5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in October

ART SALE BENEFIT. Local artists have donated a variety of pieces including paintings, photographs, ceramics, jewelry and garden art to benefit the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine, a free health clinic serving uninsured and low-income residents of Clackamas County. The sale will take place on Saturday, October 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th Street. Visitors can purchase artwork while enjoying Brenda Liu on the viola. This event coincides with the last day of the Lake Oswego Farmers Market so you can make a day of it and maybe take a piece of artwork home along with all your fruits and veggies! It’s all for a good cause with 100% of the proceeds going to support the work of these volunteers to provide free and inclusive medical care to Clackamas County residents who are underinsured or uninsured.

THE WALDO PROJECT. The Lake Oswego Library never ceases to amaze me with its creative programming. And I have a particular fondness for this one, The Waldo Project, as my kids were big “Where’s Waldo” fans once upon a time. The library has hidden a 5-inch tall Waldo in the Lake Oswego Children’s library for years much to young readers’ delight. Now, they have partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego and Hunger Fighters Oregon to add a helpful bonus to each child’s discovery.  Now when a child finds Waldo in his hiding spot, they can retrieve a wooden token from a vintage gumball machine, and drop it in a jar, adding to the number of books (purchased by funds donated by the Kiwanis Club and matched with grant funding from the State Library) that will be distributed to clients of Hunger Fighters Oregon. Research shows that children who grow up surrounded by books have greater success when entering Kindergarten so this is a win/win for children on both sides of the Waldo search. The Waldo Project will be offered every other Wednesday for 10 weeks starting October 6.

FALL FOLIAGE CANOEING ON ESTACADA LAKE. Fall in Oregon is pretty spectacular and this sounds like a wonderful way to take it all in. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is offering this outing through Adventures Without Limits. Sounds like a great way for a family to spend the day – the colors should be beautiful and the waters gentle enough for you to be able to enjoy them. Life jackets and canoeing equipment will be provided. They suggest packing a lunch. Check registration for more details. Cost: $76/Residents; $95/Non-Residents. Saturday, October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meet at McIver State Park, S Springwater Rd, Estacada, only about a 40-minute drive from Lake Oswego. For more ideas of where to catch fall colors in and around Lake Oswego, check out one of my previous blog posts.

LAKE GROVE HARVEST MARKET. Get your Farmers’ Market fix on the other side of town on Sunday, October 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Hallmark Drive next to Mercato Grove. Besides checking out the foodie culture and fresh produce, you can also check out all the new restaurants and goodies at Mercato Grove.

MONSTER MASH DRIVE-THRU SPOOKTACULAR. Treat your kids to an afternoon of fun on Sunday, October 31 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. A scavenger hunt will guide you through town to over 8 trick-or-treat locations where your little ones, ages 0-12, can collect sweets, toys and trinkets.

For more October things to love in Lake Oswego, check out last year’s blog.

Don’t miss out on all the reasons to love Lake Oswego. Sign up for my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. You’ll receive weekly updates in your inbox. And if you love Lake Oswego so much you want to move here, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’ve been a Realtor for over 30 years helping people move in, out and around Lake Oswego and the Portland metro area, and I’d love to do the same for you.

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U-Pick Apple Orchards Near Lake Oswego

If you’re like Thoreau and believe that “Surely the apple is the noblest of fruit” then get your overalls on and your apple picking boxes ready and head out to one of the u-pick apple orchards within driving distance of Lake Oswego.

September and October are the best months to catch the most varieties available. This summer’s heat conditions have changed the rules somewhat on the timing and duration of crops so best to call ahead and check to see what’s available before you head out. In most cases, visitors should also bring their own boxes or bags to bring the fruit home in; however, boxes are recommended as they protect the fruit better.

CLOSER TO HOME

SHERWOOD ORCHARDS. This 26 acre farm boasts over 1300 fruit trees and 70 varieties of apples as well as Bosc, Bartlett and Seckel pears. So chances are good you won’t come home empty-handed. Hours: Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. depending on fruit availability. 23995 SW Pacific Highway, Sherwood. 503.625.7705.

