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Livingston Mountain Homes for Sale in Camas, WA

The Livingston Mountain area is situated on an impressive hillside just north of Camas city limits. It is known for its beautiful homes with stunning views.  Most homes are situated on large parcels 5 acres or more, and nearly all have city, mountain, and valley views that stretch for miles.

You will find a mix of newer and older homes with high end finishes, and access to hiking, equestrian trails, and sightings of wildlife. Local residents enjoy easy access to nature in the forests that surround the area. Plus, multigen families will find lots of room for individual privacy and separate living quarters.

Livingston Mountain – Camas School District

Livingston Mountain homes for sale are within the very desirable Camas School District. Lacamas Heights is the elementary school, Liberty and Camas are the middle school and high school. Students regularly score well above the state-wide standard assessment.

If you like the ruggedness of an alpine locale, with panoramic views, and all the amenities of luxury homes, take a look at the Livingston Mountain area. Here is a summary of home sales for June.

7 Active from 515,000 to $929,000
Average SQFT – 3,614

Average $/SQFT – $192

6 Pending from $490,000 to $699,000
Average SQFT – 3,331
Average $/SQFT – $186

12 Sold in last 3 Months from $439,900 to $1,199,500
Average SQFT – 3,369
Average $/SQFT – $178

Median Days on Market was 70 days.

Buyers, if you would like more information about home sales on Livingston Mountain, start your search here.

Sellers, if you want to know what your home is worth, ask us for a free Market Analysis.

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyles | Nature

Biophilic Design – The Relationship between Humans and Nature

biophilic design - living in nature

Biophilic design is based on the premise that spending time in natural settings is restorative. It’s one of the big reasons we specialize in homes located in soothing environments. A growing body of evidence confirms being in nature has a profoundly positive impact on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being

 

This nature-wellness link is resulting in a rising interest in biophilic design. “Biophilia” literally translates to “the passionate love of life and all that is alive.”  Therefore, from corporate offices to personal homes, architects and designers are working to help people feel happier, healthier, and more focused at work, and at home.

Over a decade ago, the so-called Godfather of Biophilia, Stephen Kellert, identified more than 70 elements to help create a strong connection to nature in an indoor setting. Rather than discuss the various architectural nuances of biophilic design, we are focused on how to easily create it in your current home.

A Spirit of Place 

Amanda Sturgeon, author of Creating Biophilic Buildings, believes a structure should reflect a geographic area. An understanding of the region’s ecosystem make us better stewards of the land, and help satisfy our need for a harmonious connection at home.  A “Spirit of Place.”

“Spirit of Place” is defined as the tangible and intangible elements that give meaning, value, emotion, and mystery to a place.

 

Tangible:  Buildings, sites, landscapes (rivers, mountains, meadows), routes.

 

Intangible: Memories, narratives, written documents, rituals, festivals, tradition,                             values, and textures.

 

In short, the soul of a place.

 

How to Increase Biophilia at Home

 

biophilic design - bring nature indoors

 

Obviously, a soothing and pleasing view is a great way to increase biophila at home. However, if your current view is lacking, there are other simple things you can do to to foster.

 

Fresh Air – Make sure you allow plenty of fresh air to move freely about your home. Open windows also allow us to hear the rain, the wind blowing through trees, and the sounds of birds chirping.

 

Play with Light and Shadow – having access to daylight helps balance our circadian rhytmns. Take note of shadows and sunlight moving through your home and landscape. If you have particularly sunny corner on a deck, create little spot to breathe in the outdoors. Try to minimize the boundaries between inside and outside spaces.

 

Natural Elements – Bring nature inside.  Plants, soothing greens, other natural elements ( think wood and stone) and a simple fountain can help connect us to nature.

 

Promote a Sense of Refuge – enclosed spaces help us feel secure, but with the addition of the ability to survey the landscape the space becomes restorative.  Plant trees or shrubs, create a beautiful garden – there are many ways to add a soothing view to a home.

 

Natural Shapes and Forms – Obviously not all buildings have natural form in their design, but we can use patterns from nature as decorative motifs. Think of art pieces reflecting an evergreen tree, fern, or salmon – or another symbols to reflect your particular region.

 

Order and Complexity – Nature is orderly, but quite complex in the detail. Consider while every leaf has a similar shape, the size varies. Bring nature’s designs and principles indoors.

 

The number one rule of biophilic design – go outside and understand your surroundings first. Observe, listen, and learn about your ecosystem – then bring nature’s lessons and gifts inside.

 

If you enjoyed reading about Biophilic Design, you’ll likely enjoy this article, written by Bernie, What can we learn from Nature? Everything! 

Filed under: Lifestyles | Nature | News

Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

 

Kitchen Remodel

Life is busy at our Multi-Gen house with the kitchen remodel update in full swing. Right now, it’s chaos central. Naturally, the biggest headache is trying to cook and clean up. But a Weber grill with a side burner is getting a lot of use. And a utility sink in the garage works well for washing pots, pans, and dishes.

 

My sis and her husband, who live on another level of our home, offered to let us use their kitchen. But, honestly, carrying things up and down the stairs would just add to the workload. Plus, it would be pretty crowded with all of us cooking different meals – especially at the same time.

 

Mom, who lives with us, is a good sport about the remodel and is getting used to the “glamping” aspect of the ordeal. Her morning oatmeal is made in the microwave and we try make sure we still have her favorite foods around. It requires thought, prep, and planning. So far, so good.

What’s up with the Blazers?

 

Plus, mom is a big Portland Trail Blazers fan and has been pretty distracted with her job as their number one cheerleader.  She’s even been wearing her team jersey to her Silver Sneakers classes – we’re sorry they’ve lost the last 3 games, but we also respect and admire the Golden State Warriors.  May the best team win.

 

Patience is a virtue.

 

Back to the kitchen. Hopefully in a few days, we’ll be able to test out the new double ovens. However, installing the new gas stove, the farmhouse sink, and the dishwasher will have to wait until the counter tops are in place. Since the counter fabricators are booked until May 30th, it will be at least a month before we get our new quartz counters.

 

We’ve been warned, remodeling is an endeavor in patience, and it certainly is. , but we know the end result will be worth the hassles. Tonight, we’re taking a break and having take-out. Woohoo! Happy Sunday.

 

Related posts:

 

Kitchen Remodeling Overload – Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Want to learn more about multigen households and surviving a remodel?  Contact us, we’ll offer some tips.

Multigen Home Sales

Multigenerational Homes Are An Evolving Market

Multigenerational home sales are an evolving niche in the real estate market. This is true in Clark County WA as well. “Multigen” is where two or more generations decide to move back in together.

There are many advantages, financial and emotional. Often elderly parents move in with their adult children. This is much more desirable than a nursing home, or an independent living facility, which can be very costly. Sometimes grandparents are capable of share in child-rearing responsibilities. Everyone benefits from this arrangement.

Since we live in a multigen household, we specialize in finding and selling those types of homes. Our multigen homes are located on acreage or large lots. They have “elbow room for the soul”, which provides lots of room & privacy.

According to the most recent 2016 study by the Pew Research Center, 1 in 5 homes in the U.S. are now multigen. Because of this trend, multigen homes will continue to be popular. Likewise, it is a good way to address caring for the elderly in a rapidly aging population.

Work With Multigenerational Home Sales Experts

Working with multigen clients can pose some challenges. In spite of the demand for multigen homes, separate living quarters are not a common feature. So you often end up finding homes that are not quite set up with separate quarters, but could be. Here, it takes some some ingenuity to imagine how a home can accommodate all family members. From our own experience of upgrading an existing home to multigen, we can identify those homes best suited for modifications.

If your family is considering a multigen home, it’s important to know the market. Here is a brief Market Report for Multigen Homes in Clark County WA:

102 Active Listings – $415,000 to $4,200,000
Average SQFT – 4,036
Average $/SQFT – $22
9

48 Pending – $449,000 to $1,445,000
Average SQFT- 3,681
Average $/SQFT – $1
83

46 Sold in last 3 Mos – $427,000 to $2,400,000
Average SQFT – 3,874
Average $/SQFT – $196

Median Days on Market was 57 days – up from 44 days in April.  But with limited inventory, 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)

Interested in multigenerational home sales?

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

Multigen Sellers:
Call us for a free market analysis of your home’s value. We are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

What Can We Learn From Nature?
What can we learn from nature? Just about everything! It turns out, we are surrounded by brilliantly-designed inventions that can teach us a lot. Biomimicry is the science that studies nature’s inventions to inspire innovations for our daily lives. In short, old ideas are new ideas – and they are just waiting to be discovered. Plus, mimicking nature helps identify sustainable solutions that are compatible with our planet.

Natural resource scientist Janine Benyus is a huge proponent who says biomimicry is a new way of inventing. “[W]e live in a competent universe, we are part of a brilliant planet, and we are surrounded by genius. The core idea is that life’s been on Earth 3.8 billion years and that’s a lot of R&D.”

Stories of Inventions Discovered Through Biomimicry

  • Swiss Electrical Engineer George de Mestral goes on a walk with his dog, who often returns with burs stuck to his coat. Curious, the scientist takes a closer look under a microscope, and sees hundreds of “hooks” that latch onto things. But they also release without breaking. He uses this discovery to invent Velcro.

biomimicry learning from natureNature Inspires Great Inventions

  • Japan is developing a high-speed train, but it has a major problem. The super velocity creates a vacuum in tunnels. This not only slows the train, but also emits a loud “sonic boom” when it exits. So a design engineer (who happens to be a bird watcher) studies the kingfisher. This speedy hunter sneaks up on his prey by entering water with very little splash. The scientist analyzes the bird’s face and applies its beak design to the front of the train. This not only eliminates the noise, but also improves speed and fuel efficiency.

  • Scientists studying humpback whales notice how the bumps on its flippers prevent drag while the whale is diving at a steep angle. They adapt this design to wind turbine blades, which greatly improves efficiency. It also helps develop high-speed aircraft wings that are not as susceptible to stalling.

  • Every year, millions of birds fly into windows. This is not just upsetting to homeowners – it creates costly clean-up for owners of high rise buildings. Scientists studying the problem happen upon the common spider web. They inlay “invisible” lines into the glass. Unseen to human eyes, the embedded lines reflect ultraviolet light visible to birds, preventing accidents.

And The List Goes On…

So, what can we learn from nature?  Just about everything!  Biomimicry is not just a “feel good” activity – it is a real discipline based on eons of awe-inspiring nature. The Biomimicry Institute, for example, is introducing its scientific curriculum to K-12, universities, and other educational institutions. Their goal is to create a new generation of innovators who use nature as a guide to invention. And commerce is paying attention. From agriculture to transportation, the movement is helping corporations design innovations that are both earth-friendly and profitable.

Our connection to nature is profound. Many studies indicate that when we are nature deprived, our health suffers. It’s one of the big reasons we love marketing properties in soothing environments – ViewHomes™! We think home should be a place where you relax, rejuvenate, and feed your soul. Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

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.

Multigenerational Homes in Clark County WA

We specialize in multigenerational homes in Clark County WA. Multigenerational or multign is defined as two or more generations living under one roof. These are not typical family units of parent(s) raising their children. Multigen is where adult family members decide to move in together – often to care for the elderly, or share in child-rearing responsibilities.

Our multigen homes are located on acreage or large lots. They have “elbow room for the soul”, which provides lots of space & privacy. 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 will continue as one way to address caring for the elderly in a rapidly aging population.

Find MultiGen Homes for Sale

We look for multigenerational homes for sale with separate living quarters, or homes that can be modified to provide that space. We live in a multigen home – modified to accommodate family – so we know how to find homes suited for this lifestyle.

Market Report for MultiGen Homes in Clark County

100 Active Listings – $424,900 to $4,200,000
Average SQFT – 4,022
Average $/SQFT – $223

36 Pending – $469,900 to $2,500,000
Average SQFT- 3,781
Average $/SQFT – $199

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)

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

Multigen Sellers:
Call us for a free market analysis of your home’s value. We are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!

Hiking in Columbia Gorge

Columbia River Gorge – Photo Courtesy of The Columbian

Spring Hiking in Clark County, WA

Go Take a Hike – It’s good for body, mind, and soul! The spring hiking season is about to get underway here in the Pacific Northwest. While April’s rainy weather sometimes makes our local trails muddy and slippery, we still try to get out as much as possible.  May will bring an influx of adventurous people in boots and backpacks, ready to exercise their bodies and quiet their minds.

We all know that getting out to nature makes us feel good. But now there is data to experiencing the outdoors has physiological effects on our brains.  A 2015 study published by the National Academy of Sciences finds that spending time in nature significantly affects our prefrontal cortex where most of our negative thoughts process. Hiking especially helps stop the type of obsessive rumination that can be difficult to break.

Tune In, Turn On, Unplug!

In addition, the participants in the study had no electronics as they backpacked through nature. In short, they tuned into Nature, turned on to the environment, and unplugged from electronics.  We’re not surprised to learn a nice long hike, without a cell phone, can reduce mental fatigue, soothe our mind, and increase creative thinking. And, once you invest in suitable shoes and a day pack for emergency provisions, it’s free, except for perhaps a parking pass at a trailhead.

Hiking also burns calories (400-700 an hour)  and builds muscles and bone density. Your body and mind get in shape as nature works its quiet magic. While we agree with the tech-free advice, we think it’s important to carry a cellphone in your pack for emergencies. Peace of mind while you enjoy the peace-and-quiet is also an important consideration.

Popular Local Trails

There are many trails in our area for hikers to choose from, and because of our close proximately to the Columbia River Gorge, there are some pretty rigorous hikes for those in good shape. However, you can easily find trails for nearly every ability in Southwest Washington. Here’s a list of hikes in the Clark County Washington Parks system.

Want to know our favorites? Send us a note – we’ll let you know, and send directions!

Here’s a video recap of a hike we took several years ago. The Cape Horn Loop gives you fantastic views of the Columbia River Gorge. A bonus for us, in the spring and early summer months, a profusion of colorful wildflowers dot the meadows.

Keep in mind, the loop is closed between February 1 – to July 15 for nesting falcons. Portions of the trail are quite precarious and exposed, dogs should be on leashes and young hikers should be closely supervised.

 

Do your body and mind a favor this spring – Take a hike! 

Filed under: Lifestyles | Nature | News

The National Association of Home Builders has released its Home Buyers Survey for 2019, indicating the top features home buyers want most. Although extremely helpful for new home builders, homeowners who are thinking about selling should also pay attention.

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.

2019 Survey Reveals What Home Buyers Really Want – With Some Surprises

Some features are not surprises – energy efficiency shows up (explicitly or implied) as four of the top 10 items. Surprisingly, laundry rooms are 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

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.

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!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Lifestyles

The Value of a 3-car Garage

Many of our ViewHomes of Clark County buyers prefer a home with a 3-bay garage. The reasons vary, but the bottom line is needed space. And as the photo shows, the single car garage in Barbie’s Dream House ( a gift for my granddaughter’s upcoming 4th birthday) is already full.

One parked puppy, and suddenly there’s no room for Barbie’s signature pink convertible. Not to mention her SUV, or Ken’s motorcycle. Barbie is an active woman too. Where will she store her camping gear, skis, bikes, jet-ski, and scuba equipment?

Why a 3-Car Garage – Let us Count the Whys

Here are some of the most common reasons we hear from buyers seeking a 3-car garage. And, what we see in garages when previewing ViewHomes™ prior to listing.

Better fit for Larger Cars and SUVs

A third car

Lawn Mowers, pressure washers, etc.

Boats of all kind

Motorcycles

Bikes and other sporting gear

Hobby space

Office

Workshop

Gym

Storage space

Bar and pool table

Potting shed – gardening space

Raising Puppies!

We completely understand the added value of a home with a 3-bay garage. The cost difference when purchasing a home with a 2 car and 3 car garage will vary, but generally speaking, it can a lot of value. For example, in Camas, Washington, a home with a 3-car garage sells for about 8% more than one with a 2-car garage.

In our opinion, the added value is also about preferences and perceptions. Given the current preference for having 3 bays, it makes sense to have a home with the amenities that are most desirable. CC&Rs ( Covenants, conditions, and restrictions), or zoning restrictions might prohibit building a shed, or another type of outbuilding for extra storage space.

Keep in mind though, if the first impression of the house is garage-centric, the curb appeal can be greatly reduced – and perhaps, the value. Oh look, it’s a garage with a house attached! We’ve all seen them.

In more rural areas, where homes tend to be older, many properties have decent sized 2-car garages, with various outbuildings. Zoning often makes it possible to add sheds, RV garages, shops, and barns to make up for any loss associated with the lack of a 3rd bay.

If you’re interested in listing your home with a 3-car garage in Clark County, we know how to price it fairly, and  market it to the right demographic. Buyers, we know where to find the view homes with 3 car-garages, and other options to suit your specific needs.  Call us today, we’d love to help.

 

Begin your search here for homes with 3-car garages in Camas.

Filed under: Lifestyles | View Homes