Set on two city blocks, these charming bungalow-style homes sell for an affordable $194,990. They draw first-time home buyers to The Olson Co.'s Renaissance Walk community in Long Beach. "Most of our buyers are city and government employees who work in Long Beach," says Lenette Harmer, director of sales and marketing for the Seal Beach, Calif., builder/developer. "There is no new-home completion in this particular area of the town, so we were ideally positioned for sales and to provide a solution for the affordable housing crisis."

Twenty of the 40 homes are reserved for low-income buyers. Fifteen units have been sold with assistance from the city of Long Beach, and 10 others have sold to buyers at market rate. The most popular is plan two, which offers an optional den/fourth bedroom. Homes are pre-wired for telephone and cable and can be upgraded for security systems.

The living is easy for residents of all ages. Front porches and large backyards invite outdoor entertaining. There's an on-site day-care center, and kids can walk to a nearby elementary school, high school, and library. Los Angeles is a quick 20-minute commute on the area's light-rail system.

Project Credits
Project: Renaissance Walk, Long Beach, Calif.; Sales started: September 2000; Sales through January 2001: 25; Units released through January 2001: 30; Units planned: 40; Price: $194,990; Unit size: 1,300 to 1,518 square feet; Builder/Developer: The Olson Co., Seal Beach, Calif.; Architect: William Hezmalhalch Architects, Irvine, Calif.; Interior designer: Carole Eichen Interiors, Santa Ana, Calif.; Landscape architect: Nuvis, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.