Why it worked: Market demand in Los Angeles County is strong, especially for single-family detached homes priced around $500,000. Throw in a Tournament Players Club golf course and a 159-acre oak preserve and you've got some very interested buyers.

* Popular palette of three styles, all in strong exterior colors, includes Italianate, Cottage (pictured above), and California Ranch.

* Three two-story plans on hill-country lots all come in under 2,800 square feet and feature three to five bedrooms, two and a half baths, and three-car garages.

* Relatively narrow plan reads wide at the courtyard entry, which opens onto a traditional floor plan with some inventive twists.

* Buyers are primarily move-up and second-time move-ups, with some pre-retiree downsizers.

Project Credits

Project: Sundance at Westridge, Valencia, Calif.; Sales started: October 2002; Sales through mid-June 2003: 61; Units planned: 108; Price: $481,345 to $574,900; Unit size: 2,366 to 2,744 square feet; Builder: Richmond American Homes, Los Angeles; Architect: William Hezmalhalch, Santa Ana, Calif.; Landscape architect: NUVIS, Costa Mesa, Calif.; Interior designer: Pacific Dimensions, El Segundo, Calif.

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