Introduce Dad to Something New in Lake Oswego This Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a great excuse to get your dad to get out of his routine and try something new in and around Lake Oswego.

Here are a few things to consider:

MORSE COFFEE COMPANY. This is one of the newest kids on the block, opening its doors on April 22. But Sam Morse, co-owner with his dad David, is no newcomer to coffee and his new business reflects his 20-year background in the specialty coffee industry. Featuring Upper Left Roasters beans, every cup is a work of art, both in how it tastes and how it looks—they take latte art seriously here, which if you’re like the coffee drinkers in our family, adds to the enjoyment. There are lots of seating options too so indulge in a sit-down coffee experience which is something you and your dad haven’t had in a while.  And while you’re at it, take a look around at the art on exhibit. Besides coffee, Sam loves art and is an artist himself (hence that great latte art!). The shop plans to feature work by local artists for free, providing them with another venue to display and sell their art. This month they are featuring the winners of the City of Lake Oswego’s photo contest. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 417 1st Street in downtown Lake Oswego.

STEIN DISTILLERY. Keep the liquid flowing. Treat him to a tasting flight of this local family-run operation that grows their own grains to ensure the quality that goes into their spirits. The tasting menu runs from $10 to $18 and includes an entry level selection as well as a whiskey flight that compares the different grain bills. If he finds one he likes, you can treat him to a bottle and enjoy an $8 savings off the cost of your flight. Hours are 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Happy Hours are 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday with $4 off of flights. Room capacity is currently at 8 so you might want to call ahead. 160 A Avenue, 503.344.4259.

MERCATO VILLAGE RESTAURANTS. Lake Oswego’s newest mixed-use development is ready for business, well some of it is. Currently you can enjoy takeout and delivery from these two restaurants:

Grassa: Pictures of their handcrafted pasta will have you drooling: Malfadine with lamb sausage, tomato, mint, sweet peas, ricotta salata and black olive crumbs or the pork belly mac and cheese, not to mention favorites like carbonara and cacio e pepe. Have the chefs there prepare your meal or cook it up for Dad at home by ordering a pound of their handmade pasta paired with a pint of their pork ragu sauce. Open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 4055 Mercantine Drive, Suite 130. 503.303.9219.

Lardo: This place takes sandwich making to the next level with offerings like the Chefwich with Dungeness crab cakes and green curry aioli or the Two One Five with shaved sirloin, American cheese, hot cherry peppers, griddled onions, Duke’s mayo on a seeded bun. And don’t forget the French fries—the Lardo fries feature fried herbs and parmesan while the Dirty fries come bearing pork scraps, marinated peppers, fried herbs and parmesan. Open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 4025 Mercantile Drive, Suite 125. 503.303.9227.  

Coming soon: Other food stops scheduled for summer opening include: Fills (a Berliner-style doughnut shop) opening in July; Lac St. Jack (Parisian inspired bistro) opening in July; Tasty (eclectic all-day eatery) opening in July; Oven and Shaker (Italian pizza and street food) opening in August.  

IRON MOUNTAIN PARK. Grab a few of those sandwiches from Lardo’s and head over with Dad to one of the city of Lake Oswego’s newest parks at 2401 Iron Mountain Road. There is a picnic shelter and access to the Iron Mountain trails which would be a great activity to work off your lunch! A new lower soft trail runs parallel to Iron Mountain Road but intersects with the Iron Mountain/Springbrook Park Loop which will take you up to the overlook platform at the site of the Prosser Iron Mine. It’s worth the trek!

Wishing the best to all you fathers on there! Be sure to subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column so you stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego and all the reasons you’ll love living here. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website if you’re interested in moving to, within, or out of Lake Oswego. I’d love to put my experience to work for you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Enter the Lottery for a Chance to Attend Lake Oswego’s Summer Concerts

If you love outdoor summer concerts, I hope you’re feeling lucky this summer. Why? Because tickets to Lake Oswego’s summer concerts series will be awarded based on a lottery system. If interested in attending one (or all) of this summer’s events, you need to register for each individual show. If your name is drawn you may purchase up to six tickets for your party which come concert night, will be physically distanced from other participating groups.

Tickets are $14 each and include a meal. Lottery registration is now open and the drawing for July concerts will be June 15 and July 13 for August concerts. Come rain or shine, the show will go on, so be prepared. And remember to bring your low sand chairs and/or blankets.

