7 Things We Love About February in and Around Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Reads. Lake Oswego is in its 14th year of bringing the community together through a myriad of activities centered around one book. This year’s selection is Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush that examines the impact that rising sea levels is having on the plants, animals and people across seven states, including Oregon. I realize Lake Oswego is not unique in sponsoring a city-wide reading program; however, what is unique is the scope of activities and community engagement. Visiting authors always speak to this—how impressed they are by the number of opportunities citizens have to “touch” their book whether it be through a panel discussion, theme-related movie, theme-inspired art reception or book-related cooking demonstration. In 2012 the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized Lake Oswego’s stellar Lake Oswego Reads program with a “City Livability” award for cities under 100,000. Read an earlier blog post to see some of this year’s highlights you won’t want to miss.

Fertile Ground Festival. Creativity springs from our native soil here in the Pacific Northwest and the Portland Area Theatre Alliance celebrates that each year with its Fertile Ground Festival featuring local playwrights and actors sharing scripts, sometimes for the first time, with audiences. You can catch a few of the performances right here in Lake Oswego at the Lakewood Center for the Arts.

  •  The Young Playwright’s Festival features one-act plays by high school playwrights from the Portland metro area. This year Aishwarya Marathe, Emily Imanishi, Lana Sage, and Jane Brinkley were selected to work with professional directors and actors in the development of their plays. Catch them on Saturday, February 1 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.
  • The Ghost of David Belasco is a farce set in a haunted theatre in 1927 where a group of characters have hired a renowned Russian medium to try and lay the ghost’s angry spirit to rest so the theatre can safely reopen. The performance is on February 8 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Portland Winter Light Festival. Keeping with the arts theme…you’ll have to travel to Portland (which is only a 15-minute drive if you time it right) for this but in the midst of our shorter days, this might be just what you need to raise your spirits. More than 100  artists show us the light through a variety of media. Past festivals have included flame throwers and dancers, a lantern parade, illuminated bike ride, light chimes, and a radiance dome. Various times February 6 through February 8. Free. Check the website for locations.

Outside the Art Room Youth Art Showcase and Auction. Speaking of creativity…it seems to run through Lake Oswego’s DNA. With only a population of 39,500+ we manage to support a community center for the arts, an arts council, a regional art show, a gallery without walls, art and acting classes, a nationally recognized community reading program AND…in its fourth year, a youth art showcase and auction. The Youth Action Council is hosting this event featuring artwork created by Lake Oswego teens with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP). There will also be live music and entertainment, refreshments, and a Mixed Media Art Clinic for ages 5 and older.  Friday, February 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road.

Battle of the Lake takes to the basketball courts. The Lake Oswego/Lakeridge rivalry is one of the most celebrated in our state, whether it’s played on the football, soccer or lacrosse fields, wrestling mat, the swimming pool, the track and field, tennis or basketball courts. The Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball teams face off on Friday, February 14 in the Lake Oswego High School gymnasium with the girls going at it at 5:45 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:15. It’s a great opportunity to go back in time, cheer on your colors, and just smell the inside of a high school gymnasium once again—guaranteed to make you feel young again!

Portland Spring Home & Garden Show. If you’re itching to get back out in the garden despite the weather, then give yourself a little inspiration by attending the Portland Spring Home and Garden Show. Vendors offer all kinds of ideas from patio pavers to plants to water features and garden art. February 20 through February 23 at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland.

February Flavors at Salt & Straw. While the official February flavors were not released at posting time, we can only hope that Salt & Straw will once again indulge us chocolate lovers with its month-long chocolate series as in February’s past where they pair their artisanal ice cream making prowess with the wonder of Portland’s small-batch chocolatiers to produce such pairings as Alma’s Chocolate PB&J and Cloudforest’s Gray Chocolate and Matcha.

There’s lots to love about living in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. 

