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Country Life is for the Dogs!

Country Living is For The Dogs

Country living is for the dogs! And we mean that, literally.  Plenty of space to exercise and fresh air is a good combination – for people and dogs.  Plus, generally, it’s quieter in rural settings which means a more peaceful lifestyle. Less stressors. 

Our two white Golden retrievers are lucky to have their own dog park – right here at home. One of the first things we did after moving to our rural home in Camas, Washington, was to fence about half the property.  Boy, are we grateful too, as it keeps our two young pups safe. And, it keeps area wildlife from becoming a different kind of nuisance. 

To date, they have not been skunked, and other than barking at a passing deer, or a nocturnal  visit from a raccoon, we’ve been very lucky. 

Dogs Still Find Trouble in the Country

They do manage to stir up trouble digging holes, eating mud, chewing sticks, and gnawing on pinecones and rocks. What one doesn’t think about doing, the other does. Naturally, that’s why we still monitor outside time carefully. To date, they just can’t be trusted on their own.

 

 

Fortunately, running around the yard and soaking up nature is good for all us, four-legs, or two-legs. They get us out in all kinds of weather too. Rain or shine, even sleet and snow, there’s not day off with dogs. They nap frequently from all the exercise, but wake up ready for more. 

They keep us moving indoors too. What they bring in the from yard –  pine needles, dirt, and debris creates a messy mixture with their long white fur. Therefore, our vacuum is frequently put to work, and there’s generally a load of dog towels washing or ready to be folded. 

At the end of the day, we all take a moment to appreciate the beauty of a darkening country sky, while the dogs dream of another day to play.

Want to start your country life with the dogs?  Call us today.

Feeding Hummingbirds in Cold Weather

We have native, year-round Anna’s hummingbirds living in the woods at our rural home in Camas, Washington. For several winters, we have used a heated feeder to make sure the tiny birds have a reliable source of nectar when the temperatures drop. Otherwise, the nectar freezes and the birds can’t drink. But this year, the feeder is leaking.  So, we decided to explore other options.

 

Feeding Hummingbirds in Cold Weather

 

Hummingbird Warmer to the Rescue!

The one that caught our eye is called the Hummingbird Heinie Warmer.  Admittedly, it’s a bit of a curiosity during the day, but as the daylight fades, it comes to life and gets prettier and prettier. The string of C7 lights give off enough heat to prevent the nectar from freezing, and give cold birds a perch to warm their heinie. You might think the the extra chains holding the bowl of lights might scare them.

The little guys are not deterred at all.  If anything, the new lights seem to attract them just as much.  And just as in the summer, they are already territorial over “their” new-found feeding station.

 

Feeding Hummingbirds in Cold Weather

 

Feeding hummingbirds in cold weather – it’s easy!

Since, it’s November, we chose fall colored bulbs for the 25 light string. For December, we’ll switch it up for Christmas. After December, we’ll likely use clear lights until we take it down in Spring.  We think it’s festive and fun, and so far, seems to do the trick. When the snow flies, we’ll do an update and let you know how the birds are using it. We’re hoping to see them perched on the bowl riding out the worst of our winter storms in toasty comfort.

Want to know more about feeding hummingbirds in winter?  Just contact us.

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle | Nature

Economic and Emotional Benefits of Multigen

Multigen families enjoy time together

During these times of economic upheaval, many families are finding themselves sharing a home with other adults. While this is certainly one way to weather an financial crisis, there are also emotional benefits that can last long beyond the quarantine.

Most of our multigen families chose to live together in order to spend more time with each other. Or, to take care of an ailing, or aging, family member. The latter is why we all chose to live under the same roof. We’ll spare the details, but if you’re interested, you can learn more about us here.

We recognize instability in the job market, and investment portfolio losses won’t last forever.  However, if you’re looking for a better way to weather the current times, sharing housing with other family members might be the answer. It’s possible, you’ll also discover the many joys of living life with the people you love.

So, What Exactly is “Multigen”?

First of all, let’s establish the definition of a multigenerational home.  It’s a house where adults of two or more generations live together. In our experience, it often means middle-age or senior adults with one or more adult children.  At times, there’s the addition of young children or grandchildren.

While some might think it’s unusual, consider that nearly 20 percent of Americans live in multigenerational homes. The economics of sharing a household make good sense, but there are many other benefits to this lifestyle.

Peace of mind  

Stay-at-home orders and an inability to visit nursing homes and care centers have kept people from seeing their elderly family members. We are so grateful 93-year old mom is here with us.  No worries as to how she’s holding up emotionally, or physically. She’s doing great.

Sharing Responsibilities  

Adult family members can split the chores and the errands. In our case, with two adult couples caring for mom, we also split the cooking chores. Mom gets to eat out at different households during the week. Variety is always good !

Security and Built-in House and Pet Sitters

Right now, we’re home most of the time. However, under normal circumstances, when we travel, my sister and her husband take care of mom and keep the household running. Conversely, they are free to do the same.

Emotional Benefits

Having people you love and enjoy being around is a bonus. There’s no need to feel lonely when you live in a mulgen home. Shared movies, meals, and talks around the fire pit. And, in our situation, it was an honor to share the last years of my father’s life. We have no regrets.

The Bottom Line

There are obviously many other benefits to living this lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d be happy to share our experience and expertise. We are the only REALTORS® in Clark County who specialize in Multigenerational Homes and Lifestyles. 

