New listing with a huge lot!

8001 Northeast 101st Avenue, Vancouver, WA

$ Click for current price

Charming one level ranch home, 1300 sq/feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, open kitchen, dining & living room + bonus room in finished garage. Updated with vinyl windows, ductless heating & AC, interior paint. This home is set on a large fenced lot with a backyard patio.

Presented By:

Heidi Gowing & Michelle Marlahan

Real Estate Brokers
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Licensed In: WA
License #: 96471

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2017 Housing Market Prediction

Chief economists from sites such as;, Zillow, Trulia and respected university settings have this to say about the factors that will influence the housing market:

Mortgage rates

The days of 3.5% rates are over. We will likely see volatility in mortgage rates over the next two to four months as Trump gets started in office. The Federal Reserve increased the rate in December and is expected to do more hikes this year. The experts wouldn’t be surprised if the rates hit 4.75%, which is still very good. Hopefully, buyers will recognize this and not be hesitant to buy based on rising rates.   It is also believed that if income growth picks up, then the rise in interest rates will affect refinancing, but not home buying to a great extent.


Experts believe housing inventory, which has been very low for the last couple of years, especially in our area, will continue to be an issue.   There is a great potential for a large number of first-time buyers to enter the market, which will also affect levels. In addition, there is a very good chance that the higher income market will see a surge in inventory and activity because of the expected tax cuts at that level.   The fact that current home owners are staying in their homes more now than in the past, will have an effect on supply levels. Some baby boomers are willing to take less risk than in the past so they are remodeling their homes to be able to age in place.


Due to low levels of inventory, prices have risen, which has really affected the mid to lower-tier markets. This is especially true with new home construction. The lack of new homes under $300,000 is putting even more demand on the resale home supply in the $225,000-$275,000 range.   The rise in interest rates will most likely effect this group of buyers, since many of them are stretching their budget just to get into a home now, any increase will have some baring on affordability and thus inventory levels.


Home appreciation will slow overall to around 3 %, with prices not growing as fast at the median level as it will at the high end market. This is because if the Trump Presidency sees greater inflation or risk, high-end homes are a great hedge against this. There is a tendency to shift the wealth away from equity markets into high-end homes for this subset.

We hope this has provided meaningful information for this year’s housing market. Please let us know if you have specific questions about the market you would like to discuss.

Here is to a prosperous and healthy 2017!

Michelle & Heidi

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Just Listed Like New Downtown Vancouver Bungalow!

3215 F Street, Vancouver, WA

$ Click for current price

Downtown fully remodeled bungalow is so welcoming and stylish you will never want to leave! Top of the line everything from the Thermador appliances and custom cabinets to the copper plumbing- all the work has been done for you. Contact us for the full list of renovations.  Now all you have to do is move in- you will have plenty of time to walk to Main street for your morning coffee or for a nice dinner!

Presented By:

Michelle Marlahan & Heidi Gowing

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Licensed In: WA
License #: 96471

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Open House in Grand Ridge

OPEN HOUSE, May 22, Sunday 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
942 Northwest Grand Ridge Drive, Camas, WA
Get Directions Click Here
Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
$ Click for current price
4 BATHROOMS (4 full)
3973 Square Feet
Mediterranean inspired home rich in architectural details; textured cream colored walls, luxurious wood trim and built-ins, gourmet chef’s kitchen with top of the line appliances and a grand iron stair case. No expense has been spared with the finish work.  Most rooms have extensive wood trim and built-ins along with granite, travertine and marble surfaces.  The floor plan is perfect for entertaining with an open concept design & access to an expansive deck with river and city views. The backyard is the perfect combination of lush greenery, floral color and an impressive fountain ready to enjoy after a long day at work or with that first cup of coffee.  The mother in-law suite is on the ground level, which makes for easy and safe access.  There is room for a kitchen just off the suite area making it a true seperate and private living space.  This hard to find enormous garage is 1262 sq ft, which is enough room for multiple cars and toys! If you are looking for a home that is rich with architectural details along with spacious gathering and living areas, this is the one!
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Michelle Marlahan & Heidi Gowing


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How to Keep Yourself Sane During a Remodel

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Real Estate Market Summary

Real News in Real Estate by the Bella Casa Team

The market had a strong finish in 2015 with pending sales up 21%, closed sales up 19% and appreciation increased 8.5% for all markets in Clark County. For specific areas and price ranges, please contact us because this varies across the board.

* The 25 Strongest and Weakest Housing Markets for 2016. A new report from Veros Real Estate Solutions, a provider of enterprise risk management, collateral valuation services and predictive analytics, show the vitality and expected market changes of the U.S. residential market for 2016. In all the top forecast markets, Veros’ report shows an appreciation in the 10% range, especially in the Pacific Northwest, such as California, Washington and Oregon. “Portland, Seattle and Bend are numbers 1, 2 and 4 in the nation, respectively. Oregon, Washington and North Carolina showed the biggest gains in one-year forecast levels from last quarter’s update,” said Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling at Veros.

* Mortgage Applications Rise Three Weeks Straight. For the third week in a row, mortgage application increased, rising 8.8% from one week earlier, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly mortgage applications survey for the week ending January 22, 2016. The refinance index increased 11% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted index increased 5% from one week earlier. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) reached its lowest level since October 2015, dropping to 4.02%, from 4.06%. Also falling, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 3.89% from 3.93%.

* Mortgage Rates in Line With 8-Month Lows. Mortgage rates were at 3-month lows on Thursday and on Friday had moved in line with 8-month lows. For most lenders, there was a day or 2 in October that was just slightly better than today, but the differences are negligible. Before that, you’d have to go back to April to find anything remotely as good. At these levels, some of the most aggressive lenders are quoting 3.625% conventional 30yr fixed rates on top tier scenarios. Global financial markets came into the new year in distress. Major stock indices are plummeted around the world, and investors sought shelter in the bond market. When investor demand for bonds increases, rates fall. So we’re left with much lower mortgage rates despite the Fed having just begun its hiking cycle. This paradoxical trend can continue as long as global market turmoil fuels a demand for safer haven investments.


Michelle & Heidi

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Common Household Hazardous Waste and What to do with Them

Common Household Hazardous Waste and What to do With ThemWe want to believe our homes are as safe as they can be, and for the most part they are. But there are items we use every day that are in fact hazardous. Knowing what products are hazardous, and the proper ways of disposing household hazardous waste, is not only good for the environment, but it will help you feel even safer in your home.


We all use batteries in our homes, and most of those will be the regular alkaline batteries purchased at the grocery or hardware store. These batteries can be thrown away in the garbage once used, but it is suggested that if you have the ability to recycle them you do so. But should you have different batteries in your home, like rechargeable batteries, automotive batteries, or lithium, lithium ion or zinc air, these should definitely be recycled through a proper facility as the contents inside the batteries are toxic and harmful to humans, animals and the environment.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Touted as a great way to save energy, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) became popular in the mid-2000s and they continue to be a top choice for American households. But while these bulbs provide energy and money saving opportunities for homeowners, they do contain mercury, which is known to be a potent developmental neurotoxin. Because of the mercury in the bulbs, it’s best to not put them in the garbage, as they can end up in landfills (or end up outside landfills) and contaminate the environment. Recycle CFLs at your local hardware store (the larger retailers have places to put used bulbs) or contact your local jurisdiction to find out the best way of recycling your used CFLs. Should a CFL break in your home, wear gloves to pick it up, and contact your local hazardous waste disposal company to ask for information on disposing of the broken bulb.


Many household cleaners are considered corrosives, which means they can cause skin damage or corrode metal. Because of this, there should be caution when using them and when they are discarded. Yes, some corrosives are used in drains, but that doesn’t mean you should pour corrosives down the drain to get rid of them. If you need to dispose of corrosives, it’s best to bring them to a place that will dispose of household hazardous waste for you, and be sure to wear gloves and protective eye wear whenever handling corrosives.

Pesticides and Herbicides

If you have a yard, it’s likely you’ve used a pesticide or herbicide before. While these chemicals can come in handy when battling weeds or common yard pests (bugs and other insects), they are generally very toxic to humans and animals (especially pets!). When handling pesticides and herbicides, make sure you protect your eyes, face, arms and hands with gloves and a mask or goggles, and should you need to dispose of these chemicals it is best to bring them to a hazardous waste drop-off site. Whatever you do, don’t put these items in the garbage or dump them into a drain or onto the street.

