6 best-selling homes that hit buyers' hot buttons

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Builders share the key features behind their best-selling plans, including strong curb appeal, flexible living spaces, indoor/outdoor connections, and memorable details.

Builders share the key features behind their best-selling plans, including stron

Builders share the key features behind their best-selling plans, including strong curb appeal, flexible living spaces, indoor/ou

February 18, 2012

2. On Top of the World

Plan: Residence 2 at High Lights, Granada Hills, Calif.
Square footage: 1,230
Date introduced: April 2010
Sales to date: 22
Architect: Bucilla Group Architecture, Irvine, Calif.
Builder: Trumark Homes, Irvine, Calif.

High Lights was a distressed project that Trumark Homes purchased and turned into a hit. Architect Greg Bucilla reworked existing floor plans and designed new ones to sharpen the community’s appeal to first-time buyers with jobs in Los Angeles.

The gated community, which is close to several major freeways, offers townhomes with two-car attached garages, starting in the low $300,000s. Buyers are predominately singles and couples in the 26- to 30-year-old age group, says Trumark CEO Michael Maples.

Residence 2 has an open living room, dining room, and kitchen area that make it feel much larger than 1,230 square feet. The master suite and living areas are on the second floor to capture views of the San Fernando Valley below. The first-floor bedroom and bath can be used as a guest room or home office, but it’s also perfect for a roommate.

“Several buyers have commented, ‘Oh, I can rent this bedroom out,’” Maples says.

The builder’s marketing strategy includes regular e-mail blasts to buyers and brokers; Facebook and Twitter pages; a community blog; on-site and off-site signage; and promotions such as online photo contests. A series of videos on YouTube feature model-home tours with Barak, a local comedian and actor. One of the videos has been viewed more than 2,000 times, says Maples.

“We chose Barak because he has a following around Los Angeles consisting of the demographic that is our buyer profile,” he says. “We knew he would be humorous and even make fun of us at times. We feel the sales encounter needs to be more authentic and transparent, thus we don’t want to come off like we are ‘selling’ them.”

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