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Fibonacci & The Beauty of Nature

Today, 11/23, is Fibonacci Day, honoring Leonardo Bonacci, one of the greatest mathematicians ever.  He formulated what is known as the Fibonacci sequence, or the root of the Golden Ratio phenomenon, which presents itself prominently in nature. Wait, how do binary numbers translate to natural beauty? Easily.

First, here is the Fibonacci sequence: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 56, and so on, indefinitely. Starting with the basic 0 and 1, each successive number is the product of the two preceding numbers:

0+1 = 1        1+1 = 2      1+2 = 3      2+3 = 5      3+5 = 8     5+8 = 13, etc.

But, again, how does this relate to nature? Bonacci observed that nature followed this sequence in its growth patterns. It’s known as the Fibonacci or Golden Spiral:

Fibonacci Spiral in Numbers

He also observed that the ratio of each set of the last two numbers is 1.6.  This is known as the Golden Ratio, and shows up in growth patterns throughout nature:

Fibonacci Nautilus Fibonaccti FernsFibonaci Succulent Fibonaci Sunflower

Starting with the center, each successive stage is 1.6 times the previous stage.  This Golden Spiral is consistent throughout all natural phenomena, not just plants:

Fibonacci Storm. Yes, even storm patterns follow this Golden Ratio.

There are many examples to suggest this is a universal pattern that applies even beyond our planet:

Fibonacci Galaxy

So, next time you’re out in nature, take a look around, or look up and observe the magic of Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio.  Once you start seeing it, it’s hard to ignore.  And it’s also easy to remember this special day.  Why? Simple –  it’s on 1 1 2 3 every year.

Happy Fibonacci Day!

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Filed under: Nature | News

Zen and the Art of Stacking Firewood 

Zen and the Art of Firewood

“Winter is coming!” It’s time to hunker down to a nice, cozy fire. In our rural home, we have an energy-efficient wood stove for supplemental heat, and to enjoy the ambiance of a fire on a cold winter night.

If you have the time and equipment, Gifford Pinchot National Forest offers a free firewood program for personal use. But, when we don’t have time to cut our own, we typically order seasoned wood and have it delivered. Some companies will stack for an extra charge, but we like to do it ourselves.

Firewood delivered by dump truck, however, ends up in a large, jumbled pile in the yard. So… there you are – now you need to move and organize this mess. Where to start?

STACKING FIREWOOD IS A PUZZLE CHALLENGE

At first, the job can be overwhelming. It feels like a repetitive and boring task ahead of you. With the right mindset, it can become a great physical and mental challenge.

Stacking firewood is basically solving a geometrics problem: how do you fit those random-sized pieces together to form a solid, stable structure?

Whether stacking in a woodshed, or between posts, start with the half-circle pieces. Lay them flat-side down to build the base. Add more levels, keeping

it as flat as possible, using the best combination of angles and shapes for a level surface. It won’t be perfect, but this is where the mental acuity kicks in. You will start to see patterns and combinations that work best. Your brain quickly assesses even irregular pieces to place them in the right spot. It’s like playing a physical game of Tetris as you build each level.

MOVEMENT AND MEDITATION

Once you settle into that rhythm, let your brain switch to auto-drive as you slip into the meditation of the moment: moving, measuring, solving, then moving again.  The physical activity stimulates blood flow and endorphins to the brain. Eventually, your thoughts will focus on the activity at hand. Take your time. This is a great way to spend a cool, crisp winter day – exercising your body on the outside and your mind on the inside.

Firewoo

 

Zen and the Art of Stacking Firewood 

Soon, you’re done before you know it. You now have the gratification of a nice stack of wood, a physical workout, and a refreshing, mindful meditation.

There is an expression “Firewood warms you three times – cutting, stacking and burning.” Now you can add a fourth dimension – it also warms your brain!

Now go inside, relax, and enjoy a nice warm fire. You’ve earned it.

Zan and the Art of Firewood

Want to know more about stacking firewood?  Just ask us!

Filed under: Nature | News | Rural Homes

Fall Hiking in Clark County WA

It’s Fall – Let’s Go Hiking!
Mornings are crisp, nature’s palette is changing, and fall is officially here. It’s a great time of the year to go hiking. Fall spurs adventurous people to don boots and backpacks, ready to exercise their bodies and soak up the views. 

Getting out in nature makes us feel good, and there is data to back it.  A 2015 study published by the National Academy of Sciences finds that spending time outdoors significantly affects our prefrontal cortex where most negative thoughts process. Hiking especially helps quiet our negative ruminations.

Participants in the 2015 study left their electronics behind as they backpacked through nature – basically unplugged and tuned in (to nature.) Not surprisingly, a long hike without a cell phone can reduce mental fatigue, soothe our minds, and increase creative thinking. While we agree with the tech-free advice, we also think it’s important to tuck away a cellphone in your pack for emergencies.

Hiking burns calories (400-700 an hour), builds muscles and increases bone density. Your body and mind get into shape while nature works its quiet magic. Once you invest in suitable shoes and a day pack for emergency provisions, it’s free. About the only cost might be a Discovery Pass in Washington or a parking pass. 

There are many trails in our area for hikers to choose from, and because of our close proximity to the Columbia River Gorge, there are some pretty rigorous hikes for those in good shape. However, you can also find trails for nearly everyone in Southwest Washington, including many with wheelchair access.

It’s Fall – Let’s Go Hiking!

Here’s a list of hikes in the Clark County Washington Parks system:

So, get outside for a hike and enjoy the Fall!

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

Filed under: News

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.

Cape Horn Hikes

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!

Dogs in Kiddie Pool

Looking for a place to beat the heat and enjoy summer?  Call us, we have homes with Nature as Neighbors.

Photo of Great Outdoors with Mountain in Background

It’s June – Get Outdoors!

Looking for an excuse to play? June is National Great Outdoors Month. And here in the Pacific Northwest, we have so many great options for outdoor activity. You can easily find one that matches your age, skill level, or even attitude!  Hiking, biking, camping, walking, or just sitting quietly in nature all have great psychological and physical benefits.  Keep in mind, many sites offer ADA amenities so the whole family can enjoy.  Whether you travel to a site or go right down the block, the trick is to get out the door.

Here are some options to consider for Great Outdoors Month. May sure you check web sites before heading out to see if there are any visitor restrictions.

National Parks in Washington

There are over 400 designated National Parks in the U.S, and three are right here in Washington:  OlympicMt. Rainer, and North Cascades – all of which offer recreation opportunities for camping, hiking and climbing in some areas.

There are also some National Monuments Trails and Historic Sites worth noting:
San Juan Island National Historical ParkMount St. Helens Volcanic Monument, and Fort Vancouver, here in Vancouver.  All three feature outdoor activities and visitor centers, but check ahead for hours and restrictions.

State Parks in Washington

Our state parks are some of the best in the nation – last year alone saw more than 37 million visitors. That’s 10 million more than 2019 – even with COVID-19 closures. Battleground LakeParadise Point, and Reed Island (by boat only) are right here in Clark County. They are especially popular this time of year, and may require a state Discovery Pass for access.

Clark County Parks

We are extremely fortunate to have so many parks in our county.  Most are day-use only, but offer a wide array of activities – hiking, biking, swimming.  Currently, picnic shelter day use permits are suspended through 2021. There are parking fees at some sites. Our favorites are Captain William Clark right on the Columbia, and Lacamas Regional Park on Round Lake which offers an extensive network of trails – some leading to nearby Heritage Park on Lacamas Lake.

Neighborhood and Off-Leash Dog Parks

You may not have to go far to find an outdoor opportunity.  Just go for a walk around the block and you’re likely to run into a local park in your neighborhood. And don’t forget your canine buddy.  Most parks require keeping your dog on a leash, but a nonprofit organization, DOGPAW, maintains four off-leash parks in the county.  A chance for you to go for a walk with your best friend!

However you decide to observe Great Outdoors Month, let’s get out there and explore the abundance of nature offered in our area!

Filed under: Nature | News
Gardening:  A Growing Trend (Even City Dwellers Are Digging)

While many were stuck at home last year, there was an increased interest in gardening.  Seed companies reported shortages, nurseries had more sales of vegetable starts, and urban gardens saw a rebirth of activity.  All indications are that this activity will continue in 2021.

The many benefits of gardening – besides, of course, food!

There are many benefits, both practical and therapeutic to growing your own food.  Many see it as a way to control the food we eat – substituting store-bought food with their own produce.  But there are also great psychological benefits – something we can all use during times of stress. In addition to the comfort of briefly connecting to a Zen moment, there is immense satisfaction in growing something from scratch to full maturity.

Growing Tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest – The Great Tomato Machine

Cool weather plants like peas, beans, and lettuce do fairly well in the Pacific Northwest.  You can also grow tomatoes, but sometimes they don’t all ripen. One ingenious solution is the “Tomato Machine” – a trick we learned from Michael and Missy Stucky of Millennium Farms in Ridgefield.

They look odd for the first part of the summer, but the plants grow large and fast.  We typically remove the wrap mid-summer – once the plants start bursting out of their cages.  This approach always yields red, ripe tomatoes!

Container Gardens Are a Great Option

City dwellers who don’t have the space and no access to a community garden, can still grow their own food in containers.  They take up little room and reap the same benefits. Many plants are especially well-suited for containers: lettuce, herbs, and patio tomatoes come to mind.

Container gardens - a growing trend

Even with a full-size garden, we still grow a variety of container vegetables on our deck. Our best success has been with Northwest-specific tomatoes like Home Slice and Silvery Fir.  Add a container of lettuce and basil, and you have the convenience of a great salad. Right outside your door!

Gardening:  A Growing Trend. And Projected to Continue Growing.

We believe gardening will continue to be of great interest to everyone – city dwellers included. So, start small and try a few things – including container plants. Do some research on what grows best in your area. There are any number of web sites and YouTube videos to help you.  It’s best to start with seedling plants to get a head start on the short growing season.

However you do it, you will be rewarded with your own food and the mental satisfaction of growing and nurturing something living.

Want to learn more about container gardening or how to build the Great Tomato Machine?  Just contact us, we’ll be glad to share our experiences.

Filed under: Gardening | News

Getting Hygge With It – It’s Time for Cozy!

 

The word Hygge is often mispronounced. For example, many think it’s pronounced, higgy – rhymes with jiggy. That’s not correct. It’s actually a  Danish word pronounced as, hoo-gah, or hue gah.

Candles, warmth and cozy

Regardless of how you say it, we both embrace the concept. The word is loosely described as cozy contentment. The Danes say it’s the art of fostering well-being through intimate connections to nature and others. Wow, that sounds perfectly lovely to us.

“Hygge” – The Art of Cozy Winter Living

At first glance, winter hygge might appear to be the creation of indoor spaces suitable for hibernating. However, that’s not necessarily the case. While creating pleasing and relaxing indoor rooms is quite hygge, the true concept is more about fostering an atmosphere to nurture relationships.

A group of friends playing a game around a roaring fire is very hygge-like. However, curling up with a good book in a cozy corner is also a hygge move. Any activity that allows us to enjoy life’s simple pleasures and paying attention to what makes us feel alive and open-hearted is representative of the mindset.

Hygge is quite similar to mindfulness with more of a focus on sensual pleasures. Engaging our senses to absorb joy in the moment such as smelling a rose, cherishing the feel of silk or cashmere on your skin, and relishing the warmth of a roaring fire are good examples.

As with most good things, advertisers jumped on the trend and tend to over-used the hygge label to sell everything from sweaters to home furnishings. Ad nauseam, and It’s too bad, as the concept on its own is sound and worth considering.

It’s also worth noting the Danes have one of the highest happiness indexes in the world, despite their cold and dark winters.

Filed under: Lifestyles | Nature | News

Finnegan’s First Snow!

We love snow – especially this year – for our new English Cream Golden Retriever. We wanted a decent snowfall event with some accumulation. So, snow finally started falling yesterday, and kept building in momentum. The deeper it got, the more entertaining it became to 10-month-old Finnegan. He never seems to tire of chasing tennis balls and birds.

 

Finnegan’s First Snow!

2022 Update:  Playing in the snow together.

Finnegan's First Snow!

Finnegan now has a brother, Forrest.  About10 months younger, but he is already bigger than Finnegan!  That’s Forrest in the right.

Let us know if you want to follow the Adventures of Finnegan and Forrest! Or contact us!

Here’s to More Fritluftsliv! Friluftsliv (Free-loofts-leev) is a Scandinavian concept which best translates to “fresh air life.” Basically, it’s enjoying life outdoors. In fact, in Norway kindergartens are, for the most part, held outdoors. As the children are told…

“Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!” (There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.) 

Outdoors in Winter

Outdoor activity is so ingrained into their culture that many Scandinavian countries have laws allowing people to access all land for outdoor pleasure and recreation – both private and public.

