Vancouver named sixth-best city for retirees

Vancouver named sixth-best city for retirees
City earns high marks for arts, outdoors, weather

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian Arts & Features Reporter
Published: October 30, 2017,
The famed Silver Tsunami that’s sweeping the nation appears to be headed right here.
Vancouver has been named the nation’s sixth-best city in which to retire by Livability.com. That’s a research-and-marketing firm that generates ratings for small-to-mid-sized American cities after evaluating everything from walkability to crime rates to climate to the cost of living.
Vancouver has been celebrated by Livability.com before. In 2013 we squeaked into the overall list of top 100 places to live, ranking 96th; we’ve also placed tenth for “staycations” thanks to our great scenery and historic sites; and, our downtown library was named the No. 2 library for children.
Now, Livability has ranked us No. 6 on its 2017 list of best places to retire. We got props for “an educated population, a progressive arts-and-culture scene, and a wide array of outdoor recreational opportunities.” We also got a thumbs-up for “sharing Portland’s perpetually cool weather,” although opinions vary about the desirability of that.
In fact, the word “Portland” appears three times in Livability’s press release about Vancouver. We certainly do share the climate and some of the cool culture — in related news, Portland was just named fifth-coolest city in American by Forbes — but Livability also claims that the population of Portland “tilts heavily toward younger residents” while nearly 15 percent of Vancouver’s population is age 65 or older.
The truth is, there’s little spread there. According to the latest census figures, 13.6 percent of Vancouver’s population and 11.2 percent of Portland’s population is 65 or older; and, a whopping 23 percent of Vancouver’s population is 18 or younger, while in Portland it’s just 18 percent.But hey, who’s quibbling? While our housing costs are high, Livability says, it’s still more affordable to live up here than down there. And, of course, we’ve got no state income tax.

Greenery and history

What we do have, Livability says, is: natural beauty and a passionate sense of responsibility for it, resulting in lots of green volunteerism; a revitalized and growing downtown, complete with a designated arts district that has managed to steal away “some of the artist and music community that used to call Portland home”; a historic, independent movie palace, the Kiggins Theatre; and, vital senior-citizen services and opportunities through the city’s Fifty and Better program and its Luepke Senior Center.
Livability even notes that the annual Clark County Fair, named one of the nation’s Ten Best Summer Fairs, is just a hop up the freeway from Vancouver. Thanks to Ridgefield for the assist.
Health is key for retirees. Livability gives all of Clark County (not just Vancouver) high scores for not smoking, staying physically active, managing pounds and purchasing health insurance. (But it doesn’t say anything about access to health care.)
All of which underscores just how “diverse and dynamic” today’s retirees are, Livability managing editor Winona Dimeo-Ediger said. “Retirement looks very different in 2017 than it has in the past,” she said.
Just ask Susan Sanders, who grew up in Vancouver, went away for decades to pursue a career in social work administration, and then retired back here– to west Vancouver — in 2008.
Asked what she likes best about Vancouver, Sanders first listed nearby escapes: the coast, the mountains, the Columbia River Gorge, Portland International Airport. That’s no ding on the Couv, she insisted: “When you’re retired, you have more leisure time to travel. Locationwise, Vancouver is so cool.”
There’s also so much to love right here, she added: “I love the historic feel. The history that weaves all around the place is really very special. I think it’s underappreciated.”
But underappreciation beats overpopulation, according to some. When Vancouver mayoral candidate Anne McEnerny-Ogle spread the Livability news online, her friend Cathy Golik responded: “We have been working very hard to convince people the weather is too rainy, the hipsters too hip, and the volcano too unpredictable to move here.”
Copper Creek Custom Homes has recently completed several ADA homes featuring: wider doors, no step entry and no step showers along with many other custom features to assist with home buyers retiring to this area. Copper Creek Homes continues to exceed clients expectations and builds all over Clark County.