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | MultiGen Homes

We are pleased to be the only resource in Clark County with a specific search for multi-generational properties. It will help our sellers get their homes sold more quickly – and help buyers save time in identifying possible homes. Feel free to explore – and take your time – we don’t force anyone to register. We’re confident you’ll want to call us when it’s time to buy or se

Pruning Fruit Trees in Clark County, Washington

 

Spring is almost here and, if you live in the country, you might be thinking about pruning those fruit trees in your yard. Growing fruit trees is not a passive activity – especially on rural property where you often find lots of them. They actually require year-round attention for optimum health and better fruit production. 

Obvious chores include watering and fertilizing during spring and summer. But trees also require attention during the winter, even though they are mostly dormant for that season.  In fact, late winter is the ideal time for pruning and spraying – hence the term “dormant” oil for the type of spray used.

Pruning May Seem Counterintuitive

Cutting off branches from a healthy tree might seem counterintuitive. But careful pruning removes unproductive branches and shapes the tree to produce healthier fruit. After pruning, we spray a light mineral oil that is compatible with organic gardening – no fungicide or herbicide.  The oil coats the branches and seals it from mites and other bugs that might show up during the spring bloom. 

For ideal conditions, trees should be dry with no foreseeable precipitation for at least 24 hours. Likewise, ideal temps should be close to freezing.  Although in some areas, you may be able to prune as late as April as long as the trees have not sprouted leaf buds.

This past winter was a real challenge because it was so wet. Our continuous days of snow and freezing rain made it nearly impossible to get out and take care of the trees.  Finally, with dry weather and temperatures still below 40, we found a perfect day in March. 

Shaping The Tree For Better Fruit

While pruning is not that hard with the right tools, it helps to know what you want to accomplish with the trimming. A fruit tree continues to grow throughout the year, producing new shoots from its limbs.  Unless these shoots have fruit buds, they need to be pruned off. Otherwise, they divert nourishment from the branches that have fruit. Pruning helps direct the nutrients from the tree trunk to branches with fruit.

Likewise, the shape of the tree can determine how productive and healthy the harvest will be.  There are several schools of thought about this, but we prefer to prune the center lead (trunk) out. This helps the outer branches spread out and grow into an umbrella shape. The open center allows more air circulation and sunlight into the remaining branches, which helps blooming. This approach also makes it easier to harvest – as the outer branches bear fruit, they tend to bend down, making it easier to reach.  Proper pruning can help shape a tree into ideal production.

Sometimes Major Pruning is Necessary

You will often see a mature fruit trees laden with fruit at the very top branches. This makes the fruit nearly inaccessible when the tree hasn’t been pruned regularly.  We had a few mature trees on our property when we moved in four years ago.  They were overgrown with misshapen branches that criss-crossed inside the canopy. This not only creates a tangled mess, it also invites bugs and disease.  And, of course, the harvest was lacking.

So, two winters ago, we did a dramatic pruning that cut back many of the thick, older branches, and opened up the centers.  It is a scary proposition and, again, counterintuitive because it looks like the tree will die from all that major surgery.  Plus, trees often appear to “suffer” because they will skip a year in production as they recover.  However, after a major pruning, trees usually bounce back, and are healthier for it.

Proper Pruning Fruit Trees

And that was the case with our trees – there were no apples last summer. But spring weather has brought tons of flowering fruit buds, and the trees are thriving.  Plus, this summer, as the lower branches fill out, the fruit will be a lot easier to reach. Next winter, we will able to return to light pruning.

So don’t be afraid to trim your trees after you’ve determined how you want them to look. Regular pruning and dormant spray will keep them healthy and producing for years.

If you’d like to hear more about life in the country, with Nature as Neighbors, write or give us a call.

Top 10 Features Buyers Want

As we enter the 2022 home buying season, it is important to know what buyers say they want in a home.  The National Association of Home Builders survey for 2022 is not out, yet, last year’s survey is helpful. One of the key findings is that the majority of home buyers in the study (67%) report the pandemic has not impacted what they want. Yet, there was a slight increase in the desired size of the home – implying that spending more time at home creates a desire for a little more elbow room.

The survey identifies 175 items that are rated “essential”, “desirable”, “indifferent” and (just as important) “do NOT want”. An interesting note is that, while baby boomers trended along with general home buyers in desirables, they have stronger opinions about what they do and do not want.

“Survey Says!”

The survey reveals some features are not surprises – energy efficiency shows up (explicitly or implied) as four of the top 10 items. But, surprisingly, laundry rooms continue at the top of the essential features buyers want. Although this factors in with the other items baby boomers desire – smaller homes with single-level living and open floor plans. Having a laundry room keeps clutter out of view and helps keep smaller homes organized. Ceiling fans are also big – arguably consistent with the energy efficiency theme.

The Full Survey Identified 175 Features – Here Are The Top 10

Top 10 Features Byers Want

Also, consistent with baby boomers’ desire for one-level living, elevators were rated the least desirable feature in a home – one that would cause them not to buy it. Although – another surprise – this was not as much of a deal killer of buyers from other age groups.

It’s Also Helpful To Know What is Undesirable

We also learn from the survey what items will discourage a sale. All are certainly subjective, but informative. Percentages who said “No”:
Elevator – 74%
Wine Cellar – 69%
Second-story Family Room – 59%
Dual Toilets in Master Bath – 57%

While this survey can guide new home construction, by building in features from the start, it also can help sellers of existing homes. Adding a laundry room is not on the list of the best returns for home improvement projects. However, there may be other areas in the home that can be converted easily – like a closet in a bathroom with room for a stackable. Or, even the garage might be an option. Access to utilities will determine the ease and expense of such an addition.

If you are thinking about selling your home, and want to know what buyers really want in a home, contact us.

Kitchen Remodeling – Cabinets

We are in the planning stages of a kitchen remodel. Oh my goodness. Talk about decisions. The first decision we had to make was a big one. Do we reface, paint, or replace our cabinets? It turns out refacing or repainting is a good option if you love the current layout, have good quality cabinets, and want to avoid the pain of having your kitchen torn-up for weeks, instead of days.

Ours will be replaced. We both like the clean look of shaker style, and also want to add some lighted display cabinets above the upper cabinets. Fortunately, we have plenty of room thanks to vaulted ceilings. There are other cabinet decisions too. For example, adding pull-out shelves and other organizers to make accessing things easier.  Thankfully, those decisions are done, and right now, we are trying to be patient waiting for bids.

The hardware has also been chosen for the cabinets. Designers say you can mix metals, but generally only two. Since our kitchen is part of a great room floor plan, oiled bronze is already in play. The farm sink we both like is quartz, in truffle. Therefore, the faucet we have chosen is from Newport Brass, in antique nickel Happily, we found knobs and pulls we like that pair well with the selections. 

Kitchen Remodeling – Countertops

Countertops proved to be the most fun. We both love marble, but feel the care and upkeep doesn’t match our lifestyle. We both love to cook, and we, honestly, get a little messy at time. Our counters often see spills of olive oils, tomato sauce and red wine. Since marble is porous…it needs to be sealed frequently to protect it from deep stains. Neither of us wants high maintenance.

Like the rest of the world, we are so over granite. We first considered quartzsite. It too is a natural stone, but it also requires regular sealing.   Fortunately, we both remembered a former kitchen with quartz countertops. The quartz was beautiful, and gave us the carefree ease of cooking which we both prefer. No panic when something spills! 

We settled on Silestone quartz and a marble look-alike called Eternal Calacatta Gold.  Like most on-screen visuals, you don’t see the true colors, or depth, on-line. When we saw it in person, we knew it was “the one.” It will give us the look we’re going for, without the hassles. It’s stain resistant, maintenance free, durable, food safe, and cleans up with a little soap and water. It comes with a lifetime guarantee too.

Kitchen Remodeling – Backsplash Choices, Oh My

One of the goals of our remodel is to create a timeless kitchen that will withstand the years. We also favor a light, bright, and clean, fresh, but inviting, feel to the space. Subway tile is often one of the first choices for remodel goals such as ours. What delighted both of us was learning about all the different choices in subway tile. Not just colors, but in design options.

This is where we are still wavering in our decisions. Bernie likes a traditional ceramic subway tile, perhaps with a grout to compliment the darker accent paint of our large kitchen island. I’m swooning over a Clé zellige tile in weathered white. It looks like it comes from a European farmhouse. As you can see from the photo above, the irregular tiles and color variations add up to pure charm. At least to me, not so for Bernie.

Chances are, we’ll decide on something in between. A little less gloss, perhaps something like this one, also from Clé. It’s a classic subway tile, but the bevel gives it a little more interest. Although, there may be hope yet for my choice.  This morning, Bernie asked to see photos of zellige tile backsplashes again. Stay tuned…there’s more to come as this adventure unfolds.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News | View Homes

Multigen Homes with Nature as Neighbors

We specialize in view homes on acreage or large lots with “elbow room for the soul”. This not only provides homes with plenty of privacy, but also homes that are well-suited for multigenerational living – households with different generations living together. According to the most recent 2016 study by the Pew Research Center, 1 in 5 homes in the U.S. are now multigen. This trend is likely to continue as one way to address caring for the elderly in a rapidly aging population.

Some homes come with separate living quarters, some need to be modified to provide that space. We live in a multigen home, so we know how to find homes suited for this lifestyle.

Here is the ViewHomes™ Market Report for homes suitable for multigen living:

Market Report for ViewHomes™ With MultiGen Features

76 Active Listings – $400,000 to $4,200,000
Average SQFT – 4,413
Average $/SQFT – $223

32 Pending – $409,900 to $2,495,000
Average SQFT- 3,800
Average $/SQFT – $194

62 Sold in last 3 Mos – $400,000 to $2,430,750
Average SQFT – 3,405
Average $/SQFT – $182

Median Days on Market was 44 days – down from 62 days in January.  Multigen homes don’t stay on the market very long! 

(Note: Report is for homes priced $400,000 and above, and does not include a spectacular $12,000,000 165-acre multigen property in Woodland, WA)

Buyers:
If you are looking for a home for multigen living, you can start your search here.

Sellers:
If you have a home that has multigen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

A Perfect View to Start the New Year – Nature As Neighbors

One of our clients posted this glorious photo on my Facebook timeline yesterday, with a message – “To the start a New Year. Thanks again for all your help.” We both think it’s a pretty powerful testimonial and clearly reflects our brand, ViewHomes™. They moved in at the end of October, and I’ve been getting weekly photos via text with a comment, such as “Pinch me, I can’t believe this is our home,” or ” I never want to leave.”

The luxury of elbow room for the soul, with nature as neighbors, fill and soothe busy souls. Science backs us up too. Simply looking at scenes of nature is good for our health and well-being. We both get such satisfaction and joy when we see people thriving in their home environment. And after all, isn’t that the way it should be? We think so too. Feel free to contact us anytime to learn more.

Filed under: Lifestyle

In a world of black and white, and mostly stainless, we’ve noticed a new trend developing in kitchen design – the return of colored appliances. Beach themed turquoise, cottage blue, seaglass green, mint julep, emerald, sunny yellows, bright orange, and even purples are popping up from a variety of companies.

