Featured Neighborhood: Westlake

Westlake is probably the most classic “American” neighborhood in Lake Oswego. Developed in the 1980’s it is winding, quiet streets of lovely homes that just beg you to take your dog for a walk, or your kids to get on their bikes and spend the day outside. It is truly a wonderful neighborhood.

It’s also unbelievably convenient. Located at the very Western edge of Lake Oswego, it is bounded by I-5 on the West, Melrose St on the North, Fosberg Rd on the East, and Kruse Way on the South. It is literally at the junction of I-5 and Hwy 217. I remember when it was being developed there was a big sign that said “If you lived here, you’d be home right now”. This is because as you leave the freeway, it’s right there. If you live in First Addition, you’ve got another 10 minutes of driving to get home. If you live in Palisades, you’ve also got another 10 minutes of driving to get home. It’s just super convenient.

Westlake has 2 parks, Westlake Park and Southwood Park. Southwood Park is more of a nature area with green lawns and walking paths. Westlake Park is more of a recreation area with a huge playground and an athletic field for baseball and soccer. It is also the sight of the August portion of the Lake Oswego Summer concert series. In a non-covid 19 world, there is a free outdoor concert every Wednesday evening in the month of August.

Westlake Elementary School is also adjacent to this neighborhood, which makes it close enough for kids to walk or ride their bikes to school.

Do you see what I”m saying about a classic “American” neighborhood. It’s like something straight out of a movie. The American dream. A family home and everyone enjoying recreation and friendships.

The housing in Westlake is primarily single family residential. There are some apartments, but no condos. There is also a very small commercial area with a dozen businesses and a pizza restaurant.

There are currently 8 houses for sale in Westlake. The least expensive is 1861 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, built in 1986, the interior is mostly original and would benefit from updating. It’s priced at $549,900. The most expensive is 2976 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, built in 1985, it is beautifully updated and priced at $995,000.

Homes in Westlake sell fast. Because of everything I have shared here, it is a wildly popular place to live and buyers are watching and waiting. When the right house comes onto the market, they jump on it. This makes it not only a great place to live, but owning a home there is also a great investment.

The photos shared here are of homes that I have recently sold in Westlake. I know the neighborhood and would love to help you realize your dream of living in a classic “American” neighborhood.

As always, thanks for reading the blotter.
Dianne

Listing Your Property

Hey everybody!  Its a privilege to be able to coalesce around this town we all love so much and bring you great real estate & local Lake Oswego content.

March is the month I often recommend to my clients interested in listing their homes at the best time. Weather is starting to get sunnier, flowers are starting to bloom, and though it started earlier this year, people start to get out in earnest if they want to buy a house or condo this year. So, if you’re thinking of getting your home on the market, this time of year gives you a few months of high season (things start to taper off after July 4th when a lot of people take the fam off on vacations to other locales).

If this is you, here are a few items to tick off your list:

  • Realtor~ Engage an energetic, experienced and skilled Real Estate Broker.  I’m partial to Dianne and myself, so you can always call either of us (!!) and/but make sure you find someone you enjoy being with and trust, then strongly consider their advice all along the way. A Realtor who really understands your neighborhood and how to price & market in your niche is key. They are there to help you achieve your goal, and that’s what they’ll do if y’all remain committed to the goal and making good decisions all along the way.
  • Cosmetic Prep~ Obviously you want to clean up your home. Polish and shine it… dress it in its cozy-but-sparse finery. Enlist your Realtor for staging tips and or help in that regard. Think of getting things packed up and maybe start stacking some boxes in the garage… you’re going to be moving soon, so might as well get a head-start. Rooms look bigger with less, and folks can imagine themselves in your home as their own if you have a warm but open & clean feel to your rooms. Lawns mowed, shrubbery trimmed, drive and walkways pressure-washed…  Your Realtor will give you tips specifically catered to your property.
  • Repairs~ No home is perfect.  You should talk to your Realtor about any known “issues”. Some things can be left to see what the Buyer may want to do about them, others might be advisable to just take care of prior to listing. Your Realtor will be able to advise you what likely falls into which category and give you options on how certain items can be addressed. They will also likely have some great resources for you when you need a good contractor to get the job done right.  Some people choose to have a home inspection done prior to listing just to be in the know about everything- Be advised that this can be a great tool if you plan to address everything that comes up in the report prior to listing (that’s a good idea anyway). That inspection report WILL be a “Disclosure”, however, and handed to any Buyer who comes in good faith.  It can be a good marketing tool to be able to hand that report to a Buyer and tell them that the issues contained therein have been remedied.  If the prospect of this makes you nervous, know that a Buyer will almost always have their own inspection done anyway, and if you’ve familiarized yourself with your own home and disclosed everything you know about it, the items that come up and that a Buyer *may* choose to ask you to address will probably not be a surprise. There is a negotiation period where items of concern to a Buyer can be worked through and resolved either monetarily, by repairing prior to Close, or by the Buyer deciding to proceed and take on those items themselves. Its all very specific to the individual home, issues and people involved. ……..Which is another reason you need a good Realtor.
  • Setting Expectations~ Your Realtor will  discuss how life will be once your property goes on the market.  You have choices- times for showings (9-6? 7-7? Remember: people work). You can have all calls or texts to schedule showings go to your Realtor or you can take those calls/texts yourself & handle it more directly. If you have a pet, some thought need to be given to that. You can expect that you’ll be inconvenienced a bit, and on the first weekend I usually recommend a nice, short trip to the coast, or somewhere you love. That way you’re not bothered by people wanting you to leave for a 1/2 hour or so at a time on your weekend, and Buyers & Agents then have easy access to showing your home (***This is the best recipe for getting the most potential Buyers to consider yours). My aim is always to get the home sold that first week, and though market conditions have made that not as common as in past years, in this current hot market and time of year its happening more often. That said, depending on the price you’ve decided on with your Realtor’s help, and other conditions/factors particular to the house or condo that may reduce your Buyer pool, you could possibly be in for a wait for “The One”.  Just know that your sale will happen, and try to think of these intrusions as opportunities to share how amazing your beautiful home is with each potential Buyer.

