By Alison Rice. Florida is the place to be for West Coast-based builders this year. In October, KB Home closed a deal with American Heritage Homes, paying $74 million in cash and debt for the Orlando-based builder, which had more than 800 closings and $140 million in revenue last year.

In the Southwest, Meritage Corp. has added another builder to its growing fold: Perma-Bilt Homes, which closed 413 homes in Las Vegas in 2001. Meritage paid $46.6 million in cash and debt for Perma-Bilt.