The Most Important Thing Your Realtor Can Do for You in Today’s Lake Oswego Housing Market

When you enter the real estate market chances are you know to get your finances in order. But did you realize you also need to get your emotions in order as well? Especially in today’s housing market, buying or selling a home can be emotionally taxing at times. That’s why a good Realtor should not just

•educate you about local real estate market values

•know about comparable neighborhoods

•be aware of what goes into a compelling offer

•provide quality referrals for services you might need

•be available and an excellent communicator

 but also…

•manage your expectations.

What do I mean?

Hyperlocal Realtors like myself have a pulse on the market and can sense when things are changing. For the last 12-28 months, we’ve been in an overheated seller’s market. That has called for managing both buyers’ and sellers’ expectations.

For buyers—they needed to realize that the competition was going to be stiff and might require offering over the asking price, including an escalation clause and offering all cash if possible.

Sellers needed to understand their priorities—highest offer, cash, rent back because once the offers came in, buyers would be anxious to know where they stood so they could move on.

In the last couple of months, while the market is still hot, it has cooled down a bit as evidenced by these changes:

•Buyers waiting to submit offers to test the competition

•When offers do come in, there may be 3-5, compared to 10-12

•Sales prices coming in closer to asking price than before

•Some sellers taking the first offer instead of waiting to see what else rolls in

•Price adjustments being made on houses for sale

•Appraisals coming in under sales price

So now, Realtors are having to manage sellers’ expectations more than buyers.’ Stories of houses selling for $100,000 over asking were true just a couple months ago but are not reflective of what’s happening in the market today. These slight shifts can mean the difference between a seller recognizing a strong offer or not. A good Realtor needs to lay out the current landscape before the selling process begins so homeowners go in with their eyes wide open and their expectations realistic.

If I can help bring you up-to-date on the current state of today’s Lake Oswego housing market, please give me a call. Being informed is the first step toward making a wise decision about whether to buy or sell. You can reach me at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and check out my website. I’ve lived in and been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my knowledge and experience to work for you to making your homebuying and/or selling experience a positive one!

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The Lake Oswego Farmers Market is Back in Full Swing!

After two years of scaling down to meet Covid guidelines, the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market is back in full swing, kicking off last Saturday! Close to 80 vendors will be offering their goods each Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through October 1 at Millennium Plaza Park. Market-goers can enjoy live music from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and kids can enjoy both Kids Corner activities as well as the Farm Fresh Kids program.

Here’s a peek at some of the new vendors making their debut at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market this year: (Please note that schedules vary. Not all vendors will be present every week).

Nouriche Broth featuring small batch bone broths made locally in Portland Oregon.

Buddha Chocolate offering handcrafted chocolate in bars like Wild Rose & Sea Salt, Oregon Hazelnut, Lavender Bliss, Coffee Ritual and more as well as drinking chocolate.

Casa Luna Winery bills itself as the “smallest winery in Oregon” and is based here in Lake Oswego, harvesting grapes in the Willamette Valley. They produce Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Rose Pinot Gris wines.

Catherine’s Cattle Ranch is a small family-owned-and-operated farm in North Plains, Oregon that raises grass-fed-and-finished beef.   

Dank Fish offers native caught fresh salmon steelhead along with smoked and canned fish fresh from the Columbia.

Garibaldi Cellars is a small boutique family-owned custom crush winery specializing in award winning Pinot Noir, Rose, Chardonnnay, and white blends. Located in Tigard, they source their grapes in the Willamette Valley.

Goddess Mousse specializes in “healthy indulgences” also known as plant-based, maple-sweetened chocolate mousse.

Love Eatz Smashburgers will be serving up classic, simple and delicious smash-burgers and home fries.

Not Bread will be selling its gluten-free, dairy-free seed loaf crafted from organic oats, seeds, honey and sea salt.

Orange & Blossom is a modern farm-focused, plant-based patisserie out of Portland that will be offering goodies rooted in the seasons and made with organic produce and ingredients sourced directly when possible.  

Red Bird Acres is a first-generation, pasture-based, open sky, certified Animal Welfare Approved livestock farm and will be bringing its pork to the market on a regular basis as well as lamb, turkeys and chicken seasonally.

