When you ask Holiday Builders' architectural manager Rich Hebert to identify the builder's best floor plan, he'll tell you without a doubt that it's the Morro Bay model. However, he might be a bit biased considering he owns one. “I live in a Morro Bay, and I love it. It's very functional,” he says.

Hebert is far from alone. Not only has the model struck a chord with other employees, but it has become the company's best seller. With 1,040 sold in 2005, the Morro Bay plan makes up approximately 27 percent of homes sales companywide. The plan currently sells in 23 Holiday communities in Florida and six in Alabama.

The jewel of this 2,012-square-foot model is its expansive kitchen and great room area replete with media center. The open floor design gives families flexibility in managing multiple daily activities as well as entertaining. In addition, the three-bedroom split-plan home boasts a more formal living room and dining room area and an option for a fourth bedroom or den, and a third bathroom.

Although the model's convertibility attracts large families who need more space and smaller families who love to entertain, the primary purchaser of the model is a move-up customer looking to balance elegance with affordability. Subtle architectural features such as archways, vaulted ceilings, higher quality doors and light fixtures, and a breakfast nook create an illusion of sophistication and customization that makes the home's starting price point—$185,900, including a standard home site—look like a bargain.

And value is exactly what Holiday is pushing. From the model's simple box design, which makes the home an efficient build, to its competitive pricing, Holiday aims to take market share by making the home affordable for families. Holiday's public relations specialist Jennifer Youngblood explains, “We want people to realize it is a home for the American family. … It's definitely not a custom home, and we're not positioning ourselves as that.”

And the strategy, as evident in the popularity of the Morro Bay model, may pay off. Holiday is currently ranked as a Top 10 builder in seven of the hottest Florida markets, according to data from Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.

Morro, Please

  • With its open floor plan, the Morro Bay model is Holiday's best selling floor plan, accounting for approximately 27 percent of sales companywide.
  • The average 2,012-square-foot Morro Bay is value engineered to have a price tag of $185,900, including a standard home site.
  • The standard three-bedroom split plan home sells in 23 communities in Florida and six in Alabama.