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Mortgages 101: It’s not as scary as you think

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: March 23, 2017

Financing a home can seem intimidating to the first-time homebuyer. If you’ve never applied for a mortgage before, don’t be afraid of the process. When you break it down and understand what is involved, you will be prepared to sail through the process!

Check your credit report.

First and foremost, review your credit report. Your credit score is a major factor in qualifying you for a mortgage and the amount you can borrow. A score of 720, for example, is excellent, and you can take your pick of lenders to secure the mortgage and terms you want (e.g., interest rate, no points). But even a lower score can be acceptable, depending on the lender and the mortgage program.

In addition to your credit score, review the entries on your credit report. It’s not unusual to find mistakes, which can be corrected with a letter to the credit reporting company (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian are the top three) or the business that reported the debt.

Late payments can also cause a problem when you’re seeking a mortgage. Try contacting those businesses to see what can be done to remove those “black marks”.

Collect your financial information.

You’ll need to prove your income, which requires two recent paycheck stubs and the last two years of income tax returns. You’ll also be asked for the past two months’ bank statements, so the lender can see how much is in your account as well as how you manage your funds. When you’re preparing to apply for a mortgage, spend a few months in advance ensuring you have reasonable cash flow without overdrafts.

If you receive any other income (e.g., alimony, commissions, investments), have the paperwork that documents it.

Research your loan options.

Mortgages come in all shapes and sizes—adjustable or fixed rate, 15 or 30 years. There are programs to assist first-time homebuyers. Veterans may qualify for a VA mortgage, a low-interest mortgage that requires no down payment. An FHA mortgage is a government-insured loan that requires a smaller down payment and accepts people with a less-than-stellar credit score.

Pre-qualify before you start your new home search.

Armed with the financial documents, you can contact lenders to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Your pre-approval letter will be submitted with your purchase and sale offer, showing the seller that you can actually purchase the home.

Builders usually have a preferred lender. There are many advantages to working with this lender if you are buying a new home or building one. In order to earn the “preferred” status from the homebuilder, the lender has proven himself as a resourceful professional who is committed to helping the buyer.

Don’t fear the mortgage process. It’s the pathway to homeownership!

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!

Clutter versus Keepers: How to get (and stay) organized

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: February 8, 2017

When you move into a new home, you usually start by getting organized. When you were packing up your belongings, you probably purged a lot of items, just to lighten your load.

Before long, you see signs that the clutter bug is back. Mail, magazines, and an assortment of papers are scattered on tables, counters, and other surfaces. Your once-tidy closets are in disarray. The kitchen cabinets are so crammed, it’s hard to find the one thing you need, when you need it.

It’s time to channel that new home mindset, the one where you put everything in a logical place and don’t cling to the unnecessary.

Here are some tips to get and stay organized by separated the clutter from the keepers.

Do you need it? Are you keeping things “just in case”? A half-empty bottle of lotion, cleaner, or other item that has been sitting on a shelf somewhere for ages is taking up space. If “just in case” hasn’t used up the remainder by now, throw it out.

Also, remember that “want” and “need” are two distinctly different categories. You need to have a first aid kit on hand. You want to have an overstuffed supply of extras. Distinguish between want and need so that you avoid keeping things where the clutter quotient outweighs its value.

Does it function properly? Do you have something you’ve been holding on to, until you can get around to repairing it? This could be a pair of pants, a small appliance, a piece of furniture, or maybe chipped pottery. If you haven’t fixed it by now, you’ve been living quite nicely without it. Diagnosis: Clutter.

How sentimental is it? Quite likely, a large percentage of possessions you’re clinging to have sentimental value. Ask yourself how much sentiment you need. Your child’s first tooth is a keeper. All the ones that followed are not. Your college diploma is a keeper. Your participation certificate from the intramural soccer club is not. You don’t have to be ruthless (well, maybe a little). Just be realistic. Something with true sentimental value is worth having close at hand—displayed on a shelf, hanging on the wall, or among your valuables. If it’s not worth looking at on a regular basis, the sentimental value has depreciated considerably.

Once you’ve gone through the task of purging, organize what remains by storing it in a logical location, in proper containers (not cardboard), and with clear labels, so it’s easy to find when needed.

Before you toss out some of your things, determine if it can be donated to local charities, churches, schools, libraries, senior centers, or other groups.

As a rule of thumb, schedule a purge annually. Make it a part of your spring cleaning routine so you keep the clutter bug out of your home.

10 ways to improve your indoor air quality

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: January 26, 2017

You spend a lot more time inside your home during the cold weather. Did you know you could be breathing in more pollutants inside your home than outside?