 

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10 Coffee Shops in Lake Oswego Worth Checking Out (Not Counting the 8 Starbucks)

If you’re like my wife you don’t need an excuse to discover a new coffee shop. But if you do, the cold wet days that can show up when you are living in Lake Oswego can provide just that.

And luckily for you, we live in a high-octane caffeinated region. A recent Wallet Hub survey listed Portland as the fourth-best coffee city in the United States and tied it for first place along with the big guys like San Francisco and New York as the city with the most affordable coffee shops, houses and café’s.

Here in Lake Oswego we’ve absorbed some of that coffee fanaticism by osmosis. I mean consider this—we are home to eight Starbucks just within our city limits with only a population of 39,500.

But when you’re wanting to venture out beyond the behemoth chain here are some other recommendations. Watch for a roundup of Portland coffee shops in an upcoming blog!

Chuck’s Place. Owner Chuck Ryan describes his place as the “local living room in downtown Lake Oswego” and it’s that ambiance that has made it a popular neighborhood hangout. Patrons praise the food offerings (breakfast and lunch with gluten-free options) too including the Timber and fried egg sandwiches and bacon and herb scone. Features Illy coffee and specialty lattes include a S’more and peppermint mocha. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 148 B Avenue, 503. 675.7861.

Blue Moon Coffee. This local shop moved from its Meridian Park location to downtown Lake Oswego over a year ago and shares a storefront with Washington Federal Bank on A Avenue. If Stumptown is your bean of choice, then make your way here to see how they brew it up. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 220 A Avenue, Suite 100. 503.744.4914.

Peet’s Coffee. Full disclosure—my wife and I are Peetniks. She actually trained with Alfred Peet back in the day when all they served was drip coffee. If you like your coffee rich and full-bodied, this is your place. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 345 1st Street, Suite 111, 971.236.9140.

Kyra’s Bake Shop. If what you have WITH your coffee is as important as the coffee itself, then you might want to try Kyra’s which serves gluten-free breakfast and lunch until 4:00 p.m. Don’t let the gluten-free dissuade you. This place cranks out award-winning pastries, winning the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars four times! There are muffins, doughnuts and cinnamon rolls to vie for your attention as well. Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. 599 A Avenue, 503.212.2979.

Nola’s Doughnuts. The doughnuts are the stars here but if you’re in the mood for something different in your cup, try their chicory coffee from Urban Grind. It ties in with their New Orleans vibe (hence their signature La’ssants) where chicory coffee is standard fare. Seems chicory was used to stretch coffee when it was in shortage but managed to gain enough respect on its own accord to hang around. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 365 N State Street, 503.278.7312.

Ava Roasteria. This too is a chain, but on a much smaller scale with the roastery and tasting room in Beaverton, and other locations in Portland and Hillsboro. If you prefer your coffee late into the night, this is your spot as it is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Located in Kruse Village at 4847 Meadows Road, #147 503. 305.6328.

Café Marzocca Italian Espresso Bar. Don’t be surprised if you see a Vespa parked out front. This place takes its Italian heritage seriously serving Illy coffee from Trieste and offering a Bocci court and outdoor seating popular during the summer. It also doubles as a wine shop with tastings offered every second Saturday of the month from noon to 3:00 p.m. for $10. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 6:30 am. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Located across the parking lot from Riccardo’s Ristorante at 16045 Boones Ferry Road, 503.636.5001.

Coffee Plus. This neighborhood spot has been helping locals kickstart their day for over 15 years featuring Panache coffee in all its offerings. Loyalists love supporting this local ma and pa business and praise the grilled breakfast sandwiches. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Happy Sparrow. Want a kolache to go with that coffee? What’s a kolache you ask? It’s a soft, sweet, yeasty bun borrowed from the Czechs and stuffed with sweet and savory fillings like bacon, sausage, cheese, salmon, scrambled eggs and nutella. They are popular enough to sell out so get there early. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 503.305.5968.

Too Sweet Cakes. This is the new kid in town with an additional location in Bend. Again, show up here and you may find your coffee taking a back seat to the pastries. Presentation is big from the feel of the space to the display case to the artfully crafted coffees. And, having tasted a few morsels, I have to say they have the goods to back up the looks. This place is tucked away off the main drag so you’ll have to seek it out. Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. 5755 Willow Lane, 503.305.8381.

Starbucks. What hasn’t been said? You’re either a fan or you’re not. But one thing’s for sure, you’re never too far from one in Lake Oswego.
47 S. State Street, 503.699.8581
1175 McVey Avenue, #7, 503.675.1334
401 A Avenue, inside Safeway, 503. 675.4480
3 Monroe Parkway, #2, 503675.9097
8 Centerpointe Drive, 503.624.7065
5800 Meadows Road, Suite 190, 503.598.9846
15645 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.2266
16199 Boones Ferry Road, inside Albertson’s, 503.635.3429

Consider this your resource for finding out what to do when living in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and receive weekly updates.

And if you’re in the market to move in, out or within Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you! 

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10 Ways a Good Realtor Can Help You Buy or Sell Your Home in Lake Oswego

A question that is often asked of Realtors is, “Why should I hire you?” And with good reason. Before entering into a relationship with a Realtor to buy or sell your home you should know what he or she can do for you. After helping people move in, out and around Lake Oswego and the Portland metro area for the past 30 years, I have established a list of what I consider the top 10 services I offer my clients and that you should expect from anyone you work with.

Here they are:

  1. Conduct an accurate market analysis of your home so you price it right. While location, location, location is one real estate mantra, pricing is another. Often there are nuances in the local real estate market that only a seasoned professional would be aware of. For example, just last month in advising some clients on a waterfront home purchase I pointed out to them that the houses on the portion of the street they were looking at were being appraised $200,000-$300,000 higher than similar houses on a different section of the street because of the particular lake view. That helped them in making their decision on what to offer…which I might add resulted in a successful deal.
  2. Help you get pre-qualified for a loan. Being pre-qualified is a must before entering any real estate transaction—it expedites the process and can often be the different between the offer that is accepted or rejected. I like to give my clients two or three referrals at the start of the process, letting them find the mortgage broker that resonates best with them, but at least giving them a place to start.
  3. Market your home. Marketing is more than just placing an ad or placing a listing on the company website. It’s also being connected to the informal network of Realtors looking for homes with specific criteria—neighborhood, main floor master, contemporary. It’s often through this network that I learn of homes before they actually come on the market, giving my clients a jumpstart on popular listings or use the network in the reverse—letting agents know of something I have in the offing that may meet a need they’ve expressed earlier. In addition, marketing includes communication and I make it a point to update my clients weekly on the activity on their home that I have listed including statistics on the number of showings, online viewings and feedback based on my follow-up to all showings. These weekly updates help address concerns, keep expectations realistic, and make adjustments as needed.
  4. Negotiate the best terms. When an offer comes in, price is only one consideration. Sometimes timing is involved, with the seller needing to stay in the house longer than usual and wanting to rent back or the buyer wanting to delay closing in order to give his or her house longer to sell. On other occasions negotiations center around repairs to be done or furnishings or appliances that the buyer would like to keep. A good Realtor is experienced in the rhythm of negotiation that ensures all parties keep talking and that his or her client is well represented.
  5. Represent you at the home inspection. I am always sure to be there in person at a buyer’s home inspection to observe and hear first-hand what the inspector has to say in order to better communicate his findings to my clients.
  6. Represent you at the appraisal. I’m also there representing the seller when the appraiser comes around to answer questions like, “Have there been any recent updates?” which can influence your home’s value in his or her eyes.
  7. Offer referrals for repairs. I see one of my jobs as your Realtor to facilitate your home selling/buying process and expedite it as quickly as possible. Being in the business as long as I have I am well versed in recommended trades/service/repair specialists. It helps to have a list because many times these technicians are booked so you may have to work your way through a few names before you find someone who can do the job. It helps to know they come recommended.
  8. Tie up loose ends at closing. I don’t like surprises at closing and assume my clients don’t either so before closing I go through the file to make sure all the agreements have been met, promised work has been done with receipts to prove it, and the like.
  9. Represent you at the closing. I’m also present at the closing with the file I mentioned above to both offer moral support and to address any questions that come up like, “Did I say I’d give a $1,000 credit for deck repairs?” or “Weren’t the sellers going to leave the refrigerator?” The file don’t lie—and since I’ve done my due diligence all along, I have the answers and the documentation to make the closing go smoothly.
  10. Refer you to an agent in a new town. If you are moving to a new town, I can plug you into a Realtor so you can hit the ground running. The Hasson Company works with the best relocation companies in the United States so you can rest assured that you’ll have someone ready, willing, and able to help you on the other side.

