Why it worked: Four words: Big Splash Water Park. Nobody does lifestyle better than Del Webb, and Anthem Parkside proves its formula for success goes beyond active adult communities. Buyers lined up from Day One, drawn by the stunning array of on-site amenities geared to families.
* The 5,800-plus-acre master planned community that includes Anthem Parkside offers land planning features that today's buyers want. Many lots back up to open space and offer mountain views. Use of cul-de-sacs and curvilinear streets adds a more exclusive feel.
* Lush landscaping, greenbelt areas, pocket parks, and the 63-acre community park give buyers lots of greenery in a desert region.
* If you're bored here, it's nobody's fault but your own. Activities at the on-site community center include gymnastics, dance, swimming, theater, CPR classes, roller hockey, and the 400,000-gallon Big Splash Water Park.
* Big-city amenities, such as schools, restaurants, grocery stores, banks, health care, houses of worship, a hotel, and a commerce park, are all on site.
* Floor plans galore give buyers choices. The Adore series, one of five available, offers three- and four-bedroom models that start at a very affordable $135,900. The Starlight model shown here is from the mid-line Dream series, currently priced from $260,000 to $340,000.
Project: Anthem Parkside, Phoenix; Sales started: March 1999; Sales through March 2003: 2,810; Units planned: approximately 6,900; Price: mid-$120,000s to the $400,000s; Unit size: 1,122 to 4,338 square feet; Builder: Del Webb (a division of Pulte Homes), Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ.