6 Tricks and Tips for Epic Pumpkin Carving this Halloween

What’s Halloween without some fun pumpkin carving activities? Before you grab your tools and get all set up, though, you’re going to want to check out these clever tricks for creating the best jack-o-lantern in the neighborhood.

  1. Choose your tools wisely. Serrated or boning knives work best for cutting out the lid or large holes in the bottom of the pumpkin for balance. Use an ice cream scoop to remove all those pesky seeds more easily. Try small paring knives that often come in pumpkin-carving kits for carving the finer details.
  2. Get the inside scoop. Forget straight up and down; carve the lid out on a slight angle to keep it from falling through once you replace it. Or don’t carve a lid – carve out the bottom instead.
  3. Let there be light. If you’re going with old-fashioned candles, create a little chimney so the pumpkin can breathe. Light a candle and put the lid back on for a few minutes. See where the lid has blackened and cut a small hole here for smoke to escape. For an easier alternative, grab some battery-operated tea lights, rainbow LEDs or even strobe lights for a cool – and less flammable – effect.
  4. Smells like… pumpkin spice? Make your jack-o-lantern smell like a seasonal delicacy by sprinkling a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice inside the lid. Once you light a candle, sit back and enjoy the aroma!
  5. Make your pumpkin go further. Save the pumpkin seeds for a yummy fall snack! And before you toss those gooey scraps, consider getting creative and using them as decorative elements that ooze from the mouth or eyes of your jack-o-lantern!
  6. Keep your jack-o-lantern smiling longer. By spreading petroleum jelly on the cut edges of the pumpkin, you can help seal in moisture. Or add some bleach to a spray bottle filled with water, then spray the pumpkin daily. You’ll be able to fight mold while preventing your pumpkin from drying out. If all else fails, try to revive your pumpkin by placing it facedown in cold water for up to 8 hours.

 

Communities Designed For Family Living

As one of the nation’s most successful family owned homebuilders, American West has been providing homes for the families of Southern Nevada since 1984. We have a proven track record of success.

Our neighborhoods are the best masterfully planned in the valley. The value that is built into every American West home is incomparable. Each home design is beautiful and offers unique architectural features that you would expect to find in a custom home. Our variety of new home designs offer something for everyone. There are one-, two-, and three-story homes that range from 1,552 to 4,934 sq. ft.

Many companies build homes but few are as committed to improving the quality of life for the people who live in them. American West considers virtually every aspect of living – comfort, lifestyle, convenience, quality and innovation. We combine unmatched value, the best locations, well-planned communities and the newest amenities in all our homes and communities.

Discover our new home designs and communities www.AmericanWestHomes.com

Benefits of Homeownership

There are many benefits to homeownership Here are the top five:

1. Savings: Owning a home is like investing in an automatic savings account. You accumulate savings in two ways. Every month, a portion of your monthly mortgage payment goes to the principal, reducing the overall loan amount. Each year, a percentage of your mortgage payment goes to paying down the principal. Second, your home appreciates over time, making it one of the best financial investments and increasing your household wealth.

2. Tax Breaks: Owning a home can unlock some of the biggest potential tax breaks most people have access to. The interest paid on a home loan is typically the largest potential deduction for middle-class Americans.

3. Equity: Buying a home is the largest investment most families will ever make and homeownership is the largest creator of wealth for Americans. It allows families to build financial security as the equity in their home increases. On a national level, home appreciation has historically risen 5-6 percent annually. When you pay a landlord, its money down the drain. When you pay a mortgage, your money is going towards something you own and is over time producing equity.

4. Price Stability: Las Vegas is a city where rent-controlled apartments do not exist. What this means is that each lease renewal could mean an increase in your rent. Owning a home provides price stability. While a rent payment can change substantially from year-to-year, you will have the same monthly payment for 30 years under a fixed-rate mortgage. Even if you get an adjustable rate mortgage, your payment will stay within a certain range for the entire life of the mortgage.

5. Security: When you own, it’s yours. And it remains yours for a lifetime if you choose. You also live in a neighborhood with other homeowners, meaning more time to build relationships and friendships. Recent studies have also shown that homeowners rank themselves as healthier than their renter counterparts.

