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Prune Hill is a favorite neighborhood for ViewHome™ buyers in Camas, WA.  Situated on a hill overlooking the Columbia River, many locations offer panoramic views of the river, Mount Hood, and Portland city lights. 

The area has a rich local history and it lives up to the name. The cinder cone of a now-extinct volcano, the hill was once covered in prune orchards – earning it the title of “Prune Capitol of the World.”  Today, few of the trees remain – however, there is a notable stand at the intersection of Forest Home Road and NW Astor.

Neighborhoods on Prune Hill are popular with families because of top-rated Camas schools and the small town, family-friendly atmosphere of Southwest Washington. In addition, the address gives residents quick access to I-205 and Portland, as well as, Portland International Airport.

Point of Interest: Downtown Camas is just minutes away. Many of us who live in the Camas area love to visit our charming shops such as Camas Antiques. My Portland friends and family cross the bridge frequently to browse this wonderful store filled with old and new collectables.

Snapshot of Market For Homes in Prune Hill Area

14 Active Ranging from $519,000 to $925,000
Average Square Footage: 3,702
Average Price per Square Foot: $193.

10 Pending Ranging from $515,000 to $809,966
Average Square Footage: 3,708
Average Price per Square Foot: 169.

7 Sold in Last Three Months Ranging from $511,000 to $655,000
Average Square Footage: 3,670
Average Price Per Square Foot: 153. 

It’s a great time to buy or sell in Camas, WA.  Preview the ViewHomes of Camas at Nature As Neighbors here. (No registration required.)

Filed under: News

Alpacas make me feel all warm and fuzzy – I just love them! Don’t ask me when this adoration began, it’s tough to pinpoint. Perhaps the moment I laid eyes on my first one. There’s something kind and friendly about them – and whimsical. If they were smaller, I’d ensure we had a dozen! My mom, who lives with us, recently informed me that she loves them too.

However, regardless of our admiration for them and our acre-plus property in Camas, we will not be getting any alpaca’s in the near future. They love company, and as herd animals, it’s not fair to have just one alpaca. And, given our multi-gen family’s four dogs and a designated space for gardening and fruit trees, we really don’t have the room for a barn and the necessary pasture space.

For many country estate owners though, alpacas can be a good alternative to traditional livestock such as sheep, cattle, or even horses, especially if there are young children in the family. Alpacas have an affinity for children, and given the delight on the face of a child after meeting an alpaca, the adoration is mutual.

It seems most of us agree, alpacas are wonderful animals – for pleasure and profit. But before people purchase alpacas they need to investigate the reasons why they want the creatures around, and if for profit, what they can realistically expect. Even if the animals will be kept as pets, as with all animals, it’s important to understand how to properly care for them.

As for mom and me, we’ll just have to drive by the various alpaca farms in our area and admire these wonderful creatures from afar.

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | News
Filed under: News

Today’s view features a pastoral, or bucolic setting. Both words are defined as “pertaining to the country or life in the country, rural and rustic.” We think the red barn and horse reflect the timeless simplicity and charm of life in the countryside.

We specialize in ViewHomes™ of Clark County – our clients share our appreciation for Nature As Neighbors. A private retreat on acreage provides a serene and calm environment, and there’s room to garden, play with kids or  grand kids, and enjoy frequent visits from wildlife. If you are looking for a view home with privacy, you should consider the Washougal River area. 

The river, whose name is Chinook for “rushing water”, starts its 33-mile run from Gifford Pinchot National Forest in the Cascade Mountains and flows into the Columbia River through the towns of Camas and Washougal. About 63% of its watershed is forested, which accounts for its pristine water quality and excellent recreation and fishing activities. It provides “elbow room for the soul.”

Combine the luxury of privacy with the diversity of views, and you have a very popular area for homesites. Washougal River homes are in the highly desirable Camas and Washougal School Districts. 

For a private retreat on the Washougal, check out this amazing home with it’s own stunning waterfall view.

Here is a quick market summary of ViewHomes on the Washougal River with room for privacy: (Note there is a total of 10 Active Homes in the Washougal River neighborhood, but these are the 4 listed with river frontage. 

4 Active listings from $569,900 to $835,000
Average Square Footage: 3,632
Average $/SqFt: $187
1 Pending Sale listed for $760,000
2937 SqFt, $259/SqFt
5 Sold in last 6 months: $640,000 to  $1,075,000
Average Square Footage: 3,875
Average $/SqFt: $206

Destination Point: Dougan Falls is a major waterfall along the Washougal River. It rushes down 19 feet into a narrow trough, then widens out into a massive deep pool. Picnic tables and toilets are provided in the day use area. Great place to bring kids for a picnic or day outing.  Note: Washington State Discover Pass is required, unless it’s a free day.

If you want to learn more about ViewHomes™ on the Washougal River and Nature As Neighbors, contact us at Harcourts USA -The Carl Group.  You can begin your search here.

Filed under: News | Washougal | Washougal River

The Washougal River and Lalolu Waterfall provide an amazing backdrop for a custom ViewHome located on the Clark County and Skamania line.

The home was built in 1901 by John Roffler who left a legacy of lovely Victorian homes throughout the Camas area. Roffler was just 22 years old when the Pittocks hired him to build the two and half story structure. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.

Filed under: Camas | News | Views

Happy Easter. It seems fitting to reflect this morning with one of my favorite quotes. It pretty much sums it up for me.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters.

– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through

Filed under: Events | News

Spring is here – time to get outdoors!

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Some days, when we want to get even closer to nature in the wilderness, we head up to Sunset Falls Park in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Located on the East Fork of the Lewis River, we can choose a day visit for a picnic and hike to the spectacular falls, or reserve a campsite and spend a few days exploring the area.

Kayakers put in a mile and a half upriver, and are known to shoot the falls when water levels allow. During the warmer months, swimming in the pools formed by the falls is an option. Only 7 miles from Lucia Falls Rd in Battle Ground, WA, this easily-accessible site is popular during the spring and summer, so book ahead if you plan to stay.

The East Fork of the Lewis River has earned the national Wild and Scenic designation, which recognizes and protects its unique environmental qualities. In 2014, the river was identified as a wild steelhead gene bank for its pristine waters and breeding areas – terminating the release of hatchery fish into its waters. As a result, fishing is only allowed south of the campgrounds, below Horseshoe Falls.

The drive up to Sunset Falls Park takes you past some other interesting parks and outdoor activities. The Pomeroy Farm is a living history lesson in how the early pioneers managed to live off the land in the area. Moulton Falls is a day-use only site along the river that offers short, easy hikes, picnicking, and swimming during the warm months. Watch for future posts about our our visits there.

As you can imagine, properties right along the banks of the river are prime real estate, due to popular demand for outdoor experiences and living with nature as neighbors. They do come up occasionally, so If you’d like more information about properties for sale in the area, let us know.

 

 

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News

Goats eat up to 20 percent of their body weight each day. Around here, wild blackberry brambles can become a real issue as an invasive species. Not with goats around! Clark County, like many areas in the US, have herds of goat “weed warriors” they use to control noxious weeds at public sites. In addition, there are Rent-a-Goat options for those who don’t want to own goats full-time.

Washougal is about 15-20 minutes from the Portland International Airport and there is a small local airport, which serves private pilots. Be sure to take a few minutes to enjoy the short video about the many wonderful reasons people choose to call “Washougal,” home. The video was created by the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association to help promote the City for business development.

The 25th annual Crown Park Easter Egg Hunt in Camas gets underway this Sunday, March 27th beginning at 1:30 PM. Children, from 2 – 12 years of age, can search for more than 10,000 candy and toy-filled eggs hidden throughout the park in designated areas.

Parents must accompany all children, but mom and dad are not allowed in hunt area – they need to stay in the section for the 2-3 year olds. The 25th annual Easter Egg Hunt also includes the popular hat and bonnet contest. Participants can show off their fanciest headwear.