 

A beautiful red enamel stove has always made us smile, but now you can choose from a wide variety of shades from bright red, to an industrial-themed red, and Viking has a new line in warm, rustic red. It’s pictured in the second photo below. We think it’s warm and inviting.


Although, we’d worry about the longevity of a kitchen with all appliances in a custom color. And, as REALTORS®, we know your favorite beachy turquoise will likely narrow the pool of buyers if you decide to sell.

 

Therefore, we’d likely avoid outfitting an entire kitchen with appliances in an unusual color. What if the company discontinues the line and your dishwasher quits? Exactly.  However, we think a statement stove is be a great way to add a touch of color and personality to your kitchen.

 

These two, one in purple, and one in more subdued plum, might appeal to my purple loving friends. Would you want Santa to deliver one to your house? 

 

 

Perhaps, pretty in pink is more your style.

 


We know this bright yellow, while cheery, is not one we’d consider in our home.

 

Personally, we’re drawn to the more subdued colors. Here’s an example we both really appreciate – we think it’s classic and elegant, and would be at home in a gray and white kitchen with marble counter tops.

 

 

It will be fun to see if more homeowners, and builders, start using more imagination, and color, in the kitchen in 2019.  If you’re interested in seeing some of the other colors available, here are some links. In the meantime, if you’re dreaming of something other than a white Christmas in the kitchen, we hope Santa delivers your favorite color.
Hallman 

Viking

La Cornue

Big Chill

AGA

Caliber

Bertazzoni

Heartland

Verona 

Hestan

Filed under: Lifestyle

Multigen Living is a Major Trend in the Housing Market

Multigenerational (“multigen”) living is on the rise in the U.S. It has long been a tradition in other countries, but in 2014 the Pew Research Center reported that a record 60.6 million Americans now live in multigen households. That is nearly one in 5 households. This trend continues today as the housing market responds to the demand for multigen homes.

Finding a Multigen Home Requires Expertise

It’s no coincidence that our specialty – view homes with “elbow room for the soul” – works well for multigen homes, too.  One of our listings, 38402 Rosemary Lane in Washougal has enormous potential for a multigen household. Plus, we there is a multigen estate in Washougal coming to the market this Fall, with the potential for 3 households!

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multigen home. Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with dual-living features, starting at $400,000:
(Note: these averages do not include a spectacular Multigen Listing for $12,500,000.)

Market Report for Multigen ViewHomes™ in Clark County

109 Active Listings – $400,000 to $5,900,000
Average SQFT – 4,132
Average $/SQFT – $238

51 Pending – $423,900 to $2,900,000
Average SQFT- 3,250
Average $/SQFT – $212

58 Sold in last 3 Mos – $410,000 to $1,600,000
Average SQFT – 3,515
Average $/SQFT – $182

Median Days on Market 41 days – multigen homes don’t last very long! 

Buyers:
If you are looking for a home for multigen living, you can start your search here.

Sellers:
If you have a home that has multigen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

 

Woodand WA – Gateway to Nature as Neighbors

Woodland, WA is a fast-growing town about 20 miles north of Vancouver. It is also one of the oldest communities in the state of Washington. The city is technically in both Clark and Cowlitz counties, and its location gives area residents easy access to many outdoor  recreational areas. Our favorite ViewHomes™ in Woodland are located along the Lewis River or in lovely neighborhoods providing views of the Mount St. Helens and the Columbia River.

Stay tuned for a special Woodland home we will be listing that features Universal Design features for aging in place.

ViewHomes™ Market Report for Homes over $400K in Woodland:

22 Active Listings – $404,000 to $1,500,000
Average SQFT – 3,461
Average $/SQFT – $203

14 Pending – $430,000 to $885,000
Average SQFT- 3,265
Average $/SQFT – $180

7 Sold in last 3 Mos – $400,000 to $1,090,000
Average SQFT – 3,325
Average $/SQFT – $185

Median Days on Market – 29. Homes sell quickly in Woodland! 

Buyer, begin your search for ViewHomes of Woodland here. 

Sellers, call us for a free market evaluation of your home’s value.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We hear a lot of jokes about how much it rains here, and in the Pacific Northwest in general.  However, you might be surprised to see weather statistics for the United States. Florida, Louisiana,  Mississippi, and Alabama are actually the wettest states in the country.  Washington state ranks at number thirty, with about 38.5 inches of rainfall a year. In Clark County, Washington, depending upon where one lives, we get about 40-50 inches of rain each year. The national average is 39 inches a year.

 

 

However, the rain we do get tends to fall over a longer period of time – and we do get some gloomy gray periods from time-to-time. Over all though, we actually appreciate the climate. After all, our annual rain gives us our lush green landscapes – and in the spring and summer months, an abundance of flowers and blossoms.

 

And, all the rain gives us an abundance of pristine water ways which support our region’s wildlife – and gives us plenty of opportunities for recreation and outdoor fun.

And, with the right gear, and the right attitude – what’s a little rain?

In Clark County, Washington we tend to find rainbows in the rain. 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

It’s another rainy week, but I had the pleasure of meeting a client for coffee yesterday morning in downtown Washougal. The Washougal Coffee Company is generally quiet enough to allow for good conversation and the London Fogs are delicious.  In my opinion, this beverage is made for cold damp days in the Pacific Northwest.

 

A London Fog is also known as Vanilla Tea Misto or an Earl Grey Tea Latte. In Scotland, it’s called a Vancouver Fog, since it was originally created in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Basically, it’s steeped Earl Grey tea with steamed milk, a shot of vanilla, and a sweetener of choice. I also sprinkle the top layer of foam with nutmeg and cinnamon.

If you  haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying this creamy beverage, I encourage you to give it a try. Some people use a hint lavender in the recipe too, although, most often, I prefer to drink the classic. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back to the Washougal Coffee Company and order another.

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Washougal

You’re hearing the call of the wild, longing for the peace and quiet of a home in a rural, country, or natural setting, and we don’t blame you. At ViewHomes of Clark County these types or properties are our specialty. Moving to a ViewHome with nature as neighbors is a great adventure and can be good for your mind, body, and spirit. However, it isn’t necessarily the best fit for everyone. Here are some considerations to see if you’d be a good match. 

Commute Times: If you’re required to travel to a job, the commute time is worth thinking about prior to make the move. We often tell our prospective buyers to drive the route a few times. Driving fifteen miles in the country is slower than driving fifteen miles on a major thoroughfare. The upside, the roads are often scenic and enjoyable. 

Shops and Services: If you like being close to everything, a rural home might not be the best fit. It’s not likely you’ll be able to run to the store for a quick gallon of milk, or pop-out for a quick pizza and beer at the corner pub. The upside, you learn to plan ahead – and when you do have an evening out for pizza – it’s a true treat. 

Utilities:

Storms often create power outages, therefore homes in rural areas often have back-up generators, or at the very least, an alternative heat source such as a wood stove. It’s one thing to go without electricity for a few hours or days, but quite another to go without heat.

Many of the rural homes in Clark County Washington are located in areas without Natural Gas lines. Therefore, if you want the convenience of a gas fireplace, or enjoy using a gas oven and/or cooking stove, you’ll need to opt for propane.

Internet and cell service isn’t always guaranteed either. If TV is a big deal for you, or internet service for working at home, it’s important to investigate the reliability of service prior to buying.

Many homes in the country have wells and septic systems. It’s important to due diligence on the condition of both when you’re looking at a property to buy. Once it’s yours – it’s important to follow the required maintenance and testing schedules. 

The upside – you have a lot more control over your life and living independently and sustainably.

Wide Open Spaces:

If you’re the one who loves to host progressive dinners or block parties, a lack of close proximity to neighbors could be a problem. Will you be happy living twenty to thirty minutes ( or more ) away from the nearest mall, restaurant, movie theater or sports field?

The upside – a sense of community. The people you do meet will be a great network for support and advice regarding the lifestyle.

Neighbors and Freedoms:

Naturally, with land comes some freedoms. There is no HOA in the country telling you where you can park your boat, or RV, or put up a trampoline. However, the same goes for your neighbors. Mutual respect for one another and the enjoyment of soothing views and landscapes should be the goal for all. Realistically, there are some situations where the neighbor may not share the same values. It’s best to scope things out before you make your move. 

Or, your potential neighbors may be far enough away that you won’t be bothered; that also means they might not be available in a true emergency or even when you need a cup of sugar.

The upside – most neighbors in the country know one another’s phone numbers and try to help each other when we can. For example, last year, our neighbor tilled our garden area with his tractor after watching my husband and I struggle with shovels for an hour.

Nature As Neighbors:

Living in the country means paying a great deal of respect to plants, wildlife and your fellow man. Depending on where you’re planning to move, be prepared to share your land—and sometimes the road— with a number of critters such as raccoons and deer, and a myriad of other creatures such as frogs, snakes, and birds.

The upside – We believe organic gardening, a sustainable lifestyle, respect for wildlife and each other – and the planet in general,  is good for all of us, regardless of where we live.

Filed under: Lifestyle | View Homes

We sell ViewHomes™ and multigenerational homes in Clark County, WA. They are properties located on larger parcels which provide more privacy. A majority of our clients are baby boomers. They are looking for a home that gives them plenty of room for visiting ( or live-in) family members and a place to relax. They recognize the important and rejuvenating qualities of living with soothing views amidst natural settings.

We too are baby-boomers, it’s likely no coincidence that we also live in a Viewhome™ and a Multi-generational home at that. We mirror many of our clients in that we have a great respect for the environment, and recognize the importance of good health habits, such as eating organic foods and getting regular exercise. We really don’t consider ourselves old. In fact, there is no way we’d ever call ourselves Senior Citizens. Would you?

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | People | Views

We specialize in view homes in Clark County that have large lots or acreage with “elbow room for the soul.” Those homes are often well-suited for multigenerational (multigen) living – separate living quarters to share with family or extended family. Since we live in a multigen household, we are always on the lookout for homes that can meet that growing market demand.
This week we feature a home in Washougal that offers multigen living:

39007 SE NICHOLS HILL RD, Washougal, WA

This beautiful 6-acre, 8,196 SQFT estate has panoramic river and city views. With a private and spacious master suite, 5 guest bedrooms, and outdoor living area, there is plenty of room for family and visitors.The outdoor living area has a built-in kitchen, fireplace and TV.  With a second garage, shop, and 2-bedroom caretaker quarters, this home is ready-made for multigen living.

Buyers: If you are looking for a home for multigen living, you can start your search here.

Sellers: If you have a home that has multigen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Listing Courtesy RE/MAX Equity Group

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | View Homes

One of our favorite trails in the Camas area is Lacamas Heritage Trail. The path is lined with towering evergreens, deciduous trees, and plenty of underbrush as it winds its way along Lacamas Creek and Lacamas Lake. The views are ever-changing too, depending upon the time of day, weather, or the season.

It’s a great trail for spotting wildlife. We’ve seen everything from deer to bobcats, geese, and great blue heron. The sightings add to the enjoyable experience of connecting with Nature. And by now, we all know how beneficial it is to take some time outdoors to soak up soothing views. It’s good for what ails you. 

