Buying a house on the Lake

Oswego Lake has always had a certain appeal. It is in the middle of the town and is certainly a focus of the community. Years ago the waterfront homes were little vacation cottages that people came from Portland to enjoy on the weekends and on summer break. As rail lines and freeways made the drive quick and easy, the little cottages have gradually been replaced with modern homes and some pretty incredible mansions. Even if you will never aspire to living on the Lake, the real estate on the waterfront is certainly intriguing. And if you do want to live on the Lake, you need to know a little bit about the various values that the waterfront solicits.

There are 4 distinct categories of values for the waterfront. I am going to explore each one and give you a list of the current inventory.

Condominiums
Up until 10 years ago, there just weren’t many condos on the lake. There is a really charming 1940’s 4-plex on Northshore, but that was about it. Then in about 2000 the Lakewood Bay Condomiums and Lofts were built. And in 2008 a couple of apartment complexes were converted to condominiums at the Eastern end of the Lake. Of the various developments, there are two condo complexes that have docks and lawn areas right on the water’s edge. Some units have boat slips. And for anyone with disabilities or trying to avoid stairs, the Lakewood Bay Condos have elevator access. Here is the current inventory of condominiums for sale:

Address List Price # BR # BTHS Total SF Prop Type List Date
244 RIDGEWAY RD $214,500 2 1 753 CONDO 11/14/2009
668 MCVEY AVE $216,000 2 1 852 CONDO 1/28/2010
668 MCVEY AVE 209000 – 229000 3 1.1 985 CONDO 3/9/2010
668 MCVEY AVE $239,998 3 1.1 992 CONDO 11/24/2009
668 MCVEY AVE $395,000 3 1.1 985 CONDO 7/24/2009
119 3RD ST $399,900 3 2 1,204 CONDO 10/11/2009

Houses on the Canals

The canals are less expensive then the other areas of the lake.  Of course this will have a range of value with newer homes generally selling for more than older homes.  I think that location on the canals also affects the value.  Kelok Canal is a flowing body of water where the Lake is filled from the Tualatin River.  So the quality of the water is going to be better and more enjoyable to use than the more shallow and more stagnant water on the other canals.  Also, there is one canal that is so wide that it is often considered a bay, Blue Heron Bay/Canal.  There is a direct relationship between water quality and property values, in my opinion.  Here is what is currently for sale on the canals:

Address List Price # BR # BRHS Total SF Prop Type List Date
3300 SOUTHSHORE BLVD $549,850 2 2.2 1,162 DETACHD 1/1/2010
17471 CARDINAL DR $575,900 4 2.1 3,056 DETACHD 2/11/2010
17455 BLUE HERON RD $750,000 3 2 2,572 DETACHD 12/8/2009
17344 CEDAR RD $1,099,000 4 2.1 2,831 DETACHD 3/1/2010
3220 SOUTHSHORE BLVD $1,099,000 3 3 3,629 DETACHD 2/5/2010
17460 WREN CT $1,295,000 3 3.1 3,300 DETACHD 11/6/2009
17282 LAKE HAVEN DR $1,299,000 4 2.1 3,662 DETACHD 2/2/2010
17281 KELOK RD $1,395,000 4 3 2,682 DETACHD 1/21/2010

West Bay and Lakewood Bay
At each end of the lake is a bay. The bays are rather wide with enough room for boating and water skiing. Not as big as the lake, they still have better water quality than most of the canals. Lakewood Bay has the advantage of being next to Millinium Plaza Park for easy access to the Farmer’s Market. It also shares the water with restaurants with dock-side dining. Here is the current inventory of homes for sale on both of the bays:

Address List Price # BR # BTHS Total SF Prop Type List Date
106 3RD ST $699,900 2 2 1,495 DETACHD 7/16/2009
548 RIDGEWAY RD $999,500 4 3 2,830 DETACHD 10/19/2009
811 NORTHSHORE RD $1,299,900 4 4 4,945 DETACHD 4/8/2008
102 3RD ST $1,490,000 4 4 3,400 DETACHD 2/8/2010
307 NORTHSHORE RD $1,500,000 3 2 2,673 DETACHD 12/19/2009
425 NORTHSHORE RD $1,529,000 3 3 3,270 DETACHD 1/24/2010
1103 LAKESHORE RD $1,599,000 3 3 3,200 DETACHD 7/26/2008
4398 Lakeview BLVD $1,775,000 4 2.2 3,309 DETACHD 12/30/2008
100 3RD ST $1,799,000 3 3.1 3,600 DETACHD 2/6/2010

Main Lake
The prime real estate on the Lake is the main lake. This body of water is a natural lake. At it’s deepest it is about 150′. It is a couple of miles long and about half a mile wide, so it is large enough for boating, sailing, and water skiing. In my experience the values on the lake are affected by the amount of sun that the home is exposed to. On the North shore the houses get full sun all afternoon. On the South shore there are areas that get very little sun light and remain shaded nearly all day long. For this reason, I do think that the North shore has higher values than the South shore. However, the North shore is the home of a rail line that is still in use. So the sunshine is shared with 3 or 4 trains on a daily basis. There is talk of taking out the train track some day and putting in a trail for biking. That’s still in the dream stage and don’t hold me to it. If you buy on the North shore, be aware of the train. Here is the current inventory for houses on the main lake:

Address List Price # BR # BTHS Total SF Prop Type List Date
16511 Maple CIR $925,000 3 3 3,341 DETACHD 3/1/2010
16990 ALDER CIR $995,000 3 2.1 1,926 DETACHD 8/4/2008
3203 Southshore BLVD $1,099,900 4 3.1 3,773 DETACHD 2/23/2009
444 RIDGEWAY RD $1,150,000 3 2 2,099 DETACHD 9/9/2009
16771 MAPLE CIR $1,450,000 3 3 2,074 DETACHD 1/3/2009
983 LAKE FRONT RD $1,595,000 3 2.1 2,199 DETACHD 2/18/2010
1835 PALISADES TERRACE DR $1,748,900 4 3 3,380 DETACHD 1/8/2010
112 NORTHSHORE CIR $1,760,000 4 4.2 3,632 DETACHD 3/9/2010
2557 SOUTHSHORE BLVD $1,775,000 3 3.2 3,604 DETACHD 1/11/2010
333 NORTHSHORE RD $2,500,000 4 4.1 5,152 DETACHD 12/1/2009
961 TERRACE DR $3,495,000 4 4.2 5,795 DETACHD 9/7/2009
1719 LAKE FRONT RD $3,888,850 4 5.1 5,251 DETACHD 5/3/2009
16697 MAPLE CIR $4,695,000 4 3.1 3,146 DETACHD 1/30/2010
3012 LAKEVIEW BLVD $5,750,000 4 4.1 5,957 DETACHD 6/7/2008
1901 PALISADES TERRACE DR $5,950,000 5 4.1 7,284 DETACHD 4/27/2009
3232 LAKEVIEW BLVD $6,300,000 3 5.1 7,500 DETACHD 6/23/2008
3214 LAKEVIEW BLVD $7,500,000 4 5.1 5,800 DETACHD 6/23/2008
1850 NORTHSHORE RD $19,500,000 5 6.2 13,500 DETACHD 9/8/2008

And for those of you who really like to crunch the numbers, I thought I’d give you a list of the water front sales that have occurred in the last 12 months:

Address O/Price Close Price # BR # BTHS Total SF Prop Type CDOM
668 MCVEY AVE 164900 160000 2 1 852 CONDO 9
3688 SPRING LN 179900 164500 2 2 1,120 CONDO 81
668 MCVEY AVE 229900 199900 2 1 852 CONDO 765
668 MCVEY AVE 249850 200000 3 1.1 985 CONDO 982
668 MCVEY AVE 239900 220000 3 1.1 1,184 CONDO 61
668 MCVEY AVE 369900 300000 3 1.1 989 CONDO 521
668 MCVEY AVE 399850 365000 3 1.1 985 CONDO 19
111 3RD ST 419000 390000 2 2 1,206 CONDO 276
101 3RD ST 474900 430000 3 2 1,447 CONDO 376
17675 CARDINAL DR 599000 500000 3 3 3,458 DETACHD 294
830 CABANA LN 668250 572941 4 3.1 3,029 DETACHD 79
17332 Lake Haven DR 749000 710000 4 2 2,484 DETACHD 125
706 MCVEY AVE 949000 780000 3 2 2,000 DETACHD 391
18051 KELOK RD 899000 799000 5 3.1 3,670 DETACHD 401
716 MCVEY AVE 749998 800000 3 2 2,348 DETACHD 805
1755 SOUTHSHORE BLVD 949000 850000 5 3.1 4,757 DETACHD 104
17960 SARAH HILL LN 1179000 910000 5 3.1 4,800 DETACHD 163
1555 BAY VIEW LN 995000 945000 4 4.1 4,775 DETACHD 277
17178 CEDAR RD 1195000 1049000 5 3.1 4,209 DETACHD 92
1149 LAKESHORE RD 1295000 1115000 4 2.1 2,660 DETACHD 143
3270 LAKEVIEW BLVD 1399000 1125000 3 3 3,295 DETACHD 147
17211 KELOK RD 1399000 1230000 3 3.1 5,384 DETACHD 112
128 NORTHSHORE CIR 1479000 1290000 3 3.1 3,550 DETACHD 764
753 LAKESHORE RD 1385000 1335000 3 3.1 2,562 DETACHD 51
2605 SOUTHSHORE BLVD 1395000 1340000 3 4.1 4,750 DETACHD 234
17225 KELOK RD 1350000 1350000 4 3.1 4,161 DETACHD 0
975 LAKE FRONT RD 1899000 1500000 3 3 3,232 DETACHD 157
16840 ALDER CIR 1595000 1555000 4 2.1 3,563 DETACHD 77
4313 WESTBAY RD 2775000 2100000 4 3.1 4,000 DETACHD 193
890 LAKESHORE RD 2275000 2275000 3 3.1 3,200 DETACHD 0
16819 ALLEN RD 5500000 4850000 3 3.1 4,591 DETACHD 8
1980 TWIN POINTS RD 4987500 4987500 4 5 6,600 DETACHD 0

This is a pretty quick summary. But I think it gives you a small insight into what values are like for homes on Oswego Lake. The lake is just a very beautiful and unique place to own a home. In my experience people who aspire to living on the lake will start out in a more affordable home on a canal and then through the course of their professional lives move up to a home on the main lake. I have also known people who bought distressed properties on the canals and made enough money on a good remodel to sell at a profit and move onto the main lake. In any case, what a great place to come home to at the end of a long day at work. Living on the lake is like always being on vacation.

Please let Linda or I know if you have any questions about buying home on Oswego Lake.
Dianne

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.