WHY IT WORKED: With home prices starting in the $230,000s, this southwest suburban Chicago community offers first-time buyers a crack at large homes on large lots—only 40 miles from the Windy City.

  • While exterior elevations use classic elements of a traditional Midwestern home (cedar-style siding, front porches), interiors feature the kinds of open floor plans more commonly found on the West Coast.
  • Lots average a respectable 14,000 square feet, a definite hit with young families.
  • The best-selling, 2,559-square-foot Delaware plan features secondary bedrooms with walk-in closets; kitchens with breakfast bar, pantry, and laundry room access; and a loft area that can be converted to a fourth bedroom.PROJECT CREDITSProject: Streams of Plainfield, Plainfield, Ill.; Sales started: January 2005; Sales through July 2005: 46; Units planned: 146; Price: $239,900 to $290,900; Unit size: 1,834 to 3,609 square feet; Builder/Developer: KB Home, Schaumberg, Ill.; Architect: KB Home, Los Angeles; Land planner/Landscape architect: The Olson Design Group, Lisle, Ill.; Interior designer: KM Design, Beach Park, Ill.

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