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2017 design trends for outdoor living spaces

Categories: New Homes | Posted: April 20, 2017

For months, you’ve been looking outside, yearning for the days when you could relax, play, and entertain out there. With all this time to think about it, have you considered ways to improve or upgrade your outdoor living spaces?

New products have been introduced and we’re seeing a variety of 2017 design trends for outdoor living spaces. See if any of these decorating ideas sparks your desire to make some changes.

Outdoor kitchens are growing. The grill just isn’t enough for the person who likes to cook and entertain outdoors. The outdoor kitchen now incorporates a refrigerator, sink, warming drawer, smoker, beer tap, wine chiller, and maybe even a pizza oven or cooktop. Homeowners are installing cabinets that can withstand the weather, to complete this fun and functional space.

Outdoor fireplaces and fire pats sparked a frenzy. At the end of the day, relax in front of a crackling fire and indulge in gourmet s’mores. From simple to sophisticated, the scope of your fire feature can reflect any style. Create a hearth on your patio or build a fire pit that can be rustic, sleek, or anywhere in between.

Furnish it in style. With the passion for more stylish outdoor living spaces, you have more choices in outdoor furniture that’s durable, comfortable, and attractive. This year, expect to see natural materials—like wicker and rattan—in more vibrant colors than the traditional white. Accent pieces—like ottomans, side tables, and outdoor rugs—are showing up in every style imaginable. No matter what color palette you choose, you can find cushions and pillows to match.

Exterior lighting choices are broader and brighter. With new technology, you can add light outdoors, where you need. Solar lights can stick in the ground, hang from a tree, sit on a table, or be strung around, across, or above your spaces. Lanterns, lamps, and chandeliers allow you to create the style of indoor living outside the walls of your home. LED bulbs are also lighting the way for homeowners who want more light with less energy use.

Low maintenance is a high priority. Homeowner don’t want to spend long hours keeping their outdoor spaces looking good and staying safe. Stain-resistant concrete paving provides an easy-care surface that has become the preference over wood flooring outdoors—and the wide range of colors and patterns gives you the look you want.

Reduce lawn care by converting lawn to garden and planting perennials and sprawling ground cover. Some homeowners are also trending toward the use of synthetic grass and artificial turf, which have grown to appear far more realistic than the plastic grass you might recall.

With all the time you’ll be spending outdoors in the months ahead, isn’t it worth sprucing up your outdoor living space?

Builder Partnerships Names American Classic Homes Winners of Customer Satisfaction Achievement Award for a Third Year in a Row

Categories: American Classic News, Home Builder Awards, New Homes, Recognition of Home Builders, Seattle | Posted: March 21, 2017

Denver, Co. – American Classic Homes, a New Home builder based in Mercer Island, Washington was awarded Highest Distinction in Customer Satisfaction in the Builder Partnerships Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction for the third year in a row.

“In these days of increasing demand for homes, builders must be focused on customer satisfaction, and the best builders are,” says Monica Wheaton, CEO of Builder Partnerships. “The Builder Partnerships Achievement Award for Customer Satisfaction recognizes those companies that have high standards, company culture, and processes in place to deliver what is most important to home buyers—quality construction and a great buying experience. American Classic Homes certainly fits that bill.”

To assure a high integrity process, Builder Partnerships put together a team of industry experts, including Chuck Shinn of Builder Partnerships, Littleton, Colorado; Charlie Scott of Woodland, O’Brien and Scott, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Carol Smith of Home Address, Colorado Springs, Colorado to be part of the Evaluation Committee for the award. To be considered for this recognition, applicants needed to have at least 88% of its home buyers say they were willing to refer the company to friends or family. Once clearing that hurdle, the company’s customer service and referral rate were further evaluated in an in-depth review of its processes and documentation. Builders scoring at least 100 points on their evaluation scores earned Highest Distinction.

American Classic Homes has built a strong culture focused on customer satisfaction that permeates the company. In addition, it has worked hard to build processes that encourage suppliers and trade contractors to support that effort, and the final beneficiary is the home buyer.

The Builder Partnerships Achievement Award differentiates itself from other recognitions in two key areas. First, it is an independent and cost-effective customer satisfaction measurement that is available to all builders, not just those in certain markets or of a certain size.

Second, the award does not rank one builder against another but recognizes all builders who achieve a benchmark of customer satisfaction, which gives home buyers a truer measure of a company’s quality.

