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Lakeside Estates Construction is Moving Along

Categories: American Classic News | Posted: May 17, 2013

Lakeside Estates, our newest community, is transforming very quickly. The community, which features 5 new homes from 3,400 square feet, priced at $1.3+ million, will feature numerous new American Classic Homes floor plans, including the Islander, Groveland, and Roanoke, in addition to others. All of the homes are located on a quiet and private tree-lined street, only minutes away from I-90 and less than 10 minutes to downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle. Three of the homes will feature lake views, while the rest enjoy privacy and mature trees.

As to the status of each home site (note photos are slightly outdated):

Lot 1 (AVAILABLE): Foundation has been poured and back filled. Framing will start shortly.

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Lot 2 (AVAILABLE): Foundation has been poured and back filled. Framing will start shortly.

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Lot 3 (AVAILABLE): Framing is almost done. Electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roofing work will begin soon.

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Lot 4 (SOLD): Framing, HVAC, plumbing, roofing, and siding has been completed. Electrical is being installed. Drywall will be installed next week.

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Lot 5 (SOLD): Under Permit Review.

 

If your ready to make the move up to an “American Classic Homes” Home, give us a call at 206.588.1147 or call our listing agent Thuan Howard at 425.445.3252. American Classic Homes builds new homes all around the Seattle metropolitan area including in the cities of Renton, Newcastle, Sammamish, Kirkland, Bellevue, & Mercer Island. American Classic Homes can also help you build your custom dream home.

 

7 Tips to Get Top Dollar When Selling Your Old Home

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: May 8, 2013

 

If you are preparing to sell your old house (maybe to upgrade to a brand new home by American Classic Homes!) read these tips on cheap and easy to do things that will get you top dollar for your old home.

 

  1. Fight Against the Clutter. One of the biggest turn offs for a potential buyer is clutter. Clutter will make your home feel cramped instead of the open, spacious, and airy feeling buyers are looking for. Clutter will also get in the way of potential buyers envisioning how they can customize the space. Buyers oftentimes like to imagine placing furniture and other items in a room, but if the room already has say two couches, a coffee table, two end tables, two rocking chairs, and a bean bag, it might make imagining that much harder for a buyer. Keeping your possessions organized will also make the buyer feel as if your home has lots of storage space. If you can’t hide all of your home’s clutter easily, consider renting a storage space. Removing bulky items like puffy winter coats and blankets can free up a lot of space. The more home buyers that are turned off by your clutter, the less demand for your home. Keeping in mind the rule of supply and demand, that means your house will sell for less money.
  2. Curb Appeal Will Get You the Offer. First impressions are everything. Although it might sound like a cliche (and it definitely is), many buyers will drive past your house and not even consider stepping inside your home if it lacks curb appeal. In many ways, a home represents who you are, so do you want your home to look tired, un-kept, boring, and dull? I don’t think so. Power washing the exterior of your home as well as the driveway and sidewalk can make a world of difference. A fresh coat of paint always looks nice as well, and generally isn’t too cost prohibitive. Painting doors and accent pieces like shutters a bright and/or contrasting color can also significantly boost your curb appeal. Remember though, it’s not just about the house itself. Make sure your lawn looks tidy, cut to a proper length, with some nice green blades of grass. Considering fertilizing and weeding your lawn starting a few months before you sell, so it looks great by the time you put your house on the market. Hiring a landscaping company isn’t too expensive either for general maintenance such as this (although many company’s require service contracts-which you can buy and include in the sale of your home). If your grass is past the point of repair, you can generally get landscape contractors to install sod at a little over $1 a square foot. Making sure your front yard has some color is also quite important. If it lacks color, buy some vibrant flowers, shrubs, and bushes to spruce it up. Remember, many times buyers will look at photos of your home to determine if they want to visit it, so having great curb appeal in the photos will bring you a lot more buyers.
  3. Scrub it Down. Have you ever been somewhere so dirty that you just felt like you needed to shower after seeing it? Although you’re home may not be that dirty, it’s important to have it spotless. Make sure your carpets are washed or replaced, your hardwood floors are nice and shiny, and the grout lines between your tile floors are clean. Aside from having general things cleaned up, remember to have your cabinet drawers, oven, and stove clean and debris free. You should also remove spider webs and bugs the moment you see them, as bugs and critters are a huge turn off to buyers. Also try to neutralize the odors your pet is responsible for, an air fresher can do the trick
  4. Do it Right, Don’t Cover it Up. Plain and simple, don’t paint lipstick on a pig. If you have a stain on your wall or ceiling, take the extra effort to paint the whole area, instead of just over the stain. Potential buyers will be turned off if they realize you’re taking shortcuts.
  5. Blend into Your Surroundings. As mentioned before, potential buyers need to be able to envision living in your home. By removing some of your personal items such as photos, souvenirs, your kids’ toys, your pets’ beds and toys, and other items, buyers will be able to feel more at home. Religious holiday decor can also turn some buyers off, as they may not relate to the decor you have. You should also repaint rooms that don’t have neutral colors, since some buyers can’t get past crazy colors.
  6. Stage. Stage. Stage.  Just because you think your furnishings look nice and make your home feel open, doesn’t mean that others think the same. For around $200 (+/- for the size and value of the house) a professional stager will walk through your house and create a punch list of simple things that you can do to make your house more appealing to others.  Many stagers will help you to set up a room for its original intention (for example using a dining room as a home office can confuse buyers) so buyers know exactly what it’s used for. If your home is already vacant, a stager will come in and provide furnishings for around 2% of the list price. Generally your home will sell much quicker if its staged and for a higher price. In fact, 94% of homes staged by an accredited stager sold in 29 days or less, compared to an average of 145 days for homes that were not staged. Remember, you don’t need to stage every room of the house, but only the ones that make the most impact such as the family room, kitchen, and master bedroom.

