Curb Appeal in Clark County>Question Details

Ron Peterson, Home Buyer in Vancouver, WA

Looking at Clark County's GIS web site I see that many lots are steep or have some flooding risk.

Asked by Ron Peterson, Vancouver, WA Fri Aug 6, 2010

What are the geographic features that pose the most risk for the home owner?

Does terracing work for steep lots?

Are small streams risking features?

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That's a tough question, Ron... and it really is lot specific. Obviously areas near a water body that are in a flood plain are highest risk... the ones that require you to carry flood insurance. Terracing does work for steep lots, but is very expensive. Depending on how steep/how tall each terrace is, it may have to be permitted by the county. As far as streams, I wouldn't say they are a risk, but it would depend on how close the house is. I saw a house last week with a creek running through the crawlspace. No kidding!

I know that doesn't fully answer your question, but I would have to look at it on a case by case basis. Are you looking at really inexpensive lots? The ones that are the hardest to develop, or have issues like you mention above, are going to be in the lower price ranges. You may try looking up in price range a bit and see if there is a difference.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 7, 2010
Oh this one was definitely NOT Frank Lloyd Wright...the entire house was soaked with water and covered in mold! I think that is a rarity though. First one I've seen that bad in years, and in a rural part of Multomah County, OR... not Vancouver.

There are ways for your Realtor to help in your search by eliminating sloped lots, lots near water, etc. Or narrow down to lots that back up to a park, or a greenbelt.... yet still keeping them larger in lot size, with a view, and in your price range. There may not be a ton to look at it, and it may be a matter of snagging a good one as soon as it comes on the market, but at least that will keep you from having to weed through a ton of listings to find what you are looking for. Are you set up on an automatic search like that?

Another thing your Realtor can do if you are relocating and looking from Wisconsin, is preview the homes that meet your criteria. By visiting the site, sometimes we are able to convey (and photograph) a better description of potential hazards or issues that may not be visible on the RMLS photographs.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 7, 2010
We're looking for an existing house, since we don't want be without one once we sell ours and move. I am just trying to cover some possible problems to speed our search after we move.

Being retired, we will want to have a reasonable size lot with a patio, porch, or deck with a decent view which probably means some geographic problems. We just don't want to deal with a flooded lot or house or soil sliding down a ravine during heavy rains or a earthquake.

I like the idea of a creek in the crawlspace as long as it's like Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water house.

I have been looking via the web at what I think are the nicest places and are usually larger and more expensive than what we need. Since the lot of our house has over 14,000 sq ft and is on a small 3 acre park, we're not expecting to find low cost housing that matches our current life style.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 7, 2010
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