“King of Flips” buys Romanoff’s home


Democrat Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff last month sold his Washington Park home to Vision Acquisitions for $360,000, according to public records. Vision Acquisitions’ principal is Gregory Geller, known as the “King of Flips,” bought the home on June 23.

“He sold the house, and the proceeds from the sale will be used as a loan to the campaign,” Roy Teicher, Romanoff’s spokesman told InsideRealEstateNews about 4:30 p.m. on Monday. “I don’t know that much about it. Maybe he has got a lease-back deal for a while. I’ll have Andrew call you back, because he knows the details.”

Romanoff did not return calls to InsideRealEstateNews on Monday, but told other reporters that he would use the profit from the home sale and other personal funds to lend his campaign $325,000. The home was not listed in Metrolist, a broker said Monday morning.

Geller: No idea it was Romanoff’s house

Geller said that he didn’t even know at first that the home was owned by Romanoff, who is facing off with incumbent Michael Bennet in the Aug. 10 primary. Geller said that he and Romanoff went to the closing on separate days, which likely explains why the Warranty Deed incorrectly lists Vision Acquisitions’ address as 887 S. Gilpin St., which was the address of the home owned by Romanoff. Vision Acquisitions’ address is 2019 E. 3rd Ave.

“I assure you, there was nothing funny about this deal,” Geller said. “I didn’t know it was his home and I didn’t care. I’ve bought homes from city council people, politicians, celebrities, TV personalities, you name it. I buy 150 homes per year. I’m probably the largest buyer of homes in Denver.”

Fate of home a question mark

Geller said that he doesn’t know what he is going to do with the home. The house is a 946-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath home and was built in 1928. Public records show that Romanoff paid $189,900 for it in November 1996. The city values the home at $449,200, for tax assessment purposes. Geller said Romanoff can continue to live in the house until September.

“We have no clue what we’re going to do with it, yet,” Geller said.”We might tear it down and build something else, we might pop its top, we might put on a back addition, we might not do anything structurally to it and just sell it as it is.”

Depending on what they do with it, the entire hold period for the home could be as little as 150 days, if they re-sell it, to “a year or 18 months, if there is a massive redevelopment.”

As of June 30, Romanoff’s campaign had about $460,000 in cash, compared with Bennet’s $2.6 million, according to reports. In other words, the $325,000 infusion would increase his available funds by about 70 percent. However, Romanoff already has spent most of the $460,000 on TV ads, according to the Denver Post, so the $325,000 would likely provide the lion’s share of his available funds.

Geller described the purchase price an “all right deal,” for Vision Acquisitions. He has several bank lines of credit and pays cash. In this case, he said the “fairly lengthy” negotiations, at least for him, of two or three weeks.  He said the deal was presented to him by two different real estate agents. He said that he typically gets three or four offers a day from Realtors who want him to buy homes.

“They didn’t tell me whose home it was and I wouldn’t have cared,” Geller said. “I very seldom look in the public records to see who owns the home, because I really don’t care. When I found out it was his home, it made no difference to me.”

Cash flies, when Geller buys

He said he buys homes in a rapid-fire manner.

“I pay cash. I don’t do inspections, I don’t get appraisals, I don’t pay commissions to other brokers. I have a very fast-paced business. I work on volume. I have very thin margins on homes. My business model works if I make 8 percent on 70 percent of my homes.”

He said Romanoff’s home was in good condition.

“I look at a home and check to see if the furnace is good, the roof is good,” Geller said.”I don’t even see the decorations or what it has in the kitchen. I look at it and determine what it will cost me to fix it up. That’s all I care about. I have bought over 1,200 homes in Denver.”

Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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