We tend to use to the trail for exercise, therefore, we either run or walk it at a face pace. Our white Golden Retriever, Mac is usually with us too. There are doggy bag dispensers at both ends of the trail head, so there’s no excuse to leave any dog doo behind for someone else to discover. Rude!

Spring is an especially lovely time to be on the Lacamas Heritage Trail. Colorful wildflowers spring forth from the moss and ferns growing in the dappled sunlight under the canopy of the old growth forest. Berries and blossoms dot shrubs and vines creating food and habitat for birds. Small streams and waterfalls bubble happily, full from seasonal rains.

In the Fall, an annual cleanup ensures that the lake stays free of litter. Each year, the water level is lowered dramatically to allow for dam maintenance. That’s when volunteers converge to take advantage of the ability to get to exposed sections of lake bottom for picking up debris. There’s even a contest with prizes for the most unusual, and the most litter hauled out of the lake.

We hit the trail year round, admittedly not as often during the winter months. Although, we’ve sure enjoyed some beautiful walks after a fresh snowfall. In the summer months, we try to go early in the day, before the heat. It’s fun to see the early morning water activity; we often spot people water skiing, SUP boarding, kayaking, and fishermen hoping for a bite.

We’re lucky to be able to access the trail within a short drive from our home. It’s just one more reason we love calling the Camas area home.

 

 

 

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle

(Bernie here, it’s my turn to talk about the Holiday season.) 

Over the past few weeks, you have probably taken note of Debb’s total obsession with the Christmas spirit – her touching stories of family getting together in warmly decorated homes sharing messages of peace and love, etc, etc. Puts you in the holiday mood, right? Me, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the holidays as much as the next guy. But I’ll bet the next guy hasn’t endured Hallmark Christmas Movies for weeks on end. Or the almost obsessive tick tick tick countdown from Halloween through Thanksgiving, which officially marks the start of the marathon. 

First, there is the endless procession of Christmas lights dragged out of storage – about half still work. (For some reason, storing perfectly good lights for a year seems to break them.) Then the treacherous ladder climb in the wind and cold to attach lights that will be taken down again in a few weeks. It’s all powered by a convoluted connection of timers, plug-ins, and extension cords that would make Clark Griswold proud. And send a building inspector into apoplectic shock.

Christmas Cord Mess

Next up is the The Annual Hunt for The Perfect Christmas Tree in which we trudge around in the rain,  sometimes ice and snow, sizing up every tree in the woods. After a two hours of chill and debate we usually go back to cut the first one we spied. (I have learned to never say “I told you so.”)

At this point, I turn most of the tree decorating responsibilities over to Debb,  and indulge in some libations. At some point, I will hang my prized gold Elvis ornament in some prominent spot. After it’s in place, my work is done.

When Christmas Eve finally rolls around I’ve forgotten most of my misery and  catch myself enjoying the festivities. So remember when you’re in the thick of it, and ready to book a ticket for one to a deserted island – where there is noholiday season – hang in there.  It’s worth it, just ask Debb.

Filed under: Events | Lifestyle | News

We specialize in view homes of Clark County that have large lots or acreage with “elbow room for the soul.” These homes are often well-suited for multigenerational (multigen) living – separate living quarters to share with family or extended family. Since we also live in a multigen household, we are always on the lookout for homes that can meet that growing market demand. Sometimes we find a home on a smaller lot, but will feature it because it has all the amenities for multigen living.

This week we feature a home in Camas that offers a multigen family opportunity

1671 NW Juneau Ct, Camas WA

Complete, high-end remodel of an original Prune Hill home. Nearly 5,00 SQFT, located at the end of the private cul-de-sac, with amazing views of the city & valley. Wraparound deck to enjoy scenery from all over. Separate living quarters downstairs on one level with its own entrance – perfect for multigen living.

If you want to know more about multigen homes, call us – we’re experts.

Buyers: If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here.
Sellers: If you have a home that has Multi-Gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

 

Nature As Neighbors – We Love Live Christmas Trees

As promised, as a follow up to our 2016 post about live trees in the Pacific Northwest, and specifically, Clark County, here is our 2017 Christmas Tree.

The twist this year is the light dusting of snow (flocking) on the branches. I really had to twist Bernie’s arm to get his approval since he is a traditionalist when it comes to trees.  The natural and uncultivated shape of this 9 foot Nordmann fir won him over.
2017 Nordmann

Other good news, the flocking material used by Joe’s Place Farms is non-toxic and fully biodegradable. Both were important considerations for us. We also wanted our live tree to look natural, so we asked for a light dusting, with most of the material concentrated on the ends of the branches.  We think it looks similar to one of our outdoor trees after a light snowfall.

Last night, we built a cozy fire and finished decorating. We are delighted with the results, and at night, this year’s Christmas tree positively glows. 

Here Are Some Great Articles About Live Christmas Trees

National Christmas Tree Association – How to Care For Your Farm-Grown Christmas Tree
Back Yard Boss – Caring For a Live Christmas Tree

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

MultiGen Living is a Major Trend

Multigenerational living, “multigen” for short, is on the rise in the U.S. It has long been a tradition in other countries, but in 2014 the Pew Research Center reported that a record 60.6 million Americans now live in multigen households. That is nearly one in 5 households. This trend continues today as the housing market responds to the demand for multigen homes.

