Young couple purchases second residence from American West

Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, newlyweds Liza and Jay Richter thought they would have to wait years before owning a home. They expected their starter home to be small and probably an older resale house. But after moving to Las Vegas, they said they saw plenty of opportunity to purchase a new home.

"If we had stayed in San Jose, we could buy an 800-square-foot, 30-year-old townhouse for twice the price of a large, new home here," Jay Richter said.

The Richters said they found what they were looking for in an American West Homes neighborhood after touring several other builders.

"When we first got to Las Vegas, we did a lot of shopping around. A lot. It felt like we looked at every homebuilder," Liza Richter said. "But nothing impressed us until we visited American West. When we walked into American West, the homes felt like home. They were warm and inviting."

The couple, in their mid-20s, work in the construction industry. They bought their first home in American West's Highlands Ranch neighborhood in 2006. Three years later, the Richters found themselves in a position to buy a second home.

"We were looking for some sort of investment," Jay Richter said. "The current market is a great opportunity for people like us. We have good credit and can afford the monthly payments."

It's their first investment and they plan on buying more investment property. "We're on our way and we're starting young," Liza Richter said.

The Richters said American West Homes' reputation, quality and customer service influenced their decision to buy.

"It was very easy to stick with American West Homes for the second purchase," Jay Richter said. "To give you an example of the quality of customer service -- we were already in contract to purchase the second home when the price was reduced. American West honored the difference without us even asking."

The Richters chose the Charlotte floor plan in Newcastle at Highlands Ranch for their second home. The two-story Charlotte plan measures 1,903 square feet including four bedrooms, 21/2 baths, great room and dining room.

"The master suite is amazing. It has a gorgeous retreat and a huge spa shower," Liza Richter said. "I never dreamed we'd have a shower like that."

Located in the southwest, Highlands Ranch is adjacent to the Southern Highlands master-planned community.

American West is actively selling at five neighborhoods in the planned community, which is near restaurants, shopping and access to Interstate 15, Interstate 215, the Las Vegas Beltway, and the Las Vegas Strip.

Newcastle features a total of five floor plans. Prices begin at $229,500.

The 1,701-square-foot, two-story Abigail floor plan includes three bedrooms, 21/2 baths, dining room and a great room. There is an option for an upstairs study.

The 2,437-square-foot, three-story Brandon floor plan offers three bedrooms, 21/2 baths, formal living and dining rooms, a kitchen with butler's pantry, family room, large game room and the option for a fourth bedroom. A balcony is located off the living and dining room on the main floor.

The two-story Edward plan offers 1,947 square feet with three bedrooms, two baths, great room, dining, game room, den and first-floor master suite.

At 3,176 square feet, the Daniel floor plan is the largest in the neighborhood. Its prices start at $89 per square foot. The three-story home features four bedrooms, 31/2 baths, formal living and dining rooms, family room, game room, study, great room and first-floor master suite. The Daniel also offers the option of a second master suite or fifth bedroom.

The sales office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

To visit, take Interstate 15 south to Blue Diamond Road and exit west. Turn south on Decatur Boulevard and follow the signs. For more information, call 853-4595 or visit