Lake Oswego Hunt

lohuntLake Oswego is home to a very unique and beautiful facility, Lake Oswego Hunt.  The Lake Oswego Hunt is an equestrian training program and a riding school for children and adults of all ages.  Unlike many facilities that focus on one discipline, Lake Oswego Hunt works with Combined Training, Dressage, and Hunter/Jumper.  So if you have a love for horses, and you want to have access to horses in your life, there is a way to do that here in Lake Oswego.

While I love the beauty of horses, and have ridden horses on a couple of occassions, what I love about Lake Oswego Hunt is the gorgeous arena and barn.  As you drive along Iron Mountain Blvd. you can not help but notice the beautiful white barn and fences tucked into 19 acres of meadow at the base of Iron Mountain.  It is just extremely picturesque.

Built in 1936, the indoor arena is the largest and oldest bow-truss structure West of the Mississippi.  It is 90′ x 220′.  When you look up at the roof from inside you can not help but be struck by the barrel vaulting.  There are cathedrals in Europe with similar ceilings.  This one just happens to be made out of wood.  In 1987 this unique structure was recognized with a listing on the National Registry of Historic Places.  There is currently a very active effort being made to preserve and to restore the building.  A Historic Preservation Committee has been formed that is hard at work to keep this facility in good repair.

horsestallsWhen I stopped in to visit the Lake Oswego Hunt, besides the beautiful arena and barn, I was also struck by the warmth and friendliness of the people that I met.  Everyone was gracious and welcoming.  I was very taken with the attitude that this is a place that wants to be a part of our community.  They made it very clear that they love to have people come in and that they are happy to give you a tour.  Along with a calendar of events that includes horse shows and parties, there are occassional open houses that invite the general public to come and see what is happening at Lake Oswego Hunt.  The next open house is scheduled for February 7th, from 9am to 5pm.

There are a couple of ways to be a part of Lake Oswego Hunt.  You can join as a full member and have the ability to board your horse and have full access to the club room and all of the facility.  You can also join on a social membership to enjoy the horse shows and be a part of the social programs that include brunches and parties.  Finally, the riding school is open to the public.

I have a love for old buildings and architecture.  I think that Lake Oswego Hunt is a facility that is deserving of our support.  If you’ve never visited, stop by.  I think you’ll be impressed by what you see.  If you’d like more information, you can visit the Lake Oswego Hunt website by clicking here.

Market Activity Report – January 19-25, 2009

News today indicates a “Surprise to the Upside” in US housing sales.

Check it out:

Here in Lake Oswego we have a total of 20 properties newly on the market as of this last week, and 7 pending sale as of the same week. I culled any property listed as “new” that had not been off the market for at least 30 days, and many of those categorized as such below are brand new listings.

Here is the latest market activity for Lake Oswego (see below the tables for additional notes):

NEWLY LISTED (January 19—January 25, 2009)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Tot. SF Prop Type List Date
26 CRESTFIELD CT $172,700 2 2 995 CONDO 1/23/2009
13880 SUNDELEAF DR $234,500 2 1 976 DETACHD 1/23/2009
666 9th ST $425,000 2 1 1,850 DETACHD 1/23/2009
14431 ORCHARD SPRINGS RD $439,900 3 2.1 1,960 CONDO 1/23/2009
3 CELLINI CT $465,000 4 2.1 2,531 DETACHD 1/19/2009
39 SPINOSA $479,900 3 2.1 2,069 DETACHD 1/21/2009
627 1ST ST $499,000 2 2 2,090 DETACHD 1/25/2009
2360 GREENTREE RD $499,995 3 2.1 2,207 DETACHD 1/21/2009
14 NORTHVIEW CT $537,500 4 3.1 3,279 ATTACHD 1/22/2009
3745 TEMPEST DR $547,500 4 3 2,834 DETACHD 1/21/2009
14412 MEADOW GRASS ST $575,000 4 2.1 3,563 DETACHD 1/19/2009
554 5TH ST $759,000 3 3.1 2,166 ATTACHD 1/19/2009
556 5TH ST $759,000 3 3.1 2,166 ATTACHD 1/19/2009
15847 SPRINGBROOK CT $938,000 3 3 2,705 DETACHD 1/19/2009
730 KENOLA CT $1,085,000 4 3.1 4,319 DETACHD 1/19/2009
2326 Oswego Glen CT $1,495,000 4 4 4,178 DETACHD 1/20/2009
15905 OSWEGO SHORE CT $1,590,000 4 4 3,869 DETACHD 1/19/2009
1098 CHANDLER RD $2,195,000 4 3.1 3,696 DETACHD 1/21/2009
18414 RIVER WOODS PL $2,999,000 4 4.2 6,498 DETACHD 1/23/2009
17110 LOWENBERG TER $850,000 4 2.1 2,678 DETACHD 1/22/2009

