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:

Make good neighbors: How to be & greet new arrivals


Moving is among the most stressful events for a family. It’s a time when people could really use the support of a friend — right as they’re being plucked from their familiar social circles. Adding to the isolation, neighbors in their new communities often are unsure how to welcome recent additions.

Whether you’re the newcomer or greeting one, there are steps you can take to make a great first impression on Day One and beyond.

Meet your neighbors

The lowest-effort option is to be visible in your new neighborhood. Take walks, spend time in your yard, and check out communal spaces. Also visit parks, libraries, coffee shops, stores, restaurants and bars, gyms, and the farmers market to get a beat on the community. Volunteering, subscribing to the local newspaper, and attending city council or neighborhood association meetings can bring you up to speed on issues affecting the area, too.

Now is the time to chat up your neighbors, ask questions, and seek recommendations or referrals — just pay attention to the responses. People are usually eager to welcome people to the neighborhood, offer tips, and promise future get-togethers. If you’re interested and available, don’t turn down invitations. There’s no pressure to accept all offers of assistance or friendship, but do be gracious. And when you can’t make time to talk, offer a wave or smile to those you haven’t connected with yet.

Plan a party

Kids are excellent conversation starters. Local parks are practically made for parents to bump into each other and swap information, especially if they have kids of similar ages or at the same school. Once you’ve identified some families in the area, invite them and other families they know to your house to get to know each other. This is especially helpful if your children have transferred to a new school with the move.

No one expects a housewarming party, especially not the moment you move in. If you do throw one, feel free to keep it casual. Ask neighbors — and friends from your old neighborhood, too — to drop by during a weekend afternoon. Avoid serving anything beyond a few snacks (nothing that requires more than a cocktail plate) or make it a potluck, with everyone bringing something to share. Invite as many people as you’re comfortable having in your home, but don’t be exclusive. If your place is on the small side or simply not ready for guests, plan a happy hour at a nearby bar or restaurant. You may find a go-to watering hole.

Be patient

Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t all come together at once. It takes time to know your new surroundings and feel out your social circle. Browse meetup.com to find groups in your area with similar interests and events. Friends of friends are great leads, too. Ask around your circle to see if anyone has contacts in your new neighborhood.

Take initiative

Noticing new neighbors moving in can be confusing: How do you welcome them? What do you say? Should you bring something? When is it a good time? Generally speaking, any kind gesture will be appreciated. As long as you avoid times around meals and commutes, it’s OK to stop by and strike up a conversation with your new neighbors.

Recent arrivals will want to meet you and get your perspective on the neighborhood. It’s nice to give referrals or recommendations, but keep gossip out of it and remain positive about the area (they just moved in, after all). Housewarming gifts aren’t necessary, but a small plant, snack, or stack of takeout menus from nearby restaurants are thoughtful offerings.

Once you’ve made contact, bring other neighbors on board. Connect your new acquaintance with others in your circle and include them in your regular social gatherings, if they’re interested. Hosting a low-key barbecue or cocktail party with all the neighbors can be a fun, effective way for everyone to mingle and meet each other.

Terrie Cox is RE/MAX’s top individual agent in the Pacific Northwest and among the nation’s top 10 Certified Relocation Professionals. She’s an expert at helping families find and settle into their new homes and neighborhoods. To start your move on the right foot, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: May 2, 2017 5:31 pm BY:

‘Perfect’ homes that need too many fixes not always worth it

When a home meets all of the must-haves, excited buyers may overlook what it lacks. And while it’s normal to make some fixes or even plan a major remodel for their newly purchased property, buyers — especially first-timers — should be wary of biting off more than they can chew.

Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top individual broker in the Pacific Northwest, says she cautions her clients against committing to a home that requires a laundry list of repairs or renovations. For example, if the bathroom, kitchen, and the driveway all need attention, that’s too much work for one listing.

“In my opinion that’s three strikes,” Terrie says. “If you’ve got four, move on to another house, because it’s going to cost way too much money to invest in that one.”