The Pacific Northwest Offers More Fritluftsliv!

An article in the Seattle Times explores this Scandinavian philosophy as we approach the oft wet and dark, Pacific Northwest winter. This year especially, with health concerns about indoor gatherings, it makes sense to turn our attention to the outside.

For example, today,  we met with our daughter and two grandchildren at a public park. We wore masks, as did she. The children, both under four years of age, played and road their bikes around the trails as we walked. Large tree branches danced in the wind, and Finnegan chased dry leaves as they skittered across the pathways.

It’s not an ideal weather day, so we dressed warmly to cope with the gusty, and cold, east wind.  Fortunately, we have plenty of outdoor gear. Warm down jackets, vests, boots, hats, and of course, rain gear. We’ll have many more of these days in the coming months.

We think it’s important to get outdoors frequently, even if it’s a solitary walk with the dog. Exercise and being outside in nature comes with bonuses such as warding off depression and anxiety.  And this year, it represents a safer way to connect with folks we love.

Here’s to more fritluftsliv!  Let us know if you want more tips on how to enjoy nature at home.

Filed under: Nature | News | View Homes

Defends With Benefits – A Simple Solution With Bonus Rewards

This is a follow-up to last year’s “Lions and Tigers and Pears – Oh Deer!!” in which furtive wildlife trash our best-laid plans.

In Summary: we spend a lot of time every spring pruning, fertilizing and spraying the multiple fruit trees around our property. We even did a video tutorial on proper pruning and spraying – for “maximum fruit”. That term is in quotes because, in spite of diligent husbandry, all the fruit mysteriously disappeared overnight!

Fruit Trees Before and After
BEFORE AFTER

We discovered that our local deer family had a wonderful late-night snack at our expense. Every bit of fruit disappeared!

Rural Living Comes With Natural Consequences

You’d think we would know better. Living in a rural area has taught us to protect our gardens from marauding deer. In our defense, we did cover the fruit with heavy mesh bags – thinking that would protect them. Well, that plan didn’t work. We found bags scattered about the property – torn up with bite marks through the mesh. Adding Insult to Injury.

Protective Fruit Bags
“Best Laid Plans…”

At the time we tried being philosophical – “Well, at least it went to our local wildlife.” But I was determined not to let it happen next season.

Occam Was Right – A Simple Solution Is The Best

After doing some basic research, and rejecting the more drastic measures (e.g. smelly repellent or hunting), it looked like I needed a high fence. Unfortunately, the trees are next to huge, immoveable boulders, enclosing a much larger area. That is impractical and not cost-effective. So, after more research – and a suggestion from a fellow Active Rain member, Alexandra Siegel – I devise Plan B – Deer Netting.

Deer netting is used in vineyards throughout Northern California as an environmentally-friendly solution. So I fashion some make-shift head gear for each tree, and drape the nets over each tree.

Defends With Benefits

And Voila! It works! Sure, enough, no midnight raids this year. (Or, if they tried, they weren’t successful.) And – Surprise! There is a “catch” to using the net – it actually serves as a net. You can see in the photo that securing the net around the trunk creates a pouch that catches fruit. No more hitting the ground and having bugs and predators get them first.

So, putting an end to the midnight raid is a huge relief. No no rotting repellent, shooting deer, no oversized fence. Just a simple but elegant solution that defends with benefits. Looks like we’ll be using safety nets again next year.

If you’d like to hear more about the Trials and Tribulations (but Joyful Pleasure) of life in the country, give us a call.

Filed under: News

Lighthearted Lesson in Legendary Legumes

Beans are the Rodney Dangerfield of the vegetable world – they get no respect. From campfire songs (c’mon, admit you know it – “Beans, beans are good for your heart…”) to campfire scenes (Blazing Saddles anyone?), legumes have been the butt of juvenile humor for years. So unfairly maligned, yet they are the unsung rock stars of nutritional and culinary history.

Legendary Legumes

Legumes, or Fabaceae, have been a revered food in civilizations from Egyptian royalty to Ancient Greece, plus some 20,000 years of Eastern culture. Valued for their high nutritional value, they are also one of the earliest staples and cornerstones of human survival.  It is edible as both a fruit pod (e.g. green beans) and a dry seed (e.g. soup beans), which can be stored for extensive periods – for food or plant in the future.

My journey into the world of Phaseolus vulgaris started several years ago when I wrote about a dear family friend who sent us some Chaco Canyon bean seeds. Although we were not familiar with them, we grew them and they were absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, I did not save the seeds from those plants, and, sadly, our friend had passed away.

Legendary Legumes

Down an Enlightening Rabbit Hole

In honor of our friend, I searched all over for Chaco Canyon seeds. This led me to the ancient Anasazis, who lived in the bean’s namesake region of the American Southwest, where they cultivated it. Then to the 1500 Year Old Cave Bean – discovered in an ancient cave in New Mexico where native civilizations once flourished. Centuries later, both types continue to produce plants from passed-down seeds. Likewise, a black bean variety – Cherokee Trail of Tears – was carried by natives on the notorious forced relocations of the 1830s. The beans were among the survival foods that kept them alive, and replanted in their new location. Generations later, that seed is also available and viable.

Nobody Does It Better

In addition to its noble lineage, the legendary legume is exceptionally loaded with nutrition – protein, fiber and minerals. With no saturated fats, and help in lowering cholesterol, it is truly a “super food.” As an economical staple, it is fundamental to any diet – especially the popular non-meat, plant-based regimen.

However, here is where the illustrious legume parts company (so to speak) with some folks: oligosaccharides. This substance can cause, er, discomfort since it is a fiber that is hard to digest. Unless it is broken down before it reaches the digestive tract, this results in, um, the vapors. While not at all harmful, that reaction can be uncomfortable. And even though it is a perfectly normal (and universal) reaction, accidental results are neither (gasp) acknowledged, nor discussed in social settings (unless in the company of teenage boys.) (Pro Life Tip: get a dog and keep them close.)

The point here is that many people just refuse to eat beans for that reason.

Solutions To Greenhouse Gasses

Yet, there are two very simple solutions to this problem. One is an enzyme-based supplement (brand name Beano) that neutralizes the gas in the digestive system. It is readily available over the counter and works quite well for most people.

The other solution for dry beans is to brine them for at least 24 to 48 hours before cooking. Soaking in plain water helps, but adding a small amount of salt effectively addresses the gassy issue. As proven by America’s Test Kitchen (this cook’s favorite Crazy Science food lab), adding just three tablespoons to four quarts of water produces a much more user-friendly dish. And the salt rinses out – it doesn’t contribute much to sodium levels. (Bonus Pro Life Tip: use an Instant Pot to pressure cook them – it takes a lot less time and you don’t have to monitor.)

