Marching into Madness in the Lake Oswego Real Estate Market

It’s hard not to get caught up in the madness of March. From college basketball playoffs to the local real estate scene, things have gotten a little crazy.

Consider this:

  • I recently listed a house for $900,000 that had nine showings in four days and sold in that timeframe at full price. This, mind you, was a house that is perfectly livable but was bought with additional updating in mind.
  • The number of houses for sale in Lake Oswego between $400,000 and $500,000 is a total of nine. Seven of them have considerations that might be deal breakers for buyers like being located along the freeway, in poor condition, and outdated.
  • A fellow agent recently listed a house for $575,000 that attracted an offer of $600,000. This is the same house that the sellers had on the market at the same price for 365 days two years ago.
  • Anything new between $1 million and $1.6 million is selling within a month of completion. That is a 20% appreciation from just last year. This is hurting older resale homes since there seems to be enough of an inventory of new homes at this price range to edge the older homes out of the bidding. As a result, they are taking anywhere from six to nine months to sell.
  • I just listed a condo near the First Addition for $365,000 even though the highest sale ever in that area was $310,000 and sold it before it even went on the market. The pristine condition of the unit coupled with the low inventory justified the price.
  • Home sale prices went up 11% last year and will probably see another 11% increase this year.
  • Houses between $500,000 to $1 million in Lake Oswego are selling within 15 days as long as they are in good condition.
  • Inventory is at an all-time low in both the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. We are looking at seven months of inventory. In a healthy market the inventory is 1 ½ years out and it has been as high as 4 years.
  • The median home sales price in Lake Oswego this past year was $755,335. Currently the highest priced home in town is $15,000,000 on Northshore Road, and the lowest is a one bedroom, one bath condo for $99,899.

What does this madness mean for homebuyers in Lake Oswego? Be patient and be prepared to pay more than asking price. Ensure that you’ll be ready to act fast by getting total loan approval beforehand. You may need to seek out a lender willing to do this but it will be worth it. And, now more than ever, it’s to your advantage to work with a licensed real estate agent who is plugged into the home listing network and can often learn of listings before they go online. I’ve been selling homes in Lake Oswego for over 25 years and have made connections that keep me in the loop for what’s happening in town before it goes public.

As for sellers, this may be a seller’s market, but you still need to put your house’s best image forward to maximize your profit. Remove clutter, take care of repairs, address any odors, spruce up the yard, update where possible—your efforts will add five percent to your sales price.

Looking to capitalize on or break into this crazy Lake Oswego real estate market? Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and check out my website. I’d love to put my 25 plus years experience to work for you.

 

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10 Fun Facts to Help You Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Lake Oswego

St. Patrick’s Day may not be a national holiday here in the U.S. like it is in Ireland, but it doesn’t seem to stop folks from celebrating. That could have something to do with the fact that about 34.5 million Americans claim Irish descent according to the U.S. Census. That’s seven times many more Irishmen than are living in Ireland today! So whether you are 99.3% Irish like me or just enough to claim heritage one day a year, here are some fun facts to help you celebrate in Lake Oswego.

  1. Maher’s Pub will be hosting it eighth annual St. Patrick’s Day festival this year located at 352 B Avenue, Lake Oswego. 503.305.8087.
  1. Over thirty percent of the 133 million Americans expected to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day plan to go to a bar or restaurant.
  1. This year the St. Patrick’s Day festival at Maher’s in Lake Oswego will run Friday, March 17 through Saturday, March 18, beginning at 12:00 noon and ending when the last person walks out the door.
  1. According to wallethub.com, revelers worldwide will put down 13 million pints of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day.
  1. You can be sure to find Guinness on tap at Maher’s in addition to Magner’s Irish Cider, Black and Tan (Pale Ale/Guinness) and domestic beers.
  1. If you want a prosperous year, then “drown the shamrock,” as the Irish would say. Find a shamrock, float it on your shot of whiskey and then down the whole thing.
  1. Maher’s offers lots of choices to go with your shamrock, listing 17 brands of Irish whiskey so take your pick! If drinking it straight isn’t to your liking, try a Dancing Leprechaun (Paddy’s whiskey, fresh muddled lemon, soda and ginger ale) or a perfectly blended Irish Coffee.
  1. Despite what the refrigerated case in your local grocery store suggests, corned beef and cabbage is not the national dish that the Irish serve up on St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, it originated when Irish immigrants to the U.S. were looking for a more affordable way to recreate their comfort food from their homeland—boiled bacon. Beef brisket was the cheapest cut available and brining was a technique they borrowed from some of their Easter European neighbors.
  1. National dish or not, you’ll find corned beef sandwiches on the Maher’s Pub menu during the St. Patrick’s Day festival as well as Bangers on Buns and Irish Stew.
  1. Maher’s St. Patrick’s Day festival is a family friendly event with live music, Irish dancers and bagpipes until about 6:00 p.m. when it turns into an adults-only party.