Riverland Family Farm provides the highest quality organic produce through socially and environmentally sustainable practices. Enjoy their variety with over 100 different fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Zanjabiel is a small women-owned catering and restaurant business focused on authentic middle eastern cuisine made from scratch using the freshest natural ingredients and recipes passed down from family.

Discover all the reasons to love Lake Oswego by subscribing to my blog. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column.

And…if you think you’d love to move to Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. Between my daughter and me, we have over 30 years’ experience helping people make Lake Oswego their home. We’d love to do the same for you! http://www.kevincostello.hasson.com/

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7 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in May

LAKE OSWEGO FARMERS’ MARKET. Lake Oswego’s favorite excuse to “hunt and gather” kicks off on Saturday, May 7 and will continue through October 1. The variety this market provides explains why residents turn out in droves to try artisan cheeses and baked goods, locally sourced jams, jellies and salsas, hummus, fresh produce, meats, seafood, nuts, nursery items, hot foods, artisan crafts and more. Enjoy live music from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. And be sure to check out the Urban and Community Forestry booths and activities for kids and adults on Saturday, May 21 as part of Lake Oswego’s Arbor Day extended celebration. 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Millennium Plaza Park.

CAMELOT. The Lakewood Center is providing us with a new, inventive take on this classic triangle love story with performances throughout the month of May. A special Wine on Wednesday performance will be held on May 18, with wine tasting provided one hour before the curtain goes up. Get your tickets online. 368 S. State Street, 503.635.3901.

WALK4WATER15. Join WaterAfrica supporters in the fifteenth annual walk to raise awareness and funds to make water, sanitation and hygiene resources available for rural Zambians. WaterAfrica partners with World Vision to reach its goal of “finishing the job” of providing safe water to all Zambians in the next five years. Register for this year’s event to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Foothills Park on Saturday, May 7. Fees are $25/child; $50/adult; $300/family. 199 Foothills Road.

MOTHER’S DAY CLEMATIS CELEBRATION. Bring your mom out to Luscher Farm to browse the expansive clematis collection and gift her one from the potted varieties for sale. You can also visit booths from local vendors and stop by the Children’s Garden to make a craft for mom. Saturday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road.

VILLAGE FLOWER BASKETS. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, seeing the village flower baskets go up in early May always brings a smile to my face because it’s a harbinger of summer and represents many things: the vision of a dear friend of mine, Doug Oliphant, the generosity of community members who finance the project through their donations, and the generosity of volunteers who traditionally hang the baskets every year. That’s in addition to the sprawling, trailing beauty these baskets bestow upon our streets all summer long. If you’d like to support the flower baskets with a contribution, call 503.636.3634 or send a check to the LO Chamber Foundation, PO Box 368, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.

ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION. Head down to Millennium Plaza Park for this community cultural celebration honoring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders featuring community speakers and musical performances from  Heart Strings Mandarin(link is external), dance performances from White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance(link is external), martial arts student demonstrations from Wushu Martial Arts, cooking demos from Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen(link is external) and more! Sunday, May 22 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., 200 1st Street.

MEMORIAL DAY WITH LAKE OSWEGO VETERANS MEMORIAL. Join the City of Lake Oswego and the LO Veterans Memorial to honor the service of military veterans who are no longer with us. The program will include a keynote address from US Naval Commander Eric Schuk, a flyover from West Coast Ravens, a Presentation of Colors and a 21-gun salute from the Lake Oswego Honor Guard. Monday, May 30 at 11:00 a.m. Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Road.

Don’t miss out on a thing that’s happening in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and get weekly updates in your inbox.

And to all you runners out there–don’t worry! You haven’t missed the annual Lake Oswego Lake Run which has moved its traditional date from May to June 5.

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Poetry Boxes in Lake Oswego Celebrate Poetry Every Day

This is one of many poetry boxes you’ll find inspiring Lake Oswegans as they walk around town. David Cooke is responsible for many of them, including this one at the entrance to the Lake Oswego Library.

April is National Poetry Month and in Lake Oswego, that is something to celebrate.

Why?

Well, for one thing, Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford called Lake Oswego home.

Add to that the fact that the First Addition-Forest Hills Neighborhood Association used Neighborhood Enhancement Program grant funds to create the Stafford Grove on Sunningdale Road, a small park near Stafford’s former home.

