Discover fabulous views from amazing properties in Southwest Washington

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I'll be heading out through the Gorge on Friday to shoot pictures of a new listing way out in Goldendale. Some gorgeous views await all who venture into the amazing Columbia River Gorge. I'll revisit a post from yesteryear below.

Originaly posted September 18th, 2014, by Rod Sager

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is quite spectacular. The area is governed by a commission that makes building homes in the region challenging. The commission must approve all buildings and has a very strict set of guidelines for new construction. This is all intended to protect the integrity of America's second largest gorge behind the Grand Canyon.

All of that gorge commission red tape aside, the views from some of the homes are stunning. This 1.39 acre lot in White Salmon, Washington is listed at $500,000. It is in one of the few urban exemption zones and thus requires no gorge commission review to build. The views are quite amazing both urban and natural. This lot looks across the Columbia into Hood River, Oregon.

Prices are steep for these exempt parcels but the home will have an obstruction free view of one of the worlds most spectacular natural features and the glimmering lights of Hood River on the other shore.

The gorge-ous home shown here is listed at 1.1 million and is on the same bluff as the land listing. This is a spacious three bedroom home with 2600 squares and a three acre lot. The home has equally dramatic vistas. Looking West peers into the temperate rain forest portion of the Gorge. Looking East shows the dramatic transition to arid grass lands.

The Columbia River Gorge is a truly remarkable scenic area and to live up on a bluff overlooking this magnificent natural wonder is absolutely heavenly.

White Salmon is a city of roughly 2,300 people in Klickitat County. It is connected to Hood River, OR by the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River. This long cantilever bridge spans nearly a mile across the river and features a lift section to accommodate commercial river traffic. White Salmon is 68 miles East of Downtown Vancouver via Washington State Hwy 14.

Hood River, Oregon has roughly 7,900 people and a nice historic downtown area. The city is 65 miles East of Portland, OR via Interstate 84.

This is a great area to retire and soak up the bounty of nature. The Washington side offers some advantages to retirees which you can read about on my Retire to Washington Blog.

I highly recommend you take a lovely drive into the Gorge and please, enjoy the view.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Salmon Creek Greenway

I listed a fabulous home along the Salmon Creek Greenway recently. What a great location for a home. There are a number of neighborhoods scattered along both sides of the Salmon Creek Greenway and many homes are situated on lots that abut the open space area. Since there are modest bluffs overlooking Salmon Creek, these homes often feature some nice views.

This particular house is one of many along either the North or South side of the creek. This one is on the north side near the Pinewood Golf Course. It is a nice modest neighborhood with one street along the creek front, offering views from the back.

These deep lots extend down the hillside right up to the boundary of the greenway. They are fairly private and offer a range of views from peekaboo to sweeping, depending on the amount of tree cover the homeowner maintained.

Salmon Creek is a large year round creek that is more like a small river than a "creek." This natural greenway is locally protected as open space, and wetlands, providing a place for migratory birds and other wildlife.

What a wonderful view and fabulous location. Just another awesome example of Clark County Cool and yet another way to enjoy the view.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Waterfront View Properties Coming Soon

Those of you that follow my 'Couv' Life blog, know that the waterfront has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Vancouver's stunning new waterfront development will have its first view condos and apartments coming online this summer and fall.

This development is in the first of several phases coming over the next 6-8 years. There is a gorgeous waterfront park with a 90 foot cable suspended pier that will connect to the Terminal One Port of Vancouver project and the Waterfront Trail. The initial structures going up now are a couple of restaurant buildings in front of the pier and three towers of 7, 6, and 7 floors mixed office apartments, condo, etc. These shorter buildings will have unobstructed views of Mount Hood and the Mighty Columbia River from the southern exposure side of the buildings. The northern exposure ultimately will have an urban view of other tall structures going up downtown and at the waterfront. Future taller structures will rise up behind these waterfront buildings some also should offer views from an even higher vantage point.

This project has been in the works for over a decade so the fact that the first phase will be open this summer and fall is exciting. This video taken last month shows and over view of the project, you can see just how large the scope is as the five buildings underway are just a tiny portion of the 20 square blocks of the Waterfront. Next door at Terminal one another large project was recently approved that will include additional mixed use development and public space.

This amazing new urban community will fundamentally transform the Vancouver USA skyline with dozens of structures over the next several years some rising above 20 floors. You may remember I wrote about Vancouver's increasing downtown urban view properties a while back, here.  Vancouver USA is a prime alternative to Portland's South Waterfront and Pearl District. Washington State offers an often more advantageous tax situation over neighboring Oregon and this could make Vancouver Waterfront the ideal location for many urbanites looking for a great view.

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".