Rainbows of Diversity

One remarkable attribute of this exceptional Angiosperm is the diversity of colors, styles, and edibles they produce as seed beans. You are probably familiar with the more common navy, garbanzo, pinto, or kidney beans. But there are actually 18,000 species of plants in the legume family, presenting both an opportunity and a challenge for the home gardener – which ones to plant for the season.

In our garden, we like to mix up the styles – traditional snap beans – Blue Lake or Yellow Wax, with some of the ancient seed beans mentioned above. We also like to include different colors – Scarlet Runners, Pink Slippery Silks, Purple Blauhilde, multi-colored Dragon Tongues to name a few. All contribute to diversifying a verdant garden. The snap beans provide summer-long fresh vegetables for steaming or sautéing. The shell beans provide a fun after-summer activity of drying and shelling for use as soup beans or saving for next year. Here’s a sample of what we grew this year:

Legendary Legumes

So, the next time you consider beans for a meal, don’t be afraid of the outcome, just focus on flavor and nutrition. If you take the precautions mentioned, you’ll enjoy your super food, and not worry about (insert your favorite euphemism for the F word). If you’d like to learn more about legendary legumes, or Aerostatics, call Bernie. He’s a self-proclaimed expert on both subjects!

Filed under: News

Home Sales in Ridgefield. Market Report for September 2020.

Ridgefield is the second-fastest growing city in Washington state. Once known for sprawling farms and open space, new home construction is on the rise. This provides many with affordable housing, yet, environmental guidelines and land use regulation still make it a desirable place to live.

While close to many city amenities like shopping and restaurants, Ridgefield also offers many outdoor activities. For one, the National Wildlife Refuge, serves as a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. Literally, in Ridgefield’s back yard, you can hike in the refuge, or tour via kayak along a 21-mile water trail between downtown and the Columbia River. Or, if you prefer, you can experience the Reserve by an audio-guided drive-through.

Points of Interest

Point of Interest: The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is a replica of the cedar homes used by indigenous Chinook population. Built by more than 100 volunteers over a period of two years, the Plankhouse based on findings from the archaeological site and other historical references. And one of our favorite events associated with the refuge is BirdFest and Bluegrass – a celebration of nature and music welcoming migratory birds back to their winter home.

Looking for a home in Ridgefield? It helps if you know the market:

Home Sales in Ridgefield – Market Report for Single Family Homes over $350,000:

Homes sales in Ridgefield

With Days on Market at only 21, homes in Ridgefield sell quickly! Construction of affordable homes offers many opportunities for anyone interested in a new home. Local amenities like shopping, services, and easy access to nature make it a very desirable place to live. So, it’s no wonder it has been discovered by many out-of staters who want to relocate to the Pacific Northwest.

If you are thinking of selling your home in Ridgefield, call us for a free pricing consultation.

If you are looking for a home in Ridgefield, start your search for ViewHomes™ of Clark County. 

Filed under: News

MultiGen Homes – The New Norm

A recent report by Pew Research Center shows that 52% of young adults now live with their parents – the highest percentage since the Great Depression. Clearly, these numbers reflect the devastating impact of COVID-19 and its effect on the economy.

While this is not the type of intentional multigen households we typically cover, it is still a significant development. One that could have repercussions for the U.S. demographics in general and housing markets in particular. Much will depend upon how much longer COVID-19 will be on the rise, and how long before the U.S. economy starts a rebound.

If you are thinking about forming a MultiGen household, we have personal experience and can help you plan. Plus, you should know what the market is doing. Here is a Market Report for Multigen Home Sales, September 2020.

MultiGen Homes – The New Norm

MultiGen Homes Market Report

While putting this Market Report together, we noted that, compared to a year ago, sales of multigen homes are up 53%, and Average Sale Price is up 16.7%.

We have lived in a multi-gen home for the past 15 years with my senior parents. It is not only gratifying, it provides great peace of mind knowing they are being cared for.

We are the only realtors in Clark County who specialize in multigen homes. If you would like to learn more about multigen homes and the market, contact us.

Filed under: Multigenerational | News

COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 And Real Estate in Clark County, WA

NOTE: Keep up with the latest COVID-19 restrictions affecting Real Estate by checking our COVID-19 Real Estate Guidelines.

During this unprecedented time, our clients often ask what we can and cannot do in terms of selling properties.  Originally declared a “non-essential” activity, real estate is now deemed “essential” with very important guidelines and restrictions.

Pending Listings Can Move Forward

Pending at the time of the Governor’s original order are allowed to close.  However, certain restrictions on home inspections, repairs and final walk-throughs are in place.  Most signings and closings are done electronically or remotely.

New Listings OK – With Restrictions

New listings are allowed. But, private showings are limited to no more than five people in the house at a time.  This includes the broker. Open houses are currently not allowed.

Meanwhile, prospective buyers must be pre-approved with a lender, or otherwise prove financial ability to purchase a home. Most sellers are asking buyers to view online tours and floor plans prior to requesting a tour.

Social Distancing Rules Must Be Observed

One-on-one meetings with clients, including showings, are allowed, provided all social distancing guidelines are utilized. This means no more than five person in the home – accompanied by the agent – at a time. Plus, some sellers are requiring viewers to wear booties, gloves and face masks while in the home.

We’re Here To Help

We are committed to protecting our family and clients. So, we are working from home remotely. But we are still available to review your home for a Competitive Market Analysis if you need us.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can list or show a property at this time, please contact us for more information.

Filed under: COVID-19 | News

Earth Day 2020 – 50 Years

Earthday

It’s difficult to fathom that April 21, 2020 is the 50th year of Earth Day celebrations on our planet. We are always proud to note our one-time Camas resident, Denis Hayes, was one of the original founders of the first Earth Day in 1970.

This year’s theme is Climate Change. Sadly, as Earth Day founder, Hayes, noted in a recent interview, climate change has grown worse in the past 50 years, largely due to greenhouse gases. These gases build up in the atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the planet.

The recent stay-at-home orders in most states have helped with temporary easing of pollutants in the air. Residents in many large cities are seeing cleaner air for the first time in years, and for many, for the first time in their lifetime.

It’s too early yet to know if working at home will become a permanent option for many workplaces. Since driving is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide, even just one day a week working from home would  be a step toward better air quality.

