10 Things I’ve Learned About Lake Oswego On My Covid-19 Walks

I’ve lived in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and been a Realtor here for just as long. And yet, this past year, after exploring Lake Oswego on foot during my daily walks, I’ve discovered things about it that I never knew before.

We have a winery right in Lake Oswego. Monte Ferro Winery is located at 2240 Prestwick Road and was a sight for winded eyes the first time we hiked the Iron Mountain Trail and emptied out on Glen Eagles Road before continuing uphill to Prestwick. Lovely rows of vineyard line the front of the sloping estate; however, not enough to produce the less than 500 cases they bottle each year. For that, they source fruit from select vineyards that are salmon safe and follow low impact viticultural practices such as Stoller, Dion, Bradley and Westbrook. Resident winemakers, Bob and Mignon Ervin offer wine tastings by appointment: 503.803.9180 or reserving on OpenTable.

Lake Oswegans love hellebores. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what they are. Neither did I until my wife and I kept spotting so many of them in gardens all around Lake Oswego that we looked them up. Seems after our sometimes-too-long winters, Lake Oswegans love the hint of spring these perennials bring to their yards. The five petal bowl-shaped flowers come in a variety of colors with the most popular being white, green and a reddish-purple, almost black.

Owls like to hang out in the Beth Ryan Nature Reserve. The other day while my wife and I were walking through the Beth Ryan Nature Reserve, I spotted one owl flying off in the distance before finding another perched on a tree branch right in front of us. A woman who lives in the area passed us by and explained that you can hear them hooting at night when they’re around. Seems they had been traveling for a while but have returned to one of their favorite spots. The entrance to the nature reserve is at 1909 Summit Drive.

There is a great lookout located at the Prosser Mine Site along the Iron Mountain Trail just between Glen Eagles Road and the fork in the trail about 300 yards down. There are interpretive signs at the mine, shining some light on the mining that took place there back in the late 1800s. And across the way is platform that looks out over the Oswego Hunt and much of Lake Oswego. It’s a welcome reward for hikers who venture to the top of Iron Mountain.

Walking around Lake Oswego never gets boring. Since the pandemic hit, my wife and I have walked at least 3-5 miles every day, usually starting from our home and venturing out to a different route each day. In spite of that repetition, it seems we are able to find new things to keep our walks fresh and interesting. Whether it’s the changing landscapes from the spring daffodils and camellias to summer’s hydrangeas and impatiens or the alternating seasonal displays from Easter bunnies to red-nosed reindeers, there is always something different to catch our eye.

Oswego Lake is not the only water feature in Lake Oswego. There are ponds and babbling brooks that, during the winter morph into rushing streams. Running across one of these on a walk is like getting an added bonus – it adds a soothing soundtrack to the natural beauty your eyes are taking in. It was quite a sight to watch our drained lake fill up naturally from all the waterways feeding into it.

There is a new pathway running through Iron Mountain park that doesn’t have the elevation of the other trails but parallels Iron Mountain Road and keeps you sheltered under the shade of the magnificent trees that blanket the mountain. Entrances are either at the intersection of Iron Mountain Road and Summit Drive or off the Iron Mountain Trail beginning at Brookside. It takes you behind the new park and Oswego Hunt.

Neighbors like to find new ways to keep us walkers entertained. There is the woman on Dogwood Drive who writes a new message on her outdoor chalkboard every day that runs the gamut from humorous to philosophical. And just last week we discovered someone on Woodside Circle who hangs a binder from a light on their garage filled with what they call “Trouble Making Glimmers from the Reckless Ramblings of a Restless Mind.”

Of course, my wife and I have found ways to keep ourselves entertained too. Lately, much to the embarrassment of our kids, we have started counting the number of porta potties we pass. It came as a result of an off-the-hand comment I made one day that there were probably over 100 porta potties in Lake Oswego due to all the construction and remodeling going on. My wife challenged me on that and the hunt was on. To date, we have counted 153.

Lake Oswego is more walkable than I thought. When we think of the First Addition, we think of walkability, with easy access to downtown restaurants and shopping. But I live in the Bryant neighborhood and my neighbors and I have discovered that our area is walkable too. We have found ourselves walking to the grocery store, the post office, the bakery, restaurants and the coffee shop. Before the pandemic, we would have probably hopped in our car to run those errands, but now we often incorporate them into our walks and realize how doable it is.

The weather isn’t an excuse for not getting outside. The only weather that kept us in over this past year was the ice that paved our streets back in February. Granted, my wife invested in heated socks, and during the winter we venture out in puffy jackets, gloves and occasionally, an umbrella but we’ve both remarked how surprised we’ve been by how often we’ve been able to get outside. And we are not alone out there. It seems dog owners don’t have a choice—they’re walking rain or shine, but even the canine-free among us, bundle up and get our steps in. If you had told me a year ago, that I’d walk outside every day for a year, I wouldn’t have believed you. Another thing the pandemic has forced me to do, and I have to say, I’m better for it!

I’d love to share everything I know about Lake Oswego if you are thinking of moving to Lake Oswego. Just give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com, and/or check out my website. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and I would consider it an honor to introduce you to this city that I love and have been helping others fall in love with too.  

