FLEX SPACES ARE FAST BECOMING must-haves in new homes, giving buyers the option to create exactly what they crave, be it an extra bedroom suite, a study, a home theater, or a fitness room.

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Located in land-constrained Silicon Valley, this three-story, 1,192-square-foot gem may have a diminutive footprint (its lot is a mere 27 feet by 68 feet), but its floor plan can be configured to accommodate up to five private rooms.

Living space versatility, plus a cheerful neighborhood vibe, has attracted a diverse mix of buyers to this intimate community of 55 homes. Elevations are crisp and contemporary, yet evocative of tradition with their stone and wood detailing. For privacy, the third-floor master suite in Plan 5 is massed back as a crow's nest. And despite the tight quarters, cars don't dominate the landscape here: Carriage lanes lead to rear-loaded garages behind the houses.

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Category: Production/Semi-custom, less than 2,000 square feet (tie); Entrant/Architect: Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, San Ramon, Calif.; Builder/Developer: Centex Homes, San Ramon, Calif.; Land planner: Christiani Johnson Architects, San Francisco; Landscape architect: Carducci Landscape Architects, San Francisco; Interior designer: Interior Lifestyles, Costa Mesa, Calif.

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