PENDING SALES (January 19—January 25, 2009)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type List Date CDOM
4 TOUCHSTONE DR $114,000 2 2 984 CONDO 1/10/2009 11
3668 SPRING LN $199,900 2 2 1,120 CONDO 1/6/2009 16
1400 PARRISH ST $297,500 3 2.1 1,880 CONDO 9/1/2008 143
4672 WINTHROP CT $399,900 3 2 1,680 DETACHD 9/30/2008 114
1480 HEMLOCK ST $428,850 4 3 2,246 DETACHD 3/24/2008 305
6067 CLAIRMONT CT $529,000 4 2.1 2,344 DETACHD 1/12/2009 11
17561 SHEPHERDS CT $675,000 4 2.1 3,011 DETACHD 5/15/2008 347

SOLD (January 19—January 25, 2009)

Address O/Price Close Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type List Date CDOM
13915 SUNDELEAF DR $998,000 $895,000 4 3.1 4,090 DETACHD 10/1/2008 797

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer.

Open Houses for Sunday January 25th, 2009

Greetings, Lake Oswego real estate fans!

You can see from the line-up below and the report from Monday that activity in Lake Oswego is heating up. If only our temperatures would do the same.

Happy house-hunting:


136 Oswego Smt. $142,000 1 Bd, 1 Ba, Open 1-3

26 Crestfield Ct. $172,700 2 Bd, 2 Ba, Open 2-4

5487 Tualata Ct. $289,000 3 Bd, 2 Ba, Open 1-3

4 Othello St. $424,900 4 Bd, 3 Ba, Open 1-4

108 Ridgeway Rd. $499,000 3 Bd, 1 Ba, Open 11-1

624 Livingood Ln. $574,900 4 Bd, 3 Ba, Open 1-3

625 Clara Ct. $587,500 3 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 12-3

3254 Duncan Dr. $599,900 4 Bd, 3 1/2 Ba, Open 2-4

13222 Deerfield Ct. $649,000 4 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 1-3

15713 Tara Pl. $729,000 4 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 1-3

5267 Lakeview Blvd. $750,000 4 Bd, 3 1/2 Ba, Open 1-4

540 Northshore Rd. $759,000 4 Bd, 2 Ba, Open 2-4

426 7th St. $778,950 4 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 1-4

17606 Woodhurst Pl.$895,000 5 Bd, 3 1/2 Ba, Open 1-3

2941 Westview Cir. $899,900 4 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 1-3

15847 Springbrook Ct.$938,000 3 Bd, 3 ba, Open 2-4

3030 Westview Ct. $959,000 4 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 2-4

2600 Dellwood Dr. $995,000 4 Bd, 3 Ba, Open 2-5

3600 Southshore Blvd. $999,000 3 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 2-4

3300 River Woods Pl.$1,095,000 3 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 1-3

943 S.W. Atwater Rd. $1,235,000 4 Bd, 2 1/2 Ba, Open 1-3

16359 Chapin Way $1,439,000 4 Bd, 3 1/2 Ba, Open 1-4

13200 Thoma Rd.$1,995,000 5 Bd, & 2 1/2 Ba , Open 2-4

Personal Kitchen Experiences – Share Yours!

kitchen_aTuesday was such a momentous occasion, and many of us took time off from work to watch the inauguration and the rest of the exciting events of the day.  In the afternoon I took one of the many photographs I’d shot from the television screen and emailed it with my best wishes to a huge list of family and friends. I called the photo and email “New Day in my Kitchen”.

