Now on the real estate market, this Warm Beach waterfront home is eco-friendly from top to bottom.
By Evan Thompson | Saturday, May 11, 2019 1:30am
It hit Dave Porter back in 2004 that he was a hypocrite.
After giving a speech to home builders and real estate agents about the importance of green design and building, Porter realized he didn’t practice what he preached.
“We had a decadent car and a house that was too big for our needs,” said Porter, a certified green building speaker who has toured the nation in the name of eco-friendly design. “It was time for a do-over.”
In 2005, Porter and his wife, Anna, sold their too-big house and, in 2007, started rebuilding a 100-year-old beachfront home in Warm Beach. They were determined to make it green from top to bottom — capable of meeting even the strictest green-home guidelines.
Their coastal-inspired, two-story home featuring a lighthouse cupola was named the 2008 Custom Home of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders and was given a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, among other national awards and designations.
Now it’s on the market for $1.45 million.
“It’s not only a fun and beautiful house, but it’s got this incredible background of green building when green building was just getting to be known,” said Linda Evans, the listing real estate agent for the property. “I don’t know of any other house that has this depth.”
Evans, who works for Windermere Real Estate Stanwood and Camano Island, said the 3,147-square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bath home is unique for having carefully chosen materials, such as insulation made from recycled blue jeans, formaldehyde-free doors and recycled glass countertops.
Snohomish County values the home at $744,900 for property tax assessments.
The Porters meticulously researched every piece of the house, keeping several questions in mind: Is it an earth-friendly product? Is it healthy or unhealthy? Does it help reduce their carbon footprint?
Not ones to waste anything, they salvaged more than 80 percent of their building materials from the original home, built in 1907, to keep it from going to the landfill.
The patio, walkway, parking pad and road easement are paved with pervious concrete, which drains water into the ground rather than flushing it into Port Susan nearby. They also have a rainwater catchment system, solar panels and a geothermal heat pump.
The couple, who are moving to Ashland, Oregon, to be closer to family, said they hope the next owners appreciate all the work that went into the house.
“It’s probably been the best experience we’ve ever had,” said Dave Porter, a sales manager for loanDepot. “It’s the longest we’ve ever lived in a home.”
The Porters wanted their experience to be educational for others, so they documented their rebuild, including every material used in the house, on their Going Green at the Beach website.
They’ve also opened their doors to about 5,000 people — including architects, realtors and elementary school students —for educational tours.
The green building materials are a big part of the price tag, Evans said, but not the only justification. The house has a number of other features, including a 1,100-bottle wine cellar, a detached guest retreat and lighthouse-themed cupola, which is a small dome on top of a roof.
But even the cupola, which has 360-degree views of the surrounding area and Port Susan, was designed to be green. The house doesn’t have mechanical air conditioning; open the windows in the cupola and fresh air funnels down to the rest of the house.
All of the green-home details still boggle Evans’ mind.
“Every time I go there, I learn something new,” she said.
Connections to West Coast cities will allow easy travel for our residents and bring tourists here.
Monday, May 6, 2019
It’s finally time to go after that second “dream home” you’ve been longing for since your 30s. You’ve earned it after a career of hard work, buckling down, and saving your pennies. When retirement or empty nesting occurs, many of us seek a home-away-from-home that offers a way to slow down, relax, and enjoy life. So now that the time’s right and you’re ready to make a move, what considerations should you take into account when looking for a second home?
Many soon-to-be retirees in our region have spent years in the grind of Seattle traffic that has only gotten worse, in a region that is one of the fastest growing in our nation. While many of us look to “get away from it all” as we retire, seeking privacy and immersion in natural beauty, we also want to preserve access to the luxuries and conveniences of city living. Access to things like travel as well as the simple but finer things in life like coffee shops, dining options, and even Amazon delivery can make all the difference when choosing a place to call “second home.” The reality is that most of us do enjoy many aspects of city living and we’re not completely ready to give up as we sail into the sunset.