 


About Builder Partnerships: Builder Partnerships is a member organization focused on providing management training and consulting to help builders improve their performance and profit.  Currently we represent approximately 550 builders in the United States and Canada who have projected about 75,000 homes built collectively this year.  With over 75 manufacturer and service providers associated with our group, Builder Partnerships also manages streamlined, competitive incentive programs and works to strengthen relationships between builders, manufacturers and other service providers in the industry. www.BuilderPartnerships.com

About Woodland, O’Brien & Scott: Woodland, O’Brien & Scott is one of the housing industries original customer satisfaction survey and consulting firms. The Principal Partners of Woodland, O’Brien & Scott have more than 60 years of first hand homebuilding experience and utilize this experience along with proprietary surveys, and software to identify client strengths, weaknesses, provide benchmarking services, and identify client performance improvement opportunities. Learn more about Woodland, O’Brien & Scott at www.woodlandobrien.com or by contacting Charlie Scott at CharlieS@woodlandobrien.com.

About Home Address: For more than 30 years, Carol Smith and Home Address have provided home builders with practical insights and proven techniques that cut to the heart of any service issue. Smith’s methods have helped hundreds of builders develop better service expertise, establish a stronger position in a challenging market and win genuine customer loyalty.

For more information or media inquiries about the Builder Partnerships Achievement Awards, please contact Monica Wheaton, CEO, Builder Partnerships, monica@builderpartnerships.com Phone: 800-456-7865. Web:  www.BuilderPartnerships.com

14 questions to ask your homebuilder

Categories: New Homes | Posted: March 9, 2017

The process of progressing your custom home from vision to move-in should be an exciting experience. Choosing the right homebuilder is the first step toward ensuring your satisfaction. Here are 14 questions to ask your homebuilder before making this important choice.

  1. Will you build on my lot or do I need to purchase property from you? Some homebuilders focus on their own communities, while others will build elsewhere. Certainly, if you already have land in mind, you need a homebuilder who will build on your lot.
  2. Can I provide my own plans or do I need to choose one of yours? Some homebuilders stick with their own home designs because they’re “tried and true”. Others are comfortable working with quality home plans from another source (emphasis on “quality”).
  3. How many homes like the one I’m looking for have you built in this area? When a homebuilder is familiar with the geography, regulations, and challenges of building a home of a particular size and with certain features, you have the peace of mind that he is experienced with successfully navigating each one. That means timely construction without unanticipated overruns.
  4. Are you licensed and insured? Protect yourself by choosing a builder who can provide proof of insurance and a current builder’s license for the state where your home will be built.
  5. Do you offer a financing option? Is there a preferred lender you use? It can be convenient to use a homebuilder’s preferred lender, and they might offer better options than another lender. Before you decide on your homebuilder, determine your choices and whether or not you must use a preferred lender.
  6. What is standard in your homes and what is considered an upgrade? You need to determine what’s included in your price, so you’re comparing apples to apples with all of your homebuilders. Some standard features are options for other builders. Be clear about what you’re getting, particularly for those features that are important to you.
  7. Can I make changes after the construction has begun? It will cost more to make changes, and that price often goes up the farther along your home is in the building process. Discuss how your homebuilder handles changes so you know what to expect.
  8. What type of home warranty do you include? Appliances are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. The quality of the structure (workmanship, systems, materials) should be covered by the builder’s warranty. The builder will specify the time period, so ask how long they guarantee your home and how repairs are handled during this time.
  9. What energy-efficient features do you include? Today’s appliances, construction materials (windows, doors, insulation), and HVAC systems are geared toward energy efficiency. Ask each builder to explain the extent of their energy efficient commitment.
  10. Can you provide references from your homeowners, and can I tour a few of your homes? With any major purchase, you check reviews of past customers. Don’t be shy about asking for references. A reliable homebuilder will proudly share his successes.
  11. Who will be in charge of building my home? Can I meet this person? The contractor or project manager will become your close friend during the construction of your custom home. Learn that person’s experience and then talk to him before making your decision. Is he easy to work with and accessible? Does he understand and appreciate your concerns? How is communication handled?
  12. Is landscaping included in the price? If so, what exactly do you provide? Know whether you are getting a lawn, shrubs, and/or trees, and specifically which plants are included.
  13. How often can I tour the worksite? It’s your home, and you should be able to visit during construction, but showing up unannounced or too frequently can impede the progress. Determine the best process and schedule for arranging these tours.
  14. What is the estimated time to complete the homebuilding? When can you start? One builder might be able to complete your home in three months but has a backlog and can’t start soon enough to meet your deadline. Ask for realistic start and completion dates, and any factors that will impact them.

Are you ready to right-size your home and your life?