In addition, the Old Town Neighborhood Association sponsored a poetry contest a few years back and selected three winning poems to memorialize in their sidewalk poetry project.

And, for those of you who walk the neighborhoods of Lake Oswego, you’ve probably encountered a poetry box or two where residents encourage us to take a moment to think about the world and our place in it in a different way.

Poet, former school teacher, carpenter, landscaper and former Lake Oswego resident David Cooke is responsible for many of the poetry boxes found in neighborhoods near and far.

In business since the early 2000s, he has seen an uptick in orders with Covid. “Everyone was staying home and still wanting to build community,” he explains, “and poetry boxes are a great way to do that.”

Most of us have probably walked by one of Cooke’s creations when visiting the Lake Oswego Library. Recently refinished, it stands right at the entrance and has housed one of Cooke’s own poems, finished off with his message to us all, “Take a poem. Leave a Poem. Take a Moment. Leave Inspired.” Another sits on Lake Grove and another on Firwood Lane. Cooke believes four of his boxes dot our city’s streets; however, you can also find some DIY varieties around town as well.

Cooke has several styles to choose from, ranging from $225 to $399, all built to be weather-resistant and featuring beautiful, sturdy woods like Mahogany, Red Cedar and Black Walnut. He’ll also work with clients to create a custom design, incorporating additional elements to reflect their style. You can order them here.

When I asked Cooke what motivates a homeowner to install a poetry box, he explained that they are usually people who read poetry or people who write poetry and want to share with their neighbors. I think I fall into a third category of person who doesn’t write it, and doesn’t usually read it UNLESS I encounter it on one of my walks. So, as I explained in one of my most popular blog posts, “10 Things I Learned About Lake Oswego On My Covid-19 Walks,” it seems Lake Oswego neighbors like to find new ways to keep us walkers entertained and I think poetry boxes are a great way to do just that! As Cooke sees it, it’s a two-for-one deal. Walkers can get their exercise to stretch their legs while also getting their poetry to stretch their minds.

If you are trying to decide, “To sell or not to sell: that is the question,” let’s talk.  While I can’t recite poetry, I can recite the latest housing market updates for Lake Oswego and would be happy to share them with you if you are thinking of buying or selling your home. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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What to Do With Your Stuff After Spring Cleaning Your Home in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Spring is in the air which means that if you’re like the majority of Americans, you will do some form of spring cleaning.

This annual tradition, in which 69% of recently surveyed Americans partake in, has its benefits. Another Harris Survey of 2,000 Americans concluded that 86% of us feel more relaxed in a clean home.

And what’s the main culprit that we want to tackle? Clutter seems to be the worst offender.

So, once you’re done sorting, dividing, organizing and tossing, what do you do with all that stuff?

I’ve written an earlier blog about where to recycle, donate or upsell used clothing, but what about the “don’t know how to get rid of it” stuff?

Here’s a guide to some of those harder-to-know-how-to-dispose of items you may find lurking in your garages, attics and basements.

PAINT. Lake Oswegans have several options close to home. Both Miller Paint at 544 N. State Street and Sherwin Williams at 15659 Boones Ferry Road. They will accept small quantities of house paint, stains, varnish and primer for free. Habitat for Humanity Restore at 10445 SE Cherry Blossom Drive will also accept small quantities of household paint for free.

HAZARDOUS WASTE. Paint falls in this category, along with motor oil, batteries, CFL or LED light bulbs, and prescription medications (empty bottles into ziplock bags). All of these can be taken to the Metro South Transfer Station at 2001 Washington Street in Oregon City.

APPLIANCES. Habitat for Humanity Restore will take clean kitchen and laundry appliances 10 years old or newer and in good working and cosmetic condition as well as working dishwashers made after 2014. Newer microwave ovens in good, working condition may be resold in the store while non-working microwaves are accepted for scrap. Call for pickup or head over to drop off yourself. If you have a bigger load and don’t want to do the schlepping yourself, consider calling Big River Junk with rates based on the percentage of the truck bed you fill. Minimum charge is $100 for 1/8 of the volume up to $550 for a full truckload.

