Discover fabulous views from amazing properties in Southwest Washington

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mighty Mountain Views

There is something majestic about a grand mountain view. Last time I talked up this view and I figured I could elaborate a bit. As a Realtor® I often show or list properties with these wonderful views. Some of course are better than others. I do currently have a listing in Washougal, WA with a nice view of Mount Hood, OR. These homes with unobstructed views are often larger and more expensive, but I have seen very modest homes with truly amazing views. On this blog several years ago I wrote an article about such homes in Camas, WA several years back. Read about that here.

This house today is a little less modest but still not too terribly high on the price either. It is brand new construction just below Colorado Ridge and the lot was perfect for a front view of Oregon's highest peak. The 3000 plus square foot home is less than 600k and has this view from the upper bonus room.

I would love to be able to kick back and just watch the snow fall on winter day or a sunrise behind that mountain. Wow what a view huh? Sure, I've sold a few homes with much better views than this, but those are usually home reserved for the fifty foot yacht owners. This home is within reach of people who don't own their own airplane.

In fact it is safe to say there are scores of homes in the hills above Washougal that have these sorts of views and for prices that are almost pedestrian.

Oh, by the way, for those wondering about the house attached to the views I showed today and last month, here it is in all her glory. It is a fabulous floor plan with more than 3000 squares and 2400 of those are on the main level. The master and a full guest suite are on the main along with a den/bedroom with 10 foot ceilings and then two giant bedrooms/bonus rooms up stairs. I love this house and you probably would too.

OK enough of my cheap marketing moments on this otherwise fantastic blog about views. I have always had a soft spot for a nice view and the hills around Washougal are one of many Clark County neighborhoods serving them up.

I will continue my quest for the ultimate views and pass them on to you as they come up. Rivers, mountains, city skylines and sometimes all from the same deck! I love it when that happens, anyhow, that's all I got this time, and please remember, what ever you do, be sure to enjoy the view.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Check out this View

Today I want to highlight the Colorado Ridge / Riverview Place neighborhood in Washougal. I have touched on Colorado Ridge before but today a sub-set of that neighborhood just slightly to the southwest has opened up. This home on new construction Blodgett Court is a fine example of value views in Washougal. This one doesn't have the sweeping panoramic but it does have a straight, unobstructed view of Mount Hood and the 3000 plus square foot home is listed at just $598,900.

This home is one of scores of great houses perched up on the Washougal hills. the neighborhood is very close in to all the city services, shopping and schools. But having a view like this is magnificent, and a little harder to come by when the budget keeps you away from the 800k units a touch higher up.

Finding a beautiful new home with a spectacular view for under 600k is no small feat and yet they are around in Washougal. This is one of my favorite spots. These neighborhoods are only 30 minutes to PDX another 10 gets you all the way to downtown Portland. Yet this same neighborhood is on the very edge of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. That means you will always be close to the "countryside", and the magnificent natural wonder that is the Gorge.

If you haven't considered Washougal yet, by all means take a drive out to the 'Shoug' and visit Colorado Ridge and some of the other fabulous developments for both new and resale homes.

While your there be sure to enjoy the view!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vancouver's Felida has Views!

Not many people are likely to think of Felida as a view oriented neighborhood, but it does have several developments that offer great views. The extreme western end of the Felida area offers beautiful sunset views of the Coastal Mountains, Vancouver Lake and even the Columbia River. Along the northern edge of Felida there are subdivisions with homes perched above the gorgeous Salmon Creek Greenway. These homes feature views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and in some cases even the Mighty Mt. Rainier. The latter requires a crisp and clear day to see.

I took some photos of a new listing for one of my real estate colleagues and it happened to be a cloudy day. I got excellent photos and clouds provide a soft light. But the view off in the distance was obscured. I went back a couple of days later when the sun was out and much to my delight, the home had excellent mountain views to complement the greenway views.

Now this was not a modest home, but there are many homes in the Felida area offering up surprisingly beautiful vistas for prices that are within reach of a typical middle class earner. I love value views!

This home however was a little further up the scale as it was brilliantly designed and well appointed. With over 4500 SF it was out of reach for the aforementioned typical middle class earner.

Felida is an area that is mixed in the age range of neighborhoods. Unlike the Salmon Creek area to the north which is almost entirely post 1990 development, this area has subdivisions ranging in age from the 1960s right on up to brand new developments. Many of the older neighborhoods were built with very modest middle class homes that are well within the reach of mainstream buyers. These homes when coupled to a view will be significantly more expensive than homes in other areas such as Orchards, but the fact that one can get a view home without having to have a very large house is nice. I mentioned this when I wrote about Harney Heights, here.

