Some of the Washington area's best builders, have chosen sites in St. Charles, and both residents and "lookers" alike couldn't be happier.

Single family homes are ranging in price from high $40's to the $70's - offered by such builders as Pulte, Ryland, St. Charles Homes, Washington Homes, Revere, George Brothers, Harmony, Oakridge, and Raleigh Homes.

Townhouses, beginning under $40,000 are being offered by Pulte, St. Charles Homes, and Washington Homes. And Page, a division of U.S. Homes, offers unusual triplex units, complete with fireplace and integral garages, from the low $40's.

One aspect of St. Charles' surging popularity is that builders are selling many homes sight unseen. According to one builder, "our model homes won't be completed for several months, but pre-selling has already begun at a healthy pace."

Another builder acknowledges that buyers will save money by purchasing during preview periods. "A home may increase in price by the time models are up, so the astute buyer comes down here and captures the same home for a lot less than if he waited - plus the buyers have first choice of sites, and that can make a big difference."

Some builders have commented about the obvious value of St. Charles as a selling point. "It's ironic," says Rollan Grice, Pulte's Eastern Division VP Marketing & Sales, "but people can enjoy all the benefits of St. Charles without paying a stiff premium for their homes. In some communities, amenities like we have in St. Charles would add quite a bit to the selling price. I hope it stays that way for some time.

So do househunters, who have their pick of approximately thirty different models, in all kinds of price ranges. To househunters in a hurry, one simple trip to St. Charles covers just about every price, style, and site combination that's normally encountered in three or four days of trekking in and out of Washington's real estate market. CAPTION: Picture, The Madison, $65,975, by Harmony Homes. A beautiful 3-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath colonial with a large family room and 2-car garage. Options include a fourth bedroom, brick fireplace, and many other features and choices.