Choosing between real estate in Oregon & Washington? Consider the taxes

Homebuyers relocating to the Portland-Vancouver region have the flexibility of choosing a home in either Oregon or Washington. The two cities and their outlying areas each boast beautiful neighborhoods, upscale shopping and dining districts, high-performing schools and world-class events.

Living in Washington, however, has one benefit Oregon can’t match: no income tax.

Though Washingtonians pay sales tax while Oregonians do not, they’re keeping more of their annual income — to the tune of nearly 10 percent — by living in a state without income tax. And with Portland just a short drive over the bridge, southwest Washington residents can still take advantage of its attractions and its duty-free shopping.

Luxury real estate agent Terrie Cox was born and raised in Oregon, but she calls Washington home because it makes sense for her business and her budget. She cautions that those who live in Washington must work in the state to avoid paying income tax. It’s tempting to consider commuting to a job in Portland then back home to Vancouver, but you would not be exempt.

Terrie, RE/MAX’s top broker in both states, works with her clients to buy and sell some of the Pacific Northwest’s most spectacular properties. Call or text her directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net to talk about your next move to Oregon or Washington.

POSTED ON: January 23, 2017 6:00 am BY:

Neighborhood Guide to Living in Vancouver, Washington

A relocation to Vancouver, Washington is a great move for anyone looking for the best of all worlds. Situated next to the Portland metro area for convenience to big-city amenities, Vancouver is perched on the north banks of the scenic Columbia River. Vancouver manages to strike the perfect balance between friendly neighborhoods, downtown services, and outdoor escapes.

No State Income Tax

Washington is one of the few states that has no state income tax. What’s more, in neighboring Oregon there’s no sales tax. Many residents find that working in Vancouver and buying goods in Portland is a great way to save money.

Fantastic Neighborhoods

Relocating to Vancouver means exploring some great areas for the perfect home. There are various excellent neighborhoods to choose from, with many close to walking trails or offering beautiful river and mountain views. Make sure to check in with Real Estate Agent Terrie Cox who knows the region well for information on specific neighborhoods.

Nature, Seasons, & Trees

While having all the conveniences expected in a city this size (the population is just over 160,000), Vancouver offers beautiful parks and miles of trails. Nature hikes are easily done without having to travel far. What’s more, the region enjoys four seasons with plenty of trees that burst into color every spring and fall.

Fun Events

The citizens of Vancouver love to have a good time. From the enormous Vancouver Farmers Market which boasts more than 250 vendors, to outdoor summer concerts under the stars, there’s something here for everyone. The city’s annual 4th of July celebration hosts what’s been named the biggest fireworks display west of the Mississippi.

Trendy Shops & Restaurants

The people here also love their food and quirky shops. Uptown Village is among the hippest places to shop, offering plenty of galleries, boutiques, and specialty eateries. After your job relocation, you’ll become accustomed to a handcrafted ice cream, local brew, and world-class lattes.

For more information about your relocation to Vancouver call or text Terrie directly at 360-607-4100.

POSTED ON: January 19, 2017 2:00 pm BY:

The Differences Between Moving for Work and Moving for Fun

Packing up to move to a different city is a major decision. Putting down roots in a new city can be a terrifying, invigorating, stressful or even a therapeutic experience. However, there is a difference between moving for work and moving for fun. Here are some tips to help you in your relocation process.

Moving for Work

Compared to moving for fun, job relocation is often considered practical. However, there are still some things to consider before leaving. You should always look up the cost of living in your new town. This can help you reevaluate and set up a new budget. You should also get a good idea of what your new commute routine is going to look like. Is it a short drive, or are you going to run into problems due to high traffic? Factor in how much you will be spending on gas or if you need to pay for parking. Make sure you keep yourself organized, and locate the important documentation you will need and have it handy. Lastly, do some research on what your new community has to offer. This will help you adjust to your new setting much faster.

Moving for Fun

For those with the freedom and a little wanderlust, moving to a new location can be enriching in more ways than one. If you are moving to a new city to try something new, it’s best to have a plan. Do extensive research on the cost of living to make sure you won’t be living outside of your means. You should also research the local job market. Find out what companies are headquartered in your new city. You will want to know where the best neighborhoods are located. An experienced real estate agent can be a great ally, as they will have first-hand knowledge of the area. Lastly, make sure you have all your new living arrangements set to ensure a smooth moving process.

POSTED ON: January 16, 2017 10:00 am BY:

Five Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Price For Your Home

Staging your home for sale is an important but often-overlooked part of the listing process. Not only can an accurate staging sell your home more quickly, but homes that have been designed so the buyer can picture themselves living in the property can earn you up to 10 percent above the listing price. Here are home staging tips and tricks to keep in mind before placing your home on the market.

1. Remove Personal Items

Your cherished photos and mementos have been carefully curated, but they aren’t a boon to buyers. Stow away your wedding photos, family albums, and other personal items that will make it difficult for buyers to imagine their family living in the property.

2. Shift Your Storage

Closet space is essential for homeowners, and buyers want to feel that their new property will be more spacious than their previous home. Avoid the temptation to put your personal items in closets, attics, and basements when home staging. Instead, invest in a storage unit.

3. Don’t Forget the Outdoor Space

Outdoor living is one of the hottest new commodities for luxury homes. Ensure that buyers can imagine themselves hosting Sunday brunch by arranging your patio furniture in an attractive display that’s conducive to guests. Pristine landscaping and fresh paint are also must-dos before listing.

4. Brighten it Up

The right light can make a big difference when it comes to making your home inviting. Maximize natural light by cleaning the windows and drapes. You should also replace your light bulbs with brighter ones when home staging.

5. Pack Up the Pets

Evidence of dogs and cats is unappealing to most buyers. If you have pets, find a great kennel or a generous friend who can watch your furry friends when showings are scheduled.

For help staging your home, Terrie Cox is available 24/7. Call or text at 360-607-4100.

POSTED ON: January 13, 2017 2:00 pm BY:

How to keep your cool in Portland & Vancouver’s hot real estate markets

You already know that the most important thing a buyer can do is create stability before submitting an offer on their next home. But how do you ensure it can compete in a hot market?

First, find a savvy, experienced and local Realtor. When you work with a world-ranked Realtor like Terrie Cox, you can expect unrelenting expertise and individual attention while drafting and submitting your offer. Terrie guides her clients through the entire process, looking out for errors, reviewing forms and negotiating on their behalf.

Step 1: Write a serious offer.

Once you’ve got Terrie on your side, get started on writing your offer. Getting pre-approved — a step beyond pre-qualification — shows the seller that a lender has verified your information, credit and documentation to determine an exact loan amount. This speeds up the underwriting process, allowing buyers to act quickly and eliminating the anxiety of waiting for financing. It also shows the seller you’re prepared, enthusiastic and trustworthy.

Including an escalation clause with your offer will guarantee it remains the highest submission, up to your maximum budget. For example, it may dictate that you’ll beat other offers by $5,000 up to $500,000, ensuring that yours is always on top.

As Terrie’s clients know, buyers shouldn’t take these steps before an inspection. Not only will that improve your knowledge of the home, it will streamline — or eliminate — contingencies. Most notably, your offer can move to the front of the pack, as it will not be awaiting inspection.

Step 2: Be accommodating.

Stay open-minded your new home, separating needs from wants. If a listing meets most of your priorities and you can let the others go (or take on a project later), place an offer. A less-than-perfect property may signal easier negotiations and potentially less competition. And limiting contingencies — or even including an as-is addendum — will make you an attractive candidate. Know your dealbreakers, though; you can walk away if the listing is more trouble than it’s worth.

Also remember that the market is cut-throat, but you don’t have to be. Being gracious and making the seller’s life easier will work to your advantage. Limit negative comments about the home, be flexible with your closing and possession dates, submit a personal note with your offer and be respectful. Your agent will fight for your interests during negotiations, so your interactions with the seller can stay light and cordial.

Step 3: Stay in the fight.

Even if your bid gets bumped for a bigger, better offer, it pays to keep tabs on the listing. Deals frequently fall through in financing, so you may find your offer on top again. Keep your credit and saving steady, and ask your agent to check in on properties whose bidding wars you’ve lost to see if there’s a chance to win the battle.

Terrie Cox is RE/MAX’s top broker in the Pacific Northwest and among the highest producing in the world. She helps her clients turn their real estate dreams into reality, guided by decades of industry insights. To get her advice on how to submit an irresistible offer on your next home, call or text Terrie at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: January 12, 2017 4:00 pm BY:

3 Ways to Best Stage Your Home for Sale

The purpose of staging is to make a home look and feel its most inviting. For a quicker sale and a better offer, most realtors insist on decluttering. Staging takes this process several steps further by minimizing the amount of furniture that’s present and arranging items in an eye-catching layout. Even small changes can yield big results.

