By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Why it worked: A great location and character-rich architecture has helped sell 17 homes per month.

  • Verrazzano has three distinct neighborhoods, Cortiles, Patria, and Palazzo, featuring distinctive Spanish- and Italian-inspired architecture.

  • The two-story plans are all over 3,600 square feet and include three to five bedrooms, at least four baths, and a three-car garage.

  • The community is developed around a two-acre community park with mature foliage and olive trees that evoke the feel of the Italian countryside.

  • Area amenities include the location, which is surrounded by Santa Luz luxury estate homes, easy access to freeways and shopping, and the nationally recognized Poway school district.

  • The buyers are mostly local first-time buyers and down-sizing empty-nesters.

  • The most popular upgrades are French doors and granite countertops--totaling about $10,000. Project Credits

    Project: Verrazzano, San Diego; Sales started: April 2002; Sales through October: 119; Units planned: 218; Price: $480,000 to $676,000; Unit size: 2,576 to 3,750 square feet; Developer/ Builder: Shea Homes, San Diego; Architect: JBZ Architects, Newport Beach, Calif.; Landscape architect: Terra Firma, San Diego; Interior designer: Collaborative West, San Clemente, Calif.