If you’re like I once was and feel “green with envy” that others get to live in Lake Oswego and you don’t, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’d love to show you around. You can also visit my website. You’ll see I’ve been helping people call Lake Oswego home for over 25 years. Put my experience to work for you!

 

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Discover Gluten-Free Choices in Lake Oswego

gluten-freeRecently a reader asked when I was going to update my gluten- free guide to Lake Oswego. Ask and you shall receive! There have been several changes since my last post on gluten-free choices in Lake Oswego. We’ve lost some providers like Scratch, but as you’ll see we’ve picked up many more. So that’s good news for the gluten intolerant like my wife.

Here are some places to check out. Keep in mind that most facilities are not dedicated gluten-free (other than Kyra’s Bake Shop) so cross-contamination is possible.

PIZZA. Most pizza parlors charge an additional fee for a gluten-free crust.

  • Bellagio’s. Their gluten-free menu includes a range of pizza offerings (in 10” and 14” sizes) as well as salads and appetizers—including spicy chicken wings. And if you feel like doing-it-yourself, you can pick up dough to go (10” for $4.25; 14” for $7.50). 1235 McVey, 503.635.8700.
  • Pizzicato. They offer gluten-free crust with your choice of toppings and come in 12” and 16” sizes. 15180 Bangy Road, 503.670.8338.
  • MOD Pizza. Build your own pizza on a gluten-free crust choosing from over 30 toppings. The cost is the same no matter the ingredients. Kruse Village, 4811 Meadows Road, Suite 115. 971.233.7103.
  • Chuckie Pies. Owner Chuck Ryan is a barista by day (at Chuck’s Place), pizza man by night, dishing out 10” individual Neapolitan style pizzas with a gluten-free option. 430 5th Street, 503.342.6207.
  • Deno’s Pizzeria. All their pizzas are available on a vegan and gluten-free crust (10” and 14” sizes) and they also offer soy cheese if dairy is an issue. 4475 Lakewood Blvd., 503.635.5219.