We appreciate knowing there are other things we can do to help with climate change. In addition to reducing commute times, we can choose to ride a bike, or walk, when we have an option. The eventual goal is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

The old standbys of reducing energy consumption at home and recycling are also helpful. As is, planting vegetable gardens, more trees, and native habitat. In addition, focusing less on buying things, and more on enjoying the free things around us in the natural world.

Yes, it’s Earth Day, 50 years later, and taking care of our planet never goes out of style.

Due to this year’s pandemic restrictions, you can take part in a digital worldwide Earth Day Live celebration. Closer to home, in Clark County, the City of Vancouver has a number of ideas for us to implement for our own Earth Day activities at home.  For more activities, contact us.

Filed under: Events | News

City Dweller Join Growing Trend.

With more people stuck at home, recent reports of the renewed interest in gardening is no surprise.  Nurseries report an uptick in sales of vegetable starts over ornamentals. Oregon State University’s offer of a free gardening class crashed their site.  And our favorite seed source, Baker Creek had to shut down for several days to restock and catch up on all their orders.

Many Benefits to Gardening

There are many benefits, both practical and therapeutic to growing your own food.  Many see it as a way to control the food they eat, without going to a store.  But there are also great psychological benefits – something we can all use during times of stress.  The biggest benefit is often just starting a living thing from scratch and nurturing it to full growth. It is very satisfying – even in the Pacific Northwest with a relatively short growing season.

 Growing Tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest – The Great Tomato Machine

The Container Gardening Option

Now, someone living in an urban or suburban settings might think “Yeah, but I don’t have any land for a garden”.  Well, the good news is, you can grow many items in containers and still reap the benefits of growing your own food.   Before moving to our country home, we lived in a townhome subdivision with tiny lots. Even there, we used our patio and small patches of ground to grow a variety of container vegetables.  Many plants are especially well-suited for containers: lettuce, patio tomatoes, and any numbers of herbs come to mind.

We feel extremely fortunate we have the yard space for our garden.  Yet, we still grow a few patio vegetables for convenience – they are both decorative and practical. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Home-Slice-Patio-Tomato.jpeg
 

Our best success has been with Northwest specific tomatoes like Home Slice and Silvery Fir.  It’s great to be fixing a salad and, instead of running out to the garden, just stepping out on the deck and picking a few tomatoes.  Or adding fresh-clipped herbs to any dish.

So, start small and try a few things. Do some research on what grows best in your area. There are any number of web sites and YouTube videos to help you. Pick a few plants that are designed to grow in containers.  Starting from seed might work, but can sometimes be tricky.  So it’s best to start with seedling plants. There are several online services that will ship live plants to your home. Also, you may be able to order starter plants from your local nursery and have them delivered, or do a safe pickup like a grocery order. 

However you do it, you will be rewarded with your own food and the mental satisfaction of growing and nurturing something living.

 
Filed under: Camas | Gardening | News
Featured Multigen Home
Featured Multigen Home. We specialize in view homes in Clark County that have large lots or acreage with “elbow room for the soul.” These homes are often well-suited for multigen and dual living households. Auxiliary Living Units (ADUs) are separate living quarters that are always a good investment to share with family or extended family. Or, to use as rental income. Since we live in a multigen household, we are always on the lookout for homes that can meet that growing market demand. This month we feature a home that offers luxurious living, with separate guest quarters:

7000 SE Riverside DR, Vancouver, WA 98664

This custom home has stunning river views with 3+ bedrooms and 5.2 baths. Guest quarters with a second kitchen for multigen or dual living. Luxurious in-ground heated pool and spa, gated with extra parking, custom cabinetry throughout. Home theater bonus room, gorgeous den with wet bar and extensive lacquered wood work. Four fireplaces, master suite with his/hers bathrooms and huge walk-in closet. Elevator for accessibility, 3-car oversized garage plus shop area. Listing Courtesy RE/MAX Equity Group™ We are constantly on the search for quality, functional multigen homes. But some homes may not appear to have separate living quarters. Yet, with proper remodeling, a home can be converted into dual living. The trick is knowing what to look for and understanding how to make it work. Plus, we know the various regulations that apply in city vs. county areas. We have gone through the process. And we can guide you through the steps to add an ADU or extra living quarters to an existing home. Buyers: If you are looking for a home for multigen living, you can start your search here. Sellers: al living. We are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!
Filed under: News

Washington Real Estate Excise Tax

Washington Real Estate Excise Tax

All homeowners in Washington should be aware of the changes to the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) rates that went into effect January 1 of this year.

The new  rates present a “glass is half full/half empty” scenario and (to mix metaphors) the benefits and drawbacks “are in the eye of the beholder.” The previous state tax rate was a flat 1.28% of the sales price for all properties. The new rates are graduated, which will reduce the tax for some properties and raise them for others*.

Excise Taxes Are Paid On The Sale of Real Estate

Other than farm or timber land, any property selling for $500,000 and under will have lower taxes this year.  Anything over $500,000 – you’ll have to do some calculations, but there will be some savings. Once you hit $1,5000,001 and above, the rates are higher.

For perspective, the Median Sale Price last year for Clark County was $371,000.  So, the average home seller will benefit from the new rates this year. Remember. these are NOT property taxes, but taxes you pay when a property sells.

The Department of Revenue (DOR) has published a handy table, with examples, detailing the new rates:
2020 WA REET Rates
Because this is a graduated tax, properties priced between $500,000.01 and $1,500,000 take advantage of the lower rate taxed on the first $500,000.  The example provide by the DOR:

Example A:

If the total sale price is $600,000, then the first $500,000 is taxed at 1.10%. The remaining $100,000 is taxed at 1.28%.

Graduated Tax on $600,000

Note: These rates do not affect the additional local excise rates of .50%

Example B:

If the total sale price is $4.4 million, then the first $500,000 is taxed at 1.10%. The next $1 million is taxed at 1.28%. The next $1.5 million is taxed at 2.75% and the final $1.4 million is taxed at 3%.

REET Tax on 1.400.000

For those who are curious, there is a convenient REET Tax Calculator spreadsheet available for download.  Since the tax is paid at closing, title should calculate pay it out of the settlement statement.

If you are thinking of selling this year and would like an estimate of your new excise taxes, just give us a call.

