DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
It’s commonly thought that the expression “Dog Days of Summer” refers to the hottest time of the year. If true, that would have been during June’s heat wave. But the expression actually derives from ancient observations of Sirius, the Dog Star and its annual rising in the morning during summer. It is also the brightest star, after the sun. The Old Farmers Almanac places Dog Days at 40 days from July 3 to August 11. Both observations just happen to coincide with (typically) the hottest time of the year.
But, what if you actually have dogs and you want to enjoy the hotter days of summer? Here are a few suggestions – just remember to bring water for yourself and your canine companions. And observe common courtesy – leash up where required and always clean up after your dog.
Off-leash Dog Parks. A great way to start the day, and work off some energy before it gets too hot. Check out DogPaw Off Leash Parks to see if there is one near you.
Early morning hikes in the Columbia Gorge. The western part of the Gorge and can provide a nice respite from the heat. Both sides of the Columbia River have excellent hiking trails and outdoor vistas. One hike close by is Cape Horn Trail just off Highway 14. It starts out a bit steep, but levels off to a nice hike up to Nancy Russell Overlook with panoramic views of the Gorge.
Two helpful references are Best Hikes with Dogs Western Washington by Dan Nelson and Best Hikes with Dogs by Ellen Morris Bishop. Although the second is focused on Oregon, there are several areas that are easily accessible within a one-day drive from Vancouver.
Go Jump in a Lake! (Or River or Beach.) You don’t have to be a water dog to enjoy water sports in our area. The Lewis, Washougal, and Columbia rivers all offer places to swim with your dogs. And many lakes in the county allow swimming. But be on the look out for algae bloom – it can be toxic to humans and dogs. Check with local authorities and look for posted warnings before entering the water. Finally, check out the beaches on the Long Beach Peninsula. A little over 2 hours to miles of off-leash fun right on the ocean. It will not only cool off your pups, but also wear them out for the trip home!
Or Just Stay Home. And if you can’t make it to one of those destinations, you can always resort to the backyard kiddie pool. Trust us, even before you can get the water in, it will be a hit with the Dog Days of Summer!
Looking for a place to beat the heat and enjoy summer? Call us, we have homes with Nature as Neighbors.
Beat the Heat With A Home on the Water!
The Northwest is setting historic records with the current heat wave throughout the region. So it’s natural that more people are looking for different ways to cool off. At the top of the list (besides air conditioning) is playing in and around water. Clark County, WA is uniquely located in an area with exceptional bodies of water. From the Lewis River up north, wild Washougal to the east, and the grand Columbia River to the south and west, we are surrounded by water! Clark County offers many opportunities for waterfront recreation – boating, fishing and swimming to name a few. And living on the water is the ultimate lifestyle for anyone who loves these activities.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, where much of our lifestyle revolves around the outdoors, water recreation is huge. Boating, kayaking, rafting, or just relaxing along a river – waterfront homes are always in demand. Right now there are a limited number of properties right on the water. And, overall inventory in the area is at an all-time low. This bodes well for sellers, who are experiencing a very busy selling season, with prices that have skyrocketed in recent months.
While there are still opportunities to own a home on waterfront, this is a specialized market. The challenges of regulations, year-round market demand, and a small inventory all require unique knowledge and experience. Regulations designed to protection our watersheds restrict the development of shoreline properties with tight footprints, setbacks, and mitigation requirements. Even creeks are regulated in certain protected watersheds, so this can cause frustration for anyone trying to build or expand a house along a natural waterway.
Whether you are looking for, or want to sell, waterfront property, you should work with a broker who has experience in this specialized market. Someone who knows how to achieve that perfect outcome for you. If you are just thinking about buying or selling a home on the water, it helps to know the current status of waterfront home sales:
WATERFRONT HOMES REPORT
It’s clear that, with only 7 days on the market as the median, waterfront properties sell quickly.
