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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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!