Buying and selling your home is more than just a business transaction. It’s a very personal decision as well and I like to think I’m a good listener when I need to be and a good advice-giver when that’s called for too. Let me put my professional as well as my personal skills to work for you the next time you’re in the market to move in, out, or around Lake Oswego or the Portland metro area. Reach out via the form below, give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

And if you’re just curious about what your current home is worth, I’d be more than happy to provide you with a free market analysis. Hope to hear from you!

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Lake Oswego Reads 2020 Kicks Off With Book Giveaway Next Week

The 2020 Lake Oswego Reads selection has once again made sure that Lake Oswegans get educated about and participate in discussions concerning a complex, and at times controversial, topic: climate change.

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush examines the impact that rising sea levels is having on the plants, animals and people across seven states, including Oregon. Rather than a data-driven treatise, she makes her case through stories that put a human face on this issue, making it hard for us to ignore.

In true Lake Oswego Reads style, a month-long series of events designed to educate, inspire and challenge us have been planned. Here are some of the highlights. Check the library website for a complete listing.

Book Giveaway, January 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Bring your library card to receive a free copy of Rush’s book while supplies last. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Lake Oswego Reads Ticket Giveaway, January 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Get in line early to receive up to two free tickets to hear Elizabeth Rush speak about her book on March 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lakeridge Auditorium. Must present your library card. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706b Fourth Street.

Dealing with Climate Change Anxiety, February 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Hear what Dr. David Pollack, retired psychiatrist and emeritus professor for public policy at OHSU has to say on his research in and experience with mental health and the public health impacts of climate change. Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th Street.

Young People Facing Climate Change, February 9 at 2:00 p.m. Hear what a panel of Lake Oswego High School and Lakeridge High School students have to say about how they are feeling about climate change and what they are doing to address it. Lake Oswego City Hall Council Chambers, 380 A Avenue.

How to Improve Your Life, Save Money, Lower Carbon Emissions and Find Friendship, February 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s not all doom and gloom. Let Lisa Adatto and Duke Castle, co-founders of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network explain how you can create your own climate change action plan. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Climate Change and Wine, February 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sommelier Joseph Shaughnessy will discuss how the wine industry and the region is adapting to our changing weather system. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Racial Justice is Climate Justice, February 19 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Explore how racial injustice and climate injustice intersect and what we can do about it. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

I’d Rather Be Metal Than Plastic, February 20 from 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Lake Oswego’s Sustainability Manager Jenny Slepian will break it down for us—what can and cannot be recycled and how we can switch from plastics to more durable alternatives. Reservations required: lakewoodcenterassociates@gmail.com or by calling 503.342.6702. $15 includes lunch. Lakewood Center for the Arts Community Meeting Room, 368 S. State Street.

Differing Views on Climate Science, February 20 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Get armed with information on both sides of this issue including the scientific challenge to the theory that climate change is human-caused. Dr. Jessica Kleiss, Associate professor of environmental studies at Lewis and Clark will be presenting. Lake Oswego City Hall Council Chambers, 380 A Avenue.