It occurred to me that many of us spend important moments in our kitchens.  Some of our best times with loved ones are spent there, and of course there is a lot of talk lately about those discussions of family budgets etc. occurring around kitchen tables throughout the nation.  I took a look around my kitchen, and thought of some of the decisions I’ve made pertaining to it through the years. I also thought about comments from some of my clients lately as we look at homes they are considering.

My kitchen is very large and, as I enjoy entertaining, it is perfect for large or small gatherings and tends to be where the laughter and conversation is always liveliest. In the beginning when I purchased my home, I wanted to “gut” it as it has very 50’s white pine cabinets with that unmistakable “country kitchen” flavor. I like to think of myself as more Mediterranean than “country”, and so made some major modifications along the way to nudge the look that direction. But the cabinets actually grew on me, and now I love them and wouldn’t think of touching them.  Other aspects of my kitchen did not win me over however, and so I had some decisions to make.

The counter tops had to go. I chose granite, and/but had to consider a few things as I made that decision. First of all, I decided on granite tile rather than slab. I did this because I had so many projects going on at once throughout the house and granite tile, being more economical than slab, allowed me to accomplish much more on my budget and still have that beautiful gleaming look that I love. In the process though, I had to take practicality into account and consider a few things about granite:

  • If choosing granite tile, be sure to select product that is cut for minimal grout lines (some are cut in such a way as to necessitate wider grouting between tiles).
  • Think about the whole kitchen, and how the granite contrasts or matches other elements such as flooring, cabinetry and fixtures. It should all work together.
  • Know that granite requires careful cleaning and upkeep- You will want to seal, and then re-seal your granite every year or so to protect the integrity of the stone.
  • Grout between granite tiles needs to be sealed and re-sealed as well as the granite.
  • If you use lots of lemons in your cooking, know that the acid from citrus can damage your granite severely. My installer informed me that if you left a half- lemon lying upside-down on your granite counters overnight, it would eat a circle into the granite. I have not tried this to prove or disprove what I was told, but suffice it to say that you are now forewarned as was I.  You will also want to eliminate citrus cleaners from your collection… and/or tell your cleaning service not to use them.
  • Remember that, unlike laminates or even stainless steel which are both very popular and good options, things usually break when they hit granite. Now, tile of any kind will cause breakage as well, but with granite you at least generally do not have to worry about it breaking, which can be a problem with regular tile.
  • Remember that there are other options such as quartz, poured concrete, and man-made granite look-alikes, all with their own charm and benefits. Talk to a qualified professional about your choices as I did.

The next choice for me was flooring.  I was absolutely convinced that I wanted travertine in my kitchen.  A very nice consultant talked me out of it explaining that it is very slick when wet, requires even more care and upkeep than granite, and can crack when heavy things drop on it. (Me? Drop things?!)  Now, I was really hard to convince but I finally gave in. (I did put it in one bathroom however… so I got my travertine “fix”, and also chose rough travertine for my back splash in the kitchen getting some of the Mediterranean feel I was after.)  He tried to talk me into the practicality of laminate for flooring, but in the end approved of my selection of porcelain tile.  I achieved the Mediterranean look I wanted, and got a durable floor that requires less upkeep. I do still have to be mindful of dropping bowls etc., but for a different reason- porcelain is just plain hard, so unlike the more practical laminate surface, shattering is what happens when you drop ceramics or glass on it.  Remember also- grouting needs to be sealed and re-sealed, and the grout color should take into consideration the fact that it is being walked on… all the time, as well as the unavoidable effects of gravity.