So even though this home is a rather nice home at twice the median price, it went pending in 2 days at $689k. The home was great and the view was better than most would expect based on location. You see, this home is only situated about 270 feet above sea level. Salmon Creek is under 30 feet so the house looks out across the creek with a view that belies the home's relatively low elevation.

Low elevation views are nice because you get way less winter snow at 270 feet than you do in a place like Summer Hills at close to 1000 feet. Personally I like snow, but for many it is a nuisance.
These "secret views" are all over Vancouver. There are dozens of pocket neighborhoods with great views all over the city and some are attached to houses that are modest, others like this one are more expensive. And yes there are those multi-million dollar spots in Felida as well.

Felida area shown on Google Earth and roughly outlined in red. This area is typically accessed from exit 5 on Interstate 5. So yes it is close in just 5 miles north of the Columbia River and a dozen miles to Downtown Portland. As always be sure to Enjoy the View!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rising Up!

I have spared few words about the huge waterfront project in Vancouver USA. This massive undertaking will feature a great many urban high-rise condos and apartments that will take in sweeping views of the Mighty Columbia River, Mount Hood, Portland, Vancouver and maybe even Mount Saint Helens on the upper floors. The first phase of this exciting development will come to market in 2018. Over the next several years the project will march towards build-out and thousands of new housing units, many with striking views will be adding to Vancouver's amazing urban inventory.

I wrote the article below a few years ago, and now with the waterfront project humming along, a whole lot more of this will soon rise up in Vancouver.

Originally posted March 20th, 2014, by Rod Sager

Panoramic from 500 Broadway Condo, Rod Sager, 2012
Most people in this area would associate an "urban" view with Downtown Portland or the West Hills of Portland as that is the big city center for this region. That is an accurate association. However, here on the north shore of the Mighty Columbia River we are not without our own urban views. Vancouver, WA has begun an urban renewal process that has already transformed the formerly derelict Esther Short Park area into a thriving urban live/work center. Mid-rise and high-rise buildings with office and condo space flank the east side of the park, a mid rise hotel and convention center and mid rise City Hall building to the south, and to the west and north are low-mid rise condos and apartments with retail/office on the street level. Huge plans are underway for a gigantic billion-dollar waterfront renovation that will bring mid-rise and high-rise development to the shores of the Columbia in Downtown Vancouver.

As of right now there are several condo projects in Downtown, Vancouver that offer up urban city views. These condos range in price from the low 100's for a spartan and small unit to nearly a million dollars for the deluxe accommodations with sweeping panoramic views. The two projects that quickly come to mind for contemporary urban living in Vancouver is the West Coast Bank Building at 500 Broadway with its Frontier Block Condo Project on the 5th and 6th floors and the Vancouver Center III on Washington and West 8th with its upscale condo project on the top three floors starting on the 9th. These two projects feature units with upscale hardwood floors, granite and travertine finishes, and all the plush design elements to complement the spectacular urban views they offer.

One of the great features however about Downtown Vancouver is its clear price advantage over Portland's Pearl District. The Pearl is also suffering from a variety of builder and HOA related lawsuits that can put the pinch on a purchase. Vancouver Center also has two mid-rise condo buildings on Columbia Street that actually fronts the park and offer more modestly decorated units with smaller space at shockingly affordable prices. Units in these more affordable buildings can be had from the mid 100's to the upper 200's and above the 4th floor offer great views overlooking Esther Short Park. These two buildings have 6 and 7 floors respectively. Heritage Place Condos on the north side of the park only has units on the 2nd-4th floors and so the views are limited by the trees in the park. That building offers a mixed use with storefronts and restaurants on the street level. I think it is great that a young single person could easily afford one of the Columbia Street units even with a modest income.

So if the urban lifestyle fits you better than suburbia, take a look at Downtown Vancouver and be sure to "enjoy the view".

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Autumn Views

Who doesn't like an autumn view? Almost every house in the Portland-Vancouver Metro has a view this time of year. I have written about trees as a view and in the Autumn what a view they are.

When considering a home over the summer months, one may not realize that some of those lush green trees will light up the autumn with brilliant colors and hues.

Most would prefer a spectacular view of Mount Hood or a sweeping panoramic of the Columbia River. Alas, that may not be in the budget, but trees are rather plentiful round these parts. Many of the older and middle aged neighborhoods feature mature trees. Although we are most well known for our Evergreens, the Metro Portland area is in stark contrast to Southern Oregon and the Seattle Metro Area to the north with a huge base of native deciduous trees. These are not just trees planted by settlers, but native to the region.