TELEVISIONS AND COMPUTERS. Goodwill Industries right here in Lake Oswego will accept televisions and computers and monitors. They participate in the Oregon E-Cycles program that accepts up to seven laptops, monitors, printers, televisions and computers for free. 17162 Lower Boones Ferry Road.

CELL PHONES. The Tigard Lowe’s has a recycle bin for cell phones at the Customer Service/Return desk at the entrance to the store. 12615 SW 72nd Avenue. Another option is to donate your old cell phones to the Call to Safety program. Call to Safety collects cell phones and laptops and distributes them to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. All profits are used to fund services for survivors who access the program. Phones do not have to be in working order and can be mailed to Call to Safety Cell Phone Project, P.O. Box 42610, Portland, Oregon 97242. Please do not include cases, any additional batteries or chargers (unless the phone is in working condition).

BATTERIES. Batteries Plus Bulbs at 7715-A SW Nyberg Road in Tualatin accepts your recyclable batteries, bulbs and electronics, although fees may apply. You can also take them to the Hazardous Waste Center at the Metro South Transfer Station at 2001 Washington Street in Oregon City.

ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT. Have your hockey stars moved out of the house? Traded in your old golf clubs for new ones? Play It Again Sports is willing to give you cash or trade for quality used fitness, hockey, baseball, golf, football and soccer gear. 9244 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.

SHOES. I haul all the family shoes out of the shelves and spread them out on the garage floor every year to force family members to decide how many they really need. The ones that don’t make the cut can find another home. Options include: Donating to Soles4Souls (dropoff at DSW in Bridgeport), or to a homeless organization, especially if they are winter boots or shoes. Nike will recycle your running shoes through their Nike Grind program. Just drop off at any Nike store or outlet. Or pack up your gently used pairs and send to One World Running who will distribute them to developing countries. Mail to One World Running, P.O. Box 2223, Boulder, CO 80306.

If after all that spring cleaning, you’re thinking you can now downsize or need to get a bigger place, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’d be happy to explore your home buying/selling options in today’s Lake Oswego housing market. You can also reach me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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Why Rising Interest Rates Could Be Good News For Lake Oswego Homebuyers

This may sound counterintuitive, but many real estate experts are saying that rising mortgage rates may actually be GOOD NEWS for homebuyers.

Why?

  1. Less competition. Right now, potential buyers are still scrambling trying to lock in rates before they go even higher so it may not feel like things are cooling down any time soon. However, further down the road, with the rising interest rates and home prices reflecting last year’s appreciation, many potential homebuyers may be priced out of the market. That’s good news for homebuyers that can still make the cut, especially if they are in the higher end of the market. As interest rates climb, buyers may be forced to shop in a lower price range than they would have when rates were in the under 4% range to afford the monthly payments.  That may leave high-end homes with fewer takers while the medium to lower-priced homes will still be hot commodities.
  2. Slowdown in home appreciation. This prediction seems to be all over the place with Zillow calling for an increase of 17.3% by years’ end, Fannie Mae setting its sights on 11.2% and the National Association of Realtors calling for a 5.7% increase in median home prices. But logic has it that as more buyers are pushed out of the market that will mean less competition for the homes that are for sale resulting in more realistic offers and a cooling down of the frenzy we saw in 2021.
  3. Cash buyers can profit from the market conditions. Cash buyers are immune to the fluctuation of the mortgage interest rates but that doesn’t mean the rising rates don’t affect them. However, it’s in a good way. They may be able to take advantage of less competition in the higher-end market if the higher rates send buyers settling for less expensive homes.

Trying to decide what current market conditions mean for you as a potential home buyer or seller in Lake Oswego can be difficult with online advice running from “The year 2022 could be a great year to buy a house—if you’re ready. It could also be a horrible time to buy if you’re not,” to “It’s a terrible time (to buy)—but as good a time as any.” The best way to decide is to sit down with an experienced Realtor who knows your local market and can help you assess if the conditions match your financial situation. He or she can also put you in touch with a loan officer who can give you current interest rates, loan options, and down payment requirements so you can make an informed decision based on what you know and not on what you’ve heard.