Michael Shanaberger
Director of Sales and Marketing
Direct 360-216-6382
info@coppercreekhome.com
www.coppercreekhome.com

This Year’s Four Hottest Kitchen Trends

Paul Dyer
Open and dynamic kitchens that seamlessly blend with the rest of the home are at the top of home owners’ wish lists for 2016, according to the latest Zillow Digs Home Trend forecast, released today.The analysis of popular photos on the real estate listing website and opinions of interior design experts revealed tuxedo or two-toned painted cabinets in complementary colors, hidden appliances, mixed hardware finishes, and wood paneling, like shiplap, are the biggest kitchen trends for 2016.Home owners are starting to take bigger risks in kitchen design. The first trend to go? Matching cabinetry and hardware finishes. Owners now have their sights set on tuxedo cabinets, or two-toned painted cabinets where the top and bottom doors are painted in complimentary colors (such as navy blue and soft gray). Homeowners are also opting to mix hardware finishes for a more eclectic look in the kitchen. Mixed and matched beautiful hardware accents “look like jewelry for the kitchen,” said design expert, Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors in a news release.
Hidden appliances are also on the rise. Stainless steel is still popular, but for a less industrial and more streamlined look owners will choose to hide microwaves and refrigerators behind cabinet finishes. Wood paneling will also be in style as the popularity of the farmhouse kitchen style grows.
As quickly as these trends have picked up, three other design aesthetics have gone out of style. Homeowners will be trading in their speckled granite, short cabinets, and dark wood and paint colors for the styles above. Granite can stain and be hard to keep up with, and the speckled look is no longer popular. Instead, quartz, marble and even butcher block are rising in popularity. Tall cabinetry also gives kitchens the illusion of being bigger and brighter, so homeowners will replace shorter top row cabinets with ones that are flush with the ceiling and will choose light and bright paint colors over dark finishes to expand the open feel.

Portlands housing streak continues to be fastest growth in the US.

The streak continued in April: Yet again, home values in the Portland region grew faster than in any of the other 20 major metro areas measured by the monthly Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday.
It was the seventh straight month Portland topped the list.
Local home values posted a 12.3 percent year-over-year increase in April, the highest gains among the 20 cities by a fairly wide margin. Seattle’s 10.7 percent increase over the same period represented the only other double-digit increase.
Homes across the country, meanwhile, saw an annual increase in value of 5 percent in April, down from 5.1 percent in March, the report found.
“The home price increases reflect the low unemployment rate, low mortgage interest rates and consumers’ generally positive outlook,” said David M. Blitzer, the chairman of the index committee, in a statement. “One result is that an increasing number of cities have surpassed the high prices seen before the Great Recession. Currently, seven cities – Denver; Dallas; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Seattle; Charlotte; and Boston – are setting new highs.”
Prices in Portland have been pushed upward, in part, by extremely low inventory. The most recent report from the Regional Multiple Listing Services found that inventory in the area totaled 1.4 months in May. The figure estimates how long it would take for all current homes on the market to sell at the current pace. Six months indicates a balanced market.
What’s more, a new report last week from Zillow found that Portland saw the nation’s largest decrease in the inventory of bottom-tier homes among the 35 largest metro areas. The Portland market lost 37.6 percent of its inventory of middle-tier homes (homes worth between $279,200 and $420,900) and 39.3 percent of its bottom-tier homes (homes worth less than $279,200) – not good news for first-time homebuyers.
Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, said in an email that there is “a growing divide between the top and bottom of the market that the Case-Shiller numbers don’t reveal.”
“Home values for the least-expensive homes are growing twice as quickly as they are for the most-expensive homes, and the gap is widening,” Gudell said. “Given last week’s Brexit news and the ensuing market reaction, it doesn’t look like interest rates are going to rise meaningfully any time soon, which means it will remain cheap to finance a home for those that can afford one.

2016’s Most Eco-Friendly States

In honor of Earth Day, WalletHub determined the greenest states in the nation, looking at everything from air and water quality to energy consumption.

In some states, green behaviors aren’t just practiced on Earth Day–some states focus on constructing LEED-certified buildings and keeping their air and water quality high year round.
Conserving resources has become a priority of many builders, as climate change, droughts, and fuel prices affect both the environment and economic conditions of some major home building markets. Texas was plagued by plummeting oil prices and the state of California found itself facing a hardship regarding how to conserve water as things dried up in an historic drought. Builders responded to the environmental challenges with drought-busting homes, like these four here, and ways to apply energy-saving techniques and products to home building.
Some states have been more successful than others when it comes to conserving the environment. WalletHub, a personal finance site, ranked all 50 states based on 17 key factors to find which states in the nation are the most “green” and committed to the environment. The site examined metrics such as air, water, and soil quality, number of LEED-certified buildings per capita, energy consumption and its percentage that comes from renewable sources, gasoline consumption, and percentage of waste including trash and recycling.
Overall, Vermont was considered the most green state for its high air quality and minimal solid waste per capita. Washington, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Minnesota followed Vermont as the top five most green states. Wyoming was the least green state, followed by North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, and Nebraska in spots 46-49.
Washington and Minnesota had some of the highest water and soil quality among states in the country, compared to states like Arizona and New Mexico which fell in the last two spots for soil quality with soil that was 25 times worse than that of the best state, Michigan. Meanwhile, Hawaii and New York ranked poorly for water quality (click here to see BUILDER’s map of the best and worst regions for water conservation).
However, Hawaii redeemed itself when it came to construction—the state has the second highest number of LEED-certified buildings per capita behind New Mexico, while Nebraska and Iowa were the two states with the least.
Maine, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Montana have the highest percentage of energy consumption that comes from renewable energy sources, with Maine’s share being 17 times higher than the state of Delaware’s, which has the lowest percentage of energy consumption from renewable energy sources in the country. Rhode Island and New York are the two states with the lowest energy consumption per capita, compared to Wyoming and North Dakota, the two least green states over all, which use the most energy in the country.
Maine took the number one spot again for having the highest percentage of recycled municipal waste, which is 48 times more than that of Louisiana, which held the bottom seat in the ranking.
Some of these practices are more or less important depending on which environmental factors some into play in different areas of the country. Mary F. Evans, an environmental economics professor at Claremont McKenna College, says, “It’s difficult to prioritize the various actions people can take to contribute to environmental quality as the benefits (and costs) of actions are likely to vary across individuals and geographic locations. For example, someone in Los Angeles who installs solar panels on her home and lowers her water consumption will have a different impact than another person who takes the same actions but who lives in Chicago.”
Nancy Engelhardt Furlow. professor of marketing at Marymount University, agrees that location of markets plays the most essential role in determining where environmental efforts should be focused. “For example, in California, lowering water consumption is a high priority, but in states near the Chesapeake Bay, responsible use of pesticides and fertilizers is a high priority. Solar panels may be a great option in the West but not as popular in other areas. The activity may differ depending on the location, but environmental education is essential. The challenges for each location are different, and unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.”
How did your state rank for environmental friendliness? Click on WalletHub’s interactive map below to see the overall “green rank” for each state in the nation:

Gains

March home prices at post-crash high as home sellers in March on average sold for $30,500 more than they paid, a 17% average gain.