RESTAURANTS*

  • Kyra’s Bake Shop. Kyra’s is a 100% gluten free facility that moved to a bigger location a couple years ago to expand her menu offerings from sweet treats to breakfast and lunch offerings as well. Of course, her award winning cupcakes are still the big draw here, luring in even the gluten tolerant. See for yourself by trying Caramel Apple Fritter, Vegan Cookies and Cream or Boston Cream Pie. 599 A Avenue, 503.212.2979.
  • Laughing Planet Café. This place aims to please the omnivore-vegan-paleo-gluten free eater in you with ingredients from grilled chicken to curry roasted chickpeas. Most items are gluten free, and if they’re not, you can adapt (like eliminating the flour tortilla in the burrito and turning it into a bowl). Oswego Village, 91 South State Street, Suite 180F, 503.635.3025.
  • Freshii. The mission of this new offering to Lake Oswego is to make healthy food convenient and affordable with a mantra that includes: “Let’s eat things that make us feel good.” A nutritional guide listing allergens will point you the way to items you can enjoy gluten-free that include most salads and dressings, the Mediterranean and Pesto Bowls, soups, juices and smoothies. Kruse Village, 4811 Meadows Road, 503.908.8124.
  • Gourmet Productions. The deli case here always features some gluten-free items that are well marked and delicious. Popular offerings include the curried chicken salad and roasted Brussels sprouts. Seating is limited—there are a few tables both inside and outside but everything travels well if you decide to take it to-go. Get there Monday through Friday as it’s closed on the weekends. 39 B Avenue, 503.697.7355.
  • Blast Burgers. Sandwiches and hamburgers can be served on gluten-free buns. 315 First Street, suite 101, 503.305.8088.
  • WOW! Burger. The idea here is to build your own burger and that includes your choice of bun with Jensen’s gluten-free bun as an option. 4823 Meadows Road, 503.303.7099.
  • Manzana’s. Enjoy their char-broiled cheeseburger or a grilled housemade veggie burger on a gluten-free bun. 305 1st Street, 503.675.3322.
  • Tavern on Kruse. Gluten free buns are offered on request with their hamburgers. 4835 Meadows Road, #133, 503.303.5280.
  • Nicoletta’s Table. Pasta lovers have gluten-free options at this neighborhood trattoria. Ask your server about gluten-free dessert options as well. 333 South State Street, 503.699.2927.
  • Babica Hen. Open for breakfast and lunch, Babica Hen offers gluten-free waffles (for $1.50 more) as well as muffins and cupcakes. If you want some toast with your eggs, you can get that gluten-free for $1.50 more. For lunch, you can order your sandwiches on gluten-free bread. 15964 Boones Ferry Road, 503.636.4012.
  • La Provence. The bread and dessert case assures you this is not a gluten-free facility, but the menu does offer gluten-free selections which are marked as such including: Wild Northwest Salmon Hash, Chicken Mediterranean Salad, and Gratin Filet. 16350 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.4533.
  • Oswego Grill. Gluten-free diners can take heart in the two page gluten-free menu Oswego Grill offers. Choose from appetizers like the Avocado Salmon Roll, salads that include the Roasted Turkey Cobb, burgers on gluten-free buns, grill classics like the Danish Baby Back Ribs, specialties like the fish tacos and yes, desserts including a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. 7 Centerpointe Drive, 503.352.4750.
  • Gubanc’s. This popular local spot offers gluten-free bread for both its burgers and sandwiches. 16008 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.2102.
  • Stanford’s. There are a few gluten-free salad offerings on their menu including the Grilled Chicken and Lacinato Kale Salad and you can also opt for gluten-free buns for their hamburgers or a gluten-free crust when ordering pizza. 14801 Kruse Oaks Boulevard, 503.620.3541.
  • Blue Moon Coffee. How about a gluten-free pastry with your cappuccino? You can enjoy that at Blue Moon by ordering one of their gluten-free breakfast cookies loaded with good stuff like gluten-free oats and flax seed or try one of their cookies: chocolate chip or jammer. For breakfast, just order the egg sandwiches without the bread and call it a “stack.” 3975 Mercantile Drive, 503.05.1883.

*Please note that the gluten-free options at most of these places are available at an additional charge.

SWEETS. Check out the Market listings below as well as many offer baked goods sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

Kyra’s Bake Shop. Kyra Bussanich has got gluten-free baking down—she is the only four time winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars going head-to-head with gluten competitors. Taste for yourself choosing from scones and doughnuts as well as cupcakes. Check their menu for weekly updates. 599 A Avenue, 503.212.2979.

MARKETS

  • Lamb’s Palisades Market. Check out Lamb’s website for an online list of Gluten-Free brands they carry including Pamela’s products, Bakery on Main, and Udi’s breads. They also offer some fresh treats like fresh pasta from Manini’s as well as the RP’s Pasta brand that offers fresh lasagna sheets. Satisfy your sweet tooth with baked goods from WOW, My Dad’s Cookies (the selection includes chocolate chip biscotti, oatmeal raisin and a chocolate sandwich cookie that looks like a downsized version of an Oreo). 1377 McVey Avenue, 503.636.2213.
  • New Seasons Market. It’s all in how you look at it. New Seasons refers to their gluten-free shopping list as “Gluten Freedom.” Check it out. And ask about a store tour of their gluten-free products. The bakery department brings in some of the best local sweets like Gem’s Chocolate Mousse Tart and Vanilla Raspberry Mascapone Cake, Petunia’s Marionberry Pie Cheesecake, Hail Merry Miracle Tarts that are both dairy-free and paleo friendly and Portland Paleo Chai and Chocolate Cream Pies. If you’re in the mood to bake-it-yourself, try the Scratch and Grain kits including Gluten-Free Cheesecake Brownie Mix, Chocolate Truffle Cookies, Honey Cornbread or Snicker Doodles. 3 Monroe Parkway, 503.496.1155.
  • 365 by Whole Foods Market. Lake Oswego was the second location for Whole Foods’ new concept store designed to appeal to the budget-minded health-conscious shopper. You’ll find some gluten-free products in their grocery aisles including baking supplies from Pamela’s and Arrowhead as well as fresh ravioli from Artisola in one of their refrigerated cases. Other treats include Hail Merry Miracle Tarts, Frozen Daiya dairy-free and gluten-free New York and Key Lime Cheesecake and take-n-bake Immaculate Chocolate Chunk Cookies.11 S. State Street, 503.782.4672.
  • Zupan’s Lake Grove Market. If you’re craving a warm cup of soup, check out Zupan’s offerings which are clearly marked if they are gluten-free. The day I visited there were three gluten-free offerings: Pecos Texas 3 Alarm Chili, Tomatillo Tortilla Chicken with Lime and Creamed Cauliflower. Their bakery case will tempt you and fortunately there are a few things gluten intolerant sweet lovers can enjoy including offerings from GEM, WOW, No-Bake Cookie Company and a six inch chocolate cake from that dessert wizard, Papa Haydn. 16380 Boones Ferry Road, 503.210.4190.

