How Challenging Times Bring Out the Good in Lake Oswegans

The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed life for Lake Oswegans as well as all Americans.

Headlines are filled with more closings, more confirmed cases, more deaths and more economic woes.

I’d like to interrupt the programming for an important message: In spite of the myth that crisis brings out the worst in people, Lake Oswegans are reaching out to help their neighbors.

Research tells us we shouldn’t be surprised by that fact. In looking at how the local community responded to Hurricane Katrina, researchers concluded that “While there are isolated cases of antisocial behavior, which tend to be highlighted by the media, most people respond positively and generously.”

Part of the reason for that is our need for human connection. We are wired to be social creatures—cut us off from that and we will find a way to feel connected, even it’s virtually or from six feet away.

Another reason, science tells us, is our need to tap into some other form of control when we feel so out of control. Depending on our thinking, we may look to government, God, or the universe. Scientists suggest that we make “karmic investments” in helping behaviors in hopes of improving our outcomes by working ourselves into the good graces of the powers that be.

Whatever the motivation, I can speak from my own experience that bad times bring out the good in Lake Oswegans.

During the flood of 1996, our canal front home was threatened with water flowing over the Oswego Canal headgate. Without picking up a phone and calling for help, friends, neighbors and even strangers showed up in our backyard to form a sandbag assembly line. They showed up after the threat was gone, to do the same thing, in reverse.

So to offer a bright spot in the steady dose of bad news the headlines seem to be carrying daily, I’d like to shine the light on some examples of neighbors helping neighbors.

• Like the friend I ran into (honoring our six feet social distance) while on a walk who said she was picking up coffee at the downtown Peet’s store for a neighbor whose compromised health prevented him from doing so. “All of us neighbors keep checking in to see how we can help,” she explained.

Tavern on Kruse has gotten creative in order to stay open on a takeout basis while supporting the unemployed. On Tuesdays and Fridays, patrons can take home partially prepared meals which they can finish off at home, thanks to video instruction provided by Tavern chefs online. For every paid meal, the restaurant is providing a free meal to someone who is unemployed. On Tuesday, March 31, the paid takeout option is red-wine and veal stock braised short ribs for $29. So far all the paid meals have sold out including Tuesday’s so be sure to check regularly. Free meals contain less expensive ingredients along the lines of fried children with mac n’ cheese and shepherd’s pie with Caesar salad. In the beginning, owner Kent Lewis was starting out with just 25 dinners/night and will move forward as the demand dictates. They say necessity is the mother of invention and this is a wonderful example of just that!

• Residents are encouraging others to support their local businesses, either by ordering takeout or buying gift certificates.

• Neighbors are offering to help in any way they can from cleaning, watching kids, grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions.

• The Lake Oswego School District mailed Safeway gift cards to families whose children receive free and reduced lunches.

Hunger Fighters Oregon extended their hours the weekend of March 13-16 and served three times their normal number of clients thanks to the help of 40 volunteers, 25 of whom were new. Extended hours in the future include Wednesday, April 1 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays have been open from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Volunteers are taking extra precautions to serve while still maintaining social distance with roadside service.  Location: 2301 Hazel Road in the green house garage.

• One neighbor with an extra refrigerator responded to a call for help from another neighbor whose refrigerator had just broken down after he had loaded it up with supplies. And then another neighbor offered to pick up and deliver the refrigerator with his truck.

• Neighbors posted DIY pictures of shamrocks in their windows on St. Patrick’s Day to support parents taking their children out for a shamrock hunt.

• Another neighbor on Cardinal left out free flower vases on a flower stand for her neighbors to take and/or share with a friend.

• Some local restaurants (in the Portland metro area) are offering free meals to kids during this crisis. I want to give a shout-out to Break Bread Sandwich Shop which is owned and operated by one of my son’s good friends and just recently closed temporarily after a valiant effort to remain open. Despite the challenges he faces as a young restaurant entrepreneur, he was offering free kids meals on a takeout basis—no questions asked. And tapping into community goodwill generated by his example, he was paying forward financial support he had received from friends and family by offering a free sandwich to anyone needing a little extra help. Check out his Instagram account at @breakbreadpdx. 1106 NW Hoyt Street. 971.339.9015.

