7 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Lake Oswego

One of the first things people notice when moving to Lake Oswego is how green everything is. The not-so-secret ingredient is rain and we average about 6 ½ inches in February so best to have a Rainy Day plan in place when you need it.

Here are a few ideas for how to enjoy yourself living in Lake Oswego on a rainy day.

  1. Meet a friend for coffee at one of our local hangouts. We have enough that you could meet one friend in the morning, another in the afternoon and finish the day off with a decaf nightcap in the evening. Popular spots include Chuck’s Place in downtown Lake Oswego (hit this earlier in the day as it closes at 2:00 p.m. during the week and 1:00 p.m. on the weekends), Peet’s Coffee also located downtown, and Ava Roasteria in Kruse Village which stays open until 10:00 p.m. Check out my roundup.
  2. Catch a movie and a meal at our own local theater, the Lake Theater and Café. Enjoy your food while you watch the show or come early or stay late and enjoy a leisurely meal before or after. 106 N. State Street, 503.387.3236.
  3. Visit one of our history museums and brush up on Lake Oswego trivia. The Oswego Heritage House and Museum is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with an exhibit chronicling the history of Lake Oswego from the earliest Native American settlements to 1960. The Lake Oswego Preservation Society History Center and Museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first Saturday of the month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The current exhibit celebrates the Oregon Iron Jubilee from 1867-2017. In addition to the exhibit yourself, you can also see the oldest house in Lake Oswego open to the public.
  4. Play a game of tennis indoors. The Lake Oswego Indoor Tennis Center has four courts that are open for indoor play year-round from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made online. Cost is $20/hour. Best to plan ahead as this is a popular option among Lake Oswegans. 2900 SW Diane Drive.
  5. Go wine tasting. You don’t have to venture out to the Willamette Wine Country to sample some of what Oregon has to offer. Lake Oswego offers several options for an afternoon or evening of wine tasting. Check out the schedule at Baldwin’s Bottle Shop and Tasting Parlor. Wines from different regions are usually featured during Friday tastings from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wizer’s offers free wine tasting every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the new Domaine Serene Wine Lounge offers wine-inspired lunch and dinner service and features flights highlighting their wines from both Oregon and France.
  6. Take the kids for indoor fun to Play Boutique . Let them crawl, run, and make a mess somewhere else! Kids can work off pent-up energy while you enjoy offerings from the Beeztro café. Or catch Lake Oswego’s Indoor Playground set up at Christ Church Parish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Special activities are held at 10:00 each day) Drop-in fee is $4/child with each additional sibling just $2 (crawlers are free).
  7. Visit an art gallery. The Arts Council of Lake Oswego hosts rotating exhibits every month featuring local and regional artists. Hours vary according to exhibits but generally they are open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you’ve always wanted to make art instead of just view it, consider a month’s tuition at One River School in Lake Oswego for their Adult Art Shuffle classes held every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Designed for beginners, you’ll be exposed to a variety of projects from drawing and painting to sculpture to tap into the artist within.

If you’d like to begin your new Lake Oswego home search on a rainy day, feel free to give me a call and I’ll set up a tour of homes that will give you a good idea of what’s available and at what price range. 503.939.9801.

 

 

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Good News/Bad News for Millennial First-Time Homebuyers in Lake Oswego

Housing appreciation and a shortage of affordable homes are what make it challenging for many first-time homebuyers to enter the housing market. Millennials often face another hurdle—college debt that now stands at $1.6 trillion according to a recent report by the Federal Reserve Board.

When asked what’s holding them back from buying a home in a recent Bankrate survey, millennials pointed to their income not being high enough (52 percent), the cost of living (45 percent), and student debt (23 percent).

So where is the good news?

First of all, it seems that millennials, even those saddled with college debt are optimists. In a survey by Asperion Care, 85 percent said they expected to own a home at some point in their lifetimes.

The timeline may look longer than it did before for a variety of reasons: higher cost of entry, staying in school longer, delaying marriage and having children later.

