Benchmark Builders' only active-adult community in Northern Delaware is one of its most popular.

Right now, the market for active-adult communities in Northern Delaware begins and ends with Little Falls Village. That's because this particular Benchmark Builders' 55 and better community is the only one in Northern Delaware with homesites still available. But you'd better move fast. The final construction phase is already 70 percent sold.

And no wonder. With a convenient location, well-designed floor plans and an incomparably beautiful site, Little Falls Village has been an immediate success from the beginning. Located only 15 minutes from downtown Wilmington, just off Centreville Road near Lancaster Pike, the community is completely surrounded by the Delaware National Golf Club and therefore has all the appeal of a secluded resort. A long, gracefully curving entrance road winds through steeply sloped terrain that opens to fabulous views of woodlands and fairways. Current residents can also enjoy easy drives to Philadelphia, New York and Washington-as well as to beach communities in Delaware and New Jersey.

The builder's upscale designs offer the convenience of first-floor living along with the versatility of second-floor guest suites/bonus areas. Active Adult communities like Little Falls Village guarantee a majority population of like-minded people in the same age group. They offer a built-in social life by way of a community clubhouse planned to accommodate a variety of interests-from card playing to TV sporting events, from art classes to exercise classes.

Current residents are attracted to this lifestyle because of the convenience it offers, especially freedom from home maintenance and the freedom to travel without worrying about who's looking after the property. Most of them have moved from larger family homes but had no trouble with the transition. "By the time we finished the basement, we had as much room as in our four-bedroom home," says Dave Austin, who adds that he and his wife accommodated 12 guests and four dogs over the holidays.

Bob Frederick knew immediately that he wanted to live in Little Falls Village. He put down a deposit the day after he toured the models, then told his wife about it the next day-on her birthday. "We love our place," says Arline Frederick. "We have wonderful neighbors. Although we left the house we lived in for 45 years, we never looked back. This is a delightful home." Al and Florence Gregg, residents since Sept. 2002, had looked at all the other active-adult communities in the area, including some in Pennsylvania. "We love this area, and we love being able to walk through the woods right behind us. We also like the peace and quiet," says Florence Gregg, admitting as well that Delaware's much lower property taxes gave Little Falls Village the edge over Pennsylvania communities.

The six individual floor plans featured in Little Falls Village have been designed to appeal to a variety of tastes. What they have in common are volume ceilings and an abundance of natural light. Tall first-floor windows topped with transom glass are open to the splendid views: the surrounding fairways and community open space, which includes almost half the 23-acre site. Most of the remaining homesites back to fairways; two can accommodate a walk-out lower level.

Both end units and interior units offer the choice of having the owners' suite on the first floor or the second. Either way, every home has a bedroom suite on each level in addition to loft space on the second floor large enough to qualify as a study. One of the end-unit plans offers a formal living room/dining room configuration; the remaining plans feature a more open layout with a great room and large kitchen. The recently introduced Donegal model also offers the option of a third bedroom. Standard features include nine-foot, first-floor ceilings; two and a half baths; a rear patio or deck; a garage; a security system; and gas heating/cooling.

A $102 monthly service fee takes care of snow removal, trash removal and complete lawn and garden care.

The models at Little Falls Village are open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Directions from Wilmington: Rt. 141 N to left onto Centreville Rd. to right onto Red Clay Drive West. For more information, call 302/996-9007