• One resident suggested on social media that we all take time out each day to thank the grocery store manager, gas station attendant, pharmacist, parcel delivery person for keeping things running in the midst of all this chaos and taking more risk than the rest of us. “Share the gratitude,” he advised. Well said!

If you hear of any other examples of how we are “getting by with a little help from our friends,” please post here. Our readers would love to hear it!

Wishing you all wellness vibes. And if you have any questions about how the COVID-19 crisis might impact your plans to buy or sell a home, please feel free to give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. 

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How Is the Coronavirus Affecting the Lake Oswego Housing Market?

For most of us, home is the only safe place we feel we have right now. That reinforces the importance that housing plays in our lives.

Whether it’s to provide four walls within which we can safely keep our distance from others or to provide an investment to help our wealth grow, our appreciation for real estate has had a lot of reason to grow these last couple of weeks.

But in these unprecedented times, clients are asking me what impact the coronavirus is having on the real estate market. I’d like to provide a few insights.

HOW’S THE CORONAVIRUS AFFECTING THE HOUSING MARKET?

Going into this current crisis, the housing market was very solid. That makes this situation different from the recession we all remember from 2007-2012. That one was induced by all-too-easy subprime mortgage loans and builders glutting the market with an oversupply of new homes. Neither of those conditions exists currently. Banks are strong and the fundamentals of housing supply and demand are strong too. As Dr. Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist with the National Association of Realtors explained in a recent interview, “Housing is on very solid ground, yet we are running into this economic quarantine…that is shutting down the economy temporarily.”

Just as with stocks, it helps to take the long view with respect to your real estate investments. As motivational speaker Brian Buffini explains, ““When you have a bit of a longer-term perspective, it seems to take you out of the short-term panic.”

Dr. Yun predicts that once the virus situation is under control, we will see a robust rebound in people searching for homes. There was already pent-up demand in the market, and now with many people’s lives hitting the pause button, it only makes sense that once all systems are “Go” again, the demand will be even greater.

WHAT ABOUT CURRENT SELLERS AND BUYERS?

In spite of the flux the economy is in, we are still seeing people active in the housing market. It ranges from buyers wanting to get out of a deal because of the uncertainty to multiple offers on a house of $1.175m that most likely won’t appraise for that.

As a Realtor navigating these waters for my clients, I am doing my best to steer them in the direction that addresses their needs while keeping them and the community-at-large safe.

My general advice is to assess your situation. If your job is secure like many are right now and you are looking to buy a house, I’d take advantage of the record low mortgage rates and the fact that there is probably less competition right now which gives you more negotiating power.

If you’re fearful that your job could be at stake, I’d hit the pause button on your house search and pick it back up once you have more job security.

Here are the  measures I am taking to ensure the safety of my sellers:

If the home is vacant, I clean and sanitize the handles often, keeping the seller informed of my visits and interventions.

If the home is occupied, I offer to do a virtual tour first, using Facetime or videos to ensure we are dealing with serious buyers. I make sure all showings are scheduled through me and notify the buyers’ agent of the safety measures I am taking including removal of shoes and use of throwaway booties, enforcing the use of sanitizer or wipes upon entry,  using latex gloves, sanitizing doorknobs and light switches often, and asking they do not leave business cards.

WHAT ABOUT MORTGAGE RATES?

While mortgage rates are hitting all-time low’s they are not as low as some consumers think they should be, especially when they hear that the Feds are cutting interest rates to zero. Why is that?

The Federal Funds rate is the bank borrowing rate—the rate used when banks borrow from each other on a very short-term basis, usually 24 hours to cover any shortfalls they may have. The mortgage rate does not typically move one-to-one with the Federal Funds rate. However, Dr. Yun predicts that given the very accommodating monetary policy, mortgage rates will continue to be historically low, and may even go down to 3.0%.

That being said, buyers looking to enter the housing market need to come at it with a realistic picture of the kind of interest rate they are capable of carrying. Make sure your lender is providing an accurate picture of that and not promising a rate he or she can’t deliver in order to gain your business.