Electronic Waste

We don’t often think of old electronics as waste, but that old computer or outdated television that’s been sitting in your garage for a few years is definitely waste. Electronic waste (also known as e-waste) can come in many forms: cell phones, computers, televisions, VHS and DVD players, and anything else that is an electronic. While we may be inclined to just throw these items into the garbage can, many of these items contain hazardous materials within them, like lead or mercury, and they require special recycling. Should the materials in them get into the ground or find their way into a water system, it would be detrimental to the local environment. You can do a general Internet search to find companies that are more than willing to take any old electronics you might have in your home.


Aerosol cans come in many shapes and sizes, and whether they contain oil for greasing baking pans or WD-40, cans that are full or partially full have the ability to explode if punctured or exposed to heat. Empty aerosol cans can be put in the garbage, as long as they are indeed empty of contents, but if they are not, it’s best to take cans to a household hazardous waste drop-off point, especially if they contain chemicals or anything flammable in them.

Automotive Products

If you have a garage and a car, it’s likely you might have some automotive products; you might even have some if you have yard equipment like a lawn mower or a blower. Automotive products (fuel, oil and other fluids) can be highly flammable, and all of them are not safe to dispose of in a garbage can or in an outdoor drain. Because of their designations as hazardous materials, these fluids should be taken to a hazardous waste facility when being disposed of to ensure that they’re being properly taken care of.


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Fed raises interest rates by .25%

I am sure by now you have heard that the Federal Reserve has raised the interest rate by .25%.  This is the first increase since June of 2006 and is their first move since the financial crisis.  This move shows that the Fed has confidence in the economy and that it will have a positive effect on the economy as a whole.

How will this effect the housing industry?   This most likely will have a negative impact on the mortgage side with people who have an adjustable rate mortgage and equity lines of credit.  It should however, move many people off the fence who have been considering buying a home, which is good news for both sellers and the housing industry as a whole.

Experts say this will be a slow change and not have an immediate impact.  They also expect several more rate hikes in 2016, which will be very gradual so as not to harm the industry or the economy.

A quarter of a percentage point increase in rates adds about $43.00 a month with a $300,000 mortgage and a rate of 3.75%.  Hopefully this puts it into perspective regarding the increase.  This is a good time to check with your lender about the amount of increase and how this effects your loan payments.  Its always smart to discuss these details with your lender and any fluctuations in rates so you know exactly what you will be paying monthly.  We have great lenders that we would be happy to refer to you if you have any questions.

Here is a link for more information on the Federal Reserve:

Federal Reserve

Take care

Michelle and Heidi

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This Week in Real Estate

Good Morning!

Home values received significant attention nationally This Week in Real Estate. Many outlets reporting that home values have now eclipsed the peak values reached during the mid-2000 boom. Below are a few of the highlights from the last week in October that influence the real estate market:

Home Values Climb Beyond Last Decade’s Best, Then Keep Going. After 8 years, home values hit new record. U.S. home values rose through the summer months and have now eclipsed the nation’s peak home valuations, set in early 2007. The Home Price Index, which is published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), shows U.S. property values up another 0.3 percent in August, adding to consecutive month win-streak which has now reached 21 months nationwide. Home values are up 5.5% from last year and market fundamentals remain strong. In August 2015, the Home Price Index climbed to 224.9, the highest published reading of all-time, eclipsing last decade’s peak of 224.0 set in April 2007. Full Story…

U.S. Home Values and Rents Defying Global Slowdown. Home values and rental prices are steadily rising, fueled by strong demand and a tight supply of available properties, a pair of reports Tuesday showed. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 5.1 percent in the 12 months that ended in August – a level many economists view as more sustainable than the sharp double-digit gains at the start of 2014. For now, homes in tech hubs with a high concentration of good-paying jobs appear to be the main beneficiaries of rising prices. S&P reported that San Francisco and Denver both enjoyed a 10.7 percent year-over-year jump in home values, the largest of any city. Portland, Oregon’s annual gain of 9.4 percent was the third-largest. “Prices are rising the fastest in markets where job growth and net migration are the strongest and inventories are the tightest,” said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities. Full Story…

