WHY IT WORKED: When Falls Run, an active adult community outside Washington, opened in February 2002, it was a case of right time, right location. It appeals to those 55 and older who want a resort lifestyle but don't want to give up being close to family and friends. “Our original plans called for a five-year sales timeline, but we now expect to be sold out of our single-family homes before year's end,” says Christopher Ryan, vice president of Del Webb Communities of Virginia. “We believe our villa homes will sell out at a similar pace.”

  • Activities are a big draw at Falls Run. Recent community trips took residents to New York, Ireland, France, and England.
  • Maintenance-free attached villa homes are now part of the product mix, and they've proven to be a popular alternative for those who want the convenience of single-level living. Villas, ranging in size from 1,288 to 4,000 square feet, offer flexible floor plans that can include recreation rooms, hobby rooms, and optional walk-out basements.
  • Proximity to Washington is paramount for most buyers, who want to stay close to family, friends, and, in some cases, jobs.
  • The Potomac 1, a detached single-family house, is the community's best-seller. Available from $240,400, it features two bedrooms, two baths, a two-car garage, and a large gathering room off the open kitchen and nook area. PROJECT CREDITSProject: Falls Run, Fredericksburg, Va.; Sales started: February 2002; Sales through August 2004: 591; Units planned: 783; Price: $208,400 to $324,400; Unit size: 1,288 to 4,000 square feet; Builder/Developer/Architect: Del Webb (a subsidiary of Pulte Homes), Fredericksburg, Va.; Land planner/Landscape architect: Brickman Group, Baltimore; Interior designer: Louis Tyler, Olney, Md.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.