Vancouver WA Real Estate Blog

New Website Live April 28 2016

Wow, its been a long four months of work updating and moving the new website to the Sierra platform. The website went live about 4:00am this morning, the move went well and the site is blazing fast!

It's been 12 years since I put up my first little Real Estate website. I had high hopes but never really dreamed it would become so integral to my business. I love that I have been able to connect with people literally all over the world. It is very satisfying to take an online conversation and turn it into first a business relationship, but often true friendship.

Zillow changed the world of Real Estate a few years ago unfortunately. It was in 2011 that I first started to see the effect on my website. I worked so hard to present unique relavent information on my site as well as access to information about homes for sale. My website had been #1 in the search results for most searches about Vancouver WA Homes for Sale. Within a couple of years my site had lost it's position...

SOLD! Stunning Craftsman Estate 25 minutes from PDX

Incredible Territorial views of Portland and its own private trout pond! Two master suites on the main floor, Great Room, Formal dining room with Butlers pantry. Theatre room, Workout room includes all high end equipment, bonus room, gourmet kitchen, tons of storage. Extra large 3 car garage, circular drive. See Aerial Video!

Incredible Craftsman Estate

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Columbia River View Homes

Here in Vancouver WA some of the best views in the city are of the Columbia River. But if you want a great river view, chances are you're going to need to consider remodeling an existing home. In every city across America, view property, especially waterfront views, are difficult to find. They are scarce because they aren't making anymore land. Even 100 years ago people loved having a view, so some of the first homes that were built have views and water views have always commanded a higher price. There are other reasons why it can be smarter to remodel an existing home. Keep the parts of the home you like and change the rest or add on what you want. New construction is always more expensive than remodeling. A few weeks ago I listed an amazing home overlooking the Columbia River. Over 4700 sq ft with a great room open floor plan, perfect for entertaining. Take a look at this Rivercrest Home.

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What Home Buyers need to know about Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com

In today's hot Real Estate market it's incredibly important for Home Buyers to get up to date, current information about local homes for sale. In some cases homes are selling within hours of going on the market.  Now more than ever buyers need to make sure they are getting accurate information.  On April 7th 2015, two of the most popular Real Estate websites, Zillow and Trulia, lost their feed from Listhub which provided them with listing information for most homes on the market in the United States. Since that date the data feed may or may not be accurate or up to date. 

Why is this important to home buyers? Because when homes are selling this fast, you need accurate, current information in order to stay on top homes as they come on the market. Where should you search to find the latest data? The best source of listing information is on Local Realtor websites like this one, and Realtor.com. Our websites have a direct feed from the MLS, so you will see the most recent...

Listing your home, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

When listing your home, it is so important to get it right the first time. Get your home is ready for showings, declutter, go thru and homogenize your home. Make it easy for prospective buyers to visualize themselves living there by removing most of your personal pictures.

Price your home at the correct price, usually within 5-10% of the expected sales price. Even in a hot market todays savvy buyers have compared your home to others on the market and recent sales. Many sellers make the mistake of listing their home for a too high price, thinking that buyers will make an offer or they can always reduce their price. But those first few weeks on the market are the best time for your home to sell at the listed price. As weeks go by, your listing is perceived by buyers to be stale, something must be wrong, the price is too high or it would have sold. 

Take the time to get your home ready to sell, price it right, and make sure you have great photos. In this great market your home...

Rare one level condo under $100,000

Vancouver has never had enough one level condos, and many of the ones out there have no private outdoor spaces. I was really happy to be able to list this unit in Pepper Tree Condominiums. The kitchen has newer white cabinets and updated appliances. There is a nice sized pantry and utility room off the kitchen with the same white cabinets, including some custom features like pull out pantry shelves, not usually found in this price range. Pepper Tree is an over 55 community of what is typically called "Patio Homes" in the Southwest. Five minutes to I-5, yet quiet and peaceful with mature landscaping. For a private showing call 360-600-0817.

Update! This condo sold in less than a week for full price!

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Great photos of Vancouver and Clark County, Hymas Images

As I've been remodeling my website over the last several months I spent quite a bit of time looking for some truly special photos to show off the best of Vancouver and Clark county. It didn't take me long to find that all the photos that I loved on the web were created by Duane and Shirleen Hymas of Hymas Images. I gave Duane a call and asked him if he had some photos that I could feature on my website. We've been emailing back and forth for months, and couple of weeks ago, we finally met for coffee.

Duane and Shirleen, AKA "Team Hymas", have become renowned for their unique perspective and photos of the Southwest Washington and Clark county. Their photos have been featured on the Washington state tourism website and featured in books about the Northwest. The Columbian newspaper has featured their photos and also wrote an article...

You may be able to buy a home sooner than you think with FHA's new 'Back to Work' Program

FHA recently announced updated guidelines for borrowers that experienced a "economic event" and can document the situation per FHA guidelines. It's called the "Back to Work" Program. FHA allows for the consideration of borrowers who have experienced a defined "economic event" and can document that certain credit imparements where the result of loss of employment, a significant loss of household income beyond the borrower's control occurred, the borrower has demonstrated full recovery from the event and has or will be completing a housing counseling as part of the loan process. Contact me today for more information or to apply!

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Before you remodel your home, call me!

Before you make any major improvements in your Vancouver WA home it's a good idea to consult a Realtor to make sure your investment will add to the value of your home. Nothing is worse than spending money on remodeling only to find you are not getting a good return on your investment.

I often see Vancouver homeowners make improvements that don't add value to their home. One of the most common mistakes is throwing good money after bad, like putting granite countertops on top of older cabinets, adding a bath or shower to a bathroom that is too small to accommodate the fixture, or converting a garage to a family room.

Take the time to figure out what your true motivation is for a remodel, if you want a more open floor plan, consider knocking down some walls to get rid of that seldom used formal living room rather than adding space to a smaller family room. And if you live in the Pacific Northwest, don't add a pool unless you never plan to sell your home. A home with a swimming pool here...

Making it easier, searching by Price Range

I'm still experimenting, trying to make it easier for my clients to quickly do a home search. One of the features I have added is the ability to search by Price Range. 
For example, if you are on the Area Home page for Camas, just below the picture of downtown Camas and the informational paragraph, are price range links. The links are for 200,000-300,000, 300,000-400,000 going up to over a million.
Every city page on my website now has a pre-defined search by price range.
As always, if you have any questions please give us a call.
Roianne Cox
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