JUST ABOUT EVERY BUYER IN THE KANSAS CITY, KAN., market wants a daylight or walk-out basement. That's fine when you have the lots to accommodate them. But Minneapolis-based developer RDK Properties didn't have them. The 10-acre infill site was a flat expanse of ground, the final piece of a larger tract that had been sold off in parcels. It is located on a major street, close to an upscale shopping area.

Real estate consultant and project manager John Groebe worked with architect Dean Smith to create Glynmor, a community of 23 spacious manor houses that Groebe describes as “reverse ranches.” Shawnee, Kan.–based J.S. Robinson Fine Homes built the houses, which range in size from 3,296 to 4,106 square feet.

“Most of the product being built [in Kansas City] is narrower and deep,” Groebe says. “I wanted the homes to be wider.”

While most builders in the area offer one or two bedrooms on the first floor while finishing the lower-level space, Glynmor's homes have two bedrooms and a den on a large main level, plus smaller, finished lower levels with media or game rooms and third bedrooms or guest suites. Light wells in the foundations and staircases on the backs of the houses bring natural light to the basement level

The elevations are traditional country French and English, using courtyard detailing and stone to draw attention from the front-loaded, three-car garages, Groebe says. Adding to the sense of a true manor home, Glynmor is a service-provided community; the monthly homeowner association fees include yard care, trash pickup, and snow removal.

In a bit of a twist, the houses were priced to include every option the builder offers.

“We did not have a base price and an option price,” Groebe says. “We showed them a complete house. If they didn't want certain things, we gave them a credit, which was kind of unique.”

Market: Kansas City, Kan.; Project: Glynmor, Overland Park, Kan.; Sales started: May 2003; Sales through March 2004: 20; Total units planned: 23; Unit size: 3,296 to 4,106 square feet; Price: $460,000 to $660,000; Builder: J.S. Robinson Fine Homes, Shawnee, Kan.; Developer: RDK Properties, Minneapolis; Architect: Elswood Smith Carlson, Overland Park

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Kansas City, MO.