The Crown Park Easter Egg Hunt is free, and organizers say credit for that goes to a supportive Mayor Scott Higgins and City Council. The hunt is held rain or shine.  This year, the forecast calls for light rain in the afternoon, so dress accordingly!

Crown Park is well-known for bringing the community together with free family activities – August in the Park events, annual Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween party and many other fun community events. The park is also a popular venue for family reunions, picnics and outdoor recreation, including swimming or a game of tennis.

Filed under: News

As we have noted many times, multi-generational families can be a challenge when it comes to meals – everyone has their own taste. But here is a glazed turkey meatloaf that everyone loves – comfort food at its best (even if it is healthy!) The secret is making the glaze ahead and adding some into the mix. You could also make this recipe with equal parts beef and turkey.

Glaze – make ahead
4  teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon organic ketchup
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
In a saucepan, sauté the garlic in oil on medium until translucent. Stir in tomato paste, ketchup, vinegar, honey, Worcestershire, and mustard. Blend well, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Turkey Meatloaf
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
(optional) 1 cup fresh mushrooms, rough chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 pounds ground turkey breast
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Glaze (from above)
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a sauté pan, over medium heat, cook all the vegetables in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until translucent, approximately 15 minutes. Add the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, salt and pepper and stir well.

Combine the ground turkey, egg, panko, glaze and sautéed vegetable mixture in a large bowl. Mix well – use your hands if you want! Shape into a rectangular loaf, spread the remainder of oil on a baking sheet pan. Place the loaf on the pan and spread the glaze evenly on top. Bake for 11/2 hours or until the internal temperature is 160˚ F.
Serve hot with mashed potatoes and a salad, and you have the epitome of Sunday dinner comfort food. 
Leftovers are great cold in a sandwich.

Filed under: News

The monarch butterfly starts its migration this month from Mexico up into Canada. We expect to see them in this area soon and we will report it.

Filed under: Camas | Nature

We feel fortunate to live surrounded by nature, yet in close proximity to the amenities of a big city, especially great restaurants. Now that East County is growing, there are more choices for excellent dining experiences nearby. Our recent venture to Hearth Wood Oven Bistro in Washougal was no exception.  Our multi-generational family has a wide range of tastes from traditional to the eclectic – and all were satisfied.

Located in the newly-revitalized downtown Washougal on Main street, the interior exudes a mix of modern flash with homey warmth.  The red brick oven centerpiece sets the tone and provides an appetizing aroma as you walk in the door. We were seated quickly and offered an array of drink and appetizer specials on the Happy Hour menu, as well as the full dinner menu.

We opted for the roasted brussel sprouts and mixed green salad for starters. The seasonal menu featured fresh seafood from the region, including Spring salmon and Willapa Bay oysters, so we had to try their fried oysters. Most of their dishes are baked or roasted in the wood oven, so even vegetables emerge with a rich smoky flavor. The brussel sprouts were among the best we’ve ever had, and could even make a non-vegetable eater a convert.  The fried oysters were prepared just as we like them – lightly sauted with a thin coating rather than crusted corn meal.

Their signature artisan pizzas range from the traditional cheese, pepperoni, or sausage toppings to the creative, eclectic Thai chicken or bacon pesto. All are hand made and wood fired for that smokey glaze that accentuates the fresh ingredients. Drinks included local microbrews on tap, a reasonable selection of red, white and sparkling wines, and specialty cocktails.

The service was very friendly and efficient, and the staff made us feel right at home.  This is another great spot we will add to our options when looking for a satisfying dining experience.

“If you want to be happy for the rest of your life” – choose a ViewHome and eliminate strife. Well, we obviously can’t promise “nothing but blue skies ahead from now on,” but we can promise a more serene and enjoyable experience at home if you’re craving Nature As Neighbors and “elbow room for the soul.” ™

Filed under: Camas | News

The solution? Light – and more exposure to the outdoors! Light is our principal environmental cue for how our bodies react – it triggers the suppression of sleep-inducing melatonin. Even artificial light can help, but finding a way to get out into natural light is best. Take some time and notice the changes going on outdoors around you. Nature has remarkable systems for adjusting to seasonal environmental changes – with or without daylight saving.