Did I miss anything? Please let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

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Sign Up Now for Spring Break Fun in Lake Oswego

spring-break-1If you’re looking for something for your kids to do during Spring Break this year in Lake Oswego, you’ve got lots of options. Check out these offerings and then sign up as soon as you can. Space is limited in some cases.

COMMUNITY SCHOOL. Register on their website.

Lifeguard Training Class for ages 15+. Get your teenager ready for summertime jobs with classroom and water sessions. Passage of initial swim test required to enroll. Swim test: Saturday, March 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Class: Monday, March 27 through Tuesday, March 28 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, March 29 through Friday, March 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oswego School District pool, 2455 Country Club Road. Fee: $230. Call 503.740.7184 for more information.

Lifeguard Review for ages 17+. If you or your teen are already certified and just need a refresher course, this is it. Online and classroom learning and water sessions. Passage of swim test required. Monday, March 27 through Tuesday, March 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lake Oswego School District pool, 2455 Country Club Road. Fee: $103. Call 503.740.7184 for more information.

Basketball Camp for Boys and Girls in Grades 3-9.  Learn the fundamentals through drills, practice time with coaches and games. Led by Lake Oswego head boys’ basketball coach, Marshall Cho. Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lake Oswego High School Gym, 2501 SW Country Club Road. Fee: $205.

LAKE OSWEGO PARKS AND RECREATION. Many of these camps have an AM or PM session but the Parks and Recreation Department now offers “in-between care” for participants who want to stay at Palisades during lunchtime. Cost is $25 for the week. Select optional camp pricing when you register or call 503.675.2549. Register on their website.

Ninjaneering using LEGO® for ages 5-7. Let your kids immerse themselves in the world of Ninjago while they build unique and fun LEGO projects. Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road. Fee for Course #14861: $55/Resident; $178/Non-Resident.

Jedi Master Engineering Using LEGO® for ages 8-12. Calling all young Jedi who want to learn how things like gear trains and worm drives can help them build LEGO Pod Racers, AT-AT Walkers and more. Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road. Fee for Course #14862: $155/Resident; $178/Non-Resident.

All About That Bass for ages 8-12. Kids get hands-on experience with the electric bass, upright bass, and other lower pitched instruments while learning their role in jazz and classical music. Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 2531 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road. Fee for Course #14863: $140/Resident; $161/Non-Resident.

Beginning to Rock Camp for ages 5-7. Consider this a rock immersion course for youngsters as RMC staff introduce them to the tools of the trade: bass, drums, guitar, keyboard and vocals as well as music fundamentals: pitch, harmony and rhythm. Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road. Fee for Course #14864: $140/Resident; $161/Non-Resident.

The Gaming Academy for ages 10-15. Designed for the Future Game Builders of America. Students will get hands-on experience designing and building their very own games through a combination of Video Game Design, Advanced Game Design and 3D Game Design. Monday, March 27 through Thursday, March 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road. Fee for Course #14865: $310/Resident; $357/Non-Resident.

Spring Break Farm Camp for ages 5-12. Luscher Farm is home base while campers learn about organic gardening, seed starts, and how to plant vegetables. Other activities include farm based crafts and feeding the chickens. Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road. Fee for Course #14686: $155/Resident; $178/Non-Resident.