For the college-educated millennial, it looks like that home ownership optimism may have more than wishful thinking behind it. According to findings by the Federal Reserve Board in 2017, college education is associated with markedly higher homeownership rates regardless of debt status, which increases at each additional level of college attainment. That could have to do with the fact that people with college degrees have higher incomes, helping to offset the debt burden.

And it seems that millennials are getting creative when it comes to finding ways to buy their first home. First of all, they are more likely to save their own money for a down payment than their Gen X peers. Some are going into home ownership as a joint effort between friends whose resources, and credit scores, when pulled together make the prospect doable. Of course, this calls for planning ahead to anticipate when one or both want to move or sell and how to handle the ending of this financial arrangement on good terms.

Millennials are also turning to gifts from family and friends for help in securing the money needed to make the down payment as well as seeking out first-time homebuyers’ assistance programs. Some of those include: First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program in Corvallis, and the Extra Step and Project Reinvest Program for homebuyers in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties.

Unfortunately, another option some millennials are choosing is to dip into their retirement savings to purchase a home, thus sacrificing future security for immediate gain. It is not something I would recommend not I doubt would any financial counselor.

Another option some millennials are choosing is to buy a home with a smaller than 20% average down payment. Depending on the market and the lender, buyers can sometimes purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3%. That comes at a price, however. Any loan secured with less than a 20 percent down payment requires private mortgage insurance to protect the lender which can add to the monthly mortgage payment. It also can trigger a higher interest rate on the loan which in the long run, will cost the borrower more but may be the difference that allows him or her to enter the market.

In Lake Oswego’s competitive housing market, most loans require the 20 percent down payment. The millennials I see entering the market here are either getting help from family or are leveraging appreciation they’ve earned in a different market (say from a home sale in Northeast Portland or Gresham) to make the jump to moving to Lake Oswego.

Prior to 2020, the VA limited loans requiring no down payment to $484,350 which didn’t make it a viable option for many first-time homebuyers in Lake Oswego. But as of January 1, the VA will not cap the size of a loan a veteran can get with no money down, paving the way for millennial veterans to buy higher-value homes. Since the VA only guarantees that the lender is a good credit risk and is not the one issuing the loan, the lending agency itself may still issue a cap and deny a large loan. But the denial won’t be coming from the VA so it’s worth looking into.

Buying a home is big step at any point in life and as with anything where financial stakes are on the line, it’s best to get expert advice before proceeding. That means meeting with a loan counselor who can lay out your best options for financing a home purchase.

As a Realtor in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego in particular, I’d be more than happy to refer you to someone and help you sort out the type of house you can afford and where best to start your homebuying search. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I’d love to put my over 30 years’ experience to work helping you find your new home.

 

 

 

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Register Now for Spring Break Camps in Lake Oswego

Don’t let your calendar lull you into thinking it’s too early to plan for Spring Break. If you plan on being in Lake Oswego the time is now to sign your kids up for camps that will keep them entertained. Activities fill up fast so check these options out.

COMMUNITY SCHOOL. In the past, the Community School has offered Lifeguard Training for ages 15+ during Spring Break. Information was not available at press time so check their website and/or call 503.740.7184.

LAKE OSWEGO PARKS AND RECREATION.  Register by calling 503.675.2549 or on their website.

Tiny Tykes’ Soccer Camp for ages 2-5. New this year—Challenger Sports will introduce campers to the game with activities to develop coordination, balance, running, stopping, kicking and dribbling. Tuesday, March 24 through Thursday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for ages 2-3.5 and 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. for ages 3.5 to 5. Hazelia Field at Luscher Farm, 17800 Stafford Rd. Fee for Course #120778 (2-3.5 year-olds) and #20777 (3.5-5 year-olds : $62/Resident; $78/Non-Resident.