If you’re interested in learning more about Multi-generational homes and lifestyles in Clark County, Washington. We’d love to help. We specialize in ViewHomes ™- houses with land, family estates, and multi-generational homes. The common denominator? Our sellers and buyers feel that privacy is the ultimate luxury. We call it “elbow room for the soul.” ™

We often run into people who raise their eyebrows or react with disbelief when we explain our lifestyle. Some people actually say, ‘that’s weird.” Others suggest it’s noble, but quickly add, “I couldn’t do it, we’d kill each other.” We’re not offended, and understand it’s still different. However, given the increasing numbers, we’re certain this lifestyle is going continue to gain in popularity. Perhaps one day, it will be the norm.

Imagine a Washougal Riverfront retreat with an additional view of your own private waterfall. Talk about Nature As Neighbors and “elbow room for the soul.”™ This is the spot! Coming soon…

The Waterfront Renaissance Trail offers many stunning views. We imagine Ilchee enjoying it too as she keeps watch over this section of the mighty Columbia River. Perhaps, we hope, she might dream of the days when she paddled her own canoe with the skill and power worthy of a chief.

ViewHomes of Clark County™ grew out of our love for nature, beautiful surroundings, and a peaceful environment. We recently moved our multi-generational household to an area located in the rolling hills north of Camas-Washougal. Our property sits on an acre-plus with towering trees, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and we get seasonal views of the Little Washougal River. Our family loves having Nature As Neighbors.

If you’re looking for a family estate with enough room for visiting, or live-in family, and friends, and land to garden or enjoy privacy, you’re similar to the majority of our clients.. Since we also specialize in Multi-generational living,  we have helped many families find a home suitable for multiple generations. In short, we recognize the need many of us share to spend time with those we love, connect with nature, and live a lifestyle that helps rejuvenate our souls.

One of the key elements that our family recognizes is the need for each of the three couples to have their own space and privacy. If we choose, we can go for days without seeing one another. However, that’s not the case. We have over an acre of land too and often share in the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings and grounds. We’d be happy to share our tips and experiences if you’re considering this lifestyle.

If you have a multi-generational home to sell, we’d be happy to explain how our unique focus can help market your home to rise above the rest. If you’re interesting in purchasing a Multi-generational ViewHome, we know the inventory and carefully sift through the listings on an on-going basis. We’ve found many homes with the potential for dual living situations not emphasized.

There are 49 Dual Living homes listed on the MLS with a Median List price of $729,900. Currently, there are 19 Pending, and 51 Sales in the last 6 months. The Median DOM ( days on market) ranges from a low of 58-92. The Median Sales Price to LIst Price is 97.24%. It’s a great time to sell. Call us today for your complimentary market analysis.

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this year and is encouraging everyone to visit their local park and appreciate their importance in our society. We are fortunate to have one of those national treasures right here in Clark County – the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Much has been written about the Park and its significance as the original 1824 site of the Hudson Bay Trading Company, the first major settlement in the Northwest.  While the Fort is easily accessible by driving East from the I-5 freeway to the Visitor Center, a more interesting approach is walking over the Columbia River Land Bridge.

Designed by famed architect Maya Lin, the Land Bridge reconnects the Columbia River with Fort Vancouver via a footpath from the South over State Highway 14. It is a relatively easy walk, and a meaningful historical experience for all ages. A brief walk from the Columbia River Renaissance Waterfront Trail, past the Old Apple Tree Park takes you to the South Portal to the bridge. Passing under the crossed oars, a slight incline takes you along Native petroglyphs, basket weavings, and indigenous plants.  The path levels out at the first of two lookout points that offer sweeping views of the Columbia River and the flat plain where the original Fort was built. For a virtual walk of the bridge, view the overlooks at River or Land, then continue along the path in either direction.  (Click carefully on the walkway, or you’ll end up on Highway 14!)