Check the complete schedule here and register for the lottery drawings. All shows run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

DatePlace*BandType of Music
July 1MPPAaron MeyerRock violinist
July 8MPPSabrosoLatin Funk
July 15MPPTom GrantJazz
July 22MPPTodd HaabyLatin guitar
July 29MPPChris Baum ProjectTribute to Steely Dan
August 5WPKalimbaSpirit of Earth Wind & Fire
August 12WPPetty FeverTom Petty Tribute
August 19WPJennifer Batten and Full SteamRock
August 26WPRadical Revolution80s Hits Tribute
* MPP Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street/ WP Westlake Park, 14165 Bunick Drive

*MMP – Millennium Plaza Park, 200 1st Street

*WP – Westlake Park, 14165 Bunick Drive

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. You’ll receive weekly updates on things to do in Lake Oswego and reasons to move to and live in Lake Oswego. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to help you enjoy the quality of life that this city that I call home provides. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

Posted in Things to Do in Lake Oswego | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

U-Pick Berry Farms around Lake Oswego Oregon

Once you’ve tasted an Oregon grown strawberry, there is no going back. That will become the standard by which you compare all other strawberries, and I assure you, they will fall short.

Luckily those juicy ripe morsels will arrive at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market in early June and keep returning in different varieties throughout the summer while joined by their equally delicious family members: blackberries (July-September), blueberries (July-September), boysenberries (June-July), marionberries (July), raspberries (June-September), and tayberries(mid to late summer).

To add to the berry experience, many Lake Oswegans go berry picking at one of the u-pick farms located within a short drive from town. The only thing you have to be careful of is getting carried away and bringing home more berries than you can eat. Fortunately there are recipes for cobbler, jam, and if you’ve really gone overboard, berries freeze really well too.

Here’s a roundup of some spots you might want to check out. It’s always good to check online and/or call ahead first to see what’s available. Covid guidelines vary from farm to farm so that’s another thing to look into.

LEE FARMS. Three generations are involved in this location which is closest to Lake Oswego and also a go-to spot for pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees in the winter. They will have six varieties of strawberries available for u-pick: Shucksans, Hoods, Sweet Sunrise, Charm, Stella and Chandler. Call for availability: 503.638.1869 or text 503.832.6594 to hop on the texting train and be notified when the picking starts. Buy tickets for their Summer and Berry Festival running Fridays through Sundays from June 4 through June 20. Admission is $5/person or you can choose an activity wristband available for $16 (includes admission price) that entitles you to participate in attractions like the bounce pillow, hay maze, slides, hayrides, barrel wagon rides. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin.

HOFFMAN FARMS STORE. This is a six-generation operation with a rotating crop of summer berries available for u-pick: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, marionberries, boysenberries and tayberries. Be sure to hop aboard the Hoffman Farms Express ($5/person) for a scenic train ride around the berry fields before you head out. Call ahead for availability. 22242 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Beaverton. 503.628.5418.

ALBEKE FARMS. Located in Oregon City, this farm offers a wide variety of u-pick options so you may have to visit it often during the summer. Choose from strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, marionberries, Gravenstein apples, Macintosh apples, Melrose apples, peaches, pickles, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins and concord grapes. Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 16107 S. Wilson Road, Oregon City. 503.632.3989.

RED BERRY BARN. There is lots to entice you here in addition to the fresh fruit. The garden center offers beautiful hanging baskets and pots to take home with you and the bakery is sure to tempt you as well. Not to mention the homemade ice cream that would go perfectly with your fresh-picked berries! Throughout the season you’ll find strawberries, raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries, blueberries and blackberries. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. 19200 SW Chapman Road, Sherwood. 503.925.1700.

DAVE HEIKES BERRY FARM AND FRESH MARKET. Head out to Hillsboro and you’ll find strawberries, blueberries, red and black raspberries and boysenberries. Hours: Call 503.628.7226. 9400 SW Heikes Drive, Hillsboro.

SMITH BERRY BARN FARM AND GARDEN MARKET. There are over 20 varieties of berries to savor from late May to early October, including the ever-popular and early Hood strawberries to the late fall raspberries. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 24500 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Hillsboro. 503.628.2172.

TOPAZ FARM. Formerly known as Kruger Farm, Sauvie Island residents Kat and Jim Topaz are now running the show and filling up their calendar not only with growing seasons for their wide variety of fruits and vegetables but also farm-to-plate brunches and dinners and other special events. Come June you’ll find u-pick strawberries and flowers followed by raspberries, marionberries and boysenberries in July and blueberries and cucumbers in August. The list goes on so be sure to check their website. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. June through October; open until sunset on Thursdays through Saturdays. 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland. 503.621.3489.

COLUMBIA FARMS. You’ll find 15 types of berries to choose from on this 80 acre farm as well as pre-cut peonies if you get there early enough in the season. Call for hours and availability. 21024 NW Gillihan Road, Portland. 503.621.3909.