 

If your ready to make the move up to an “American Classic Homes” Home, give us a call at 206.588.1147 or call our listing agent Thuan Howard at 425.445.3252. American Classic Homes builds new homes all around the Seattle metropolitan area including in the cities of Renton, Newcastle, Sammamish, Kirkland, Bellevue, & Mercer Island. American Classic Homes can also help you build your custom dream home.

A Bit of Green Spring Cleaning

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: April 4, 2013

Cleaning Your HomeAs the weather continues to warm (albeit it little slowly!), we’re starting to get into the Springtime mindset.  For many of us, this means baseball preseason, and for others, it’s a reminder to clear out the clutter accumulated over the winter months and get started on some Spring Cleaning.

Ironically, many of the commercial cleaning products we use nowadays are actually filled with countless chemicals that can cause more harm than good.  After all, the point of cleaning and tidying up is to get rid of these unwanted elements (dirt, dust, dander, and others) and keep them out of our homes.  So what can we do as home owners to prevent this catch-22?  Believe it or not, going green when cleaning is easy and cost effective!

Liza Barnes of SparkPeople.com recommends a number of different methods to clean your house that are simultaneously health- and environmentally-friendly.  First, if you prefer the convenience of picking up cleaners from a store, there are a handful that have released an entire line of cleaning products (Method is one of them) that achieve both of these means.

However, if you don’t mind the extra minute or two to make your own cleaners from ingredients you likely already have stocked in your kitchen pantry (and thus saving you additional dollars by not having to spend it on these branded products), there are so many options for you!  And not only are they incredibly simple to mix together, they’re as natural as can be.

The most common natural cleaner out there is white distilled vinegar, and oftentimes all you’ll need to do is dilute it with a little water and that takes care of the problem!  Other natural cleaning agents or tools include baking soda, Borax (look for it in the laundry aisle), and microfiber cloths.  Do you still read the morning paper?  When you’re done with it, even that can be used to help clean your home (No, you don’t need to worry about the ink).

How else might you be able to clean using green techniques?

A wonderful way to freshen up the indoor air in your home is to actually introduce a few houseplants into your environment!  This is, of course, not to mention that they’re wonderful decorations.  A few hearty plants we’d suggest are spider plants and peace lilies.  Just remember to water them on occasion!

Avoid using paper towels; this causes waste.  Use cloth towels or even old t-shirts (that you’re not planning on wearing again) to mop up spills.  You’ll be able to wash and dry them with the rest of your laundry and use them all over again.

What other quick-and-easy spring cleaning tips do you suggest?

American Classic Homes is a new and custom home builder in West Seattle, WA.  For more information, please call (206) 588-1147.

Windsor Circle Sold Out!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 2, 2013

Have you heard the news yet?

Our Windsor Circle community is now sold out, and it took only 4 months! The community features 15 home sites located on a quiet cul-de-saq, which also features a protected wetland. Floor plans in the community range in size from approximately 2,900 square feet to over 3,200 square feet.