BELL’S ORCHARD. Apples are ready to pick here beginning mid to late August with Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala at their peak in September followed by Jonagold and Braeburn in October. This family run farm takes pride in their “short orchards” featuring trees with fruit hanging low enough to the ground that kids can easily reach them. No ladders needed. Hours: Monday through Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sunday. 24350 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton. 503.313.1346.

BEILKE FAMILY FARM. Located just 30 minutes from Lake Oswego in Brooks, this three-generation farm also offers dwarf trees that keep the fruit easy to reach for adults and kids (although some of them may need to stretch a bit). You’ll find 15 different varieties of apples on this ten acre farm but be sure to check in advance to make sure your favorites are available. Hours: Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 4925 Rockdale Street, NE, Brooks. 503.393.1077.

A LITTLE FURTHER OUT

MOUNTAIN VIEW ORCHARDS. This orchard has bragging rights. It made USA Today’s Top 10 list of Best Apple Orchards in the United States both in 2018 and 2020. Set at the foot of Mt. Hood, it might top the list of most picturesque as well. Three generations have been running this operation that grows 125 varieties of apples and 15 of pears. In addition, visitors can enjoy beer, wine and cider tasting (reservations needed for the Grateful Garden tasting). Picnic tables invite you to make a day of it. Hours 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Tasting room is open Mondays through Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd., Mt. Hood. 541.352.6828.

KIYOKAWA ORCHARDS. Operating since 1911, this farm claimed the #1 spot in USA Today’s Best Apple Orchards list in 2018. Thirty-eight varieties of apples and 12 of pears are due for harvesting in September including the ever-popular Honeycrisp. Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 5625 Hutson Drive, Parkdale. 541.352.7115.

DRAPER GIRLS COUNTRY FARM. There is lots to like here from the picturesque views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams to the cinnamon-sugar dried apples. Kids will appreciate the dwarf trees that make picking easy and the chance to feed the farm animals. Adults will appreciate the hard cider. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. 6200 Highway 35, Mt. Hood. 541.490.8113.  

DETERING ORCHARDS. If you’re headed down south for a Beaver or Ducks game, this might be a fun add-on to a weekend getaway as it’s only about a half hour from both Corvallis and Eugene. Besides apple and pear picking, there are lots of activities to enjoy including a kids’ playground, animal corral, saloon and a mechanical bull on weekends. In the fall, the farm adds on treasure mining, cow barrel rides, an apple blaster and corn and hay mazes. Hours: Monday through Sunday 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. for u-pick.  30946 Wyatt Drive, Harrisburg. 5411.995.6341.

Keep up-to-date on things to do in and around Lake Oswego by subscribing to my blog. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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How the City of Lake Oswego Is Helping Residents Think Globally, Act Locally

Coming off a summer of record heat in the Portland metro area and a record-setting wildfire in southern Oregon, news of the U.N.’s latest report on climate change might have left us all wondering, “What’s a person to do?”

The City of Lake Oswego has an answer for that.

They are launching a new residential sustainability certification program, EcoHome LO, that provides tools and resources to help Lake Oswego residents improve their households’ ecological footprints. While the program is not yet open for public submissions, you can complete an interest form and download some of the materials now.

I’ve checked it out and like the clear calls to action it suggests for each of us to make a difference in how we go about making sustainable choices a daily habit.

Participants can download two virtual checklists:

EcoDay Checklist which encourages participants to take up the EcoDay Challenge—complete five of the actions a person has decided to focus on in one day. These include suggestions such as purchasing a majority of products without plastic packaging while shopping, bundling multiple errands together in one trip and visiting a local park and picking up any litter found.

