5 Things You Might Not Know When Looking to Buy a House in Lake Oswego

woman looking1. There is a lake here. If you lived in Westlake, commuted to Portland for work and shopped at New Seasons in Mountain Park, you wouldn’t have much reason to drive along the city streets that offer lake views. In fact, when I first started selling homes in Lake Oswego, I remember giving my “Chamber of Commerce” tour to potential new clients who were surprised when I stopped and showed them the lake. A previous Realtor had shown them some homes in Westlake but hadn’t bothered to orient them to the town, including our namesake. So yes, there is a body of water here that explains why we are called “Lake Oswego.”

2. You don’t have to live on the lake to enjoy it. There are many ways to take advantage of Oswego Lake besides living on it. While waterfront homes are some of the most expensive in town, other homes in areas with easement rights enable you to gain lake access at a much cheaper price point. There are 20 easements around the lake giving 3,000 non-waterfront homeowners the opportunity to enjoy the lake lifestyle. Of course easement rights do not always guarantee full access as each easement only has a limited number of boat slips. In most cases you can swim from the dock or launch a canoe or kayak but you’ll want to check with your Realtor to find out how long the waiting list is for a boat slip if this is an important consideration.

There are also two swim parks on the lake giving residents the opportunity to swim in the lake during the summer. The Lake Grove Swim Park at 3800 Lakeview Blvd. is limited to residents who live in what was the old Lake Grove School District boundary. Again, this is something an experienced Realtor should be able to help you determine. The Lake Oswego Swim Park at 250 Ridgeway Road is open to all residents of Lake Oswego.

In addition, there is lots of visual access to the lake with viewpoints from Millennium Plaza Park, Sundeleaf Plaza, the Headlee Trail, and spots along South Shore as well as North Shore Road.

3. The lake isn’t the only body of water in town. George Rogers Park at 611 State Street offers access to the Willamette River with a beach that’s a go-to spot for sunbathing, picnicking, bird watching and seeing how muddy your dog can get before piling him back up in your car. You can find a home with a river view, and in some cases, river access as well.

4. Convenience. There is a mantra in real estate: location, location, location. That is one of Lake Oswego’s selling points. As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s close to everything like 8 miles to Portland and 12.2 miles to the airport. But where you situate yourself in town will also make a difference in how easy it is for you to hop on the I-5 if you’re a commuter or get to 24 Hour Fitness or ClubSport, two nearby fitness clubs. So factor that in when shopping around for a place to live.

5. In School District Transfers Must Be Approved. Each school in the Lake Oswego School District, from elementary through high school, has an attendance area defined by the school board. Requests to transfer are approved on a space-available basis. In cases where a student is requesting to move from a school with a smaller attendance to a school with a larger attendance, both principals have to be on board that the case is justified and that the ability to educate the student properly will not be compromised. So be sure to check out what school boundaries at each level—elementary, junior high and high school–the home you are considering falls into. Then research those options because changing your mind down the road may be difficult to do.

When looking to buy a house in Lake Oswego, it helps to have all the advantages in your favor. Working with an experienced Realtor can ensure that there are no surprises waiting for you once you move in. I’ve been in the business for almost 30 years and was recently honored as one of only three Hasson agents who have made the company’s top 40 list for the past 27 years. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check my website. I’d love to show you around.

Photo Credit: stockphotos at freedigitalphotos.net

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About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at kevin.costello@cascadehassonsir.com or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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