If you missed out at buying your home in Windosr Circle, take a look at our Brookefield community (only 1 home left) next to Hazen High School, our Panther Ridge community in South Renton, and Eden’s Grove (only 1 home left) in Newcastle. We are also starting construction on our newest Renton community, Saddlebrooke (just blocks away from Windsor Circle) very soon, with more details to follow.

If you would like to see any of our communities or learn more about them, call our sales agent, Thuan Howard, at 425.445.3252.

 

Housing Market Continues to Improve in March

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: March 27, 2013

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Good news from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): March is the 7th month to consecutively show housing market growth and stabilization!  This steady improvement is exactly what we like to hear after the housing market had taken a decisive hit during the recession.  Moreover, this is the 2nd month in a row where all 50 states (as well as the District of Columbia) are represented on something called the First American Improving Markets Index, or IMI.

According to Rick Judson, the NAHB Chairman and North Carolina homebuilder, “The expanding housing recovery is energizing communities nationwide by generating jobs and local tax revenues — and it could be an even more potent force for economic growth if credit for building and buying homes was more readily available.”  It’s a self-prophetic cycle home buyers, home builders, and cities must continue to encourage.

The IMI indicates all metropolitan areas that have shown significant improvement in the housing market  How is this measured across the nation?  There are several factors that a city must meet before they can be considered for inclusion on this Index.  First of all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics must support the assertion that employment in the area has improved and there has been active job growth in the area.  The pricing of homes across the metro area must also be analyzed, as well as the number of housing permits applied for and issued.  Lastly, these numbers must all be maintained and show continued progress for no fewer than six consecutive months.  As you can tell, it’s not easy to be included on this list, and such stringent qualifications make for a well-defined measure of improvement over time.

Are we there yet?  Not quite, but the improvement across the nation is a strong indication that things are going well and continue to do so.  The IMI is holding steady at just over 75% of all housing markets making considerable progress.  David Crowe, the Chief Economist for the NAHB says that home builders must “understand that many markets are just beginning the recovery process, and that numerous issues – from credit availability to the rising cost of building materials and emerging lot shortages – are slowing the pace of that advancement.”

It’s evident that a quick fix is out of the question, and even more, a quick fix would not solve much of anything at all.  And in spite of the uncertainty, the collective response of  the experts and NAHB committee members such as Vice Chairman Kurt Pfotenhauer, “It looks as like we are finally seeing the beginning of what could be a broad and deep recovery of the nation’s housing market.”

American Classic Homes is a new and custom home builder in West Seattle, WA.  For more information, please call (206) 588-1147.

Only 3 Homes Left in Lakeside Estates!

Categories: Community Spotlight | Posted: March 21, 2013

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We’ve been thrilled at the response that we’ve been getting for our homes and new home communities, and guess what?  There are only 3 more homes left in Lakeside Estates!  If you’ve been hemming and hawing over a move to beautiful Mercer Island, don’t delay any longer, because you might miss your chance on your dream American Classic home!

Mercer Island and Lakeside Estates in particular is known for a friendly family atmosphere n the neighborhood and the natural beauty that envelopes the community.  There are lush green trees as far as the eye can see, and each remaining home has a unique view of Lake Washington that you’ll not find anywhere else.  You’ll thoroughly enjoy the retreat-like feel from being away from a hectic and tiring way of life.  Even still, Lakeside Estates is only mere minutes away from both downtown Seattle and Bellevue, so as far as commutes go, it’s a very quick drive to get to and from work, or enjoy a night on the town.

Residents with children enroll in the Mercer Island School District, receiving an excellent educational experience from West Mercer Elementary, Islander Middle School, and Mercer Island High School.  The Mercer Island School District is enthusiastically supported by the community and there are so many recreational and academic club options to further enjoy as a student.

Lakeside Estates is aptly named, because our homes are the epitome of custom luxury; our homes range from 3,420 square feet up to 3,879 and start from the $1,300,000s.  We offer countless amenities within each of our homes, such as an island kitchen with slab granite, hardwood floors, high end finishes and much more.  In fact, 9948 Southeast 38th Street should definitely not be missed.  Following a similar floor plan design as that of the Islander, this 4 bedroom, 4 and 1/2 bathroom home expands over 3,879 square feet with plenty of room to spare.