There is so much to talk about with kitchens, and I am not even going to get into sinks, appliances, range venting etc. in this post (another time : ) but  I do want to look at the basics. The other day I was showing a property with a remodeled kitchen that had beautiful slab counters, tile flooring, and a great layout. My client pulled out a drawer and mentioned that her daughter noticed that the fixtures had been replaced but not the cabinets… just like she had seen time & time again on a popular TV design/remodeling show.  She liked them anyway, but it is something to think about. Here in Lake Oswego, many homes were built in the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s, and if a remodel does not include new cabinetry, make sure you love the function aspect of the cabinets as-is.  There is a reason people choose not to replace cabinetry. It’s expensive. Now, I made this same decision in my kitchen, and/but DO love my cabinets. There are times when I wish I could pull out smoothly rolling drawers and shelves, and spin in-cabinet lazy susans for easy access.  I made a choice because I love the look of mine… they are rustic, and the iron handles are a feature I took into consideration when choosing the color of my granite etc. That said, if I ever choose to sell my home, a buyer will need to love them as well.  If you are not so crazy about your cabinets and considering a remodel, know that the choices you make should appeal to the widest pool of buyers… that is if you know you will want to sell in a few years.

Lastly, as far as basics go, if you are shopping for a home, notice whether the layout of the kitchen fits your lifestyle. Do you use breakfast bars?  Do you enjoy privacy while cooking or prefer “great-room” openness?  Do you entertain?   Do you enjoy cooking with your spouse or kids? If so, is there room for two or more people to move about in the kitchen? Just pay attention to how the kitchen matches your needs.

I would love to hear comments, personal kitchen remodeling experiences, or additional information you’d like to share. Please feel free to post a comment.  Personal experience is valuable, and we’d all like to learn from yours!

Market Activity for January 12-18, 2009

Here is your market activity report for last week. There are 17 new listings, 9 pending sales, and 2 closed sales. When I did my search for new listings the report originally contained over 50 properties, which seemed way high to me. So I explored the market history on each of them and found that only 17 were truly new listings and all of the rest were old listings that were pulled and then re-listed with new RMLS numbers to “refresh” them. It’s a common practice to stimulate sales activity. However, I think it is helpful to see what is a actually a new listing versus this marketing technique. I can not promise that time will always permit me to take this extra step, but when I can, I will. I was also pleased to see 9 pending sales, which is a bit of a gain over what we were seeing in the holidays.

NEWLY LISTED (January 12, 2009 – January 18, 2009)

Address List Price #BR #Bths Total SF Prop Type List Date
57 GALEN ST $129,500 1 1 689 CONDO 1/17/2009
136 OSWEGO SMT $142,000 1 1 764 CONDO 1/15/2009
4 TOUCHSTONE DR $194,900 3 2.1 1,351 CONDO 1/13/2009
545 HEMLOCK ST $339,900 3 1.1 984 DETACHD 1/12/2009
3 SAINT HELENS CIR $359,000 2 2 1,472 DETACHD 1/12/2009
1234 MAPLE ST $379,000 3 2 1,947 DETACHD 1/14/2009
1052 YATES ST $389,900 3 1.1 1,286 DETACHD 1/12/2009
14498 CAMDEN LN $469,900 4 2.1 1,918 DETACHD 1/15/2009
6067 CLAIRMONT CT 529000 4 2.1 2,344 DETACHD 1/12/2009
1862 KILKENNY DR 549900 3 2.1 2,485 DETACHD 1/15/2009
827 5TH ST 550000 3 2 2,124 DETACHD 1/16/2009
745 4TH ST 579000 3 2 2,662 DETACHD 1/12/2009
4116 ORCHARD WAY 683950 5 3.1 4,078 DETACHD 1/16/2009
15713 TARA PL 729000 4 2.1 3,442 DETACHD 1/17/2009
13601 GOODALL RD 875000 3 1.1 2,662 DETACHD 1/14/2009
17404 BERGIS FARM DR 1297000 5 4.1 5,394 DETACHD 1/17/2009
13770 CAMEO CT 2298000 4 5.1 6,929 DETACHD 1/14/2009

PENDING SALES (January 12, 2009 – Janaury 18, 2009, 2008)

Address List Price #BR #BTHS Total SF Prop Type CDOM
5225 JEAN RD $189,875 2 2 1,100 CONDO 168
6291 HARRINGTON AVE $249,900 3 2 1,472 DETACHD 99
4451 BERNARD ST $349,950 3 2 1,800 DETACHD 190
5079 W SUNSET DR $379,950 2 2.1 1,760 ATTACHD 336
18971 INDIAN SPRINGS CIR $399,950 3 2 1,525 DETACHD 9
4 BRITTEN CT $429,000 3 2.1 1,972 ATTACHD 74
1265 ROCKINGHORSE LN $444,000 4 3 2,402 DETACHD 189
5364 LANGFORD LN $715,950 3 2.1 3,022 DETACHD 258
14270 EDENBERRY DR 749900 4 2.1 2,935 DETACHD 104