WHAT IF HOME PRICES DROP?

I’m going to defer to Dr. Yun on this one. He points out that the housing market has been a bright spot in several of the last recessions. In the early 1980s when unemployment hit 12%, real estate home prices were rising. The same could be said when things took a downturn in the 1990s as well as in the aftermath of 9/11.

The memory of the housing market crash of 2007 sticks with many of us but as I said earlier, the conditions leading into this current crisis are completely different. The market entered it much stronger, just as the strong spring season was about to take off, so as soon as this “economic quarantine” that Dr. Yun refers to is lifted, we should see things rebound in a big way.

If there is any way I can help to put your mind at ease about the current crisis and how that affects your home and/or home buying or selling plans, please do not hesitate to give me a call at 503.939.9801.

Stay well.

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5 Reasons Why Lake Oswego is a Great Place to Raise a Family

Horse-drawn carriage rides are just one of the many family-friendly activities that make Lake Oswego, Oregon a great place to move to when raising a family.

The criteria for deciding where to live changes with our life situations. Lake Oswego scores high on much of the criteria parents must consider when deciding where to move to start and raise a family.

  1. Schools. You can’t go wrong no matter where you decide to live in Lake Oswego because the entire Lake Oswego School District is strong. Niche, a national organization that researches schools, neighborhoods and businesses, ranked the Lake Oswego School District as the best school district in Oregon in its 2020 annual report. Data is drawn from test scores, graduation rates as well as parent and student reviews and surveys. Lake Oswego High School came in as the top public high school out of 282 with Lakeridge close behind at fourth but in first place when it came to best teachers. Their respective junior highs garnered the same spots out of 357 in the state and the six elementary schools claimed the top six spots in their state’s category as well. The school district earned an A+ in academics, teachers and college preparation; an A in sports; and an A- in administration and health and safety. The lowest score came in at a C+ for diversity based on economic and social diversity and input from parent and student surveys. In an effort to address this issue, the school district created a new position in 2018 for a Director of Equity and Strategic Initiatives and has instituted targeted programming at both the student and community level.

As I’ve said before, the reputation of Lake Oswego schools is one of the most common reasons people decide to move to Lake Oswego. Residents of Lake Oswego realize that whether they have children in the school system or not. That explains the creation and success of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation whose donations fund the full-time equivalent of 20 teaching positions making it possible for PE and music instruction at all the elementary schools and more elective choices for junior high and high school students.

And if you have little ones and are in the market for a preschool, you’ll be happy to know that there are about 12 preschools operating in the city. The Lake Oswego Mom’s Club holds an annual preschool forum to provide a venue where parents can learn about the different opportunities both in Lake Oswego and nearby communities. (The LO Mom’s Club is another reason Lake Oswego is a great place to raise a family with its social events for both moms and couples as well as support).

  1. Safety. The National Council for Home Safety and Security deemed Lake Oswego the safest city in Oregon in its 2019 ranking based on data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report. For a more anecdotal look at crime in Lake Oswego, it’s best to look at the Police Blotter than runs in the local newspaper, The Lake Oswego Review, every week, offering a journalist’s tweak to the calls that come into the police station. Entries include:
  • A wild goose chase? Officers were unable to locate an injured goose that reportedly was seen hobbling near the Lakeshore Motel on State Street.
  • A case of beer was sitting in the roadway near Hidden Springs Road and Santa Anita Drive.
  • A man who appeared to be intoxicated was reportedly doing yoga near the dumpster behind a business on B Avenue.

The entries have developed such a reputation that a book of them has even been published called No Call Too Small.

All kidding aside, Lake Oswego’s reputation as a safe place to raise your kids is another reason parents are drawn here. When my kids were growing up, we used a dinner bell hung from our front porch to call them home from playing in the park down the street. It’s one instance where old-fashioned is a good thing.

