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New Home Construction at 5 Year High

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: September 23, 2013

construction-insurance

Have you heard the news?

According to a recent New York Times article, the number of building permits for new homes reached a 5 year high. In fact, a survey last Tuesday (9/17) showed that confidence among home builders remained near an eight-year high in September, with builders optimistic about prospective buyer traffic.

 

According to the United States Department of Commerce, construction starts on single-family homes rose 7 percent to an annual rate of 628,000 units last month (August), which is the highest level in six months. On the other hand, construction of apartments and condominiums fell by 11.1 percent. This drop is thought to be due to higher mortgage rates, increased material costs, and labor shortages. The drop in multifamily construction limited the rise in overall housing starts to an 891,000-unit annual rate, significantly smaller than the 917,000-unit rate economists had expected.

 

American Classic Homes is confident about the real estate market too! We have several actively selling new home communities, along with some new neighborhoods under construction. Check out Lakeside Estates (Mercer Island) with only two homes left!, Pine Grove (Sammamish), Cornerstone Estates (Sammamish), and Saddlebrook (Renton). We also build custom homes. Call Michale Gladstein (206.799.0854), one of American Classic Homes’ partners, for more details.

 

American Classic Homes, a new home builder in the Seattle Metro area, builds new homes in Seattle, Sammamish, Renton, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Mercer Island.

 

 

 

An Update On Our New Home Communities

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 30, 2013

Here’s a quick breakdown (with photos) of all of our new home communities:

Brookefield North:

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Brookefield North is now sold out and the last homes under construction are nearing completion.

Cornerstone Estates:

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Cornerstone Estates is almost ready for its debut. All the utilities and sidewalks have been put in, the street has been paved, and landscaping has been installed. In addition, playground equipment was recently installed and construction of the model home has now started. We are expecting the model to be completed in approximately 60-80 days. Call Thuan Howard (425.445.3252), the listing agent for more details.

Eden’s Grove:

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Eden’s Grove is now sold out and all homes have now been built.

Lakeside Estates:

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Lakeside Estates construction is roaring. 3 of the 5 homes are currently sold. Lot 1 just had drywall installed, Lot 2 is getting interior paint, Lot 3 is getting prepared for hardwood floor installation , lot 4 is getting carpet & landscaping installed, and lot 5 is at the framing stage. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to own a home in Mercer Island’s newest new home community, Lakeside Estates! Call Kathy Beckes (206.618.2568), the listing agent for more info.

Panther Ridge:

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Panther Ridge has one home left for sale, don’t miss out! The last homes under construction are nearing completion! Call Thuan Howard (425.445.3252), the listing agent for more details.

Pine Grove:

Pine Grove in Sammamish, WA built by Seattle new home builder American Classic Homes.

Pine Grove is moving along fast. Lots 1 & 2 are having insulation installed and siding should be going up shortly. Lot 3 is currently having its foundation back filled. All 3 homes are available for sale! Call Cory Brant (206.419.2679), the listing agent for more details.

Saddlebrook:

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Saddlebrook is almost ready for its debut. All the utilities and sidewalks have been put in, the street has been paved, and landscaping has been installed. An entry monument has also been installed. Construction of the model home has now started. We are expecting the model to be completed in approximately 90 days. Call Thuan Howard (425.445.3252), the listing agent for more details.

Windsor Circle:

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Windsor Circle is now sold out and all homes have now been built.

Mirror, Mirror, Where Shall I Place You On The Wall

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: August 2, 2013

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American Classic Homes, your local family-owned Eastside Builder, has some simple tips on mirror placement courtesy of Fox News Magazine.