I’d be happy to be that Realtor for you. With over 30 years as a Lake Oswego Realtor and resident, I am here to help you make sense of current market conditions and decide your best strategy for moving forward. Feel free to contact me at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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Here’s How to Celebrate Arbor Month in Lake Oswego

One of the first things visitors to Lake Oswego comment on is our tree canopy. It’s a feature we take pride in and this month, it’s a feature we celebrate. In honor of Lake Oswego’s Arbor Month, the city has organized several events that you are invited to participate in.

Here’s a look:

Tree Pruning Workshop. This is Lake Oswego’s version of “Everything you wanted to know about pruning but didn’t know who to ask.” The Who is ISA Board Certified Master Arborist Damon Schrosk of Treecology, Inc. He’ll explain all you need to know to give trees and shrubs  in your yard their best chance for thriving. Limited to 30 Lake Oswego residents so register here for free. Saturday, April 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Foothills Park Pavilion, 199 Foothills Road.

Free the Trees in Hallinan Woods. Invasive ivy poses a real threat to our trees and you can help remove it by joining Friends of Hallinan Heights Woods in one of their regular stewardship opportunities. To register, contact Christy Clark at 916.261.1514 or triangle3.c@gmail.com . Sunday, April 10 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Park on Hemlock Street or Hallinan Street and follow the paved trail into the woods. Bring gloves and water to drink.

LO Tree Inventory Project. Learn how to collect data on the health and diversity of Lake Oswego’s urban forest in these free workshops. All you need is a smartphone or tablet to access the Oswego Lake Watershed Council’s LOTree survey tool. Register for the workshop online. Monday, April 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for the Indoor Presentation and Outdoor Demonstration at the Lake Oswego Maintenance Center, 17601 Pilkington Road and Saturday, April 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the Outdoor Demonstration and Practice Session in George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street (meet near the Iron Furnace).

Farm Saturday. Adults can’t have all the fun! Kids ages 5-12 are invited to spend a Saturday morning at Luscher Farm, taking part in Arbor Month and Earth Day-related craft and farm activities and learning about organic gardening. Fees: $42/Resident; $63 Non-Resident. Register online. Saturday, April 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Luscher Farm Barn, 125 Rosemont Road.

Lake Oswego Sustainability Resource Fair. Wondering how you can make a difference when it comes to building a sustainable future for our city? Plan on attending Lake Oswego’s first annual Sustainability Resource Fair and connect with community members and organizations who are advancing sustainability in our city. Kids can participate in arts and crafts and everyone can tour the new Lakeridge Middle School with its sustainable design features. Bartlett Tree Experts will be giving away tree seedlings too. Sunday, April 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Lakeridge Middle School, 4700 Jean Road.

Springbrook Park Preschool Nature Walk. Feed your child’s curiosity with this FREE nature walk led by enthusiastic guides from Friends of Springbrook Park as they teach preschoolers what trees do to thrive and survive. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Anne Lider at 503.701.2291 or anne.lider@gmail.com if you have questions. Wednesday, April 27 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Park at Uplands Elementary School, 2055 Wembley Park Road and meet at the Park kiosk located below the school playground.

Find the Stewardship Gnomes. Lake Oswego’s Stewardship Gnomes will be back out hiding in our natural area parks from April to October and if you find them, you could win a prize. Each month the city will be posting clues on where the gnomes are hiding that you can find here. Once you find them, here’s what you need to do: https://www.ci.oswego.or.us/parksrec/stewardship-opportunities

  • Take a photo of you, your dog or anything by a gnome.
  • Post your gnome photos on social media using the hashtag #LOparksgnomes for a chance to win your very own garden gnome this October.
  • Need a hint? The gnomes will be hiding on trees at Hallinan Woods, River Run Natural Area and Springbrook Park during April, and they’ll make their way to Foothills Park, Iron Mt. Park and Southwood Park in May.

Soil Your Undies. Last year’s Soil Your Undies Campaign was so beneficial that the Oswego Lake Watershed Council is inviting residents to participate again. By burying a pair of cotton undies at least six inches underground and then digging them back up in 60 days, you can see just how busy the microscopic organisms are in your soil. The more broken down your underwear is, the more active soil microbes you have in your yard. Register to participate and select a pick-up location for a free brand new pair of 100% cotton tighty-whities on either April 17 or April 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Be an LO Tree Hero. Here’s your chance to fulfill your superhero dreams. Sign up to remove invasive ivy from your tree and property with some education, leadership and tools from the Oswego Lake Watershed Council. Find out how you can become involved online.