If remodeling is unavoidable, Terrie recommends putting money into two areas first: kitchens and bathrooms.

“You can’t put too much money in a kitchen, because that’s where everybody lives,” she says.

Terrie counsels homeowners to project 5 years down the road when they plan upgrades. They should consider how the fixes they make now will affect the resale value of their homes, prioritizing those that offer the greatest return.

Aside from Terrie’s experience in Portland and Vancouver’s luxury real estate markets, she is a homeowner. Her first-hand insight into which upgrades are worth the effort and cost helps her guide clients as they make plans for their own homes. To talk with Terrie about your search, call or text her directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: April 26, 2017 7:33 pm BY:

Take in Mt. Hood views at inviting luxury-rustic lodge estate

luxury rustic mountain view lodge estate boring oregon

Secluded, semi-rural luxury can be yours at this sprawling lodge-style estate on 3.71 acres in Boring, Oregon. Driving up the circle drive amid careful landscaping, visitors will see modern rustic touches in the handsome rough-cut beams and stonework around the entry. And with views of Mt. Hood on the horizon, the property has a spirit of comfortable grandiosity.

Inside the large wooden door, floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the entry and soaring vaulted ceilings in natural light. The main floor’s open-concept floorplan enjoys a cozy flow between the impressive great room, dining spaces, and kitchen. Extensive woodwork — hand-hewn hickory floors, built-in buffet and shelving, mantle, beams, cabinetry, island, and other details — creates smart rustic charm that runs throughout the home.

The kitchen boasts custom cabinets and a walk-in pantry with plenty of convenient storage. A multi-level island and adjacent breakfast nook give families and friends spaces to gather for casual get-togethers. Big dinner parties and late-night snacks are equally simple with high-end stainless steel appliances — including a Viking gas range and a smart refrigerator — and ample counterspace.

At the top of the bright, all-wood staircase, the master suite continues the luxury-rustic tone. The plank vaulted ceiling rises over the expansive bedroom, complete with gas fireplace, large windows, and a private balcony. In the bathroom, dark slate tile covers the floors and steps ascending to the soaking tub. The double vanity is adorned by slab granite and illuminated by a designer light fixture. A huge walk-in closet and private study round out the suite’s incredible amenities.

The second floor includes four additional bedrooms. Elsewhere in the home, families will enjoy three more bathrooms, two laundry rooms, a dedicated library, and a den with a wet bar and intricate Juniper woodwork. Outside, the partially covered stone patio includes a firepit and hot tub. Mature trees tower over the beautifully manicured lawn. Beyond the grass lie raised garden beds, a play structure, and a shed. The property also includes a massive 40’x100’ barn and shop, complete with tack and stalls.

To schedule your tour of this luxury-rustic property in Boring, call or text Pacific Northwest’s leading RE/MAX broker Terrie Cox at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net or visit usa-relocate.com. An Oregon native, Terrie is 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: April 26, 2017 4:46 pm BY:

Architectural beauty, phenomenal views tie for Washougal home’s top feature

architectural beauty phenomenal views washougal washington

This modern ranch in Washougal, Washington, wows with spectacular views of the Columbia River and Mt. Hood, as well as careful architectural details. The large, level lot is slightly raised and set back from the street, allowing unobstructed vistas without sacrificing privacy. Walking up the path, visitors will get the sense there’s plenty to see both inside and outside this interesting home.

Native Camas stone continues from the exterior into the foyer and great room. Lofty cedar ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a custom 40-foot skylight flood the home with natural light. This sophisticated space is a room for all seasons, with a full-height stone fireplace for winter nights and double sliding doors to the backyard that let summer breezes blow in.

The central living space in this unique U-shaped home includes a streamlined kitchen with stunning views on all sides. A side patio off the kitchen is perfect for casual al fresco dining and morning coffee. From the kitchen, walk through Shoji-style sliding doors to the formal dining room or to the living room toward the back of the home. Off the main hallway, an executive office looks onto the backyard’s serene water feature, lawn, and gardens.