EcoHome Certification Checklist challenges residents to complete at least one action from every category on the list which include: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Energy Conservation; Water Conservation, Transportation, Social Equity, Ecological Conservation, Civic Engagement, Emergency Preparedness, Construction and Renovation. Many of these actions go a little bit further than the ones on the EcoDay checklist, suggesting that residents:

•Exchange at least 2 types of single-use materials for reusable or alternative materials

•Conduct an at-home energy audit and resolved any pressing issues found within the past year

•Install showerheads that are WaterSense-certified

•Volunteer for an ivy pull or organized one with friends and family within the past 6 months

The checklist is considered a tool to help residents track their sustainability progress and contributions, and connect them with community resources and connections along the way. Upon completion of 20 items, residents can apply for and receive the bronze level of certification (followed by silver and gold as more items are completed) and receive a free lawn/window sign to commemorate their progress.

As I look over the checklists, I’m reassured to see I am already incorporating sustainable practices into my everyday life such as supporting locally sourced businesses, cooking plant-based meals, and using the compost pail the City has provided to collect leftover food scraps. But there is much more I could be doing so the first place my wife and I are starting is to purchase reusable cloth bowl covers to reduce our use of plastic.

The Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The City of Lake Oswego has laid out a choice of steps we can all take to tread more intentionally upon this planet.

If you’d like to explore homes in Lake Oswego with sustainable features, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com or check my website. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to make your next move your best one!

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5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in September

THE WEATHER. I’ve always said that schools in Lake Oswego shouldn’t start until October 1 because we have some of our best weather in September. Typically the average high temperature drops about 9-10 degrees over the course of the month from 81 down to 77, but not below 61. Sounds pretty good to me which is why you want to plan to be outside taking it all in as much as you can. Read my previous blog about walks in Lake Oswego and get out and take one!

BARKS IN THE PARK. They say every dog has his day and in Lake Oswego that day is Thursday, September 9. The City of Lake Oswego is putting on a party for your favorite pooch complete with agility course, costume contest and pet-friendly vendors that might throw a few treats his or her way. The DJ-provided music should appeal to the canines as well as their owners. Thursday, September 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Hazelia Dog Park, 17800 SW Stafford Road.

CITY HALL RIBBON CUTTING. We’ve all watched it go up. Now’s the time to celebrate it and take a look inside. The ceremony takes place on Tuesday, September 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with the ribbon cutting set for around 6:00 p.m. Activities include tours, music, atrium art sale, art display, booktique sale, games, interactive city trucks display, food trucks and free ice cream. 380 A Avenue.

FLORAL DESIGN AND WINE. Zupan’s is offering another of its popular floral arrangement workshops. This time the inspiration is being taken from Starburst color scheme and will feature local dahlias and roses. Cheese and charcuterie and wine are included as well as materials in the $125 fee. Reserve your spot online. 16380 Boones Ferry Rd., 503.210.4190.

GALLERY WITHOUT WALLS. While Lake Oswego’s Gallery Without Walls isn’t new, 12 new pieces have been added to the 2021-2023 rotating collection and by September they should all be installed and ready to view! If you’ve driven around town, you may have already spotted some of them, and I can tell you, I’m already a big fan! You can download a map of where to find the new pieces here. Take a walking tour and enjoy some of that September weather I talked about earlier before it leaves us!   

Don’t miss out on all the reasons to love Lake Oswego each and every month. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and receive weekly updates to your inbox.

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Lake Oswego Housing Market Update

With temperatures in the triple digits recently, Lake Oswego has certainly been heating up. And as I’ve pointed out here before, so has the housing market.

As of July, 2021, the average sales price in Lake Oswego for detached dwellings is up 23% in comparison to the 2020 average sales price—$1,213,316 vs. $963,217 respectively.*

The same holds true for condos and attached dwellings where the average sales price in Lake Oswego is up 20.3% at $442,661.

Other indicators that show the market is still a robust one include:

•Months of inventory: 1 month compared to 3.2. in 2020, 4.5 in 2019. This refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales conditions. MOI for condos is also 1 month.