There is no bigger “city” convenience than access to travel, and a strong regional airport in particular. Air travel allows us to enjoy the epic summers in the Pacific Northwest, yet get away to Maui or Palm Springs in the winter, or to the snow of the rugged West for some time on the ski hills.
Insert Everett’s new Paine Field Passenger Terminal, a regional transportation development that has the potential to change how retirees think about that dreamy second home, and in particular, how they look at options like Camano Island which is just 20 minutes northwest of Everett. Paine Field has recently begun buzzing with commercial airlines, bringing the world closer to Camano Island and the rest of Snohomish County than ever before. Alaska Airlines and United Airlines will connect Everett to a host of U.S. cities including Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
Whether you’re the retired parents of a Seattle tech worker looking for your second home near grandchildren, or you’re moving here to escape Seattle or San Francisco, there’s now a fantastic local airport at your doorstep, allowing you to avoid the arduous drive to Sea-Tac.
While Camano Island’s desirability is now matched with much-improved access to other well-traveled destinations, many view the island as a destination in its own right. Boasting stunning sandy beaches, abundant wildlife, and relaxed small-town charm, Camano Island is a haven for crabbers, water-skiers, and beach-lovers.
Rich in history and culture, Camano Island is home to a vibrant arts community as well as an array of local restaurants, shops, markets, events and festivals. The enduring appeal of Camano Island is that it offers an idyllic, island experience that feels away from it all, without actually being away from it all.
With no ferries and an always-open bridge, you can find yourself ensconced in a diverse community of families, retirees, artists and locals who value culture and the finer things in life, which now includes easy access to travel. Of course, the beauty of the Paine Field opening goes both ways. Visitors can hop a quick flight and visit you easier than ever before.
So check your frequent-flyer miles and come explore. You won’t be disappointed.
A beach house with nautical details is one thing, but a built-in lighthouse is another. This home in Warm Beach—along semi-sandy Port Susan waterfront, facing Camano Island—goes above and beyond with waterfront whimsy. It was built in 2007 with all the trappings of a high-priced waterfront home, like big view windows, a wine cellar, and a network of outdoor decks and patios, has a lot of fun with the style.
The most obvious feature is the lighthouse-styled rotunda protruding from the roof, complete with a light, built for 180-degree water views. The builders added some other offbeat touches, though: a secret office through a bookcase door, a light-up “tide pool” countertop with beachcombed goods under glass, and driftwood fencing on the beach-facing side. Playful design aside, with three bedrooms and four baths, two fireplaces, and a hot tub, it also functions as a luxurious, waterfront home.
19126 Soundview Drive is listed for $1.45 million via Windermere.
Western Washington Real Estate Market Update
by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate
The following analysis of the Western Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Windermere Agent.
As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the Unversity of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.
The award-winning house featured on TV and in magazines.
One of the area’s most iconic homes is for sale.
Easily identified along the Warm Beach waterfront by its lighthouse-inspired cupola, this ultra-green house is most famous for its sustainability.
“The goal was to build this as environmentally friendly as possible,” said Anna Porter, who owns it with her husband, Dave, who works in mortgage lending. “But a lot of the green building techniques we know today didn’t exist in 2007. We were developing and learning as we went. We made it into a public project so anyone could learn along with us.”
The effort paid off in the end.
The 2,700-square-foot, three-story house earned the “2008 Custom Home of the Year” award by the National Association of Home Builders. It also earned numerous additional design certifications, including: “LEED Gold” from the U.S. Green Building Council; ‘American Lung Association Health House;” Master Builders of King & Snohomish Counties, “Built Green 5 Star”; “Energy Star;” and “Environments for Living.”
The couple worked with a variety of local companies in 2007 to pioneer green additions for residential use.
“We were all learning as we went,” said Porter, who works in program development and project management.
