Discover fabulous views from amazing properties in Southwest Washington

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Kirkland Tower is now "Real"

I wrote about Kirkland Tower previously but now after a long series of delays the project is just about complete. This project presents a unique property opportunity in all of the Portland - Vancouver metro area. It is the first lifestyle condominium project in the region offering a connection to the adjacent Indigo Hotel. Owners here will enjoy access to the complete hotel suite of services and amenities including concierge, valet, room service, and other hotel conveniences. Portland's Ritz Carlton tower will become the second such property sometime in late 2023 or early 2024. For now Kirkland is the king of high rise condo living in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

photo from RMLS

The tower offers a variety of floor plans ranging from small one bedroom units to large 3000 plus square foot suites. The tower is divided into a north and south side with the latter offering sweeping river and park views from any floor. The north side will offer panoramic city views from about the 8th floor and above. Pricing starts in the mid $900s and tops out well above $3 million. Although that may seem expensive to some, it is actually quite a value when considering the location, the condo-hotel connection, and that comparable sized units in Portland's nearby Pearl District are notably more expensive and do not offer the hotel services.

I mentioned the location of Kirkland Tower; it is right on the Waterfront Park just a block away from the spectacular Grant Street pier. Within just a two of blocks of the property are the following: 9 restaurants, 8 winery tasting rooms (some with food), 2 brewery taprooms, 2 gourmet coffee shops, 2 hotels, and several other shops. This is with the Waterfront development less than halfway complete. It will only get better at this point as the development proceeds. Kirkland is also just a four block trot to Esther Short Park which represents the heart of Downtown Vancouver and features festivals, concerts, farmer's market, and other exciting events nearly every weekend. Within a 10 minute stroll, there are literally scores and scores of restaurants, bars, breweries, shops, and services.

I am now starting to sound like and advertisement for this project and in a way I am; I do not represent Kirkland nor am I affiliated in any way. I do believe that this project along with many others in the city are delivering experiences that benefit not only the homeowners that buy them, but the public at large that utilize the cottage businesses and public spaces that accompany them. That is good for all of us.

I did a hard hat tour inside the building last fall but I do not have any updated images since then. The views will be excellent whether you have a river view or the more urban city view. The tower rising up to the north of the building will have 8 floors and the roofline will be underneath the 8th floor of Kirkland. The river views are fully protected as Kirkland Tower resides directly on the Waterfront. Residences in the tower will have access to the community penthouse on the roof as well as a garden area up top. That is a 12th floor view that should remain the highest point in that part of the Waterfront. Taller structures will go in to the west but should not disrupt Kirkland's views.

Kirkland Tower is poised to be the best urban condo view property in the city.

Kirkland penthouse and rooftop view to the north, September, 2021

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

One of the Ultimate View Homes Now for Sale

photo from RMLS
Although Clark County has a great many luxury properties that reside deep into seven figures, our supply of eight figure properties is a bit tight. Recently one of Vancouver's most luxurious view properties was listed for sale and featured in the Columbian Newspaper. The Columbian indicated the home was owned by one of the DiscoverOrg co-founders. DiscoverOrg is now ZoomInfo one of Vancouver's largest employers.

This amazing property is listed by Knipe Realty at $17,000,000. There are few people with the income to support a house like this so if it sits on the market for a while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just life in the uber-luxo housing market. 

photo from RMLS
The home sits on the Columbia River situated on 1.15 acre and featuring a private dock and beachfront. It has 7 bedrooms and 8 baths along with 4 partial baths. There is plenty of space with 13,686 SF of living area. The home has its own bowling alley, rooftop deck, 1000 sf putting green, athletic courts, the whole works really. 

This is not the most expensive house ever listed locally nor is it the largest, but it is one of the most spectacular you will see. If you have oodles of excess cash this could be your next home. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

image from RMLS
Back in 2014 I published a post about Kalama view property and other than pricing that post is as valid now as it was then. I edited the house for sale but left most of the copy the same. Original post here.

Kalama is a great little town right off I-5 thirty miles north of America's Vancouver. This is a popular stop off for antique shops as the quaint Main Street through the business is filled with charming businesses. Kalama is built into a west facing hillside that is quite steep. At the top of the bluff there are a variety of developments ranging from 1960s to modern homes. Some of these homes have great views of the Columbia River, the Oregon Coast Mountains and fabulous sunsets.