Enter the Arbor Month Art Contest. Lake Oswego kids in grades K-5 are invited to enter Lake Oswego’s tree and wildlife-themed art contest. Works of art need to include insects, amphibians, birds, mammals or any other type of animal found in the urban forest. Entries must be received by 11:59 on Sunday, April 24. Winners will be notified on National Arbor Day, April 29, and prizes will be awarded at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 21. Click here for contest rules and online submission form.

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

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The Thing We Love Most About April in Lake Oswego: Lake Oswego Reads

Once again, the Lake Oswego Reads program has selected a book, How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang, that invites participants to not only read and learn something but also to feel something too.

As one book reviewer said, “This book will stay with you for a long time for all the right reasons. It’s also gonna make you mad as hell in places.”

And another: “For those who want something gritty and uncomfortable, yet shimmering, poetic, and serene, this is a great choice.”

And finally, “It made me sad, it made me cringe, it made me put it down and abandon it and then take it back to continue.”

Luckily Lake Oswego Reads organizers have lined up a series of FREE events to help us all process what we read. Here are some of the highlights. For a complete list, visit the library’s website.

FIND A POT OF GOLD. The new City Hall Booktique has hidden three items that lead to a pot of gold. Bring your young gold miners in for a fun activity. Friday, April 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., 380 A Avenue.

CALLIGRAPHY LESSON FOR KIDS. Tim Loh, Chinese Brush Artist, will offer families the opportunity to learn about the tools and techniques of Chinese calligraphy. Says Loh, “… brush calligraphy is the foundation of Chinese brush painting.” Mr. Loh will provide the materials for everyone to experience trying calligraphy themselves. Saturday, April 2 at 11:00 a.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.


STUDENT PANEL DISCUSSION. Listen in and walk in the shoes of LOSD students as they discuss the role of gender identity as young people in today’s day and age. Sunday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Join with Zoom.


DISORIENT FILM FESTIVAL: CURTAIN UP! This film, about theater club students in an elementary school in New York’s Chinatown, won the Best Feature Documentary Award at DisOrient 2021 as well as the Audience Choice Award for Feature Documentary. Get ready to have your hearts won over by these young thespians as they face their fears and stereotypes. Sunday, April 3, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street.


LAKE OSWEGO READS ART SHOW. Hear and see how local artists translated Zhang’s words into visual expressions that will be on display throughout April. Light refreshments will be served. Monday, April 4 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street.

MASSACRED FOR GOLD. In his book, Massacred for Gold, R. Gregory Nokes tells of the experiences of the tens of thousands of Chinese who journeyed across the Pacific to mine gold and build railroads throughout the American West. They go from being wanted to fill a labor shortage to being reviled when jobs became scarce, a hostility that drove the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, barring any more Chinese laborers, but allowing those in the country to remain. Wednesday, April 6 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Oswego Heritage house, 398 10th Street.


TRANSGENDER HISTORY IN THE 19TH CENTURY. Ms. Burleton, Program Director of TransActive Gender Project at Lewis & Clark, will explore the intersections between transgender history in the 19th century and how that was impacted by nonbinary Chinese immigrants. Friday, April 8 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

IN SEARCH OF LAKE OSWEGO’S CHINATOWN. Join historian Susanna Kuo for a guided walk in Old Town and George Rogers Park to learn about the Chinese workers who once lived and worked in Oswego. The walk will begin at the Iron Workers Museum on Wilbur Street and conclude at the iron furnace in lower George Rogers Park. Sunday, April 10 at 1:00 p.m. beginning at the Iron Workers Museum at 40 Wilbur Street and concluding at the iron furnace in lower George Rogers Park.

AS AMERICAN AS CHOP SUEY. This talk explores the experiences of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans through the lens of Chinese cuisine. Professor Glosser will examine Chinese restaurants as one strategy for finding a niche in the United States, the chop suey craze of the early 20th century, cookbooks written for non-Chinese, and the international developments of the 20th century that changed white American’s perspectives on China and Chinese Americans. Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

MAYOR’S BIKE RIDE. Mayor Joe Buck and friends will lead cyclists through Lake Oswego with stops at Iron Mountain Park to learn about Oswego’s early history as a mining town and at Babica Hen for a snack. Pre-registration and completed waiver is required. Saturday, April 23 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., beginning at Millennium Plaza, 200 First Street.

PORTLAND CHINATOWN MUSEUM VISIT. Enrich your understanding of this year’s story and the themes it carries with a visit to Oregon’s first museum about Chinese American history, art and culture. Pre-registration is required. Sunday, April 24. Van leaves from the library at 1:30 p.m. for a 2:00 p.m. tour which should last an hour. There will be an additional 30 minutes of free time afterwards. You may also drive yourself and meet the group there but please indicate that when registering. Lake Oswego Library, 706 Fourth Street. Portland Chinatown Museum, 127 NW 3rd Avenue.

DUMPLING DEMO. Learn how to make two kinds of Chinese dumplings with Chef Abbie Qi, Liping Jin and Emily Zou. Check the website for recipe and ingredient list. Sunday, April 24 at 4:30 p.m. Pre-registration required. Join on Zoom.

LAN SU GARDEN TOUR. Considered one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China, this is your chance to tour this Portland treasure. Pre-registration required. Tuesday, April 26. Meet at the library (706 Fourth Street) at 10:30 for a van ride to the tour at 11:00. Vans are scheduled to return to the library at 12:30.

C PAM ZHANG PRESENTS: HOW MUCH OF THESE HILLS IS GOLD: REIMAGINED HISTORIES. Hear the book’s author explain her research and her approach as well as other insights into the writing process and the role fiction can play in our understandings of history.
Questions for the author can be submitted ahead of time. Tickets are required and were given away on March 5. Friday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Lakeridge High School Auditorium, 1235 Overlook Drive.

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Spring Break Scavenger Hunt in Lake Oswego

Planning a staycation this Spring Break with your kids in Lake Oswego? I’ve been there, done that, and know coming up with ideas can be challenging.

So, let me pay it forward.

Load your kids up in the car and head out with copies of this Scavenger Hunt list in hand in search of as many items as you can find. Maybe give yourselves a challenge to see how many you can find in a certain amount of time. Or challenge some friends to do it with their kids too and see who finishes up first.

I’ve also listed links to some blog posts I’ve written on some of these things that could add a little more flavor to the hunt. Enjoy!

•Little Free Library. The number of Little Free Libraries has grown since I wrote this post back in 2013. Feel free to check out their inventory when you spot one, and maybe come home with a book or two (you could pack a couple to replace the ones you take)


•Chicken coop. We may be in the city, but we’ve got quite a few farmers at heart within our boundaries. My wife and I have spotted several on our walks from the simple studio layout to more of a resort complete with a covered fence tunnel and umbrellas that provide shelter in the rain.


•Porta Potty. This should be an easy one because there is so much construction and remodeling going on in our town. In fact, my wife and I started a porta-potty count on our COVID-19 walks and the current total is 366. If your kids want to take on the challenge and see if they can find more than that, well, then, there’s another day’s activity for you!


•Black house. Black exteriors are one of the design trends I mention in this post. You may be surprised how many you find in Lake Oswego.


•Boat on a trailer.


•Poetry Box. These are sprinkled around Lake Oswego neighborhoods and in front of one of our city’s institutions (hint: they carry a lot of books). Often they’re attached to a pole or tree in front of residents’ homes and display poems to enjoy for any passersby. Watch for a blog post about poetry boxes coming next month in honor of National Poetry Month.

•Someone walking a dog


A car displaying a Lakeridge or Lake Oswego High School sticker in its window


•A birdhouse


•A tree with moss growing on it. Extra points if there are also ferns growing on the moss!


•A street sign with the word “Lake” on it


Someone walking holding a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop. If you need to refuel while driving around, check out my latest roundup of coffee spots in Lake Oswego.


•A flower blooming


•A house with a red door


•A California license plate. Californians are some of our biggest imports and explain that positive net migration I talk about in this blog.

A fountain


•A stream. While our lake is our dominant water feature in Lake Oswego, we are also blessed with lots of streams that help to refill our lake in the years it is drained.


•Someone walking a baby in a stroller


•Someone on a kayak or paddleboard. If you can’t find someone braving the weather on our lake for this one, don’t forget that other body of water that runs along our east side!