Junior Golf Camp for ages 6-17 gives kids a chance to brush up on their game with lessons, activities, and practice. Lunch included. Tuesday, March 28 through Friday, March 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course, 17525 Stafford Road in Lake Oswego. Fee for Course #14741: $149/Resident; $175 Non-Resident.

Intro to Survival Camp for ages 6-9. Kids put down the gadgets and learn to use their own wits like teamwork and decision-making when presented with scenarios typically seen on popular TV shows. Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street. Fee for Course #15102: $215/Resident; $248/Non-Resident.

Intro to Fencing for ages 7-12. Learn the basic skills of the Olympic sport of fencing with an emphasis on quick thinking, coordination, strength and agility. Equipment provided. Tuesday, March 28 through Thursday, March 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road. Fee for Course #15127: $98/Resident; $123/Non-Resident.

PLAY BOUTIQUE. 464 First Street. 503.675.7529. Register on their website.

Mini Art Masters. This interactive camp will introduce kids to the techniques of some of the greats like Monet, Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh. Call for dates as currently dates are listed for March 20 through March 24 but I’m assuming that is a misprint. When I called I was told that the attendant would check with her manager to correct it but it still was not corrected by posting time.  9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sibling discounts as well as extended day options.

  • 1-2 year olds from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fee: $45 for half day; $70 for full day until 3:30.
  • 3-12 year olds from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fee: $35 for half day/$160 for the week; $50 for full day until 3:30/$225 for the week.

NIC & FIGS. 425 Second Street. 503.479.8596. Register on their website.

Me and My American Girl Doll Camp for ages 8 and up. Supplies and instruction are included so your American Girl Doll fan can sew matching skirts or pajama bottoms as well as tote bags for her and her doll. Monday, March 27 through Wednesday, March 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. $132.

I Love My Dog. Dog lovers will be delighted with this camp’s lineup: Make a drawstring doggie backpack on day one. Bake dog treats and human treats on day two. Sew a leash and bandana on day three. Monday, March 27 through Wednesday, March 29 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. $140.

Felting Fun. Kids learn the many ways to be creative with felt: needle felt an animal of their choice, felt a picture on a hoop and wet felting to create a naturally exfoliating soap. They can take home a needle felting kit so they can make more creations on their own. Monday, March 27 through Wednesday, March 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. $148.

Salt Water Taffy for ages 10 and up. Make taffy from scratch including the stretching, pulling and wrapping part. Then take some home for the family to enjoy. Wednesday, March 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $52.

Bagels! for ages 6 and up.  Students will learn to mix, proof, shape, boil, and bake their very own bagels and then create flavorful cream cheeses to spread on top. Wednesday, March 29 from 1:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. $48.

Donut Pillow for ages 8 and up. This is a perfect beginner friendly sewing class where students will make a donut pillow complete with sprinkles. Thursday, March 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $52.

Let’s Make (and eat) Donuts for ages 6 and up. Make it a donut-kind-of-day by signing your child up for this donut-themed afternoon class following the pillow making session. Kids will make, frost, decorate, eat, and take home donuts! Thursday, March 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. $44.

Make and Take Pasta and Sauce for ages 6 and up. Let the kids make dinner tonight. They will make fresh pasta as well as pesto and marinara sauce and bring home one pound of pasta for everyone to enjoy. Friday, March 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. $62.

May the Felt Be With You.  Needle felters will take home their favorite Star Wars character that they’ve created along with a take home needle felting kit so they can add to their collection at home. Friday, March 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $48.

Spring Break Mixology for ages 21 and over. After a week home with the kids, you might need a drink! Learn the art of a few basic cocktails and enjoy a tasting journey led by one of Portland’s most popular cocktail artists. Friday, March 31 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. $65.

MOUNTAIN PARK KIDZONE. Register in person at Mountain Park Clubhouse, 2 Mt. Jefferson Terrace in Lake Oswego. 503.635.3561

Spring Break Camp for ages 5-12 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 27 through Friday, March 31 includes sports, swimming and pool activities, arts and crafts, games and more at Mountain Park Clubhouse, Mt. Jefferson Terrace. Full Week Fee: $250/ Mt. Park members; $300/non-members (discount for siblings). Full Day Fee: $55/members; $65/non-members (sibling discount). Register at front desk.

Spring Break can be a good time to look at homes for sale in Lake Oswego if you’re thinking of moving. I’ll be around so give me a call at 503.939.9801. Would love to show you around.

 

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Here’s Why Hazelia Dog Park is a Perfect Spot to Celebrate National Walking the Dog Day

The Guardian of the Lake stands guard just outside Lake Oswego's Hazelia Dog Park.

The Guardian of the Lake stands guard just outside Lake Oswego’s Hazelia Dog Park.

Drive around Lake Oswego and one thing you’ll notice—dogs are welcome here. While the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that between 37-47% of American households have a dog, I’d venture to say that Lake Oswegans skew the average on the higher end of the scale.

So it makes sense that we’d have a popular dog park at Hazelia Field that draws both locals as well as neighbors and their pets on a daily basis. The city’s own “Guardian of the Lake” – a reclaimed metal dog sculpture that won the People’s Choice Award in 2014 for the city’s Gallery Without Walls—stands guard nearby on the Hazelia Trail, keeping watch. (He’s so life-like that some of the canine visitors mistake him for the real thing and bark at him to let him know they are not intimidated by his size). Can’t imagine a better spot to celebrate National Walk the Dog Day, this Wednesday, February 22.

Here’s some things you should know:

  • There are two separate off-leash areas, one for timid and shy dogs (northernmost area) and one for more outgoing and assertive dogs (the larger area facing the parking lot). Both are a good size allowing for lots of romping around.
  • Poo bags are provided as well as receptacles to dispose of them.
  • It’s free to all-comers.
  • The park is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Address is 17800 Stafford Road, West Linn.
  • It can get muddy when it rains so be prepared to clean your dog up before loading him/her back into your car
  • Know that the park is as much for socializing among the dogs as it is for their owners. Regulars enjoy the company of other canine-smitten humans as well as their wet-nosed charges.

Here’s what some Facebook fans have to say:

  • “I love the little dog park. My pup doesn’t have to worry about big dogs bothering him and he loves to run like the wind. Great place.”
  • “ …lots of trees and toys for the dogs to play with! Dog pools and water buckets and a hose with running water.”
  • “Very nice dog park compared to North Clackmas dog park. Adequate fencing, and a hose and water for dogs, nice people. Very great dog park well worth it to drive to.”

And one regular describes the combination of fresh air, trees, and furry friends running up to greet you as very “healing.” Can’t argue with that.

A couple other nearby spots to let your dog have his or her day include:

  • Mary S Young Park off-leash dog park and beach area, 19900 Willamette Drive in West Linn (your dog is required to be on leash, however, on your way to the designated area).
  • Tualatin Community Park dog park located on the northern end of the park, 8515 SW Tualatin Road, Tualatin
  • Tigard Dog Parks which include Potso at 7960 SW Hunziker Road, Ash Street at 1270 SW Ash Avenue and Summerlake at 11450 SW Winterlake Drive.

If having room for Fido to roam is on your house hunting checklist, let me help. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I counted three dogs at one time living under my roof so I get it. I’d love to help you find the perfect spot where you and your canine family members can call home.

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6 Ways to Celebrate National Drink Wine Day in Lake Oswego

wine-tasting-1376267_640Saturday is National Drink Wine Day and luckily here in Lake Oswego, we have lots to wine about. If you’re in the mood to celebrate this national holiday, check one of these places out.

World Class Wines. Susan and Rick Baldwin have been catering to the oenophiles among us since 2009 by offering a wide range of services from Friday night wine tastings, a wine club, wine and food education classes, and pre-sale wine offerings based on your individual preferences.  The Friday night wine tastings are a popular option for regulars as well as newbies who want to learn their way around a Tendril Chardonnay or a Capezzana Ghiaie Della Furba Rosso. Things start up at 4:30 p.m. and include six wines for $15 with an optional bonus pour of two more wines for $5. Resident wine geek, Rick Baldwin, is usually pouring, sometimes with the help of local winemakers or distributors. He provides tasting notes along with answers to any questions you may have about how the wine is made, what to pair it with or how it compares to the vintages you tried the week before. 149 A Avenue, 503.974.9841.

Wizer’s Wine Cellar. Although Wizer’s Oswego Foods closed its grocery operation in 2013, the fine wine collection that put it on serious oenophiles’ maps lives on at its downtown Lake Oswego location, 269 A Avenue. Besides an extensive offering of wines from all the major wine producing regions of the world, Wizer’s also offers free wine tastings every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 503.636.1414.

