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After several days of stepping over piles of human feces at the properties owned by a company registered to Troubleshooter Tom Martino -- the subject of "Welcome to Hotel Martino: The Homeless Love It, the Neighbors Hate It, an October 30 Westword feature -- I had no urge to check out another one of the longtime consumer advocate’s Denver real estate investments. Look through this this slideshow of Martino-related properties to understand why. But this morning, I decided to drive by one more: 2831 West 24th Avenue, a structure located in the up-and-coming (so say developers) Jefferson Park neighborhood. I found more evidence of neglect: a vacant house whose yard is overgrown with weeds and filled with trash.
Property records show that in July 2007, a man named Matt Klaess used $285,000 belonging to Martino to purchase the house. Klaess is the president of American Guaranty Real Estate; the website for the financial/mortgage/real estate brokerage brags that the company is "a member of Tom Martino's exclusive referral list." Klaess has been a guest on Martino’s KHOW show to discuss real estate issues and has authored articles for Troubleshooter.com (before the site went blank earlier this year).
The house has since been deeded over to John Klaess, also of American Guaranty Real Estate, and was put on the market for $425,000. It was advertised as a "scrape-off." Recently the company’s website posted the property for the drastically reduced price of $120,000.
You’d think that Martino and the businesses he’s associated with could use a few of the shady landscapers and contractors the Troubleshooter has chased down over the years to do some minimal upkeep on this property. But apparently that would be too much trouble. -- Jared Jacang Maher