  1. Activities for young kids. Whether your child is an infant or in elementary school, between the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department, Lake Oswego Public Library, and several private organizations, your problem will be whittling down the opportunities for engagement for your child. Some of the offerings include:
  • Indoor Playground. This drop-in program is offered three mornings a week and features fun and interactive activities such as climbing, active play, sensory toys and featured programs organized around the themes of Music and Dance, Art and Sensory experiences.
  • Library Storytime. The library hosts special storytimes for babies, one-year-olds, toddlers, and preschoolers as well as regular meetings of the LEGO club, Kids Maker Club and frequent Family Movie Nights.
  • Camps. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is there when you need them during winter, spring and summer breaks with a wide array of camp offerings to engage your resident artist, athlete, dancer, actor, engineer, musician, or chef. The same variety can be found year-round in classes offered on a weekly basis that run the gamut from mini-ballerinas to Super Hero Engineering with LEGO® Materials.
  • Play Boutique. This indoor play space offers options to stay and play with your child or drop and go, taking advantage of their Peake Academy’s enrichment classes for kids one to ten years old. They even offer Parent Date Night services giving you three hours of worry-free time away from your kids.
  • Dance Lessons. Got an aspiring ballerina or hip-hopper in the family? Lake Oswego is home to a couple dance studios and a community theater that offer classes. Check out the Academy of Ballet and Dance Arts in downtown Lake Oswego, the Lake Oswego Academy of Dance in Lake Grove or the Lakewood Center for the Arts on State Street.
  • Kumon Math and Reading Centers. Looking to give your kids solid building blocks in math and reading? Many parents praise the Kumon approach to assessing and strengthening these skills and Lake Oswego has two centers on either side of town to check out.
  • Parks and Playgrounds. No matter where you live in Lake Oswego you and your family are close to one of Lake Oswego’s parks. The recreation department manages over 45 acres of recreational facilities that include athletic fields, outdoor swim park, 18-hole Golf Course, indoor tennis center, and a water sports center. Not to mention the nature trails and pathways and playgrounds. Each park has its own personality with features that will delight any child from the outdoor splash fountain at lower Millennium Plaza Park to the covered playground at Westlake Park.
  • Nic & Fig’s. This special community gathering spot offers classes to nurture the creative spirit in you whether you’re a kid or an adult. January offerings included a sewing class to make unicorn pillows and headbands and a cooking class to make raviolis for eight-year-old’s and up.
  1. Activities for Teens. Teenagers are made to feel welcome here.
  • Many of the resources listed for elementary school-age children also apply to teenagers with classes, camps, and activities offered through the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department, Lakewood Center for the Arts and Nic & Fig’s year-round
  • The Lake Oswego Teen Lounge operated by the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department hosts a variety of teen programs and activities including classes, clubs, teen events (think movie and trivia nights), field trips, parties, Youth Action Council (YAC) & more!
  • Aspiring journalists can apply to become a member of Pamplin Media’s Student Writers Advisory Group (SWAG) and see their viewpoints published in the local newspaper, The Lake Oswego Review.
  • Volunteer and job opportunities abound for teenagers in Lake Oswego as summer camp counselors, swim park lifeguards, members of the Lake Oswego Youth Advisory Council, sports referees, and members of the National Charity League of Lake Oswego and the National League of Young Men.
  • With two high school and junior high schools in Lake Oswego, teenagers have more opportunity to participate in extracurricular sports. The crosstown rivalry is one of the state’s best with the showdown referred to as The Battle of the Lake.

Lake Oswego is a great place to raise a family. That could be why many kids who complain of living in “the bubble” tend to come back here when they’re ready to settle down. Just this past holiday season we were greeted at our front door by a group of about 10 kids between the ages of 8-12 singing Christmas carols with their parents standing in the background taking it all in. Those are the kinds of scenes that I hold in my memory bank:

  • my kids hovering around the lifeguard at the swim park every summer afternoon
  • my kids trick-or-treating down neighborhood streets and returning home with pillowcase-sized stashes of sweets
  • our family lining up for the 4th of July pancake breakfast at George Rogers Park
  • our fivesome crossing the finishing line of the Lake Run with smiles of pride that we’d done it (granted one may have been carried over!)

We specialize in good family memories here in Lake Oswego for many of the reasons I’ve mentioned. If you’re looking for a place to put down roots for you and your kids, Lake Oswego should definitely be on your list if everything else like jobs and affordability align.

I’d love to help you figure out how you can make Lake Oswego your home for you and your family. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, complete the form below and/or check out my website. I’ve been helping families move in, out and around Lake Oswego for more than 30 years and would be more than happy to put that experience to work for you.

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7 Ideas for Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day In and Around Lake Oswego

It may be a little too early to be wearin’ the green for St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s not too early to be planning how you’ll celebrate it. Since I’m 99.8% Irish, I have a few ideas to offer both here in Lake Oswego and in Portland:

IN LAKE OSWEGO

CELTIC HARPS, RARE INSTRUMENTS and WONDROUS STORIES. Join musicians Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter for a real treat at the Lake Oswego Public Library on Wednesday, March 11 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. While I have yet to master one musical instrument, this duo plays traditional as well as original music from Sweden and Ireland on some instruments you’ve never even probably heard of like the Irish Bouzouki, Swedish Hyckelharpa, and Ukrainian Bandura as well as the Celtic harp, cittern and viola. In between, they weave in humorous stories of their lives as professional musicians that may also inspire you to follow your dream. 706 Fourth Street, 503.636.7628.

THE DULLAHAN PUB ST. PATRICK’S DAY IRISH FESTIVAL. This year’s homegrown St. Patrick’s Day Festival expands to a five-day schedule starting with “lucky” Friday the 13th and ending on Tuesday, March 17. Over the course of the party’s run, festival-goers will be treated to live music, dancing, bagpipers, drink specials and Irish classics like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, and bangers. Performers who will have your Irish eyes smiling include Sandi O’Reagan, The Stomptowners, Tualatin Valley Fire Firefighters Pipes and Drums, Oregon Dance Academy, Brothers Dunn, Kate Jane Band, and Peter Duff. Be sure not to miss a new event this year—the “Battle of the Performer” on Monday, March 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Make your voice known for your favorite! The Dullahan Irish Restaurant and Pub, 352 B Avenue, 503.305.8087.

ST. PATRICK’S with PATRICK LAMB JAZZ QUARTET. This Music Monday St. Patrick’s Week special features the popular Patrick Lamb whose last three singles made top 5 nationally on the Billboard Charts and who is one of the youngest members ever inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. Lucky for Lake Oswegans his busy touring schedule includes this stop at the Lake Theater and Café on Monday, March 16 beginning at 7:00 p.m. Get your tickets early as this performance sold out last year. 106 N. State Street, 503. 387.3236.

PORTLAND

KELL’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL. Considered Oregon’s largest Irish celebration, this popular event in its 29th year has extended its schedule to a five-day run from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17. Returning this year is the popular Smoker event featuring amateur boxing under the big top tent on 2nd and Pine along with Jameson-based cocktails, and cigars. A full schedule of music and dancers can be found on their website along with the pricing for each event. 112 SW 2nd Avenue, 503.228.4057.

SHAMROCK RUN. Portland’s longest-running tradition features multiple distances ranging from the Leprechaun 1K lap for kids 10 and under to a half marathon with a 4-mile Stride, 5K, 10K, and 15K in between. There’s lots to distract you from the distance you’ll be traveling with the scenic course beginning and ending at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, not to mention the many variations of green festooned people you’ll encounter along the way. Finish things off in the green beer garden at the festival open to participants and supporters alike. Sunday, March 15, various start times. Register online.

PORTLAND’S ST. PADDY’S PARADE. This neighborhood event is small-town at its best with a humble start dating back 31 years. Resident Steve Slavic set out to impress his Irish father-in-law that he could throw a party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Better yet, he put on a parade and proclaimed his father-in-law the first honorary Grand Marshall. It earned him the once-a-year title of O’Slavic and he has grown the effort over the years. The 1.2-mile circuitous parade begins at 1:00 p.m. at Beverly Cleary School on the corner of NE 33rd and Hancock. Sunday, March 15. Questions? Call Steve: 503.282.6370.

