- Jan Melody “farms” Bible Park neighborhood.
- Bible Park is an affordable alternative to Wash Park or Platt Park.
- It’s especially a good choice when one spouse works downtown and the other in the DTC.
Bible Park and Hutchinson Hills in southeast Denver are hidden gems, according to Realtor Jan Melody.
“Bible Park is a little better known than Hutchinson Hills, but they really are not on most people’s radar screens,” said Melody, a broker with 8z Real Estate, who “farms” Bible Park and a portion of Hutchinson Hills.
“I think the Bible Park area is absolutely poised to go crazy,” she said.
The appeal of the Bible Park area is that you can buy a home in Denver that is 10 minutes to the Denver Tech Center, 20 minutes to downtown, has light rail access and homes are priced at a fraction of what you would pay in Washington Park or Platt Park she said.
“Bible Park really has a fabulous location,” she said.
In broad terms, what is considered the Bible Park community is roughly bordered by Yale Avenue on the north, Quebec Street on the east, Monaco Parkway on the west and Hampden Avenue on the south.
“But since Hampden is mostly multifamily, I would say the real boundary is Eastman (Avenue),” she said.
The portion of Hutchinson Hills that she farms – and where she has lived for the past 16 years – is roughly bordered by Yale, Hampden, Yosemite and Quebec.
In the past six months, the average sales price in Bible Park has been $150 per square foot. The average square footage, including the basement, was 2,736 square feet.
In Hutchinson Hills, the average home sold for $126 per square foot and the average home was 3,043 square feet.
“Your home-buying dollar goes a lot farther in Bible Park than in those other trendier areas,” she said.
“If you want to be in central Denver and were considering buying a comparably sized home in Bonnie Brae, for example, you probably are looking at homes starting at $750,000,” Melody said.
By contrast, a pop-top in Bible Park might top out at in the $500,000 to $600,000, she said.
Homes near the James A. Bible Park, which gives the area its name, sell for a premium.
“It’s really a great park,” Melody said. “The City of Denver has done a lot to upgrade it over the years. We used to belong to a private swim and tennis club, and we looked at the Bible Park tennis courts we thought these are nicer than the ones at our club. It also has a great playground that attracts a lot of kids, four ball fields, picnic areas and basketball courts.”
Charming park makes neighborhood
The park, named after James A. Bible, a park employee of more than 50 years, is not huge, with 70 acres, Melody noted.
With about half of it developed, one of its charms is that the Highline Canal and the Goldsmith Gulch, provides an oasis.
“There are a lot of natural grasses; Bible Park provides a very nice natural habitat. It is very lovely.”
The biggest challenge for the Bible Park housing market is the lack of homes on the market.
While a shortage of unsold homes is the biggest problem currently facing the Denver-area housing market, that is a particularly acute problem in the Bible Park area.
COhomefinder.com, for example, recently listed only one active home for sale in Bible Park.
Once people move to the area, a lot of them stay, making for a very low turnover of houses, she said.
That may start to change as the current population ages, she said.
“A lot of the homes in Bible Park were built in the 1960s and now some of the original owners are beginning to sell,” she said.
Bible Park can be especially attractive to young couples, where one spouse is working downtown and the other in the Tech Center, she said.
Bigger homes in Hutchinson Hills
In Hutchinson Hills, the homes tend to be newer than in Bible Park, with many of them having been built in the 1970s.
They also tend to be bigger, she said.
“But a lot of them are multi-level, that is, bi-level or tri-level homes,” she said. “For whatever reason, they are not as popular with buyers as ranch-style homes or two-story homes.”
However, homes in Hutchinson Hills tend to be on large lots and while there are not a lot of pop-tops or scrapes, many people have renovated the interiors.
“I’ve been in a lot of homes, in which the interiors have been completely remodeled and renovated to reflect the owner’s taste,” she said.
Melody also is a certified EcoBroker, with the Association of Energy and Environment Real Estate.
“We put solar on our home and we absolutely love it,” she said.
Unfortunately, not many of her clients share her passion for sustainability.
“I’ve sold homes by a new builder that offers solar as an option, and they always reject it,” as they would rather save the upfront additional cost, she said.
Those attitudes may change over time and she is prepared to educate clients on the long-term benefits to their pocketbooks, as well as benefits to the environment by embracing sustainability and green building.
4 decades later, still loving Denver
Melody moved to Denver 40 years ago and stayed.
“I came to visit a friend who was going to school out here and I never went back,” she said.
It didn’t take her long to fall in love with the people and the place.
“I love the recreational opportunities, I liked the easy-going style of the of the folks out here and the beauty. I came from a pretty place. Cape Cod.”
With a degree from Rutgers University she first worked in the corporate world, selling adverting for the Yellow Pages for U S West, at the time the phone company.
“That was back when the Yellow Pages was a viable medium,” she noted.
She took some time off to raise her children, then worked time as an assistant to a Realtor.
Her son is now 30 and her daughter 25.
“Once we became empty nesters, I thought I would like to do this full-time,” said Melody, whose mother was a Realtor.
She started working with RE/MAX
“In 2009, one of my good friends had joined 8z and they actually approached me and it seemed like a really good fit for me,” she said.
Since joining 8z, she has appreciated the technology and the support.
“It has been fabulous. 8z is the best. It truly is.”
To contact or learn more about Jan Melody:
8z Real Estate, is one of the sponsors of InsideRealEsatateNews.com. A periodic profile of an 8z broker is feature of IREN. Other sponsors of IREN are Universal Lending Corp. and Land Title Guarantee Co.