Discover fabulous views from amazing properties in Southwest Washington

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.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Peek-a-Boo; I see you!

Occasionally I photograph homes for other real estate agents. i always ask if the property has views. Sometimes the agent says, "no." When I arrive I may find a peek-a-boo view or even a great view that went unnoticed by the agent. This can be a value view!

Any home with a grand vista will likely have a stiff premium added to its asking price. But for those looking for the budget view one may have to poke around a bit to find it.

The picture of Mount Hood was made from the back patio of a house that did "not" have a view. In all fairness, the full length rear deck did not offer a view but if you leaned out over the rail just a bit this mountain came into clear view. Better yet, out beyond the deck was a patio area that took full advantage of the view providing that you were standing and not sitting.

 This hardly constitutes calling the listing a "view property" but mentioning a peek-a-boo view does add some value to some people. People like me.

I love views even when they are of the minimalistic variety. I am likely not alone in this desire to have a view. Since many of us cannot afford to spend the enormous amounts of money on a home custom built to soak up one of the many grand spectacles of nature and man, some of us have to take it where we can find it.

What ever you do, be sure to enjoy the view!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mount Vista Revisited

I took some photos of a new listing yesterday on the north side of Mount Vista. This was down near the bottom of the hill. I wasn't expecting any kind of view as the home was nearly at the bottom of the north side of Mount Vista.

This house however was well positioned for a view, the question was simply whether the local trees and other houses were to allow it. To my surprise and delight the home has a very respectable view of the mighty Mount Saint Helens.

From the front yard there is no indication of any view. From the back yard you have a peek-a-boo view of the mountain. Once you make you way upstairs however, that peek-a-boo becomes a 90% unobstructed view! Both the Master Bedroom and a large bonus room over the garage offer this excellent view.

Now I'll be clear, this is not a sweeping vista like the properties I have listed in Colorado Ridge. But this is a nice 2200 SF home in a very tidy neighborhood priced well under $400k. So any clean view of one of our big volcanoes is huge bonus in this price range.

All over Clark County we have homes with what I call "sleeper views". You walk in, not expecting any kind of vista and then BAM! there it is. I love it when that happens :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Vancouver Waterfront will have Amazing Views

Rendering from Gramor Development Website
I have written a enough about Vancouver's new waterfront project to create a rather thick tome were I to put it all to print. But there's always room for more opining, right? This project has now moved from planning to construction and things are beginning to take shape. This is a 1.5 billion dollar plus project that will take many years to build out. The first buildings in this project however, will open in the spring of 2018. That is just next year!

This waterfront will offer condos and apartments that face the river, face Mount Hood, face the west hills, and face Downtown Vancouver. Pick your view! The opportunity for the very best in urban living is becoming available in roughly a year. Of course the whole neighborhood will take at least 5 years to mature into a finished product. Early buyers will benefit from relatively lower pricing than is likely when the project is nearing build out and demand is peaking.

Gramor Development has already had over 900 inquiries on condos for the waterfront according to reports in  The Columbian, newspaper. You want the premium view in the whole metro area? Well, this could be it. It is finally happening my friends. This project began back before the market crash and was ultimately delaying largely due to market conditions. The City of Vancouver, led by Mayor Leavitt, has a sizable stake in the success of this project. Honestly we all do. Even for the multitudes of 'Couvites' living in the east side suburbia, this will be a great marquis piece of the city. Large swaths of this project are slated for public space including a grand cable suspended public pier poking out into the Mighty Columbia River.

I am very excited about the next few years and how this project will create a fabulous space for living, working and enjoying the view.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sedate Estates has Views!

Sedate lot 14 0.49 acres extends all the way to the top!
I am happy to have a couple of new homes under construction co-listed with my colleague Bert Girod. One of these is Lot 14 in Sedate Estates. This is a newer subdivision in Washougal, within the Camas School District. This is a very desirable location and Lot 14 has views of both the Washougal River and the Mighty Columbia. The city lights at night will dazzle on a warm summer's eve! This home is located on a HUGE 0.49 acre lot. Now the lot itself has a substantial portion on steep hillside, so the good news is, there is privacy and less maintenance than one might expect from such a large lot.
The view from a 1/3 the way up! Lot 14 in Sedate

I love a good view and this lot will have one. The view here will not quite deliver the wow of some of my Colorado Ridge listings, but this is even closer in, being just 2-3 minutes to downtown Camas. It is also in the Camas School District which some people will find quite desirable.

I love be able to present listings in these view neighborhoods. I even like holding them open :) Views are awesome and that is a large reason why I write this blog every month. I like writing about views as well.

The view from Lot 11 in Colorado Ridge
I also have a couple of additional new homes under construction in Colorado Ridge that I haven't written about yet. The house I wrote about a few months back is almost complete, listed at $798,900 and featuring some of the very best views in the whole region!

These homes and others can view viewed in greater detail with additional information using the links below!

I do hope you enjoyed looking at these great views and please by all means in all you do, enjoy the view.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Amboy Delivers Killer Views

Amboy Washington is a charming little hamlet about a dozen miles north of Battle Ground on SR503. Although the town itself has views limited to the local territorial hills and forest, the higher areas around the town are filled with fabulous homes on 5 acre lots. Some of these offer up tremendous views of our mighty Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and even a couple peeks at the monster of the west, Mount Rainier.

I recently showed an amazing property in Amboy that had this view of St. Helens off the large deck. The picture was taken with a wide angle so the mountain was MUCH CLOSER than it looks. From this vantage point the angry volcano was only 24 miles away.

Amboy is one of those locations that many people consider to be 'way out' in the country. This notion that it is so far away helps keep property values more affordable. the reality is that it is still only 45 minutes to PDX maybe 60 with some traffic. For the adventurous outdoorsy crowd Amboy is tough to beat. It is located just a few miles from the Lewis River lakes of Merwin, Yale, and Swift and thousands of acres of DNR and Gifford Pinchot Forest Land.

Homes that would cost $600,000 or more in Ridgefield with this kind of view can be had for under $500k in Amboy. Sometimes that little bit of extra drive can shave mountains of cash of the price of property.

Amboy, Washington is almost entirely rural and most of the homes are on small acreage 2-6 acres, but there are some giant rancheria type properties as well with 10, 20 even 50 plus acres. Be sure to check out Amboy and be sure to enjoy the view.