SOLD (January 12, 2009 – January 18, 2009)

Address O/Price Close Price #BR #BTHS Total SF Prop Type CDOM
7050 CHILDS RD $498,000 $385,000 2 2 1,693 DETACHD 573
2584 PARK RD $679,000 $480,000 4 2 2,302 DETACHD 279

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer.

If links to ACTIVE properties do not bring up property information, the listing may no longer be active, but rather expired, cancelled, pending, or sold.

Open Houses for the weekend of January 17-18, 2009

golden-frontThere are 20 scheduled open houses being promoted on the RMLS this weekend, including my open house at 4447 Golden Lane. I’ll be there from 1-4. It’s an end-unit townhouse in Mt. Park with 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Listed for $284,900, the Kitchen has new granite counters. There are walls of South-facing windows that let in lots of light and give the home large views of the gorgeous landscaping. To get there, take Carmen Drive to Fosberg, to Melrose, to Thundervista, to Golden. You’ll see my signs at the intersection of Fosberg and Melrose. Please come by, I’d love to meet you.

Here are the open houses scheduled for Saturday, January 17th:

624 Livingood Ln, $574,900, 4 BR, 3 BTHS, 2596 SF, Open 1-3
1322 Rosemont Rd, $749,900, 4 BR, 3.5 BTHS, 3836 SF, Open 1-4

Here are the open houses scheduled for Sunday, January 18th:

4320 Cornwall St, $214,950, 2 BR, 1 BTH, 1000 SF, Open 2-4
4447 Golden Ln, $284,900, 2 BR, 2.5 BTHS, 1616 SF, Open 1-4
18959 Kristi Way, $384,400, 3 BR, 2 BTHS, 1778 SF, Open 1-3:30
1480 Hemlock St, $428,850, 4 BR, 3 BTHS, 2246 SF, Open 1-3
1650 Fircrest Dr, $429,000, 4 BR, 3 BTHS, 2268 SF, Open 1-4
3486 Ponderosa Loop, $429,000, 4 BR, 2.5 BTHS, 2453 SF, Open 12-4
75 Condolea Way, $449,000, 3 BR, 3 BTHS, 2131 SF, Open 1-3
2453 Marylhurst Dr, $479,000, 4 BR, 2 BTHS, 2073 SF, Open 12-3
5624 Southwood Dr, $599,900, 4 BR, 3 BTHS, 3120 SF, Open 1-4
3254 Duncan Dr, $599,900, 4 BR, 3.5 BTHS, 3997 SF, Open 2-4
13222 Deerfield Ct, $679,500, 4 BR, 2.5 BTHS, 3022 SF, Open 1-3
3456 Chelan Dr, $709,900, 5 BR, 3.5 BTHS, 3677 SF, Open 1-3
5267 Lakeview Blvd, $750,000, 4 BR, 3.5 BTHS, 3425 SF, Open 1-4
426 7th St, $778,950, 4 BR, 2.5 BTHS, 2902 SF, Open 1-4
15195 Lily Bay Ct, $924,900, 4 BR, 2.5 BTHS, 4099 SF, Open 12-4
3030 Westview Ct, $959,000, 4 BR, 2.5 BTHS, 3415 SF, Open 2-4
943 Atwater Rd, $1,235,000, 4 BR, 2.5 BTHS, 3874 SF, Open 12-2
13200 Thoma Rd, $1,995,000, 5 BR, 5 full + 2 half BTHS, 7648 SF, Open 2-4

This is going to be a great weekend to see some houses. Enjoy the sunshine!

What should I offer?

aressign1This is probably the single most common question that buyers universally ask. After all, you want to get the property for a fair price that is not too high, but you also have other concerns that you want to address. How do you frame the offer to cover all of your concerns?

