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The price of procrastination: Mortgage rates are rising

Categories: New Homes | Posted: December 8, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase price: $295,000

30-year FRM

At 3.6%           $1,341 per month

At 4.6%           $1,512 per month

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

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

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

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

Port of Everett Selects Local Housing Developer for Fisherman’s Harbor

Categories: American Classic News, Everett | Posted: December 5, 2016


In November, the Port of Everett Commission authorized the CEO to sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement with American Classic Homes (ACH) to build approximately 254 multi-family housing units in the new Fisherman’s Harbor District in Waterfront Place.

The deal includes ACH acquiring 5.44 acres in Fisherman’s Harbor for the negotiated sales price of $7 million to construct two residential buildings. According to the ACH proposal, the apartment units will range in size from 550 square feet to 1,300 square feet, and the buildings will be consistent with the approved heights for the district (35-45 feet).

“The American Classic Homes team provided a vision for the Fisherman’s Harbor residential that was creative, high-quality, and consistent with the overall historical theme of the Waterfront Place Central development,” said Terrie Battuello, Chief of Business Development for the Port of Everett. “The project is led by a strong housing team with demonstrated experience delivering successful projects on-time.”

“Our vision is for our two Waterfront Place Apartment buildings to capture the spirit of the Port of Everett’s new Waterfront Place neighborhood by embracing the past, present and future of the waterfront,” said John Shaw, Director of Multi-Family Acquisitions at American Classic Homes.

“Our design approach will reflect Everett’s past waterfront industries while looking to the future of this new, exciting mixed-use neighborhood.” ACH’s buildings will reflect two distinct design directions. The first building will celebrate Everett’s waterfront’s history of timber and the second building will embrace the maritime and water stories of the location and community of Waterfront Place. The design is well-oriented to maximize the Port’s infrastructure features and pedestrian patterns, with lobbies to activate streets and a lively and attractive public realm.

Port Commission Reaction:

“This historic transaction will bring housing to the Everett waterfront for the first time in its history, and provide an early signal to the community and follow on developers that the Port is committed to implementing its vision of a vibrant destination waterfront.”–Port Commissioner Troy McClelland

“American Classic Homes is a quality Puget Sound developer/builder. This is their first major project in Snohomish County, and we welcome them. This is a great example of the public and private sector coming together to bring jobs and vitality to the waterfront.”–Port Commissioner Tom Stiger

“Waterfront Place will be another living and gathering asset to Everett and Snohomish County. For those who will live there, it will be the highlight of their lives.”–Port Commissioner Glen Bachman

Construction Status

This fall, the Port Commission awarded $12 million in public infrastructure contracts to Interwest Construction and Bergerson Construction to build the new Seiner Drive and 14th Street roadways, the Esplanade trail system in Fisherman’s Harbor, the Pacific Rim Plaza, new bulkhead, overwater platform, provide landscaping for all the public spaces and install a new pipeline in the City of Everett’s Puget Sound storm water infrastructure within the site. This work is underway and is scheduled to be complete in late 2017. Vertical construction for the housing units are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2017, with a target date for opening in the second quarter of 2019.

The construction activity in Fisherman’s Harbor will support 1,000 temporary construction jobs annually, 335 direct jobs, $7.6 million in annual payroll, and generate approximately $1 million in state and local taxes.

Fisherman’s Harbor, the first phase of the 65-acre Waterfront Place Central mixed use development, is located on 12 acres adjacent to West Marine View Drive. This district will be a year-round hub of activity that includes approximately 254 apartment homes, a 140 room hotel, five commercial buildings and numerous retail and waterfront restaurant spaces. The key public features of this area include: a continuous public trail, a dock walk for visitors to get down to touch the water and Pacific Rim Plaza, with a splash feature, that will pay tribute to our international seaport.

For more information, contact Lisa Lefeber, Chief of Policy and Communication, at or by phone at 425.388.0617.

About the Waterfront Place Project

The Waterfront Place Central project will create a new community where people can live, work, shop, relax and find entertainment. Overall, it includes 15 new public gathering spaces, up to 660 housing units, waterfront hotel, up to 10 fine and casual dining restaurants, and 662,000 sq. ft. of commercial, retail and marine sales and services. At full build out, the project will generate approximately $500 million in private investment and support more than 2,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs and $8.6 million in new tax revenue for the city.

About American Classic Homes. Based in Mercer Island, Washington, American Classic Homes is a local, family-owned and award-winning new home builder, with communities across the greater Seattle area including Green Lake, Queen Anne, Kirkland, Renton, Sammamish, Bellevue and now Issaquah. American Classic Homes builds elegant, distinctive, and uniquely Pacific Northwest communities with company partners who are directly involved in every step of the home building process, ensuring satisfaction and adding to the personalized and award winning customer service experience.

A Guide to Exploration on a Rainy Seattle Day

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: December 2, 2016

The Seattle climate can be overwhelming for visitors. The rain falls almost every day for several
months out of the year, but that’s part of the beauty. In Seattle the rain invites discovery, so we
wanted to share with you the top five places we would recommend for you to explore on a rainy day.

1. Pike Place Market
Whether this is your first time to Seattle or you come on a regular basis, Pike Place Market is
always a town favorite. The storefronts are lined with street performers, providing their talent for
a donation. People are gathered, shoulders together, as they look at the hundreds of handmade
items, fresh grown flowers, and chocolate pasta samples. Stand in line for a warm cup of coffee
at the iconic flagship Starbucks location. Put on your hood and rain boots and stroll over to the
grass area on the North side of the market to get a great view of the water. Grab a bite to eat in
the multi-level market with restaurants, food stands, and fresh produce tables. The Market is a
great place to visit on a rainy day because it is covered and is big enough to spend a significant
amount of time walking through.

2. Space Needle
Standing 605 feet up in the air, the Space Needle is a cherished piece of art in the Downtown
Seattle Skyline. In addition to its Observation Deck, which allows you to see a panoramic view
of the entire city, the Needle’s restaurant, SkyCity, cannot be matched. If you’re looking for a
warm place to be on a rainy Seattle night, this is it. Each restaurant reservation includes a free
trip to the Observation Deck, which is the best bang for your buck. Bringing your kids along?
They have a great selection of American cuisine that is sure to please even the pickiest of kids.
If brunch is your weekly highlight, their malted buttermilk waffle or classic benny will make your
mouth water. Looking for the perfect date night? Pair a glass of your favorite wine (they have
quite the selection!) with a vanilla bean creme brulee. You won’t regret it. Whether you are
staring out while enjoying a fantastic meal, or making your rounds on the Observation Deck, you
will not find a better view of the city anywhere else in Seattle.

3. Chihuly Garden and Glass
If you’ve been to Vegas, there is a good chance that you’ve seen Chihuly’s work. The iconic
ceiling display, “Fiori Di Como”, in the front lobby at the Bellagio, is one of his most famous
pieces, causing passer-by’s to stare in awe. In 2012, the Seattle Center was privileged with the
opportunity to open a long-standing exhibit featuring the masterpieces of Dale Chihuly. If you’re
visiting Seattle, this needs to be on your short list. The glasshouse displays are breathtaking,
with colors changing based on the natural light. The outdoor garden combines the natural with
the created, inviting your mind to escape into its whimsy. Interested in learning a little more
about the pieces? The museum offers an audio tour. And there’s even a cafe with art adorning
the ceiling and walls, but don’t forget to make a reservation!

4. Experience Music Project Museum/Museum of Pop Culture
The Experience Music Project Museum, or EMP as it is often referred to, recently changed its
name to MoPOP-Museum of Pop Culture. It is a one-of-a-kind museum that the whole family
can enjoy. It features interesting music and pop culture history, phenomenal exhibitions, and
fascinating educational opportunities. The building itself is a visual representation of what you
can expect to find inside. With its various textures and colors, the steel frame portrays the
energy and fluidity of music. MoPOP is different than other museums, because their intention is
that you experience music and culture, not just observe it. If you’re looking for an experience
that will cause you to pause and engage with music and pop culture in a new way, look no

5. Museum of Flight
Create a field trip for you and your family with a planned visit to the Museum of Flight. They offer
a wide variety of classes on aviation, space, robots, and more. The Museum originally was
located in the Red Barn that served as the birthplace of the Boeing Company in 1975. It has
taken on many new shapes since then, but is currently the largest independent non-profit air
and space program in the world. The museum contains over 175 air and spacecrafts, articles,
photographs, and ongoing exhibits that are sure to teach you something new. Take the time to
explore the history of aircraft that has significantly transformed our culture, communication, and
ability to travel all around the world.


So on your next visit to Seattle, let the rain be an invitation to rub shoulders with other visitors at
Pike Place Market, eat a great meal while looking at the Skyline at the Space Needle, be
amazed by the combination of glass and light at Chihuly Garden and Glass, experience the
intricacies of music and pop culture at MoPOP, and learn the rich history of travel at the
Museum of Flight.

Take it easy with these Thanksgiving dinner cooking tips and time-savers.

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: November 24, 2016


It’s coming. That time of year when the family descends on one another for a day-long feeding frenzy. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, don’t panic. Take it easy with these Thanksgiving cooking tips and time-savers.

  1. Estimate 1 to 1 ½ pounds of turkey per person, to make sure you have enough. Too much never seems to be a problem (sandwiches, pot pie, a la king, soup, and good old casseroles).
  2. Remember that thawing a frozen turkey can take DAYS—about 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. Do the math, and plan ahead so you’re not scrambling the morning of Thanksgiving—or serving up a turkey-sicle.
  3. In addition to the 12-minute-per-pound cooking time, allow 20 to 30 minutes at the end to let it rest before carving. This extra time lets the juices spread out and provides a moister bird.
  4. While the turkey is waiting to be carved, siphon up the juices and make the gravy. You can make it ahead, if you want, using broth or stock. Then, add the juices and thickener when you take the turkey out of the oven.
  5. Speaking of making gravy, don’t add cornstarch or flour directly into your simmering pot of would-be gravy. This leads to lumps. Instead, dilute the thickening agent in a liquid measuring cup with broth, water, or turkey drippings, to the consistency of a paste. Stir it well and add the thickener to your gravy for a lump-free result.
  6. For the tastiest mashed potatoes, start with the right tater. Yukon Golds give the creamiest texture. Red Bliss potatoes are nice (leave some of the skin on for added color). Russets are good and readily available. White potatoes lack the flavor of these preferred potatoes.
  7. Don’t mash potatoes with a hand-mixer or other electric tool. You’ll end up with a paste-like substance. For fluffy mashed potatoes, use a ricer or hand masher.
  8. Warm the milk a bit before mashing it into your potatoes (20 seconds on high in the microwave). Cold milk will only reduce the temperature of your potatoes.
  9. Pre-made pie crust is great! Why struggle with getting the perfect combination of flour and moisture for your pastry? The name-brand, refrigerated crust adds a flaky, tasty foundation to your pie (the store brand isn’t as good, in my humble opinion). Before rolling it out, let the crust come to room temperature (or thereabouts) on your kitchen counter.
  10. If you’re a pumpkin purist, you probably take the time to roast and puree the mighty gourd. But a very good substitute is pure pumpkin in a can—not to be confused with pumpkin filling.
  11. Be careful about trying a new recipe on the Thanksgiving dinner crowd. Do a trial run ahead of time to make sure you like the result. People don’t often remember their favorite dishes, but they somehow never forget the terrible ones!

Happy Thanksgiving! May the day be filled with blessings.

How to choose your kitchen backsplash

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: November 23, 2016


The kitchen backsplash used to be purely functional—protecting splatters, stains, and chips from damaging your wall. With kitchens getting more design attention than ever before, you have more choices for making a splash with your backsplash. In fact, you have more options in materials, color, and style in backsplashes than the countertops themselves.

What will work best for you—your style preferences, kitchen design, budget, and upkeep? Here is a guide to kitchen backsplash choices, so you can weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.


The increased popularity of decorative kitchen backsplashes has driven manufacturers to provide greater versatility. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are available in colorful patterns, as well as the look of natural stone or wood. You also have a broader range of shapes and sizes when choosing a tile backsplash.


  • Inexpensive
  • Resistant to heat, water, and scratches
  • Easy to clean
  • Relatively simple to install
  • Chipped tiles are easy to replace
  • Wide variety of colors, designs, sizes, and shapes


  • Not resistant to chipping
  • The choice of white tile and grout will get dirty in an active kitchen

Stainless Steel

The polished shine of stainless steel looks great with a modern kitchen and the matching appliances, so it’s a natural choice as a kitchen backsplash. Like your stainless steel appliances, however, it’s not as “stainless” as you might like!


  • Affordable
  • Heat-resistant
  • Easy to clean with warm water and a soft cloth (and mild dish detergent for greasy areas)


  • Not scratch-resistant
  • Dents can’t be repaired (but add character)


You love it on your kitchen countertop, so why not use granite for your backsplash as well? The uniqueness of each slab make every space a one-of-a-kind. Plus, you can choose from the polished or honed finishes, for the shine or matte look you want.


  • Durable
  • All-natural beauty
  • Easy to clean
  • Wide range of colors


  • Porous, so requires occasional re-sealing to prevent stains
  • Expensive


The beauty of this natural stone adds the look of luxury to any room in your home. Whether or not you have a marble countertop in your kitchen, a marble backsplash makes a definite statement.


  • Natural beauty
  • One-of-a-kind uniqueness to every slab


  • Expensive
  • Not stain-resistant
  • Requires regular re-sealing

Polished Plaster

The texture of a polished plaster backsplash can range from smooth to rough, depending on how it is applied—and that step can be done yourself! Once you’re satisfied with the texture, you can apply one or more colors.


  • Relatively easy to apply yourself
  • Easy to maintain


  • Chips easily
  • Difficult to repair


Solid surface materials, like Corian, are manufactured from a composite of resin and minerals. Prior to the surge in popularity of granite countertops, composite was all the rage. The durability, color choices and easy care lend it wonderfully to a backsplash choice!


  • Wide variety of colors
  • Can be molded to angles and curves
  • Seamless surface prevents cracks where dirt and germs can collect
  • Non-porous and hygienic
  • Durable


  • Not scratch-resistant
  • Not heat-resistant (e.g., can’t be installed behind a gas cooktop)


Perhaps your most affordable choice, a laminate backsplash can add the color or texture of natural stone or wood, thanks to the advances in the manufacturing of this popular material.


  • Affordable
  • Wide range of color choices
  • Easy to clean
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable


  • Not heat-resistant (e.g., shouldn’t be installed behind a cooktop or stove)
  • Water can seep into cracks if the laminate isn’t properly installed

Consider Your Homes ‘Walk Score’

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: November 1, 2016

There are many things to consider when shopping for a new home for your family. As a potential homeowner, you will want to explore the area that you are about to make your homebase. Go for a stroll around the neighborhood; take note of the restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and grocery stores. It’s important to learn how close all of these destinations are to your home. Can you easily walk to that delicious pizza joint down the street? If you need to run out quickly because you ran out of cream for your coffee, can you walk to the market or do you need to drive 30 minutes before you reach the first grocery or convenience store? This idea is called your home’s “walk score” and it can make or break your decision to buy a house. A walk score is ranked on a scale of 0-100 with the top scores of 90-100 meaning that a car is not required to complete most daily errands and the lowest scores of 0-24 meaning that you will be almost completely dependent on your car or public transportation.

walking scoreAs you can see in our animated gif, we’ve ranked some of the most classic homes in American history on their walk score. While some had fantastic scores, others fell a little short. The Goonies have an average walk score of 42, meaning that they could walk most places, but it may have taken them a little extra time to get there. That may be why Bran borrowed that little girl’s bike to get around town and find his brother. With a score of 11 Hugh Hefner and the playboy bunnies probably don’t often walk to the grocery store for their weekly necessities. The White House comes in with a walk score of 83, which is above average, but we’re guessing that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama don’t often get to walk to their favorite restaurants due to security reasons.

Next time you are in the market for a new home, make sure you consider what the walk score will be. Check the proximity to local restaurants, markets, schools, and shops and find out if the home’s walk score is comparable to Paul Revere’s house or on the same level as Monticello.


10 Best Things to Do In and Around Seattle In Winter

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle, Washington | Posted: October 31, 2016


One of the best things about living in Seattle is the climate. More often than not, you won’t be caught out in the snow and ice miserably scraping your car off in the early mornings. Seattle is on the Puget Sound and protected by mountains and water on all sides keeping it cool and cloudy for most of the winter with occasional rain showers. It’s the perfect weather to enjoy soups and teas while cuddling up in a flannel blanket next to the fireplace without the hassle of shoveling snow, scraping ice and paying exorbitant prices for winter heating bills. If it is snow that you love, it’s a very short drive away to enjoy beautiful skiing, snowboarding and sledding.

There are always loads of things to do in Seattle and the winter is no different. The cool temperatures make winter outings and holiday light shows more enjoyable.

1. Seattle Winter Fest

Seattle Center Winterfest is a large, family event beginning November 23rd, 2018 through January 6th, 2019, please note that times and dates may vary. Events include ice sculpting, a large model train set with a turn of the century winter village, ice skating rink, and over seventeen free, live performances including music, dancers, carolers and comedy. Winterfest is a great event for children, and includes artistic performances from local school children.

2. Light Up The Night Events

Light up the Holidays by attending Wild Lights at the Woodland Park Zoo. This event takes place from November 23rd – January 1, 2018 (closed on December 24 &25) from 5:30pm-8:30pm. The entire zoo is lit up with 600,000 lights. The lights are expertly set up to replicate locations and animals. A large indoor space boasts fake snow for winter play, real reindeer, a beautiful antique carousel and Christmas carolers. Families can also enjoy a rare look at the nocturnal animals while visiting the zoo at night. The zoo puts on an ongoing scavenger hunt to find all of the peacock themed lights with a chance for a prize for people who find them all. Photos with Santa Claus are available, as well as a zoo themed gift shop for unique holiday gifts. For the adult visitors a new mulled wine and beer garden is available every evening.

If you reside in South Seattle or Tacoma, Zoo Lights at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma is a closer option. This event takes place from November 23rd – January 1 (closed on December 24 & 25) from 5:30-8:30, although it has many of the same attractions as Wild Lights, Zoo Lights specializes in lights displaying marine life including a one-hundred-foot octopus!  A shark tank and aquarium are open and lit up for the event with thousands of marine animals. Santa Claus and an elf dive with sharks (see times and schedules). Camel rides are available for children and adults as well as an after dark petting zoo where young visitors will have the opportunity to feed goats and see meerkats and other animals up close.

3. Leavenworth

Leavenworth is a beautiful, Bavarian style, mountain town located 134 miles East of Seattle. Open year round to look around and go shopping, but for the first three weekends in December this town comes to life as a wonderful Bavarian Christmas town, starting on Fridays from 4-9 pm, Saturday and Sundays from 11-6. Leavenworth is a wonderful area to get into the holiday season with snow, skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. The town creates a beautiful and traditional Christmas setting with tree lighting ceremonies, over half a million lights throughout town, live Christmas music and warm mulled wine with spices to warm you up. A train to Leavenworth is available leaving from Seattle for a gorgeous ride through the snowy mountains adding a beautiful, memorable Holiday experience.

4. Magic In The Market

Magic in the Market is on Nov. 25th from 11-5:30 and takes place in Pike Place Market. The Market hosts a Holiday party with a tree lighting, Santa Claus, gingerbread cookie decorating for kids under 12, caroling and hot cider and chocolate sales throughout the market. Enjoy festive performances by live musicians

  • S.T.R.U.M. (1-2:30 pm in the Atrium & 3-4 pm on Pike Place at the Market clock)
  • Green River Choir (2:30-3 pm on the MarketFront plaza)
  • Sundae + Mr. Goessl (4:30-5:30 pm on Pike Place at the Market clock)
  • Purchase fresh cider, hot cocoa and other beverages from farmers and merchants on Pike Place while you shop the Market for seasonal foods and locally made gifts
  • Pick out the perfect holiday tree from Growing Washington and wreaths from local farmers on Pike Place
  • Santa will lead a countdown to the lighting of the 20-foot holiday tree and lights throughout the Market at 5 pmPLUS! New this year is Stockings and Stuffers, a holiday event providing Market visitors the opportunity to purchase handmade stockings and small gifts to stuff them with. “Stockings and Stuffers” will be in the MarketFront Pavilion until 6 pm. Additionally, artist Gina Karaba will be doing live glass blowing demonstrations.Join in the fun and invite your friends to the kick off to the holiday season

5. Snowflake Lane in Bellevue

It’s always snowing on Snowflake Lane in Bellevue November 23th– December 24th every night at 7 pm. Snowflake Lane is a wonderfully choreographed parade of dancers, drummers and performers that come to perform shows for families among the twinkling holiday lights and 46 snow machines!

6. Polar Bear Plunge

You can be freezin’ for a reason at the Polar Plunge in Golden Gardens Park to benefit Special Olympics on as a super plunger where you’d plunge into the icy water once every hour for a 24 hour period! If you’d like to benefit the cause, but only jump once February 4th is the day for one time plungers.

7. Go Skiing

Winter sports are huge in the North West with many options to choose from. Beautiful ski resorts are not far away, whether you prefer downhill or cross country skiing, snowboarding, tubing or snowshoeing you don’t have to drive far from the Seattle area to find them.

The Summit at Snoqualmie

Stevens Pass

Mount Baker

Crystal Mountain

8. Timber Music Festival

Timber Music Festival in Leavenworth January 29th – 30th. Who says music festivals must be in the summer? Leavenworth Washington gives us something great to look forward to in the dead of winter. Every year one weekend in January visitors can enjoy discounted ski lift passes or watch live music at local venues during the days. At night is when the big bands come out for 21 and over skiers to enjoy the winter evenings with toasty hot toddies at the Hot Toddy Garden in the Festhalle.

9. Seattle Running Events

Give yourself the gift of health this year, while staying in shape through the holidays and joining one of the many of the Seattle runs this winter.

Seattle Marathon November 25, 2018 at 7:15 am. 15,000 runners run a half or full marathon with pretty views of Downtown Seattle and Lake Washington.

Resolution Run January 1, 2019 starting at 10:30 am. Start your new year off right with the Resolution Run, a fun 5k run with an optional polar plunge into Lake Washington. Enjoy New Year’s Day after the run with an open beer garden, wood fires, free chili and warm drinks.

For a more complete guide of Seattle races go to:

Seattle Run Guides

Seattle Runs

10. New Years Party and the EMP Museum

One of the largest parties in Seattle on New Years Eve is thrown at the MoPop Museum, with access to all of it’s pop culture exhibits, music, architecture and technology on December 31. Celebrated with over 3,000 people, there are several stages with live bands and DJ’s, stand up comedy with different comedians performing all night, a free pre-party for singles to meet friends to spend the evening with. The museum boasts of twenty-five bars, VIP tickets available to exclusive party areas, the largest LED screen in the world and a firework show underneath the space needle!


Extra Bonus Item that you should check out in Seattle this winter!

11. Seattle’s SantaCon – Pub Crawl December 16th.

Join over 1,000 other people dressed in Santa Claus costumes for SantaCon and enjoy parading publicly on streets and inside locations in cities around the world. The focus is on spontaneity and creativity, while having a good time and spreading cheer and goodwill. This is much more than a pub crawl, proceeds will be donated to Mary’s Place, our featured charity, which empowers homeless women, children, and families to reclaim their lives.

American Classic Homes Food Bank Drive

Categories: American Classic News, Events | Posted: October 31, 2016

Now through the end of November, American Classic Homes is providing a quick and easy way to make a difference in your community. All of our Model Homes will be available as a local food bank drop off location. You can help make the holidays a little brighter for families in need by dropping off non-perishable canned or box foods to any of our model home locations.

Below are some of the most requested items from the local food banks, though any non-perishable foods you donate will be appreciated.

• Baby Formula
• Baking Mixes
• Brown Rice
• Canned Fruits and Vegetables
• Canned Fish and Meats
• Canned or Boxed Meals
• Canned or Powdered Milk
• Healthy Snacks and Bars
• Infant & Baby Food
• Mac & Cheese
• Oatmeal
• Olive Oil or Canola Oil
• Pasta & Pasta Sauce
• Peanut Butter
• Spices

Sammamish Model Home Drop Off Location
Discovery Grove
2902 226th PL SE
Sammamish, WA 98075
Open: Thursdays – Mondays
Hours: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Supporting the Issaquah Food Bank

Renton Model Home Drop Off Location
Concord Place
1513 Jericho Place NE
Renton, WA 98059
Open: Thursdays – Mondays
Hours: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Supporting the Renton Salvation Army Food Bank

Big Coffee Flavors in Sammamish, Washington

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Sammamish Plateau, Sammamish Washington, Washington | Posted: October 28, 2016

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.



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 Sammamish

Chimney fire prevention in 3 easy steps

Categories: Home Owner Tips | Posted: October 27, 2016


The growing chill in the air ignites the urge to cozy up in front of a crackling fire. Before you light that log in your fireplace, be sure you’re not sparking a chimney fire.

Approximately 23,000 chimney fires occur every year, causing near a billion dollars in damage, and potentially the loss of lives.

Chimney fires are usually caused by creosote build-up. That’s the highly combustible residue that remains in your chimney when burning wood. The wood emits smoke, vapor, gas, hydrocarbons, tar fog, and wood particles. When the internal temperature of your flue gets high enough, the creosote ignites. The fire can explode and erupt in flames, or quietly smolder undetected.

A chimney fire can also result from a faulty chimney liner. If your chimney liner doesn’t provide adequate protection from the searing heat, sparks can escape into your home and ignite a fire.

You can prevent a chimney fire with three easy steps:

  1. Have your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. At the beginning of the heating season, hire a certified chimney inspector to examine your chimney—specifically, the chimney liner and ventilation. The chimney inspector will check for creosote build-up, cracks, and leaks, and make sure the vent is in good working order. A good chimney sweep thoroughly cleans the chimney, flue, and vents.
  2. Use the right wood. Not all woods burn the same. Seasoned hardwood—like ash, oak, maple, hickory, and beech—is best. It has been fully dried out, and the ends should appear cracked, showing the wood is dry. When wood is still green, it creates more smoke as the moisture is dried. This additional condensation can lead to creosote build-up.

Never burn any treated wood materials—e.g., plywood, pressed wood, pressure-treated lumber, engineered wood, like laminate. These materials have been chemically treated and could emit dangerous gases when you burn them.

  1. Take precautions outside.
    • Stack your firewood at least 30 feet from your home, to avoid any risk if the wood catches a spark.
    • During your fall clean-up, clear away fallen leaves, pine needles, and debris from the roof and flue. Anything near the chimney is at risk of catching sparks and starting a fire.
    • Place a spark arrestor screen over the chimney opening. The mesh keeps sparks from escaping to the roof and igniting a fire.

For some tips on finding a certified chimney sweep, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

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