You know why sunset views are so much better than sunrise views? Who the hell wants to wake up at 5:00 AM to watch a summer sunrise? Sunsets are coffee optional. Kalama is a sunsetters dream locale.
image from RMLS

I showed this listing recently and take a peek at what $500,000 will buy you in this lovely town.

This home is located in town just a couple of minutes to I-5. The ride to Vancouver takes a swift thirty minutes and depending on traffic another 10-30 will get you into downtown Portland.

The ability to feel like you live a hundred miles away from the city when in fact you are only 30 miles out is a plus here in the Greater Metro Portland/Vancouver area.

Back to the house. It has three bedrooms and two baths. There is a spacious 1782 square feet of living space situated on a good sized city lot of about 0.87 acre. The shop is amazing as well. Move this home 15 miles south to Ridgefield and you add another $300k to the price! Kalama really is a bargain for view properties!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

View Property of the Month

I highlighted a fair number of upscale view properties a while back. Today I'm focusing on something more affordable. This home has a lovely view of the first tee and fairway at Fairway Village. The home is located just a short stroll from the clubhouse which offers more than just golf. There is a lovely pool, indoor entertainment, and more.

Fairway Village is listed to adults over 55 years of age. The development was built out over a 10-15 year period with homes dating to the mid 1980s and as recent as the late 1990s. Most homes feature two beds and maybe a den and between 1200 and 1600 SF. This home falls right in line with a 2 bedroom 2 bath ranch style and 1228 SF. It is backing right up to the first fairway. It is an ideal arrangement for the avid golfer. The home was built in 1992 and is listed for $535,000.

Honestly in this market that is a fair price. Fairway Village is one of the very few adult over 55 communities with proper detached housing. The neighborhood is extremely well kept and the gold course is a solid 9 hole executive length. 

You can sit out back and watch the games and from the first tee you should have little issue with stray golf balls pelting you house.No nets needed on this one it seems. It is very uncommon to see a home like this in the median price range.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Fabulous View Homes Listed Right Now

It's been awhile since I posted a list of current view properties so I figured we are due. Here are some properties currently listed in Clark County that offer views. Washougal has a disproportionate representation here but that is just a statistical anomaly at the moment.

I'll list them in order of price from lowest to highest, all photos taken from active RMLS listings.

Shorewood Condo, Vancouver $395k: 2 beds and 2 baths, 1093 SF. Overlooks the Columbia River. It's hard to beat Shorewood for condo value in Vancouver. This unit has a great view but other units in this large urban density development offer peek-a-boo views at lower prices than this. This development is right off SR-14 with quick access to both I-5 and I-205. Great Location. Buildings vary in age from the early 1970s to mid 1980s. These units don't have the latest floorpans and design elements due to the advanced age, but they tend to be more spacious than many modern units at similar prices. For some a fair trade off.

Riverside Condo, Vancouver $850k: 2 beds and 2.5 baths, 3210 SF. Lovely area south of Evergreen Hwy. These units are nearly fifty years old but they are spacious and many units such as this one offer excellent river views. This development is much lower on the hillside than Shorewood but still gives some good view ops. This unit is further alluring with a generous price per square foot that is not a misprint on the space.

Washougal Home, $890k: 5 beds and 2.5 baths, 2527 SF. This is a brand new home and all things considered a solid price. The home features a lovely view of the majestic Mount Hood and the mountains in the Columbia River Gorge. The only downside to these newer hillside neighborhoods is the tendency to pack the houses in. But at this price, it's nigh impossible to get a good view and a brand new construction home.

Washougal Home, $1.3m: 4 beds and 3.5 baths, 4257 SF. Washougal has had a lot of recent hillside development and tends to have pricing more favorable than nearby Camas. This home is an excellent example of that. With. the median priced home now above $500k in Clark County, this home seems reasonably price with a spacious modern layout, curved staircase and excellent views. Sure it's well over a million dollars, but that is a relative value these days. The home is in the Lookout Ridge neighborhood of Washougal but is served by Camas schools. Camas school district has been a local favorite recently so that may give this home an edge over its competitors. 

Lookout Ridge also suffers from a bit of house crowding but that is the nature of the beast for spacious view homes int his price range generally. The deck view faces SW which should offer some spectacular evening city lights from he local Washougal-Camas area and across the river into Gresham and Portland as well.