At the time, the three-bedroom, four-bath home attracted widespread attention from media, the building industry and the public. By January 2013, more than 38,000 unique visitors browsed the project website, more than 3,000 people toured the home, and the project was featured in more than a dozen publications, including Natural Home, Smart HomeOwner and Environmental Design + Construction. It also appeared on the TV show “Renovation Nation.”
Among the sustainable features: geothermal heat; sustainably chosen construction materials; recycled wood and stone; and Forest Stewardship Council-certified flooring. Smaller details include opting for chemical-free cabinets and countertops made from recycled agriculture products instead of MDF fiberboard.
But in 2011, Porter suffered a stroke, leaving her right leg and foot with limited use.
“Getting around is tedious — actually, it’s dangerous,” she said. “We’re ready to move to something smaller and closer to grandchildren.”
The home is listed at $1.45 million. It’s a price tag that’s becoming less uncommon around Stanwood and Camano Island.
In 2017, there were nine homes in the area that sold for more than $1 million. In 2018, that ballooned to 21.
And the Porter’s home may be the most unique one to hit the market.
“I can’t think of anything similar,” said Linda Evans, the listing agent with Windermere Stanwood Camano. “There are green houses that have some features, but this has all the features.”
In addition to a rock fireplace made from stones gathered from the beach in front of the house and recycled glass accents throughout, there’s a temperature-controlled 1,100-bottle wine cellar situated three stories below the landmark cupola. The wine racks — like a handful of other features in the house — were made from parts of the 1907 cabin that previously sat on the 0.37-acre lot.
“It’s bittersweet selling this home, it’s been such a great story,” Porter said. “But it’s time for a plot twist.”
Now that spring has sprung, let’s clear the cobwebs and get your home ready! Here is our quick guide to spring home maintenance:
Inspection top to bottom: Now that the weather is temperate you will want to check on how your home weathered the winter. Check the roof for leaks, the gutters for damage, and the siding for cracks. You will also want to inspect your basement or foundation for any shifts. Make repairs now to prevent further damage.
Clean out the gutters: April showers bring May flowers… so clear out the gutters to keep rain from pooling on your roof or near your foundation.
Pest control: Spring is mating season for eight-legged critters, so sweep out cobwebs, clear debris, and check the nooks and crannies. If you live in an area prone to dangerous species like brown recluse or black widows, you may want to contact your local pest control, but otherwise, household spiders do help eliminate other bugs.
HVAC system: If you have an air conditioner now is the time to check to make sure it is ready before summer gets here and everyone else is clamoring for maintenance. Now is a good time to check your home air filters and replace or upgrade to keep allergens at bay.
Clear the clutter: Do a sweep around the house and get rid of junk that you don’t use! Take a little time each week to tackle a room. Closets, playrooms, and basements can be especially daunting, but getting rid of old stuff and refreshing your space will go a long way!
Deep clean: On a nice day open the windows, dust, wipe, scrub, and clean. You will get a nice workout and your home will look and feel so fresh after a winter of being cooped up.
Update your décor: Add a splash of color to your home with small embellishments. Add a colorful vase, a lighter throw for your sofa, pretty pastel pillows, or spring-time candles, to upgrade your living space.
Take it outdoors: Let your throw rugs, curtains, and other tapestries air our outside. Shake off the dust, spot clean what you can and let everything bask in the sun for an afternoon.
Don’t forget the back yard: It may not be time to start up the grill, yet, but you can get started on your outdoor entertaining checklist. Check your lawn, and if you have some spare spots start filling in with seed. Check your outdoor plants, prune, plant bulbs, start to replenish the soil for your garden, and mow, so you are ready to start when the season allows.
Speaking of the grill – if you have a gas grill you will want to pull this out and perform a maintenance check. Clean everything up and check to make sure all the gas lines are clear, as these can get clogged after sitting idle all winter. Make sure the grill is clear of spiders too, as they can build webs in the tubes, causing damage to your grill. You can start to bring out your garden furniture too, or clean it up if you left it covered outside all winter. Because before you know it, it’ll be barbeque season!