Filed under: Events | News

Multigen Home SalesSeparate Living Quarters in Daylight Basement

Multigen Home Sales The multigenerational (multigen) home market continues to grow – even during winter months. And no wonder – multigen households can be a great option for all ages. The 2018 Pew Research Center study shows that 1 in 5 or 20% of all U.S. households are multigen families. Although many young adults are part of this population, seniors are becoming a larger percentage of these households.  And the benefits are clear – it far outweighs institutional or assisted living. As a result, fewer seniors are now living alone than in 1990s. If you are looking for a multigen home, you should give us a call to help with your search. With over a decade of personal experience in a multigen household, we specialize in this field. Our multigen homes are located on acreage or large lots. They have “elbow room for the soul”, which provides lots of room & privacy. We even have a special search set up to help you find the perfect home – separate living quarters, great amenities, and lots of room for privacy.

Multigen Home Sales

We will often see homes that, at first glance, might not appear to be suitable because there are no separate quarters – our was like that. But, you can remodel and upgrade to accommodate family members. We have that experience as well, so we know how to identify those “hidden gem” opportunities. If you are looking for a multigen home, it’s important to know the market:

Multigen Home Sales – January Market Report*:

91 Active Listings – $354,900 to $3,500,900 Average SQFT – 3,768 Average $/SQFT – $237 32 Pending – $375,000 to $1,395,000 Average SQFT- 3,287 Average $/SQFT – $199 84 Sold in last 3 Mos – $350,000 to $2,750,000 Average SQFT – 3,331 Average $/SQFT – $184 Median Days on Market was 68 days – up a bit from 38 days in August.  Multigen homes don’t stay on the market very long!  *Note: Averages are for homes priced $350,000 and above, and does not include a spectacular $18,500,000 165-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 consultation on your home’s value. We are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!  
Filed under: MultiGen Homes | News
 

washougal Home SalesWashougal Home Sales – November Market Report

Washougal is in a rural part of Clark County, WA. For this reason, many homes are on acreage, surrounded by trees, have panoramic views, or are on river waterfronts. Some have all of the above! Yet, it is close to city services, shops and amenities.

Its namesake, the Washougal River, Chinook for “Rushing Water”, is one of the most pristine rivers in the West. Because of its rural location, the small town of Washougal has all the benefits of “nature as neighbors.” It has the peaceful environs of the country, yet easy access to city amenities.

If you are considering a home in Washougal WA, you should know the current market for homes sales*.

Market Report for Washougal WA Home Sales

42 Active from $359,500 to $4,200,000 Average SQFT – 3,115 Average $/SQFT – $257

15 Pending from $410,000 to $1,149,000 Average SQFT – 2,750 Average $/SQFT – $212

24 Sold in last 3 Months from $350,000 to $850,000 Average SQFT – 2,721 Average $/SQFT – $200

Median Days on Market was 33 – down from 45 DOM in September.  Properties in Washougal don’t stay on the market long! *Report is for Single Family Homes starting at $350,000.

Places of Interest in Washougal and Surrounding Area

Washougal is also known as the “Gateway to the Columbia Gorge.” Head east along WA State Route 14 past Washougal to experience towering bluffs and breath-taking views of the massive Columbia River Gorge. Many options for light-to-challenging hiking.

Cape Horn Loop Trail. A bit challenging as nature hikes go, but worth it for the magnificent views of the Columbia River Gorge. Be aware that, at certain times of the year, some peaks are off limits due Peregrin falcons nesting. But, you’ll still hear their whistles as they soar overhead.

Captain William Clark Park along the Columbia River. This area offers running trails, picnicking, boating, and swimming. With the great setting on the Columbia, you will surely want to return for many outdoor activities.

Pendleton Woolen Mills. Visitors to the working woolen mill can take a free tour of the mill in small groups. You can see the process firsthand from their state-of-the-art dye house, through spinning and weaving, to the finishing of their distinctive Indian blankets. And afterwards, you can shop in the Mill Store where you can select from Pendleton’s array of menswear, womenswear, blankets and fabrics.

Our Bar Restaurant. Comfortable, casual restaurant that offers fresh local ingredients prepared in unique, flavorful dishes. Excellent breakfast and lunch menu. Try their home-baked bacon cheddar biscuits!

Looking for a view home in Washougal, WA? Check out our luxury home listing in Washougal.  Or – Start your search here.

Have a home in Washougal you want to sell?  We sell homes with Nature As Neighbors™.

If you want to receive our Market Report for home sales in Washougal, or any other area in Clark County, contact us.
Filed under: News | Washougal
Camas Home Sales Camas Home Sales. Charming Camas is capturing the attention of relocation buyers from all over the country. The main attraction we keep hearing is small town atmosphere with close proximity to city amenities and services – all without the traffic jams! You can find rural estates, classic bungalows, waterfront homes, and homes with views. So, ask for it – we’ve probably got it. And, the Camas Schools district is highly rated and families appreciate knowing their children attend award-winning schools. This historic town – located right on the Columbia River – is always hopping with fun and activities. Plus, this time of year, its charming main street (4th Avenue), quaint shops and wide assortment of restaurants, provide the perfect backdrop for the holidays: Holiday Sip & Shop – November 14 Little Box FridayNovember 29 Golden Ticket Event November 30-December 14 Hometown Holidays – December 6 It’s no wonder the housing market is strong in Camas!  Although there are many new homes coming on the market, older homes tend to have larger lots and more room for a growing family, live-in relatives, or visiting friends. Some are even suited for multigen households with separate living quarters. Likewise, you are more likely to have space for that garden or just a quiet place with privacy. Homes in Camas offer you opportunities to spend more time doing things you love, connect with nature, and live a lifestyle that helps rejuvenate your soul. Then add a view, and you have a wonderful home with “Nature as Neighbors” and “Elbow room for the Soul.”

Camas Home Sales – November Market Report:

42 Active Listings – $450,000 to $2,399,900 Average SQFT – 4,289 Average $/SQFT – $238 18 Pending – $449,900 to $1,699,900 Average SQFT- 3,682 Average $/SQFT – $210 37 Sold in last 3 Mos – $420,000 to $2,750,000 Average SQFT – 3,553 Average $/SQFT – $222 Median Days on Market was 51 days – up a bit from 35 DOM in July.  Still, homes in Camas do not last long!  (Note: Report is for view homes priced $400,000 and above, and averages do not include a spectacular $13,500,000 55-acre lake-side property on Leadbetter.) If you are a buyer interested in a home in Camas, give us a call. Or start your own search here.
Filed under: News

Fruit trees in bloom

Rural life has great benefits – clean air, beautiful views, and elbow room for the soul. But it also has its share of hazards: Lions (Mountain), and Tigers (Lillies – toxic to pets) and Pears! (Well, pears are not exactly hazardous, but they can lead to frustration and disappointment.) Here’s the full story:

Earlier this year, we posted a video explaining how to prune fruit trees for better production. After that demo, spring brought excellent results – full, bright blossoms that promised a bounty of apples and pears.