•A goose. They say they fly south for the winter, but Lake Oswego is such a beautiful spot that I’ve seen many who choose to stay put year-round.


•A Heritage Tree. There are 38 Heritage Trees in Lake Oswego, designated as such because of they have notable historical, cultural, environmental or physical qualities. You can look for the markers designating them as such and/or you can use this map to lead you to the spot.

I’m around during Spring Break, so if you’d like to find out how this hot housing market has increased the value of your home, give me a call and we can meet. I can provide a complimentary market analysis to give you the information you need to decide what to do going forward. And if you’d like to look at homes for sale in Lake Oswego, I can set that up too. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or email me at costellok@hasson.com.

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10 Things About Lake Oswego That Make Me Smile

  1. Village Baskets going up. To me, this is a harbinger of summer in Lake Oswego which, as you’ll probably be able to tell from this list, is my favorite season here. But it also is a testament to the generosity of folks who contribute to the project each year and the volunteers who hang them.
  2. Kids walking home from the Lake Grove Swim Park. I recall the first time my wife and I drove through Lake Oswego and we spotted the Lake Grove Swim Park. It brought me back to my days spending summers at the Russian River in California, some of my most cherished childhood memories. Now our kids have similar memories spent at the swim park during their growing-up years first as little tykes and then later, a couple of them as lifeguards. So, when I see kids with wet towels hanging from their shoulders, walking back home with friends from the swim park, I smile knowing that they too, are forming lasting memories.
  3. Lemonade stands. In our house we have a rule, “Always stop at a lemonade stand.” And that’s a payback for all the folks who stopped by our house when our threesome used to plant themselves out in front of our yard with signs and high hopes. Neighbors and passers-by didn’t disappoint. I see those same looks of hope in little Lake Oswegans’ faces and sheer delight when one of us pulls up.
  4. Snow day. To look out and see our yard covered in a white blanket brings real delight in the middle of winter here in Lake Oswego. Everything slows down, and everything gets really quiet except for the sound of kids finding ways to play in the snow. Luckily here in Lake Oswego we often get these little breaks from what can sometimes be too much of winter’s doldrums. A day or two of it has me smiling. More than that, not so much.
  5. The sound of kids playing outside. Speaking of kids playing, I like that sound no matter the season, but again, it’s something that can be a harbinger of summer here in Lake Oswego. We have a small park at the end of our street, and when our kids were little, the neighborhood gang would gather there for capture the flag, a baseball game or tag. And we could hear them playing from our yard…that is, until we rang the dinner bell for them to come home. Sounds like small town stuff to me, and that makes me smile.
  6. Millennium Plaza Park. When we first moved to Lake Oswego, the area where this park now stands was home to apartments. Fortunately, our city leaders had a vision and a path for getting there and now this park is home to some of our town’s most treasured events. It makes me smile to recall some of those leaders who were my friends and to know that Lake Oswegans keep an eye on the future and the kind of town we want our city to be.
  7. The sound of crickets. Remember what I said earlier about summer being my favorite season here? Well, you’d think crickets would make me sad because they usually don’t start singing till later in the season and could almost be considered a harbinger of fall. But I love the sound as it’s one more sense of mine that can experience all that summer has to offer up to its Lake Oswego residents.
  8. The expression on visitors’ faces. From our lush surroundings to our beautiful lake, visitors’ eyes light up when they see Lake Oswego for the first time. I wrote a blog years ago on what some of those visitors had to say, and if you read it, I think it will bring a smile to your face too.
  9. New discoveries. We may be a small town (but growing) and I may have lived here for over 30 years (and counting) but as I mentioned in a recent blog, I continue to learn new things about Lake Oswego all the time. My wife and I have been taking daily morning walks since COVID arrived, and we’ve learned new pathways, discovered streams, and much more that you can read about in this blog.
  10. New homeowners. The great thing about loving something so much is that you want to share it. And I have gotten to do that as a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years. Whether someone is relocating here from Portland, Texas or California, they are so happy to make the move. And helping to make that possible, knowing all the reasons to smile that await them, makes me smile too.

Let’s see how I can make you smile! If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Lake Oswego, I’d be happy to meet with you and discuss how I can help. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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