Flooding in Lake Oswego: Past, Present and Future on February 24 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Learn about our own city’s history with flooding and the work that has been done to lessen the impact with Lake Oswego City Engineer Rob Amsberry and Christine Shirley from the Oregon Department of Land and Conservation. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

The Story of Plastics on February 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Watch the movie and then listen to a panel discussion addressing the issues raised. Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street.

For the Love of Vegetables on February 29 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Katherine Deumling of Cook What You Have will demonstrate plant-based dishes and lead a conversation about the relationship between food and climate change. $10 fee to be paid at the library beforehand to secure your space. Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, 459 Third Street.

Politics of Climate Change on March 2 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. We all know this can be a hotbed issue that divides political parties, neighbors, and family members. Hear Dr. Jack Miller, political science professor at Portland State University discuss the roadblocks that sidetrack policies intended to address climate change.  Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Elizabeth Rush: Rising Together—Creative and Collective Response to the Climate Crisis on March 4 at 7:00 p.m. Hear the author speak on hopeful collaborations that are taking action to reduce our vulnerability to climate change and explore how you can be part of that process. Lakeridge Auditorium, 1235 Overlook Drive.

Stay up to date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by subscribing to my blog. Click the “Sign me up” tab in the right-hand column. ‘

And stay up-to-date on the Lake Oswego real estate market by giving me a call. I’d be more than happy to meet with you to discuss property values, good neighborhoods, and/or provide a free market analysis of your current home. 503.939.9801

 

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Make good on your New Year’s Resolutions at these Lake Oswego fitness facilities

It may not be official, but in most people’s minds, January is National Plan to Get Fit Month. Since I ran my last Lake Oswego fitness clubs’ roundup, the scene has changed with many newcomers stepping in to serve the Lake Oswego community. Now you really have no excuse to follow through on your New Year’s resolution to get in better shape. One of these programs is sure to help.

Barre3, 4859 Meadows Rd., Suite 167. 503.206.8396. Workouts here borrow moves from ballet, yoga and Pilates to focus on balance, strength and length in your body. Classes combine dynamic movement with isometric holds for efficient workouts that are low impact while managing to burn fat and build muscle. Amenities include a changing room, two showers, toiletries, towels and a play lounge. Choose from a variety of packages for single classes all the way up to unlimited. Newcomers are invited to try two weeks of unlimited classes for $49.

Star Cycle, 375 Second Street. 503.303.4498. These hard-hitting 45-minute indoor cycle sessions utilize invigorating music, choreography, dimmed lighting and upper body movements and weights to ensure a high-energy, full body workout. Child care available. Individual classes are $ 25 but packages but packages offer discounts. New client specials include $15 for one class or 3 for $40 or one month of unlimited classes for $99.

Project 360, 420 2nd Street. The equipment and support are here to support you in reaching your fitness goals. If you’re looking for a more intimate experience, this is your spot. Membership is limited to 200 with full access from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. to the extensive range of cardiovascular and functional training equipment. Work alone or let one of their professional trainers guide you. Locker rooms, showers, lounge, and a Trackman Simulator to sharpen your golf game are all included in membership. Connect online for information.

9Round, 21 S State Street, 503.387.5798. Short on time? These 30-minute kickboxing themed sessions will get you in and out quickly. No matter when you show up within regular hours, a trainer is on hand to lead you through your individualized workout incorporating nine challenging workout stations based on functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimen. Try your first workout session for free.

Club Pilates Lake Oswego, 3 Monroe Parkway, Suite 300F, 503.8225473. Enjoy full body workouts with low impact, taking advantage of equipment like the Reformer, TRX Suspension Trainer and springboards. The studio features seven signature class formats and four levels of classes—you’re sure to find the right fit. They offer a free introductory class or consider subscribing to Club Pilates on demand—a streaming service that begins at $29.99 (with a free seven day trial).

Pilates Bodies Studio, 16130 SW Boones Ferry Road, Suite A, 503.913.5788. New clients are encouraged to sign up for the introductory package of five lessons on the equipment for $225. From there you can continue with private or semi-private lessons or group classes that include Mat Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, and belly dancing.

