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April 29, 2020

The Art of Home Lot Selection

Thinking about building in Stapleton’s last neighborhood?  Step #1 is often picking the perfect lot for you.

Like many of you, our hearts and minds are focused on helping our community and our frontline first responders.  Right now is a sensitive time for so many in our communities, and we’re thankful for the hard work and precautions our healthcare professionals are taking to help protect us all.

You may have seen our colleague Ashley Parsons Faller’s recent Scoop article “Stapleton’s “North End” Builder Lot Map Released!”  It’s been interesting during recent weeks seeing construction around Denver – and Stapleton specifically – continue at a fast pace (construction is deemed an essential business).  Also, real estate contracts continue to be signed, and deals continue to close.  Ultimately, as real estate agents we want to make sure we’re keeping everyone updated on the latest real estate news while providing our usual guidance, with a strong appreciation for what’s going on in our community during these trying times.

North End’s final neighborhood, Filing 57

With that said, what’s the biggest piece of real estate news in Stapleton right now?

As mentioned in Ashley’s article, the final lots in Stapleton’s last neighborhood are starting to sell.

This final phase of the North End – called “Filing 57” for now – will include 600+ homes and is set to break ground in late summer and early fall of this year.  Once Filing 57 is built out, new construction in Stapleton is effectively done except for small in-fill projects.

So if you’re considering building a new home in Stapleton, after you’ve narrowed down which builders you’re interested in, one of the first decisions you’ll make is exactly where you want your home.

Sound simple? Well, it can be, but not always.

Some lots in Stapleton are higher elevation than surrounding lots

Like most master-planned communities, not all lots are the same in Stapleton. First, each builder charges a different fee for each lot. Called a “lot premium,” this fee varies based on the builder’s own assessment as to which lots are more attractive to potential buyers.

This can be a subjective analysis, but generally bigger corner lots adjacent to parks, open space, or other desirable amenities might have higher lot premiums. Lots tucked away in a neighborhood might have lower lot premiums.

Lot premiums in Stapleton’s North End vary dramatically – though a ballpark (emphasis on “ballpark”) lot premium range for a typical $600K home on an average lot might be between $10K-$30K.  Desirable lots have premiums that could far exceed that range ($75K+), while tucked in, smaller lots might be lower.  We’ll have to see where lots in Filing 57 come in.

The Bluffs park between Beeler Park and North End

Regardless, each lot is different, and lot premiums differ depending on the lot’s features.

Our clients here at Focus Real Estate often ask us whether a lot premium is worth it for a premier lot or whether they should go for a smaller lot premium location and perhaps budget the money they save elsewhere, like the design center.

Here’s my typical answer:

Stapleton is an amenity-rich neighborhood, so figure out which amenities are a priority for you and your family and then go from there.  For example, if you have children, living close to a playground or pool might be extremely important.

Alex with Focus Real Estate looks out of a Parkwood Painted Lady next to North End’s pool/playground

But if you’re not much of a swimmer and your playground days are behind you, or concerns over coronavirus impact your interest in these types of amenities, paying a lot premium that prices in immediate proximity to these types of amenities might not make sense.

Or if you’re a big dog-walker, maybe being close to a trail or footpath is desirable, and accordingly your focus might be lots within a reasonable distance of one of those amenities.

Regardless, if you’re not as focused on these types of amenities, paying a premium for a nearby lot might not make sense.

Second, consider which part of your future lot and home will be south-facing.  Colorado gets a lot of southern sun during the winter months, so for example if you want your driveway to melt faster in the winter, make sure your driveway faces south.  If you want big evening sunset views, you might want your backyard and/or deck to face south.

Third, take a look at and try to determine which floorplans will be going in around the lot you’re interested in.  Will the future homes impede the mountain views you’re hoping for?  Do the floorplans have chimneys?  How about third floors?

Proximity to parks might be important to you when selecting a lot

While it’s hard to find a lot that doesn’t have some views blocked by neighboring homes, make sure you have a sense for the size and layout of homes going in around you.

There are other factors to consider like the potential resale value of, say, a corner lot v. a non-corner lot, whether you need quick access to a major road for commuting purposes, whether a home with a smaller lot premium might get you “close enough” to an amenity you find important, and so on.  This is where the “art” aspect of lot selection comes in – there are many factors to weigh, and one of your jobs as the de facto designer of your new home is to not only pick out the floorplan, colors, and appliances you’ve always wanted, but to carefully and thoughtfully select the best lot for you.

Regardless, building a new home can be a wonderful experience.  My family and I built our own home in Stapleton’s Conservatory Green neighborhood, and it was a great bonding and learning experience watching our home come to fruition in front of our eyes.  Since we have younger kids, we decided to focus on finding a lot with a larger backyard.  We were fortunate to find our perfect lot, and so far, so good!

If you have any questions about new lots in Stapleton, you can email me at Mariel@Focus-Realtors.com or contact Ashley or any of the other agents at Focus Real Estate.  Also, be sure to check out our website, homesinnorthend.com, to get access to extra builder information and news about what’s happening in North End.

Last but not least, many of our friends and clients need to sell their current home before building a new Stapleton home.  As part of our desire to help our community right now, we are now listing Stapleton homes for a significantly reduced fee – 1.5%.  Check out our 3 Ideas to Save Stapleton Buyers & Sellers Money for more information.

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