DOUGLAS FARM. This fifth generation farm will open the end of June and offer u-pick berries as well as beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peaches, apples, pears, prunes, nectarines, sweet corn, squash and flowers. Call for hours and availability. 15330 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland. 503.621.3177.

THE PUMPKIN PATCH. This popular spot opened May 28th starting with u-pick strawberries followed by raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, marionberries, peaches, tomoatoes, flowers and pumpkins. Enjoy free hayrides daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fridays through Sundays from Juen through September. 15611 NW Gillihan Road, Portland. 503.621.3874.

SAUVIE ISLAND FARMS. The third generation of this family continues the tradition of offering a wide variety of u-pick berries, peaches, corn, flowers and pumpkins. You’ll also find cherries, pears, beans, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, flowers and herbs. Call for hours and availability: 503.621.3988. 19818 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland.  

BELLA ORGANIC. This 100-acre certified organic farm and winery grows over 70 varieties of berries, fruits, vegetables, pumpkins, vineyard grapes, herbs, and nursery stock. It’s a popular spot so best to head out early in the day and/or check that day’s availability by calling ahead. In June look for strawberries, possibly blueberries, and early variety blackberries. Marionberries are ripe for picking in July followed by blackberries in August. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 16205 NW Gillihan Road, Portland. 503.621.9545.

Find a complete list of farms here.

U-pick summer berries are just one of the many reasons to love Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “sign me up button in the top right hand column and discover many more reasons to move to Lake Oswego. I’m a Realtor here and would love to help you with your next move, whether it’s in, around or out of Lake Oswego. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Summer in Lake Oswego | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in June

I’ve covered the coming attractions this summer in Lake Oswego, but here are five happenings that I wanted to draw particular attention to, some of which were not previously mentioned.

As I’ve said before, Lake Oswego is the little town that thinks it can and does—there’s so much to look forward to this summer, even with Covid restrictions in place. So count your lucky stars that come summer, you are living in Lake Oswego (or at least visiting!)

Women’s Golf Day. Ladies enjoy FREE rounds of golf after 12:00 p.m. along with a FREE clinic with PGA professional and course manager Tom Mueller from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. While there is no cost to this event, women do need to call for a tee time or reserve online. Open to ages 18 and older.

Opening of Lake Grove Swim Park. This place holds a special place in the Costello family heart. Our kids (and their parents) spent many a summer afternoon here swimming in the lake, playing ping pong, hanging out at the concession stand, and just being a kid. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, activities are limited this year as is the time patrons are allowed to visit the park (a time-limit will be enforced to ensure that everyone gets to use the park while still safely distancing). But even in a scaled-down version, this park is one of the best things about Lake Oswego. So if you live within the former Lake Grove School District boundaries, be sure to put this on your Summer To Do list starting June 18. And if you don’t, just wait until next month when the city’s swim park opens on Ridgeway Road.

Deepening our Connections: A 3-Part Series on African American Literature, Part 1. The discussion continues, picking up from this year’s Lake Oswego Reads selection: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The Lake Oswego Library and Respond to Racism are sponsoring this conversation that will use storytelling to connect us and help us better understand the diverse and often painful experiences of our nation’s Black communities. Part 1 of this series will discuss Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs via Zoom and led by Regan Parker, a Lake Oswego mother, lawyer, and author with a deep passion for racial justice and belief in the power of story to instill understanding and connect us to one another. Sunday,  June 13 at 2:00 p.m. Register online.   

Petals and Punch. This is a new addition to Lake Oswego’s summer lineup of activities and promises to be memorable for little ones and their families. It takes place in Lake Oswego’s outdoor living room—Millennium Plaza Park—and features live entertainment from Angel Ocasio Comedy and music from Mr. Hoo. Tickets are $30/pair for Residents; $45/pair for non-residents and include tea, savory bites and sweet patisserie. An additional sibling discount is available if registering for another child. Register online for class number 22967.

Summer Solstice. I’ve extolled the virtues of summer in Lake Oswego on this blog before, but summer nights are some my favorites. And on Sunday, June 20, we see our longest day clocking in at 15 hours, 40 minutes and 25 seconds of daylight. Sunrise is at 5:22 a.m. and sunset at 9:02 p.m. followed by several more days with an even later sunset of 9:03 p.m. It’s definitely something to look forward to!

I plead guilty to trying to sell you on what a great place Lake Oswego is to live. That’s what this blog is all about. And if I manage to convince you to check it out, please feel free to give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. After living here and working here as a Realtor for over 30 years, I’d love to put my knowledge and love for this town to work for you. Happy summering!

