Discover fabulous views from amazing properties in Southwest Washington

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays!

I think you all may have to enjoy the view from inside the mall ;)

Maybe you can enjoy the view of a White Christmas on Sunday. I don't know maybe you want a view of bikinis, Bermuda shorts, and palm trees.

May your Holiday Season bring joy and happiness to you and yours, see you next year!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lake Mayfield, Mossy Rock, WA

I took a listing up at Lake Mayfield recently. This is a fabulous community of homes and lots with access to the lake and an adorable little "village" on the shoreline. My listing is a vacant lot with sewer access and electric in. It is ready to build and offers stunning views of Mount Rainier and with a little clearing  of some high brush the lake as well.

This community is ideal for a vacation or retirement home. Not so much for a commuter as Mossyrock is about half way between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. But the VIEW! Yes my friends for less than 100 large you can have breathtaking views of the most majestic mountain in the lower 48.

I write a blog about retiring to Washington State, check it out, here. and this place would be ideal for people looking to capitalize on the tax friendly environment in Washington State for retirees. Who wouldn't want to enjoy a gorgeous two acres with these views?

I know this has been a shameless plug for one of my listings, but I will say that there are several other lots available in this community, listed by competitors at varying prices.

This blog is about the view and what a view this is. Lake Mayfield Washington is situated at a modest elevation well below 1000 feet for the lake and just under 1000 feet for the highest hilltop homes around the lake. The modest elevation means that winter snow is not too bad.

This location is about 85 miles north of Portland and roughly the same distance south of Seattle. The ride from Vancouver, Washington to this property is less than 90 minutes. The "village" has a store, restaurant, bait shop, paddle boat and canoe rentals, etc. All of this about 90 seconds down the hill. The town of Mossy Rock is about 5-10 minutes away, and major shopping and services can be found in nearby Centralia-Chehalis about 30 minutes out.

Be sure to check this area out and be sure to enjoy the view!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trees can be a View

I am prepping for a business trip this week so I'll have to keep it brief and simple by re-issuing an old post. Not everyone can afford a home with a spectacular view of the river or a majestic Cascade volcano, but trees and territorial scenery is still better than your neighbor's vinyl siding, right?

Originally posted here, April 3rd, 2014, by Rod Sager

How often have you seen a real estate listing with a tag line, "beautiful view of the trees". Probably never. Sure I have shown property with a "territorial view" that was really a view of some hills and lots of trees. But I like trees, don't you? After all I live a very wet and drippy environment and it is not because I like to feel damp. I like lush greenery. So I say, trees can be a view!

I mentioned in the post 'A view isn't always a "View"' that sometimes trees or distant hills make for a a view, especially when the alternative is your neighbors siding. For buyers looking for view property on a middle income budget the definition of view may need to be... modified.

When you think about it, would you rather look out across the street at your neighbors home or would you rather see a row of pretty cherry trees? Even a row of Arborvitae might prove better than looking in the windows of another home like some voyeuristic creeper. Trees can be a view and my friends I am here to tell you they are a view!

Trees provide a lush green backdrop to gaze upon gently without taking your attention away from quiet reflection. A busy view of a cityscape or even a dramatic mountain like Mount Hood or Saint Helens dominates the view. Don't get me wrong, I like a dominating view as much as the next guy, but sometimes a quiet background view that provides that earthy natural bliss can be just what you need to get some thinking done or even to throw back a few beers after a long week at the office.

I have seen some great views that were created with clever landscaping. A nice Koi pond and some lush shrubs in front of a bank of trees, some planted some native. I am a sucker for a great view, but sometimes I am just a sucker for a tranquil scene to let my eyes wander while my mind is set free.

Go out and find your view.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Classic Prune Hill!

I showed some homes in Camas this past weekend and one of them was located in one of the earliest "top of the hill" developments. This home was built in 1985 and is situated on the steep near cliff part of Prune Hill that is just above Macintosh Road and has stellar views of Mount Hood, the Gorge, the Columbia River and lights across the water in Troutdale, Gresham, and Portland.

This home has a serious movie star vibe happening. Sure it's a bit dated with that whole mid-80s motif, but this home still shines despite the 30 year old design. A little splash of 21st century updating and this $600,000 home quickly swells to join the millionaires club. That view is spectacular and there simply is no more lots quite like this one left.

This home is not a country experience, this home is in a neighborhood with lots of very large homes built on small lots on steep hillside. The steep hillside is also in very close to the river. The view in person is vastly superior to the view in the pictures.

This is the type of house I like, it is old and dated but it was such a spectacular house back in the day that it still holds up well. Just the oak trim and cabinets need to go along with some flooring updates and this thing will rock the seven figure tags. Somebody needs to steal this house while they still can!

The home features an indoor lap pool, sauna, jacuzzi and all that posh stuff. It also has a soaring ceiling in the living room with huge picture windows to soak up that gorgeous view. Homes like this keep me writing this blog.

There are many types of views, the waterfront, high rise buildings, top of the mountain, urban cliff side, they all have their advantages and disadvantages but views like this one are tough to beat.

