I recently visited my daughter who is living in Newport Beach, California. Ironically I left our snowmageddon just in time to catch their rainmageddon. Looking at “sunny” southern California through rain-spackled glasses I realized that despite the O.C.’s draw, we do some things better than them.
- Rain. On the morning of the first downpour, my wife and I walked (without umbrellas) to the local coffee shop that is usually flanked by regulars. The place was deserted. So we took up some prime real estate inside and sat down with our coffees and our books and proceeded to enjoy ourselves. A local walked in and took notice, “I love it!” she exclaimed. “Here you are, sitting and reading and drinking your coffee. The storm didn’t faze you.” To which my wife explained, “We’re from Oregon. We know how to do rain.”Apparently, So-Caler’s don’t—they stay inside, put aside their normal routines, and when they do have to drive, they clog the roads leaving newscasters proclaiming the sorry state of affairs on the freeways.
- Coffee. Speaking of that coffee we had, it was bad. And not just at that spot. We tried several and couldn’t find a place that made our “wet cappuccinos” as well as our favorite watering hole in Oregon. My wife even showed the baristas pictures of what we wanted our orders to look like but either the artistic talent was lacking and/or the coffee flavor just wasn’t there. I guess we’re spoiled up here living right next door to what Travel and Leisure readers named the best coffee city in America (Portland).
- Schools. While one of the things that drives housing prices in Newport Beach is the quality of their schools, you can pay a lot less for a home in Lake Oswego for schools that rank higher nationally. The Newport-Mesa School District ranks 700 nationally among Niche’s ranking that includes state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. Lake Oswego beats them out at 472. And on a statewide basis, Newport-Mesa can’t beat Lake Oswego’s #1 ranking in Oregon with its 40th place finish in California.
- Water. Our water tastes better—it’s as unscientific as that. Next time we visit, my wife—who religiously drinks at least 8-12 glasses of water a day, has already said we need to buy bottled water. Not to mention how far the water normally has to travel to get there—being pumped and channeled from Northern California and the Colorado River. Judging by its taste, we wonder if it’s worth the trip!
- Cost of housing. When it comes to real estate, it helps to compare apples to apples. Newport Beach is a highly desirable place to live in the state of California. Lake Oswego is a highly desirable place to live in Oregon. But a home there will set you back around $1,700,00. That makes the median sales price of $535,000 in Lake Oswego look like a bargain…especially when you consider the rain factor, coffee quality, schools, and taste of water!
If you’re thinking of buying or selling in Lake Oswego, Oregon, give me a call. As you can see, I’m very biased about living here so would love to show you around. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.