After all….  You are on to new adventures!

Featured Neighborhood: Lakewood

Lake Oswego has 24 recognized neighborhood associations. Having a neighborhood association is not the same as having a Home Owner’s Association. While some neighborhood associations do have HOA’s many do not. This means that the neighborhood association is not so much about organizing or restricting home owners, and it is more about organizing as a group to communicate with city planning and simply as neighbors to coordinate ideas and activities. Today we are going to take a look at the Lakewood neighborhood.

I don’t think it is the smallest neighborhood in Lake Oswego, but it is certainly one of the smallest. My estimation is that it has about 200 single family homes and another 200 condominiums. The boundaries are State Street on the East, McVey Avenue on the South, West Point Rd on the West, and the junction of Northshore Blvd and Cabana Lane on the North.

Geographically it is pretty much a peninsula. The water boundaries are Lakewood Bay and the main lake.

It very much has a European village feel. The peninsula is taller in the middle with the streets tightly meandering around the curvature of the elevation as well as the water. It is an old neighborhood and has many grand homes that date back nearly a hundred years. Mixed into these houses are new homes that have been built, and that will continue to be built, as the smaller homes age out and become out-of-character to the changing surroundings.

The center piece of the neighborhood is the Lakewood Center for the Arts. Built in 1928, this was originally Lakewood School. It was the original school of Lake Oswego serving, I believe, kindergarden to 8th grade. My information is based upon what I found on line but also on my Mom’s best friend, now in her 80’s, who attended Lakewood School as a child. In the early years kids from LO had to take a bus into Portland to go to High School before Lake Oswego High was built in 1951. Today the Lakewood Center is the home of the Lakewood Theater, theater classes for all ages, the Festival of the Arts, and a second hand store that serves as a funding source for the art center.

While most of the homes in the Lakewood neighborhood are right on the lake, those that are not on the water enjoy the proximity to the Lake Oswego swim park, which is located in this neighborhood.

The walking score for homes in this neighborhood are some of the best to be found. On the Eastern edge you can literally walk across the street to restaurants and shopping. Living on the Western edge adds about half a mile to that distance. It is also a short walk to the Farmer’s Market, Millenium Plaza and the Lake Theater and Cafe for first-run movies.

Pricing is at the extreme ends for Lake Oswego. Looking at what is currently offered for sale, the least expensive is a 2 bedroom and 1 bath condo that was built in 1948. It has been nicely updated and is very clean and bright. It has 914 square feet with views of the lake and an assigned carport. The asking price is $284,000. The most expensive homes are typically right out on the point of the peninsula. They have expansive views that look down the lake but also look out on each side to be truly panoramic. The most expensive house currently listed is a 1936 mansion that has 6337 square feet. It has been fully updated and remodeled to today’s highest standards, yet the remodeling has been done with respect and preservation of the historic glamour of the home. It has 4 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. The asking price is $4,300,000.

The Lakewood neighborhood is really special. It’s quaint, yet exquisite, a rare combination. Please let Linda or I know if you would like more information.
Dianne

Hallinan House

Hello Property Blotter Readers!!!

I just thought of you this morning because I have an out-of-town cash Buyer looking for a property in the Hallinan neighborhood.  ***If you are thinking of selling your home in Hallinan, please contact me ASAP, and I’ll give you more details of what they’re looking for to see if we have a fit!

