Living in Lake Oswego OR Ultimate Guide (2019) | Why You Should Move There

Lake Oswego is a suburb of Portland, located about 20 minutes south of Portland’s downtown area. The city is home to more than 38,000 people and is one of the most popular suburbs for families and professionals in the Metro Area due to its beautiful neighborhoods, low crime rates and variety of amenities. If you’re considering moving to Lake Oswego, this guide has the details you need to make your decision, so keep reading to find out if this city is the perfect hometown for you!

Lake Oswego Demographics

Who lives in Lake Oswego? The majority of residents in the city are married couples, many of whom have school-aged children. Racially, the city is mostly White, through 4.2% of the population is Hispanic, and 6% of residents are Asian. Politically, the city is split, with equal portions of Democrats and Republicans; 11% of the population are Independent.

More than two-thirds of Lake Oswego residents own their homes, while one-third of the population chooses to rent instead. Most families own two cars and commute about 20 minutes to work each day. Interestingly, nearly one-fifth of people living in Lake Oswego are self-employed, and more than 68% of the population over 25 holds a Bachelor’s degree or higher, making the city both highly educated and entrepreneurial.

The Weather in Lake Oswego

View of Oswego Lake on an overcast day.

What’s the weather like in Lake Oswego? Like much of Oregon, Lake Oswego gets plenty of rain. In total, the city gets an average of 42 inches of rain each year, and the skies here are overcast more than half of the time. Still, if you can brave the wet weather, Lake Oswego offers moderate temperatures that rarely go below freezing, resulting in a warm climate for most of the year and very little snow.

Lake Oswego Cost of Living

Lake Oswego is one of the most sought-after Portland Suburbs, and with such a high demand comes a high cost of living. The median property value in the city is $559,100, but more than a quarter of homes in the area sell for over $750,000. Property taxes here are also high, and most families pay more than $3,000 per year in taxes on their home.

Excluding housing, living expenses in Lake Oswego are similar to those in Portland and other nearby suburbs. Because of the area’s mild climate, one aspect of living here that is less expensive than the national average is utilities; folks living in Lake Oswego spend 22% less on average for utilities than the average American.

Lake Oswego Schools

Students living in Lake Oswego will likely attend schools in the Lake Oswego School District, which includes six elementary schools, two junior high schools, and two high schools. Both public high schools under the district, Lakeridge High School and Lake Oswego High School are highly rated in terms of student success, and offer rigorous courseloads including dozens of Advanced Placement classes. The district also offers special programs, including gifted student courses, a foreign exchange program, and extended school days for families without afternoon childcare.

Jobs in Lake Oswego

People living in Lake Oswego have a median household income of $93,000 per year, which is significantly higher than the national average of just $55,000 per household per year. Income rates in the area are also increasing year-over-year and saw a 4% gain from 2016 to 2017. The largest industries in Lake Oswego include Healthcare, Professional, Scientific and Tech Services, and Manufacturing. Professionals in the community also have access to the larger Portland Metro Area’s economy, which is a hub for industry, especially tech startups and manufacturers.

Where to Live in Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego covers two zip codes, 97034 and 97035, and two area codes, 503 and 971. The city also has more than a dozen neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own character and community style. If you’re looking for the best Lake Oswego neighborhood for your family, here are a few of the most popular places to live:

  • Mountain Park: This master-planned community was originally built in the 1980s, and designed for residents who wanted to live in close connection with nature. The neighborhood is close-knit, with an active Homeowners’ Association and plenty of community events year round.
  • First Addition: One of the most popular neighborhoods in Lake Oswego, First Addition is ranked in the top “10 Great Neighborhoods in America” by the American Planning Association. Most homes in this historic community were built around the turn of the 20th century, giving the area a small-town feel.
  • Blue Heron: Blue Heron has a variety of real estate options including cozy culdesacs and waterfront properties right along the shores of the Lake. The median price for homes in this area is around $725,000, though properties on the water can sell for upwards of $1 Million.

Things to do in Lake Oswego

Like much of the pacific northwest, Lake Oswego is characterized by its stunning natural surroundings. So it’s no surprise that one of the best things to do in the city is to get outside! When you’re ready to explore your new city, here are two amazing places to start:

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

This Wildlife Refuge is open to visitors every day of the year from dawn until dusk and has an educational center that’s open Tuesday-Sunday from 10AM-4PM. Walking trails give visitors an up-close view of different wildlife habits, perfect for birding, photography, or simply enjoying a sunny day in Lake Oswego.

How to get there: 19255 SW Pacific Hwy, Sherwood, OR 97140

Tryon Creek State Natural Area

The Tryon Creek State Natural Area is the only state park near the Portland Metro Area, and offers 8 miles of hiking trails, along with trails for horseback riding, biking, and specialized trails that are handicapped-accessible. It’s the perfect spot to escape the city for a day, get some exercise, and get in tune with nature at the same time, making it one of our favorite things to do near Lake Oswego.

How to get there: 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland, OR 97219

Lake Oswego Restaurants

Wondering where to eat in Lake Oswego? This charming city has dozens of top-quality restaurants, so choosing where to start might get overwhelming. To help jumpstart your culinary journey in Lake Oswego, here are three restaurants we’re sure you’ll love.

La Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie

 

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Enjoy classic French cuisine in a bistro setting when you visit the La Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie in Lake Oswego. In addition to delectable dinners, the restaurant offers a range of patisserie options, including Tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and creme caramel.

Banning’s Restaurant & Pie House

If you love pie, there’s one local hotspot in Lake Oswego you can’t miss: Bannings Restaurant & Pie House. The eatery is open 24/7 and features more than a dozen pie flavors, each made fresh daily. Banning’s has also received several awards, including the “Best Pies in Oregon” and “Best Diner in Oregon.”

Babica Hen Cafe

 

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Looking for farm-fresh breakfast and lunch in Lake Oswego? The Babica Hen Cafe has you covered with eight specialty waffles, eggs any way you like them and more. Specialty coffee drinks and cocktails round out any meal for a perfect outing.

Relocating to Lake Oswego, OR

Lake Oswego is a fantastic community with a family-friendly vibe, gorgeous surroundings, and a thriving culture. If you’re considering moving to Lake Oswego, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Homes in Lake Oswego are expensive, and prices vary based on your neighborhood.
  • The city is rainy! Be sure to bring boots and umbrellas.
  • Jobs in tech are growing. If you are in the tech industry, you’ll have plenty of work opportunities in Lake Oswego and Portland.

We hope you’ve found this complete city guide to living in Lake Oswego helpful! If you have more questions about the city or need help with your move, you can call us any time at (503) 746-8795 to speak with a qualified team member.

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Mike Devenport

Mike Devenport

As the owner of the company, my first responsibility is building a great team who cares. We understand that if our team is invested, the customer will see the best results. At PDX Movers our number goal is making our customers happy. Whether moving locally or across the country, white gloving a delivery, or providing storage we’ll do our best to accommodate your schedule, protect your goods, and transport them efficiently. We truly believe we are the best moving company in the Portland metro area.” - Mike Devenport