Here’s Why Money.Com Ranked Lake Oswego as One of the Best Cities to Live in the United States

If Money staff writer Leslie Cook had come to me when researching her story on the Best Places to Live in the U.S., I could have saved her a lot of running around.

All she needed to do was read my blogs, all 542 of them which tout the reasons why I love living in Lake Oswego and why you might too! Here are the qualities she lists as evidence that Lake Oswego is the 14th best city to live in the U.S.

•Outdoor activities thanks to 460 acres of natural and open space areas, including access to the Willamette River

•The beauty of the Pacific Northwest accentuated by all the tall fir trees

•Gallery Without Walls public art program

•Our resident Salt and Straw ice creamery

•Affordability of homes relative to the Portland area and local income levels

•Its namesake 405-acre lake

Here are some of the qualities she missed:

Award winning schools – Lake Oswego School District was named the #1 school district in Oregon by Niche.com in its latest annual ranking and also the Oregon school district with the best teachers.

Award winning library. From its annual Lake Oswego Reads program to its Waldo Project that pairs a popular kids program with a way to deliver free, new books to families in our community, The Lake Oswego Library is a much-loved resource and enriches our town in so many ways.

Award winning Farmers’ Market. Oregonian readers picked the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market as their favorite Portland metro area market in a 2016 survey and the market has maintained its reputation, even with the challenges that Covid has presented. From a wide variety of vendors to entertainment, it’s understandable why Millennium Plaza Park becomes a local gathering place every Saturday from May to October.

Lake access. From boat easements to swim parks, Lake Oswegans not only get to look at the natural beauty of our lake but also enjoy recreating in it.

Location. While our town is great with lots of reasons to stay in, its proximity to so many other amenities the area has to offer is another big plus. Skiing on Mt. Hood is only 85 miles away and you can catch an Oregon Ducks game in the infamous Autzen Stadium in less than two hours.

I could go on and on, which I have now every week for over ten years in this blog. But it’s always nice when someone else validates what you’ve known all along.

If you’re thinking of moving to Lake Oswego, congratulations! Please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to help you make this your home. And if you currently live here and are thinking of selling, let’s talk. I know the market and would like to put my expertise to work for you to help you with your next move.

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Pumpkin Patches Near Lake Oswego

‘Tis the season of all things pumpkin from Kyra’s Bake Shop Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Crumb Doughnuts to the ubiquitous Pumpkin Latte found at your favorite coffee shop. But what about a pumpkin cannon that catapults the season’s favorite orange gourds as far as 400 feet away or a pumpkin pyramid? You can find all things pumpkin both edible and fun at many of the pumpkin patches located within a short driving distance from Lake Oswego.

Be sure to check the websites for Covid-19 policies – some require masks; others recommend them. And in many cases, admission is limited each day so you need to purchase your tickets online and in advance. Hours are subject to change also so be sure to check the websites before heading out.

Here are some spots to check out:

FIALA FARMS. You won’t have to travel too far to hunt for pumpkins at Fiala Farms. Located in West Linn, it’s the closest pumpkin patch to Lake Oswego. And it comes with a five-acre corn maze that’s designed to challenge you. Expect it to take at least 35 to 40 minutes. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission to corn maze is $7/adults; $5/ages 6-12; Free for kids under 6. 21231 SW Johnson Road, West Linn. 971.777.3727.

LEE FARMS.  Located in Tualatin, Lee Farms is also close by. The Fall Harvest Pumpkin Patch Festival is underway with lots of activities for kids to enjoy. Admission to the farm is $12 for ages 3 and older with access to hayrides, corn maze, play area, and animal viewing pen. By purchasing an activities wristband for $24, you can enjoy those activities as well as unlimited time on: hay maze, slide, bounce pillow, jump pad, barrel wagon rides and tricycle rides. Hours: Noon to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin. 503.638.1869.

THE PUMPKIN PATCH. Unlike many locations, there are a few activities you can enjoy here for free including the daily hayrides out to the pumpkin patch, visiting the animal barn and the giant hay pyramid.  The corn maze will cost you $8 for ages 13 and older; $5 for children 6-12 and seniors, and should take 30-40 minutes to complete. Rides on the Cow Train (operating on weekends only) are $3/person. Hours: Pumpkin patch and most activities 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., daily (hayrides don’t begin until 10:00 a.m.); Maze: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, ‘til 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday 15611 NW Gillihan Road, Portland. 503.621.3874

TOPAZ FARM. If you like your mazes haunted, you’ve come to the right place. The corn maze that challenges folks by day will frighten them by night on Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30 from 6:50 p.m. to 8:50 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance. The rest of the time, visitors can choose from two different mazes – one geared more for small children and a giant one for folks who like puzzles. If you’re competitive, you can post your time on their scoreboard and see how you rank among the fastest puzzle solvers. Admission is $10, ages 13 and up; $5 for ages 6-12 and seniors. Hayrides on Fridays through Sunday to the pumpkin patch are free.  Hours: Maze Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And there are lots of goodies: pumpkin bread, caramel apples, pumpkin ice cream, apple cider donuts and apple cider ice cream. 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road. 503.621.3489.

BELLA ORGANIC PUMPKIN PATCH AND WINERY. The corn maze comes both ways here as well depending on whether you catch it by day or by night. Should take you about an hour to complete. Tickets are $8/adult; $7 children and seniors during the day; $25 for the haunted experience on Friday and Saturday nights. Enjoy free hayrides to the pumpkin patch. Other activities come with a fee: cow train, grain train, hay maze, duck races, petting zoo, face painting. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 16205 NW Gillihan Road. 503.621.9545.

PLUMPER PUMPKIN PATCH. If you want to wear your kids out, this is the place. Activities included in the $12 admission price are the corn maze, playgrounds, animals, walking loops, hobbit house, hay pyramid and access to the pumpkin patch. Pony rides and pumpkin cannons are extra. Reserve your time slot online. Season passes are available for $30. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 11435 NW Old Cornelius Pass Road. 503.645.9561.

FIR POINT FARMS. Weekends is when this place kicks into high gear with Harvest Festival activities including a corn maze, pumpkin painting, cow train, paint ball gallery, bounce houses, hay rides, nature trail path, pumpkin patch, petting zoo. Free admission but fees for activities. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Monday. 14601 Arndt Road, Aurora. 503.678.2455.

BAUMAN FARMS. This family farm turns into a fun zone for its annual Harvest Festival complete with 40 acres of pumpkins to choose from as well as over 25 ativities including mazes, animal barn, apple cannon, giant slide, hayrides, pumpkin hill, and the popular apple cider dumplings. General admission  is $10 or $25 which includes unlimited activities. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday through October 30. 12989 Howell Prairie Road, NE, Gervais. 503.792.3524.

Don’t miss out on things to do in and around Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and receive weekly updates. I’m a Realtor in town and enjoy sharing all Lake Oswego has to offer with its residents and people looking to move to Lake Oswego. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’d love to help you in your home buying or selling journey.

 

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Coffee Shops in Lake Oswego To Check Out

September 29 is National Coffee Day followed by International Coffee Day on October 1. So I thought I’d revisit and update my coffee roundup guide as the coffee scene in Lake Oswego has changed a bit since I wrote it. A few shops have closed their doors while others have opened.

While I’ve tried to list current hours of operation, the changing rules pertaining to Covid may affect them so be sure to check before heading out.

First, with the casualties. Both Chuck’s Place and Blue Moon Coffee have poured their last cup. Add a couple Starbucks locations to the list as well—those on Meadows Road, McVey Avenue and one on Boones Ferry Road.

New kids on the block include:

MORSE COFFEE COMPANY. Opening its doors on April 22, this is one of the newest additions to our Lake Oswego coffee shop lineup. But owner, Sam Morse, 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. Help yourself to one of their pastries as well that hail from Jen’s Bagels and Pastries. We can vouch for the morning bun and pesto and cheese croissant—they pair deliciously with one of their coffees! There are lots of seating options too so indulge in a sit-down coffee experience which is something you haven’t been able to do 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. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 417 1st Street in downtown Lake Oswego.

LOLA’S CAFÉ BAR. Whether you’re health conscious, vegan, gluten-free, caffeine-seeker or not, this café has something on the menu to satisfy you. And the outdoor patio has been a real hit for coffee drinkers preferring to sit and savor rather than take out and gulp. Breakfast and lunch offerings include healthy-sounding bowls served over tri-color quinoa, smoothies, burgers sandwiches with gluten free bread option and salads that taste as fresh as they look. The café bar has all the usual suspects joined by some specialty lattes like the caffeine free Blue Butterfly Pea with lemongrass, orange peel, vanilla, butterfly pea flower powder, and steamed milk and the Pink Hibiscus Rose with hibiscus tea, rosewater, cinnamon, ginger, honey, and steamed milk. Come back for Happy Hour and enjoy $1 off draft beer, $2 off wine along with a choice of appetizers. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Happy Hour: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 525 3rd Street, 503.780.8279.

OVATION COFFEE AND TEA. You can tell coffee is king here because the beverage menu lists 53 items. Granted, a lot of them are tea and blended drinks but there’s no messing around with “Eyes Wide Open” –two shots of espresso added to any coffee drink or any of their Moroccan coffees infused with aromatic Moroccan spices. Lake Oswego is home to two locations. The Marylhurst location at 17510 Provost Street, Unit 105 is currently open seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 503.342.6602. The newest addition is in the Mercato Grove development 4055 Mercantile Drive and open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Check the website for updates.

And here are the old-timers with updated hours as of posting time.

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 Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 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: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 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: Thursday through Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 365 N State Street, 503.278.7312.

Ava Roasteria. This is an upscale specialty coffee chain, but on a much smaller scale than the giant mentioned at the end of this post with the roastery and tasting room in Beaverton, and other locations in Portland and Hillsboro. Hours: Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 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 1:00 p.m.; Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sunday from 7:30a.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. Cakes and pastries are a work of art here, so much so the coffee may take a back seat to the sweet stuff. 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: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 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
15645 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.2266
16199 Boones Ferry Road, inside Albertson’s, 503.635.3429
17779 SW Lower Boones Ferry Road, inside Safeway, 503.675.2500
17771 Boones Ferry Road, 503.534.2938

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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5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in October

ART SALE BENEFIT. Local artists have donated a variety of pieces including paintings, photographs, ceramics, jewelry and garden art to benefit the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine, a free health clinic serving uninsured and low-income residents of Clackamas County. The sale will take place on Saturday, October 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th Street. Visitors can purchase artwork while enjoying Brenda Liu on the viola. This event coincides with the last day of the Lake Oswego Farmers Market so you can make a day of it and maybe take a piece of artwork home along with all your fruits and veggies! It’s all for a good cause with 100% of the proceeds going to support the work of these volunteers to provide free and inclusive medical care to Clackamas County residents who are underinsured or uninsured.

THE WALDO PROJECT. The Lake Oswego Library never ceases to amaze me with its creative programming. And I have a particular fondness for this one, The Waldo Project, as my kids were big “Where’s Waldo” fans once upon a time. The library has hidden a 5-inch tall Waldo in the Lake Oswego Children’s library for years much to young readers’ delight. Now, they have partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego and Hunger Fighters Oregon to add a helpful bonus to each child’s discovery.  Now when a child finds Waldo in his hiding spot, they can retrieve a wooden token from a vintage gumball machine, and drop it in a jar, adding to the number of books (purchased by funds donated by the Kiwanis Club and matched with grant funding from the State Library) that will be distributed to clients of Hunger Fighters Oregon. Research shows that children who grow up surrounded by books have greater success when entering Kindergarten so this is a win/win for children on both sides of the Waldo search. The Waldo Project will be offered every other Wednesday for 10 weeks starting October 6.

FALL FOLIAGE CANOEING ON ESTACADA LAKE. Fall in Oregon is pretty spectacular and this sounds like a wonderful way to take it all in. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is offering this outing through Adventures Without Limits. Sounds like a great way for a family to spend the day – the colors should be beautiful and the waters gentle enough for you to be able to enjoy them. Life jackets and canoeing equipment will be provided. They suggest packing a lunch. Check registration for more details. Cost: $76/Residents; $95/Non-Residents. Saturday, October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meet at McIver State Park, S Springwater Rd, Estacada, only about a 40-minute drive from Lake Oswego. For more ideas of where to catch fall colors in and around Lake Oswego, check out one of my previous blog posts.

LAKE GROVE HARVEST MARKET. Get your Farmers’ Market fix on the other side of town on Sunday, October 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Hallmark Drive next to Mercato Grove. Besides checking out the foodie culture and fresh produce, you can also check out all the new restaurants and goodies at Mercato Grove.

MONSTER MASH DRIVE-THRU SPOOKTACULAR. Treat your kids to an afternoon of fun on Sunday, October 31 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. A scavenger hunt will guide you through town to over 8 trick-or-treat locations where your little ones, ages 0-12, can collect sweets, toys and trinkets.

For more October things to love in Lake Oswego, check out last year’s blog.

Don’t miss out on all the reasons to love Lake Oswego. Sign up for my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. You’ll receive weekly updates in your inbox. And if you love Lake Oswego so much you want to move here, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’ve been a Realtor for over 30 years helping people move in, out and around Lake Oswego and the Portland metro area, and I’d love to do the same for you.

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U-Pick Apple Orchards Near Lake Oswego

If you’re like Thoreau and believe that “Surely the apple is the noblest of fruit” then get your overalls on and your apple picking boxes ready and head out to one of the u-pick apple orchards within driving distance of Lake Oswego.

September and October are the best months to catch the most varieties available. This summer’s heat conditions have changed the rules somewhat on the timing and duration of crops so best to call ahead and check to see what’s available before you head out. In most cases, visitors should also bring their own boxes or bags to bring the fruit home in; however, boxes are recommended as they protect the fruit better.

CLOSER TO HOME

SHERWOOD ORCHARDS. This 26 acre farm boasts over 1300 fruit trees and 70 varieties of apples as well as Bosc, Bartlett and Seckel pears. So chances are good you won’t come home empty-handed. Hours: Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. depending on fruit availability. 23995 SW Pacific Highway, Sherwood. 503.625.7705.

BELL’S ORCHARD. Apples are ready to pick here beginning mid to late August with Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala at their peak in September followed by Jonagold and Braeburn in October. This family run farm takes pride in their “short orchards” featuring trees with fruit hanging low enough to the ground that kids can easily reach them. No ladders needed. Hours: Monday through Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sunday. 24350 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton. 503.313.1346.

BEILKE FAMILY FARM. Located just 30 minutes from Lake Oswego in Brooks, this three-generation farm also offers dwarf trees that keep the fruit easy to reach for adults and kids (although some of them may need to stretch a bit). You’ll find 15 different varieties of apples on this ten acre farm but be sure to check in advance to make sure your favorites are available. Hours: Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 4925 Rockdale Street, NE, Brooks. 503.393.1077.

A LITTLE FURTHER OUT

MOUNTAIN VIEW ORCHARDS. This orchard has bragging rights. It made USA Today’s Top 10 list of Best Apple Orchards in the United States both in 2018 and 2020. Set at the foot of Mt. Hood, it might top the list of most picturesque as well. Three generations have been running this operation that grows 125 varieties of apples and 15 of pears. In addition, visitors can enjoy beer, wine and cider tasting (reservations needed for the Grateful Garden tasting). Picnic tables invite you to make a day of it. Hours 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Tasting room is open Mondays through Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd., Mt. Hood. 541.352.6828.

KIYOKAWA ORCHARDS. Operating since 1911, this farm claimed the #1 spot in USA Today’s Best Apple Orchards list in 2018. Thirty-eight varieties of apples and 12 of pears are due for harvesting in September including the ever-popular Honeycrisp. Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 5625 Hutson Drive, Parkdale. 541.352.7115.

DRAPER GIRLS COUNTRY FARM. There is lots to like here from the picturesque views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams to the cinnamon-sugar dried apples. Kids will appreciate the dwarf trees that make picking easy and the chance to feed the farm animals. Adults will appreciate the hard cider. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. 6200 Highway 35, Mt. Hood. 541.490.8113.  

DETERING ORCHARDS. If you’re headed down south for a Beaver or Ducks game, this might be a fun add-on to a weekend getaway as it’s only about a half hour from both Corvallis and Eugene. Besides apple and pear picking, there are lots of activities to enjoy including a kids’ playground, animal corral, saloon and a mechanical bull on weekends. In the fall, the farm adds on treasure mining, cow barrel rides, an apple blaster and corn and hay mazes. Hours: Monday through Sunday 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. for u-pick.  30946 Wyatt Drive, Harrisburg. 5411.995.6341.

Keep up-to-date on things to do in and around Lake Oswego by subscribing to my blog. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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How the City of Lake Oswego Is Helping Residents Think Globally, Act Locally

Coming off a summer of record heat in the Portland metro area and a record-setting wildfire in southern Oregon, news of the U.N.’s latest report on climate change might have left us all wondering, “What’s a person to do?”

The City of Lake Oswego has an answer for that.

They are launching a new residential sustainability certification program, EcoHome LO, that provides tools and resources to help Lake Oswego residents improve their households’ ecological footprints. While the program is not yet open for public submissions, you can complete an interest form and download some of the materials now.

I’ve checked it out and like the clear calls to action it suggests for each of us to make a difference in how we go about making sustainable choices a daily habit.

Participants can download two virtual checklists:

EcoDay Checklist which encourages participants to take up the EcoDay Challenge—complete five of the actions a person has decided to focus on in one day. These include suggestions such as purchasing a majority of products without plastic packaging while shopping, bundling multiple errands together in one trip and visiting a local park and picking up any litter found.

EcoHome Certification Checklist challenges residents to complete at least one action from every category on the list which include: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Energy Conservation; Water Conservation, Transportation, Social Equity, Ecological Conservation, Civic Engagement, Emergency Preparedness, Construction and Renovation. Many of these actions go a little bit further than the ones on the EcoDay checklist, suggesting that residents:

•Exchange at least 2 types of single-use materials for reusable or alternative materials

•Conduct an at-home energy audit and resolved any pressing issues found within the past year

•Install showerheads that are WaterSense-certified

•Volunteer for an ivy pull or organized one with friends and family within the past 6 months

The checklist is considered a tool to help residents track their sustainability progress and contributions, and connect them with community resources and connections along the way. Upon completion of 20 items, residents can apply for and receive the bronze level of certification (followed by silver and gold as more items are completed) and receive a free lawn/window sign to commemorate their progress.

As I look over the checklists, I’m reassured to see I am already incorporating sustainable practices into my everyday life such as supporting locally sourced businesses, cooking plant-based meals, and using the compost pail the City has provided to collect leftover food scraps. But there is much more I could be doing so the first place my wife and I are starting is to purchase reusable cloth bowl covers to reduce our use of plastic.

The Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The City of Lake Oswego has laid out a choice of steps we can all take to tread more intentionally upon this planet.

If you’d like to explore homes in Lake Oswego with sustainable features, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com or check my website. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to make your next move your best one!

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5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in September

THE WEATHER. I’ve always said that schools in Lake Oswego shouldn’t start until October 1 because we have some of our best weather in September. Typically the average high temperature drops about 9-10 degrees over the course of the month from 81 down to 77, but not below 61. Sounds pretty good to me which is why you want to plan to be outside taking it all in as much as you can. Read my previous blog about walks in Lake Oswego and get out and take one!

BARKS IN THE PARK. They say every dog has his day and in Lake Oswego that day is Thursday, September 9. The City of Lake Oswego is putting on a party for your favorite pooch complete with agility course, costume contest and pet-friendly vendors that might throw a few treats his or her way. The DJ-provided music should appeal to the canines as well as their owners. Thursday, September 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Hazelia Dog Park, 17800 SW Stafford Road.

CITY HALL RIBBON CUTTING. We’ve all watched it go up. Now’s the time to celebrate it and take a look inside. The ceremony takes place on Tuesday, September 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with the ribbon cutting set for around 6:00 p.m. Activities include tours, music, atrium art sale, art display, booktique sale, games, interactive city trucks display, food trucks and free ice cream. 380 A Avenue.

FLORAL DESIGN AND WINE. Zupan’s is offering another of its popular floral arrangement workshops. This time the inspiration is being taken from Starburst color scheme and will feature local dahlias and roses. Cheese and charcuterie and wine are included as well as materials in the $125 fee. Reserve your spot online. 16380 Boones Ferry Rd., 503.210.4190.

GALLERY WITHOUT WALLS. While Lake Oswego’s Gallery Without Walls isn’t new, 12 new pieces have been added to the 2021-2023 rotating collection and by September they should all be installed and ready to view! If you’ve driven around town, you may have already spotted some of them, and I can tell you, I’m already a big fan! You can download a map of where to find the new pieces here. Take a walking tour and enjoy some of that September weather I talked about earlier before it leaves us!   

Don’t miss out on all the reasons to love Lake Oswego each and every month. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and receive weekly updates to your inbox.

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Lake Oswego Housing Market Update

With temperatures in the triple digits recently, Lake Oswego has certainly been heating up. And as I’ve pointed out here before, so has the housing market.

As of July, 2021, the average sales price in Lake Oswego for detached dwellings is up 23% in comparison to the 2020 average sales price—$1,213,316 vs. $963,217 respectively.*

The same holds true for condos and attached dwellings where the average sales price in Lake Oswego is up 20.3% at $442,661.

Other indicators that show the market is still a robust one include:

•Months of inventory: 1 month compared to 3.2. in 2020, 4.5 in 2019. This refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales conditions. MOI for condos is also 1 month.

•Days on the Market: 14 compared to 38 in 2020, 49 in 2019. This refers to the number of days from the date a property is listed in the multiple-listing service to the date when a contract is signed on the property by the buyer and seller. DOM for condos is 15 days.

That is the story the numbers tell you. Let me add to that with the perspective I have being on the ground as a Lake Oswego Realtor.

The market is still hot; however, I do see things flattening out a bit as the market tries to catch its breath. Here are the things I’m seeing that suggest that:

•Occasional price drops on homes

•Sales taking a little bit longer

•Fewer buyers per listing are writing offers

•People are sitting on the sidelines waiting

•There is more wriggle room for negotiation when it comes to closing the deal

If you’d like to sit down and talk about how the Lake Oswego housing market affects you either as a buyer or seller, I’d love to take the time to meet with you and do just that. Feel free to call me at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

*These figures come from data provided by the RMLS.

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5 Ways to Squeeze More Summer Fun Out of the Last Days of Summer Vacation in Lake Oswego

Schools start up again in Lake Oswego August 30 which means there are 15 more days to enjoy the “lazy hazy crazy days of summer.”

Here are some suggestions:

SWIM PARK. Afternoons spent at the Lake Grove Swim Park are some of my kids’ happiest summer memories. If you live within the original Lake Grove School District boundaries, you are eligible for a park pass. If you don’t, another option is the Lake Oswego Swim Park on the other end of the lake which is open to all Lake Oswego residents. Both parks have lifeguards on duty so take advantage of this opportunity to cool off in the lake and relax. Both parks close once school starts, so this is definitely a summer bucket list item that needs to get checked off!  

PICNIC BREAKFAST. This is a great idea to maximize your waning summer days by getting an early start (especially if you have early risers). They may think a picnic is ho-hum for dinner, but breakfast? Now you’ve retooled a picnic into something cool. And if you pick up some donuts at one of Lake Oswego’s newest bakeries, Fills, I’m sure you won’t get any complaints. While you’re in the Lake Grove neighborhood, you can grab a coffee at Café Marzocca next to Riccardo’s (watch for Ovation Coffee opening soon in Mercato Grove) and something yummy at Babica Hen or La Provence. West Waluga Park would make a perfect destination with covered picnic shelter, playground, nature paths, dog park and even adult fitness equipment (for working off those donuts!)

REDO DAY. This one might take a little planning but have everyone submit their favorite memories from this summer and then see how many of them you can incorporate into one day. Maybe stipulate it has to be memories created in and around Lake Oswego to keep it feasible. Who knows? You could end up at the swim park again with this one! If it was my family, we probably would.

LAST CHANCE DAY. Instead of repeating things you’ve already done, here’s everyone’s chance to cast their vote for doing something they haven’t had a chance to do yet this summer. Maybe you’ve been meaning to try one of those smoothies from Lola’s Café Bar or one of their innovative cocktails like the Carrot Ginger Margarita or the Blueberry Superfood Mojito. Or you haven’t gotten around yet to checking out the new lower soft trail at Iron Mountain Park that intersects with the Iron Mountain/Springbrook Park Loop. The time for procrastinating is gone—just do it!

BARNYARD BOLT. What better way to spend the last weekend of summer getting sweaty, dirty, wet and silly with your family?! Maneuver through an obstacle course complete with sprinkler splashes, bubbles and other challenges. Saturday, August 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  $18/person. Register online under your preferred staggered start time for #23227.

House hunting can also be a fun way to see the summer out and I’m happy to oblige by showing you and your family around. Just give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Lake Oswego Easements But Didn’t Know Who to Ask

With the warm summer we’ve had in Lake Oswego, home buyers are very interested in looking at homes with easement rights.

Question: What are easement rights?

Answer: There are approximately 3000 homes in Lake Oswego whose properties come with deeded access to the lake when they join one of 20 lakefront easements for boating and recreational use of Oswego Lake. As the Lake Corporation explains, “Each easement is governed by its own individual set of by-laws and has its own volunteer board of directors. Facilities and rate structures vary from easement to easement.”

Question: How do I know if the home I’m buying has easement rights?

Answer: You can enter your street number address on the Lake Corporation website to determine easement eligibility on the lake. In many cases, one address might be deeded access to more than one easement. You can also refer to our Easement Map on the Easement Page of the website for a general idea.  However, to confirm access you must call the LOC office at 503 636-1422.  They have a database of properties with deeded rights. 

Question: How do I join an easement?

Answer: Do your research and decide which easement you are (a) eligible to join and (b) want to join. Then contact one of the easement officers whose contact information is listed on the individual easement pages. You will need to complete an easement application and pay their dues which vary from easement to easement. You’ll also need to register with the Lake Oswego Corporation by filling out the Registration for Lake User and email to info@lakecorp.com.  You will then receive an email to pay your fees online. Current Lake Oswego Corporation fees for easement members are: $195 for swim only membership; $1,338 for power boat; $1,128 shared power boat payable by each member.

Question: What are the fees to join an easement?

Answer: Fees vary significantly from one easement to the next so it pays to do your research. Most charge an initiation fee which can range from $3,500 for Springbrook to $200 for the Lakewood Yacht Club. In addition, there are annual dues in most cases and then separate fees for each amenity

Question: So, once I join an easement can I put my boat in the lake?

Answer: It all depends on which easement you join and the availability of boat slips. Some easements like Maple Circle do not have any slips for power boats. Others like the Goodin easement have 9 slips but there is a waiting list of 44 right now. So, when researching which easement to join, if you have a choice, you want to find out how many slips are available and how long the waiting list is. Also, if the homeowner you’re buying a house from currently has a boat in a boat slip, he or she cannot transfer that slip to you. Upon the sale, that slip will become available to the next person on the easement’s waiting list.  You’ll have to wait your place in line for the next available slip.

Another option while you’re waiting is to launch your boat for the day from the Lake Corporation marina. There is no additional fee (after paying your association and Lake Corporation dues); however, you do need to schedule an appointment in advance for putting the boat in and taking it out.

There are also boat slips at the LO Landing located in the two-story office building next to the LOC marina; however, their waiting list is 15-20 years out with 165 names ahead of you. You can reach them at 503 545-8870 or lo500@comcast.net.

Question: What about canoes and/or paddle boards?

Answer: Again, it depends. The Uplands easement, for example has 74 spots for canoes and paddle boards with a waiting list of only 2 right now. And storing you canoe or board at an easement comes with a fee in most cases. At Uplands, the fee is $150 per year.

If you have any more questions about buying a home with an easement in Lake Oswego, please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check my website. I’d love to answer any questions you have about buying or selling a home in Lake Oswego. I’ve lived here for over 30 years and have been a Realtor for just as long so let me share everything I’ve learned about this beautiful city with you. I look forward to hearing from you!

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