Categories: New Homes | Posted: February 23, 2017

We’re hearing so much talk about “down-sizing” these days. People are finding ways to step back from quantity, and focus on quality. Simplify. Get rid of the excess. Live with less.

But is “down-sizing” really the right term? Maybe “right-sizing” is more accurate. Find the lifestyle that provides a better fit to your current priorities. Ten or twenty years ago, living in a suburb, for example, might have been the right choice, and the commute was worth it because your kids were in a great school district. Now, you might be yearning for a more walkable way of life. Conversely, your “right-size” lifestyle could include a stronger sense of community that comes with living in a non-urban neighborhood.

Are you ready to right-size your home and your life? Here are some clues that it’s time to consider that shift.

Your home feels cluttered.

Are you tired of navigating around the furnishings or spending too much time dusting all the items you’ve collected over the years? Is your closet overflowing with clothes you haven’t worn for a year or more? Has your attic or garage grown into a stash for things you really shouldn’t hold on to?

When the walls start closing in from the clutter, treat yourself to a good purge. Put sentiment aside. You don’t need all your kids’ homework papers and artwork. And just because that chair is comfortable, be honest—it’s an eyesore.

Donate usable items that have outlived their life in your home, but could be valuable to others. As you sort through what’s worth keeping, ask yourself, “Would I miss this?” When you’re truthful with yourself, you’ll discover you’ve been cluttering your life with things that have lost their meaning.

Your home feels larger than it used to.

Have you become tired of traipsing up and down the stairs? Do you have rooms that you’re not using regularly? Has it become more of a chore than a joy to maintain your yard?

It’s almost inevitable for a spacious home that was the right size for your life a few years ago to seem to grow as you reach a point when bigger isn’t better. Do you need extra bedrooms or that extra bathroom that is rarely used? You just might be ready to move to a right-sized home.

You want to lower your expenses.

When you’re in a home that doesn’t fit quite right, you’ll notice that certain household costs don’t feel right either. Your utility bill seems high for your current household. You might not feel that paying a monthly HOA is worthwhile now. Possibly, maintaining things like a pool aren’t delivering an appreciable return on investment. And you’re seeing the expense of costly replacements, like a new roof, furnace, air conditioning system, or other feature that is seeing the end of its life.

You’re more actively browsing home and interior designs.

You find yourself poking around HGTV, Pinterest, and home improvement shows, magazines, and websites for ideas to spark change—interior, exterior, or both. The fact that you’re straying this way shows you’re not satisfied with your home. Maybe you can make cosmetic changes, but ask yourself if that’s enough to fit your lifestyle in the years ahead.

Consider your needs today, not in the past. Determine what your right-size life and home would look like. Then take action to reshape it!

American Classic Homes Opens New Model Home at The Enclave Community in Renton, WA

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, New Homes, Renton Homes | Posted: December 15, 2016

American Classic Homes is thrilled to present our beautiful New Model Home at The Enclave in Renton, WA. We invite you to discover what community is all about at our Model Home Preview This Weekend!

When: Saturday, December 17th & Sunday, December 18th
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: 6513 SE 7th Place Renton, WA 98059

We look forward to seeing you at our brand new fully furnished model home at The Enclave this weekend! If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own private tour, please give us a call at (206) 557-6353 or email Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.

 

About the neighborhood: The Enclave is American Classic Homes’ largest new home community in Renton. The Enclave features 31 spacious homes that will range from 3,462-5,210 square feet, 4-7 bedrooms, and up to 4.5 baths. Some home plans will include main-level guest suites, bonus rooms, master suites on the main floor, and daylight basements. This desirable location offers convenient access to I-405 and WA-169.

 

Schools: The Enclave will be served by the highly rated Renton School District including:

  • Maplewood Heights Elementary School
  • Mcknight Middle School and
  • Hazen Senior High School

 

Driving Directions:
• Take I-405 S Exit 4 to Sunset Blvd N
• Take a left onto WA-169 S
• Turn left onto 154th Place SE
• Turn right onto SE 6th Street
• The Model Home will be on the right at 6513 SE 7th Place Renton, WA 98059 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a sneak peak of the brand new model home at The Enclave beginning to be staged!

The price of procrastination: Mortgage rates are rising

Categories: New Homes | Posted: December 8, 2016

Homebuyers have been reaping rewards of a struggling economy since the recession. Housing prices and interest rates dropped to historic lows in 2009, and have not fully recovered in the years that followed.

Like all good things—if you’re a homebuyer, that is—the bargain is coming to an end.

At this writing, the rate for a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage is 4.01%. Three months ago, it was 3.579%. On the plus side, the current rate matches where we were in January 2016. We had a dip this year, but it’s not expected to happen again.