Dust mites, pet dander, second-hand smoke, and mold are the obvious culprits, but the problem goes deeper. Household cleaners, air fresheners, carpets, furniture, and even the paint on your walls could be releasing harmful toxins. Other allergens and irritants are being tracked into your home. With the improvements in insulation being installed in today’s homes, you’re living (and breathing) in an airtight environment that is comfortable but could be harmful.

Protect your household by making healthier choices. Here are 10 ways to improve your indoor air quality.

  1. Use a good vacuum with a HEPA filter. Don’t skimp on your choice of vacuum. A lesser quality vacuum will suction up the dust, mites, allergens, and pollutants, but then sends them back into the air via the exhaust. Choose a vacuum that features a HEPA filter, rotating brushes, and strong suction. Be sure to clean the filter regularly, for best results.
  2. Mop after vacuuming. It’s not enough to vacuum. Go over the laminate, wood, and tile floors with a wet mop (no cleaners) after you’ve finished vacuuming, to ensure you’ve removed as much unwanted debris as possible.
  3. Protect your entryways. Prevent dirt, pet dander, chemicals, pesticides, and other traveling pollutants from walking into your house. Place a durable mat at each doorway. Ask people to remove their shoes when entering your home.
  4. Manage the humidity. Moisture is a breeding ground for mold and mites. Keep your humidity to no more than 50% by using a dehumidifier in the months when your home is closed tight, and empty the drip pans as needed.

You can also reduce the humidity by using an exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen (particularly when the dishwasher is running). Be careful not to overwater your house plants. Repair leaky pipes and faucets, and vent your clothes dryer to the outside of your home.

  1. Use natural cleaners. Many store-bought cleaners contain harmful chemicals that you’re spraying into the air and wiping onto your home’s surfaces. You don’t need those chemistry experiments to keep your home clean. Some of the best cleaning products are in your pantry: lemon slices, baking soda, white vinegar, tea tree oil, olive oil, salt, and castile soap.
  2. Avoid artificial fragrances. Plug-in air fresheners have been proven to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are considered toxic. Laundry detergents, air fresheners, dryer sheets, and other consumer products that boast a “fresh scent” are the result of harsh chemicals, such as phthalates. Avoid any products with artificial fragrances. For indoor air that is healthy and smells fresh, use an air diffuser with essential oils.
  3. Read labels. Some of the woods and wood products used in furniture are treated with chemicals, like formaldehyde, and assembled with toxic glues. Look for furniture, electronics, building products (e.g., cabinetry, countertops, lighting, flooring), mattresses, wallcoverings, and windows treatments that carry the GREENGUARD Certification,
  4. Look for low- or no-VOCs. If you’ve ever walked into a room with fresh paint, you know the odor. You might have even experienced a headache from the VOCs in the paint. Choose only low-VOC or Zero VOC paint.
  5. Add plants. Some house plants remove toxins from the air and emit healthy oxygen in return. These detoxifying plants include the areca palm, bamboo palm, gerbera daisy, spider plant, variegated wax plant, and Boston fern. They remove chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene from your air, AND they’re safe for pets (cats and dogs).
  6. Open the windows. There’s nothing like airing out your home. Yes, it’s cold outside, but let in some fresh air occasionally—and let the bad air get out.

Hot Spot Home Buying Map

Categories: American Classic News, Seattle, Washington | Posted: January 16, 2017

Here at American Classic Homes we know that making a move can be a big decision. Some of the biggest details to consider are things like the average cost of either purchasing or renting a home (depending on which is a better option of you), the ability to commute, and the cost of living. Using data from Trulia and Expatistan, we took a look at some of the biggest US cities with major appeal that are considered ‘Hot Spots’ to live in and then we created this map portraying where those cities rank within these major decision factors. We hope this tool helps you decide what the next place you should call “home” is!

Post-holiday home touch-ups

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: January 5, 2017

The party’s over. Friends and family members have gone home. You’re taking down the holiday decorations, with far less enthusiasm than when you festooned your home with the sparkle, glitter, ribbons, bows, and scents that put you in the holiday spirit.

Now you’re seeing the fresh scars on the wood furniture, stains on the rugs and upholstery, nicks on the walls, and who put thumbtacks in the mantle?

Don’t assume the “bah, humbug” mode. These nagging little issues are simply an opportunity to start the new year fresh with some post-holiday home touch-ups.

