Luxury Clark County homes open to tours Sunday

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter



If you go

What: Doorways to Luxury is a self-guided tour of about 37 high-end houses in Southwest Washington priced between $450,000 and $2.5 million.

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Throughout Clark County.

Cost: Free.


Whether your dreams of winning the lottery finally came true or your efforts to invest and save are finally paying off, a Vancouver real estate group has a few homes to show you.

This Sunday’s annual, self-guided Doorway to Luxury tour will showcase about 37 high-end homes in Clark County from noon to 5 p.m. Priced from $450,000 to $2.5 million, the homes illustrate Southwest Washington’s wide range of high-end dwellings, from condominiums to country estates to houses overlooking the Columbia River.

“Our first criteria is the home has to be in a unique setting,” said Linda Horowitz, a broker with Vancouver-based Windermere Real Estate/Stellar Group, and co-chair of Greater Vancouver Luxury Homes, a group of about 60 local real estate agents who specialize in the high-end market.

The luxury market is seeing more activity this year, capturing the interest of out-of-state retirees seeking Washington’s income-tax-free shelter and executives accepting company relocations to Clark County.

“They usually give the (relocation) packages out between March and May,” said Lori Benson, a broker with ReMax Equity Group.

It has made for a busier spring home-selling season, said Benson, who specializes in listing upscale properties. The luxury tour this year will include six houses she is marketing, including a $1.4 million listing with an unobstructed Columbia riverfront view. She does not expect the 4,500-square-foot home to sit long on the market. The house includes a second-floor master suite, a large kitchen with double islands, two fireplaces and banks of picture-window glass overlooking the water.

“It’s got views of downtown Portland, Mt. Hood and the airport,” Benson said.

Picturesque views and private settings are among the biggest features that set a high-end property apart from the pack of houses for sale, according to Horowitz, who said the upscale portion of the housing market has seen steady improvement this year.

“The last couple of years were very slow,” she said. “Now we’re getting some sales and we are excited to see the market is starting to turn.”