•Days on the Market: 14 compared to 38 in 2020, 49 in 2019. This refers to the number of days from the date a property is listed in the multiple-listing service to the date when a contract is signed on the property by the buyer and seller. DOM for condos is 15 days.

That is the story the numbers tell you. Let me add to that with the perspective I have being on the ground as a Lake Oswego Realtor.

The market is still hot; however, I do see things flattening out a bit as the market tries to catch its breath. Here are the things I’m seeing that suggest that:

•Occasional price drops on homes

•Sales taking a little bit longer

•Fewer buyers per listing are writing offers

•People are sitting on the sidelines waiting

•There is more wriggle room for negotiation when it comes to closing the deal

If you’d like to sit down and talk about how the Lake Oswego housing market affects you either as a buyer or seller, I’d love to take the time to meet with you and do just that. Feel free to call me at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

*These figures come from data provided by the RMLS.

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5 Ways to Squeeze More Summer Fun Out of the Last Days of Summer Vacation in Lake Oswego

Schools start up again in Lake Oswego August 30 which means there are 15 more days to enjoy the “lazy hazy crazy days of summer.”

Here are some suggestions:

SWIM PARK. Afternoons spent at the Lake Grove Swim Park are some of my kids’ happiest summer memories. If you live within the original Lake Grove School District boundaries, you are eligible for a park pass. If you don’t, another option is the Lake Oswego Swim Park on the other end of the lake which is open to all Lake Oswego residents. Both parks have lifeguards on duty so take advantage of this opportunity to cool off in the lake and relax. Both parks close once school starts, so this is definitely a summer bucket list item that needs to get checked off!  

PICNIC BREAKFAST. This is a great idea to maximize your waning summer days by getting an early start (especially if you have early risers). They may think a picnic is ho-hum for dinner, but breakfast? Now you’ve retooled a picnic into something cool. And if you pick up some donuts at one of Lake Oswego’s newest bakeries, Fills, I’m sure you won’t get any complaints. While you’re in the Lake Grove neighborhood, you can grab a coffee at Café Marzocca next to Riccardo’s (watch for Ovation Coffee opening soon in Mercato Grove) and something yummy at Babica Hen or La Provence. West Waluga Park would make a perfect destination with covered picnic shelter, playground, nature paths, dog park and even adult fitness equipment (for working off those donuts!)

REDO DAY. This one might take a little planning but have everyone submit their favorite memories from this summer and then see how many of them you can incorporate into one day. Maybe stipulate it has to be memories created in and around Lake Oswego to keep it feasible. Who knows? You could end up at the swim park again with this one! If it was my family, we probably would.

LAST CHANCE DAY. Instead of repeating things you’ve already done, here’s everyone’s chance to cast their vote for doing something they haven’t had a chance to do yet this summer. Maybe you’ve been meaning to try one of those smoothies from Lola’s Café Bar or one of their innovative cocktails like the Carrot Ginger Margarita or the Blueberry Superfood Mojito. Or you haven’t gotten around yet to checking out the new lower soft trail at Iron Mountain Park that intersects with the Iron Mountain/Springbrook Park Loop. The time for procrastinating is gone—just do it!

BARNYARD BOLT. What better way to spend the last weekend of summer getting sweaty, dirty, wet and silly with your family?! Maneuver through an obstacle course complete with sprinkler splashes, bubbles and other challenges. Saturday, August 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  $18/person. Register online under your preferred staggered start time for #23227.

House hunting can also be a fun way to see the summer out and I’m happy to oblige by showing you and your family around. Just give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Lake Oswego Easements But Didn’t Know Who to Ask

With the warm summer we’ve had in Lake Oswego, home buyers are very interested in looking at homes with easement rights.

Question: What are easement rights?

Answer: There are approximately 3000 homes in Lake Oswego whose properties come with deeded access to the lake when they join one of 20 lakefront easements for boating and recreational use of Oswego Lake. As the Lake Corporation explains, “Each easement is governed by its own individual set of by-laws and has its own volunteer board of directors. Facilities and rate structures vary from easement to easement.”

