CAN LUXURY HOMES ALSO BE ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOMES? YES, YES YES!

What’s your definition of luxury living? If you’re like most people, it probably includes having a spacious home with lots of room to relax, spread out and live your dreams. And, that spacious home probably includes some premium fixtures and comfort features, like high-end appliances, customizable climate control systems, expansive windows that bring the outdoors inside, and highly sought-after materials that add sleek, sophisticated finishes to every surface.

But all of those desirable, luxurious features can come at a steep price. And, if you’re not careful, your luxury home can end up being something that is highly detrimental to the environment. But more and more often, today’s luxury homes are becoming shining examples of how you can live luxuriously, while also maintaining responsible, sustainable environmental stewardship.

One example is with solar energy. The rooftops on many large luxury homes are ideal for harvesting the clean, renewable benefits of solar energy. A larger rooftop affords more area for solar panels to be positioned with greater spacing away from trees that would otherwise block sunshine from a smaller rooftop. So more roof equals more room for solar panels. And with Oregon’s Residential Energy Tax Credits program still in effect through the end of 2017, homeowners who convert or augment their power supply with solar can receive significant tax credits.

Another example is a home’s windows and doors, which can also play an important role in energy conservation. With larger luxury homes, there are more windows, and larger windows, than in an average home. These large windows usually create the perfect conditions for lots of energy to be wasted. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Upgrading a home with Energy Star® qualified high-efficiency windows can eliminate cold drafts and moisture condensation, save on heating and cooling energy, and improve your comfort year-round. The energy savings you’ll enjoy will be noticeable right away, and with Energy Trust of Oregon offering generous cash incentives for qualifying window purchases, upgrading is a sound investment.

And then there are luxury appliances. Fortunately, today’s state-of-the-art appliances are universally more energy efficient than those sold just a decade ago. But if your home needs new appliances, it pays to look for those that are high-efficiency and premium-efficiency rated. You’ll save energy, and in many cases also qualify for cash incentives from Energy Trust.

There are many other ways to make your dream home an environmentally friendly home, and the Energy Trust of Oregon website offers lots of tips and guides for rebates, incentives and discounts – for homeowners in both Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Some of the easiest ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency are: using LED light bulbs, which are up to 85% more efficient and last at least 15 times longer than traditional bulbs; installing smart thermostats that automatically regulate heating and cooling, and sense when you’re away to reduce wasted energy; and ordering Energy Trust’s energy saver kits, which are offered free of charge.

When it comes to luxury living, finding the right home for you requires a Realtor® who has luxury expertise. Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help buyers relocating to the Portland-Vancouver area learn more about the market, and select just the right city or community for their new home.  Call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com.

POSTED ON: August 7, 2017 5:50 pm BY:

ECO-ELEGANT, NATURE-INSPIRED HOME DEFINED BY ZEN AND SERENITY

This nature-inspired luxury home in Vancouver, Washington, is defined by zen and serenity. Its perfectly-landscaped gardens provide enjoyable open spaces without sacrificing privacy. From custom wood finishings throughout, to its three-season bloom garden, this home has it all!

Designed with a front-facing façade that blends with the cozy neighborhood it’s nestled into, this 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home opens up inside to reveal the beautifully designed custom interior full of eco-elegant features. Large windows throughout the home provide an abundance of light; energy-efficient geothermal heating keeps the house at a perfect temperature all day, all night, and in any weather.

Up the stunning spiral staircase are three spacious bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. And, upstairs is a balcony overlooking the spectacular living room, with a perfect view of the gardens.

The luxurious master bedroom is a place of ultimate comfort and relaxation, with a gas fireplace that will keep you cozy throughout the seasons, and a private covered balcony that’s a perfect place to read, or watch the fun happen in the home’s expansive back yard. The master bath’s gorgeous Roman tub provides a spectacular, but private view. And, dual vanities go along with dual showerheads in a travertine bath, with a separate glass door leading to a private steam room.

Downstairs, you will find a large, gourmet kitchen packed with custom luxury amenities for cooking, entertaining and convenience – like a baseboard vacuum system, beautiful ceramic backsplash design, high-end Wolf appliances and a wine refrigerator that holds more than 500 bottles. The spacious dining room is the perfect place to gather and entertain guests.

Outside, the property begins to show off what really makes this home special. A saltwater pool makes for chemical-free swimming and easy maintenance. A top-of-the-line outdoor grill is built-in to a covered stone patio, so you can easily keep your entertaining going while moving outdoors. And a comfortable covered outdoor sitting area leads to a bamboo grove. The home’s gardens have been expertly curated to be stunning throughout all four seasons, with minimal maintenance.