  • Use large mirrors in small rooms. Mirrors add the feeling of depth to a room, making it feel larger. Try placing a large mirror across from a beautiful piece of artwork, or on the wall above a dining room table, making it reflect the beautiful chandelier in its view.
  • Don’t put mirrors on a wall “just because.” Mirrors need to reflect something worth looking at. One of the worst design mistakes is hanging mirrors up reflecting random things. Try to avoid mirrors reflecting any clutter that you may have.
  • Make mirrors focal points. Large free standing mirrors can make a great focal point. Considering leaning a large mirror up against a wall or in a corner to use as a focal point.
  • Use mirrors sparingly in kitchens and bedrooms. Mirrors generally don’t work too well in kitchens, since kitchens get dirty daily, and water can splash everywhere, leaving unsightly water marks. As to mirrors in bedrooms, try to avoid having your mirror reflect your bed, it’s just not a great look. Do you really want to see yourself right after you wake up? If you really need a mirror in your bedroom, hang  a mirror above your headboard.
  • Use Feng Shui with mirrors. According to the rules of Feng Shui, mirrors attract a strong element of water. A great place to hang them is above the fireplace, as fire is balanced with the element of water, bringing good energy to the room.
  • No to mirrors on ceilings. Placing mirrors on ceilings is just plain tacky.
  • Use mirrors in narrow areas. Consider placing smaller horizontal mirrors in narrow places such as hallways and stairwells, as they will make the spaces feel much larger and welcoming.

 

Now that you have all these great tips,  you need an exceptional home to use them in. If you’re interested in building a custom home, give American Classic Homes a call to schedule a free consultation. We have been building custom homes all over the Seattle Metro area and Eastside. Call 206.799.8504 to schedule a free personal one on one meeting with one of the owners. to talk about your dream home.

Mercer Island Current & Past Home Sales

Categories: Real Estate News | Posted: July 23, 2013

Have you been looking to live on Mercer Island? Check out these quick facts about the Island’s current real estate market:

Stats for current inventory

  • There are currently-194 Total NWMLS Listings on MI.  20 listings are for land and 12 are for condos/town homes
  • 129 of the listings are available
  • The cheapest residence is a $209K 1,145 sq ft condo, which is currently marked as “pending sale”
  • The cheapest single family home is a $407,400 for 740 sq ft, which is currently marked as “short-sale pending”
  • The most expensive residential property for sale on the Island is a waterfront $16,750,00 13,721 sq ft mansion
  • There are currently 10 new construction homes for sale/pending, ranging in price from $1.198M to $4.625M
  • 7 of the new construction listings are available

 

Stats for sold inventory in the last 6 months

  • 254 NWMLS listed properties were sold. 7 were for land and 29 were for condos/town homes
  • The cheapest residence sold was a $116K 455 sq ft condo
  • The cheapest single family home sold was a $353,016 for 1,670 sq ft
  • The most expensive residential property sold  on MI was a waterfront $5,900,000 5,790 sq ft home
  • There were 3 new construction MI homes sold in the last 6 months

 

American Classic Homes, a Mercer Island based home builder, has several new construction homes for sale on Mercer Island. Check out Lakeside Estates, Mercer Island’s newest new home community, for our current island inventory. We also have several other lots throughout the Island that are in the permitting stage. Give our Mercer Island agent, Kathy Beckes, a call if you have any questions. Kathy Beckes can be reached at 206.618.2586. We also build custom homes on your lot, call for details!

 

 

Seattle Real Estate Prices Continue Their Ascent

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 19, 2013

Seattle Median Home Prices

(Image & Data courtesy of SeattlePI.com)

A recent report released by the Seattle Post Intelligencer, not surprisingly, shows that Seattle metro area real estate values continue to rise, as does the median home price.

The median home price in King County rose to $385,000 in June, a 2.3% increase over the previous month, and a 11.6% increase over one year ago. The city of Seattle saw smaller gains than the county, with home prices increasing 0.4% from May to June, and 8.4% from one year ago. The median Seattle home price climbed to $408,990.

What is causing sale prices to rise? It’s actually a combination of two things.

