9. What type Technology does your brokerage office provide to you?  Websites, blogs, virtual tours?
All of the above and more.
 10. What’s your business philosophy?   A great answer here will make you shine and help you get the listing. 
My only goal is to make sure that my clients are given the absolute best in service to make sure that their needs are met, expectations are exceeded and their real estate transaction is the best ever. I go by the Platinum Rule: “Treat Others the Way they Want to be Treated”!
 11. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? 
In an initial meeting, communication expectations are outlined and defined in writing. Then that schedule is met or enhanced as necessary. This usually means weekly updates (even if there is nothing to report) and then additional communication as circumstances dictate.  12. Are you able to give me the names and phone numbers of three past clients?
I will check to make sure that they are OK with this, but certainly I can do that. 
So there you have it!  Chuck is obviously VERY serious about Real Estate.
Please contact Chuck  CLICK HERE     Or Email Chuck at ””  Your Castle Real Estate
For mortgage information, CLICK HERE  or Email 
Interested in the SEC 184 loan for NATIVE AMERICANS?

Hurdles shrink for jumbo loan shoppers

You’ll pay more for a big home nowadays, but a big mortgage should be less of a reach.

For the first time in over 20 years, rates on jumbo mortgages — loans of more than $417,000, or $625,500 in pricier areas — are at or below rates on conventional mortgages. Jumbo rates usually run one-quarter to one-half of a percentage point higher, but lenders eager for wealthier customers are making deals.


Available Now! In Denver

In 2013, Wells Fargo and Bank of America cut minimum down payments to 15% from 20%; some competitors did too.

Related: What will your mortgage payment be?

“It’s a good time to be a jumbo borrower,” says Guy Cecala, CEO of Inside Mortgage Finance.

Want a large loan?

Related: Rich people are getting mortgages cheaper than you

Currently, rates for a 30-year fixed jumbo are averaging 4.25%, compared to 4.35% for a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. For ultralow rates, check out adjustable-rate jumbos: Wells Fargo recently offered a five-year adjustable for 2.375%. Get an ARM, though, only if you expect to move on during the fixed period. To top of page


Source:  Money Magazine First Published: February 7, 2014: 4:08 PM

Mortgagemates, your friend in the business for a Jumbo Loan.

Housing Outlook for 2014


Housing Outlook 2014: 10 Predictions From The Experts

In 2013, the housing recovery was a welcome bright spot for the economy: prices were shooting up, fewer homeowners were underwater, and builder confidence was finally on the upswing. It’s looking like 2014 should be another good year for housing–mostly. Here are ten things housing experts expect to see in 2014:

1. More homes will be available
Short supply drove rapid price increases at the beginning of 2013, but watch for that to change next year. notes that the inventory (homes available for purchase) shortage began to soften in February. New construction and rising prices should bring more homes, both new and old, on to the market in 2014, helping inventory return to traditional levels.

Chuck Strauss Listing


2. Mortgage rates will rise


Online real estate database Zillow predicts rates will hit 5% by the end of 2014–well up from the 4′s and 3′s of late, but still well within normal levels. New Fed Reserve chief Janet Yellen is expected to continue Ben Bernanke’s policy of keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities, but the Fed’s bond-buying taper could push rates higher. “While this will make homes more expensive to finance – the monthly payment on a $200,000 loan will rise by roughly $160 – it’s important to remember that mortgage rates in the 5 percent range are still very low,” says Erin Lantz, Zillow’s director of mortgages. Really. “Prior to the Federal Reserve’s 2008 decision to buy $85 billion in debt per month, the 36-year average was 9.2%, and never below 5.8%,” notes Glen Kelman, CEO of Redfin.


Zillow: National mortgage rates, 30-year, fixed-rate

3. Mortgages will be easier to get 
“The silver lining to rising interest rates is that getting a loan will be easier,” says Lantz. “Rising rates means lenders’ refinance business will dwindle, forcing them to compete for buyers by potentially loosening their lending standards.”

4. Home prices will rise 3%
Redfin and Zillow are predicting that home prices will rise between 3% and 5% in 2014. For comparison’s sake, 2013 saw jumps of 5% nationally, with increases of more than 20% in some hot spots. “These gains, while beneficial in many ways, were also unsustainable and well above historic norms for healthy, balanced markets,” says Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “This year, home value gains will slow down significantly because of higher mortgage rates, more expensive home prices, and more supply created by fewer underwater homeowners and more new construction.”

5. Fewer homeowners will be underwater
Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners with underwater mortgages regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013, according to By Q3, a CoreLogic report found that about 6.4 million homes were still in negative equity at the end of Q3. Watch for that number to shrink in 2014.

6. Affordability will decline
Despite the slower pace of price increases, home affordability will decline as mortgage rates rise. The real culprit is income levels, which aren’t keeping pace with the increases in housing costs. In 2013, the National Association of Realtors’ Home Affordability Index dropped to a five-year low. Experts predict the trend will continue in 2014.

7. Ownership will decline
In 2014, Zillow predicts, homeownership rates will fall below 65 percent for the first time since 1995. “The housing bubble was fueled by easy lending standards and irrational expectations of home value appreciation, but it put a historically high number of American households – seven out of ten – in a home, if only temporarily,” says Humphries. “That homeownership level proved unsustainable and during the housing recession and recovery the homeownership rate has floated back down to a more normal level, and we expect it to break 65% for the first time since the mid-1990s.” Watch also for adult children to move out of their parents’ homes, starting their own households and further decreasing the overall homeownership rate.

8. Americans will move
Rising prices, a reversal of underwater mortgages, and easier credit will free Americans up to move. But next time they’ll choose smaller homes in more affordable locations. Redfin is predicting that new lending regulations–which make it harder to borrow more–will send Americans to less expensive hubs like Portland, Denver, Austin, Richmond, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, and Raleigh.

9. Foreclosures will fade
The once booming foreclosure market has slowed, with September 2013 the 36th straight month of year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity, nearly 33% down from the end of 2012. The declines should continue with the overall housing recovery.

10. Home buying process less crazed
During the bust, investors bought as many as one out of every five homes in America, according to Redfin. The perfect storm of increased inventory, higher prices, and fewer foreclosures means that investors are stepping out of the buying market, giving way for regular folks. Add to that the loosening credit rules, and the housing buy market begins to look more normal. “All in all, more inventory, less competition from investors, and more mortgage credit should all make the buying process less frenzied than in 2013,” says Kolko of Trulia TRLA -3.86%.

Source:  12/23/2013 @ 12:59PM |115,829 views

Erin Carlyle, Forbes Staff

Real estate: luxury homes and the people behind the big deals.

Repost by Todd McManigal

Upcoming blog on the Native American Dream  SEC 184 Loan Program and Jumbo Loans on the rise in Denver