So if you are seeking a new home and cannot gather the funds to get a view of a mountain or river, perhaps you can find your solace among the grandeur and spectacle that is our Pacific Northwest fauna.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

For those of us without a "View"

Neighborhood Vista
Yes as gorgeous as western Washington is, some of us do not enjoy that spectacular vista spanning the mountains, river, and cityscapes of our amazing area. But I have written a few articles about what a view is and is not. You may remember this one: A View isn't always a 'View' and I have reposted that article a few times over the last couple of years.

Our area is full of trees, they are everywhere! We also have a lot of mountains. I am not just referring to the Majestic Cascade volcanoes. The big snow covered monster peaks tend to take away from the gorgeous natural skyline in that they are so dominant we may not even realize how lovely the "regular" mountains are here in the Evergreen State.

I used to live in Northern California where there are not any of these giant volcanoes. Homes with "spectacular" views often had views of more 'pedestrian' type mountains. Here in the Northwest we take for granted these as 'other' views or "territorial" views. This of course means that those willing to have a view that does not include a landmark like the Columbia River, The skyline of either Portland or Vancouver, or one of the aforementioned volcanoes, that view may come at a discount.

Sometimes a home like mine, which doesn't really have a 'view' per se, can be enjoyed without the premium on price. When I look out the bay window in our master bedroom, I do not see mountains, but I do have a clear unobstructed view of a whole forest of old growth Doug Fir and Cedar trees complimented by both native and neighborhood deciduous trees. This is a city density suburban neighborhood 0.6 miles to the nearest Walmart store. If I listed my home it would not be listed as a view home by any measure. However the view out the master is still pretty nice. Beats the heck out looking at the back of another home.

There are a great many neighborhoods down in the valley floor that were built without clearing all the native trees. These neighborhoods offer an suburban style living with the feel of a camping trip in a national park. There are downsides to these forest developments including the mess every time the wind blows. There are also some inherent dangers to tree limbs falling and damaging property or causing injury. In the case of my home, I look out at one of those 'forest' neighborhoods but my street had most of the trees clear so I don't get the mess. Lucky me :)

Vancouver and the Cascades from Portland, OR

The panoramic above showing Downtown Vancouver lower left and much of the city beyond from Portland also shows Mount Adams. The big Cascade volcano tends to dominate that skyline. But the high cascade ridge line and the foothills in front of it are also quite picturesque in their own right. 

Mount Livingston and the Cascade Foothills
The snowy shot of Mount Livingston is also in that panoramic above. It is one of the little 'hills' in the first section of the foothills. This was taken from a valley floor neighborhood in the Evergreen area. That is a blue collar neighborhood. This may not be one of those landmark views but hey pretty mountains are not a bad thing to see when looking out the window or relaxing on the deck, right? It even has some of those trademark trees. 

I take my views anyway they come and here in Clark County, Washington, they come in all varieties. What ever you do, be sure to enjoy the view.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Vancouver's Secret View Neighborhood

Photo from RMLS, sold home 2015
A secret view society in the 'Couv', really? No not really, but there are a few places in Vancouver that are simply not noted for having views, but yet have great views. One of these "secret" neighborhoods is Harney Heights.

The broad area referred to as the "Heights" actually is composed of many neighborhoods including, South Cliff, Dubois Park, Evergreen Highlands, Northcrest, and several others as you move east towards Cascade Park. South Cliff and Dubois are rather spendy areas and many of the homes in that area feature spectacular views of the Columbia River and city lights. But Harney Heights is much less pretentious and the homes on the bluff are very reasonably priced when the view is taken into consideration.

Harney Heights is at the west end of the "Heights" area and is immediately east of Vancouver's Central Park area. Most of the homes in Harney heights are WWII and mid century designs. They are mostly modest homes and the vast majority do not feature a view. But all of the homes along the bluff that overlooks Fourth Plain Village have a nice view to the North and many offer a surprisingly breathtaking view of the Mighty Mount Saint Helens. These homes are only about 100 feet higher than the valley floor but the bluff is very steep and it is enough to see over the top of most of the trees in the area.

The result is a pretty nice view of the Cascades including our favorite angry volcano and the surrounding terrain. Of course the night time view will feature all the city lights from the scores of neighborhoods in Northeast Vancouver.

These homes are not terribly expensive. They are generally smaller homes with less than 1600 square feet and many are classic bungalows. The ones with views like the photo will of course fetch a premium, they are still rather affordable many with prices in the $300k range.

Whether you are on the south side of the Heights or taking advantage of deals to north, enjoy the view.