There are quite a few neighborhoods in Camas, Washington with this type view, many of them are starting to show some age, but the homes built up here are generally very well built and pass the test of time well. Take a ride up top of Prune Hill and enjoy the view.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Gorge is Wonderful

Clark County's close proximity to the Columbia River Gorge is an amazing blessing. I wrote this a fe years ago...

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, July 19, 2016

Washougal View Town!

Washougal is going to pass up its rival, Camas in the hillside homes view race here at the rate they are going. Up above lookout ridge along the Camas-Washougal border is the latest Washougal neighborhood to offer breathtaking views of the Mighty Columbia, the Gorge and Mount Hood.

This neighborhood is between 500-600 feet in elevation so you get a nice 'perched'view but still remain below the winter heavy snow zone. I shot photos of this latest listing up there and it offers up some truly magnificent views. The home is pretty sharp too ;)

This neighborhood is in real close to both Camas and Washougal and is easily accessible from either Crown Road to the west or Shepherd Road to the east.

This area is only about 20 minutes to either PDX or Downtown Vancouver, and another 15 to Downtown Portland. It is a classic suburban neighborhood tucked nicely up top of the hill with spectacular views to Portland, the Gorge, Mount Hood, and the River. Oh that gorgeous east county area is view-licious. So check it out and please enjoy the view.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Who Says Prune Hill Views are Expensive?

There are some 'value' view properties on Prune Hill! Not many, mind you, but they are out there. Some of the neighborhoods on the lower slopes abutting Vancouver are quite reasonable and some of these homes have decent views. Don't expect a grand panoramic vista, but there are some better than peek-a-boo views to be had well under $400k.

Take this listing I recently shot photos of. It has four bedrooms including a presidential-like master and a HUGE 4th bed/bonus room, big enough for a 4x8 pool table. The home features 2400 square feet of space, a decent sized yard and pretty solid views from the upper floor master and bonus room. This home is a mid-90s house that hasn't been updated and it has modest trim levels. But the price is just $355,000! It is just barely east of the Vancouver city limit and looks out over a Camas Open Space area and a Vancouver City Park so the views are fairly well protected. Look at the panorama of Downtown Portland and the West Hills in the distance, and gorgeous sunsets. There is even a small bit of the Columbia River visible!

Full disclosure: these views are looking over the rooftops of other homes, but still, at this price, to find a home this large with these views in this crazy market! Move quickly my friends, this is a golden moment.

What's really fantastic about this Prune Hill Neighborhood is the close in proximity to the East Vancouver 192nd Avenue business corridor. It is also low enough that snowfall is comparable to the valley below and the streets are not so steep as to cause problems during outbreaks of winter weather.

From this neighborhood one can be on SR14 freeway in less than a minute if you catch the 34th@192nd light! PDX is 15 minutes, Downtown Portland less than 30 minutes. This is a small neighborhood of perhaps a hundred homes, but many, if not most of them have at least a peek-a-boo view.

Clark County is full of these little pockets of real estate joy! I love showing these types of view properties where the home is modest enough that middle class families have a shot at them :)

Oh please, do enjoy the view!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Green Mountain Road

From the north end of Woodland, WA to the very south end of Kalama, WA is twisting scenic road called Green Mountain Road. Along the steep bluffs above I-5 are many fantastic view lots looking out over the Columbia River towards the Coastal Hills of NW Oregon.

The views vary from sweeping to peek-a-boo and are found on lots typically in the 2-6 acre range. These lots are selling for prices as low as $120k and can exceed 300k in some of the nice gated communities that have been established in the area.The elevation profile of this stretch of Green Mountain Road runs from about 400' to just over 800' above sea level. The highest lots in the immediate area top out around 1200-1300 feet.

The real treat is the close proximity to the I-5 corridor. From the southern start of Green Mountain Road in Woodland the freeway ramp is less than a mile away.

From that southern point of access on I5 it is just about 36 miles to Downtown Portland. Most of that ride is on a light traffic port of the highway with congestion typically limited to the Vancouver approach of the interstate bridge and into Portland from there.

This area has a variety of opportunities from high end mansions to manufactured on acreage. Buy some bare dirt and build your dream or buy a resale home and move right in. What ever you do, please enjoy the view.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Columbia Shores: Views on a Budget

Vancouver's Columbia Shores neighborhood offers affordable condos and some offer decent river views. Many of you may already be familiar with this compact neighborhood. Two popular riverfront restaurants are nearby, Beaches and McMenamins on the Columbia. Even if you can't swing the extra coin for a view unit, the fabulous Vancouver Waterfront Renaissance Trail runs through the area and offers a great view walk along one of America's mightiest rivers.

This is a small and compact area with mostly condos. But prices on decent sized units around 1000-1200 SF are less than $300k. You'll have to pony up some extra cash to get one of the units facing the trail and the river but even some of the back units on upper floor offer views of the river and the city lights. Some may feel that $300,000 for a 1000 sf condo are pricey, but just up the river a little ways one can find the Tidewater Cove condo development and you'll be hard pressed to find any unit in there under $750k. Value is a highly relative term.

