Jaywalking in Denver Can Cost You Over $250,000!

Posted by Greg Eckler on Monday, April 11th, 2011 at 9:55am.

or...How home values change from one neighborhood to another...

Did you know that crossing a street in Denver can cost you over $250,000? That won’t be a fine levied by the police, but it will be the average cost increase of a house when you cross from one neighborhood to another.

Obviously, each neighborhood has its pros and cons. But when two nearby neighborhoods contrast greatly, the prices can vary quite a bit.

Here are some examples of Denver neighborhoods that really exemplify this fact:

Congress Park & Cherry Creek NorthCongress Park vs Cherry Creek NorthCross 6th Avenue and your home could cost an extra $873,000.

* Congress Park: average home price was $412,000 over the past 12 months.
* Cherry Creek North: average home price was $1,285,000 over the past 12 months.

Homes in Cherry Creek North are newer and larger than in Congress Park. And its residents enjoy several unique shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars right in the neighborhood so walkability scores are very high. Cherry Creek North is truly a destination place in Denver.

On the other hand, Congress Park has a limited number of neighborhood amenities and walkability to Cherry Creek North’s amenities is harder. So Congress Park residents don’t pay the premium for walkability like in Cherry Creek North, but they still have a great neighborhood with tree-lined streets and older, more historic homes with lots of character.

Nothing wrong with crossing this street, but the cost of your next home could be significantly different depending on which direction you go.

Park Hill South vs Park Hill East vs Stapleton

Park Hill South vs Park Hill East vs StapletonCross Monaco Parkway or Quebec Street and the price of your next home could jump by about $250,000.

* Park Hill South: average home price was $459,000 over the past 12 months.
* Park Hill East: average home price was $207,000 over the past 12 months.
* Stapleton: average home price was $453,000 over the past 12 months.

Although these three neighborhoods vary quite a bit, they are next to each other as you head east from downtown Denver. And the changes you experience as you drive through each neighborhood are influenced by Denver’s history and the closing of Stapleton International Airport in 1995.

Yes, the Stapleton neighborhood is a former airport site. How does an airport affect real estate prices? Usually it’s a negative impact – before the first homes were built in 2002 the only “amenities” for the surrounding neighborhoods were planes, traffic and lots of noise. But today Stapleton is Denver’s newest planned community with homes, schools, parks, trails and more. And its redevelopment has positively impacted the neighborhoods of Park Hill.

Park Hill South – A coveted historic neighborhood with beautiful tree-lined streets and classic architecture. Distinctly residential, most of the homes are single-family brick built in the 1930s. Residents enjoy two retail “town centers” that include a mix of independently owned restaurants, pastry shops and services. Just three miles east of downtown and the furthest west from the old airport, Park Hill South has historically been a very desirable Denver neighborhood.

Park Hill East – Cross over Monaco Parkway from Park Hill South and everything changes. These homes bordered the airport so they are smaller, mostly one-story ranches from the 1940s; some even had reinforced windows to help reduce noise levels. Now that the airport is gone, Park Hill East is appreciating and seeing more development and investor money. Located between Park Hill South and Stapleton, its residents benefit from the proximity of both neighborhoods … without paying a premium. That’s why Park Hill East is becoming a great neighborhood for single family homes.

Stapleton – Cross over Quebec from Park Hill East and you enter Stapleton – Denver’s newest planned community. This premier neighborhood didn’t exist before 2002; today it currently features a town center, three new schools, and five maturing neighborhoods with timeless architecture, pools and pocket parks. In addition to the homes, nearly 30% of Stapleton is dedicated to green and open spaces.


West Wash Park vs East Wash ParkWest Wash Park vs East Wash ParkCross Downing Street and through Washington Park and property values increase around $249,000.

* West Wash Park: average home price was $401,000 over the past 12 months.
* East Wash Park: average home price was $650,000 over the past 12 months.

The single family homes on both sides of Washington Park are similar, but the consistency of homes is what causes the variation between East and West Wash Park.

West Wash Park has a more diverse mix of residential options – older single-family homes and duplexes share the street with newly-built condos, duplexes and apartment buildings. Yes, you’re still paying to be close to the park. But West Wash Park home prices and variety make it a more affordable option for homebuyers.

East Wash Park is one of the most consistent – and most expensive – neighborhoods Denver. Its beautiful tree-lined streets offer a wide range of single-family homes from the early 1900s, including: “Denver Squares,” Craftsman Bungalows, remodeled Tudors, and some great Prairie houses. New construction also exists – higher-end homes designed with luxury and spaciousness in mind – all within walking distance of the park.

In my opinion, consistency of homes in a neighborhood brings higher prices. In the past 12 months, only 76% of the homes sold in West Wash Park were detached single family while in East Wash Park, that number jumps to 92%. Conclusion: East Wash Park has very consistent homes, and it draws a home buyer that is willing to pay for that consistency.

Denver has about 78 neighborhoods and most don’t vary like the above examples. But I sight them in order to demonstrate how important it is to know where you are, and how crossing into the next neighborhood could potentially save you a lot of money or satisfy that need for walkability or consistency in your neighborhood. Food for thought.

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