I continued to prune unwanted suckers, spray with organic oil, and generally ensure there were no bugs.  I also took the additional precaution of placing mesh bags over the fruit as it started to form – this was mostly to ward off the large wasps that showed up last year at the end of the season.

As the season continued with exceptional weather the trees produced large clusters of fruit that grew and started to ripen.  (Unfortunately, I did not take a photo, so you’ll just have to trust me on this.)  I was extremely excited that we would have an exceptional variety of fresh, organic fruit this year. I even started researching different recipes for preserving them.

Then that fateful morning, I walked out to the trees and poof!!

Fruit trees in bloom

Every single fruit was gone!!

To add insult to injury, the nasty marauders left chewed-up bags – the very bags designed to protect the fruit!!

Protective Fruit Bags

AAARRGGHH!  So there I was, like Yosemite Sam, stomping around, shaking my fists, mumbling pseudo-curses “racken fracken, ya dirty varmint, why I’m gonna getcha.” And so forth…

Lesson: When Living With Nature, Don’t Make An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet for Wildlife

After continuing in that vein, mumbling to myself for quite a while, I eventually settled down. It dawned on me the raiders were the family of deer we often see on the property. And who could blame them? I had carefully prepared an all-you-can-eat buffet, then graciously presented it in an easy-to-reach, help-yourself arrangement.  I should know better. When living with wildlife, you have to anticipate such things, and I had (naively) assumed that the small fences I had were sufficient. The lesson is: never leave anything to chance.  So, what can I do to prevent this from happening next year?

I immediately set out searching the internet for the best solution. And I was a little shocked at the vast range of options – from dangling soap and hanging noise makers to wolf urine and commercial repellent to (Gasp!) hunting! Yes, one web site actually suggested shooting them for game. But we’re more gatherers than hunters. So after rejecting the options, including repellents (they small like rotten meat) I settled on Occam’s Razor – “the simplest solution is usually the best” – a taller fence. Doh! I already had fences – just add to them!

I guess we’ll see how that works next year.  In the meantime, Debb reminds me that the deer are a gift from our “nature as neighbors” surroundings. And if I’m really craving a pear, there are plenty of them at our local Farmers Markets.

Want to learn more about how NOT to grow organic fruit to feed wildlife? Just Ask!

Filed under: Camas | Nature | News | Organic Gardening

Washougal Home Sales – July Market Report

Washougal is in a rural part of Clark County, WA. For this reason, many homes are on acreage, surrounded by trees, have panoramic views, or are on river waterfronts. Some have all of the above!

Its namesake, the Washougal River, Chinook for “Rushing Water”, is one of the most pristine rivers in the West. Because of its rural location, the small town of Washougal has all the benefits of “nature as neighbors.” It has the peaceful environs of the country, yet easy access to city amenities.

If you are considering a home in Washougal WA, you should know the current market for homes sales*.

Market Report for Washougal WA Home Sales

44 Active from $353,000 to $4,200,000 Average SQFT – 3,019 Average $/SQFT – $262

15 Pending from $375,000 to $869,500 Average SQFT – 3,275 Average $/SQFT – $191

27 Sold in last 3 Months from $375,000 to $1,134,000 Average SQFT – 2,916 Average $/SQFT – $209

Median Days on Market was only 38 days – properties in Washougal don’t last long! *Report is for Single Family Homes starting at $350,000.

Places of Interest in Washougal and Surrounding Area

Washougal is also known as the “Gateway to the Columbia Gorge.” Head east along WA State Route 14 past Washougal to experience towering bluffs and breath-taking views of the massive Columbia River Gorge. Many options for light-to-challenging hiking.

Cape Horn Loop Trail. A bit challenging as nature hikes go, but worth it for the magnificent views of the Columbia River Gorge. Be aware that, at certain times of the year, some peaks are off limits due Peregrin falcons nesting. But, you’ll still hear their whistles as they soar overhead.

Captain William Clark Park along the Columbia River. This area offers running trails, picnicking, boating, and swimming. With the great setting on the Columbia, you will surely want to return for many outdoor activities.

Pendleton Woolen Mills. Visitors to the working woolen mill can take a free tour of the mill in small groups. You can see the process firsthand from their state-of-the-art dye house, through spinning and weaving, to the finishing of their distinctive Indian blankets. And afterwards, you can shop in the Mill Store where you can select from Pendleton’s array of menswear, womenswear, blankets and fabrics.

Our Bar Restaurant. Comfortable, casual restaurant that offers fresh local ingredients prepared in unique, flavorful dishes. Excellent breakfast and lunch menu. Try their home-baked bacon cheddar biscuits!

Looking for a view home in Washougal, WA? Check out our luxury home listing in Washougal.  Or – Start your search here.

Have a home in Washougal you want to sell?  We sell homes with Nature As Neighbors™.

If you want to receive our Market Report for home sales in Washougal, or any other area in Clark County, contact us.

Filed under: Market Reports | News | Washougal
July MultiGen Home Sales for Clark County WA. We specialize in multigenerational home sales – two or more generations living under one roof. These are not typical family units of parent(s) raising their children. In fact, “multigen” is where adult family members decide to move back in together. Often, this is to care for the elderly, or share in child-rearing responsibilities. Our multigen homes are often located on acreage or large lots. They have “elbow room for the soul”, which provides lots of room and privacy.

Find MultiGen Homes for Sale

Since we live in a multigen household, we know how to find multigen homes for sale with separate living quarters. We often find home that are not set up with separate quarters – our was like that. But you can upgrade to accommodate family members. We have the experience of upgrading, so we often identify those homes suitable for modifications for a multigen family. With this information about multigen home, it’s also important to know the market. So, here is a brief Market Report for Multigen Homes in Clark County WA:
137 Active from $350,000 to $4,200,000 Average SQFT – 3,646 Average $/SQFT – $250 58 Pending from $364,900 to $959,900 Average SQFT – 3,154 Average $/SQFT – $191 69 Sold in last 3 Months from $357,680 to $1,685,000 Average SQFT – 3,547 Average $/SQFT – $178
Median Days on Market was 43 days – down a bit from 44 days in June.  Multigen homes don’t stay on the market very long!  (Note: Report is for homes priced $350,000 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 should check out this Multigen home with permitted ADU. Multigen Sellers: Call us for a free consultation on your home’s value. We are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!
Multigen Homes for Sale Clark County MultiGen Homes For Sale. We specialize in multigenerational home sales – two or more generations living under one roof. These are not typical family units of parent(s) raising their children. In fact, “multigen” is where adult family members decide to move back in together. Often, this is to care for the elderly, or share in child-rearing responsibilities. Our multigen homes are often located on acreage or large lots. They have “elbow room for the soul”, which provides lots of room & privacy.