Finding a Multigen Home Requires Expertise

It’s no coincidence that our specialty – view homes with “elbow room for the soul” – works well for multigen homes, too.  Sometimes they come with separate living quarters, sometimes they need to be modified. We understand and live the lifestyle, so we know how to find homes suited for this lifestyle.

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multigen home.  Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with dual-living features, starting at $400,000 (Note: these averages do not include a spectacular $23,500,000 165-acre multigen property in Woodland, WA)

Market Report for Multigen ViewHomes™ in Clark County

62 Active Listings – $425,000 to $5,900,000
Average SQFT – 4,839
Average $/SQFT – $247

11 Pending – $420,000 to $1,650,000
Average SQFT- 3,544
Average $/SQFT – $190

28 Sold in last 3 Mos – $450,000 to $2,450,000
Average SQFT – 3,607
Average $/SQFT – $222

Median Days on Market was 57 days – multigen homes sell fast in this market! 

Buyers:
If you are looking for a home for multi-Gen living, you can start your search here.

Sellers:
If you have a home that has multi-gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Living On Waterfront is Rewarding Year-Round

Whether it’s a river, bay, creek or pond, waterfront properties have a built-in natural asset many buyers want. Some want easy access to boating and active water sports. Others just want a peaceful place to enjoy the relaxed, meditative environment. During summer months waterfront property is a great source of activity and escape from the heat.  During winter months, it can be a source of reflection and solace.

Waterfront Properties Are a Limited Commodity

While Clark County offers opportunities for waterfront living, the challenges of regulations, market demand, and a limited inventory have made this a limited, and specialized market. Regulations designed to protection our watersheds restrict the development of designated 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 and knows how to achieve that perfect outcome for you.

Market Summary of ViewHomes™ of Clark County on Waterfront

61 Active from $415,000 to $1,800,000
Average SQFT 3,640
Average $/SQFT $219

24 Pending from $410,000 to $1,900,000
Average SQFT 2,951
Average $/SQFT $223

45 Sold in past 3 months from $415,000 to $2,650,000
Average SQFT 3,145
Average $/SQFT $220

Median Days on Market : only 34 days. Homes on the water don’t last long!

Looking for a waterfront property? Start your search here.

Have a home on the water you want to sell?  We specialize in selling homes with “Nature As Neighbors.”

An Ode to Chimney Sweeps

Up where the smoke is All billered and curled
‘Tween pavement and stars Is the chimney sweep world

We are so excited with our gift for each other this year. It’s a beautiful cast iron Vermont Castings wood stove in a soft creamy white. Bernie even managed to sell our old wood stove for a surprising sum of money. I guess those who love the Quadra Fire brand have a real affinity for the old stoves. Granted it was a good heat source, but too much for our living space. It nearly cooked us out of the room at times.

The new stove is better suited for our Great Room space and even comes with a spark screen for fireplace-like viewing when the doors are open, or removed. Ambiance baby. As stewards of nature and the planet, we are also thrilled that it’s made from 100% recycled materials and production processes that utilize renewable energy. In addition, it’s clean burning so we won’t be adding as much pollution to the air.

Once the buyers of the old stove removed it from our hearth, we had Matchbox Chimney Sweeps come to make sure things were in order for the new stove, and the new burn season. We are so happy we found Matchbox, they do a thorough job.  In addition to cleaning out any creosote, he gave us some burning tips for preventing future buildup.

  1. Avoid burning low and smoldering fires.
  2. Only burn firewood that is dry and has cured at LEAST 12 months.
  3. Burn smaller fuel loads and larger air settings are key. ( Hotter fires)

We were familiar with the first two, but like many owners of wood stoves we load up our stove at night and tamp down the air. The idea, keep a low smoldering fire burning until morning. The problem is that when warm smoke meets a cool chimney, it creates the creosote that can cause chimney fires. Without regular proper cleaning, the creosote builds up in layers eventually glazing the inside of the chimney. Once it gets to this stage, it’s a bit more challenging to remove.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News | People | View Homes

MultiGen Living is On The Rise in U.S.

Multigenerational living, “multigen” for short, is on the rise in the U.S. It has long been a tradition in other countries, but in 2014 the Pew Research Center reported that a record 60.6 million Americans now live in multigen households. That is nearly one in 5 households. This trend continues today as the housing market responds to the demand for multigen homes.

Buying or Selling a Multigen Home Requires the Right Expertise

It’s no coincidence that our specialty – view homes with “elbow room for the soul” – works well for multigen homes, too.  Sometimes they come with separate living quarters, sometimes they need to be modified. We understand and live the lifestyle, so we know how to find homes suited for this lifestyle.

It also helps to know what the market looks like when you start shopping for a multigen home.  Here is a snapshot of ViewHomes™ of Clark County with dual-living features, starting at $400,000 (Note: these numbers do not include a spectacular $23,500,000 165-acre multigen property in Woodland, WA as it skews the averages.)

Market Report for Multigen ViewHomes™ in Clark County

61 Active Listings – $410,000 to $5,900,000
Average SQFT – 4,748
Average $/SQFT – $251

17 Pending – $425,000 to $2,250,000
Average SQFT- 3,544
Average $/SQFT – $190

43 Sold in last 3 Mos – $400,000 to $2,450,000
Average SQFT – 4,294
Average $/SQFT – $203

Median Days on Market was 25 days – multigen homes do not last long in this market! 

Buyers:
If you are looking for a home for multi-Gen living, you can start your search here.

Sellers:
If you have a home that has multi-gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Filed under: Lifestyle | MultiGen Homes | News | People

View Homes in Brush Prairie / Hockinson

Lately we’ve notice a reversal of the “downsizing trend” by empty nesters several years ago.  So what happened? The biggest reason we hear now is “Room for grandkids to come and visit!”  That 1800 SqFt single-level works fine for just the two of them, but add overnight visitors, and there is too much chaos and lack of privacy – especially with kids.