The Bridge is a great family outing, and a way for all of us to learn about the connection between the original Native population and the settlement of the region.  A Language Walk, featuring words in several Native languages, describes the land, people and river.  An historical timeline with photo murals shows how the landscape and region has changed over time.  This visual journey serves as a wonderful introduction to the Fort and its historical connection to our region.

Filed under: Lifestyle | News

We have always loved our moments of nature, believing they have a meditative and restorative effect on our well being. Even media institution CBS pays homage to this notion in their weekly Sunday Morning segment “Moment in Nature” which takes time to stop and reflect on its wonders. We recently reported on scientific studies that show a strong connection between time in the outdoors and mental well-being.

Now there are companion studies that indicate silence is also good for you, and provides restorative benefits similar to spending time in nature.  The World Health Organization identifies “noise pollution” as a destructive force in modern society that has adverse effects on our physical and mental health. Silence – or near silence – can put our brain back into a mode that helps us meditate and relieve stress.  A 2013 study by the Research Center for Regenerative Therapies suggests that prolonged silence may even help regenerate brain cells.

While sitting at home with earplugs or white noise, might be an option, any place with ambient traffic noise, cell phones distractions, or loud neighbors can disrupt that solitude. Venturing into the outdoors helps you leave those disruptions behind. Sure, nature is rarely completely silent – especially in the healthy environment of a forest where singing birds and the sounds of wildlife often provide a backdrop. But it is certainly preferable to the industrial noise that surrounds us daily, and is often the best place to reset your mind with the whisper of wind, gentle rippling water, and the golden sounds of silence.

Here is your own moment in nature with the Little Washougal River to enjoy a few seconds of solitude:

 

 

 

 

Filed under: News

We just returned from a quick weekend trip to Bend, Oregon. Not only do we enjoy the little mountain town and its high-desert climate ( think sun!), we especially love to visit our son’s family and three grandchildren. Since our youngest grandson is about nine-months old and crawling, we left our white Golden Retriever Mac at home this trip. He and their boxer tend to play a bit too rambunctious together, and we didn’t want any baby mishaps.

What peace-of-mind it gave us to know our family was caring for Mac in our absence. Plus, because we live on a multi-generational property, we knew someone was around to keep an eye on our house too! Tonight is my sister’s turn to host the Sunday dinner, so we don’t have to worry about cooking after our three and half hour drive home either.  Pretty cool, huh? We’re all looking forward to razor clams.

These are just some of the many perks we’ve come to enjoy as part of sharing life and space with people we trust – and love. It’s no wonder this lifestyle is rapidly becoming more popular in our county. Even new home builders are recognizing the increasing demand for homes with enough space for multiple generations. For many families, such as ours, it’s not necessarily a financial decision, but peace of mind. Our parents are in their late 80’s and my sister and I wanted to share the responsibilities of caring for them.  Good thing we have husbands with a sense of adventure.

In our experience, having a connection to nature, and plenty of “elbow room for soul,”™ inside and outside, is critical. If you’d like to learn more about multi-generational living, and the housing options for ViewHomes of Clark County, we’d love to hear from you.

Multigenerational ViewHome of the Week:

Our featured Mult-Gen ViewHome this week, is a lovely property located in the Forest Home area of Camas. WIth nearly 7,400 square feet of living space on 2.3 acres, this estate has a full second-living space on the lower level with a Master suite, family room, kitchen, game room and a hot tub/lap pool. Private – and yet minutes to everything!  We especially appreciate the amazing views and five fireplaces!  This is an appointment only home for tours, and all buyers need to provide proof of fund prior to any showing.

 

 

 

Filed under: Camas | Lifestyle

Just over the weekend, we noticed this bunch of daffodils suddenly popping out of the soil.  From bulbs that were planted last Fall – they must be loving this early warm Spring. So is the busy bee working away so early this morning.  Maybe he’s the same little guy we noticed last week.  When you’re living with nature as neighbors, you can always expect to be surprised!