Question: How do I know if the home I’m buying has easement rights?

Answer: You can enter your street number address on the Lake Corporation website to determine easement eligibility on the lake. In many cases, one address might be deeded access to more than one easement. You can also refer to our Easement Map on the Easement Page of the website for a general idea.  However, to confirm access you must call the LOC office at 503 636-1422.  They have a database of properties with deeded rights. 

Question: How do I join an easement?

Answer: Do your research and decide which easement you are (a) eligible to join and (b) want to join. Then contact one of the easement officers whose contact information is listed on the individual easement pages. You will need to complete an easement application and pay their dues which vary from easement to easement. You’ll also need to register with the Lake Oswego Corporation by filling out the Registration for Lake User and email to info@lakecorp.com.  You will then receive an email to pay your fees online. Current Lake Oswego Corporation fees for easement members are: $195 for swim only membership; $1,338 for power boat; $1,128 shared power boat payable by each member.

Question: What are the fees to join an easement?

Answer: Fees vary significantly from one easement to the next so it pays to do your research. Most charge an initiation fee which can range from $3,500 for Springbrook to $200 for the Lakewood Yacht Club. In addition, there are annual dues in most cases and then separate fees for each amenity

Question: So, once I join an easement can I put my boat in the lake?

Answer: It all depends on which easement you join and the availability of boat slips. Some easements like Maple Circle do not have any slips for power boats. Others like the Goodin easement have 9 slips but there is a waiting list of 44 right now. So, when researching which easement to join, if you have a choice, you want to find out how many slips are available and how long the waiting list is. Also, if the homeowner you’re buying a house from currently has a boat in a boat slip, he or she cannot transfer that slip to you. Upon the sale, that slip will become available to the next person on the easement’s waiting list.  You’ll have to wait your place in line for the next available slip.

Another option while you’re waiting is to launch your boat for the day from the Lake Corporation marina. There is no additional fee (after paying your association and Lake Corporation dues); however, you do need to schedule an appointment in advance for putting the boat in and taking it out.

There are also boat slips at the LO Landing located in the two-story office building next to the LOC marina; however, their waiting list is 15-20 years out with 165 names ahead of you. You can reach them at 503 545-8870 or lo500@comcast.net.

Question: What about canoes and/or paddle boards?

Answer: Again, it depends. The Uplands easement, for example has 74 spots for canoes and paddle boards with a waiting list of only 2 right now. And storing you canoe or board at an easement comes with a fee in most cases. At Uplands, the fee is $150 per year.

If you have any more questions about buying a home with an easement in Lake Oswego, please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check my website. I’d love to answer any questions you have about buying or selling a home in Lake Oswego. I’ve lived here for over 30 years and have been a Realtor for just as long so let me share everything I’ve learned about this beautiful city with you. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Why Are Ranch Style Homes So Popular in Lake Oswego?

This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath Ranch home is currently for sale in the desirable Lake Haven neighborhood and features popular Ranch attributes like easy one-level living, open floor plan, and views and access to spacious outdoor living. An added bonus here in Lake Oswego is that this home has deeded access to two swim and boat easements on Oswego Lake. Call me at 503.939.9801 if you’d like to see it and/or check out my listing at http://www.kevincostello.hasson.com/search/Listing_Agent/kevincostello.

Home exteriors vary in size, shape, architectural lines and materials but have you ever wondered why? Is it just aesthetic or is there more to it?

I’d like to introduce you to some of the architectural styles of homes you’ll find in Lake Oswego periodically on this blog and give you a little of the why behind the what.

Let’s start with the Ranch style home.

Believe it or not, the Ranch style home was considered a radical move away from the styles of homes that existed prior to its debut in 1932 by a San Diego self-taught architect, Cliff May.

It was one level, for starters. Gone were the turrets of a Victorian, dormers of a Cape Cod, columns of a colonial, and covered porches of a craftsman. Instead the emphasis was away from any pretentiousness and towards more casual living in a single-story style that also worked best for battling Southwestern heat.

The design typically lent itself to blending outdoor and indoor living and often featured a large picture window in the front which was as much for looking out as it was for allowing passersby to look in at holiday decorations and displays. Sliding glass doors in the back made the transition to the outside easy and inviting.   

Notice how all the windows in this Ranch home bring the outside in.

Given the straightforward design, the lower cost of construction made it attractive to builders and homebuyers liked how easy it was to build on the simple lines to customize their particular home. As a result, Ranch became the style of choice after World War II as returning soldiers moved to the suburbs and settled down with their families. In fact, by the 1950s, nine out of every ten new homes built in America were Ranch style.

Other characteristics that you’ll find in a Ranch home include an attached garage, open concept floorplan, and often a finished basement. Currently there are six Ranch style homes for sale in Lake Oswego and six pending sales. You will find them dotted throughout the city in different neighborhoods.

A home’s style is just one of the considerations buyers must weigh when looking for a place to live, but it is one that often “speaks” to a buyer on a feeling/intuitive level. A buyer may not be able to put his or her finger on why a particular house “feels” right but the style and the reasoning behind it may help explain it.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Lake Oswego, please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website and my listings. You’ll find I’m able to point out the dollars and cents advantages of a particular home as well as understanding the more nuanced aspects of a home that make it right for each buyer. I’d love to help you find the home that is your perfect fit.    

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7 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in August

It’s easy to love Lake Oswego 365 days a year, but here are 7 reasons we love Lake Oswego in August.

LAKEWOOD CENTER SUMMER SOUNDS CONCERT SERIES. The Lakewood Center has found another use for the Pavilion Tent that houses artists for the Festival of the Arts. This summer it is hosting concerts featuring a variety of genres every Sunday evening starting at 7:00 p.m. Capacity is limited to 175 so be sure to buy your $20 tickets early.

August 1: Andrew Paul Woodworth

August 7: The Essence of Bacharach

August 14: PIN and the HORN-ITS

August 21: TV Tunes and Tales: Favorite TV Theme Songs and Stories Behind Them

August 27 and 28: Goodtime Charley – Concert version of the Broadway Musical

MOVIES IN THE PARK. I’ve extolled the virtues of summer evenings in Lake Oswego on the blog many times. Add a movie in the park and a good thing just gets better. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department has brought back this popular offering this summer with two movies in two locations. While the events are free, attendees must register online for contact tracing purposes and groups are limited in size to six people. Blankets, pillows and sand chairs are encouraged.

Moana. Tuesday, August 10, beginning at 8:45 p.m. at Millennium Plaza Park, 200 1st street. Seating opens at 7:00 p.m. Register online for #22965.

The Croods: A New Age. Tuesday, August 17, beginning at 8:45 p.m. at Westlake Park, 14165 Bunick Drive. Seating opens at 7:00 p.m. Register online for #22966.

DRIVE-IN CONCERT FEATURING CJ MICKENS & HIT MACHINE. Load up the car and take the family to what promises to be a foot stomping, hand clapping, arm waving affair at Luscher Farm. Cost is $40 per parking space with a limit of six people to a car. Staggered load-in begins at 5:15 based on the vehicle size with the concert starting at 6:30 p.m. Register online. for “Drive-in Concert.”

LOBSTER AND CLAM BAKE. This popular Dinner in the Breezeway at our Lake Oswego Zupan’s usually sells out but hopefully with two offerings you have a better chance of getting a spot. Seating is at banquet style tables with a reception at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. August 7 features Tattinger Wines and August 21 features Roderer wines. Tickets are $150/person. Register online.  16380 Boones Ferry Road, 503.210.4190.