Many are also looking for homes in the country to enjoy the benefits of privacy and nature, but still be close to city amenities – easy access to shopping, services, and good schools. They miss the yard space with play area for the grand kids, gardening, and private outdoor relaxation. Brush Prairie/Hockinson is a great area where we regularly find homes that meet this criteria.

Hockinson especially has all the amenities of a rural area – rolling hillsides, tracts of timber land, and large horse pastures. Yet, it is within easy driving distance of metropolitan amenities, including Portland International Airport right across the Columbia River. Combine privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites with nature as neighbors. This area is in the highly desirable Hockinson School District.

Market summary of ViewHomes™ in Hockinson:

22 Active Listings – $439,950 to $1,550,000
Average SQFT – 3,548
Average $/SQFT – $191

11 Pending – $469,900 to $1,149,000
Average SQFT- 3,133
Average $/SQFT – $207

22 Sold in last 3 Mos – $425,000 to $1,195,000
Average SQFT – 3,460
Average $/SQFT – $180

Median Days on Market – 20.  Homes are selling quickly in Hockinson!

If you are thinking of selling your home in Hockinson, call us for a free pricing analysis.
If you are looking for a home to buy, start your search for ViewHomes™ of Clark County here. 

Winter Is Coming…What’s in store for us? 

To fans of the wildly popular television series, Game of Thrones, the phrase and motto of House Stark is one of warning and constant vigilance. Not only does Winter usher in a cold and dark period of unknown length, but reawakens ancient humanoid creatures called White Walkers – the medieval fantasy’s version of zombies. Fortunately, the words winter is coming, aren’t so foreboding for the rest of us.

Winter officially arrives in our region at 8:28 AM PST on December 21, 2017. It’s the shortest day of the year too, with sunrise at 7:48 AM and sunset at 4:29 PM.  That translates into seven hours and one minute less daylight than we enjoyed on the first day of Summer, June 21, 2017. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters released their weather predictions for the winter of 2017/2018.

Expect Colder Temperatures This Winter

In the Pacific Northwest, where we live, below average temperatures are expected. We’re part of the so-called Northern Tier of the country extending from Minnesota to our coastline and up into Southeast Alaska. The rest of the country falls into the equal chance category. What, what, what? Apparently, it means there is an equal chance of above, near, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation. Sounds like a weatherman’s bye to us.

In all fairness, weather can be very difficult to predict too far in advance. NOAA will be updating their predictions again in mid November. Regardless, there’s one thing we can be sure of, winter is coming.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

Our premise, “Nature As Neighbors”, is based on the notion that we believe living close to nature is a healthy and rewarding lifestyle, and is generally good for you. Now empirical evidence is showing that not only is nature is good for you – it will help you live longer. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded:

“Evidence suggests that exposure to greenness may lower mortality rates…”

That’s a pretty bold statement coming from data-driven environmental scientists. In an eight-year study of over 100,000 women nation-wise, mortality rates were closely monitored. Adjusting for risk factors such as age, smoking, and socioeconomic status, the results showed a 12% reduction in mortality for those who lived with higher levels of green vegetation. Certainly access to physical activity, lower particulate matter in the air, and other healthy factors can be attributed to living in a green environment.  But the study’s conclusion is inescapable:

“Higher levels of green vegetation were associated with decreased mortality.”

More studies will continue, but the paper calls for state, local , and federal policies to encourage planting more vegetation as a way to offset harmful environmental exposure, encourage physical activity, and improve mental health.  The good news is we don’t have to wait for government to act! The simple steps of planting trees, shrubs, or even a garden are well within our capabilities. Even the physically-challenged and elderly can find resources to help them plant or access green spaces.

We’ve been singing the praises of living with nature as neighbors™ and the importance of having elbow room for the soul™,  and it’s always great to get more confirmation from the scientific world.

If you’d like to learn more about buying, or selling, a ViewHome of Clark County, call us today. We are the only Reatlors™ in the county who specialize in this lifestyle.

 

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We specialize in view homes of Clark County that usually have large lots or acreage with “elbow room for the soul.” These homes are often well-suited for multigenerational (multigen) living – separate living quarters to share with family or extended family. Since we also live in a multigen household, we are always on the lookout for homes that can meet that growing market demand. Sometimes we find a home on a smaller lot, but will feature it because it has all the amenities for multigen living.

This week we feature a home in Camas that offers a multigen family opportunity

5825 NW 25th Ave, Camas, WA

Conveniently located close to shopping, restaurants, parks and schools, this townhouse in a gated community offers the best of both worlds – multigen living with low-maintenance exterior. This 4 bed/3.5 bath floor plan offers master on the main ensuite w/walk-in closet & laundry area. There is a second master ensuite & laundry room upstairs – great for live-in family or visiting guests. Hardwoods, corner gas fireplace, kitchen with granite, eating bar, stainless steel, & pantry. Library nook with built-in bookcases & desk for a convenient office. Media Room with built-in cabinets and hidden cable-connects. Highly desirable Camas School District. Restaurants, Starbucks, grocery stores all within walking distance. Perfect for lock & leave travel – only 20 min to PDX  International Airport.

If you want to know more about multigen homes, call us – we’re experts.


Buyers: 
If you are looking for a home for Multi-Gen living, you can start your search here.
Sellers: If you have a home that has Multi-Gen features and you want to sell, call us – we are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!