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5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in July

Our family both loves and hates July in Lake Oswego. We love it because the weather and the festivities ramp up to the best of what Lake Oswego’s summer has to offer. We hate it because it seems like once July gets here, the summer starts to go too quickly. Maybe it’s because we are having too much fun!

Whatever the reason, July is a month to savor as much as you can in Lake Oswego. Here are a few things to consider:

FOURTH OF JULY. This summer holiday is traditionally epic here in Lake Oswego starting with a pancake breakfast in George Rogers Park and ending with fireworks on the lake. This year, the pancake breakfast is going virtual again and the fireworks are TBD; however, Lake Oswegans can take hope that these beloved traditions will return once this pandemic is safely behind us. In the interim, there are some things still happening and improvisations you can make.

Pancake breakfast. You can still whip up your own cakes and donate to a good cause by going online. Recreating the hotcakes that the Lions cook up may be hard to do but here are some ideas for how to take boxed pancake mix to the next level. Pick up some marionberry syrup at a local Farmer’s Market and you may just get by one more year without the annual Lions’ feast.

Parade. While the Star-Spangled Parade won’t be filling the streets of downtown Lake Oswego, there’s nothing stopping you from doing your own neighborhood version. Back in the day before the City of Lake Oswego started putting on this annual event, it fell upon us residents to make the magic happen for our kids. The Tigard Dollar Store is well stocked with patriotic decorations. All you need are some red, white and blue balloons, streamers and flags and let the kids get creative. Be sure to have some candy to toss as they parade by, and you’ll have happy campers.

Fireworks Concert. The Lake Corporation is staging a Fourth of July Fireworks Kickoff Concert featuring country singer Britnee Kellogg. The concert starts at 6:00 p.m.  

Fireworks on the Lake. The Lake Corporation is planning on staging its annual fireworks show over the lake, however, the location may change. Check their website for updates.

LAKE OSWEGO SWIM PARK. Open to all Lake Oswego residents, the Lake Oswego Swim Park opens July 1 and is open from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Certified lifeguards are on duty at all times and the park features diving platforms, inner tubes, outdoor showers and lounge chairs. Covid-19 safety protocols are still in place this summer so the park capacity is limited to 25, visitation is limited to a maximum of two hours once a day. Face coverings are also required for everyone older than 5 and children 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 250 Ridgeway Road, 503.953.9325 (during park hours).

FOOTGOLF LEAGUE. Lake Oswegans have been enjoying footgolf since 2015 and summer league play starts July 15 and runs every Thursday through August 15 with tee times starting at 5:30 p.m. League play is open to teams of a minimum of four, maximum of five with registration closing Sunday, June 27. Register online.

BURGERS IN THE BREEZEWAY. My wife and daughter love any excuse that takes them to Zupan’s in Lake Oswego. The store is as much a feast to the eyes as it is to the appetite. Starting July 1, Zupan’s will be serving up burgers, fries, gourmet toppings and more in their breezeway every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Keep an eye out for their popular lobster dinners also hosted in the breezeway, which sell out quickly.

PICNIC IN THE PARK and FLICKS AT THE FARM. Summer concerts kick off this month with Picnics in the Park starting out on Thursdays in July in Millennium Plaza Park and in August in Westlake Park. Attendance is limited to lottery winners who have registered online. Check out an earlier blog to learn how you can enter the lottery. Two carpool cinemas take place this month at Luscher Farm. Reserve your spot (and be prepared to provide contact information for each person—up to 6—attending for contact tracing, if needed). Staggered load-in begins at 7:30 p.m. with spaces assigned on vehicle size. Movies begin around 8:45 p.m. Fee is per space: $39 Resident/$45 Non-Resident. The lineup includes Raya and the Last Dragon on Friday, July 30, and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark on Saturday, July 31. Register online.  

If you find yourself loving Lake Oswego so much you’re thinking about moving here, or moving within Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’d love to show you around and help you with your next move.

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How to Beat the Heat Wave in Lake Oswego

The heat is on! With temperatures in the triple digits for the next couple of days followed by a “cool down” in the 90s, chances are you’ll be looking for a place to cool off.

Luckily, living in Lake Oswego, you don’t have to look too far. All residents have access to the lake at the Lake Oswego Swim Park which fortunately, opens on Thursday!

But there are other options too. Here’s an updated list, reflecting some of the changed protocols due to Covid-19; however, those protocols may change as of June 30 when Governor Brown lifts all Covid-19 health and safety restrictions.  

Stay cool!

Lake Oswego Swim Park. All you need is proof of residency in Lake Oswego to cool off in this lifeguard-supervised swim park which features diving platforms, water sprayers, inner tubes, outdoor showers, and lounge chairs. Park is open 7 days a week from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (weather permitting) during July and August. At press time there were some safety protocols in place in light of Covid-19 regulations; however, that could change on Wednesday, so check the website for updates. 250 Ridgeway Road, 503.953.9325.

  • 25 person Max Capacity 
  • 2 hour maximum visit
  • 1 visit per day
  • Face Covering REQUIRED for ages 5 and over (not required in water).
  • Children ages 11 and under must be accompanied by an individual 16 years or older

Lake Grove Swim Park. The Lake Grove Swim Park is run by the Lake Oswego School District and is open to residents who live within the boundaries of the former Lake Grove School District according to the original deed spelled out by Oregon Iron & Steel Company.(Check to see if you live within the boundary).  While that district is now part of the LOSD, residents within those original boundaries still pay an additional property tax to support the park.

The park is currently open and remains open through the last August weekend before school starts, HOWEVER, due to the forecasted heat index for Sunday, June 27 and Monday, June 28, the swim park will be closed those two days. Keep checking the website for updates.

You must have a park pass to enter the park. Passes can be obtained at the park with a picture ID and proof of residency. Once inside you can enjoy three roped off swimming areas, lifeguard supervision, playground, picnic tables, shady spots for picknicking and cooling off. The very popular concession stand is being renovated so bring your own snacks. At press time you also needed to bring your own equipment to play badminton tetherball, or basketball as rentals were not being offered. The kiddie wading pool is also under renovation.

While swim lessons have been very popular in the past, they are not being offered this year.

George Rogers Park. Lake water isn’t the only fresh water available for cooling off on a hot summer day. The Willamette River beach at George Rogers Park is a perfect place for both man or woman and his or her dog to get their feet wet. Once you’ve cooled down, enjoy some of the other things the park has to offer including a playground for the kids, outdoor tennis and paddle ball courts, picnic tables and recreational fields.

Foothills Park. The city’s newest riverfront park offers Willamette River views and also access for taking a dip, chilling on a floatie, laying out in the sun, and watching the boaters cruising down the river. The splash pad at Foothills Park has been undergoing repair work but is scheduled to be up and operating by July 2.

Lake Oswego School District Pool. This indoor pool is located on the Lake Oswego High School campus. This summer it is only open for lap swimming to pool pass holders who make reservations online. Daily admission is not currently available, but again, keep checking. 2455 Overlook Drive, 503.534.2330.

Lower Millennium Park Splash Pad. Not really a swimming hole, but the fountain at the base of Millennium Plaza Park on State Street, has been a quick and fun way for little ones to cool off on a hot day. Unfortunately, the splash pad has been undergoing electrical work repair so it is not currently operating — you’ll have to keep checking back. Follow the stairs down from the park. First and Evergreen.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION/COMMUNITY/PRIVATE POOLS. Please note that each of these community pools have established certain protocols during Covid-19; however, after June 30, many if not all may be lifted. So check their websites before heading out.

Bryant Woods. This pool is open to members of the Bryant Woods Homeowners Association from Memorial Day through September annually. Check site for membership boundaries. 18275 Indian Creek Drive, 503.639.2732 (during season)

Greentree Pool. The Greentree Pool is a private neighborhood pool open to residents who live within the Hallinan and Palisades school boundaries. Membership is capped at 150 families. 1773 Greentree Road. 503.303.5285 (during season)

Blue Heron Community Pool. This small outdoor neighborhood pool is open to the Blue Heron Neighborhood Association. Fees go towards pool maintenance and lifeguard supervision. 17791 Blue Heron Drive.

Mountain Park Recreation Center. The aquatics center here features a leisure pool, lap pool and therapeutic spa which are open to members of the Mountain Park Homeowners Association. People living outside the Mountain Park HOA boundaries may pay for a patron membership in order to use the facilities.  2 Mt. Jefferson Terrace. 503.635.3561

Lake Oswego Country Club. The outdoor pool and lanai here are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day for club members. You’ll find private, adult swim, open swim and tier level swimming lesson opportunities. 20 Iron Mountain Blvd., 503.636.3631.


The Bay Club Portland. Members can enjoy year-round swimming in the indoor junior Olympic lap pool as well as summertime use of the outdoor recreational pool with playful slide. The club offers private and group swim lessons, acqua fitness classes, lap and recreational swimming. 18120 SW Lower Boones Ferry Rd., Tigard, 503.968.4500.

24 Hour Fitness. A three lane indoor lap pool is available for members’ use. 17942 SW McEwan Rd., Tigard, 503.670.0400.

The Stafford Hills Club. Members have access to a six lane, 25 yard saline outdoor pool year-round that is heated to a temperature of 82 degrees. Amenities include recreational and lap swimming, masters, swim club, lessons and water aerobics. 5916 SW Nyberg Lane, Tualatin, 503. 6112.2400

LA Fitness.  Offers a three lane indoor pool with both acqua fitness classes as well as lap swim. 7405 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin, 503.404.0126.

As you can see, where you live in Lake Oswego can make a difference in the types of “cooling off” amenities you have access to. If you’re interested in exploring your neighborhood options in Lake Oswego, please give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I’d love to show you around and explain all the different benefits the different neighborhoods in Lake Oswego offer.

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Update on the Lake Oswego Housing Market

I can give you a lot of anecdotes about the temperature of the Lake Oswego Housing Market.

•Multiple offers are coming in on homes with the sale going often to the highest bidder, in most cases offering thousands more than the listing price

•Some buyers are writing escalation clauses into their offers in hopes of having the opportunity to raise their offer as needed to win out over other buyers

•Since banks loan money based on the appraised value, when homes appraise for less than the sales price (which is happening more often right now due to bidding wars), buyers are having to come up with more cash to make up the difference

But I can also give you numbers to back up the anecdotes. Here are some telling numbers regarding single family residences.

2021 YTD $1,168,96218.5%376.1%
2020$  986,190  9%317.3%
2019$    905,001  3.4%291.2%

Here are those same numbers for condos:

2021 YTD $   425,53115.7%341.9%
2020$  367,889  5.6%295.6%
2019$   348,529  8.5%175.3%

And when you dig deeper into particular numbers you’ll find this:

In April of 2019, listings of detached dwellings in Lake Oswego spent an average of 57 days on the market. In April of 2021, that average DOM dropped to 42.

In April of 2019, the monthly inventory of detached dwellings in Lake Oswego was 5.5 months compared to 4.7 in 2020 and only 1.1 in 2021.

The average yearly change in sales price for detached dwellings in Lake Oswego has been 10.6% since 1997 while condos and attached dwellings have seen their sales prices increase by an average of 9.4% annually over the same time period.

So, you can see why 71% of Americans polled in an April Gallup survey said they expect housing prices to continue to rise in their local market over the next year. And why 41% of Americans believe that real estate is the best long-term investment, with stocks and mutual funds trailing behind at 26%.

I have always believed that Lake Oswego real estate has been undervalued. While that imbalance is correcting itself, I still see room for appreciation. Especially after returning from a recent trip to California, I can attest to the fact that Lake Oswego homes are still a true value. And when you factor in the quality of life here in addition to the square footage and house amenities, there is no comparison!

If you’re considering moving to Lake Oswego, please get in touch with me. I’d love to help you realize the value here. If you are already enjoying living in Lake Oswego and considering moving, let’s talk. I can help you understand the true value of your home and what it would cost for you to move up or move on. You can reach me at 503.939.9801 or costellok@hasson.com. And be sure to check out my website. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Introduce Dad to Something New in Lake Oswego This Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a great excuse to get your dad to get out of his routine and try something new in and around Lake Oswego.

Here are a few things to consider:

MORSE COFFEE COMPANY. This is one of the newest kids on the block, opening its doors on April 22. But Sam Morse, co-owner with his dad David, is no newcomer to coffee and his new business reflects his 20-year background in the specialty coffee industry. Featuring Upper Left Roasters beans, every cup is a work of art, both in how it tastes and how it looks—they take latte art seriously here, which if you’re like the coffee drinkers in our family, adds to the enjoyment. There are lots of seating options too so indulge in a sit-down coffee experience which is something you and your dad haven’t had in a while.  And while you’re at it, take a look around at the art on exhibit. Besides coffee, Sam loves art and is an artist himself (hence that great latte art!). The shop plans to feature work by local artists for free, providing them with another venue to display and sell their art. This month they are featuring the winners of the City of Lake Oswego’s photo contest. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 417 1st Street in downtown Lake Oswego.

STEIN DISTILLERY. Keep the liquid flowing. Treat him to a tasting flight of this local family-run operation that grows their own grains to ensure the quality that goes into their spirits. The tasting menu runs from $10 to $18 and includes an entry level selection as well as a whiskey flight that compares the different grain bills. If he finds one he likes, you can treat him to a bottle and enjoy an $8 savings off the cost of your flight. Hours are 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Happy Hours are 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday with $4 off of flights. Room capacity is currently at 8 so you might want to call ahead. 160 A Avenue, 503.344.4259.

MERCATO VILLAGE RESTAURANTS. Lake Oswego’s newest mixed-use development is ready for business, well some of it is. Currently you can enjoy takeout and delivery from these two restaurants:

Grassa: Pictures of their handcrafted pasta will have you drooling: Malfadine with lamb sausage, tomato, mint, sweet peas, ricotta salata and black olive crumbs or the pork belly mac and cheese, not to mention favorites like carbonara and cacio e pepe. Have the chefs there prepare your meal or cook it up for Dad at home by ordering a pound of their handmade pasta paired with a pint of their pork ragu sauce. Open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 4055 Mercantine Drive, Suite 130. 503.303.9219.

Lardo: This place takes sandwich making to the next level with offerings like the Chefwich with Dungeness crab cakes and green curry aioli or the Two One Five with shaved sirloin, American cheese, hot cherry peppers, griddled onions, Duke’s mayo on a seeded bun. And don’t forget the French fries—the Lardo fries feature fried herbs and parmesan while the Dirty fries come bearing pork scraps, marinated peppers, fried herbs and parmesan. Open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 4025 Mercantile Drive, Suite 125. 503.303.9227.  

Coming soon: Other food stops scheduled for summer opening include: Fills (a Berliner-style doughnut shop) opening in July; Lac St. Jack (Parisian inspired bistro) opening in July; Tasty (eclectic all-day eatery) opening in July; Oven and Shaker (Italian pizza and street food) opening in August.  

IRON MOUNTAIN PARK. Grab a few of those sandwiches from Lardo’s and head over with Dad to one of the city of Lake Oswego’s newest parks at 2401 Iron Mountain Road. There is a picnic shelter and access to the Iron Mountain trails which would be a great activity to work off your lunch! A new lower soft trail runs parallel to Iron Mountain Road but intersects with the Iron Mountain/Springbrook Park Loop which will take you up to the overlook platform at the site of the Prosser Iron Mine. It’s worth the trek!

Wishing the best to all you fathers on there! Be sure to subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column so you stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego and all the reasons you’ll love living here. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website if you’re interested in moving to, within, or out of Lake Oswego. I’d love to put my experience to work for you!

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Enter the Lottery for a Chance to Attend Lake Oswego’s Summer Concerts

If you love outdoor summer concerts, I hope you’re feeling lucky this summer. Why? Because tickets to Lake Oswego’s summer concerts series will be awarded based on a lottery system. If interested in attending one (or all) of this summer’s events, you need to register for each individual show. If your name is drawn you may purchase up to six tickets for your party which come concert night, will be physically distanced from other participating groups.

Tickets are $14 each and include a meal. Lottery registration is now open and the drawing for July concerts will be June 15 and July 13 for August concerts. Come rain or shine, the show will go on, so be prepared. And remember to bring your low sand chairs and/or blankets.

Check the complete schedule here and register for the lottery drawings. All shows run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

DatePlace*BandType of Music
July 1MPPAaron MeyerRock violinist
July 8MPPSabrosoLatin Funk
July 15MPPTom GrantJazz
July 22MPPTodd HaabyLatin guitar
July 29MPPChris Baum ProjectTribute to Steely Dan
August 5WPKalimbaSpirit of Earth Wind & Fire
August 12WPPetty FeverTom Petty Tribute
August 19WPJennifer Batten and Full SteamRock
August 26WPRadical Revolution80s Hits Tribute
* MPP Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street/ WP Westlake Park, 14165 Bunick Drive

*MMP – Millennium Plaza Park, 200 1st Street

*WP – Westlake Park, 14165 Bunick Drive

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column. You’ll receive weekly updates on things to do in Lake Oswego and reasons to move to and live in Lake Oswego. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to help you enjoy the quality of life that this city that I call home provides. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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U-Pick Berry Farms around Lake Oswego Oregon

Once you’ve tasted an Oregon grown strawberry, there is no going back. That will become the standard by which you compare all other strawberries, and I assure you, they will fall short.

Luckily those juicy ripe morsels will arrive at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market in early June and keep returning in different varieties throughout the summer while joined by their equally delicious family members: blackberries (July-September), blueberries (July-September), boysenberries (June-July), marionberries (July), raspberries (June-September), and tayberries(mid to late summer).

To add to the berry experience, many Lake Oswegans go berry picking at one of the u-pick farms located within a short drive from town. The only thing you have to be careful of is getting carried away and bringing home more berries than you can eat. Fortunately there are recipes for cobbler, jam, and if you’ve really gone overboard, berries freeze really well too.

Here’s a roundup of some spots you might want to check out. It’s always good to check online and/or call ahead first to see what’s available. Covid guidelines vary from farm to farm so that’s another thing to look into.

LEE FARMS. Three generations are involved in this location which is closest to Lake Oswego and also a go-to spot for pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees in the winter. They will have six varieties of strawberries available for u-pick: Shucksans, Hoods, Sweet Sunrise, Charm, Stella and Chandler. Call for availability: 503.638.1869 or text 503.832.6594 to hop on the texting train and be notified when the picking starts. Buy tickets for their Summer and Berry Festival running Fridays through Sundays from June 4 through June 20. Admission is $5/person or you can choose an activity wristband available for $16 (includes admission price) that entitles you to participate in attractions like the bounce pillow, hay maze, slides, hayrides, barrel wagon rides. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin.

HOFFMAN FARMS STORE. This is a six-generation operation with a rotating crop of summer berries available for u-pick: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, marionberries, boysenberries and tayberries. Be sure to hop aboard the Hoffman Farms Express ($5/person) for a scenic train ride around the berry fields before you head out. Call ahead for availability. 22242 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Beaverton. 503.628.5418.

ALBEKE FARMS. Located in Oregon City, this farm offers a wide variety of u-pick options so you may have to visit it often during the summer. Choose from strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, marionberries, Gravenstein apples, Macintosh apples, Melrose apples, peaches, pickles, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins and concord grapes. Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 16107 S. Wilson Road, Oregon City. 503.632.3989.

RED BERRY BARN. There is lots to entice you here in addition to the fresh fruit. The garden center offers beautiful hanging baskets and pots to take home with you and the bakery is sure to tempt you as well. Not to mention the homemade ice cream that would go perfectly with your fresh-picked berries! Throughout the season you’ll find strawberries, raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries, blueberries and blackberries. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. 19200 SW Chapman Road, Sherwood. 503.925.1700.

DAVE HEIKES BERRY FARM AND FRESH MARKET. Head out to Hillsboro and you’ll find strawberries, blueberries, red and black raspberries and boysenberries. Hours: Call 503.628.7226. 9400 SW Heikes Drive, Hillsboro.

SMITH BERRY BARN FARM AND GARDEN MARKET. There are over 20 varieties of berries to savor from late May to early October, including the ever-popular and early Hood strawberries to the late fall raspberries. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 24500 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Hillsboro. 503.628.2172.

TOPAZ FARM. Formerly known as Kruger Farm, Sauvie Island residents Kat and Jim Topaz are now running the show and filling up their calendar not only with growing seasons for their wide variety of fruits and vegetables but also farm-to-plate brunches and dinners and other special events. Come June you’ll find u-pick strawberries and flowers followed by raspberries, marionberries and boysenberries in July and blueberries and cucumbers in August. The list goes on so be sure to check their website. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. June through October; open until sunset on Thursdays through Saturdays. 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland. 503.621.3489.

COLUMBIA FARMS. You’ll find 15 types of berries to choose from on this 80 acre farm as well as pre-cut peonies if you get there early enough in the season. Call for hours and availability. 21024 NW Gillihan Road, Portland. 503.621.3909.

DOUGLAS FARM. This fifth generation farm will open the end of June and offer u-pick berries as well as beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peaches, apples, pears, prunes, nectarines, sweet corn, squash and flowers. Call for hours and availability. 15330 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland. 503.621.3177.

THE PUMPKIN PATCH. This popular spot opened May 28th starting with u-pick strawberries followed by raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, marionberries, peaches, tomoatoes, flowers and pumpkins. Enjoy free hayrides daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fridays through Sundays from Juen through September. 15611 NW Gillihan Road, Portland. 503.621.3874.

SAUVIE ISLAND FARMS. The third generation of this family continues the tradition of offering a wide variety of u-pick berries, peaches, corn, flowers and pumpkins. You’ll also find cherries, pears, beans, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, flowers and herbs. Call for hours and availability: 503.621.3988. 19818 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland.  

BELLA ORGANIC. This 100-acre certified organic farm and winery grows over 70 varieties of berries, fruits, vegetables, pumpkins, vineyard grapes, herbs, and nursery stock. It’s a popular spot so best to head out early in the day and/or check that day’s availability by calling ahead. In June look for strawberries, possibly blueberries, and early variety blackberries. Marionberries are ripe for picking in July followed by blackberries in August. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 16205 NW Gillihan Road, Portland. 503.621.9545.

Find a complete list of farms here.

U-pick summer berries are just one of the many reasons to love Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “sign me up button in the top right hand column and discover many more reasons to move to Lake Oswego. I’m a Realtor here and would love to help you with your next move, whether it’s in, around or out of Lake Oswego. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. I look forward to hearing from you!

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5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in June

I’ve covered the coming attractions this summer in Lake Oswego, but here are five happenings that I wanted to draw particular attention to, some of which were not previously mentioned.

As I’ve said before, Lake Oswego is the little town that thinks it can and does—there’s so much to look forward to this summer, even with Covid restrictions in place. So count your lucky stars that come summer, you are living in Lake Oswego (or at least visiting!)

Women’s Golf Day. Ladies enjoy FREE rounds of golf after 12:00 p.m. along with a FREE clinic with PGA professional and course manager Tom Mueller from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. While there is no cost to this event, women do need to call for a tee time or reserve online. Open to ages 18 and older.

Opening of Lake Grove Swim Park. This place holds a special place in the Costello family heart. Our kids (and their parents) spent many a summer afternoon here swimming in the lake, playing ping pong, hanging out at the concession stand, and just being a kid. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, activities are limited this year as is the time patrons are allowed to visit the park (a time-limit will be enforced to ensure that everyone gets to use the park while still safely distancing). But even in a scaled-down version, this park is one of the best things about Lake Oswego. So if you live within the former Lake Grove School District boundaries, be sure to put this on your Summer To Do list starting June 18. And if you don’t, just wait until next month when the city’s swim park opens on Ridgeway Road.

Deepening our Connections: A 3-Part Series on African American Literature, Part 1. The discussion continues, picking up from this year’s Lake Oswego Reads selection: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The Lake Oswego Library and Respond to Racism are sponsoring this conversation that will use storytelling to connect us and help us better understand the diverse and often painful experiences of our nation’s Black communities. Part 1 of this series will discuss Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs via Zoom and led by Regan Parker, a Lake Oswego mother, lawyer, and author with a deep passion for racial justice and belief in the power of story to instill understanding and connect us to one another. Sunday,  June 13 at 2:00 p.m. Register online.   

Petals and Punch. This is a new addition to Lake Oswego’s summer lineup of activities and promises to be memorable for little ones and their families. It takes place in Lake Oswego’s outdoor living room—Millennium Plaza Park—and features live entertainment from Angel Ocasio Comedy and music from Mr. Hoo. Tickets are $30/pair for Residents; $45/pair for non-residents and include tea, savory bites and sweet patisserie. An additional sibling discount is available if registering for another child. Register online for class number 22967.

Summer Solstice. I’ve extolled the virtues of summer in Lake Oswego on this blog before, but summer nights are some my favorites. And on Sunday, June 20, we see our longest day clocking in at 15 hours, 40 minutes and 25 seconds of daylight. Sunrise is at 5:22 a.m. and sunset at 9:02 p.m. followed by several more days with an even later sunset of 9:03 p.m. It’s definitely something to look forward to!

I plead guilty to trying to sell you on what a great place Lake Oswego is to live. That’s what this blog is all about. And if I manage to convince you to check it out, please feel free to give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website. After living here and working here as a Realtor for over 30 years, I’d love to put my knowledge and love for this town to work for you. Happy summering!

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Coming Attractions This Summer in Lake Oswego

Last year at this time I posted an article speaking to the growing list of traditional summertime activities that had been cancelled due to Covid-19 and the Covid-approved versions of the ones that remained.

Now 365 days later, I’m happy to announce that Lake Oswego continues to find ways to make summer its finest season with smaller-scale, capacity-monitored outdoor events. From concerts in the park to flicks on the farm, there are a variety of options for Lake Oswegans to make the most of the glorious weather and daylight-filled days coming our way.

Here’s a sneak peek at the coming attractions:

Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market. I’ve already touted about this popular summer attraction but in case anyone missed it, I wanted to make sure the market, which is already underway, is top on everyone’s “Summer To Do” list for Lake Oswego. Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 8 to October 2 in Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street.

Pop-Up Concerts on the Lake. The Lake Corporation is staging eight pop-up concerts at various locations around the lake beginning June 11 through September 9. Locations are revealed at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the concert through emails to members and on their Facebook page. Concerts begin at 6:00 p.m. (except for Hot August Night on August 7 which begins at 6:30 p.m.)

Juneteenth. Head down to Millennium Plaza Park to participate in the city’s commemoration of the day slavery ended. Programming TBA.

Picnic in the Park. Our popular summer concert series returns in a new and Covid-approved version. Since capacity will be monitored based on county risk levels, the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is issuing ticket purchases on a lottery basis. Interested attendees must register individually for each of the concerts they wish to attend. A drawing for the July concerts (held at Millennium Plaza Park) will be held June 15; July 13 for the August concerts (held at Westlake Park). If selected, participants may purchase up to six tickets (at $14 each which includes a meal) and then bring low sand chairs and/or blankets for their socially distanced assigned space the night of the concert. The show will go on, rain or shine. Check back for a complete lineup.

Lake Grove Swim Park. Tentative plans are to be open from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. beginning Friday, June 18 and closing the week of August 23. Most likely, attendance at the Lake Grove Swim Park will resemble last summer’s guidelines; however, depending on the risk level assessment, things could change. As always, entrance is limited to residents within the  boundaries of the former Lake Grove School District, who pay an additional property tax to support the swim park. Residents must have a park pass in order to use the swim park. Passes are issued at the swim park and require picture ID with proof of residency (i.e., drivers license). Resident addresses are verified via tax records to determine eligibility.

In addition, these restrictions most likely will apply:

•There will be a park capacity

•Masks will need to be worn within six feet of patrons who do not enter the park together

•A time limit will be enforced to ensure access for everyone

•Food will not be served

•No swim lessons

• Kiddie pool may not open

• There will be no equipment or games rentals; however, guests can bring their own

Lake Oswego Swim Park. This swim park, located at 250 Ridgeway Road, is operated by the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department and is open to all residents of Lake Oswego. In order to accommodate swimmers safely this summer, certain Covid-19 protocols will be followed including:

•Proof of LO residency with photo ID

•25-person maximum capacity

•2-hour maximum visit

•1 visit per day

•Face covering required for ages 5 and over (not in water)

•Children 11 and under must be accompanied by an individual 16 years or older

Petals & Punch. Millennium Plaza Park will be transformed into a flower-filled venue for a enchanted afternoon tea party on Sunday, June 27 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Enjoy savory bites and sweet pastries along with your tea and making magical memories with your child. Entertainment provided by Angel Ocasio Comedy and music by Mr. Hoo. Register online: Residents $30/pair; Non-Residents $45/pair.  

Festival of the Arts Art in the Park. This two-day event featuring visionary artists of the Pacific Northwest returns in a newly imagined way to follow Covid-19 safety guidelines. Artists will be spread out throughout the entirety of George Rogers Park to allow for social distancing. Come get your artistic fix and support these regional artists. Saturday and Sunday, June 26 through June 27. 611 S. State Street. Watch for more details.  

4th of July Pancake Breakfast. The pancake breakfast is going virtual again this year which you can access and donate to here. The Lions Club is hoping to host an event in August, possibly along the lines of a hamburger/hot dog feed. Stay tuned.

 4TH of July Fireworks on the Lake. This annual event is tentatively being planned; however, there were no details at posting time.

Masque Alfresco. Families can once again enjoy free outdoor theatre productions in George Rogers Park Memorial Garden (next to the Iron Foundry) Fridays through Sundays from July 23 through August 8 at 7:00 p.m. This year’s antics tell a version of Alice in Wonderland in the silly, slapstick way Masque Alfresco is known for.

Flicks at the Farm. Carpool cinemas are another example of the Covid-pivot. Go back in time and enjoy a popular flick under the stars with your family and/or friends. Reserve your spot (and be prepared to provide contact information for each person—up to 6—attending for contact tracing, if needed). Staggered load-in begins at 7:30 p.m. with spaces assigned on vehicle size. Movies begin around 8:45 p.m. Fee is per space: $39 Resident/$45 Non-Resident. The lineup includes Raya and the Last Dragon on Friday, July 30, and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark on Saturday, July 31. Register online.  

Twilight on the Farm. This fundraiser to support numerous programs offered at Luscher Farm is set for August 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. featuring a farm style picnic dinner with wines and beers from local producers. Check online for details.

Movies in the Park. There’s more than one way to watch a movie. Fans can return to Millennium Plaza Park to watch Moana on Tuesday, August 10 or Westlake Park on Tuesday, August 17 for The Croods. Movies begin at dusk (approximately 8:45 p.m.). While the event is free, registration is required for contact tracing purposes.

Drive-In Concert. Enjoy some physically distanced fun at a double-header drive-in concert at Luscher Farm on Saturday, August 21. Opener is CJ Mickens followed by Hit Machine. Staggered load-in begins at 5:15 p.m. with spaces assigned on vehicle size. Concert runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Price is per parking space: $40 Resident/$49 Non-Resident with a maximum of six persons per car. Again, contact tracing protocol requires all attendees be listed with contact information.

Oswego Heritage Council Collector Car & Classic Boat Show. Organizers are deciding if, when and how to hold this annual event and hope to have a decision by the end of May so stay tuned.

Barnyard Bolt. Sign your family up for this 5K family fun run at Luscher Farm. Dash your way through sprinkler splashes, bubbles and other obstacles sure to leave you laughing (and slightly dirty and/or wet). Participants are encourage to dress up as their favorite barnyard animal. Open to ages 5+. Staggered start times enable capacity monitoring. Saturday, August 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. $15/person until July 31; $18/person August 1.

Barks in the Park. Who says humans get to have all the fun? Bring your furry friends to Hazelia Dog Park on Thursday, September 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. where you and they can have some dog-gone fun from maneuvering around obstacle courses, listening to music, checking out the pet-friendly vendors and snacks and entering the costume competition.

Stay tuned to this blog to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column and receive weekly updates in your inbox.

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Advice for Buyers in the Lake Oswego Housing Market

What does an apple have to do with today’s housing market? Turns out it was the perfect stand-in for a parody on the supply and demand hysteria we see playing out among homebuyers when TikToker Shaun Johnson uploaded a video comparing an apple to a home for sale. Once the apple is put up for sale, bidders come chiming in, driving up the price from $5 to $120 within a matter of seconds, including one California buyer who at $100 said it was the “cheapest apple he’d ever seen.”

If you’re a mere observer to this “arms race” also known as the housing market dash, references like these are funny.

But if you’re actually in the race to buy a new home, it’s no laughing matter.

Here are some of the stories from the front lines:

• Desperate to find a competitive edge, buyers are waving inspections

• People started camping out two days in advance for a first-come first-served opportunity to buy a $1.2 million townhome in Santa Clara, California

• Higher lumber prices have added about $26,000 to the construction cost of a new home according to the National Association of Realtors

• Buyers are writing love letters to sellers even though they put themselves at higher risk of violating fair housing standards

• When looking for comparative sales to determine value, I’m now looking only two months back because values have escalated so quickly.

What’s a buyer to do?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Look for houses under your price limit to give yourself room to offer more than the list price.

2. Get loan approval subject to an appraisal. By going through the approval process, you come out with an unconditional commitment by the lender who has verified all your data to grant you the mortgage subject to the appraisal. This is better than being pre-qualified which merely gives you an idea of how big a loan you’ll likely qualify for and is solely based on consumer-submitted data. And it’s better than being pre-approved which is based on verified consumer data but still doesn’t have the guarantee of an underwriter to back it. Sellers will consider an offer from an approved buyer a much stronger one than from a pre-qualified or pre-approved buyer because it indicates the buyer’s financing is guaranteed, subject to the appraisal. It can also shorten the escrow process which many sellers also consider a plus. Finding a lender to go through this process with you can be challenging but is well worth it and is one of the services a Realtor like myself can help provide, having worked with reputable lenders who are willing to work on this basis.

3. Consider offering perks like: offering flexible occupancy dates if the seller needs extra time to find a place to move; offer to pay to remedy inspection problems up to a certain amount (I would never recommend waiving the inspection nor waiving all rights to remedy inspection problems. I recently was involved in a deal where the buyer offered to pay up to $2,500 to address inspection problems; however, when the inspection exposed a mold problem with a price tag of $20,000, the seller agreed to pick up the tab for the rest of the cost.)

4. Have a good understanding of your long-term plans. Chances are you may end up paying top dollar for a home in today’s market. If you plan are living there for several years, you give yourself enough time for natural appreciation rates to protect your investment. However, if this is a short-term plan, you might be better off waiting until things cool down.

5. Be willing to invest some sweat equity along with your finances. The house with all the bells and whistles is going to have the most suitors standing in line wanting to win the prize. Consider listings that may be a little outdated or need more TLC and you might have more of a fighting chance (but be sure to factor in the cost of the renovations in the price you end up offering).

6. Work with an experienced Realtor. In a market like today’s, you really need the advice of an experienced Realtor to navigate the playing field. I have counseled some clients to wait until things open up more. I’ve also cautioned clients from bidding more than I thought they could recoup when it comes time to sell. More than ever you need a Realtor who will be honest with you which means you may not always hear what you want to hear, at least not in the heat of the moment. But such advice is a good antidote to buyer’s remorse.

Let me help you buy or sell your next home. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego and the Portland metro area for over 30 years and I’d love to put my experience to work helping you navigate today’s real estate market. Give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at costellok@hasson.com and/or check out my website.

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