RAISE THE ROOF FUNDRAISER FOR LAKE OSWEGO HUNT. Calling all horse lovers! The Lake Oswego Hunt is hosting an afternoon of equestrian exhibits, live music, food and wine to raise funds to complete the roof restoration project over the historic indoor riding arena. Your $50 admission ticket gets you a complimentary adult beverage, a commemorative wine glass, complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, Champagne Relay viewing and live music. There will be a kids’ game area for children at $20 admission price. Wear your Kentucky Derby finest or cowboy casual, whichever you prefer. Saturday, August 14 from 1:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m. 2725 SW Iron Mountain Blvd., 503.636.0674.

WESTLAKE PARK SUMMER CONCERT. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department added two traditional summer concerts back into the summer schedule now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. The last one will be held Wednesday, August 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Westlake Park featuring Stone in Love. No registration is required, just come and enjoy the fun!

BARNYARD BOLT. Plan an afternoon of fun with your family at this active, laugh-filled event. Maneuver through an obstacle course complete with sprinkler splashes, bubbles and other challenges. Saturday, August 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Early bird registration through July 31: $15/person; $18/person after August 1. Register online under your preferred staggered start time for #23227.

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in Lake Oswego by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. You’ll receive weekly updates in your inbox.

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How Appraisal Gaps Are Surprising Some Lake Oswego Home Buyers

Considering that surprises intensify our emotions 400%, it’s fair to say that surprises are not for the faint of heart. Especially when you are buying a home, which can be an emotional experience to begin with, you don’t want the experience to be hijacked by a surprise.

With homes selling for more than their appraised value, some home buyers may find themselves surprised by what is called “the appraisal gap.” That’s the discrepancy that occurs when a buyer’s accepted offer for a home is higher than its appraised value.

In a balanced housing market, appraisal gaps like these are often negotiated with the seller agreeing to sell for the appraised value instead of the higher offer; seller and buyer meeting somewhere in the middle; or the buyer walking away from the property.

In the recent seller’s market, resolving appraisal gaps has fallen into the pocketbooks of the buyers who must be willing and able to make up the difference between the appraised value and their offer by bringing more cash to the table.

Let’s take an example. Say a house listed at $700,000 brings in multiple offers with the accepted offer going to the buyer who has offered $750,000. Unless the buyer has been made aware of current market conditions, he or she may assume that by putting down 20% or $150,000 as a down payment, the bank will loan them the other 80% or $600,000. What’s happening quite often in today’s market is that bank appraisals are coming in lower than the sales price, so in this example, the house is appraised at $700,000 which means the bank will only loan 80% of that value or $560,000. That leaves an appraisal gap of $40,000. So instead of just bringing in $150,000 cash to close the deal, the buyer must bring in $190,000.

Buyers need to be prepared for this type of “surprise” these days, and if you are working with an experienced Realtor, most likely you will be. That’s why it’s often wise in this kind of market to be looking at homes below your budget so you have some cushion of cash to bridge these appraisal gaps should they come up.

It also explains why all cash offers often win out in a bidding war. For the seller, there is less risk of the deal falling through should the house not appraise for the sales price.

Buyers may think that by “waiving the appraisal,” they can strengthen their offer in the eyes of the seller—one less hoop to jump through. However, sales contracts state that both the buyer and the property have to qualify for the purchase and if a bank won’t loan the amount that a buyer needs, then the buyer does not qualify and can walk away from the sale because he doesn’t have the cash. An educated seller, working with a professional Realtor, will understand this and will view all offers through this type of lens.

The moral of the story? In today’s Lake Oswego real estate market, you need to have realistic expectations of how much cash you may need to come up with to close a deal. Working with an experienced Realtor will help ensure that the only “surprises” you’ll have when buying a house will be pleasant ones.

I’d love to be that experienced Realtor to work with you in helping you buy or sell your home in Lake Oswego. Please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check my website.

LAKE PRINTS FOR SALE

If you’re a lake lover like those of us in our family (or dreaming of becoming one someday), I wanted to introduce you to the lake prints my wife and daughter are selling on Etsy under their shop name, heartspun printables. These are instant downloads so once you purchase them, you receive jpeg files in your inbox which you can print at home or at your local printer. They come in a variety of sizes and colors so be sure to check them out!

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