Washougal Home, $1.351m: 3 beds and 2full, 2 half baths, 3200 SF. This is another brand new home located in lookout Ridge in the northwestern part of Washougal which is served by Camas schools. The home features a nice clean view of Mount hood as well as excellent river views. The view side of the home is turned a bit towards the southeast towards the gorge so evening views will not features a lot of city lights.

Like many homes in these modern hillside locations your yard is sloped and less 'usable' than flatter areas. But this blog isn't about swing sets and swimming pools, it's about views, this home delivers the views.

Summer Hills Home, $1.45m: 4 beds and 3 baths, 4850 SF. This is an elegant home perched high up in the Cascade Foothills. Unlike the other homes thus far listed today, this one has a nice large usable lot with just shy of one acre. Summer Hills is fairly close to to NE Vancouver but offers an out of town experience and views that are well above the fray at elevations in the 900-1100 foot range. 

You will have about twice as much snow in this neighborhood as the valley gets, but still manageable and rarely much of an issue. This home's view direction is SSW so bright city lights at night from Vancouver all the way to Portland should be spectacular.

Washougal Waterfront Home, $4m: 4 beds and 3 baths, 5200 SF. This is an older home with some remodeling and some dated parts. This home sits on a half acre right on the shores of the mighty Columbia River. It is the only true waterfront property on this list today. That no doubt plays a large part into its larger price tag.  
The house is built up above the water enough to minimize flooding issues for the most part but buyers should do some due diligence to check that classic 1996 flood line to see if this one was above that. 

The views are spectacular to say the least and the idea of walking along the water and fishing right in you own backyard ought to have significant appeal to many people. 

So that's a sample of some fine view homes, Let me know in the comments what you would like to see next time I run an MLS list like this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Plenty of neighborhoods with views in Vancouver

Vancouver has a number of area with sharp relief over the valley. These neighborhoods offer anywhere from 50-300 feet of rise over the Valley floor and that can provide nice views without dealing with extra snow and ice in the winter. The best views in the city are in a handful of neighborhoods from urban high rises to middle class suburbia, and extremely expensive. For this article I am excluding the more rural neighborhoods in the Cascade Foothills. Those are not really 'in town.' They do offer high elevation opportunities however in Vancouver, Camas, Washougal, and Battle Ground. But today I'm sticking with the Urban Growth Boundary for the City of Vancouver. I have a map showing the areas discussed in this article below.

Greater Downtown (Waterfront, Downtown, Uptown):

Downtown Vancouver and the Waterfront offer mid-rise and high-rise apartments and condos that offer spectacular views in nearly every direction depending on the location inside the building. Generally the best views from greater Downtown are South (Columbia River & Portland, East (Cascade Mountains, Mt Hood, Columbia River), and West (Coastal Mountains, West Hills, sunsets). Uptown, Hough, Arnada, Carter Park, Lincoln, and Shumway offer mostly peek-a-boo views to the south unless you are in a taller apartment building of which there are fewer in those areas. The very best views are in Viewpoint Condos floors 8-11, Smith Tower apartments floors 8-15, Kirkland Tower floors 2-12, Riverwest, Rediviva, The Columbia, all apartments on the waterfront, all with good views from some units on any floor.

Northwest Vancouver (NW Vancouver, Lakeshore, Felida, Salmon Creek):

Most of this area is a slim section of land along a steep bluff that runs all the way from Uptown to the tip of Felida. This skinny view zone is about 7 miles long and features mostly southwest views. In Lake Shore the vertical relief is a respectable 150-175 feet offering unobstructed views across Vancouver Lake, the Columbia off to the Coast Mountains. A wide range of neighborhoods with modern homes, modest homes, newer luxury homes, and some condos and apartments. The Salmon Creek portion of this view zone is a pair of 3-4 mile skinny zones overlooking the Salmon Creek Greenway. The vertical relief is fairly short at around 75-100 feet. Homes are perched on both the Felida side and the Salmon Creek side with the former offering a northern view and the latter a southern view. 