1. Appreciation. Increased demand is leading to more competition, thus people are willing to pay higher prices. Much of the increased demand is due to rising interest rates. The amount of house a person can get for their money is going down as interest rates climb, so people are scrambling to buy a house before interest rates rise even more.
2. Category Shifts. People are buying larger and more luxurious homes than before, causing the median and average price to rise.  So, although prices “rose 11.6%” in one year, not all of this is actually due to appreciation. That means if you were looking at buying a $400,000 house one year ago, today it wouldn’t quite cost $446,400 today.

If you realize that home prices aren’t going to get any cheaper, and are looking for a new quality constructed home in the Seattle metro area, why not consider a local & reputable home builder? American Classic Homes builds homes throughout the Seattle metro area and Eastside, including Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Newcastle, and many other cities. We have three new home communities scheduled to open soon:

Saddlebrook (Renton, WA) – A luxury new home community featuring large lots, 3 car garages, and views of Mt. Rainier.

Cornerstone Estates (Sammamish, WA) – A gorgeous 7 new home community set on a private & serene drive abutting a sensitive area

Pine Grove (Sammamish, WA) – A private 3 home community tucked behind Pine Lake

Tips on Painting Your New Home

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: July 12, 2013

You just bought your new home, and now you want to personalize it to your exact tastes. What’s one of the easiest ways to do this? Paint it! Painting is a simple weekend project that most homeowners can tackle, and will really make your home say it’s yours. Here are some tips that will help you to get the results you want.

 

 1. Make sure the painting surface is clean. Although your home may be new, there’s still plenty of dust and other small debris on the walls. Give the painting surface a quick wet wipe down to make sure it’s clean.

2. To prime or not to prime? Although many people will tell you that you always need to prime, this isn’t exactly true. As long as you have no major stains and/or damaged areas on your walls (which you shouldn’t in a brand new home), it’s ok to skip the priming. New homes should have walls that are in good condition and are ready for another coat of paint. However, if you have any dark or super bright colored painted surfaces, you’re better off putting a coat or two of primer on them before applying a coat of paint. Also, it’s always better to buy paint and primer separate, don’t fall for the Paint & Primer all-in-one combos, they just don’t work as well!

3. Mix paints together.  Although the paint can might say you bought the same color, each batch is a slightly different color. To avoid having different shades of the same color, mix several cans of paint in a large bucket to ensure a consistent color.

4. The key to clean lines. Oftentimes homeowners are surprised when they peel off their painter’s tape and see rough, jagged edges along the tape line. The key to get crisp lines is to 1)Press the tape down firmly, and 2)Paint over the tape with a paintbrush with just a bit of paint. Again, make sure there is just a bit of paint on the brush, otherwise the paint will seep under the tape and look bad. In addition, paint over the tape several times, making sure to let each coat dry in between. After you have done this, you’ll be able to paint over the tape with a roller without worrying that the paint will seep below.

5. Paint “W”s and feather edges. It’s impossible to have a continuous stroke, at some point or another you need to dip your roller and get some paint. To reduce the transition lines between strokes, you should do two things. First, paint walls in a “W” pattern, meaning in the shape of a “W.” Paint the “W” the whole height of the wall. By doing this, you are randomizing the edges, which will make it harder for the eye to detect where your seems meet. Second, make sure to feather the edges of your strokes. You can do this by pushing lighter on your roller at the edges of your strokes. Generally you want to feather your edges when your roller is beginning to run out of paint.

6.  Sand trim in between coats. Generally, trim pieces are painted with a Semigloss paint. You’ll easily be able to tell if they are, because semigloss paint will be shiny and easy to wash. However, semigloss paint also makes painting a bit more difficult. Before painting over a coat of semigloss, be sure to lightly sand it down. This will enable the new coat to stick, otherwise it will peel off very quickly. It does not mater what gloss type you paint over the semi-gloss, this step needs to be done for any gloss level. However, this step is generally not required when painting over any other gloss levels than semi-gloss, unless the paint is in bad condition.

