Sunday home tour features local abodes with an abundance of upscale amenities

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter



If you go

What: Doorways to Luxury is a self-guided tour of approximately 32 high-end houses in Southwest Washington priced between $600,000 and $2 million.

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Throughout Clark and Cowlitz counties.

Cost: Free.


 Photo Gallery: Doorways to Luxury

Doorways to Luxury is a self-guided tour of approximately 32 high-end houses in Southwest Washington priced between $600,000 and $2 million.

What's the latest in luxurious living? Think spacious floor plans, custom finishes, manicured gardens and picturesque views.

Those trends and others will be on display Sunday at the free Doorways to Luxury home tour, organized by the 55-member Greater Vancouver Luxury Homes Group. More than 32 homes on the tour feature an assortment of upscale amenities, including luxurious master bathrooms, game rooms, wine cellars and the latest in home technology.

The homes, located throughout Southwest Washington from Washougal to Woodland, will be open to the public from noon until 5 p.m. Sunday.

"We're just really excited by what we have available to show everybody this year," said Linda Horowitz, a broker with Vancouver-based Windermere Real Estate/Stellar Group.

Among the tour's star attractions this year are:

• A glass-box condo on the fifth floor of downtown Vancouver's Columbia Bank building overlooking the Interstate 5 Bridge, with views to the east and west.

• Livingston Mountain acreage with a sprawling family home that includes four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a game room and custom outdoor kitchen.

• An immaculate 6,726-square-foot Dutch Colonial-style home on Columbia River waterfront property.

"It's built to maximize the view and positioned right across the river from (Portland International)

Airport," said Steve Studley, a broker marketing the home for Patrick Ginn Real Estate, a Vancouver affiliate of Hasson Co. Realtors.

Listed for $1.99 million, the waterfront home oozes luxury, from its grand staircase and hand-crafted stone fireplace to its custom wood trim, gourmet kitchen and private swimming pool.

"They've gone to great lengths with this home," Studley said, adding that the home has already received several offers.

"It's rather encouraging to see that level of activity in Southwest Washington at the million-dollar price point," he said.

Horowitz agreed that high-end home sales are improving locally, although not as rapidly as home sales at the starter- and mid-priced level. "But it's starting to get some legs on it," she said.

She said factors that continue to slow high-end home sales include economic uncertainty and depressed values, especially among homeowners who have only lived in their houses for a short time.

"But older clients who have been in their houses do have the ability to downsize and move on," she said. "Because they still have equity in the home."