The Reserve at Ashley Heights is one of Vancouver’s newest and most desirable residential communities, and is located adjacent to abundant green space buffering nearby Salmon Creek. Yet the home at 5109 N.W. 143rd Street is just a short drive to Interstate-5, with convenient freeway access to downtown Vancouver, Portland, and beyond.

This eco-elegant award-winning home is a dream to behold. Offering 5,384 square feet of living space, everything from its beautiful custom details to the carefully considered eco-friendly design decisions provides a peace of mind for its owner. This unique home is offered at $1,600,000.

To learn more, view a photo gallery and take a virtual tour, click here.

­To schedule your personal tour of this luxury home, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: August 4, 2017 9:56 pm BY:

MOUNTAIN-TOP LUXURY WITH STUNNING PORTLAND VIEWS

If stunning panoramic views of the city and endless sunsets are your idea of luxury living, this Happy Valley home may be what you’re looking for. Situated atop Mountain Crest Drive in Happy Valley, the traditional-style home offers many modern amenities and features that make it an exceptional property.

Built in 2012, the home has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and 4,377 square-feet of living space. And that space is put to fabulous use. On the main level, an expansive open floor plan features walls of westward-facing windows that literally let you reach out and touch the surrounding hills as you gaze toward Portland’s city lights. The main level’s great room layout brings together the spacious gourmet kitchen, dining room and family room, making the space a haven for family gatherings and entertaining guests. Just off the kitchen/dining space, a large private main-level deck lets you actually feel like you’re a part of the stunning panoramic scenery found just beyond.

Also on the main level, the dreamy master bedroom has a cozy adjoining private sitting area that offers a serene resting place. Inside the master bathroom are double sinks and a separate vanity, along with a fabulous travertine tile shower and large walk-in closet.

Modern luxury finishes are found throughout the home, including recessed lighting, premium energy-efficient windows, and floor-to-ceiling tiling in the guest bathroom,

The fully-finished lower level has an expansive media room, and maintains the main level’s wall-of-windows theme.

Outside, a sport court with basketball hoop offers a wonderful place for the family to play, and for children to hone their skills.

The home’s location offers easy access to I-205, Clackamas Town Square shopping mall, and Portland. This exceptional luxury home is offered at $875,000.

To learn more, view a photo gallery and take a virtual tour, click here.

­To schedule your personal tour of this luxury home, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: August 3, 2017 10:35 pm BY:

Considering relocating to the Portland-Vancouver area? Here are five things you might want to know before choosing a home in our area.

1. Taxes are different

While many aspects of our lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest are shared between Oregon and Washington, when it comes to taxes, there’s a huge difference between the two states. The main reason is because people who live and work in Washington pay no state income tax, whereas in Oregon, up to 9.9% of residents’ earnings go toward state income tax. The catch is that Washington has a sales tax, yet Oregon does not. This arrangement works really well for relocating entrepreneurs who can set up both their home and workplace north of the Columbia River (in Washington), yet want to maintain access to the many of the fun and enriching qualities that Portland has to offer.

2. Buying a house? Make sure it’s equipped with gutter-guards

People love to move here for the lush scenery, lush with trees. And most luxury homes in our area benefit from the privacy and serenity that a thick forest canopy can provide. But owning a home that’s surrounded by beautiful trees comes with a cost: leaves and pine needles stack up on rooftops nearly year-round, clogging gutters and downspouts, and potentially causing major house damage. Homeowners here absolutely have to get gutter protection like the kind made by Mastershield, which filters out every leaf, needle, and solid particle from entering your home’s gutters. Without them, you’ll have to either pay to have your gutters cleaned each year (sometimes twice) or do it yourself, and you’re setting yourself up for lots potential expense down the road.

3. And since we’re talking about your home’s exterior, let’s talk landscaping

It’s designed to look nice, but it’s also important for functionality and protection of your home’s foundation and sub-structure. With our rainy climate, homes with basements and crawl spaces are susceptible to flooding. Yet a great landscape design can prevent all that. Our region’s professional landscape designers know how to contour a property to channel rainwater away from homes, and they’re experts on the kinds of plantings and residential drainage systems that will work best in each situation. Whether you’re buying a new home or an older one that needs a landscaping update, you’ll need to keep drainage at the top of your design list.