Filed under: Nature | News

Our white Golden Retriever, McKinley, aka Mac, is a treasured family member. He’s the essence of pure love and joy. You’ll find him tagging along on many of our video adventures in Clark County – and beyond. We also have a special series of short videos called “Mac Moments.”  You’ll find him doing ordinary things dogs, the way dogs do, with zest and uninhibited wild abandon. We also find gentle reminders from him about living a joy-filled life.

We now live in a multi-generational ViewHome on acreage with three couples. My husband and me, my sister and her husband, and our parents. Mac has discovered the best part about this shared lifestyle is having a dog-cousin to exercise with on his daily romps. He and Gibbs frequently visit one another’s doors to let their people know it’s time to play.

We also got another message. Recently, the two younger couples joined a fitness facility. We’ve all discovered it’s a lot more fun to exercise with friends. Thanks Mac and Gibbs.

Filed under: Mac Moments

If you’re looking for a great family dining experience, head out to Rusty Grape Vineyard in Battle Ground, WA.  Voted Clark County’s Best Winery, it is also a fun place for food, music and dining outside on a beautiful day. The proprietors, Jeremy and Heather Sailer, have created more than a vineyard. It is was their intention to create a hub of activity – a destination spot in the countryside – and they have succeeded.  Every time we’ve been there, we have enjoyed the friendliness of the staff, the great food, and of course their wines!  But they also offer a wide range of food, non-alcohlic beverages, and entertainment.

Every night they offer a complete menu of appetizers and dinners, including salads, paninis, and their signature wood-fired pizzas.  They even have a Mac and Cheese Bar that offers your choice of toppings on wood-fired mac and cheese.  Throughout the year they host a series of events from Wine and Chocolate Weekend in February near Valentine’s day, and StompFest in September to celebrate the harvest.  During the week, the Tasting Room opens daily at 4, Vintner’s Hour is Thursday and Sunday, and live music is featured Wednesday through Saturday.

The vineyard recently expanded its drink menu to include its own microbrew and hard cider. They also offer Patina’s Wine Club, which extends special discounts for every wine purchase, and hosts Pick-Up Parties to wine and dine their members. For a complete food menu and hours of operation and special events, check out their web site.

If you want to learn more about what it’s like to have Nature as Neighbors, call us, or send us a note.

Filed under: Lifestyle

“Nature is fuel for the soul. Often, when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.” – Dr. Richard Ryan, Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester.

Living in a home with Nature As Neighbors gives you “elbow room for the soul,” and raises your joy level. There are studies backing up what we believe too. A connection to nature is life affirming and renewing. Recently. while on a flight to Denver for our granddaughter’s first birthday, we noticed an article in the onboard magazine. Rather than restate each point it made about managing stress, here’s a link. We weren’t surprised to read that getting outdoors – and avoiding pavement – is good for what ails you.

In fact, a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being outdoors, specifically in nature, can give us more energy and even increase our body’s ability to ward off disease. More than 10 years ago, the term “nature deficit disorder” was coined. Since then, some research indicates that many of our mental health disorders lies in our increased urbanization. However, until recently, there was little conclusive evidence.

Matthew P White, a social psychologist, and his colleges decided to find a credible link. They studied 10,000 individuals to explore the relation between green space and well-being. The report by the American Chemical Society, and funded, in part, from the Economic and Social Research Council, did conclude that people who moved to greener areas were happier during all three years that their health was tracked after relocating.

Our real estate niche, ViewHomes of Clark County with ” Nature As Neighbors “™ grew out of our love of nature and beautiful surroundings. We’ve always loved the outdoors and appreciated the environment, but after listening to the many stories from our clients who love having ‘elbow room for the soul,” we knew there was something big about the lifestyle. Therefore, we recently made the move and now live in our own ViewHome with Nature As Neighbors. Oh joy, oh joy.

Filed under: Lifestyle | Nature | News