Greater Heights Area (Harney Heights, The Heights, Father Blanchard, Ellsworth):

The Heights is a large flat plain at the top of a long series of bluffs both to the north and south. Harney Heights is the value proposition for views. Only a select number of homes even have a view that isn't peek-a-boo. But to the north there are several small house built in the 40s to house shipyard workers that still can be found for a relative bargain. The Northside bluff has a short vertical relief of about 50-100 feet but it's enough to get above the neighborhood below and offer nice views of Mount St Helens and the Cascades. On the southern bluff the vertical relief is some of the best in the area with nearly 300 feet in some places. These views tend to look south across the Columbia River offering views of the local hills as well as city lights including Vancouver and Portland. Aviation buffs may enjoy watching the frequent aircraft land across the river at PDX. The relief is quite steep in this area.

Columbia Shores and Evergreen Highway :

Columbia Shores is a condo lovers dream with three condominium projects ranging in price from moderate to ultra expensive. The area has excellent highway access and it's own mix of shops and restaurants including local favorites Beaches and McMenamins on the Columbia. This neighborhood is right on the water so units up front facing the rive generally are the only ones with a view. The Village at Columbia shores has a tallish mid-rise tower that the top two floors see across the river. The Meriwether is perched right on the river and every unit faces the river. These are 7 figure units. Most views from this area are southerly.

Further east is the Evergreen Highway area named for the old evergreen highway that serves as the main arterial for the area all the way to Camas. With the exception of Shorewood Condominiums that offer multiple mid rise towers overlooking the river, most of this area is single family homes and resort style condos. Tidewater Cove features that resort style living right on the river with tennis, swimming, hiking, restaurant, and private yacht harbor. Most of the homes that line up along the shores of the Columbia are extremely large and expensive. Moving up the slope can actually reduce the cost due to the presence of more 'normal' sized homes some are older. But most of this area lies well above out local median price of $500,000. This zone offers mostly south and southwest views, but a few streets bend toward the south east offering some Mount Hood views as well as the river.

East Vancouver (Fishers Landing, Cascade Park, Columbia Palisades, Greater Orchards):

Cascade Park does not have the steep relief seen in the Heights to the west. The steep relief is below in the previously discussed Evergreen Highway area. So finding a house with a view here requires a little luck as some houses are not high enough above the neighbor to get a clean view. But there are some. cascade Park is a 40 year old neighborhood that has held up well and features spacious homes on classic oversized lots often more than 10,000 SF. Cascade Park does have a senior community situated around a well kept 9 hole golf course. 

Fishers Landing has some souther views from area near the SR 14 Freeway and some overlooking the Columbia Tech Center which is built at the bottom of former gravel mines. that created a steep relief bluff to offer views to the north that can include Mount St. Helens. 

The newly developed Columbia Palisades area is right on the border with Camas and offers a range of housing from high density urban apartments and condos to single family homes perched on a very steep bluff at nearly 400 feet of elevation. Considering the Columbia River lies at just 25 feet above sea level this gives these homes a high up feel without having to deal with mountain roads. Multiple mid-rise projects are proposed for the mid to high density area including a two tower 6 and 7 floor building underway now.

In greater Orchards you will find a long skinny section of housing that is built up along the souther edge of the Burnt Bridge Creek greenway. These are modest homes price at or near the local median and due to the wide greenway the homes often have nice views of the foothills and even Mount St. Helens. The relief is very short and not real steep. This area has some development right on the edge of the urban growth boundary allowing for some homes to have views despite having no bluff or hill to perch on.

Mount Vista: 

This is a smaller area but it is located on the highest hill in Vancouver's Urban Growth Boundary. Mount Vista can offer views in nearly any direction due to its status as a stand alone hill. The top of the hill sits at roughly 500 feet and thus is free from the high elevation snow issues found in the Cascade Foothills neighborhoods to the east. You won't find many, if any, Columbia River Views here but you will find some of the best multi peak Cascade views anywhere in town. To the east there are some homes that offer the full five peak experience on super clear days with the usual Mount St Helens 8,363', Mount Adams 12,281', Mount Hood 11,239', and the super clear day only Mount Rainer 14,411' and Mount Jefferson 10,497'. 

The map below features several dark gray areas that have lots of view homes. The areas with significant relief have the elevation range and the base elevation in the "valley". The skinny posters show the general direction of views in these areas.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Autumn Views are Everywhere

 Originally posted on 11/21/17, by Rod Sager

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.