IM=X Pilates and Fitness, 436 1st Street, 503.908.0024 IM=X claims to offer Pilates re-invented, re-choreographed and reconstructed to include other physical disciplines like cardio, barre and weight training. See for yourself. They offer a free private reformer introductory session (an $80 value).

Lake Oswego Pilates, 333 S. State Street. Lake Oswego Pilates is located inside the Trainers Club and run by Ellen Schmelzle. Contact her at 205.383.9190 for information regarding lessons and introductory packages.

Age-less Body Pilates Studio, 311 B Avenue, Suite Z, 503.381.3281. Age-Less Body Pilates Studio provides professional, certified Pilates instruction in an intimate setting. Choose from private and semi-private mat and Reformer Pilates lessons and small group class sessions for teens to adults.

CrossFit Lake Oswego17425 SW Pilkington Rd., 503.901.7877. Get the support, education, and motivation you need to participate in this fitness program. New members are encouraged to try their first class for free. While classes vary, the format typically covers a warmup, strength exercises, metabolic workout, mobility and core. Choose from a variety of packages that vary in pricing depending on your usage.

Snap Fitness6296 SW Meadows Road, 503.968.7627. Looking for an efficient workout you can do on your own time? Enjoy 24 hour access to MYFIT workouts that change daily but totally 18 minutes of 90 second high intensity intervals followed by 30 seconds of rest. Fitted with a MYFIT heart monitor you’ll be able to make sure you are in your zone for maximum effect. A single membership is $39.95/month; $54.95 joint; and $64.95 for a family.

Jazzercise.  11830 Kerr Parkway, Suite 206. 503.313.1122.  Jazzercise bills itself as the original dance party workout with the potential to burn 800 calories in one 55 minute session. The program has been around since 1969 and in Lake Oswego for quite a long time. Choreographed routines that change regularly blend dance, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing and strength training, so you’re covered on most fitness fronts. Check them out for special deals running through January 31, 2020.

Trainer’s Club333 S.  State Street, 503.636.3900. This club offers cardio machines, free weights, personal training, massage therapy, as well as more than 45 group classes in a variety of offerings from Yoga and Tai Chi, to H.I.I.T and spin. There is also a Pilates studio and chiropractor located on site. Membership rates vary depending on your age and usage.

Providence Fitness at Kruse Woods, 5300 Meadows Rd., 503.216.6606. Providence has moved its fitness center from Mercantile Plaza to Meadows Road. Offers cardio and weight training machines, free weights, steam and locker room, showers, and personal training and massage for additional fees. Membership includes access to group exercise classes which include Yoga, Cardio Fusion, Pilates Dance Fusion, Parkinson’s Exercise Program and Low Impact Functional Training. Discounts offered to Providence Health Plan members. Call for rates.

Firebrand Sports, 15082 Bangy Road, 503.343.0101. Get in. Get out. Get fit with the  Lagree workout routine that fuses heart-pumping cardio, intense strength training and the precision of Pilates to deliver the most effective, safe and complete workout in the shortest time. Try it out with a two-week unlimited membership for $69.

Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department. 503.675.2549. Check current catalog.  Class offerings range from Zumba, Nia and Yoga to Boomer’s Boot Camp and Cycle and Strength. Other choices include basketball, soccer, cornhole, and slow-pitch softball league play, running club for girls and adults, drop-in basketball and volleyball and adult pickleball clinic. Tennis lessons are offered at the Indoor Tennis Center at 2900 Diane Drive, golf lessons at the Public Golf Course at 17525 Stafford Road and rowing at the Water Sports Center, 350 Oswego Pointe Drive.

Lake Oswego School District Pool, 2455 Country Club Road, 503.534.2330. Eight lanes are available for both lap and recreational swim as well as swim lessons. Local schools also use the pool for practice and meets. Check online for the schedule. Fees for residents range from $7.25 per adult visit to $552 for an annual pass.

Bay Club Portland18120 SW Lower Boones Ferry Road, Tigard. 503.968.4500. Formerly ClubSport Oregon, the new ownership has introduced a series of renovations that makes this top notch fitness center even better. Voted one of the top fitness clubs in the U.S. by Fitness magazine in 2014, this club has some unique offerings including a Rock Climbing Center with 11,500 square feet of climbing surface as well as an Air Fit Studio for high altitude training. The facility indoor basketball and pickleball courts, racquetball and squash courts, a six-lane indoor swimming pool as well as an outdoor aquatic center, Airfit Altitude Training Studio, climbing wall, The Edge performance training center, Pilates studio, Kids’ World, massage, and café. Most group fitness classes are free to members and are offered in two studios (Exhale which includes yoga, Pilates, Nia, Tai Chi, Barre, and Centergy type classes and Excite that offers classes along the lines of Zumba, Group Fight, Strength and Conditioning and High Intensity Interval Training). Personal trainers are on hand as well as nutritional counselors. Family membership holders receive three free hours of childcare per day. Membership fees vary as do specials.

24 Hour Fitness17942 SW McEwan Road, Tigard. 503.670.0400. The local center is open 24 hours a day and includes a full size basketball court, three lane indoor lap pool, Kids Club, sauna, steam and spa, free weights and circuit training, personal trainers, racquetball court, and cardio equipment. Group exercise classes include Zumba, Yoga, Bodypump, Cycle, willPower and grace, Aqua fitness, and bootybarre. Membership fees vary. Take advantage of their free three day gym pass to check it out.

Stafford Hills Club5916 SW Nyberg Lane, Tualatin. 503.612.2400. Tennis courts set this club apart from the rest of the local offerings. Stafford features seven indoor and three outdoor courts with an elevated skybox for viewing. In addition there is an outdoor saltwater pool with six lanes for lap and recreational swim, a small children’s swim area and a splash pad for kids. Family events and children’s programming are offered regularly and two hours of free childcare daily is available to family memberships. Studio Grace features traditional and hot yoga classes, Pilates mat and reformer training, and Barre classes. Group exercise classes run the gamut from Hard CORE and Cycle Strength to Cardio Strength and Zumba. Personal trainers are on hand and for individual as well as Team Training sessions. A salon and spa and café round out the facilities. Membership rates vary.

LA Fitness, 7995 SW Nyberg Street, Tualatin. 503.620.7727. This 45,000 square foot facility features cardio and strength conditioning machines, three racquetball courts, one basketball court, an indoor saltwater pool, Jacuzzi, sauna in locker rooms, 45-50 classes offered per week including Zumba, yoga, water aerobics and cycle and spin classes, SilverSneakers fitness program, juice bar and Kids Club. Personal training is also available. Membership fees vary.

Did we miss something? If your favorite place to work out is missing, let us know by leaving a comment here or give a thumbs up to one of these places so our readers know that you approve!

Thinking of moving to Lake Oswego? Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you with your next move in, out, or around Lake Oswego. I’ve been a Lake Oswego Realtor for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you to make your next move a positive one. Check out my website or give me a call at 503.989.9801. 

 

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Turn checking out holiday lights in Lake Oswego into a scavenger hunt with this list

This year when you head out to look for holiday lights in Lake Oswego neighborhoods, why not turn it into a scavenger hunt? I’ve put together a list for you to copy and hand out to family members so they can be on the lookout for specific items. See how many you can check off the list and let us know in the comments below. Would love to hear what neighborhoods helped you work through the list the quickest. (Hint: be sure to start in Westlake. And don’t miss Village on the Lake or Cardinal Drive).

Enjoy!

HOLIDAY LIGHTS SCAVENGER HUNT

See if you can find:

A Nativity scene

The Grinch

Santa on a roof

A nutcracker

Santa on his sleigh

Rudolph

A Snowman with a top hat

Christmas carols being played

At least 5 candy canes in the same yard

Oversized wrapped Christmas gift

3 inflatables

A house with only white lights

A house with twinkling lights

An elf

Christmas star

Oversized ornaments hanging from a tree

Decorated mailbox

Oversized ornament

Icicle lights

Christmas light projector

Peanuts characters

I’m all for making your life in Lake Oswego better with tips on places to go, things to do, advice for how to buy or sell your home. Be sure to check out my website and/or give me a call at 503.939.9801 next time you’re in the market to move on. 

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Why Buying or Selling Your Home in Winter May Be a Smart Move

There are some mantras in real estate like Location, Location, Location. I’ve spoken here before about how Lake Oswego’s location is one of its strongest selling points.

Another mantra is: Spring and summer are prime real estate months. That is generally true but it doesn’t tell the whole picture. Yes, home sales in the Western United States in the slow season accounted for just 71 percent of the sales during the peak season in a recent study but at the same time more high-end homes have sold in Lake Oswego since October than during the entire year.

So, entering the real estate market in the spring and summer is not a hard-and-fast rule. In fact, finding or selling your home in the winter does have its benefits. Here are a few to consider.

FOR BUYERS

  1. Less competition. Because of the assumption that it’s good to wait until things warm up, the inventory of homes during the winter months is typically less. While it means fewer options for buyers it also means less competition for the homes that are on the market. Chances are you won’t get caught up in a bidding war which is a big plus!
  2. Better deals. Waiting until the summer could cost you. For example, the average sales price of homes in the U.S. in January of this year was $249,300. By June, that number jumped up to $285.300. That means that winter buyers saved $36,000—nearly a 14.5% discount.
  3. You might get a better deal with a moving company too. We recently had our daughter’s car shipped across the country. The rate quoted for a November move was $200 cheaper than when we looked in August. The laws of supply and demand apply everywhere. Since fewer people are moving in the winter, moving companies are anxious for your business so you may be able to negotiated a better deal.
  4. You can close on the deal quicker. Everyone from home inspectors to mortgage brokers to Realtors will have more time on their hands in the winter months which means all your To Do’s and paperwork should process much more quickly.
  5. Extenuating circumstances could prove in your favor. Sometimes necessity compels a homeowner to put his or her house on the market in these “less than ideal” months. That can mean a motivated seller which is good news for you as a buyer. In addition, if it’s a job transfer that is triggering the move, the homeowner may have a financial incentive from his or her company to sell the home quickly. That translates into someone who is willing to negotiate to perhaps get a $10,000 bonus from his or her employer for unloading the house fast.
  6. You can see how well the house performs in winter conditions. The cold weather months can be hard on a house so you are primed to see if there are any red flags you should be aware of. Do the windows frost up? Can you feel a draft? How’s the insulation? How do the gutters hold up in the rain? Does the furnace warm things up evenly and efficiently? If there are problems you’ve identified that can be addressed in your offer and negotiations.

FOR SELLERS

  1. Less competition. As is true for buyers, the same holds true for sellers. With less inventory on the market, you better your chances of selling your home quicker. Of course, that assumes you do all the right things to present your house in its best light including cranking up the coziness with a fire crackling, candles burning, heater warming things up, cleaning up yard debris from fallen limbs to pine needles, making your house light and bright to counteract the gray days and early sunsets.
  2. Motivated buyers. Chances are that someone who is looking to buy in the winter is a serious buyer for a variety of reasons: relocation, expiring lease, family circumstances. That bodes well for you when it comes time to negotiate. It also means that when you go to the trouble of “prepping” your house for a showing it’s probably for a serious potential buyer and not just a looky-loo.
  3. Head start on your home search. Chances are if you’re putting your house on the market, you’re looking to buy something else to move on. If you can get yours hold in the winter then you have a jumpstart on all those spring buyers.

I’m here to help no matter when you decide to buy or sell your home in and around Lake Oswego. I’ve been a Realtor for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to making your next move your best one! Give me a call at 503.939.9801, check out my website or connect below. I look forward to helping you!

 

 

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