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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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Best Rail Trails Near Renton, WA

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 22, 2012

By: Robert Gladstein.
Source: “Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest: More Than 60 Rail Trails in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho” by Natalie Bartley)

 

The Pacific Northwest has some of the most stunning mountain biking anywhere in the world. You will find great rail trails for bikers of all skill levels in surprising proximity to Renton and Newcastle. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite rail trails so you can hit the trails and see some of the best this area has to offer.

Coal Creek Park Trail
This trek takes you through the woods to the spectacular Cougar Mountain peak. Look for evidence of the early coal industry along this historic trail as you wander through second growth forests. Coal Creek provides valuable fish and wildlife habitat, the dense forest protects water quality and erosion, and the extensive trail system provides opportunities for passive recreation and environmental education.
Location: Cougar Mountain (driving map and trail map)
Length: 3 miles
Difficulty: The southern part of the trail is moderate (bridge crossings, hills, downed logs), but the northern end is easy. Primitive dirt and ballast trail surfaces.

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8 Tips for First-Time Buyers

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 13, 2012

By: Robert Gladstien

Buying your first home is exciting but can also be terrifying. If you are a first-time buyer ready to jump into home ownership, considering the following 8 steps can make your life easier and avoid common pitfalls.

1. Make sure you know what you want before you start your search.
What style of home or neighborhood do you like most? How big of a home do you need? What features are most important to you? Make sure you are on the same page as your spouse before you begin – it will save time and prevent conflict down the road.

2. Do your research.
Use web sites like Zillow to check prices of homes in neighborhoods you like. This will give you a realistic idea of what it costs to buy the home you want. Take note of property taxes paid too, you will need it for your calculations later.

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5 Tips for a Smooth and Organized Move

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 15, 2012

By; Robert Gladstein

American Classic Homes builds high quality homes in the Seattle and Puget Sound area. As one of only a few local builders to qualify as an Energy Star partner, we build homes that are both beautiful and energy efficient. If you are looking for a beautiful new home in a family-friendly neighborhood, consider one of our elegant homes in Renton, Newcastle, Maple Valley, and the greater Seattle area. We are confident you will find exactly what you are looking for – environmentally friendly features and a great floor plan in a beautiful neighborhood. You can view all of our available homes in the Seattle area here.

But you thought choosing your home would be the hard part! Now you need to get all of your stuff into your new home without breaking your back or going crazy. Don’t worry. We’ve gathered 5 tips for a smooth and organized family move that will make this stressful time easier for you.

1. Make room plans. Space planning ahead of time is a great way to channel the excitement of moving to your new home and will help you to stay organized. Measure your space and draw each new room to scale to determine which furniture you would like to keep in your new home. This is a fun process to involve the kids in. It allows them to dream about their new space and to participate in the process of moving. It also helps them to start to adjust to the idea of living in a new home and feel like they have some control over what items will come with them in their new space. Keep room plans together in a folder that you can take shopping with you. Store fabric swatches, paint samples, and inspirational pictures with the measurements will help as you gather the things you need – you will know if it will fit or match the style you are going for. Pinterest.com is a great place to gather inspirational pictures for each room.

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5 Tips for Relocating to Seattle

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 30, 2012

A Short Guide with Tips for Relocating to Seattle

By: Robert Gladstein 

The Seattle area is a beautiful place to live and work. Seattle is a small city with amenities of a larger one: local theater, opera, and music flourish and you can find exceptional shopping and dining. People are generally friendly and smart (47% of adults hold Bachelor degrees, more than any other city in the US). And you may not know that Seattle was recently ranked the best town for hipsters! If you are looking for a city that is retro, quirky, and artsy you are in the right place. Seattle offers great live music, coffee bars, independent boutiques, the best microbrews, and the most offbeat and tech-savvy locals! If you are relocating to Seattle, you may find the following helpful:

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Warren Buffett Is Betting Big On Housing

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: March 11, 2012

By Nathaniel Popper Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK — The U.S. housing market disappointed Warren Buffett last year, but he hasn’t given up hope.

Buffett said in his annual shareholder letter, posted last weekend, that he was “dead wrong” when he predicted last year that the rebound in U.S. home prices would begin within a year.

This year, though, he’s betting again that the housing market will recover, and for an interesting reason: hormones.

As Buffett explains it, the housing market is depressed because young Americans have stayed at home rather than leaving their parents to set setting up their own households.

“People may postpone hitching up during uncertain times, but eventually hormones take over,” Buffett wrote in the letter to the shareholders in his investment company Berkshire Hathaway.

“And while ‘doubling-up’ may be the initial reaction of some during a recession, living with in-laws can quickly lose its allure.”

That is not the entirety of his argument.

He also says homebuilders are not creating enough new supply. As a result, the excess housing inventory that built up after the financial crisis is slowly disappearing, paving the way for new demand.

During a recent appearance on CNBC, Buffett said he would buy up millions of U.S. homes if it were possible.

New data seemed to support Buffett’s contention. The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of people buying used homes in January rose to a 21-month high.

6 Tax Breaks Every Homeowner Should Know

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: January 25, 2012

6 Tax Breaks For Homeowners

By: David Bakke, Money Crashers

Regardless of the current state of our economy and the housing market, buying a home is still a great investment. However, the resulting taxes that accompany owning a home can lead to confusion and uncertainty.

In most cases, you need to itemize your taxes in order to take advantage of all the tax breaks that accompany home ownership. This might seem overwhelming, but the benefits of completing this process make up for the inconvenience.

Tax Breaks for Homeowners:

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) is a top tax break for homeowners, which can save you a significant amount of money. In the beginning, the majority of your monthly mortgage payments go toward loan interest, and you can deduct all the interest from your mortgage on your taxes. Keep Form 1098, issued by your lender, with your important records. This form explains exactly how much you can deduct and serves as proof if you are audited by the IRS.

2. Mortgage Insurance Premiums

Homeowners with new mortgages with a loan-to-value ratio higher than 80% must carry some form of private mortgage insurance (PMI). This insurance protects the lender against loan default. Typically, once you reach 20% equity in your home, you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance.

Until you reach that level of equity, if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $100,000 (or $50,000, if married filing separately), you may be able to deduct the amount that you paid. If you surpass that income level, the deduction is either reduced or eliminated. If your AGI is $109,000 ($54,500, if married filing separately) then the deduction goes away altogether.

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