The newest condo tower in Vancouver is going to have some excellent views. I was one of several agents that toured the nearly complete project donning a sporty hard hat. Among many exciting features Kirkland Tower will have a community rooftop garden on the 12th floor overlooking Downtown Vancouver. Imagine watering your tomatoes and soaking in the fabulous urban landscape.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
With property values skyrocketing, houseboats are gaining an edge. Moorage fees are not seemingly as bad when contrasted with high land costs.
Originally posted March 17th, 2015, by Rod Sager
Floating views? You may be thinking I am taking advantage of Washington State's legal marijuana with a headline like that. No, I assure you I am quite sober. The Portland metro area however does have a pretty large collection of floating homes. I would say the lion's share is in the inside channel of the Columbia River between Hayden Island and North Portland. This channel is protected from the main Columbia River traffic and flow through clever engineering. There are a variety of yacht harbors and marinas in and around Hayden and Tomahawk Islands in North Portland. Of course there are hundreds of permanent floating homes in the area as well. These vary from cozy little ensembles well under $100,000 to elaborate floating mansions approaching a million dollars.
Over here on the Washington side of the Columbia we have floating homes as well. Although our collection is much smaller since the Columbia River's main channel is not suitable for such housing. Our shore of the Columbia features more traditional and very expensive river front property. There is Caterpillar Island however, that creates a narrow inside channel. It has a marina and house boats. These floating homes look over the water into a recreation area on the island.
Here in the 'Couv' we have the beautiful Vancouver Lake and it is drained by a tributary called the Lake River. The Lake river carries water from Vancouver Lake to the Columbia River. Unlike the Hayden Island urban style of floating homes, the Lake River features homes that look across the water and into a National Wildlife Refuge. In Vancouver and Ridgefield are two more such places to buy a floating home with a view. The upside to the Lake River is that it is a very slow flowing tributary. There are strict 5 mph speed limits and no through traffic at all. Motorized vehicles are strictly restricted on Vancouver Lake and heavily regulated on the Lake River.
Here is an opportunity to own waterfront view property starting at entry level prices. I have seen listings as low as $20,000. There are of course some issues to be considered. First and foremost is the very name of these properties; floating homes. Yes they are floating and there is some mild swaying that happens in this type of home. It is not as bad as you might imagine however. There is also the marina fees. Just like a manufactured home in a park, these homes occupy a rented space. In this case a marina slip and those will having monthly fees ranging from $200-$500. These marinas sometimes offer a variety of services included with the slip fee.
There is some special maintenance requirements with this type of home and they are less forgiving than a traditional home when it comes to neglect. All of this aside many people enjoy the dockside living afforded to floating home owners. Although the views are sometimes limited due to the close proximity of the homes, they can be quite enjoyable.
The Columbian newspaper ran an article on houseboats here. Due to Washington State's more strict laws governing navigable waterways it is more difficult to build houseboat communities than it is in neighboring Oregon. This could be a factor in why we have fewer such facilities on the Washington side. Houseboat living is yet another way to enjoy the view.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
There are a handful of spots that offer up views on the skinny dime in Vancouver. Well not that skinny, have you seen real estate prices lately? But reasonably priced view property is not unheard of if you know where to look. So full disclosure most of these are condos, but there are some single family neighborhoods with views on the cheap as well. With no further adieu here is the Top 10 Best Value View neighborhoods in Vancouver in no particular order:
- Lakeshore only has a few streets offering views. These are perched on a bluff overlooking Fruit Valley and Vancouver Lake. The elevation on top of the bluff is only about 200' above sea level but the base is just a few feet above, so some good views can be had. Single family homes in Lakeshore can be found in the upper 300's with out a view but the nicer stuff on the bluff will quickly escalate into the 700's with larger and newer homes busting out above $1 million. The neighborhood runs the gamut from 1940s bungalows to modern homes and just about every decade in between. There is something for everyone.
- Harney Heights. This neighborhood lies just east of Downtown up on a bluff. The south facing portion of the bluff is called Southcliff and it is filled with very expensive homes, but the Northside is Harney Heights. You don't get the spectacular Columbia River views from this side, but there are some Vancouver Skyline views from one street and the whole north rim features homes perched 150' above Fourth Plain Village with excellent unobstructed views of Mount St Helens. Most of these homes in Harney Heights are modest Kaiser Cottages from WWII with two or three bedrooms and one bathroom. Most of the war house are well under 1000 square feet. They can be found from the mid 300's up to around $550,000 for a really sleek remodel.