 

With these keys in hand, you’ll be able to paint your new home at the same quality as a professional.  If you’re still looking for a new home, why not check out American Classic Homes. Our company has several new communities in the Seattle metro area and Eastside, including new home neighborhoods in Sammamish, WA, Renton, WA, & Mercer Island, WA. Our quality-constructed new Washington state homes are built to accommodate all types of families, including multi-generational families, with a lower floor bedroom/den and bathroom with shower. Check out our new home WA communities including Cornerstone Estates (Sammamish), Pine Grove (Sammamish), Saddlebrook (Renton), and Lakeside Estates (Mercer Island).

 

Tips to Keep Your Home Cool

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: June 28, 2013

Summer on a beach

The weather this weekend is supposed to hit the 90s, and boy can your home get hot. Here are some simple tips to make the temperature in your home a bit more bearable:

 1.  Reduce the work your air conditioner has to do. Reduce the cooling load by employing cost-effective conservation measures. For windows facing the east and west, make sure to close the blinds/curtains to keep out sunlight (covering all windows is even better!). If you don’t have blinds or curtains, consider installing them. The cost for new shades is low, yet the privacy and reduction in energy costs is a huge benefit. Installing awnings over windows can also improve efficiency  and reduce energy costs. Also, try to avoid running appliances that generate heat, such as ovens, dishwashers, dryers, etc. If need be, run these appliances at night.

2. Keep windows and doors shut during the day, so the colder air can’t escape and humidity can’t come in. This is especially important if you have your AC on. Do open your windows at night however to get some ventilation and fresh air. If the temperature of the air outside your home is 77 F or lower, it generally makes sense to ventilate your home. Try using a window fan to get good results. In addition, keep interior doors in your home open, so the air can flow freely.

3. Use ceiling fans to increase your comfort level. Research shows that most people are comfortable during summer in light clothing when the temperature is between 72 F and 78 F. With a breeze, people will stay comfortable up to around 82 F. The breeze needs to be about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph .  Set your thermostat at 78 degrees F or higher. If using ceiling fans, try placing it at 82 F. Also, avoid air-conditioning unused rooms.

4. Thinking forward to future summers, plant trees that create share around your house. Planting trees on the South should be avoided if you want to some “passive solar heating” during winter.

5. Consider serving and/or replacing your air conditioner/air conditioner parts if it’s getting pretty old. Newer models/parts are much more efficient, and may actually save you money in the long run vs doing nothing. If you do decide to replace your entire air conditioning unit, make sure that it is properly sized. Get opinions from several contractors on what size unit, brand, model, and efficiency works best for your home. Place your AC in a shaded area, by doing so you can improve the A/C efficiency by 5 percent to 10 percent. Also, be sure to maintain your air conditioners properly so they run for years to come and at top efficiency. Clean the filters every month when the AC is in use.

6. Avoid using a dehumidifier at the same time as your air conditioner is operating. Dehumidifiers will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.

7. Get an energy audit of your home to see where your home can improve on efficiency. Easy fixes include sealing and insulating all air conditioner ducts that are easily accessible, such as those that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics.

8. Consider replacing your old inefficient windows. If you live in an older home, it may be worth the cost to replace the windows. New windows offer numerous gases (such as Argon and Krypton) that can be placed between panes that have lower conductivity than air,  which boost R-values and increase energy efficiency. Manufactures can also apply low-e films to boost the efficiency of windows even more. If you aren’t replacing your windows, you can buy low-e film and easily apply it yourself.

Read more at: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/keep-house-cool-23-tips.html#ixzz2XYSCGwDt

 

If you’re ready to move up to a brand new home by American Classic Homes, check out our website at AmericanClassicHomes.com for current inventory, or give our listing agent, Thuan Howard, a call at 425.445.3252.