PADDY’S BAR and GRILL ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL. There are lots of reasons to show up at this one.
#1. It’s a tented Irish street party with all the usual suspects: bagpipers, Irish dancers, whiskey drinkers.
#2. You could win a trip to Ireland by buying one of the 500 tickets in a raffle.
#3. You can witness their attempt at securing a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest Irish Coffee.
#4. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Children’s Cancer Association.
Tuesday, March 17. Pub opens at 10:00 a.m., Tent opens at 11. Cover charge of $20 after 2:00 p.m. 112 SW 2nd Avenue, 503.227.4057.

Like any good Irishman, I’m known to have the gift of gab, especially when it comes to talking about the Lake Oswego real estate market. If you are thinking of moving to Lake Oswego, moving around Lake Oswego or moving out of Lake Oswego, let’s chat. I’d love to put my over 30 years’ experience as a Realtor in Lake Oswego to work for you. 

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5 Things We Love About March in Lake Oswego

There are lots of reasons to love Lake Oswego—at least 1,000 considering I’ve been posting 52 reasons every year since 2011! Here are five more specific to the month of March:

THE ODD COUPLE. The Lakewood Theatre Company brings us its rendition of Neil Simon’s classic comedy, The Odd Couple this month beginning Friday, March 6 and running through April 12. Productions in the intimate setting of the Lakewood Center never disappoint, especially when local and regional talent brings such an entertaining storyline to life. Find out why the story of Felix and Oscar has resonated with audiences since its debut in 1965. Add a little wine tasting to your night out and buy a ticket for the Wine on Wednesday performance on March 25 which includes complimentary wine tasting for one hour before the performance. Tickets are $34/Adult; $32/Senior 65+; $20/Students 25 and under.

SPRING BLOOMS. Some things are worth the wait. Like the tree blossoms that start lining our streets in March. And the camellias showing their stuff. If you’re lucky and planned ahead, you’ll have daffodils and tulips popping up in your yard. And if you’re like us, and inherited age-old rhododendron shrubs, you’ll see them with buds getting ready to burst and display a show of color that will make you forget the dull and drab winter.

DADDY DAUGHTER DINNER DANCE. As the father of two daughters, I have fond memories of escorting them to a father/daughter dance or two. Thanks to the Lake Oswego Recreation Department, Lake Oswego dads have that opportunity every year come March. This year’s event features an Enchanted Garden theme, inviting fairies, gnomes and even unicorns to attend. A professional photographer will be on hand to capture the evening for all those memory books. It’s a window of opportunity that all dads of young girls should take advantage of while they can. Saturday, March 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Check online for details.

PINTS FROM THE PAST: GEORGIANNA PITTOCK PART ONE. My favorite college history professor was a great storyteller whose dramatic flair helped his lessons stick. Local community theater thespian Mary Hutchens and Mike Hutchens (a former Portland Public Schools administrator) tell the stories of Georgianna and Henry Pittock, both prominent figures in the history of Portland by re-enacting this woman who became the mother of the Portland Rose Society and Portland Rose Festival and her chauffeur. I can only think of one other thing that might have made those college history lessons go down easier—a pint of beer! Luckily for you, you can order one while listening to the presentation by getting there early and placing your order at the bar of the Lake Theater and Café. Tuesday, March 10, 106 N. State Street. Doors open at 6:30 and the free presentation starts at 7:00 p.m.

LATER SUNSETS AND LONGER DAYS. One of the best things about Lake Oswego are the summer nights with sunset as late as 9:03 p.m. the end of June and daylight that stretches out 15 hours and 40 minutes. One of the best things about March is that we are headed in the right direction. Sunset starts out at 5:59:34 p.m. on March 1 and thanks to daylight savings, doesn’t happen until 7:30:08 p.m. by March 31. That, coupled with an earlier sunrise, gives us one hour and 36 minutes more of daylight to enjoy those spring blooms.

Another thing to love about March in Lake Oswego is the beginning of the typically hot real estate market. If you are thinking of moving to Lake Oswego or want to see what your current Lake Oswego home is worth, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or email me. I’d love to put my 30 plus years of experience as a Realtor in Lake Oswego to work for you.