- Parkview Tower. Parkview is a 7 story condo building that fronts Esther Short Park downtown. This mid-rise project was built in 2004 and features dozens of park facing units that offer a glorious view. Unlike its richer big brother, Viewpoint, these units can be found for sub-median prices. The units tend to be a bit spartan and smaller, but park facing condos can be had for well under $400,000. Everything is a short walk form this building.
- Shorewood. This 50 year old condominium complex features a half dozen buildings from 4-7 stories in height. most of the units feature a Columbia River view. The towers are perched up on the bluff overlooking SR-14 about 200' above the Columbia River. These are some of the best hillside river views out there and since it is an older development, there are sometimes dated units in there well under $300,000.
- Steamboat Landing. This is a development right along the Columbia River. This gated community features its own private yacht harbor. What makes it a value is the fact that it is about the only community in Old Evergreen that offers modest homes and small lots that have direct river access and views. Most of the stuff along this route is gigantic mansions with 10,000 square feet on manicured acreage and prices so deep into the seven figures most people can only imagine that level of decadence. But steamboat still has homes in the 700's and for this type of locale, that is a bargain. The houses in here are packed in tight with really small yards.
- Father Blanchet Park. This area is just below the Heights and has a mixed bag of homes some costing well over $1,000,000 but others very modest and even some fixers that can be had for $500,000-$600,000. Buying a dated older home with a few pimples in this neighborhood makes sense. The sky is the limit on value, you'd be hard pressed to over improve. And many homes have Columbia River Views!
- Burnt Bridge Creek. This may surprise a few but there are many homes that line the northernmost edge of this neighborhood and look out across low land marshes that for the most part are un buildable. "For the most part" at some point in the future they may build there so this is not a forever view scenario. But Mount St. Helens is visible from many spots in this neighborhood. Single family homes in here are modest designs from the 1990s and prices tend to be around $400,000 to $550,000.
Thursday, July 1, 2021
I have a client eyeing urban condos in Vancouver right now and I toured this Viewpoint unit recently. Viewpoint is still the highest condo tower in Vancouver by floor count. By actual "height" it is probably the two 7 story Shorewood towers which sit atop a bluff in the Heights. But Viewpoint is a 4 story condo complex perched atop a 7 story office building. So floor 8-11 are condo and this unit was on the 8th floor. I have been inside several homes in Viewpoint but each and every one was facing east rather than west. The east view offers up the Cascade Range as a distant vista, but the west view looks over the park and the waterfront.
I tend to like these urban views but it isn't for everyone. One of the nice bits is that nighttime tends to light up nicely. Also these Downtown locations are walking distance to scores of restaurants and breweries. So that's a plus, right?
This condo has over 1500 SF and is listed at $979,900. It is in the heart of downtown.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Of course Memorial Day is in fact a memorial to the men and women of the armed forces that died in service, defending America. It also has become the defect start of summer in many parts of the country. Rarely in the SW Washington does it actually 'start' summer. Generally we receive some cloudy, cool, and wet weather for at least half of June. But this past weekend was nothing short of summertastic! Warm weather filled with bright sunshine was the theme for most of SW Washington including the coast for the most part.
This summer should see a near return to normal as the Governor is planning on having the entire state open by June 30 or earlier. The coast relies heavily on summer fun at the beach and this summer should be much better than the lockdown infected summer of 2020.
Get out to the coast this summer and if you can take some time to check out the local real estate scene. There are still relative values on the Long Beach Peninsula and retiring to the beach might just be for you. My sister and brother-in-law love it!
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
I went through the MLS this morning and grabbed five listings with nice views from across the broad spectrum of price from sub-median to the billionaires club. Take a look! These are ordered by price from lowest to highest. All listings were active the local MLS this morning.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
But now Kirkland Development, the company behind the 12 story Kirkland Tower condos at the waterfront, the Indigo Hotel at the waterfront, and the ambitious redevelopment proposal of the Restaurant properties just east of the Interstate Bridge; yes that Kirkland, is about to begin the Ledges at Columbia Palisades.
This was originally a pair of seven story buildings one with apartments the other with condos. That is still the arrangement but the structures will only rise five floors in the final product. This should allow for a more affordable Palisades experience than the gazillion dollar homes perched up on the rim.
Contrary to what you mapping software might think, this entire project is in Vancouver, not Camas. The homes perched up on the cliff however will be part of the Camas School District despite their location inside the incorporated City of Vancouver. Confusing, but whatever, it works. The apartments and condos will likely be part of the Evergreen School District.
The views here are pretty solid despite a base elevation between 200 and 400 feet. This development also has amazing access to the 192nd Avenue shopping corridor and immediate access to the SR-14 freeway. This should be a roaring success for those looking for a slightly less urban experience but not quite the three dogs in the yard suburbia routine. Bravo Vancouver, looking good at the east end.
What ever your do, enjoy the view!