 

 

How To Beat Out Other Buyers On A Home

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: June 19, 2013

Are you sick of loosing house after house in this crazy market where multiple offers and escalation clauses are standard?

American Classic Homes has some tips so you finally get the home of your dreams.

 

  • Think and Plan Ahead. Plan your path to a home purchase at least six months in advance. Make sure to avoid purchasing expensive items that require financing. Consider buying a new big screen, car, or other purchase that requires financing after your home purchase. You may also want to try and pay off some debt that you have. By reducing the amount of debt you have, you may be able to pre-qualify for a higher loan amount.Get Pre-Qualified. Going off the previous suggestion, it is important to get pre-qualified for a loan early. Getting pre-qualified shows that 1) You are a serious buyer, and 2)That you can afford the house you are submitting an offer on. With a pre-qualification, sellers will know you are not just wasting their time. Also, most buyers are already pre-qualified, so if you aren’t, you are behind in the game.
  • Be Reasonable. Know how much home you can afford. Don’t go out of your comfort zone just to get the home of your dreams. Set a realistic max budget you are willing to spend for a home, and don’t go a penny over. Also remember, that in fast paced markets such as this one, homes usually don’t sell for much less than their asking price. If most homes in the area are selling for 100% of the asking price, don’t assume that you will be able to pick up a house for 90% of the asking price. Sometimes homes that sit on the market for a very long time will sell for much less than asking price, but that’s because they were overpriced to begin with.
  • Limit Contingencies. In this crazy market, many buyers are waiving all contingencies, which is quite frankly crazy. A reasonable amount of standard contingencies such as a financing contingency and an inspection contingency is generally fine. Many buyers are now doing pre-inspections (with the approval of the sellers) on homes before purchasing them, so they limit the amount of contingencies. In this competitive market, many buyers are also paying with cash and eliminating financing contingencies. Having contingencies such as having to sell your home first may turn many sellers off, as this complicates the sale. On the other hand, offering a contingency in which the seller can rent back the house for some time after close, can help the sale, as sometimes sellers need time to find a new home.
  • Cash is King. As stated in the prior section, many buyers are now paying for homes with all cash (especially investors). This means the deal does not require an appraisal, and is much more likely to go through. Eliminating the financing contingency will also speed up the closing process. Many times sellers are willing to take a lower offer that is all cash instead of a higher offer that requires financing. Remember, you can finance your house after you purchase it.
  • Make it Personal. Although this idea generally does not apply to sellers that are builders, many individuals can be swayed by a letter with your offer. Some sellers have feelings and memories attached to the homes they are selling, and would prefer their home to go to the perfect person/family. A letter to the seller can explain why you are the perfect individual/family to take care of the property for years to come. Although this step takes some extra time, it can really help you get the deal.

 

If you’re ready to move up to a brand new home by American Classic Homes, check out our website at AmericanClassicHomes.com for current inventory, or give our listing agent, Thuan Howard, a call at 425.445.3252.

 

 

Cornerstone Estates Update

Categories: Community Spotlight | Posted: May 31, 2013

New homes in Sammamish at Cornerstone Estates by home builder American Classic Homes.

 

Cornerstone Estates, our beautiful plat of 7 new homes on a private lane in Sammamish, WA is under construction. The community, slated to open in Fall, will have beautiful homes ranging in size from approximately 2,900 to 4,000 square feet.

Currently, the site is being graded, utilities are being installed, and paving will be done shortly. As you can see, curbs and gutters have been installed, a pond has been created, and final preparation before paving is being done.

See some more photos below and find more info on Cornerstone Estates at AmericanClassicHomes.com/Cornerstone-Estates or call our listing agent, Thuan Howard, at 425.445.3252 for more info.

Looking from NE 22nd St.

Looking from NE 22nd St.

Pond in front

Pond in front

Looking from the cul-de-saq back.

Looking from the cul-de-saq back.

 

 

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.

 

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