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Ten Reasons Why Moving to Lake Oswego is Good for Your Health

 

By now we all know that being physically active is good for you. Did you know that your odds for being physically active go up because you live in Lake Oswego?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released state maps showing the levels of adult physical inactivity across the United States. They define physical inactivity as “not participating in any leisure-time physical activities over the last month – activities such as running, walking for exercise, or gardening.”

While the South (28.0%) had the highest prevalence of physical inactivity, followed by the Northeast (25.6%), and the Midwest (25.0%), the West had the lowest at 20.5%. And Oregon, along with Washington, Colorado and Utah were the four states with inactivity levels even lower than that from 15% to less than 20%.

So being that Lake Oswego is in Oregon, we already have a head start in this race, but add to that all the opportunities that the city of Lake Oswego offers us to get up and get moving and I’d venture to say we come in under that 15%!

To show you what I’m talking about, here are 10 ways to stay physically active in Lake Oswego.

WALKING PATHS. In 1991 the city began constructing a recreational loop system of pathways to connect neighborhoods to schools, parks and community centers. It’s here you’ll find walkers, runners, bikers and skaters taking advantage of the city’s invitation to be active. Here are a few:

Lake Loop. This 7-mile path is the most popular for sure with its sheer beauty as well as challenges. Our son never seems to tire of it, heading out for a round trip every morning when he comes to visit.

Old River Road Pathway is about 3 ½ miles out and back. The views here aren’t too shabby either as you start out in George Rogers Park and run along Old River Road with its view of the Willamette River.

Country Club Loop is 5 miles and takes you by some of the sights including Oswego Lake Country Club, Lake Oswego Junior High, Springbrook Park, Uplands and the Lake Oswego Hunt Club.

TRAILS.  Lake Oswego is part of Intertwine, a network of parks, trails and natural areas in our region that has its sights on ever-expanding and growing. This is an ambitious project as you can tell by looking at the Master Plan map. But just because they built it, does it mean people will come? According to the city’s trail usage measurement program, they will! This system was installed in June of 2017 and measures the infrared wavelength that people emit when passing to count usage in the Bryant Woods Nature Park, Cooks Butte, George Rogers Park, Luscher Farm and Springbrook Park. The total trail usage count in July of that year was 42,000 followed by 35,000 in August. With a population of 39,000, those numbers look pretty good!

RECREATION CLASSES. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department offers such a wide variety of classes that there is sure to be something for everyone. From hula dancing for little tykes to line dancing for adults, you can find a fun, fabulous way to move that fits with your interests, schedule and abilities.

DAY HIKES. If you like your walking to be social as well, there are guided day hikes every Tuesday and Thursday to destinations within two hours of Lake Oswego led by volunteers. Upcoming hikes include: a 3.3. mile winter ramble on Mt. Tabor, 5.3-mile hike along the Ice Age Tonquin Trail in Wilsonville and a 4-mile hike to Wahclella Falls in the Columbia Gorge.

GARDENING. Luscher Farms offers lots of opportunities to nurture your green thumb. From adopting a garden plot and participating in work parties to learning the basis of herb production, you can enjoy the great outdoors while also learning how to become more self-sufficient.

PARKS STEWARDSHIP. Volunteers are always welcome to help restore our natural habitats for plants and animals and improve the watershed. Friends Groups pitch in on a regular basis at city nature parks to remove invasive species, plant native species and spread mulch around tender plants.

SWIMMING. During the winter most Lake Oswego residents who want to swim do so at either the school district pool or one of the local clubs; however, in the summer, the opportunities grow to meet the demand. From the city’s swim park on the east end of Oswego Lake to community pools in local neighborhoods, as one of my more popular blog posts points out, it’s easy to find a place to cool down.

GOLF. The city maintains an 18-hole public golf course with a practice range, lessons and organized clubs. Foot golfers can also hit the greens on Thursdays after 3:00 p.m. and on the first weekend of the month.

TENNIS and PICKLEBALL. The city also maintains an indoor tennis center with four courts offering lessons and competitive and non-competitive play as well as City League and USTA tennis teams. Outdoor courts can be found at George Rogers Park (2) 611 S. State Street, Westlake Park (2) 14164 Bunick Drive, and at 1850 South Shore Blvd.