Have a home on the water you want to sell? Call us – We specialize in selling homes with “Nature As Neighbors.” Looking for waterfront property? Start your search here. If you don’t see a residence you like, ask us about land for sale along waterfront. There can be challenges and regulations, but we have a lot of experience with waterfront property and can help guide you.
Week-End Market Report
The real estate market in Clark County WA is hot! Here’s a quick recap of the week’s market activity this week in East County, Camas and Washougal. Plus, the latest market report for MultiGen homes in Clark County.
We specialize in these areas of Clark County, and in MultiGen Homes. Give us a call if you are thinking about buying or selling your home.
Homes With Views – Camas and Washougal
Owning a home with a view of a river – or any vista – is a unique living experience. Likewise, it will add value when you are ready to sell. We receive requests all the time from buyers who dream of having a home views, and it’s always a pleasure to help them find the right match.
We are fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest – recognized as one of the most scenic regions in the country. This is especially true of Clark County, bordered on the south by the Columbia River. Over the years, the “Mighty” Columbia carved natural canyons and gorges in its wake. In Clark County, this left rolling hillsides along the river which offer many vantage points with stunning views. Likewise, some of the wildest rivers in the country feed into the Columbia through Clark County – creating many sites with sweeping panoramic views.
Camas and Washougal, in particular, are positioned along the Columbia and Washougal rivers, offering home owners multiple opportunities for views. Before you start your search, it will help to get a feel for the market and view homes available. Right now, it is clearly a sellers market in Clark County with only .6 months of inventory in the whole county. This makes view properties even more valuable – with an average price increase over last year of 12% for Camas and Washougal.
Clark County Home Sales.
2021 brought a wild Sellers market to Clark County home sales. Buyers are driving up the demand for homes. Inventory is at historical lows, and bidding wars have been crazy. Many were waiving contingencies and even offering to match any shortfalls in appraisals. As a result, homes were selling for way over asking price. Inventory shortage hasn’t eased yet, but there is some light at the end of this tunnel. Inventory rose last month for the first time since January – not much, but hopefully a sign of a coming trend.
Bad News, Good News and Better News:
First, the Bad News: As the green graph shows on the chart below, Active Residential Listings over the past year have been declining. The red line shows them dropping a bit more before ticking up in April. Still, if you are in the market to buy a home, there is a scarcity of selection. The inventory – the time it takes to sell all homes listed – dropped from .8 months in January to .5 in March but ticked up to .6 in April . Five to seven months is “balanced”, so this indicates it is still a Seller’s market.
The good news – if there is any: the red line below shows New Listings on the market are back up to 2019 levels after a precipitous drop last year.
We hope to see more homes coming on the market soon and that will help take the pressure off prices.
Now, the Better News (for Sellers): If you are a homeowner, thinking about selling your home, now is the time to act. With such a low inventory, you can expect a very quick sale, provided you price it correctly and have a realtor market it. Last summer we sold a home for $30,000 over asking with no contingencies. No financing, appraisal, or inspections. Unheard of in a normal market. And that was just the beginning of the buying frenzy.
Meanwhile, the reality of a Seller’s market is that the Average Sale Price keeps rising. As the chart shows below, prices have risen regularly since January 2012. And with low inventory and extremely low interest rates, prices will likely continue to rise for the near future.
If you are thinking about selling, now is a great time! Some COVID restrictions have been eased – e.g. open houses are allowed again with certain restrictions. All showings continue under controlled environments, but houses keep getting shown and sold. Call us for the latest COVID guidelines and for a free consultation on your home’s value.
Be super-prepared when you start looking. Have your financing and down payment in order, and be prepared to make an offer as soon as you see what you like. Waiting will likely mean the house will be gone. You might also find yourself in a bidding war. In that case, know your absolute limits, and don’t fall into the emotional trap of overpaying just to win. An inflated price will hurt you in the long run when it comes time to sell. You can start your home search here.
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