This home is made for entertaining and relaxation in a comfortable den with double door entry, bonus room with a walk-in closet for added storage, and towering vaulted ceilings throughout the home.  The radius staircase makes for a spectacular entrance from the upper level to downstairs, and a wonderful place for staged family photos.  The kitchen features a breakfast bar, a walk-in pantry, and a cozy nook perfect for curling up with a book or the newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee.  You’ll find the master suite located on the bottom floor for the height of elegance and accessibility, featuring a double door entry, double sinks, separate soaking tub and standing shower.  Add in a stunning formal dining room, a 3 car garage, and upper level laundry room, who could really ask for more?

So don’t miss out on a wonderful opportunity to make Mercer Island (and Lakeside Estates) your home!

American Classic Homes is a new and custom home builder in West Seattle, WA.  For more information, please call (206) 588-1147.

One Home Left in Brookefield!

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight | Posted: March 15, 2013

Brookefield American Classic Homes is excited to announce the construction of our final home in  our Brookefield community!  This Renton, Washington community has been a popular new home neighborhood setting, and we’re very proud of our involvement in its development over the past few years.

Students living in Brookefield attend Sierra Heights Elementary School, McKnight Middle School, and Hazen High School.  Families who have moved to Brookefield rave about the Renton School District for its commitment to educational excellence and its diverse outreach.  Adult educational opportunities are also abound because of Renton’s close access to the University of Washington – Seattle campus, Bellevue College, Edmonds Community College, and many more!

Renton is filled with hundreds upon hundreds of things to do, see, and hear.  This very active city participates and hosts a number of seasonal festivals throughout the year, such as The Return to Renton Car Show, and their Spring (and Fall) Festivals on the Piazza as well as smaller community gatherings, classes, and events.  There are over 29 public parks within the Renton city limits and the Renton History Museum is a popular tourist attraction.  Residents love having so many options for dining and shopping nearby.  Seattle is just 15 minutes away, making it the perfect suburb for easy commutes for work throughout the week or a fun night out on the town.

5230 Northeast 11th Court will be our final addition (for now, at least!) totaling 15 beautiful and unique homes in this community.  It is currently under construction and expected to be fully finished by June of 2013.  This stunning modified Windstone floor plan is priced at $529,950 with unbelievable features and amenities included with the design.

Within this 3 story home’s 2,968 square feet, you’ll find 5 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, and a 2 car garage.  This particular gem of a house features so much more to the family who decides to make this their home, including vaulted ceilings in the main level master bedroom, soaking tub in the master suite bathroom and coffered ceiling in the dining room. Throughout the home you’ll find hard wood floors, stainless steel appliances, and high end finishes with every turn.  There’s plenty of space for entertaining as well as kicking back and relaxing with its loft space and the recreation room, den and daylight basement.  Definitely not least, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the spacious and open kitchen with an island and breakfast nook.

If you have any questions regarding this property or about Brookefield community in general, we invite you to call Agent Thuan Howard at (425) 445-3252.  American Classic Homes has regular model hours for the Brookefield community from Friday through Tuesday from 12 noon to 5 in the afternoon.

As with all of our new and custom homes, you have the complete attention and all the professional experience and expertise that American Classic Homes has to offer!

American Classic Homes is a new and custom home builder in West Seattle, WA.  For more information, please call (206) 588-1147.

Welcome to American Classic Homes!

Categories: American Classic News | Posted: March 8, 2013

Welcome to our new website!  We hope you’ve been enjoying the new look and layout, but we wanted to formally announce our new design and more home buyer-friendly set up.  If this is your first time visiting, we invite you to feel free and poke around, explore, and get to know us.

 

American Classic Homes is a West Seattle area new home builder.  We are proud of our work in Renton, Newcastle, Bellevue, Sammamish, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Queen Anne, Auburn, and other King County communities throughout Washington State.  Our partners, Michael Gladstein, Robert Gladstein, and Joel Mezistrano collectively have over 40 years of experience in the homebuilding business, so you can be sure that they know what buyers are looking for in a new home.

Our dedication to customer satisfaction and home building philosophy is rooted in 3 specific points: Value, Flexibility, and Quality Assurance.  Is value in the eye of the beholder?  Not exactly.  There are plenty of factors that determine worth, for instance, it’s our goal to make sure you get more house for less cost.  The ease of home purchase is priceless, and that’s a priority for us, too.  We use nothing but the best construction materials and you have our word that what you see in our model home is what you get in your new home.  We’re competitive and want only the best for our customers.