Posted in Summer in Lake Oswego | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming Attractions This Summer in Lake Oswego

Last year at this time I posted an article speaking to the growing list of traditional summertime activities that had been cancelled due to Covid-19 and the Covid-approved versions of the ones that remained.

Now 365 days later, I’m happy to announce that Lake Oswego continues to find ways to make summer its finest season with smaller-scale, capacity-monitored outdoor events. From concerts in the park to flicks on the farm, there are a variety of options for Lake Oswegans to make the most of the glorious weather and daylight-filled days coming our way.

Here’s a sneak peek at the coming attractions:

Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market. I’ve already touted about this popular summer attraction but in case anyone missed it, I wanted to make sure the market, which is already underway, is top on everyone’s “Summer To Do” list for Lake Oswego. Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 8 to October 2 in Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street.

Pop-Up Concerts on the Lake. The Lake Corporation is staging eight pop-up concerts at various locations around the lake beginning June 11 through September 9. Locations are revealed at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the concert through emails to members and on their Facebook page. Concerts begin at 6:00 p.m. (except for Hot August Night on August 7 which begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Juneteenth. Head down to Millennium Plaza Park to participate in the city’s commemoration of the day slavery ended. Programming TBA.

Picnic in the Park. Our popular summer concert series returns in a new and Covid-approved version. Since capacity will be monitored based on county risk levels, the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is issuing ticket purchases on a lottery basis. Interested attendees must register individually for each of the concerts they wish to attend. A drawing for the July concerts (held at Millennium Plaza Park) will be held June 15; July 13 for the August concerts (held at Westlake Park). If selected, participants may purchase up to six tickets (at $14 each which includes a meal) and then bring low sand chairs and/or blankets for their socially distanced assigned space the night of the concert. The show will go on, rain or shine. Check back for a complete lineup.

Lake Grove Swim Park. Tentative plans are to be open from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. beginning Friday, June 18 and closing the week of August 23. Most likely, attendance at the Lake Grove Swim Park will resemble last summer’s guidelines; however, depending on the risk level assessment, things could change. As always, entrance is limited to residents within the  boundaries of the former Lake Grove School District, who pay an additional property tax to support the swim park. Residents must have a park pass in order to use the swim park. Passes are issued at the swim park and require picture ID with proof of residency (i.e., drivers license). Resident addresses are verified via tax records to determine eligibility.

In addition, these restrictions most likely will apply:

•There will be a park capacity

•Masks will need to be worn within six feet of patrons who do not enter the park together

•A time limit will be enforced to ensure access for everyone

•Food will not be served

•No swim lessons

• Kiddie pool may not open

• There will be no equipment or games rentals; however, guests can bring their own

Lake Oswego Swim Park. This swim park, located at 250 Ridgeway Road, is operated by the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department and is open to all residents of Lake Oswego. In order to accommodate swimmers safely this summer, certain Covid-19 protocols will be followed including:

•Proof of LO residency with photo ID

•25-person maximum capacity

•2-hour maximum visit

•1 visit per day

•Face covering required for ages 5 and over (not in water)

•Children 11 and under must be accompanied by an individual 16 years or older

Petals & Punch. Millennium Plaza Park will be transformed into a flower-filled venue for a enchanted afternoon tea party on Sunday, June 27 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy savory bites and sweet pastries along with your tea and making magical memories with your child. Entertainment provided by Angel Ocasio Comedy and music by Mr. Hoo. Register online: Residents $30/pair; Non-Residents $45/pair.  

Festival of the Arts Art in the Park. This two-day event featuring visionary artists of the Pacific Northwest returns in a newly imagined way to follow Covid-19 safety guidelines. Artists will be spread out throughout the entirety of George Rogers Park to allow for social distancing. Come get your artistic fix and support these regional artists. Saturday and Sunday, June 26 through June 27. 611 S. State Street. Watch for more details.  

4th of July Pancake Breakfast. The pancake breakfast is going virtual again this year which you can access and donate to here. The Lions Club is hoping to host an event in August, possibly along the lines of a hamburger/hot dog feed. Stay tuned.

 4TH of July Fireworks on the Lake. This annual event is tentatively being planned; however, there were no details at posting time.

Masque Alfresco. Families can once again enjoy free outdoor theatre productions in George Rogers Park Memorial Garden (next to the Iron Foundry) Fridays through Sundays from July 23 through August 8 at 7:00 p.m. This year’s antics tell a version of Alice in Wonderland in the silly, slapstick way Masque Alfresco is known for.

