By Matthew Power In this exclusive California hillside community, a half million dollars won't buy a custom mansion, but you can get the next best thing: the Everett, a 2,634-square-foot production home priced at about $500,000. This model aims for several niche markets at once: upscale young professionals (telecommuters), empty-nesters, and small families who love golf.

Architects Bill Hezmalhalch and Don White created the plan with attractive elevations on all four sides. And builder Taylor Woodrow Homes kept construction costs at a modest $74 per square foot. So why the high price tag? Land. Developing these sites added up to about $176,000 per unit. "Obtaining entitlements for development is difficult and time consuming in this region," notes White. "And, of course, there's a small supply and tremendous demand."

According to the architect, this is a departure from the community's existing neighborhoods "It's a high-profile hillside parcel with small lots (50 by 80 feet), a clubhouse and golf course nearby and no freeway visible."

Category: Production/Semi-custom, 2,000 to 3,000 square feet; Entrant/Architect/Land Planner: William Hezmalhalch Architects, Irvine, Calif.; Builder/Developer: Taylor Woodrow Homes, San Ramon, Calif.; Landscape Architect: David Gates & Associates, Danville, Calif.; Interior Designer: Creative Design Consultants, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Photo: John Bare Photography

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