4. Are you a frequent flyer?

Portland International Airport (PDX) is the region’s major air hub, providing convenient service to hundreds of domestic and international destinations. But getting to and from PDX conveniently on weekdays can be challenging, which is why many of the most frequent flyers choose to not live in Portland. Cities like Camas, Vancouver and Washougal, on the Washington side of the Columbia River, are all home to some exceptional luxury communities, and they’re actually closer to PDX than most upscale communities in Portland.

5. The area keeps growing

Like most metro areas, Portland-Vancouver has enjoyed sustained population and economic growth since the end of the last recession. But with the market’s growth rate being among the nation’s highest, soaring home prices make it easier for prospective home buyers to get into bidding wars. Working with an exceptional Realtor®, particularly one with vast luxury expertise, can help buyers ensure that they don’t overpay for the home of their dreams.

When it comes to luxury living, finding the right home for you requires a Realtor® who has luxury expertise. Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help buyers relocating to the Portland-Vancouver area learn more about the market, and select just the right city or community for their new home. Call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com.

POSTED ON: July 18, 2017 7:51 pm BY:

To Make the Most of Outdoor Living, Today’s Luxury Homes Require a Fabulous Outdoor Kitchen

For most homeowners, the kitchen ends up being the part of the house where family members gather most frequently. Maybe it’s the call of hungry stomachs, or perhaps it’s just that cooking brings people together.

Kitchens in today’s homes, particularly luxury homes, are equipped with not only the most technologically advanced appliances and amenities; they’re designed with gourmet cooking, gathering and entertaining in mind. Today’s luxury gourmet kitchens are more spacious than ever, offering expansive counter and storage space, along with room for family members and guests to mingle, dine and relax. And, the enduring popularity of the modern-day great room floor plan only further reinforces the kitchen’s status as the true beating heart of every home.

But here in the Pacific Northwest, at this time of year, people want to be outdoors as often as possible. The days are long, and temperatures are moderate enough that outdoors-seekers can transition seamlessly from afternoon sun-fun into evening dining and entertaining without moving the party inside. If, that is, the home has a modern outdoor kitchen.

Today’s outdoor kitchens – masterful marvels of culinary convenience – have evolved to be light-years beyond the traditional back-deck barbecue. Not only designed to expand a home’s total living space, they can transform the entire concept of outdoor living. And they’re built to be every bit as stylish, versatile and high-performance as any luxury indoor kitchen can be.

The centerpiece of any luxury outdoor kitchen is a built-in gas-fired grilling station and cooking range. Take, for example, the Grand Turbo line of outdoor cook ranges. They’re made to satisfy the demands of the most high-performance chefs, whether they’re cooking for their family or entertaining a large crowd. These and other cook ranges are now being built-in to decks, patios and poolside lounges, to afford Pacific Northwest homeowners what is perhaps the greatest luxury of all – the convenience and comfort of being able to stay outdoors and extend their glorious summer days as long as possible.

But outdoor cooking is only the beginning of the outdoor kitchen experience. There are also outdoor built-in refrigerators, custom countertops and cabinets, and dining spaces to enjoy. Combined, they can elevate the art of outdoor living to heights never previously imagined.

A perfect example is seen in a luxury home for sale at 24320 N.E. 132nd Circle in Brush Prairie, Washington. The home comes equipped with spectacular gourmet kitchens both inside and out. The outdoor kitchen boasts a granite rock cooking island with built-in Grand Turbo stainless steel grilling station and oven, enormous granite countertops, refrigerator, sink, and cupboards. Adjoining the outdoor kitchen is a spacious covered lounge, with access to the swimming pool and hot tub. The kitchen overlooks a massive children’s play structure, so homeowners can prepare meals and watch the kids playing outside at once. To learn more about this beautiful home for sale, click here.

Again, when it comes to luxury living in the Northwest, having the convenience of being able to make the most of outdoor living is what it’s all about.

 

Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help buyers relocating to the Portland-Vancouver area learn more about the market, and select just the right city or community for their new home.  Call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com.

POSTED ON: July 7, 2017 4:55 pm BY:

Discover Wonderful Washougal, Washington

An important thing that I recommend to people who are considering relocating to the Portland-Vancouver area is to take time to explore the numerous small cities and communities that surround Portland and Vancouver. Each one offers very distinctive lifestyle qualities that make them unique and special.

At the northeast edge of the metro area is the city of Washougal, in Washington’s Clark County. Located across the Columbia River from Portland and Gresham, Washougal is just a 10-15 minute drive from Portland International Airport.

The Washougal area was first settled in the 1820s, around the time that the European and American explorers of the Hudson’s Bay Fur Company set up camp at nearby Fort Vancouver. The area’s name is thought to have been derived from the Chinook Indian words for “rushing water,” which is apt considering its location just upstream from where the rushing Washougal River meets the mighty Columbia.