Arrange Attractive Artwork On Walls

While less is more when it comes to wall decor, a few well-positioned pieces of the right type of art will show off your spaces beautifully. Remove any personal photos and instead add artwork that brings out the best in a room. Landscapes work well. So do tasteful abstract designs with colors that complement the walls and furnishings.

Light Up Dark Areas

Rooms that are light, bright, and cheerful feel welcoming. People are drawn in and want to spend time there. Dark corners and poorly lit zones have the opposite effect – they repel people.

With your realtor, check each room carefully to make sure all areas are well lit. Replace light bulbs and add fixtures to create the right impression. A mix of lighting increases a room’s appeal; be sure to have both ambient lighting and accent lights. Then add focused lighting for desks, cabinets, nooks, and other special purpose areas.

Group Furniture Into Intimate Settings

Prospective buyers looking at a room are searching for possibilities. They want to envision what the room could be for them. Stoke their imagination by grouping furniture into cozy, intimate settings. Move pieces away from the walls and arrange them into inviting layouts. Create living spaces that are uncluttered and feel welcoming.

For example, arrange sofas, chairs, and accent tables into comfortable conversational clusters. At the same time, make sure nothing blocks the flow of traffic. As prospective buyers follow their realtor from room to room, they’ll be able to easily picture themselves enjoying each space.

For help with staging, call or text Terrie Cox at 360-607-4100.

POSTED ON: January 12, 2017 2:00 pm BY:

La Center property boasts prime fishing & design potential

Located on the east fork of the Lewis River in La Center, Washington, this home is an oasis for any outdoors enthusiast. Perched atop its 5-acre lot, the house is clear of flood danger but just steps from Mason Creek Hole, where springwaters create an ideal home for steelhead and salmon. Scenic riverbanks offer prime fishing spots, and the boat launch gives access to the creek and river, leading all the way to the Columbia. Surrounded by territorial views and peeks at Mt. Hood, the property feels rural and secluded, despite being just 15 minutes from shopping and 30 minutes from Portland International Airport.

Inside the house’s stately arched brick entry, the sweeping two-story foyer features gleaming black marble floors and a curved staircase. The formal sitting room and dining room continue an air of classic luxury. Meanwhile, the bright open-concept kitchen, dining area and living room are prepared for a buyer’s design touch. A bedroom and exercise room — as well as a massive deck for grilling, outdoor entertaining and taking in the scenery — round out the main floor.

Upstairs, double doors open into a large master suite with a wood-burning stove, executive study and bathroom with tile and marble finishes. Large windows boast the home’s most dramatic view. Two more bedrooms and a den give families individual space as well as plenty of room to spend time together.

Back outside, the landscaped yard includes a swingset and play area. The fenced-in pool gives swimmers a chance to soak up the sunshine, while the adjacent outbuilding houses a steamy sauna. The three-bay garage is outfitted with 14-foot doors to accommodate a boat or RV, and the shop inside has electricity and water access. Attached to the garage, the guest house is perfect for visitor lodging or as a second residence.

Terrie Cox is RE/MAX’s top Realtor in the Pacific Northwest. She’s an expert in advising her clients as they purchase and personalize their luxury homes. To schedule your private viewing of this sprawling La Center property and visualize its full potential, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit www.usa-relocate.com.

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

POSTED ON: January 5, 2017 11:14 pm BY:

Washougal retreat perfect for growing families, hosting friends

This modern Craftsman in Washougal, Washington, is a spacious property, spread over two tax lots in Leaptrott Estates. The abundant space — inside and out — and lush landscaping give the home and yard ample privacy amid the convenience of a neighborhood setting.

Harmonious landscaping, smart architecture and a wide open concept floorplan let the beauty of the home’s surroundings shine. The exterior stone treatment, front yard arbor and stained glass entry make an impressive statement. From the first step inside, clean sightlines yield natural light and breathtaking territorial views. Remarkable millwork and flooring – tile, wood and carpet – give each room a distinct, yet natural, character.

Consistent details and a complimentary color palette enhance the main floor’s flow. The two-story foyer and its flanking office lead to the dining room, giving way to the sunken great room with its stone hearth and spectacular vistas. The kitchen’s refined finishes, custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and a large granite island create a beautiful entertaining area; access to the deck streamlines outdoor dining.