The master wing is a peaceful retreat, with magnificent mountain views and a gas fireplace. The attached bathroom sets a relaxed, spa-inspired tone. An elevated soaking tub and oversized windows look onto the wooded sideyard and private patio. Down the hall, past two additional bedrooms and a bathroom, a cozy den opens into the backyard.

Territorial views greet backyard guests. Two decks, separated by the pond, are linked by a stone walkway. The large flat lawn includes an ample gardening plot, raised beds, and a small shed for green thumbs. A small studio offers a secluded workspace or extra room for visitors. It’s at once an energizing getaway and a place to pursue outdoor hobbies.

Call or text Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top individual broker in Washington, to get a private tour of this breathtaking Washougal home. She is specially qualified to help you craft an unbeatable offer and relocate to the luxury home of your dreams. Call (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net, or visit usa-relocate.com.

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

POSTED ON: April 25, 2017 11:59 pm BY:

The cure for cabin fever? Prepping your home & yard for warm-weather living

Spring is finally here in the Pacific Northwest, and another glorious summer is around the corner. Prepare your outdoor spaces, guests accommodations, and indoor details for the sunny days and relaxing evenings ahead.

Lawns & landscaping

Late spring is a great time to address trouble spots in your lawn. Sow new see and apply any necessary herbicides or fertilizers. Aerating compacted soil will also encourage growth and prevent weeds from taking root. Once grass is 2-3 inches tall, break out the mower (and sharpen the blade, too).

Put down new mulch or ground cover to bare spots in your landscaping. Clear dead foliage and branches and trim trees. Check your homeowners association’s CC&Rs for clearance requirements regarding trees that line the sidewalk outside your home.

Patios & decks

Over the winter, moisture accumulates and moss may cling to decks and patios. Sweep away debris and use a wet mop or broom to scrub dirt and stains. Because powerwashing may erode wooden beams or grout between patio stones, consult with (or hire) a professional. Once your deck or patio is clean and dry, apply stain or sealant as needed so it looks its best before the first barbecue.

Get your outdoor furniture in good condition, too. Take it out of storage and update faded cushions and outdoor rugs. Envision what you and your family do outside (i.e. dine, relax, entertain, garden), then arrange furniture into inviting, functional spaces.


We depend on our grills during the summer. Scrape grates clean and repair broken burners or gas lines. If you have an outdoor kitchen and storage, restock supplies, seasonings, and other necessities. Treat yourself to some sturdy grill tools, too, and some cheerful, durable outdoor dishes. When the first cookout of the season strikes, you’ll be ready.

Fire pits

Spending a warm evening around the fire pit is practically a rite of summer. Check the gas line (or firewood supply for wood-burning pits). If guests or your older children will be operating it, consider having written or typed instructions on hand for them. Prepare furniture surrounding the fire with comfortable cushions and cozy blankets — and don’t forget fireside snacks.


Your pool will be the first stop when temperatures really start to rise. Don’t wait until late summer to schedule maintenance service or address it yourself. Before opening your pool, clear debris or standing water from the cover. Top off the water level and ensure the pump, hoses, and filters are clean and in working order before turning it on. Have the water professionally tested to analyze pH, alkalinity, chlorine, and calcium hardness. Adjust your pool’s chemical level throughout the season so swimmers stay safe, water remains clean, and equipment functions properly. Add some towels and lounge chairs, and you’ll have the hottest summer hangout in your own backyard.


Warm weather affects how we live inside, as well. Spring cleaning always makes homes feel refreshed; declutter, dust ceiling fan blades, and clean windows and screens to let sunlight stream through. Add pops of color with freshly cut flowers or potted plants throughout your home. Swapping heavy, dull textiles for light, bright seasonal accessories can make furniture feel brand new.