Jordan Kent Just Kids Skills Camp for ages 6-12. New this year—Smaller camp sizes offer beginning to intermediate fundamental training in football, soccer or basketball. Camp includes skill training, games and nutrition education. Fee includes a t-shirt and/or drawstring bag. Held at West Hills Christian School, 7945 SW Capitol Hill Road in Portland. Full (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) and partial (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) options offered Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 26. Fee for full-day $179.95; Partial day $149.95. Register at Jordan Kent Camps website.

Beginning to Rock Camp for ages 5-7. Consider this a rock immersion course for youngsters as RMC staff introduce them to the tools of the trade: bass, drums, guitar, keyboard and vocals as well as music fundamentals: pitch, harmony and rhythm. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road. Fee for Course #20711: $151/Resident; $174/Non-Resident.

Songwriting and Recording Camp for ages 8-12. Calling all songwriters—learn how to put your musical ideas on paper. Then record your tune and take it home with you! Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road. Fee for Course #18660: $151/Resident; $174/Non-Resident.

Harry Potter Magical Engineering with LEGO® Materials for ages 5-7. Play-Well Teknologies staff will harness your children’s natural curiosity for how things work and love for all things Harry Potter to instill some principles of engineering and problem-solving as they construct the Hogwarts Express Train and the Hogwarts Castle. Using Platform 9 ¾. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road. Fee for Course #20702: $157/Resident; $181/Non-Resident.

Harry Potter Master Engineering with LEGO® Materials for ages 8-12. Your child will hone his or her magical and STEM skills using Build Diagon Alley for a trip to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road.  Fee for Course #20703: $157/Resident; $181/Non-Resident.

Rocks, Fossils and Geology Camp for ages 5-12. Dig for fossils, examine rocks and minerals, make a plaster cast of a fossil, create crystals and learn about landslides and volcanoes. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road.  Fee for Course #20590: $176/Resident; $220/Non-Resident.

Intro to Fencing Camp for ages 7-12. Learn the basic skills of this Olympic sport that challenges quick thinking, coordination, strength and agility. All equipment provided. Monday, March 23 through Thursday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road. Fee for Course #20778: $105/Resident; $121/Non-Resident.

School’s Out—Let’s Go Fishing! For ages 7-14. Kids will explore local fishing holes and different “angles” on fishing covering rods and reels, fly fishing, tackle, cleaning fish, bait and primitive fishing methods. Transportation off-site will be provided to Mt. Hood Community College Pond, weather and water level permitting. Bring your own pole or use one of theirs. Lunch, snacks, waterproof shoes and raingear required. Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Mary S. Young Park, 19900Willamette Drive.  Fee for Course #20595: $194/Resident; $224/Non-Resident.

Wild Survival Camp for ages 6-9 and 9-13. Kids will learn shelter and fire building, food and water acquisition, cordage, tracking and more in this wilderness survival camp utilizing team scenariosMonday, March 25 through Friday, March 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 at Mary S. Young Park, 19900 Willamette Drive. Fee for Course #20596 for Ages 6-9 and #20597 for ages 9-13: $279/Resident; $321/Non-Resident.

Junior Golf and Tennis Camp for ages 7-13 gives kids a chance to learn the basics of each sport with Monday/Wednesday sessions at the Indoor Tennis Center and Tuesday/Thursday sessions at the Golf Course. Equipment available for those who do not have their own racquet or clubs. Monday, March 23 through Thursday, March 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fee for Course #20620 for ages 7-10 and #20621 for ages 11-13: $120/Resident; $150 Non-Resident.

Intermediate Junior Golf Camp for ages 12-15. Time to take their beginning experience to the next level learning how to choose clubs, execute better shots, chip and putt at competitive level. Monday, March 23, Wednesday, March 25 and Friday, March 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Golf Course, 17525 Stafford Road. Fee for Course #120606: $120/Resident; $150/Non-Resident.

PLAY BOUTIQUE. At the time of this posting, Play Boutique had only listed Day Camps for Thursday and Friday, March 19-20. More is likely to come so check their website where you can register.  464 First Street. 503.675.7529.

Monster Madness. Kids will create their own monster characters and then join in the fun activities which culminate in a play featuring their monster creations. Sibling discounts available.

  • 3-10 year old’s. Fee: $35 for half-day (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)/$65 for full-day until 3:30 p.m.

NIC & FIGS. 425 Second Street. 503.479.8596. Register on their website.

Spring Break Sewing: Rompers! For ages 8 and up. Improve your sewing skills while customizing this cute short jumpsuit perfect for the season ahead. Monday, March 23-Tuesday, March 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. $220 fee includes supplies. Bring your own lunch.

Spring Break Sewing: Hoodie and Leggings! For ages 8 and up. This is a new class open to beginners. Sew a cozy knit hoodie and coordinating pair of leggings sure to become your go-to outfit! Wednesday, March 25 through Thursday, March 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The $220 fee includes $40 worth of supplies: 3.5-4 yards of knit material, ribbing for cuffs, thread and elastic. Contact us if you would prefer to bring your own.

MOUNTAIN PARK KIDZONE. Register in person at Mountain Park Clubhouse, 2 Mt. Jefferson Terrace in Lake Oswego. 503.635.3561.

Spring Break Camp for ages 5-12 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 25 through Friday, March 27 includes sports, swimming, arts and crafts, science experiments,  engineering projects, group games and more at Mountain Park Clubhouse, Mt. Jefferson Terrace. Full Week Fee: $250/ Mt. Park members; $325/non-members. Full-Day Fee: $55/members; $75/non-members. Register at front desk. Call for information at 503.635.3561 or email us at kidzone@mtparkhoa.com.

Spring Break can be a good time to look at homes for sale in Lake Oswego if you’re thinking of moving. I’ll be around so give me a call at 503.939.9801. Would love to show you around.

I update this post every year so be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out on the latest edition!

 

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7 Things We Love About February in and Around Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Reads. Lake Oswego is in its 14th year of bringing the community together through a myriad of activities centered around one book. This year’s selection is Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush that examines the impact that rising sea levels is having on the plants, animals and people across seven states, including Oregon. I realize Lake Oswego is not unique in sponsoring a city-wide reading program; however, what is unique is the scope of activities and community engagement. Visiting authors always speak to this—how impressed they are by the number of opportunities citizens have to “touch” their book whether it be through a panel discussion, theme-related movie, theme-inspired art reception or book-related cooking demonstration. In 2012 the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized Lake Oswego’s stellar Lake Oswego Reads program with a “City Livability” award for cities under 100,000. Read an earlier blog post to see some of this year’s highlights you won’t want to miss.

Fertile Ground Festival. Creativity springs from our native soil here in the Pacific Northwest and the Portland Area Theatre Alliance celebrates that each year with its Fertile Ground Festival featuring local playwrights and actors sharing scripts, sometimes for the first time, with audiences. You can catch a few of the performances right here in Lake Oswego at the Lakewood Center for the Arts.

  •  The Young Playwright’s Festival features one-act plays by high school playwrights from the Portland metro area. This year Aishwarya Marathe, Emily Imanishi, Lana Sage, and Jane Brinkley were selected to work with professional directors and actors in the development of their plays. Catch them on Saturday, February 1 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.
  • The Ghost of David Belasco is a farce set in a haunted theatre in 1927 where a group of characters have hired a renowned Russian medium to try and lay the ghost’s angry spirit to rest so the theatre can safely reopen. The performance is on February 8 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Portland Winter Light Festival. Keeping with the arts theme…you’ll have to travel to Portland (which is only a 15-minute drive if you time it right) for this but in the midst of our shorter days, this might be just what you need to raise your spirits. More than 100  artists show us the light through a variety of media. Past festivals have included flame throwers and dancers, a lantern parade, illuminated bike ride, light chimes, and a radiance dome. Various times February 6 through February 8. Free. Check the website for locations.

Outside the Art Room Youth Art Showcase and Auction. Speaking of creativity…it seems to run through Lake Oswego’s DNA. With only a population of 39,500+ we manage to support a community center for the arts, an arts council, a regional art show, a gallery without walls, art and acting classes, a nationally recognized community reading program AND…in its fourth year, a youth art showcase and auction. The Youth Action Council is hosting this event featuring artwork created by Lake Oswego teens with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP). There will also be live music and entertainment, refreshments, and a Mixed Media Art Clinic for ages 5 and older.  Friday, February 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road.

Battle of the Lake takes to the basketball courts. The Lake Oswego/Lakeridge rivalry is one of the most celebrated in our state, whether it’s played on the football, soccer or lacrosse fields, wrestling mat, the swimming pool, the track and field, tennis or basketball courts. The Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball teams face off on Friday, February 14 in the Lake Oswego High School gymnasium with the girls going at it at 5:45 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:15. It’s a great opportunity to go back in time, cheer on your colors, and just smell the inside of a high school gymnasium once again—guaranteed to make you feel young again!

Portland Spring Home & Garden Show. If you’re itching to get back out in the garden despite the weather, then give yourself a little inspiration by attending the Portland Spring Home and Garden Show. Vendors offer all kinds of ideas from patio pavers to plants to water features and garden art. February 20 through February 23 at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland.

February Flavors at Salt & Straw. While the official February flavors were not released at posting time, we can only hope that Salt & Straw will once again indulge us chocolate lovers with its month-long chocolate series as in February’s past where they pair their artisanal ice cream making prowess with the wonder of Portland’s small-batch chocolatiers to produce such pairings as Alma’s Chocolate PB&J and Cloudforest’s Gray Chocolate and Matcha.

There’s lots to love about living in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. 

 

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10 Coffee Shops in Lake Oswego Worth Checking Out (Not Counting the 8 Starbucks)

If you’re like my wife you don’t need an excuse to discover a new coffee shop. But if you do, the cold wet days that can show up when you are living in Lake Oswego can provide just that.

And luckily for you, we live in a high-octane caffeinated region. A recent Wallet Hub survey listed Portland as the fourth-best coffee city in the United States and tied it for first place along with the big guys like San Francisco and New York as the city with the most affordable coffee shops, houses and café’s.

Here in Lake Oswego we’ve absorbed some of that coffee fanaticism by osmosis. I mean consider this—we are home to eight Starbucks just within our city limits with only a population of 39,500.

But when you’re wanting to venture out beyond the behemoth chain here are some other recommendations. Watch for a roundup of Portland coffee shops in an upcoming blog!

Chuck’s Place. Owner Chuck Ryan describes his place as the “local living room in downtown Lake Oswego” and it’s that ambiance that has made it a popular neighborhood hangout. Patrons praise the food offerings (breakfast and lunch with gluten-free options) too including the Timber and fried egg sandwiches and bacon and herb scone. Features Illy coffee and specialty lattes include a S’more and peppermint mocha. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 148 B Avenue, 503. 675.7861.

Blue Moon Coffee. This local shop moved from its Meridian Park location to downtown Lake Oswego over a year ago and shares a storefront with Washington Federal Bank on A Avenue. If Stumptown is your bean of choice, then make your way here to see how they brew it up. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 220 A Avenue, Suite 100. 503.744.4914.

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 Saturday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 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: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 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: Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 365 N State Street, 503.278.7312.

Ava Roasteria. This too is a chain, but on a much smaller scale with the roastery and tasting room in Beaverton, and other locations in Portland and Hillsboro. If you prefer your coffee late into the night, this is your spot as it is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 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 2:00 p.m.; Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.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. This is the new kid in town with an additional location in Bend. Again, show up here and you may find your coffee taking a back seat to the pastries. 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: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 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
5800 Meadows Road, Suite 190, 503.598.9846
15645 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.2266
16199 Boones Ferry Road, inside Albertson’s, 503.635.3429

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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10 Ways a Good Realtor Can Help You Buy or Sell Your Home in Lake Oswego

A question that is often asked of Realtors is, “Why should I hire you?” And with good reason. Before entering into a relationship with a Realtor to buy or sell your home you should know what he or she can do for you. After helping people move in, out and around Lake Oswego and the Portland metro area for the past 30 years, I have established a list of what I consider the top 10 services I offer my clients and that you should expect from anyone you work with.

Here they are:

  1. Conduct an accurate market analysis of your home so you price it right. While location, location, location is one real estate mantra, pricing is another. Often there are nuances in the local real estate market that only a seasoned professional would be aware of. For example, just last month in advising some clients on a waterfront home purchase I pointed out to them that the houses on the portion of the street they were looking at were being appraised $200,000-$300,000 higher than similar houses on a different section of the street because of the particular lake view. That helped them in making their decision on what to offer…which I might add resulted in a successful deal.
  2. Help you get pre-qualified for a loan. Being pre-qualified is a must before entering any real estate transaction—it expedites the process and can often be the different between the offer that is accepted or rejected. I like to give my clients two or three referrals at the start of the process, letting them find the mortgage broker that resonates best with them, but at least giving them a place to start.
  3. Market your home. Marketing is more than just placing an ad or placing a listing on the company website. It’s also being connected to the informal network of Realtors looking for homes with specific criteria—neighborhood, main floor master, contemporary. It’s often through this network that I learn of homes before they actually come on the market, giving my clients a jumpstart on popular listings or use the network in the reverse—letting agents know of something I have in the offing that may meet a need they’ve expressed earlier. In addition, marketing includes communication and I make it a point to update my clients weekly on the activity on their home that I have listed including statistics on the number of showings, online viewings and feedback based on my follow-up to all showings. These weekly updates help address concerns, keep expectations realistic, and make adjustments as needed.
  4. Negotiate the best terms. When an offer comes in, price is only one consideration. Sometimes timing is involved, with the seller needing to stay in the house longer than usual and wanting to rent back or the buyer wanting to delay closing in order to give his or her house longer to sell. On other occasions negotiations center around repairs to be done or furnishings or appliances that the buyer would like to keep. A good Realtor is experienced in the rhythm of negotiation that ensures all parties keep talking and that his or her client is well represented.
  5. Represent you at the home inspection. I am always sure to be there in person at a buyer’s home inspection to observe and hear first-hand what the inspector has to say in order to better communicate his findings to my clients.
  6. Represent you at the appraisal. I’m also there representing the seller when the appraiser comes around to answer questions like, “Have there been any recent updates?” which can influence your home’s value in his or her eyes.
  7. Offer referrals for repairs. I see one of my jobs as your Realtor to facilitate your home selling/buying process and expedite it as quickly as possible. Being in the business as long as I have I am well versed in recommended trades/service/repair specialists. It helps to have a list because many times these technicians are booked so you may have to work your way through a few names before you find someone who can do the job. It helps to know they come recommended.
  8. Tie up loose ends at closing. I don’t like surprises at closing and assume my clients don’t either so before closing I go through the file to make sure all the agreements have been met, promised work has been done with receipts to prove it, and the like.
  9. Represent you at the closing. I’m also present at the closing with the file I mentioned above to both offer moral support and to address any questions that come up like, “Did I say I’d give a $1,000 credit for deck repairs?” or “Weren’t the sellers going to leave the refrigerator?” The file don’t lie—and since I’ve done my due diligence all along, I have the answers and the documentation to make the closing go smoothly.
  10. Refer you to an agent in a new town. If you are moving to a new town, I can plug you into a Realtor so you can hit the ground running. The Hasson Company works with the best relocation companies in the United States so you can rest assured that you’ll have someone ready, willing, and able to help you on the other side.

Buying and selling your home is more than just a business transaction. It’s a very personal decision as well and I like to think I’m a good listener when I need to be and a good advice-giver when that’s called for too. Let me put my professional as well as my personal skills to work for you the next time you’re in the market to move in, out, or around Lake Oswego or the Portland metro area. Reach out via the form below, give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

And if you’re just curious about what your current home is worth, I’d be more than happy to provide you with a free market analysis. Hope to hear from you!

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Lake Oswego Reads 2020 Kicks Off With Book Giveaway Next Week

The 2020 Lake Oswego Reads selection has once again made sure that Lake Oswegans get educated about and participate in discussions concerning a complex, and at times controversial, topic: climate change.

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush examines the impact that rising sea levels is having on the plants, animals and people across seven states, including Oregon. Rather than a data-driven treatise, she makes her case through stories that put a human face on this issue, making it hard for us to ignore.

In true Lake Oswego Reads style, a month-long series of events designed to educate, inspire and challenge us have been planned. Here are some of the highlights. Check the library website for a complete listing.

Book Giveaway, January 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Bring your library card to receive a free copy of Rush’s book while supplies last. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Lake Oswego Reads Ticket Giveaway, January 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Get in line early to receive up to two free tickets to hear Elizabeth Rush speak about her book on March 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lakeridge Auditorium. Must present your library card. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706b Fourth Street.

Dealing with Climate Change Anxiety, February 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Hear what Dr. David Pollack, retired psychiatrist and emeritus professor for public policy at OHSU has to say on his research in and experience with mental health and the public health impacts of climate change. Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th Street.

Young People Facing Climate Change, February 9 at 2:00 p.m. Hear what a panel of Lake Oswego High School and Lakeridge High School students have to say about how they are feeling about climate change and what they are doing to address it. Lake Oswego City Hall Council Chambers, 380 A Avenue.

How to Improve Your Life, Save Money, Lower Carbon Emissions and Find Friendship, February 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s not all doom and gloom. Let Lisa Adatto and Duke Castle, co-founders of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network explain how you can create your own climate change action plan. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Climate Change and Wine, February 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sommelier Joseph Shaughnessy will discuss how the wine industry and the region is adapting to our changing weather system. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Racial Justice is Climate Justice, February 19 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Explore how racial injustice and climate injustice intersect and what we can do about it. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

I’d Rather Be Metal Than Plastic, February 20 from 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Lake Oswego’s Sustainability Manager Jenny Slepian will break it down for us—what can and cannot be recycled and how we can switch from plastics to more durable alternatives. Reservations required: lakewoodcenterassociates@gmail.com or by calling 503.342.6702. $15 includes lunch. Lakewood Center for the Arts Community Meeting Room, 368 S. State Street.

Differing Views on Climate Science, February 20 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Get armed with information on both sides of this issue including the scientific challenge to the theory that climate change is human-caused. Dr. Jessica Kleiss, Associate professor of environmental studies at Lewis and Clark will be presenting. Lake Oswego City Hall Council Chambers, 380 A Avenue.

Flooding in Lake Oswego: Past, Present and Future on February 24 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Learn about our own city’s history with flooding and the work that has been done to lessen the impact with Lake Oswego City Engineer Rob Amsberry and Christine Shirley from the Oregon Department of Land and Conservation. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

The Story of Plastics on February 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Watch the movie and then listen to a panel discussion addressing the issues raised. Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street.

For the Love of Vegetables on February 29 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Katherine Deumling of Cook What You Have will demonstrate plant-based dishes and lead a conversation about the relationship between food and climate change. $10 fee to be paid at the library beforehand to secure your space. Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, 459 Third Street.

Politics of Climate Change on March 2 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. We all know this can be a hotbed issue that divides political parties, neighbors, and family members. Hear Dr. Jack Miller, political science professor at Portland State University discuss the roadblocks that sidetrack policies intended to address climate change.  Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

Elizabeth Rush: Rising Together—Creative and Collective Response to the Climate Crisis on March 4 at 7:00 p.m. Hear the author speak on hopeful collaborations that are taking action to reduce our vulnerability to climate change and explore how you can be part of that process. Lakeridge Auditorium, 1235 Overlook Drive.

Stay up to date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by subscribing to my blog. Click the “Sign me up” tab in the right-hand column. ‘

And stay up-to-date on the Lake Oswego real estate market by giving me a call. I’d be more than happy to meet with you to discuss property values, good neighborhoods, and/or provide a free market analysis of your current home. 503.939.9801

 

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