Owning a home is the American dream. But in many parts of the country, this entails commuting to work over clogged roads that make the driving increasingly onerous, often consuming as many as 15 hours a week. An alternative that would put homeowners closer to work so they spend less time commuting and more at home has a definite appeal. The question is, how much are new home buyers willing to give up to get it? Quite a bit, judging by Rivermark, a new planned community near Santa Clara, Calif., which I visited recently. It's in Silicon Valley, an area where many commuters routinely spend three hours a day on the road, most of it on freeways. The first thing the Rivermark buyers have given up is a lot of money for a not-so-big house. For someone from another part of the country, the pri...
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