The Dallas Morning News' Steve Brown takes a look at the "drive til you qualify" dynamics of today's housing market, as soaring prices in North Texas are pushing buyers to go farther out to find anything under $200,000.

That goes double for new homes, with some notable exceptions. D.R. Horton, LGI Homes and some other builders active in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro are offering some homes under that $200,000 threshold:

“We’re lucky we have home lots at a cost where we can afford to build at this price point,” said Centex sales manager Mike Goza, showing off the builder’s new homes in Little Elm in Denton County.

Centex sells under $200,000 houses in a handful of North Texas communities. One of them is Paloma Creek off U.S. Highway 380.

The single-family homes start at about $175,000 for the basic model with around 1,600 square feet ... “We use granite counter tops in the kitchen, which is a big wow factor for first-time buyers,” Goza said. “Four of our seven floor plans in this community start under $200,000.”

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