Copper Creek Homes is located in the Portland Metro Area, specifically Vancouver WA.
RealtyTrac, the Irvine Calif. purveyor of housing data, said Wednesday that its March and Q1 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report shows that U.S. home sellers in March on average sold for $30,500 more than they paid, a 17% average gain — the highest average price gain for home sellers in any month since December 2007 at the onset of the Great Recession.
According to the report, among 125 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 300 sales in March, sellers netted the biggest average gains in San Francisco (72% average gain); San Jose, California (60%); Boulder, Colorado (53%); Prescott, Arizona (51%); and Los Angeles (48%). Rounding out the top 13 were Denver (42%); Portland (40%); Austin (40%); Seattle (38%); Baltimore (38%); Riverside-San Bernardino, California (37%);San Diego (36%); and Sacramento (35%).
The median sales price of single family homes and condos in March was $210,000, up 9% from the previous month and up 11% from a year earlier. March was the 49th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in the U.S. median home price, which is still 8% below its previous peak of $228,000 in July 2005.
Among metro areas analyzed in the report, 36% have reached new all-time home price peaks since January 2015, including seven markets that reached new price peaks in March 2016: Boulder, Colorado; Denver; Portland; Fort Collins, Colorado; Austin, Texas; Greeley, Colorado; and Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Home sellers in many markets are now seeing average price gains close to or above what home sellers experienced during the last housing boom,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac senior vp. “That should encourage more homeowners to take advantage of the prime seller’s market and list their homes for sale this year.”
He noted that banks are taking advantage of the market, causing an uptick in the distressed sales share over the last two quarters.
“Given that bank-owned homes are selling at a median price that is 40% below the overall median sales price nationwide, the uptick in distressed sales combined with affordability constraints are contributing to faltering home price appreciation in some markets — most notably the bellwether markets of Washington, D.C. and San Francisco” Blomquist added.
Still, there were laggards. In 19 markets (15%) sellers in March on average sold for less than what they purchased for, led by Rockford, Illinois (11% average loss compared to purchase price); Winston-Salem (10% loss); Cleveland (8% loss); Columbia, South Carolina (7% loss); and Wilmington, North Carolina (5% loss). The rest of the bottom 11 markets with average seller losses in March included Memphis (4% loss); Milwaukee(4% loss); Chicago (3% loss); Cincinnati (3% loss); Birmingham, Alabama (2% loss); and Flint, Michigan (1% loss).
The RealtyTrac Home Sales report is based on publicly recorded sales deeds collected and licensed by RealtyTrac in more than 900 counties nationwide accounting for more than 80 percent of the U.S. population.

Custom Homes one-of-a-kind upscale creation by Copper Creek Homes

It’s spring 2016 and with New Home building in full production it is exciting to see some new creations on the horizon. Each Copper Creek Homes stand out from the crowd. They are one-of-a-kind, upscale creations that come with luxury upgrades and unique architectural design.In addition to flexibility in home design and architecture, our buyers typically choose their ideal location and environment. As a result, custom home design often incorporates elements of the local landscape, whether that is a view of the Columbia river, Mt Hood, the Washougal River, or the distinct colors and plants of a specific landscape.

Differences between Copper Creek Custom Homes & Production Homes

While production builders build communities by restricting design to a group of preselected home types on lots they have picked and purchased themselves. Copper Creek Homes tends to build on land owned by the customer and start fresh with each design. We allow minor changes during construction such as larger windows or even movement of interior walls to obtain the best views.
Production builders typically construct a large number of homes throughout the year; these may offer a variety of options, but production builders generally do not use construction plans other than the ones selected by the building firm. Custom builders spend more time on each project and often work on fewer than 15 homes a year.
This 2016 Copper Creek Homes will build approximately 15 New Homes from 1 level ADA homes to daylight basement homes on the Orchard Hills Golf Course, a few 2 story custom homes and even a 7600 Multi-Generational Home in Hockinson WA on 5 Acres starting late Spring 2016.

www.coppercreekhome.com

Don’t Be Afraid of Smart Home Technology

The smart-home technology craze began years ago in some parts of the country, but in many other areas, it’s only just begun.

If you’re just entering this market, or have yet to do so because you think you don’t have the know-how, fear not – you don’t need to be a technology specialist.

Product developers are constantly churning out new gizmos, like the thousands that were displayed at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. But only a small number are actually embraced by the general public.

Get a feel for what you could use in your  new Copper Creek Home.

During an education session at this year’s International Builders’ Show, Greg Haupert, the executive director of Business Networking International and a home-technology integration specialist, listed several smart-home trends that have truly started to take root, including:

  • Contemporary comfort with automated thermostats, lighting and security systems that quickly learn the owner’s preferences and can be controlled and monitored from anywhere in the world.
  • High-tech appliances like refrigerators with internal cameras that allow the owner to remotely check its contents, and an automated compressor that adjusts its speed according to how much food is inside. Smart TVs – not simply those that run apps like Netflix and Hulu, but rather, TVs that are integrated to create a smart-home hub through which many, if not all of the home’s smart features can be controlled.

Team up with an expert Like Global Security located in Vancouver WA

Once you know what your needs are , but don’t feel confident enough to make the purchase and install these features contact an expert like Global Security. It’s okay to admit you don’t have all the technology answers as you begin to build your custom home with Copper Creek Homes. “Having a smart-home technology expert that you can rely on and consult with on your new Copper Creek Home will help you choose the necessary smart home and security features.

Plan ahead

Before you get past framing in your new Copper Creek Home it’s important to plan for your smart home. Custom smart-home technology is best integrated when planned for well in advance. Pre-wiring a new home can save the client thousands down the road. When you build a home with Copper Creek Homes we will meet with you once framing is completed and before we sheetrock to discuss what smart home features you want and where exactly you want everything. Partnering with Global Security Copper Creek Homes wants to discover which pieces of technology each of our clients want and how they want to use them in their home. From there, go through the floor plan room by room and ask how you might want to use the technology in each space.

Currently Copper Creek Homes offers the below features as standard and at no cost  to our clients.

3-TV RG6 and Cat 6

1 Data Phone or Internet

14″ Connection Center

Cable Plates and Inserts

Keyless Door Smartlock

Permit

All Connections to service entry

1 Door Sensor

1 Motion Sensor

1 Key Pad

1 Thermostat

1 Smart Home Module

14″ Concord Security Panel(ALL WIRING IN 1 PLACE)

3 Months FREE trial of Alarm.com

5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a new home can be exciting, empowering, thrilling and even a bit scary. Doing your research on new homes and understanding your financial situation can help you buy a home that will suit the needs of you and your family. Here are five tips for first-time homebuyers.
1. Know Your Credit History
Before you begin looking for a new home, take time to review your credit history andcredit report. Make sure all of the information listed on your credit report is fully updated and accurate. If there are any errors, dispute them so they can be removed. Ultimately, your credit history and credit score play an important role in the mortgage amount and interest rate that you will qualify for.
2. Know the Mortgage Amount You Qualify For
There’s no point in falling in love with a home you can’t afford. Working with lending professionals can empower you during the home-buying process. By meeting with a lender to get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage, you’ll know your budget for a new home and can begin shopping in the appropriate price range. If the houses in your price range don’t meet your standards, take a little more time to save a larger down payment or improve your credit.
3. Save Up for Your Down Payment
When saving to buy a home, plan to have 20% of the home’s value ready for a down payment. Having your payment ready lowers your overall mortgage costs and makes you a more attractive buyer in a situation with competing bids. If you can’t afford 20%, your mortgage loan officer can provide you with more information about other options available. Also, ask your lender to help you estimate the other fees associated with the closing process, commonly called closing costs. These fees will include legal, property tax, survey, title insurance and recording and underwriting fees. Some of these closing costs can be financed as part of your mortgage, but others will need to be paid up front.
4. Evaluate Any Outstanding Debts You May Have
If you have significant outstanding debts, such as student loans, know that this could impact the total mortgage amount that a lender offers to you. You may want to pay down significant outstanding debts and liabilities that you have listed on your credit report. Taking care of these debts beforehand can put you in a better position to qualify for a new mortgage.
5. Figure Out the Home That You Can Afford
Your lending professional has tools and calculators to determine how much home you can afford, but ultimately the answer is up to you. In addition to your mortgage payment, consider other costs associated with your new home, including monthly utility bills, landscaping costs, community association fees and property taxes. Also, take into account the sort of lifestyle you lead: Do you need to take a vacation every summer? Are you planning to start a family or go back to college? Consider your unique situation, and choose the home that is right for you.
Visit usbank.com for more information for first time home buyers.