Why It Worked: Research conducted with local home buyers revealed demand for move-up homes with more amenities, such as the 16 miles of hiking trails that connect with a county-wide trail system.

  • Features not offered by the competition include air conditioning as standard, a $4,000 incentive toward a McMillin mortgage, the availability of top resale agents to help buyers with contingencies, and an up-scale but rural lifestyle in a suburban area.
  • Given its Scripps Ranch location—last year's devastating wildfires happened nearby—the homes are built with a number of fire-resistant features, including one-hour rated balconies and fire-resistant concrete tile roofing.
  • Each of the three floor plans (California Craftsman, Spanish Revival, and Traditional) is two stories and has a three-car tandem or split garages. Four to seven bedrooms and two to six-and-a-half bathrooms are available.
  • In addition to 1,800 acres of natural open spaces, StoneBridge Estates will feature two large community parks and ball fields.
  • Plan 3, the Kingston, is the most popular and is best suited for large families. It has a feeling of openness, a courtyard entry, high ceilings, and a sizeable loft.
  • Project Credits
    Project: Mill Creek at StoneBridge Estates, San Diego; Sales started: January 2004; Sales through August 2004: 66; Units planned: 109; Price: $868,990 to $977,990; Unit size: 2,947 to 3,563 square feet; Builder: McMillin Homes, National City, Calif.; Developer: The Corky McMillin Cos., National City; Architect: McKinley & Associates, San Diego; Land planner: McMillin Land Development, National City; Landscape architect: Van Dyke Partners, San Diego; Interior designer: Design Line Interiors, San Diego

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