Find MultiGen Homes for Sale

Since we live in a multigen household, we know how to find multigen homes for sale with separate living quarters. We often find home that are not set up with separate quarters – our was like that. But you can upgrade to accommodate family members. We have the experience of upgrading, so we often identify those homes suitable for modifications for a multigen family. With this information about multigen home, it’s also important to know the market. So, here is a brief Market Report for Multigen Homes in Clark County WA:
126 Active from $395,900 to $4,200,000 Average SQFT – 3,699 Average $/SQFT – $231 58 Pending from $365,000 to $2,000,000 Average SQFT – 3,473 Average $/SQFT – $196 69 Sold in last 3 Months from $359,500 to $2,300,000 Average SQFT – 3,601 Average $/SQFT – $180
Median Days on Market was 41 days – down from 62 days in January.  Multigen homes don’t stay on the market very long!  (Note: Report is for homes priced $350,000 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 consultation on your home’s value. We are specialists in this field, and we have buyers ready to move!
June Report – Waterfront Homes for Sale. The Pacific Northwest is known for its vast natural resources – especially pristine waterways. And Clark County WA has its share of exceptional waterfront homes. Water is a built-in natural asset. Whether it’s a river, bay, creek or pond, waterfront has a wide appeal to many different buyers. Some want easy access to boating and active water sports. And others just want a peaceful place to enjoy the relaxed, meditative environment. Waterfront homes are also a year-round luxury. In the summer, waterfront property is a great source of activity and escape from the heat. Kids, of course love it! And during the winter, it can be a great source of reflection and natural solace. As we know, being in nature can be very restorative to us all. If you are interested in waterfront property in Clark County, it will help to know what the current market conditions are. Here is the June 2019 Report*. 82 Active from $395,000 to $2,500,000 Average SQFT – 3,495 Average $/SQFT – $226 34 Pending from $356,999 to $1,500,000 Average SQFT – 2,751 Average $/SQFT – $212 67 Sold in last 3 Months from $350,000 to $2,300,000 Average SQFT – 2,741 Average $/SQFT – $214 Median Days on Market was 42 days – waterfront homes sell very quickly! *Averages do not include a spectacular 55-acre property on Lacamas Lake for $13,500,000. Looking for waterfront homes in Clark County WA? Start your search here.  Give us a call – we have a lot of experience with waterfront and recreational property.
Homes for Sale in Brush Prairie WA
Homes for Sale in Brush Prairie, WA. Many of our buyers are looking for homes in the country surrounded by nature. But they also want to be close to shopping, services, and good schools. So we look in the Brush Prairie/Hockinson area where we regularly find homes that meet this criteria. Brush Prairie/Hockinson 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 services, including Portland International Airport right across the Columbia River. Combine privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homes with “Nature as Neighbors.”

Market Summary of Homes for Sale in Brush Prairie:

28 Active Listings – $474,900 to $1,496,000 Average SQFT – 3,783 Average $/SQFT – $213 23 Pending – $450,000 to $1,199,000 Average SQFT- 3,097 Average $/SQFT – $216 22 Sold in last 3 Mos – $425,000 to $1,274,000 Average SQFT – 3,550 Average $/SQFT – $199 Median Days on Market – 26. Homes in Brush Prairie sell quickly!   Buyers, if you are looking for homes for sale in Brush Prairie, you can start here. If you are thinking of selling your home in Brush Prairie, call us for a free pricing analysis.
Filed under: Market Reports | News

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

What can we learn from Nature? 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.”

What Can We Learn From Nature?

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.

Washougal Home Sales – Nature As Neighbors

If you are considering a home in Washougal WA, you will want to have this Market Report for homes sales. Washougal is in a rural part of Clark County, WA, so many homes are on acreage, have panoramic views, or are on river waterfronts.

Washougal is Chinook for “Rushing Water”

Its namesake, the Washougal River, Chinook for “Rushing Water”, is one of the most pristine rivers in the West. Because of its rural location, the small town of Washougal has all the benefits of “nature as neighbors.” It has the peaceful environs of the country, yet easy access to city amenities.

Market Report for Washougal WA Home Sales

25 Active from $427,450 to $4,200,000 Average SQFT – 3,940 Average $/SQFT – $245

13 Pending from $449,000 to $1,195,000 Average SQFT – 3,525 Average $/SQFT – $200

14 Sold in last 3 Months from $410,000 to $750,000 Average SQFT – 2,272 Average $/SQFT – $224

Median Days on Market was only 42 days – properties in Washougal don’t last long!

Places of Interest in Washougal and Surrounding Area

Washougal is also known as the “Gateway to the Columbia Gorge.” Head east along WA State Route 14 past Washougal to experience towering bluffs and breath-taking views of the massive Columbia River Gorge. Many options for light-to-challenging hiking.

Cape Horn Loop Trail. A bit challenging as nature hikes go, but worth it for the magnificent views of the Columbia River Gorge. Be aware that, at certain times of the year, some peaks are off limits due Peregrin falcons nesting. But, you’ll still hear their whistles as they soar overhead.

Captain William Clark Park along the Columbia River. This area offers running trails, picnicking, boating, and swimming. With the great setting on the Columbia, you will surely want to return for many outdoor activities.

Pendleton Woolen Mills. Visitors to the working woolen mill can take a free tour of the mill in small groups. You can see the process firsthand from their state-of-the-art dye house, through spinning and weaving, to the finishing of their distinctive Indian blankets. And afterwards, you can shop in the Mill Store where you can select from Pendleton’s array of menswear, womenswear, blankets and fabrics.

2 Rivers Bar & Grill. Comfortable, casual restaurant that offers fresh local ingredients prepared in unique, flavorful dishes. Also, the Happy Hour Menu won’t disappoint. Try their Sunday Brunch!

Looking for a view home in Washougal, WA? Start your search here.

Have a home in Washougal you want to sell?  We sell homes with Nature As Neighbors™.

If you want to receive our Market Report for home sales in Washougal, or any other area in Clark County, contact us.