Columbia Shores is a great spot for a riverfront condo and the prices are within reach of regular Americans. This neighborhood not only offers the views and connection to the Columbia River, but also is conveniently located. Nestled along the River just south of SR14 and access to that highway is quick. Just one exit west is the I5 interchange, the Interstate Bridge, Downtown Vancouver and the Fort Vancouver National Park Site.

The plan as of now is to extend the Waterfront Renaissance Trail into the new Downtown Waterfront project now under construction. With Vancouver USA trending towards a more urban lifestyle from Columbia Shores all the way into the new waterfront, these units are likely a strong investment opportunity as well as a great spot to relax and look at the pretty scenery.

Across the main channel of the mighty Columbia River on Hayden Island, Portland is also building more condos and apartments that take in sweeping views. Waterfront real estate very limited and that ultimately will spell inflated prices in the future.

Columbia Shores represents one of Vancouver USA's best waterfront values. These will likely see a robust spike in demand as the new waterfront project becomes a centerpiece attraction for new residents and jobs in the 'Original' Vancouver.

As always, please Enjoy the View.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Is a View always a "View"?

Originally posted on this blog, March 4th, 2014 by Rod Sager

I enjoy a great view. Especially from a giant picture window or off a fabulous deck. But not all views have to be from expensive homes in exclusive neighborhoods. One of the great things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that we have brilliant scenery everywhere. When looking for a home in modest areas you can still look for a house with nice view. At least nicer than say the side of your neighbors house.

You can be looking at a cookie cutter house in a miscellaneous suburban neighborhood and come up with something better than you neighbor's teenage kid's broken down car. Choosing a home at the end of a culdesac or on a corner can open up space between neighbors that can lead to something nice to look at.

It doesn't have to be Mount Hood or the Gorge. It need not be waterfront. Sometimes just some pleasant trees or a nice sunset is all the recompense one needs after a long day at work. Even the gloomiest days can look good if the view is right.

Homes priced at or even below median here in Clark County, WA can have a decent view. Sometimes when the stars align even a mundane sub-median home can offer up a spectacular view as was the case with a home I marketed
last year. This home was in Camas and sold for less than the median price. It was priced below market. The view out the dining room and family room was a nice Mount Hood vista. There was a panoramic 180 degree view off the deck. This house was a bank owned property that needed work and had some issues but somebody ended up with an amazing view for a paltry price. It can happen.

But even if you have to settle for a view that is a little less spectacular, a view of some nice trees or the foothills always beats the neighbor's T-111 siding. When shopping for a house, look out the window, you might shock yourself with what you see.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mount Vista aptly Named

I was out in Mount Vista recently to take pictures of a new listing. This home is quite nice and features a spectacular sweeping view to the north. The home is situated mid-slope on the north side of the Mount Vista neighborhood straddling the line between Vancouver and Ridgefield.

I like the fact that this house has a relatively level yard. The home sports a spacious 3642 square feet of living space with expansive living room, family room, dining room, and kitchen on the main level with a large deck that offers up views of the Cascades including Mount Adams. Upstairs has 4 bedrooms including the amazing master that has the best views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. The lower level has a huge movie and entertainment room and another bedroom and walks out to a patio and nice mostly level backyard.

What's amazing is the fact that this gorgeous home and spectacular view can be yours for $520,000.

The greater Mount Vista area spans from NE 134th Street up along NE 29th Avenue west of WSUV in the rolling hills and east of the 20th Avenue corridor in Salmon Creek. There are a variety of neighborhoods in the area; some as old as the 1970s all they way up to brand new subdivisions with new construction. I think the best views are those that look to the northeast capturing those amazing Cascade volcanoes.

The neighborhood does offer views that look south and west as well and those can be nice. There are some homes in the older part of Mount Vista that have views extending to Downtown Portland and the West Hills.

Overall Mount Vista is a conveniently located neighborhood offering a good range of homes across a wide spectrum of pricing including many with great views. The close in proximity to both I-5 and I-205 is tough to beat.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to enjoy the view.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How much would you PAY for a great view?

by Rod Sager; originally posted on this blog, June 26, 2014

I have broached this question in passing comments over the course of writing this blog, but never really asked it straight out. So click the link below and take the poll about how much a good view is worth to you!

Take the View Poll

Views of course are highly subjective. In general there are certain views nearly universally accepted as desirable. View across the lake, view of the ocean, or grand mountains or a big city skyline, etc. These can command upwards of 50% premium if the view is unobstructed and of a truly spectacular landmark or scene.

Here in Vancouver a view of the Columbia River will command a handsome price, throw in a little Mount Hood action and it starts to get real rich. I have talked about lesser views of trees or local foothills and those are sometimes available without a premium at all.

 There are so many wonderful views in a wide variety of great properties here in America's Vancouver. We also have fabulous opportunity for gorgeous ocean views. Check out my Coastal Living Blog, here. Whatever you do be sure to enjoy the view!