Riccardo’s Vin Italy Wine Shop. If your inclination is to say, “Beviamo!” when you raise your glass, then you might enjoy wine tasting at Riccardo’s Vin Italy Wine Shop where Italian wines are featured every second Saturday of the month from noon until 3:00 p.m. Tasting fee is $5. Riccardo’s Ristorante next door has a special event planned on  February 23 – Umani Ronchi Winemaker Dinner with selected wines to accompany each of the five courses.

The Harvest Wine Bar.14559 Westlake Drive, 503.747.7263. For a mid-week pick-me-up, head over to The Harvest Wine Bar for their Wednesday and Thursday night wine tastings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Recent tastings featured big bold reds from California as well as Northern California wines from four different wineries. Subscribe to their email and be notified of each week’s focus. Call to reserve your spot. Tasting fee runs $15-$20. You can also order appetizers and entrées from their menu to make it a night.

Oswego Hills Winery. Located just past Luscher Farms on Rosemont Road sits this family run vineyard that was planted in 1997 with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Marechal Foch. Tastings are offered every Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. showcasing their latest vintage. 450 S. Rosemont Road, 503.655.2599.

Oregon Wine Reserve. This 6,700 square foot facility offers ideal storage conditions for your prized wine collection. Services include customized lockers, wine club receiving, inventory services, a conference room and member tasting room. Social events are offered that let members mingle among other like-minded oenophiles. 600 N. State Street, 503.342.3269.

If you’d like to discuss your home buying or selling options over a glass of wine (cup of coffee or smoothie), I’m buying! Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and let me put my 25 plus years experience to work for you.

 

 

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5 Things LO Does Better Than OC

lo-vs-ocI recently visited my daughter who is living in Newport Beach, California. Ironically I left our snowmageddon just in time to catch their rainmageddon. Looking at “sunny” southern California through rain-spackled glasses I realized that despite the O.C.’s draw, we do some things better than them.

  1. Rain. On the morning of the first downpour, my wife and I walked (without umbrellas) to the local coffee shop that is usually flanked by regulars. The place was deserted. So we took up some prime real estate inside and sat down with our coffees and our books and proceeded to enjoy ourselves. A local walked in and took notice, “I love it!” she exclaimed. “Here you are, sitting and reading and drinking your coffee. The storm didn’t faze you.” To which my wife explained, “We’re from Oregon. We know how to do rain.”Apparently, So-Caler’s don’t—they stay inside, put aside their normal routines, and when they do have to drive, they clog the roads leaving newscasters proclaiming the sorry state of affairs on the freeways.
  1. Coffee. Speaking of that coffee we had, it was bad. And not just at that spot. We tried several and couldn’t find a place that made our “wet cappuccinos” as well as our favorite watering hole in Oregon. My wife even showed the baristas pictures of what we wanted our orders to look like but either the artistic talent was lacking and/or the coffee flavor just wasn’t there. I guess we’re spoiled up here living right next door to what Travel and Leisure readers named the best coffee city in America (Portland).
  1. Schools. While one of the things that drives housing prices in Newport Beach is the quality of their schools, you can pay a lot less for a home in Lake Oswego for schools that rank higher nationally. The Newport-Mesa School District ranks 700 nationally among Niche’s ranking that includes state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. Lake Oswego beats them out at 472. And on a statewide basis, Newport-Mesa can’t beat Lake Oswego’s #1 ranking in Oregon with its 40th place finish in California.
  1. Water. Our water tastes better—it’s as unscientific as that. Next time we visit, my wife—who religiously drinks at least 8-12 glasses of water a day, has already said we need to buy bottled water. Not to mention how far the water normally has to travel to get there—being pumped and channeled from Northern California and the Colorado River. Judging by its taste, we wonder if it’s worth the trip!
  1. Cost of housing. When it comes to real estate, it helps to compare apples to apples. Newport Beach is a highly desirable place to live in the state of California. Lake Oswego is a highly desirable place to live in Oregon. But a home there will set you back around $1,700,00. That makes the median sales price of $535,000 in Lake Oswego look like a bargain…especially when you consider the rain factor, coffee quality, schools, and taste of water!

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in Lake Oswego, Oregon, give me a call. As you can see, I’m very biased about living here so would love to show you around. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

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