  • Steam-clean your carpets, rugs, and upholstery. You’ve got a lot of indoor living to do in the months ahead. The fresh smell and revived look will perk up your spirits.
  • If you don’t want to patch and repaint the nail holes and nicks in your walls, apply wall decals. You can find anything from an inspiring quote to a panoramic image.
  • A minor furniture scratch can often be rubbed out with a 50-50 mixture of lemon juice and vegetable oil. Click here for other furniture repair tips.
  • Don’t wait for spring cleaning. While you’re moving your furniture back from its holiday location, dust and vacuum those spots that are usually hidden.
  • You probably spent a lot of time in your kitchen over the holidays. Did you experience frustration with clutter or disorganization? Now is a great time to reorganize this vital space. Clean out your cabinets and determine a more convenient way to store those small appliances that you suddenly discovered have more value than you realized (e.g., the immersion blender you never took out of the box). Discard old herbs and spices, replace them, and create a better system for keeping stock so you don’t run out of ginger just when you’re ready to make gingerbread cookies with the kids.
  • Before you stash all your holiday decorations back where they live for 11 months of the year, do a quick inventory. Are there any you don’t want to keep? If so, purge now and lighten your load.

It’s a new year. Start with a clean slate, a clean house, and a fresh perspective!

Coffee Shop Favorites That Will Keep You Coming Back For More

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Renton, Sammamish Plateau, Seattle | Posted: December 28, 2016

Renton, Washington

It’s hard to compete with the coffee capital of Seattle, but Renton, Washington has been stepping up its game to provide coffee favorites for its 97,000 residents. Whether you are a local or just visiting, a city-guide for coffee is always necessary. Ranked based on coffee quality, accessibility, and creativity, below are the top three choices for your daily java fix.

liberty cafe renton

#1 Liberty Cafe: From the outside, this small cafe in Old Downtown Renton doesn’t look like much. Papyrus font gold lettering, a liberty bell decal, and a couple of metal chairs. But step inside and the taste of a creamy chai latte on a gray Seattle morning will quickly transport you to your happy place. Liberty Cafe, on Main and South Third Street, is known for it’s open mic nights, fast wi-fi, and fun drink creations. In addition to the vocal artists that come through the door, Liberty also invites the expressions of photographers and other visual artists to display their creations. The artists don’t only come through the door as guests, they work behind the counter too. With holiday drinks like an eggnog chai tea latte, there’s no question that the creative juices are always flowing.

 

#2 Black Bear Coffee Company: Let’s face it. Most days we are in a rush. We press snooze one (or two or three) times more than we should, just to avoid stepping out of our warm beds and onto the never-ending to-do lists we’ve created. Coffee is a necessity, but once we move from the warm bed into a (finally) warm car, we aren’t always ready to get out. Thankfully, there’s a delicious coffee drive thru that won’t disappoint. Black Bear Coffee Company offers just what you need to get your morning fix. The well-known experience of a Cafe D’Arte espresso, flavored with Torani syrup, and a milk of your choice is what you can expect to find. For the mornings where you just need coffee to be predictable, Black Bear will deliver every time. Feeling a little adventurous? Try their Grizzly Mocha that includes a “top secret” ingredient that will keep you guessing. Espresso not your thing? Try one of their many Red Bull drinks, guaranteed to wake you right up and spice up the flavor of an ordinary can.

 

renton vinces coffee#3 Vince’s Coffee: For the students out there, Vince’s Coffee is a welcoming place for getting cozy and studying the day away. No need to read in a stiff metal chair, at Vince’s you are invited to stretch out your legs in their comfy leather arm chairs or plush couches. You’ll feel like you are in your own living room with a walk up coffee counter. Where many coffee shops lack in the food department, here you’ll find breakfast and lunch panini’s that will help soak up some of the caffeine to keep away those afternoon jitters. Is your day off to a rough start? The friendly staff will help turn that around by not only providing you with your morning fix, but with customer
service that is on point. Another advantage? It’s not overly crowded. You’ll most likely always find a spot to curl up with your book and cup of joe, without being too disturbed. Bring a set of headphones to play your favorite tunes while drinking a delicious cup of coffee, and rest in the comfort of a place that can quickly become your second home.

So whether you are looking for the creativity of Liberty Cafe, the convenience of Black Bear
Coffee Company, or the comfort of Vince’s Coffee, these shops are sure to quench those coffee
cravings and keep you coming back for more.

 

Sammamish, Washington

The beautiful city of Sammamish is tucked between the trees to the East and Lake Sammamish. It’s proximity to Issaquah and Downtown Seattle makes it an incredible place to call home. Here are the top three places to enjoy the bold flavors of rich espresso and sweet vibrant syrups used to enhance the coffee in this charming town.

Sammamish Cafe

Pull right up to Sammamish Cafe and enjoy a gritty American feast with the locals. This cute diner was modeled after a 1940’s fishing lodge and has a bar counter tables and booths inviting you to sit and stay awhile. There are seven cafes throughout Washington that are linked to this one, including Saw Mill Cafe and Issaquah Cafe all serving hearty American meals. Each location carries a special blend of Village Cafe Coffee roasted on Camano Island. If you show up on a Sunday morning expect to wait a while but don’t be disappointed–they will offer you free coffee Bringing your kiddos along. They will fall in love. The cafe offers an M&M hot cocoa that is insanely delicious. Whether you are meeting a friend for coffee and a slice of pie in the evening or bringing your family in for brunch on the weekend this local spot can’t be beat.

Mercury Coffee Co

Enjoy an Eastside favorite when you walk into to get your latte at Mercury Coffee Co. Their standard brewed coffee is a combination of bold rich chocolaty flavors with a fruity finish. Nothing is more satisfying for the days when you’ve decided it’s time to “treat yourself” try ordering a Hawaiian Silk Latte. This special treat contains white chocolate, macadamia nut, coconut, espresso, and milk that feels like velvet. If you’re feeling a little spicy, they also offer a Mexican Mocha with spiced chocolate and espresso. Mercury Coffee Co first opened in 1998 in Woodinville and has been expanding over the last several years. They’ve won awards for their coffee since 2012 naming them “best” on several occasions. Their Sammamish store is scheduled to open in late 2016 early 2017 and you won’t want to miss it. Until then their nearby Redmond store is ready for you to dive in and start becoming familiar with their drinks that will soon become your favorite.

Starbucks

Only 20 miles from the flagship store, there is no doubt that Starbucks holds its own in any neighboring Seattle town. There are two Starbucks locations in Sammamish one drive-thru and one walk-in storefront. If you’re looking for a space to spread out and work the drive-thru location a tad bit closer to Eastlake High School might be your best bet. If you are a teacher or a parent of students at Eastlake High¨ the convenience of having two Starbucks locations so close is unmatched. Whether you are

craving one of their signature holiday drinks such as the Fall-favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte or a grab-and-go warm bacon gouda sandwich it is hard to compete with the predictability of stepping into a Starbucks. If you find yourself in Sammamish it is highly likely that you enjoy spending time outdoors. Take any coffee to go and enjoy it on a beautifully-paved Lake Sammamish trail or with a pastry as you sit alongside the lake. Invite your friends and family to join you for breakfast at the Sammamish Cafe become a regular at the new Sammamish branch of Mercury Cafe or celebrate the holidays with a Starbucks classic drink as you curl up next to the fireplace.

No matter how you enjoy your coffee, enjoy it in Washington.

Drive Me Yummy: Food Trucks of Seattle

Categories: Seattle, Washington | Posted: December 27, 2016

Ever since food trucks became a craze in 2008, mobile food options have continued to make a presence all over the country. They are the perfect lunch option for business men and women on the go, offering delicious options without the wait of a restaurant. For the college and young adult crowd, they provide the adventure and excitement of unique food in unique environments. Whether you are looking for something sweet, savory, simple, or complex, Seattle’s food truck scene has it all.

 

Best Food Trucks by Category

Dessert

Who says you can’t have dessert first? The Seattle Cookie Counter hand-makes 100% vegan ice cream sandwiches out of a VW Bus. Can you get any cooler than that? (Pun intended). This food truck pops up in rotating locations and was just saved by the community because it is so well loved. Support this local business when they reopen in January and experience the creamy goodness of a milk and cookies happy hour yourself!

 

Mealtime

If you’ve had the opportunity to try any of Marination’s restaurant locations, you won’t be surprised that this made the list. A Hawaiian-Korean fusion might be a new combination for you, but try telling me a Kalbi beef taco with Asian slaw doesn’t sound amazing. Another favorite?

Kimchi fried rice. The flavors are unmatchable and the prices reasonable. The only problem? Once you try it, the cravings won’t stop. Find their truck, Big Blue, hitting the streets again in 2017. Find them on twitter: https://twitter.com/curb_cuisine.

 

Best Food Trucks by Location

Eastside

If you live and work on the Eastside and are looking for somewhere new to check out, try The Peach and The Pig. This gourmet food truck is often parked in Bothell, Shoreline, and Redmond and offers an amazing pulled pork sandwich, apple bacon brussel sprouts, and fried green tomatoes. Find out where they are: https://twitter.com/peachandthepig.

 

South Lake Union

Meet the staff that everyone raves about at Tacos El Tajin. This South Lake Union food truck is known for their smiling faces, extra avocados, tender meats, and unbeatable prices. It can be hard to find a great Mexican food option in the Pacific Northwest, but quench those cravings at this local hotspot on your next lunch break. Check out their menu here: http://eltajintacos.com/.

 

Dealer’s Choice

Nosh: Fish and chips, fried rabbit, bone marrow, these are just some of the amazing things you can find on the Nosh truck. They bounce around from Westlake to Fremont to Downtown

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