Flicks at the Farm. Carpool cinemas are another example of the Covid-pivot. Go back in time and enjoy a popular flick under the stars with your family and/or friends. Reserve your spot (and be prepared to provide contact information for each person—up to 6—attending for contact tracing, if needed). Staggered load-in begins at 7:30 p.m. with spaces assigned on vehicle size. Movies begin around 8:45 p.m. Fee is per space: $39 Resident/$45 Non-Resident. The lineup includes Raya and the Last Dragon on Friday, July 30, and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark on Saturday, July 31. Register online.  

Twilight on the Farm. This fundraiser to support numerous programs offered at Luscher Farm is set for August 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. featuring a farm style picnic dinner with wines and beers from local producers. Check online for details.

Movies in the Park. There’s more than one way to watch a movie. Fans can return to Millennium Plaza Park to watch Moana on Tuesday, August 10 or Westlake Park on Tuesday, August 17 for The Croods. Movies begin at dusk (approximately 8:45 p.m.). While the event is free, registration is required for contact tracing purposes.

Drive-In Concert. Enjoy some physically distanced fun at a double-header drive-in concert at Luscher Farm on Saturday, August 21. Opener is CJ Mickens followed by Hit Machine. Staggered load-in begins at 5:15 p.m. with spaces assigned on vehicle size. Concert runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Price is per parking space: $40 Resident/$49 Non-Resident with a maximum of six persons per car. Again, contact tracing protocol requires all attendees be listed with contact information.

Oswego Heritage Council Collector Car & Classic Boat Show. Organizers are deciding if, when and how to hold this annual event and hope to have a decision by the end of May so stay tuned.

Barnyard Bolt. Sign your family up for this 5K family fun run at Luscher Farm. Dash your way through sprinkler splashes, bubbles and other obstacles sure to leave you laughing (and slightly dirty and/or wet). Participants are encourage to dress up as their favorite barnyard animal. Open to ages 5+. Staggered start times enable capacity monitoring. Saturday, August 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. $15/person until July 31; $18/person August 1.

Barks in the Park. Who says humans get to have all the fun? Bring your furry friends to Hazelia Dog Park on Thursday, September 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. where you and they can have some dog-gone fun from maneuvering around obstacle courses, listening to music, checking out the pet-friendly vendors and snacks and entering the costume competition.

Stay tuned to this blog to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and receive weekly updates in your inbox.

Posted in Summer in Lake Oswego | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Advice for Buyers in the Lake Oswego Housing Market

What does an apple have to do with today’s housing market? Turns out it was the perfect stand-in for a parody on the supply and demand hysteria we see playing out among homebuyers when TikToker Shaun Johnson uploaded a video comparing an apple to a home for sale. Once the apple is put up for sale, bidders come chiming in, driving up the price from $5 to $120 within a matter of seconds, including one California buyer who at $100 said it was the “cheapest apple he’d ever seen.”

If you’re a mere observer to this “arms race” also known as the housing market dash, references like these are funny.

But if you’re actually in the race to buy a new home, it’s no laughing matter.

Here are some of the stories from the front lines:

• Desperate to find a competitive edge, buyers are waving inspections

• People started camping out two days in advance for a first-come first-served opportunity to buy a $1.2 million townhome in Santa Clara, California

• Higher lumber prices have added about $26,000 to the construction cost of a new home according to the National Association of Realtors

• Buyers are writing love letters to sellers even though they put themselves at higher risk of violating fair housing standards

• When looking for comparative sales to determine value, I’m now looking only two months back because values have escalated so quickly.

What’s a buyer to do?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Look for houses under your price limit to give yourself room to offer more than the list price.


2. Get loan approval subject to an appraisal. By going through the approval process, you come out with an unconditional commitment by the lender who has verified all your data to grant you the mortgage subject to the appraisal. This is better than being pre-qualified which merely gives you an idea of how big a loan you’ll likely qualify for and is solely based on consumer-submitted data. And it’s better than being pre-approved which is based on verified consumer data but still doesn’t have the guarantee of an underwriter to back it. Sellers will consider an offer from an approved buyer a much stronger one than from a pre-qualified or pre-approved buyer because it indicates the buyer’s financing is guaranteed, subject to the appraisal. It can also shorten the escrow process which many sellers also consider a plus. Finding a lender to go through this process with you can be challenging but is well worth it and is one of the services a Realtor like myself can help provide, having worked with reputable lenders who are willing to work on this basis.


3. Consider offering perks like: offering flexible occupancy dates if the seller needs extra time to find a place to move; offer to pay to remedy inspection problems up to a certain amount (I would never recommend waiving the inspection nor waiving all rights to remedy inspection problems. I recently was involved in a deal where the buyer offered to pay up to $2,500 to address inspection problems; however, when the inspection exposed a mold problem with a price tag of $20,000, the seller agreed to pick up the tab for the rest of the cost.)