Enjoy the increasing sunshine~

Very Best,

Linda

Holiday Lights

I think my favorite part of the holiday season are the lights in the evening. It get’s dark by 5pm. The lights coming on actually gets me excited for the dark evenings. So today I thought I share some photos I took yesterday evening at Millennium Plaza Park.

I also highly recommend driving about to view the neighborhoods at this time of year. Probably the most well-known for light displays is Westlake. Edenberry Dr has been named by Redfin as one of the top 5 streets to view the Christmas lights in the Portland area. Then there is First Addition. The City of Lake Oswego is holding a light contest this year. Homes will be judged this evening starting at 5pm. They are giving a special medallion and a $75 gift certificate to the winning home.

I’m also enamored with the variety of lights that are now available. From the old-fashioned bulbs, to multi-striped icicles that flicker in a digital pattern. It’s lovely.

My thanks to the home owners who make the effort. You make the short days and long nights a pleasure.
Happy Holidays!
Dianne

Featured Neighborhood: Lake Forest

IMG_1034Today I want to introduce you to the neighborhood in Lake Oswego where I live, Lake Forest. There are 25 specific neighborhoods in Lake Oswego, each with unique aspects and, for some, a neighborhood association.

Lake Forest is bound on the North by Kruse Way, on the South by Boones Ferry Rd, on the West by I-5, and on the East by Carman Dr and East Waluga Park (approximately). For many years most of the neighborhood was in unincorporated Clackamas County. Some of it still is. I would say the single most distinctive characteristic are the large stands of towering Douglas Fir trees. Because some of it is unincorporated Clackamas County, many of the homes are still on septic systems. The lots on septic are not sub-dividable. Lake Oswego requires that if a septic system fails that is within 300 feet of the city sewer system, then the house has to connect to the sewer. This is gradually happening. Over time it is likely that all of this area will be brought into the city. It is a slow and gradual process that will take many years. In the mean time the large trees and large lots are a feature of the area.

fit_spot_1There is one park in the Lake Forest neighborhood, West Waluga Park. This park features a covered picnic area, a play ground for kids, a library book return drop box, and a fit spot workout station.

The area is super convenient to I-5 and Hwy 217. It is also extremely walkable with Albertson’s and Zupans only about 1-2 miles from even the farthest reaches of the neighborhood. Then there are the many Starbucks. Not exaggerating, there are 6 Starbucks within a mile of my house.

IMG_1035There are currently 15 houses for sale in the Lake Forest neighborhood. The least expensive is a 1258 square foot home that was built in 1970 and is listed for $475,000. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and sits on .58 of an acre. The most expensive is a brand new house that is currently under construction and listed for $875,000. When finished it will have 2824 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths.

I actually consider the Lake Forest neighborhood to be one of the more affordable parts of Lake Oswego.

Personally, I love living in the area. I really like the convenience, but I also like the mix of housing. Older more modest homes are mixed in with new construction and more luxurious homes. Then you add in the flock of Peacocks that live on Bonaire and, well, it’s what I call home.
Dianne

Happy 4th of July, Lake Oswego!

Happy 4th of July Lake Oswego!

This morning I got up bright and early to extend an effort to bring some patriotic spirit to my fellow neighbors here in Lake Grove on Bonaire. Nobody knows your neighborhood like your neighbor!
I have lived in the Lake Grove area since I was 12, and what a wonderful part of Lake Oswego it is. There are peacocks that parade up and down Bonaire, which add to the lavish and unique experience.
One of my favorite things to do on the 4th of July, in my neighborhood, is light off small fireworks along our street (while staying mindful of the traffic and the wildlife), before heading down to the lake to see the spectacular fireworks display at 9:45pm.
This 4th I hope that everybody has fun and staff holiday!

Featured Neighborhood: Hallinan Heights

Hallinan Heights
Hallinan Heights
Lake Oswego has 25 individual neighborhoods and this week we are going to feature Hallinan Heights. Both Linda and I love this neighborhood, there is just something about it.

I think it’s unique boundaries are part of why it is so great. It is clearly defined by the Willamette River to the East, Oswego Creek and McVey to the North, Cornell Rd to the West, and Upper Cherry Rd to the South. It’s not a large neighorhood, but within it is a wonderful Elementary School and a very nice Park. It has a real feeling of community where people walk their dogs and picnic.

Hallinan Elementary School
Hallinan Elementary School
My kids did not live within the Hallinan Elementary School attendance area, but the play ground at Hallinan Elementary was hands down their favorite. We would drive across town to play on it. It’s a BIG playground with a great variety of equipment. As my kids got older, I learned to love it because it is adjacent to the playing field which has a great walking trail around it. So my kids could be playing and I could be taking a nice walk within sight of them.

The real estate in Hallinan Heights includes one very nice condominium complex on the Willamette River, Oswego Terraces. Built in the 1950’s, these mid-century buildings are solid and sleek. There are currently 3 condos for sale in the mid $250,000’s. While none of the waterfront units are currently for sale, when they do come along they boast some of the finest river views in the entire metro area. The complex is uniquely situated on a curve in the river that looks directly North to downtown Portland.

Wide Streets
Wide Streets
Most of the single family homes were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The wide streets have well landscaped and tidy yards. There are currently 8 homes for sale. The least expensive is 2442 square feet, all on one level, and is listed for $399,900. The most expensive is 3700 square feet of new construction with river and mountain views for $1,225,000.

My final boast for Hallinan Heights is that it is close to downtown Lake Oswego. Whether you want quick access to great restaurants, or you want to walk along the river at George Rogers Park, you are right there. I would estimate that you could walk to the Farmer’s Market at Millenium Plaza Park within about 20-30 minutes. Nice!

Do not hesitate to contact Linda or myself if you would like more information.
Dianne

Featured Neighborhood: Holly Orchard

Lake Oswego has 25 specific neighborhoods, each with its own neighborhood association. The City encouraged this organization to allow specific areas of town to have effective communication for decision making and planning. Today I want to feature Holly Orchard.

Blog 002Holly Orchard is conveniently located. People who live in this area have quick access to I-5, Hwy 217, Boones Ferry Rd, and Country Club Rd. Costco and Winco are about 5 minutes away. Yet, it’s a quiet area. The boundaries are Carmen Dr on the South, Botticelli on the North, Fosberg Rd on the West, and Hotspur on the East. This neighborhood is small in comparison to others in Lake Oswego. The by-laws of Holly Orchard were adopted in 1988.

Some Highlights
Carmen HouseThe first house I ever listed and sold when I got my real estate license in 1987 was in Holly Orchard, so the neighborhood holds a special place in my heart.

The oldest house in Lake Oswego is in Holly Orchard. The Waters Carmen house was built in 1855 and is still owned by his descendants.

One of Lake Oswego’s few gated communities is in Holly Orchard, Taylors Crest. Not only does this development have gorgeous, luxury homes, but its a lively community with a swimming pool.

Holly Orchard hosted one of the Portland area’s first street of dreams in 1980.

Real Estate in Holly Orchard
Blog 001Being a small neighborhood, there are not many homes for sale at any given time. Currently on the market there is one condo, one townhouse, and 3 detached, single-family homes. The values range from the 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo that is listed for $235,000, to the luxury, 1980 Street of Dreams house that is listed for $749,900. Along with the 5 active listings, there are 4 houses in pending status with accepted offers that have not yet closed, and 24 homes that have sold in the last 12 months.

photoStreet of Dreams then and now
Sundew was home to the Steet of Dreams in 1980 and 4394 Sundew Ct is currently for sale. Listed with Rebecca Walter of Redfin (rebecca.walter@redfin.com, 503-255-2431), this house was a showcase for luxury and the latest in design ideas of its day. It has 4881 square feet that includes 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The floorplan is centered around a central atrium that floods the house with natural light. Priced at $749,900, the house will be held open this Saturday, August 24th, from 1 to 4. For specifics about this property, click here.

So why would someone want to consider living in Holly Orchard? Because it is in a superb location for convenience, yet it’s quiet. The house options include affordable condos and townhouses, but also include a luxury, gated community, as well as the exceptional designs of Street of Dreams living.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Dianne

Featured Neighborhood: Glenmorrie

Western Red Cedar
Camperdown Elm
Glenmorrie is not a very big neighborhood, but it packs a lot into a small area. It is bordered by Glenmorrie Terrace to the North, the Willamette River to the East, Marylhurst University to the South, and Skyland Dr to the West.

This neighborhood is known for it’s amazing trees. In the late 1800’s, Parker Farnsworth Morey, the first President of Portland General Electric, built a grand estate on what is now the Glenmorrie neighborhood. He hired an English gardner to oversee the landscaping and brought in many wonderful trees that included Giant Sequoia, Camperdown Elm, Hemlock, Red Alder, and more. These trees are still in the neighborhood today.

In honor of Arbor Week, April 1st to 7th, a walking tour will be held on April 1st to visit many of these trees. Meet at George Rogers Park at 2pm.

So what are the houses like in Glenmorrie? Most were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s and tend to be classic ranch style with custom features like vaulted hemlock ceilings and extensive brick work. There are a few newer homes, but most are older and traditional.

At this time there are 5 houses for sale in Glenmorrie. The least expensive is a short sale that was built in 1954. It has 2459 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths and is priced at $379,000. The most expensive is a 1985 house with 5894 square feet that has 5 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. It’s priced at $899,000.

If you enjoy trees, consider going on the neighborhood walk at the start of Arbor Week. And if you want a home that is surrounded by lush landscaping, consider Glenmorrie as a good otpion.

Dianne