The Las Vegas Housing Market is hot right now! It’s a great time to buy. Don’t hesitate and start building equity today!

We Build Homes, Not Just Houses

A home is much more than 4 walls and a roof. It is where your child learns to crawl and then walk. It is where they learn to swim or throw a baseball. It is where your children grow. Home is where family and friends gather to help celebrate the milestones in your life. Home is where the memories of your life are made.

Think of a happy childhood memory. More than likely, that memory revolves around the home you grew up in. A home that was filled with love and joy. A home that your parents were proud to own. Why should you settle for anything less now?

American West believes in building homes and not just houses. Since 1984, we have welcomed more than 18,000 homeowners into our family and have been privileged to be a part of many heartfelt memories. We know how important a home and home ownership is to everyone. Our neighborhoods are the best planned in Las Vegas. As you walk through our homes, you will see the commitment to cutting-edge design that is highlighted by amazing architectural features.

Buying a new home is one of the biggest investments most people will ever make in their lifetime. Don’t you want the reassurance that 10 years from now the quality and value of your home is still there? American West stands behind the belief that there should be no other answer than, “yes” and the proof of that can be found in every home that we build. Our reputation for the Best Built Homes has stood since the first home we built in 1984 and continues to grow with every new home we build.

We love helping make the dreams of home ownership come true for the families in Las Vegas. It’s one of the many reasons why we have been doing it for so long.

We look forward to being a part of building the foundation for your lifetime memories.

Why Did This Family Choose Silverado Summit?

Las Vegas native Tracy Covert and her family have the distinction of being the first buyers at Silverado Summit. They were already satisfied American West homeowners, so when the time came to look for a larger home, choosing to build a new American West home in Silverado Summit wasn’t a big leap. “We looked at many different houses on the market, both resale and new. We were already familiar with American West and the quality of their homes, because we currently live in one. Silverado Summit fit our family’s needs best.”

In fact, Tracy and other members of her extended family already live in other phases of Silverado Ranch. Tracy’s immediate family has lived in the neighborhood for three years, so they know it and like it. “Our primary focus when choosing a new home was keeping the kids in their current schools while finding a plan large enough to accommodate our family of six comfortably. Silverado Summit is still in the same area we currently reside in so the kids didn’t have to change schools.”

Tracy and her family loved the distinctive plans American West is offering at Silverado Summit. “We’ve seen so many floorplans, and few stand out these days. But this one was unique in that it had three levels, which provided my mother, who lives with us, her own private space on the lower level to enjoy. We love the open layout. And the kitchen is stunning. The other feature that really stood out was the front deck, which will be nice to sit on while the kids play outside.”

When asked what she liked best about American West, Tracy replied, “The buying process is fun! I have really enjoyed the experience. Todd White has been a pleasure to work with, and has kept us informed along the way. We are so excited and could not be more thrilled to be in our new home!”

Tracy and her family chose The Riley home which measures 3,990 square feet. They could not be happier with their choice and have loved the new memories they have already created and look forward to a lifetime more of them. We are thrilled that Tracy and her family chose us to be the builder of their new home.

 

Some Energy Saving Ideas

Our Las Vegas climate is one where living in an energy efficient home is important but it is also important to try and find ways to keep energy costs down. You can save energy and money by trying to change some of your daily habits.

Here are some helpful suggestions:

  1. Do a nightly energy sweep. We’ve all left fans, electronics or appliances on at night while we sleep, but doing so wastes increasingly expensive energy. To save money, do a nightly sweep through the house to make sure all your electric devices are turned off before you go to bed. It may be a pain, but the savings from simply turning everything off can add up quickly.
  2. Make sure to change your filters. Waiting a long time to change your filters makes your system less efficient and costs you more in electricity. Dirt and neglect can even cause damage to your air conditioner (HVAC) unit.
  3. Check your vents. If they’re closed, open them! Closing vents will actually raise your energy costs.
  4. Use your washer and dryer wisely. Wash your clothes in cold water. Make sure you have full loads of laundry before using the washer and dryer.
  5. Consider your light bulbs. Turn off lights you aren’t using and consider changing bulbs out to compact fluorescents for cost savings. 
  6. Be cool. Actually program the programmable thermostat! Find a comfortable temperature for when you are home and when you are not home or asleep. Adjust the temperatures to a higher or lower temperature depending on the season.
  7. Soften those rays. Closing the curtains and lowering the blinds on the sunny side of your house will help keep you cooler on hot days.