The Lake Oswego Pickleball Club is very active with daily posts on their Facebook page as to play availability during the winter. If it isn’t raining and the courts are dry, it’s a good chance that all systems will be “go.” More regular play can be counted on from May through October on the six dedicated courts located at George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street. See what all the fuss is about on my blog post

ROWING. Lake Oswego Community Rowing and the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department have partnered to offer classes and rowing opportunities on the Willamette River. The boathouse is located at 350 Oswego Pointe Drive but if you’re not yet ready to start paddling, you can take classes at the indoor RowFit Studio located at 355 N. State Street. Registration is now open for spring rowing!

Looking for more reasons for moving to Lake Oswego? Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column to receive weekly updates. Or let me give you a tour. I’ve been helping people move in, out and around Lake Oswego for over 30 years and I’d love to help you! Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or fill out the contact form below. You can also check out my website. I look forward to hearing from you!

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7 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Lake Oswego

One of the first things people notice when moving to Lake Oswego is how green everything is. The not-so-secret ingredient is rain and we average about 6 ½ inches in February so best to have a Rainy Day plan in place when you need it.

Here are a few ideas for how to enjoy yourself living in Lake Oswego on a rainy day.

  1. Meet a friend for coffee at one of our local hangouts. We have enough that you could meet one friend in the morning, another in the afternoon and finish the day off with a decaf nightcap in the evening. Popular spots include Chuck’s Place in downtown Lake Oswego (hit this earlier in the day as it closes at 2:00 p.m. during the week and 1:00 p.m. on the weekends), Peet’s Coffee also located downtown, and Ava Roasteria in Kruse Village which stays open until 10:00 p.m. Check out my roundup.
  2. Catch a movie and a meal at our own local theater, the Lake Theater and Café. Enjoy your food while you watch the show or come early or stay late and enjoy a leisurely meal before or after. 106 N. State Street, 503.387.3236.
  3. Visit one of our history museums and brush up on Lake Oswego trivia. The Oswego Heritage House and Museum is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with an exhibit chronicling the history of Lake Oswego from the earliest Native American settlements to 1960. The Lake Oswego Preservation Society History Center and Museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first Saturday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The current exhibit celebrates the Oregon Iron Jubilee from 1867-2017. In addition to the exhibit yourself, you can also see the oldest house in Lake Oswego open to the public.
  4. Play a game of tennis indoors. The Lake Oswego Indoor Tennis Center has four courts that are open for indoor play year-round from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made online. Cost is $20/hour. Best to plan ahead as this is a popular option among Lake Oswegans. 2900 SW Diane Drive.
  5. Go wine tasting. You don’t have to venture out to the Willamette Wine Country to sample some of what Oregon has to offer. Lake Oswego offers several options for an afternoon or evening of wine tasting. Check out the schedule at Baldwin’s Bottle Shop and Tasting Parlor. Wines from different regions are usually featured during Friday tastings from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wizer’s offers free wine tasting every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the new Domaine Serene Wine Lounge offers wine-inspired lunch and dinner service and features flights highlighting their wines from both Oregon and France.
  6. Take the kids for indoor fun to Play Boutique . Let them crawl, run, and make a mess somewhere else! Kids can work off pent-up energy while you enjoy offerings from the Beeztro café. Or catch Lake Oswego’s Indoor Playground set up at Christ Church Parish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Special activities are held at 10:00 each day) Drop-in fee is $4/child with each additional sibling just $2 (crawlers are free).
  7. Visit an art gallery. The Arts Council of Lake Oswego hosts rotating exhibits every month featuring local and regional artists. Hours vary according to exhibits but generally they are open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you’ve always wanted to make art instead of just view it, consider a month’s tuition at One River School in Lake Oswego for their Adult Art Shuffle classes held every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Designed for beginners, you’ll be exposed to a variety of projects from drawing and painting to sculpture to tap into the artist within.

If you’d like to begin your new Lake Oswego home search on a rainy day, feel free to give me a call and I’ll set up a tour of homes that will give you a good idea of what’s available and at what price range. 503.939.9801.

 

 

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