4. Have a good understanding of your long-term plans. Chances are you may end up paying top dollar for a home in today’s market. If you plan are living there for several years, you give yourself enough time for natural appreciation rates to protect your investment. However, if this is a short-term plan, you might be better off waiting until things cool down.


5. Be willing to invest some sweat equity along with your finances. The house with all the bells and whistles is going to have the most suitors standing in line wanting to win the prize. Consider listings that may be a little outdated or need more TLC and you might have more of a fighting chance (but be sure to factor in the cost of the renovations in the price you end up offering).


6. Work with an experienced Realtor. In a market like today’s, you really need the advice of an experienced Realtor to navigate the playing field. I have counseled some clients to wait until things open up more. I’ve also cautioned clients from bidding more than I thought they could recoup when it comes time to sell. More than ever you need a Realtor who will be honest with you which means you may not always hear what you want to hear, at least not in the heat of the moment. But such advice is a good antidote to buyer’s remorse.

Let me help you buy or sell your next home. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego and the Portland metro area for over 30 years and I’d love to put my experience to work helping you navigate today’s real estate market. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

Posted in buying a home in Lake Oswego Oregon | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spotlight on Lake Oswego’s Farmers’ Market

Of all the coming attractions of summer in Lake Oswego, the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market is one of the most anticipated.

And with good reason. As you can read in some of my earlier blogs here and here, the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market is more than just a place to shop. It has been a place for friends to gather, for kids to learn new things about the foods we eat, to enjoy music, good food and a spectacular view.

While some of those amenities are limited by Covid-19 restrictions, we can still find lots to enjoy at this year’s Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market. Hours are every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from May 8 through October 2 at Millennium Plaza Park. Masks are required and social distancing is encouraged by controlling admission through one entrance and one exit and spacing the booths further apart.

For a complete list of this year’s vendors (not all of whom will be present every week) check online. But here are some shout-outs to a few to show the variety you’re likely to find on any given Saturday.

FARM PUNK SALADS. You gotta love a farmer whose mission is to “get you stoked about eating a salad.” Besides offering salad greens and herbs grown on a pesticide and spray free farm, they also tout their lineup of salad dressings designed to “give your salad an extra ‘oomph’ that will keep you satisfied.”  Flavors include Basil Balsamic, Paprika Cider, Coriander Ginger, Dill-icious, and Rosemary Sage.

STRAIGHTAWAY COCKTAILS. Your happy hours will get happier if you stop by Straightaway Cocktails. Leave the bartending to these cocktail enthusiasts who have done the mixing and fine-tuning for you. Perfectly blended cocktails are bottled in sizes from 50 ml for one drink to 750 for 12. My favorite when I stopped by their tasting room was the Lintik—Gin aged with lemon, house-made simple syrup and bitters, but there’s a Margarita, Negroni, Cosmos, Old-Fashioned and a couple others to try as well.

CRANBERRY KITCHEN. Oregon is one of the few states that grows this native fruit, and this cranberry farm located on the northern Oregon coast has been supplying cranberry lovers for over 50 years. Their booth features whole dried cranberries as well as crannie mixes with supporting players like dried blueberries, dried cherries, premium nuts and granola.

aMYLK. This plant-based mylk is as beautiful as it is delicious. Bottled in old-fashioned glass bottles that reveal natural colors to fill a pastel palette, you’re bound to feel good as well as look good drinking one of their many flavors including vanilla hazelnut, cashew creamer, matcha almond and café au lait.

QUICHE ME IF YOU CAN. Anyone who can come up with that clever a name for her business also has to be pretty creative in the kitchen. Quiche flavors include mushroom, leek and goat cheese; roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions and goat cheese; roasted mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers and smoked gouda. They keep for seven days in the refrigerator making meal planning easy!

TWISTED WINGS HEADBANDS. One thing I’ve learned from the women in my life is that while they like the look of headbands they can be uncomfortable. These reversible fabric headbands seem to solve that problem that just require a twist and you’re ready to head out! The owner’s Instagram page even shows matching masks if you’re going for the coordinated look.

THE GRATE PLATE. This handmade ceramic grating plate is the next answer to grating garlic, ginger, nutmeg, hard cheese and more. It also comes with a silicone garlic peeler (easy peasy!) and a wooden handle gathering brush. I am the proud owner of one of these nifty kitchen gadgets and I can attest to the fact that they work!  

I sell more than homes in Lake Oswego. I sell a quality of life that I try to reflect in this blog each and every week. Be sure to subscribe by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. And if you are in the market to buy or sell your home in Lake Oswego, please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com, or check out my website. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you!

