In mid-2005, KB Home's Orlando, Fla., division realized its townhome product was pretty much missing the wicket, so to speak, in the market. Responses to a home-buyer survey revealed that a significant number of home buyers were from the United Kingdom. These buyers were interested in a turn-key vacation home that could comfortably accommodate guests on holiday—something that the original two-story townhome floor plan couldn't fully deliver.
So the division took the original two-bedroom, two-bath floor plan back to the drawing board. Understanding that UK buyers would sacrifice square footage in the living and dining area if that meant an extra bedroom and/or bathroom, the division retooled the plan to accommodate those needs.
And the changes seem to be filling the UK buyers' bill. The division featured the revamped two-story product in two new townhome communities in the Four Corners submarket, located a short drive from major attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Both Paradise Cay and Crestwynd Bay opened in January.
Unit sales have gotten off to a strong start; the division made 44 sales opening weekend alone. Orlando division president George Glance estimates that approximately 30 percent of the buyers have been UK residents.
“Each year we survey home buyers in the central Florida area to better understand local preferences in architecture, lifestyle, and home design,” Glance says. “The feedback we received from the survey indicated that international buyers were looking for homes that offered a maintenance-free lifestyle while also providing open living areas and several bedrooms. This survey provided us with the data to support redesigning our townhome product and resulted in a successful opening of our new townhome communities in the Four Corners market.”
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.