Hard to believe this gem of an infill site was once occupied by a junkyard. “Local folklore even has it that the eccentric former owner had a bomb shelter under there, which we haven't confirmed, although we did find a reinforced underground concrete room when we started digging,” says architect and developer Alex Kosich.

Now the site's 11 age-qualified bungalows facing a central green are quite possibly the perfect retirement spot. Located within walking distance of restaurants, shops, churches, a hospital, and civic buildings, the 1,400-square-foot, Craftsman-style homes feature generous porches, low-maintenance fiber-cement shake siding, space-saving built-ins, and universal design features such as wider hallways, roll-in showers, and electrical wall outlets that are located a smidge higher than standard. Secondary bedrooms feature direct access doors to the outside, making them ideal for home-based businesses or live-in care-givers.

See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners

Category: Active adult community;

Entrant/Architect/Developer/Land planner: Alex S. Kosich Architect, Tehachapi, Calif.;

Builder: Tehachapi Summit Construction, Tehachapi;

Interior designer: Path Designs, Santa Ana, Calif.;

Landscape architect: Sue Mathis Landscape Design, Mojave, Calif.

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