The first step, in my opinion, is to have your Realtor prepare a market analysis for the neighborhood in which the home that you like is located. You want to know what other homes have sold for. The houses that are used should have sold as recently as possible, going no further back than 6 months. They also need to be as similar as possible in age, size, and condition. There will always be a bit of a range in the value. Houses that sell at the low end usually have issues with either condition or location. Houses at the high end are in top-notch condition with recent upgrades and remodeling. Then there is the average. An average home is clean and in nice condition but does not necessarily have completely new kitchens and baths, or perhaps has upgrades that are not high-end. The home you are considering: where does it fit in this range? Knowing what the neighborhood is selling for, and having an idea of where your prospective home fits in the range, will tell you what the market is proving to be the value for the home. This method allows you to know if a property is over priced or a smokin’ deal. You also want to take into consideration the market history on the property. If the house has been on the market for an extended period of time without dropping the price, then it is obviously over-priced and the seller will need to negotiate down to get it sold. If it’s been on the market a long time, but the current price is a recent and large reduction, perhaps the seller has already come down enough to have the house at a fair-market value. And a house that is newly listed is less likely to take a dramatically lower offer. I believe the best way to estimate value is to take the time to do the market analysis. It will tell you what the house is worth in the current economic climate.

My next advice to a buyer is to decide what is important to them, price or terms. If getting the house for the absolutely best price possible is the priority, then make the offer clean in other areas. Sure, come in 10% below the list price but don’t ask for new carpeting, a closing date after your son graduates from High School next spring, and not subject to the sale of your current home. If you come in low and then ask for the moon, most sellers will get mad and reject your offer. On the other hand, if you really do need to make your offer subject to the sale of your current home, then to get a seller to work with you, you are going to need to be more generous on price. I do believe that most sellers expect to negotiate and when presented with a reasonable offer will respond in kind and try to make a deal work. But do decide if your priority is price or terms and then frame your offer to accomplish your priority.

I also feel that before a buyer can make an offer, he or she needs to see enough homes to develop a sense for value. What does a $300,000 house look like? When you see enough of them, you start to get a feeling for the market and sense for value. You can tell when a house is in better than average condition and yet priced the same as the ones that are a mess. That is a good deal. That is the best way to buy. I think it takes looking at about 20 houses for a buyer to develop a good sense for value.

Also, make sure that you are working with a Realtor who knows the neighborhood. Homes in Beaverton sell under different circumstances than homes in North Portland. You need to be aware how individual areas of town are selling. And even within Lake Oswego there are high-demand locations that sell for more money and more quickly because of their location.

Your home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. You want to buy the home that you love, but you also want to make a sound investment, and the first step is making the right offer.

Market Activity Report- January 5 – 11, 2009

Activity is picking up as evidenced by the number of new listings below. However, I’ll caution that roughly half of these are “freshened” listings, and though I like to pick through them and only display the truly “new”, scheduling did not allow me to do that for you today.

Your Realtor can answer any questions regarding a property’s history, and I’d be happy to advise you on that as well should you not have your own resource, and find something of interest below.  Suffice it to say though, that the new year is providing inspiration to home sellers, and this is fairly common every year.

Here is the latest market activity for Lake Oswego (see below the tables for additional notes):

NEWLY LISTED (January 5 – 11,2009)

ADDRESS                        LIST PRICE           # BED  #BA   TOT SF    PROP TYPE     LIST DATE
4 TOUCHSTONE DR $ 114,000 2 2 984 CONDO 1/10/2009
65 GALEN ST $ 129,000 1 1 689 CONDO 1/5/2009
3668 SPRING LN $ 199,900 2 2 1,120 CONDO 1/6/2009
750 1ST ST $ 225,000 2 2 1,350 CONDO 1/9/2009
6291 HARRINGTON AVE $ 249,900 3 2 1,472 DETACHD 1/6/2009
6317 CARMAN DR $ 275,000 3 1.1 1,344 DETACHD 1/5/2009
4664 FIRWOOD RD $ 300,000 3 2 1,640 DETACHD 1/6/2009
18963 SW LONGFELLOW AVE $ 339,900 3 1.1 1,232 DETACHD 1/5/2009
18959 KRISTI WAY $384,400 3 2 1,778 DETACHD 1/6/2009
18971 INDIAN SPRINGS CIR $399,950 3 2 1,525 DETACHD 1/7/2009
16018 WALUGA DR $419,000 4 2 2,026 DETACHD 1/8/2009
142 KINGSGATE RD $425,000 4 2.1 2,495 DETACHD 1/6/2009
1717 WOODLAND TER $455,000 3 2.1 2,146 DETACHD 1/6/2009
17121 WALL ST $525,000 3 2.1 2,187 DETACHD 1/9/2009
17622 BROOKHURST DR $550,000 3 2.1 2,909 DETACHD 1/7/2009
3254 DUNCAN DR $599,900 4 3.1 3,997 DETACHD 1/7/2009
668 MCVEY AVE $599,998 3 1.1 992 CONDO 1/9/2009
5678 SW CHARLES CIR $65,0000 4 4 3,455 DETACHD 1/5/2009
615 LAKE BAY CT $669,900 3 3 2,542 DETACHD 1/5/2009
72 CONDOLEA WAY $679,500 2 2.1 3,088 CONDO 1/9/2009
19524 RIVER RUN DR $699,950 4 2.1 2,630 DETACHD 1/5/2009
15195 LILY BAY CT $924,900 4 2.1 4,099 DETACHD 1/11/2009
3030 WESTVIEW CT $959,000 4 2.1 3,415 DETACHD 1/11/2009
18682 WESTVIEW $975,000 4 3 3,243 DETACHD 1/8/2009
662 9 th ST $975,000 5 3.1 4,108 DETACHD 1/5/2009
2304 Oswego Glen CT $1,395,000 4 2.1 3,896 DETACHD 1/5/2009
2793 POPLAR WAY $1,995,000 5 5.1 6,300 DETACHD 1/9/2009

PENDING SALES (January 5 – 11, 2009)

3190 DUNCAN DR      $304,900 3     2.1 2401      DETACHD      12/16/2008   24
5102 ROSEWOOD ST $341,900 3     2 1810      DETACHD      11/12/2008   54
4280 CHAPMAN WAY $469,000 3     2 1947      DETACHD    12/15/2008   105
17454 CANAL CIR     $549,900 4     3 2275      DETACHD      4/19/2008   261
13581 GOODALL RD  $550,000 3     2 1220      DETACHD      10/10/2008 490
5299 WESTFIELD CT  $598,000 3    2.1 2865      DETACHD       8/2/2008   156
1141 TROON RD       $648850 4    3 2522      DETACHD       7/2/2008   187

SOLD (January 5-11, 2009)

ADDRESS ORIG.              PRICE SALE              PRICE
16250 PACIFIC HWY         $269,850 $185,000 2     2.1 324       CONDO       433
5051 TUALATA LN             $409,900 $400,000 4     2.1 591      DETACHD     114
16750 PHANTOM BLUFF CT$485,000 $430,000 3     3.2 267      DETACHD    ,288
1971 PARK FOREST AVE     $549,000 $549,000 4     2.2 180      DETACHD      13

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer.

If links to ACTIVE properties do not bring up property information, the listing may no longer be active, but rather expired, cancelled, pending, or sold.

Open Houses for Sunday, January 11th

We had views of the mountains this morning, and are supposed to be dry and hovering near 50 Sunday! (Do I sound excited?)  If you decide to venture out and enjoy the weather and some “house-browsing”, here are some that will be held open on Sunday according to RMLS:

5054 Foothills Dr.       $285,000   2 Bd,   2 Ba,   Open 2-4

1650 Fircrest Dr.         $429,000   4 Bd,   3 Ba,   Open 1-4

1265 Rockinghorse Ln.$444,000   4 Bd,  3 Ba,   Open 1-3

4 Hillshire Dr.               $575,000   4 Bd,  3 Ba,   Open 1:30 – 3:30

5624 Southwood Dr.   $599,900   4 Bd,  3 Ba,    Open 2-4

3254 Duncan Dr.         $599,900   4 Bd,   3 1/2 Ba, Open 1-3

426 7th St.                  $778,950   4 Bd,   2 1/2 Ba, Open 1-4

16359 Chapin Way     $1,439,000 4 Bd,   3 1/2 Ba, Open 1-4

13200 Thoma Rd.        $1,995,000  5 Bd,  5 + 2 1/2 Ba, Open 2-4

Insurance & Adventures in Home Ownership

slide_1bWe’ve given you plenty of coverage of the exciting and unusual weather experienced lately here in Lake Oswego. I hesitate to scare the bajeezeez out of anyone contemplating living here, and/but believe that even though this is unusual weather, the story I’m about to share is extremely valuable for just that reason, and highlights the importance of giving great consideration to the type of insurance you decide to carry when purchasing a home.

Last Friday at about 1:00AM, 23-year old Sammy Abazzaz and a group of his friends were relaxing and having a late-night snack in the second-floor kitchen of Sammy’s Lake Oswego home when a mudslide hit its rear filling the level below with moving earth, throwing granite counters at them and opening a crevasse at their feet sending some plummeting beneath it.  Sammy’s parents were in British Columbia celebrating the new year and rushed home upon hearing of the catastrophe. All the occupants are reported to have escaped and are deemed relatively “OK” with the exception of one broken arm and lots of nightmares I’m sure.  According to the Oregonian,  Sammy relates: “It came through almost like an avalanche, through the windows and the house”.  Heavy rains and a plugged drainage point on the hill above the home reportedly caused the slide.

slide_6Scott Burns, a professor of geology at Portland State University advises:  “The important thing is to get people in Portland and the rest of this area to ask the question, ‘What can I do to prevent landslides on my property?’ ”  “There was just a lot of storm water going down the streets and going in every direction,” said Bill Burns, an engineering geologist with the state Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. “There was just so much water, it was just over-taking the system.”

slide_3The family reportedly had homeowners insurance, but not the additional protection of landslide coverage which is typically excluded from most policies. I would pose that in addition to being the most diligent and informed homeowner you can possibly be, you also need to acknowledge that sometimes “stuff happens”, and therefore it is prudent to assess any “potential” hazards (even if you believe them unlikely) and protect yourself with appropriate insurance. This means you may end up being the one inquiring as to the availability of such add-ons, and so need to come armed to any discussion with data to guide your inquiries and decisions. To that end, let me provide you with some basic information, which I suggest you view as a primer, and not as the replacement for consultation with your insurance agent who, unlike me, is the “insurance expert”:

  • Most homeowners policies will not include: floods, mold/fungus, earthquakes, mudslides/landslides, sinkholes, war or nuclear accidents.
  • If you do have, or are considering flood insurance, check to see if you are covered for a landslide should the slide be carried by a body of water. Some flood policies cover mudslides ONLY under these circumstances.
  • Cost of coverage is based on where you live & other factors. (visit: A typical quote for someone NOT in a flood plane according to my own insurance office only will cover up to $250,000 in structural damage, and $100,000 for content damage.  ** For $200,000/structure and $80,000/contents in a recent “preferred location” quote in SW Portland, the price tag I’m told was $326/yr.
  • Generally speaking, “property damage” is not intended to include a detached garage, outbuildings, tool sheds etc. These may be covered, but usually at around 10% of the amount of coverage applicable to your home.
  • The most common policies in the United States cover losses due to fire, lightning, fallen trees, tornadoes, wind storms, hail explosions, smoke, vandalism and theft. The amount of coverage that you have is an item for discussion between you and your insurance agent.
  • Water seepage from the ground up into your home is usually considered a maintenance issue and not covered in standard or flood policies.  Waterproofing and appropriate drainage work is recommended if this is an issue.
  • Although the term “Acts of God” is bandied about by most of us, it is not a term that’s actually included in homeowners insurance policies.

We all live on planet earth, so accordingly, we are susceptible to all kinds of unexpected occurrences.  Importantly, let me repeat-

  • Get/Stay informed.
  • Gather information about your property and any “potential” hazards.
  • Take appropriate mitigating actions to remove any threat(s) if possible.
  • Consult your insurance agent for the best advice on protecting yourself, your home and your family.
  • Should you not already have a trusted insurance agent/advisor, request some references from your Realtor.

Home ownership is an adventure.  Suit up, and enjoy it!