When you compare these numbers with the significantly higher rates in the early 2000s (approximately 6.3%), does this small change make enough difference to push the procrastinators off the fence?

Let’s look at the price of procrastination as mortgage rates are rising.

Purchase price: $295,000

30-year FRM

At 3.6%           $1,341 per month

At 4.6%           $1,512 per month

Over the life of the loan, paying one percent more for your mortgage will cost you an additional $61,560.

Housing prices are rising. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index posted a 6% increase in the past twelve months.

Based on the above scenario, you’ll spend $171 every month because you decided to wait. Are you getting more value? No. In fact, while you’re waiting, the price of your new home is increasing, along with the mortgage rate. That home you could have bought for $295,000 is probably going to cost you about $312,000 in six months or so.

If you don’t mind spending more money for a home, you can continue to wait, but be prepared to tack on the price of procrastination to your budget.

The 6 Hottest Home Design Trends of 2017

Categories: Home Design Trends, New Home Selections, New Homes | Posted: September 26, 2016

From multi-functional designs and elements to mixing metal finishes, we had some of the top designers and professionals weigh in on the hottest trends you’ll be seeing in 2017.


Liz Toombs, C.I.D, Owner, Polka Dots & Rosebuds Interiors & Out of the Box Room Design

 

Home Design Trends wallpaper

Wallcoverings have matured since your grandmother had bold  floral prints adorning her walls. I personally love grass cloth. The key to choosing the right paper is to make sure the busyness of the pattern is appropriate for the space where it will hang.  I advise clients to avoid a busy print in a large, regularly used space like their living room, as they will likely tire of it quickly.  Contrary to that, a powder bath is a small space where not much time is spent, so it’s safe to be bold on those walls! If you’re afraid to commit to a wallpaper, try it out in a small area of your home such as the back of a bookcase or china cabinet. If you like how it turns out, consider adding some pattern and texture to other areas of your home.  Be careful not to paper everything, choosing strategic placement for wallpaper gives you maximum impact.

 

Home Design Trends Mixed Metals

Mixing finishes – Tastefully mixing metal finishes in your home is very chic. We are mixing our metals in jewelry, and the look is stunning. Why would home fashion be any different? Homeowners often feel they have to choose one metal finish and stick to it throughout their entire house – not true.  Don’t get pigeonholed into one finish. Mix things up and you’ll be surprised how naturally things work together. Antique brass and oil rubbed bronze are my personal favorite combination.

 

 


Sacha Ferrandi, Founder, Source Capital Funding, Inc.

 

Home Design Trends Smart HomeOne of the biggest trends in 2017 will be the rise of ‘Smart Everything’. As appliances and amenities that connect with the internet (such as Nest, smart fridges, heated driveways, etc.) become more affordable, we will see a rise in this type of ‘custom’ design in new homes and renovations.

These smart appliances are part of a general trend of customization in the home design world. This is especially true for Millennials that are entering the home industry, as they want to purchase homes that are built around their interest and desires.

 


Matthew Goodwin, Founder and President, Ver-Tex Construction Specialties, Inc.

 

Home Design Trends ShadesOne of the biggest trends we see continuing to increase is daylight  harvesting. Daylight harvesting maximizes natural light, helping to enhance efficiency and productivity, while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your space.

Motorized shades can be a tremendous aid to maximizing how you use (and conserve) daylight, especially when those shades or blinds are integrated into a smart home automation system. On a sunny day, the space uses less artificial light. On a cloudy day, the interior lights will brighten to create the ideal work environment.

These shading systems also protect furniture, fine art, rugs, and even wood surfaces, from the sun’s damaging UV rays. As more families move towards creating a smart home, motorized shade control with iPad apps and new
remote controls are increasing in popularity.


Doug Hopeman, CEO, Artificial Plants and Trees
Home Design Trends outdoorseating

 

The use of multi-purpose furniture will be a huge design trend we see next year. Many homeowners are looking for furniture that is versatile and weather-proof but still modern and luxurious.

 

 

 

 

 


Lilian H Weinreich, Owner, Lilian H Weinreich Architects

Project: Bleecker Street Renovation Architect: Lilian Weinreich Architects Location: New York NY

Elegant room dividers: full height sliding partitions are multi-functional and multi-user friendly.

