About Lake Oswego
Just south of Portland, Oregon is the city of Lake Oswego. Its a prestigious suburb that attracts upper middle class families and out-of-state transplants seeking outstanding schools, excellent community parks, and the pleasures of a suburban existence.
The city of Lake Oswego is centered around a 415-acre artificial lake. The city’s small, upscale downtown sits just north of the lake. This walkable area includes restaurants, wine bars, shops, spas and services. Millennium Plaza Park screens movies and hosts concerts during summer. It’s also the location of the charming and incredibly popular Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market. This market offers some of the best produce, gifts, and food found locally on Saturdays from May to October. One vendor makes donuts from scratch and the wait for the huge breakfast burritos can be up to 30 minutes on busy days
One of the top reasons that people choose to buy Lake Oswego real estate is the school district. The elementary schools, junior highs, and high schools consistently earn the Oregon Department of Education’s highest rating of exceptional. You would be hard pressed to find another neighborhood in the metro area that can boast such high ratings across every single school in the district. These schools are well funded and parent participation is abundant, appreciated, and expected.
The 22 parks, community activities, senior center, and active youth sports teams create a small town community feel that makes this lovely neighborhood stand out from other similar suburban communities.
The Lake Oswego Public Library is located on 4th St in downtown. The current building has been in use since 1983. The library offers programs for adults, teens, and children.
Luscher Farm, off Stafford Road, has community gardens, a community supported agriculture program, athletic fields, and two dog parks. This was the site of the 100 year anniversary festival of Lake Oswego. This multi-use facility is a pleasure to visit for a youth soccer game or to let your rambunctious dog work off some energy in the off-leash, fenced facilities. The farm gives children a chance to see a working farm in action and adults can purchase farm fresh vegetables throughout the year by being part of the CSA.
Several good downtown restaurants keep residents well fed. Zeppos is a short walk from Millennium Park; it’s a great Italian restaurant with a nice happy hour food menu. Manzana Rotisserie Grill and Five Spice have views of the pretty lake from their dining rooms.
The Willamette Shore Trolley, a vintage railroad with authentic trolley cars, operates along the Willamette River between Lake Oswego and Portland. The trolley runs five times per day on weekend days from May to October. There are also special runs during Christmas to watch boats and see Christmas light displays.
There are 19 neighborhood associations throughout Lake Oswego. The $500,000 average price for a Lake Owego real estate is expensive compared to the Portland metro, but not the most expensive. The Street of Dreams, a yearly exposition of large luxury homes, has chosen to build in Lake Oswego many times in its 30+ year history.
First Addition is the neighborhood just off Highway 43 and around downtown Lake Oswego. Cottage Living magazine once named this area one of the best “cottage” communities in the United States. The Lake Oswego real estate here is mostly Craftsman bungalows and English cottages on large lots were the original structures. However, a number of developers and individual homeowners have been purchasing cottages, tearing them down, and then building much larger homes on the expansive lots. These infill homes provide the walking access that much of Lake Oswego lacks and more living space versus the small cottages. First Addition and the residential areas further south along Highway 43 also contain a number of condos and some apartments.
First Addition’s homes are a stone’s throw away from Tryon Creek State Park. The park has miles of peaceful walking trails, picnic tables, and a visitor center. The unpaved hiking trails are primarily for the casual hiker and attract families as well as dogs and single joggers. There are even equine trails for those with larger animals.
Homes for sale along the shores of Oswego Lake are some of the most expensive Lake Oswego real estate. Homes can easily sell for well over $1 million. Usage of the private lake is restricted to homeowners who live around it and a select few granted easements by the Lake Oswego Corporation. The homes around the lake range from small cottages and bungalows to large mansions.
The homes in the hills of Lake Oswego were built largely from the 1960s to 1980s. There are some small developments being squeezed into older neighborhoods though. The older homes often have generous square footage and lots. People craving Lake Oswego real estate bought from developers of infill homes that have ample square footage but usually, very little yard space. These quiet neighborhoods in the hills have mature trees and very little traffic. However, walking to shops, restaurants, and services isn’t an option for most. Having a car is essential for reaching the most basic of services in a reasonable amount of time. Fixer uppers run over $400k and remodeled homes often fetch over $600k.
Located west of First Addition/downtown bordering Portland (to the north) is the Mountain Park neighborhood. Mountain Park is probably the most reasonably priced neighborhood in all Lake Oswego real estate. A number of single family homes, condos and apartment complexes comprise the residential landscape here. It’s also home to Portland Community College’s Sylvania campus and a short downhill drive to New Seasons’ Mountain Park grocery store.
Kruse Way’s commercial area and corporate office parks include several multi-story office buildings with restaurants and services on the bottom floors or in nearby shopping centers. Large insurance companies, professional service firms, and multinational corporations choose to locate here (and outside Multnomah County) to reduce their tax burden and escape the parking difficulties of downtown Portland. Elephant’s Delistocks gourmet treats that entice Kruse Way professionals out from their offices and residents into the largely corporate area.
On the southwest end of town, right where I-5, Tualatin and Tigard all meet, is the shopping destination , Bridgeport Village. It opened its doors in 2005. While it is not in the city of Lake Oswego, besides staying in Lake Oswego, or going to downtown Portland, this is a stop for many residents. Crate and Barrel, Borders, Off 5th (Saks), 11 restaurants, and a large movie theater entice residents from throughout the metro area to eat, shop, and play. Upscale children’s clothes and boutiques are interspersed amongst larger chains like Coach, Banana Republic, Coldwater Creek, and Talbots. Coldwater Creek Spa is a preferred destination for spa enthusiasts. A fun playground and a water fountain are in the middle of this upscale, outdoor shopping destination.
Farther north along Boones Ferry, residents shop at mostly older businesses and eat at neighborhood gems like Riccardo’s Ristoranteand La Provence. La Provence Bakery & Bistro creates delicious pastries and serves ample portions during their “always busy” breakfast shift. Be prepared to wait on a Saturday or Sunday. La Provence’s tasty treats are offered at many other establishments in the Portland area.
Lake Oswego is conveniently located at the intersection of I-5 and Hwy217 to the west and 43 to the east, getting to almost anywhere in the metro area is easy.