Washougal’s proximity to Portland International Airport make the city an ideal home for frequent travelers. Being on the western edge of the beautiful Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area makes it a gateway to one of the most splendorous natural treasures found anywhere. Both combine to provide an exceptional environment for luxury homes.

The city of Washougal itself offers numerous attributes that make it a great place to call home. The estimated population of just more than 15,500 has nearly doubled since 2000, reflecting the area’s vitality and healthy growth. Washougal’s median household income is among the highest in the metropolitan area, and in 2015 voters approved a $57 million capital improvement bond, to help ensure the city’s public schools keep up with growth and expectations of its affluent citizens.

Washougal Town Square and the rejuvenated main street area provide a slice of small town charm and modern amenities that enable residents to stay close to home when they want. In and around town, there’s lots for outdoor recreation lovers to see and do: areas designated for hiking, biking, fishing, birding and watersports are numerous and easily accessible.

Luxury homes in Washougal tend to be situated on large parcels of land that blend seamlessly within the area’s lush, semi-rural surroundings. Many are perched atop forested hillsides, offering both privacy, and stunning, expansive views of the surrounding mountains and Columbia River Gorge. One home currently listed offers a modern, custom design with floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking river, mountain and city views. A video tour shows off all that this stunning luxury home, and the joy of living in Washougal, have to offer.

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Terrie Cox is Oregon and Washington’s premier luxury real estate broker. Recognized nationally and internationally among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world, Terrie is uniquely qualified to help buyers relocating to the Portland-Vancouver area learn more about the market, and select just the right city or community for their new home.  Call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com.

POSTED ON: June 19, 2017 6:44 pm BY:

Rare opportunity: Stunning Geodesic Home in beautiful, serene Winlock, WA

Situated on six flat acres in beautiful, serene Winlock, Washington, this masterfully designed home features tons of windows and skylights to showcase the territorial and mountain views. The 200-foot paved driveway leads you to this private retreat. Inside, you’ll discover a light and bright interior, with soaring ceilings. No detail is overlooked, with custom lighting fixtures, Swarovski crystal knobs and pulls throughout, and windows revealing beautiful views. The open concept floor plan has the great room, living room and kitchen all flowing together. The gourmet kitchen features beautiful granite counters, and plenty of storage space. You’ll find an additional prep station and wet bar and an inviting breakfast nook. Also on the main floor are a private master suite, and a master bath with beautiful finishes.

Head up the stairs to the second level where you’ll find additional bedrooms with high ceilings and fantastic views, plus a full bath. A spiral staircase leads to the cupola, with 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. The three-car garage includes a covered breezeway and a finished loft space. Living here, you can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the country, yet you’re just minutes from Interstate 5. An exceptional contemporary home, in a picturesque, serene location. Three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 3,190 square feet of living space, all for just $800,000.  It’s all waiting for you here, to call home.

To view a video tour of this exceptional property, click here.

To schedule your personal tour of this listing, call Terrie at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

MLS#1131850.

POSTED ON: May 26, 2017 10:45 pm BY:

Local financing, underwriting key to keeping home purchases on track

When you find a home you love, things happen quickly: contracts, inspections, offers, negotiations and other routine procedures. Unfortunately, national lenders and appraiser complications can slow down the process and even jeopardize the transaction.

Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top individual broker in the Pacific Northwest, says the best way to avoid hold-ups is to understand your lender’s financing process and workflow — especially if they’re not based locally.

“Be aware of who your lender is,” says Terrie, pointing out that even if they have an office in town, national financers may not make decisions locally. “Ask if they have in-house underwriting, because sometimes that can save a lot of time.”

Terrie has worked with clients who have almost seen their purchases fall through due to slow communications with out-of-state lenders. In some transactions, complications arise that are best — and most efficiently — handled by professionals who work in the location where they’re buying.

To prevent your dream home from slipping through your fingers, Terrie recommends finding a local lender with an in-house underwriter. Look for someone who checks in regularly and responds quickly and knowledgeably to inquiries.

“It’s not just about interest rates and closing costs,” says Terrie. “It’s also about underwriting and the communication that particular lender has with their clients.”

Delayed appraisals also can derail the sale, forcing buyers to negotiate for an extension and risk their home loan rate. Buyers should ensure their sale agreement can accommodate potentially long waits and negotiate with their lender to preserve their loan lock.