No matter the ceiling height, full height partitions elongate a space. They can also be used as folding screens to provide privacy, in the image below, a folding screen shields the view from the front door. Partitions can also create flexibility by dividing spaces. Glazed screens allow daylighting while still providing privacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


image of mixed metal kitchen by Houzz

 

Secure Your Lot at Penny Lane in Sammamish

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, New Homes, Sammamish Homes, Sammamish Plateau | Posted: August 26, 2016

Rosario Home PlanAmerican Classic Homes, a premier family owned Washington homebuilder, has announced that its latest Sammamish community, Penny Lane, is aiming to debut in the fall of 2016. In response to the growing number of inquiries and the high demand for spacious home designs, the award winning home builder is allowing buyers to reserve their choice of lots in this new home community. American Classic Homes will start accepting lot reservations on September 6th, 2016, prior to the community’s final plat approval, which gives buyers the opportunity to secure their preferred lot without competing with the general public.

This exclusive community will feature eleven spacious homes that include professional grade kitchens, superior finishes, as well as included features that are upgrades at other builders. Each home also includes the personalized experience that homebuyers have come to expect from American Classic Homes.

Penny Lane offers large lots, daylight basements on specific lots, and a private community park that our residents will value in this cul-de-sac location. Penny Lane is also within walking distance to the beautiful 54-acre Beaver Lake Park.

Located less than 3 miles south east of the planned Sammamish town center, Penny Lane will offer convenient access to I-90 and WA-202, with employers such as Microsoft and Costco close by. The highly rated schools of the Issaquah School District will serve the community.

Homes will range in size from approximately 3,600 to 5,100 square feet, and include many luxurious features – expansive floor plans, spacious master suites and the beautiful architectural elements that characterize every American Classic Homes community.

Reserving a lot at Penny Lane is a welcomed opportunity for many buyers who are looking to buy in Sammamish. Making a simple lot reservation will give buyers the opportunity to select their preferred lot for the American Classic Home of their dreams before the general public. Due to this unique advanced opportunity, buyers who would like to reserve their lot can tour the Penny Lane model home at our nearby community, Discovery Grove, located at 2902 226th PL SE, Sammamish, WA 98075. Schedule your private model home tour by calling our new home advisor Summer Davis at (206) 557-6348.

For more information or to sign up for the American Classic Home VIP list to be the first to learn about new updates be sure to sign up on on the Penny Lane community page or call Summer Davis at (206) 557-6348.

American Classic Homes Opens New Discovery Grove Model Home

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, New Homes, Sammamish Homes, Washington | Posted: August 23, 2016

American Classic Homes is thrilled to debut our beautiful New Model Home at Discovery Grove. We invite you to discover what this beautiful Sammamish community is all about at our Discovery Grove Model Home Opening This Weekend!

When: Saturday, August 27th & Sunday, August 28th
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: 2902 226th PL SE, Sammamish, WA 98075

We look forward to seeing you at our brand new fully furnished Discovery Grove model home this weekend! Discovery Grove homes are selling fast, with 6 of these 12 homes already spoken for. Inside the homes you’ll find luxury finishes including granite or quartz kitchen counters, commercial style kitchen appliances and a large freestanding soaking tub in the master bathroom. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own private tour that best fits your schedule, please give us a call at (206) 557-6308 or email Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.

About the neighborhood: Discovery Grove is a community of 12 new homes located in the Sammamish in Washington State. Discovery Grove is located within walking distance to Pine Lake Middle School, Pine Lake Park, Pine Lake Village Shopping Center, and the South Sammamish Park and Ride Station. Only a short drive from I-90, the location allows quick access to Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue and Sea-Tac.

Schools: Discovery Grove is served by the Issaquah School District, one of the most highly acclaimed school districts in Washington State.
• Creekside Elementary School
• Pine Lake Middle School
• Skyline High School

Driving Directions:
• Taking I-90 E
• Take Exit 17 towards E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE
• Continue on SE 30th St, Drive to 226th Ave SE
• Turn left onto SE 30th St
• Turn right onto 224th Pl SE, Continue onto 226th Ave SE
• Turn Right onto SE 29th St
• Turn Right onto SE 29th St
• Turn right onto 226th Pl St
The Model Home is located at 2902 226th PL SE, Sammamish, WA 98075

Sammamish Showcase Home Tour June 11-12

Categories: American Classic News, New Homes, Sammamish Homes | Posted: June 9, 2016

Sammamish Tour 2016Join us for the 1st Annual Sammamish Showcase Home Tour on Saturday, June 11 – Sunday, June 12. This tour will feature a professionally decorated and designed Islander home plan in Sammamish. Grab your friends and enjoy viewing this beautiful homes!

 

The Decorated Home location is

2201 239th Place SE, Sammamish WA 98075

Hours:

Saturday, June 11: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sunday, June 12: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

 

View a map of the location, or for additional information contact Summer at Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com or 206.557.6385

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