Warm weather almost always means visits from out-of-town friends and family, so spruce up guest spaces, too. Clear out closets and drawers. Replace linens with new or freshly washed sheets and towels. Restock extra toiletries, too, so your visitors will have everything they need when they come to stay.


Terrie Cox is among RE/MAX’s top 10 individual brokers in the United States, as well as a skilled stager and designer for Home Concepts in Vancouver, WA. She enjoys spending summer days on her deck overlooking the Columbia River. For more advice on how to prepare your home for warm weather, call or text her directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: March 31, 2017 10:09 pm BY:

Skip the open house: Focus on fantastic staging & photos

Many sellers think an open house is a surefire strategy for getting offers and quickly selling their home. While they can’t hurt, open houses are less about homeowners and more about the real estate agents representing them.

“My take on open houses is they’re really for the benefit of the agent,” says Terrie Cox, RE/MAX’s top individual broker in Washington and top-10 in the country. “On my site, you’re open every day.”

Terrie focuses on staging her listings and taking sensational photos. She then markets them extensively online and in print. Buyers could come from down the street or anywhere in the world, so she plans for local, national, and global exposure. High-visibility placement on mainstream real estate sites, luxury property publications, social media, and other channels ensures all corners of the market are covered.

Shoppers are proactive and selective about homes they want to tour. They peruse listing sites, check out a home’s photos and details, then contact their agents for a tour. Terrie encourages sellers to hire a professional stager and photographer to make their home shine. These tactics entice high-end buyers to tour and submit offers, decreasing the days listings spend on the market.

Trust an exceptional marketer who goes beyond basic. Terrie treats every day like an open house for her clients. She diligently markets their homes and helps them negotiate the offers they attract. To talk with her about how to can get wide visibility for your property, call or text her directly at (360) 607-4100 or email terrie@terriecox.net.

POSTED ON: March 31, 2017 6:00 pm BY:

Pristine views, schools, and details make Washougal home a tremendous triple threat

Homeshoppers with an eye for detail and elegance will be inspired by this Washougal property, featured in Southwest Washington’s 2005 Parade of Homes. Its 3,500 square feet are adorned with gleaming wood floors, stately columns, crown molding, plantation shutters, and extensive custom woodwork. Located near the outstanding Camas school districts, this is an ideal listing for families relocating or upgrading to a new home.

The property exudes sophistication with its meticulous landscaping, fountain, and unique brick-and-shingle exterior. Anchored by a central staircase with intricate ironwork, the open concept layout creates continuous flow between living and entertaining spaces. The intimate formal sitting and dining room at the front of the home lead seamlessly to the spectacular great room, kitchen, and dedicated study.

The great room is this home’s show stopper. Its dramatic two-story arched windows and towering tray ceilings give way to views of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. Impressive built-in storage flanks one of the three gas fireplaces in the home. Linking the great room, formal spaces, and deck outside, the kitchen’s high-end cabinetry and gourmet appliances leave nothing to be desired.

The upstairs landing leads to the master suite, as well as three additional spacious bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and laundry room. The master bedroom — with its vaulted ceiling and fireplace — is a relaxing sanctuary. The attached spa-like bathroom includes a soaking tub, Travertine tile floors, glass shower, and massive double vanity. Magnificent views from the private deck round out the mellow, relaxing tone of this space.

In the backyard, homeowners and their guests can enjoy the views and weather on the large Trex deck or the gazebo covering a stamped concrete patio. A play structure and dog run provide active spaces for every member of the family.

Terrie Cox is RE/MAX’s top individual broker in Washington and Pacific Northwest. She specializes in Portland and southwest Washington’s luxury markets and is skilled at helping clients find and purchase their dream homes. To schedule your private viewing of this thoughtfully built Washougal property, call or text Terrie directly at (360) 607-4100, email terrie@terriecox.net, or visit www.usa-relocate.com.

See photos, a video tour and more details with this home’s full listing.

POSTED ON: March 30, 2017 11:35 pm BY: