Frequently Asked Questions About Moving to Lake Oswego

1. What’s the average cost of a home in Lake Oswego? Year-to-date, the average cost of a home in Lake Oswego is $841,548. That figure represents single family detached dwellings.

2. Can I live on the lake? Yes you can. There are approximately 750 waterfront homes on Oswego Lake in prices ranging from $259,900 (a 976 square foot condo at The Villas) to $15,000,000 for a 13,462 square foot main lake home on North Shore Road.

3. Do you have to live on the lake to be able to use the lake? There are lots of options for residents to access the lake even if they don’t own a waterfront home as mentioned in one of my earlier posts. One of the most popular ones is buying a home with easement rights. There are close to 3,000 homes deeded lake access by joining one of 20 lakefront easements. Each easement is managed separately by its members and each only has a limited number of spots. Buying a home with easement rights does not guarantee you’ll have access—you may have to sign up on a waiting list for an opening before joining.

4. What are the best neighborhoods? My general answer to that is you can’t go wrong in Lake Oswego. Unlike other cities, neighborhoods aren’t divided between safe or unsafe, good schools or not good schools. Lake Oswego has an exceedingly low crime rate no matter where you live.

The school district itself was just ranked the best in the state of Oregon by Niche in its 2018 rankings based on data from the Department of Education. And all ten of its individual schools also came out in the Top 10 in each of their grade-level categories. School spirit runs high, however, so if you talk to kids and parents, you’ll probably find differences of opinion.

But like I said in the beginning, you can’t go wrong. Check out some of my earlier blogs for more information on particular neighborhoods in Lake Oswego.

5. What are the best schools? Excuse my redundancy, but my general answer to that is you can’t go wrong in Lake Oswego. The Lake Oswego School District was named the best school district in the state of Oregon by Niche, in its 2018 rankings based on data from the U.S. Department of Education. And all ten of its individual schools also came out in the Top 10 in each of their grade-level categories.

The latest standardized test scores released by the Oregon Department of Education showed that the Lake Oswego School District scored well above the stage average in every category with 83.4 percent of students meeting state standards in English/Language Arts (vs. 53.6 percent statewide) and 75 percent meeting Math standards (compared to 40.8 percent statewide).

My advice is to visit the schools you are considering and see if you child can shadow a student to get a feel for whether one setting or another is the right fit.

6. Are Lake Oswegans pretentious? This is a question that shows up on several of the online forums where people are considering moving here. Much of that reflects the stereotype afforded a more affluent community like Lake Oswego.

In a report funded by the city of Lake Oswego on the demographic trends evolving over time, one of the conclusions reached was that “People living in Lake Oswego are a bit older, more affluent, and better educated than the ‘average citizen’ in the greater Portland metropolitan region, State of Oregon, and the Nation.” The average per capita income in 2008 dollars was $48,313 with a median household income of $83,436 and median family income of $105,593. The largest percentage of Lake Oswegans (27.2%) earned between $35,000 and $74,999.

Does more money mean more pretentious? My experience has been that it’s not a given. In fact, I have seen many more examples of Lake Oswegans using their resources to be generous rather than pretentious. I remember attending a Lakeridge High School choir concert where parents raised over $2,200 in a pass-the-hat donation in support of visiting Jefferson High School’s Choir. Read one of my previous blogs for other examples of how the community rises to the occasion to meet needs in and around them.

7. Why would I live in Lake Oswego over other Portland area suburbs? Lake Oswego is not your sleepy suburb—it’s a vibrant community with engaged citizens and active city government invested in a mission to enhance the quality of life for its residents. As a result there are a host of resources from extensive bike and pedestrian paths to recreational opportunities to excellent school district to a thriving downtown core infused with retail, cultural, entertainment, and artistic opportunities to a record-shattering library program to….the list goes on and on which is the WHY of why you should pick Lake Oswego as your home.

8. Why should I live in Lake Oswego when I can get more house for less money elsewhere? Read the answer to the above question–you get what you pay for. When you buy a home in Lake Oswego, you are buying much more than just a house. You are buying into a community, a lifestyle, and an investment. Appreciation is about 8.1 percent each year, although there were significant upswings in 2016 (16.4 percent) and 2006 (19 percent). Even though there is a large cost of entry, there is a proven return on the backside that is worth it.

If you have questions about moving in, out or within Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website. I’d love to put my 25+ years of experience as a Realtor in Lake Oswego to work helping you with your next move.

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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 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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