Posted in Lake Oswego Farmers' Market | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Things We Are Loving About Lake Oswego in May

What a difference a year makes! While we aren’t out of the COVID woods yet, this May is looking very different from last. Instead of listing events that have been cancelled in this blog, I’m happy to report that some of our favorite events are returning, albeit in Covid-friendly versions.

Here are some things to look forward to in Lake Oswego in May.

Summer Camp Registration. Parents, set your alarms. Lake Oswego resident registration for Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Summer Camps opens up at 9:00 a.m. on May 3. There is an extensive lineup this year including 17 preschool camps, 6 art, 10 dance, 5 music, 3 mad science, 6 science and stem, 5 Lego, 10 technology, 7 Lego, 8 Teen Service Corp, 12 outdoor, 10 sports and fitness and golf and tennis. Camper groups are limited to 20 participants and social distancing is encouraged while masks are required. Your best strategy is to visit the brochure ahead of time and if you see something good, add it to your wishlist to save until registration day. Then once the clock strikes 9, add it to your cart! Luckily, you’ve probably been training for this already if you’ve had to strategize how and where to get your vaccine. Good luck!

Walk4Water. WaterAfrica is hosting this year’s annual event once again in support of its partner, World Vision’s goal to “Finish the Job in Zambia” which means providing clean water everywhere the organization works in Zambia within the next five years. That translates to reaching one million people who now find themselves walking an average of 3+ miles a day just to get dirty water, that often carries water-borne disease.

Here’s how to participate in the 14th annual event:

Register online. Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an automated email with a link to a page to sign up for a timeslot for the Foothill Parks walk. There are only 120 spots available spread out across three time slots: 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. If no time slots are still available, registrants can participate through their own chosen walk and are encouraged to share their experience and the WaterAfrica mission to Finish the Job in Zambia with friends and family through social media. Registration fees are $25/child; $50/adult; $300/family.

LAKE RUN. This annual event (which had to be cancelled last year due to COVID-19), typically draws in 1,000 participants and raises $100,000 for charity. Since 2018, the event has been organized by and benefitted Northwest Housing Alternatives which builds new homes and opportunities for seniors, families, veterans and people with special needs across Oregon as well as providing homeless intervention programs for families in Clackamas County.

This year’s event will be virtual, May 1 and 2, enabling participants to run any course they wish (which for those of us who dread that McVey climb could be a good thing!) Simply register online and then on race weekend, run a 5K or 10K course of your own choosing, and upload your time to compare your results with other Lake Run participants.  Entry fee is $35.

FARMERS’ MARKET. This summer favorite returns in a hybrid version between pre and post Covid. Covid-19 safety guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority are still being followed meaning face coverings are required, there will be reduced booth space to provide more room for attendees to maintain social distancing, and entering and exiting will be limited to one location each. We will see the return of some attractions like artisan/nonprofit/community booths, Farm Fresh Kids and live music featuring soloists or duos. Watch for a more detailed blog in May for information about vendors included in this summer’s lineup. Market hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Saturday From May 8 through October 2.

SAMURAI IN THE OREGON SKY WITH ILANA SOL. For all you history buffs out there, this one is a must-see. In 1942, Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita catapulted his seaplane off of a submarine, flew over the Oregon coast, and became the only pilot to bomb the U.S. mainland during WWII.  He never dreamed he would one day be invited back to the region, where he would begin a lifelong friendship with the people of a small Oregon town.  SAMURAI IN THE OREGON SKY chronicles how Mr. Fujita came to refer to his former target as his “second home.” Filmmaker Ilana Sol joins for a post-viewing virtual discussion with LOPL librarian Todd Feinman, Pat Ginn from Respond to Racism and Greg Oberst who is in the film. Friday, May 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Register online.

VILLAGE FLOWER BASKETS. This community-funded program sponsored by the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce will splash our streets with color once again starting in May. The Garden Corner of Tualatin has been hard at work for months planting the baskets so they are ready to burst into color for the summer months. Donations pay not only for the baskets but also for their maintenance all summer long so please contribute by calling 503.636.3634, sending a check to the LO Chamber Foundation, PO Box 368, Lake Oswego Oregon 97034 or donating online.

COMMUNITY AWARDS CELEBRATION. It takes a village, they say, and the Chamber of Commerce sponsors this annual event to acknowledge some of those villagers who help keep Lake Oswego thriving. I’m proud to find myself included in the impressive lineup of past recipients of their Community Leader of the Year award. Other distinction is paid to the Business of Year, Headlee Beautification Award, Exemplar of Education and more. This year’s event is set for May 22 and will be both live and virtual. Check the website for details.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by clicking on the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and receive weekly updates in your inbox. If you are considering moving to Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’ve been a top-performing Lake Oswego Realtor for over 30 years and I’d love to share my enthusiasm for and knowledge of Lake Oswego with you to help you make your next move your best one!