* Housing Recovery to Pick Up Steam in 2016, but Challenges Remain. Steady employment and economic growth, pent-up demand, affordable home prices and attractive mortgage rates will keep the housing market on a gradual upward trend in 2016. However, persistent headwinds related to shortages and availability of lots and labor, along with rising material prices are impeding a more robust recovery. “This recovery is all about jobs,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. The good news, Crowe added, is that total U.S. employment of 142 million is now well above the previous peak of 138 million that occurred in 2008. Meanwhile, home equity has nearly doubled since 2011 and now stands at $12.5 trillion. The NAHB is projecting 719,000 single-family starts in 2015, up 11 percent from 647,000 units produced last year. Single-family production is projected to increase an additional 27 percent in 2016 to 914,000 units. Full Story…

* Revised 2015 Origination Totals Equal Good News For Mortgage Lender. The mortgage market is still showing subtle signs of strength, beating original expectations for the year. For starters, the $253 billion in purchase originations in the second quarter of this year represents the strongest single quarter for industry originations since 3Q07. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) recently forecasted a 7% increase in mortgage originations in 2015, growing to $1.19 trillion, with purchase originations rising 15% to $731 billion in 2015, and refinance originations decreasing 3% to $457 billion. As for next year, during a press conference at its annual meeting in San Diego, the MBA said it expects a 10% increase in purchase mortgage originations next year compared to 2015. Full Story…

If you want to have a conversation about the local market contact us at or 360-907-7707.

Michelle Marlahan & Heidi Gowing

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First Time Home Buyers, Millennials, Ready to Buy?

The year is starting off very positive in the Real Estate industry. On a local level, clark county is seeing healthy growth. Listings are up around 10% and pending sales up 24.4% and closed sales 23.7% compared with 2014! We are working with many buyers who are having a difficult time finding a home because of the low inventory levels. According to this article from Fiscal Times, by Marine Cole, the buyer activity has improved compared with last year:

Agents at the real estate brokerage Redfin report seeing some positive signs. In the first three weeks of January, the RSVPs to the company’s home-buying classes were up 27 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Also, in the week of January 12th, 57 percent of Redfin home tours were taken by potential first-time buyers. That’s up from 31 percent the week before and from 48 percent during the same week in 2104.

Related: The Most Expensive Condo Ever Sold in New York: $100.5 Million

“It’s the highest rate of first-timers touring we’ve seen since the end of 2012,” a Redfin spokesperson said.

Certainly many first-time homebuyers (most of whom are millennials) are in better financial shape than they were a year ago. The job market improved significantly in 2014, with three million new jobs created (700,000 more than the previous year), and employment among those between the ages of 25 and 34 has gone up.

Yet many millennials are still struggling to make ends meet, with large student debt loads hanging over their heads. Flat income growth has also been a problem, as has fierce competition for homes in the entry-level price range. This group is also more likely to remain single longer – which potentially reduces their purchasing power.

Related: Obama’s Housing Programs Still More Hype Than Help

Still, many admit to feeling more financially stable than they did a year ago, a report released Monday by Bankrate said. “Millennials have the highest instance of all age groups of noting improved conditions,” the company noted in a release.

Regulators pushed hard last year to pass measures that make it easier to obtain a mortgage, especially for young first-time buyers. Down payment requirements for first-time buyers were lowered from 5 percent to 3 percent – with the caveat that loans acquired through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require the borrower to take part in an education program. There are additional requirements as well, including having private mortgage insurance.

The White House also said at the beginning of 2015 that it plans to reduce government mortgage insurance premiums to make homeownership more affordable for low-income Americans.

Interest rates, of course, continue to be low. The rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been hovering between 3.58 percent and 3.83 percent, which is near 20-month lows, Zillow Mortgage Rate Ticker reports. Even if the Federal Reserve starts hiking rates later this year, experts say the impact on mortgage rates would be slow and gradual.

Homebuilders are also making first-time buyers a priority: To cater to this group, builders are constructing slightly smaller homes in 2015, helping the affordability issue at least a little for newbie buyers.

Please contact us about any questions regarding the market. We are happy to help! If you are a seller thinking of selling, please go to for a value on your property. We can then provide a detailed, custom report if you are thinking of selling.

Michelle Marlahan
Heidi Gowing

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