Visit any of American West’s new home communities and discover all the energy efficient features that are offered in our homes.

Gorgeous Master Baths

As a homebuilder who takes into consideration their homeowners wants and needs, we understand that a spa like master bath retreat should not just be limited to the ultra-luxury crowd. This is why you will find from our 1,552 to our 4,934 square foot homes that we put a lot of thought into our beautiful master bath designs. Each design is breathtaking and will leave you with a feeling of tranquility, bliss and delight.

Discover some of the gorgeous master baths in our new home designs:

The Las Vegas Housing Market is Strong

While 2016 was a good year for the housing industry, with housing starts up 5% from 2015, 2017 is on its way to being even better. Job growth is fueling population growth, which is fueling housing demands. According to Realtor.com, even though interest rates have been rising, causing mortgage rates to increase, housing demands are still high, especially in hot markets like Las Vegas.

In fact, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors says the Las Vegas real estate market saw moderate price growth even during the slower winter months, which is a good sign for the stronger spring and summer selling seasons. “We continue to see a strong demand for housing,” reveals GLVAR president David J. Tina. “Combined with a tight supply, I think our home prices and home sales may continue to get a boost from the positive economic news we’ve been enjoying.”

Real estate experts also point out that though rates are rising, mortgage credit will become easier to obtain due to slightly loosened lending standards.

All of this is strengthening the Las Vegas housing market. As the Las Vegas Business Press found when they surveyed a wide variety of business and economic leaders in January, optimism is truly the watchword. From tourism and gaming, to banking and health care, and housing, they all predicted that 2017 will be a banner year for growth, new projects, and economic success.

As Larry Canarelli, Founder of American West Homes concludes, “Everything we’re seeing shows a stronger economy and shows us moving in the right direction and we’re happy to be building so many new homes for so many great families in an amazing city.”

Signature Master Suites

Dollar for dollar, square foot for square foot, no other builder offers more quality, choice and value than American West. Our home designs have always stood apart from anything else in the Las Vegas Valley. If you could build your own home, it would probably be a lot like ours.

We understand the wants and needs of homeowners. We understand that every room in your home tells a unique story. You can find superior architecture and craftsmanship in every room of a new American West home.

Our signature master suites are designed for luxury and comfort. At the end of each day, we understand that there is a need for a private hideaway. A place where you can retreat and relax and more importantly get a good night’s sleep.

Discover some of the gorgeous master suites in our homes…

Your New American West Energy Saver Home

With new homeownership comes the security of knowing that everything is brand new and that your personal choices are reflected in your home. Choosing a new American West home also means that you’ve made a sound financial decision.

American West is focused on building energy efficient homes with sustainable materials and features that matter to you and your family. Our energy efficient building materials and building process demonstrate not only a commitment to excellence but also a respect for the environment and an understanding of what our homeowners need in their new home.

Some of the INCLUDED materials and features in a new American West home are:

  • 14 SEER Natural gas & air conditioning unit
  • Vinyl dual-paned low-E3 coated argon gas filled windows & sliding glass doors
  • Energy efficient radiant heat barrier roof sheathing
  • ENERGY STAR© appliances
  • Quick recovery and high efficient natural gas water heater
  • Protective house wrap shields your home against air & moisture infiltration
  • Water-conserving Moen© faucets & showerheads
  • Fully insulated fiberglass front door

The energy efficient features in your new American West home are chosen specifically for the southwestern climate where our homeowners live. As a local builder, we understand the need for energy efficient features that work specifically for our Las Vegas climate.

At American West, every day we choose to build the kind of energy efficient, elegantly designed homes that are the right choice for you and your family. Choices that mean reduced energy bills, greater comfort, and higher quality for our homeowners.

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