Also on the main floor, the first of two luxurious master suites offers a walk-in glass shower and a soaking tub. A second suite, located upstairs with two additional bedrooms and space for a gym, is another elegant option. On top of the first suite’s amenities, it includes a fireplace and a private deck looking out over the river.

Downstairs, the finished basement houses a granite wet bar and boundless space for game tables other fun. Built-in sound system, projectors and four TVs are perfect for hosting a crowd for sporting events. A third deck includes a hot tub and plenty of room to entertain and relax. Stairs lead down to the secluded patio and waterfall feature, set against a variety of mature trees and shrubs.

This incredible home is not only an entertainer’s delight; located in the desirable Camas School District, it’s also perfect for growing families. With a four-car garage and generous storage throughout, there’s room for everyone and everything.

To schedule your tour of this exceptional Washougal property, call or text leading RE/MAX broker Terrie Cox at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit www.usa-relocate.com. Terrie is Washington’s premier luxury real estate agent and recognized among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world. She is uniquely qualified to negotiate the purchase of your luxury home with personalized guidance and experienced market insights.

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

POSTED ON: January 4, 2017 7:20 pm BY:

Unparalleled elegance, comfort & scenery at Estacada estate

Imagine coming home to this beautiful 5-acre estate in the shadow of Mt. Hood. An expansive manicured lawn, perfect for soccer fields, flanks the treed driveway, escorting visitors to the grand stone entry. Inside, territorial views of the Cascade Range and regional peaks fill nearly every window. Beamed ceilings and a full-height fireplace give the sunken great room a cozy elegance that permeates this entire Estacada, Oregon, home.

In the kitchen, classic elements balance exquisite finishes. With sumptuous dark wood details, recessed lighting and stained glass fixtures, polished granite counters and crisp stainless steel appliances, this space exudes undeniable sophistication. A separate wet bar, formal dining room and sliding door to the patio give families and their guests separate areas to gather.

Outside, the covered tile patio provides a laid-back space to grill and enjoy fireside dining in any weather. The backyard also includes a large pool, waterfall feature and hot tub, in addition to panoramic vistas. Massive mature trees line the property on one side, offering privacy without obstructing the view.

Back inside on the main floor, the master suite has all the trimmings of luxury living. Picture plush carpeting, fireplace, premium cabinetry, soaking tub, walk-in shower, high-end stone tile and a large double vanity, as well as access to the patio’s hot tub. Of course, each window looks out on the property’s incredible surroundings.

There are three additional bedrooms over two floors, including a generous guest suite with lofty exposed-beam ceilings, a fireplace and a private balcony overlooking the breathtaking scenery. With an office, a bonus room and a dedicated area for a gym, there’s ample airy space for everyone to work, play and relax at home.

To schedule your tour of this refined Estacada estate, call or text Terrie Cox, Oregon’s premier luxury real estate agent, at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit www.usa-relocate.com. Terrie is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, recognized among RE/MAX’s top 50 Realtors in the world. Born and raised in Oregon, she understands the local market and is uniquely qualified to negotiate the purchase of your luxury home.

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

POSTED ON: January 4, 2017 7:15 pm BY:

2016 sets area’s market up for outstanding new year

The Portland-Vancouver housing market was among the hottest in the country in 2016, and it will continue to be solid in 2017.

Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top broker in Oregon and Washington, has observed positive trends and momentum in the area’s luxury real estate landscape. Her assessment? Now is a great time to purchase or sell a house, condo or land.

Portland and Vancouver, as well as their surrounding areas, are sustaining fantastic real estate activity. Buyers are submitting competitive offers, and the average property spent less time on the market in 2016 than it did in 2015 — both good signs for sellers.

Meanwhile, home prices are steadily increasing, signaling strength and stability. Prices in Portland’s market went up 10.9 percent year-over-year in 2016, putting it just behind national leader Seattle, which saw an 11 percent increase.

Terrie also notes that while the Federal Reserve plans to bump up mortgage interest rates in 2017, the move likely will have minimal impact on the market. Many prospective buyers — particularly growing numbers of foreign investors — plan to pay cash and won’t be affected by higher borrowing costs.

Terrie is an expert at navigating the area’s luxury real estate market, as well as advising both buyers and sellers. If you’re planning a move in the Pacific Northwest in 2017, call or text Terrie Cox directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: December 23, 2016 12:05 am BY: