Twenty minutes northwest from Boise, Idaho, Hidden Springs provides families employed by nearby high-tech firms Hewlett Packard and Micron Technology with an old-fashioned way of life for just $219,000. Surrounded by 1,000 acres of open space, the community offers nearby schools, plus an on-site cafe, gift shop, post office, fire station, and sheriff's office. Homes are equipped with the latest telecommunications technology: fiber optics, microcell wireless telephone antennas, and DSL Internet connections.

Hidden Springs Building Co., located in the city by the same name, participates in the Building America Initiative and Energy Star program. Thus, the community's homes are 30 percent more energy efficient than homes built under the standard model energy code. A wastewater reclamation system recycles water for irrigating common areas, an orchard, and a community garden. "It's the first approved by the state of Idaho," says Frank Martin, president of Hidden Springs.

Project Credits Project: Hidden Springs, Hidden Springs, Idaho; Sales started: November 1999; Sales through December 2000: 117; Units released through December 2000: 274; Units planned: 900; Price: $219,000; Unit size: 1,554 to 3,097 square feet; Builder: Hidden Springs Building Co., Hidden Springs; Architect: Mithun Partners, Seattle; Interior designer: Barrie Connolly & Associates, Boise, Idaho; Ad agency: Smith, Junger, Wellman, Venice, Calif.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Boise City, ID.