We exhibit flexibility in our ability to adapt to your needs as a home buyer as well as anticipating floor plan designs and features; we offer plenty of opportunities to customize amenities to reflect your personal lifestyle.  (We even will custom build entire homes!)  Even better, we’re flexible with your schedule and always on hand for that more personal approach to homebuilding that you just can’t get with a large scale company.

Your home is an investment, and before we hand over the keys, we want to make sure it has passed our rigorous inspection process.  We’ll even come back 2 months later (and even a year after that) for a walk-through just to check in on you, your family, and the state of your home’s construction.  Our team of experts are ready to assist and handle anything you might throw at us, but we’re confident that you will love your home for years to come.

Our site’s new design includes a navigation bar that’ll quickly take you to our communities, currently available homes, our floor plan models, and so much more!  Please call or contact us at any time when you want to make that step towards owning your dream home; we definitely don’t want to miss out on that!

American Classic Homes is a new and custom home builder in West Seattle, WA.  For more information, please call (206) 588-1147.

29 New Homeowners in 2 Months

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: March 7, 2013

A Market Heating Up

People looking for homes all over the Seattle metropolitan area are realizing that now is a fantastic time to buy. With low interest rates amid an economic recovery, and housing prices on the rise, homes in the Puget Sound area are being sold at an incredible pace. According to the March 1, 2013 Forbes Article on the Hottest Real Estate Markets,  the median home price in the Seattle metro area has jumped by 16.35 percent in the last year, while inventory has gone down by 44.44 percent.

What does this all mean? Essentially, fewer and fewer homes are being put up for sale, while sellers are taking advantage of the limited inventory and raising prices. Multiple offers, bidding wars, and escalation clauses (terms in a purchase and sale agreement saying you will pay up to a certain amount if another buyer submits an offer higher than yours)  are now becoming the norm.

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Tips on Moving With Your Pet

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: February 13, 2013

Moving can be a very stressful situation for your whole family, but what about for your pet? Pets are also very sensitive to change, and care should be taken to comfort your family’s companion. Here are some tips to make the move easier for you and your pet.

Before You Leave:

1. Research Local Restrictions. Some cities have quantity and breed restrictions for certain animals, verify that these won’t get in your way. Your best bet is to call or visit your local city’s website for such information. In addition, most cities require special permits for exotic animals or livestock. It’s also helpful to research things such as leash laws beforehand. If you’re in the King County Washington area, check out this handy PDF on animal regulations: http://www.kingcounty.gov/property/permits/publications/~/media/property/permits/documents/bulletins/41a.ashx. Keep in mind that you may want to consider doing this step before even finding a home, as leaving a pet is one of the hardest things you can do.

2. Research Transportation Methods. One of the best methods to transport your pets is by car. Not only will your pets enjoy your company, but this is oftentimes the cheapest relocating method and least stressful method for your pet. Don’t forget to research and book a pet-friendly hotel if your journey is far. A great website to find pet-friendly hotels is http://www.petswelcome.com/. Other options include moving your pet by airplane in a crate on board (if they are small), or in the cargo area below. However, try to avoid the cargo area if possible. Not only is the cargo area dangerous for your pet, it can also cause a lot of additional problems and stress.
Because transporting pets in the cargo area is dangerous, airlines will limit at what temperatures pets can fly. This means that right before your flight, your pet may not even be allowed to board if the temperature is unacceptable, separating you and your pet. If you really do have to transport your pet in the cargo area, use an airline that has special cargo compartments just for pets. These compartments are not only pressurized but are heated for your pet’s comfort. If you do go with this option, book your pet’s ticket well in advance, as airlines have a limited capacity of such space.
Remember, the majority of other public transportation methods, such as greyhounds and other charters –in addition to trains such as Amtrak, prohibit animals other than service animals on-board.

3. Visit Your Pet’s Vet. Visit your pet’s veterinarian and ask them for all vaccine records and a health certificate. Tags, such as the one for rabies, are not proof of vaccination. Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. You should also ask for a refill of your pet’s medications. This way your pet will have medication while you look for a new vet and pharmacy near your new home. Lastly, ask your vet if they have any recommended veterinarians in the area you are moving to.

4. Revisit Your New Home. Make sure your new home is ready for your pet. If your pet will be out in the yard, check that there’s nowhere for it to escape from, and that there are no sharp objects or other threats to your pet.

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