Posted in Things to Do in Lake Oswego | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate Arbor Month in Lake Oswego With These Activities

In case you hadn’t noticed, trees are a very big deal in Lake Oswego.

We plant them, protect them, line our streets with them, honor them and this month we celebrate them as part of the city’s first-ever Lake Oswego Arbor Month. Such fanfare seems appropriate for a city that is in its 32nd year qualifying as a Tree City USA from the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Here are some ways you can share in the tree-love this month.

TREE PRUNING WORKSHOP. Learn the best pruning practices to develop healthy, strong, and attractive trees and shrubs from ISA Board Certified Master Arborist Damon Schrosk of Treecology, Inc. Pre-registration is required and capacity is limited to 20 Lake Oswego residents due to social distancing measures. Free registration by calling 503.635.0290 or email planning@lakeoswego.city. Saturday, April 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Foothills Park Pavilion, 199 Foothills Road.

HUNT FOR THE GNOMES IN NATURE. Lake Oswego’s stewardship gnomes, Blossom, Greenie and Oak, will be hiding out in three different natural area parks from April to October. Visit lo-stewardship.org for monthly park locations and gnome clues. Post pictures of you with a gnome on social media using the hashtag #LOparksgnomes for a chance to win your very own gnome in October. Here’s where they’ll be hanging out in April:

Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Road

River Run Park, 19698 River Run Drive

Stevens Meadows, 18600 Shirley Drive

HERITAGE TREE TOUR. Download a copy of Lake Oswego’s Heritage Tree map and set out to explore our city’s tree heritage. To qualify for the designation, trees must be healthy and have historical, cultural, environmental, or physical qualities that set them apart. You’ll find a wide assortment including douglas-fir, American elm, ponderosa pine, giant sequoias, madrone, sycamore and gingko. You should find a plaque next to each designated tree.

BECOME AN LO TREE HERO. While ivy may look pretty climbing up a tree, the climbing vine poses a danger to the tree’s health. How? That ivy is competing for the same nutrients the tree needs, weighing down its branches making them vulnerable to wind, and eventually weakening the tree making it a target for pests. Learn how to safely remove ivy from trees with this tutorial on the Oswego Lake Watershed Council. Then, armed with the right information and tools, head out with your new superpowers. Be sure to only remove ivy on property that you own, or if you have explicit permission to remove ivy there! Take before and after photos, and share your progress on social media. Include the hashtag #LOTreeHero so others can see your work. 

BE A TREE DETECTIVE. The City of Lake Oswego is relying on community volunteers to help them gather data on the health and diversity of our urban forest. This information will hep arborists, scientists, and city planners better understand the economic and ecological benefits of our urban forest. The Oswego Lake Watershed Council is hosting an online training session:

•Wednesday, April 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

To register, visit the Oswego Lake Watershed Council website.

GET DIRTY. Find out the role healthy soil plays in creating a healthy forest by attending an Earth Day workshop on the microscopic organisms that break down organic material for food, returning vital nutrients back into the ecosystem. Then follow that up by participating in an experiment to see just what those organisms manage to do to a brand-new pair of 100% cotton underwear you bury under 6-inches of soil. Here are the details:

            •Get to Know Your Dirt (Virtual Zoom) Workshop on April 22, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

            •Soil Your Undies Kickoff with free cotton underwear giveaways on April 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm or Lake Oswego or Lakeridge High Schools.

To register, visit the watershed’s website.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by subscribing to my blog. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. And if you are considering moving to, away from or within Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’ve been a Lake Oswego Realtor for over 30 years and I’d love to put my experience to work making your next move your best one!  

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate Money Smart Week With This Lake Oswego Homebuying Quiz

The week of April 10-17 has been designated as Money Smart Week, a public awareness campaign created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002 to help consumers better manage their personal finances.

You can register for free virtual webinars to increase your Money IQ on topics ranging from Managing Money Ups and Downs to Understanding the Basics of Federal Student Loans.

Investing in real estate, especially here in Lake Oswego, can be a money smart decision, but as with every decision, it’s best to gather information beforehand. I try to do that every week in this blog, and this week I’ve put together a quiz about some homebuying basics that everyone should know.

From mortgage points to property tax calculations, there are lots of factors that play into just how much a house really costs. This quiz will clue you in on a few.

And if you have any questions or want to explore how much house you can really afford, please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com, and/or check out my website. I’d love to help in any way I can to make sure your next move is your best move.

Posted in buying a home in Lake Oswego Oregon | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment