Valhalla, N.Y., builder Spectrum Skanska originally envisioned attached townhomes for its Valimar community in White Plains, N.Y. After all, that's how the parcel was zoned. But after conducting focus groups with prospects who'd visited similar sites in tony Westchester County, "we decided the community would be more open to single-family, detached homes," says Gabe Pasquel, a Spectrum Skanska spokesman.

Valimar appeals to various markets. Sixty percent of its residents are move-up buyers, 19 percent are empty-nesters, and 21 percent are first-time buyers. The area's highly rated public school system is a big draw for first-time and move-up buyers. The home design provides a dramatic two-story center hall entry, a gourmet kitchen with center island, and two-story windows. And the Big Apple is nearby. Valimar is easily accessible to major highways, and Metro North transit trains zip workers to mid-town Manhattan in one hour.

Project Credits Project: Valimar, White Plains, N.Y.; Sales started:November 1999; Sales through December 2000: 118; Units released through December 2000: 125; Units planned: 165; Price: $545,900; Unit size: 2,113 to 2,748 square feet; Builder: Spectrum Skanska, Valhalla, N.Y.; Architect: William Devereaux and Associates, McLean, Va.; Interior designer: Lita Dirks & Co., Englewood, Calif.; Ad agency:The Point Group, Dallas