WHY IT WORKED: Large homes at great prices are the winning combination at Timber Meadow, located just two miles from major highways and in a highly rated school district. A low 2.76 percent property-tax rate didn't hurt, either.

  • First-time home buyers, usually families with children, like the big bedrooms as well as game room or study options.
  • Popular upgrades with the best-selling 2300 plan include an additional half-bath and brick exterior.
  • Three of the 11 floor plans have two-car garages.
  • Hispanic home buyers appreciate Obra Homes' bilingual sales staff. Even the mortgage companies it recommends are able to transact business in Spanish.
  • PROJECT CREDITS Project: Timber Meadow, Houston; Sales started: January 2005; Sales through July 2005: 120; Units planned: 210; Price: $85,490 to $117,490; Unit size: 1,100 to 2,300 square feet; Builder/Architect/Developer: Obra Homes, McAllen, Texas; Landscape architect: Fort Bend Landscapes, Houston; Interior designer: Interior Visions, Houston

    Learn more about markets featured in this article: Houston, TX, McAllen, TX.