Terrie is happy to offer her clients referrals to her network of lenders, as well as her professional advice. Schedule a consultation with Terrie as you begin your search for your new luxury home in southwest Washington or Portland. Call or text her directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: May 11, 2017 12:14 am BY:

Space, versatility & convenience: Vancouver checks all boxes for families

Home shoppers looking for suburban space, flexibility, and convenience will find it at this neighborhood home in the Mill Plain area of eastern Vancouver. Quiet yet close to main thoroughfares, this five-bedroom property is close to everything busy families need and features the amenities they desire. And a versatile layout allows them to make the home their own.

Inside the front door, an open two-story foyer gives clear sightlines to the second floor and the back of the home. Natural light, columns, crown molding, and gallery-quality wall space make the area a fantastic place to display treasured artwork. The elegant touches continue with the wainscoting of the formal sitting room, which could also house a dining room or home office.

An atrium-style space off the main hall and kitchen offers an alternative room for dining, or a dedicated area for musicians and artists to practice. In the large kitchen, generous cabinet storage, as well as ample counter space, will please any home chef. Recessed lighting, arched entries into surrounding rooms, and windows in the breakfast nook flood the room with southwest-exposure light. Bar seating connects the kitchen to other rooms without sacrificing a designated area for food prep.

The family room downstairs is a cozy retreat with its fireplace and proximity to the kitchen. Upstairs, additional open space on the landing provides great option for a den, children’s play area, or work or study room. Even the massive master suite includes a private spot to lounge. Four additional bedrooms guarantee everyone has space to call their own in this home.

Outside, the large patio is ideal for big barbecues and intimate gatherings. The yard requires minimal maintenance, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t green spaces to enjoy. Nearby parks include a play yard on the next block, as well as Harmony Ridge Neighborhood Park and tennis courts, both a 10-minute walk down the street. Pacific Community Park — a 5-minute drive away — includes fields, a playground, a dog park, treed nature paths, baseball and softball diamonds, a community garden, and more. With Harmony Elementary School, Pacific Middle School, and Union High School minutes away, these spaces are hot spots for families enjoying beautiful Pacific Northwest seasons.

Large active families will fit right into this Vancouver home and neighborhood. Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top-ranked individual broker in Washington, is an expert at matching her clients to properties that are just right for their lifestyles. To schedule your personal tour of this listing, call Terrie at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

See more photos, a video tour and more details with the full listing.

POSTED ON: May 3, 2017 7:00 pm BY:

Brand-new Battle Ground home exudes character & potential

Brand new construction doesn’t mean boring. This 3,700-square-foot Battle Ground beauty was built just this year, and it already has incredible character. Situated on nearly 5 acres just outside the town center, the home is rural, elegant, and ready for its first residents.

Inside, visitors are greeted by a foyer straight out of a fairytale. The impressive two-story entry is illuminated by a massive transom window above the front door. The split staircase is flanked by spiraling metalwork on the banister. Looking upward, you’ll see a crystal chandelier suspended below a serene blue-sky mural.

A floorplan flows from the formal living room — including a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace — to the teak-floored dining room. Both rooms include crown molding and oversized windows. In the kitchen, premium tile floors set off ceiling-height cherry cabinets. Built-in stainless steel appliances complement the granite countertops and the kitchen’s other high-end finishes. The bright, naturally lit eating area walks out to the massive yard. Adjacent to the kitchen, a cozy family room includes a second fireplace and plush carpeting. Completing the main floor, a private study offers a secluded area for taking care of business without leaving home.

Up the magnificent staircase, double doors open to the master suite with its tray ceilings, wall-mounted gas fireplace, and sweeping territorial views. The master bath features iridescent tile details, ample storage, a double vanity, designer light fixtures, a jetted tile tub, and a walk-in closet. On the other end of the floor, a spacious bonus room — with a wet bar and en suite — is perfect for a rec room, home gym or yoga studio, children’s playroom, or guest suite. Three bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and a large laundry room round out the second floor.

Outside, wide-open land is waiting to host your outdoor get-togethers and hobbies. The vast, flat lot is perfect for patios, decks, a pool, and any style of landscaping. A massive 5,500 square-foot shop on the property can store boats, RVs, and gear of all kinds. It’s also ideal as warehouse storage for your small business or an event space.

See this Battle Ground home and let your dreams begin to take shape. Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top-ranked individual broker in Washington, specializes in the Pacific Northwest’s luxury real estate market and helping her clients relocate to an incredible home. To schedule your personal tour of Southwest Washington’s available properties, call Terrie at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

See more photos, a video tour and more details with the full listing.

POSTED ON: May 3, 2017 12:32 am BY: