Exploring Lake Oswego: Uncovering the Pros and Cons of Living Here

Considering a move to Lake Oswego? You’re not alone. This charming city has been drawing in new residents with its blend of natural beauty, top-notch amenities, and friendly community. But is it the right place for you?

Let’s take a sneak peek into what life in Lake Oswego is like. From its stunning lake views to its thriving arts scene, we’ll explore the factors that make this city a potential dream home for many. Whether you’re seeking tranquility or a vibrant community, Lake Oswego might just have what you’re looking for.

Get ready to dive into the heart of Lake Oswego and discover if it’s the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Stay tuned as we unearth the secrets of this picturesque city nestled in the Pacific Northwest.

Key Takeaways

  • Lake Oswego is an appealing city known for its natural beauty, top-rated amenities, and friendly community. It presents a balance between tranquility and a vibrant community, making it a perfect fit for different lifestyle preferences.
  • The city boasts of a sturdy housing market, offering diverse residential options that cater to various budgets. As per the 2021 data, the median house price in Lake Oswego stands at $724,000. It also supports a continuous demand for rental properties.
  • Lake Oswego prides itself on having top-rated educational institutions. The Lake Oswego School District, housing schools of all levels, consistently ranks in the top 1% nationwide. The city also presents numerous opportunities for adult and continuing education.
  • The city showcases a robust economy marked by a diversely thriving local industry scene and an evolving job market. A future job growth projection of 42.6% signals an optimistic pathway for career progression and entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Recreation and leisure activities in Lake Oswego combine nature’s allure with cultural vibrancy. It boasts of green spaces for outdoor adventures and a lively arts scene including theater, music, and reading initiatives.
  • Offering low crime rates and excellent healthcare services, Lake Oswego ensures that both residents’ safety and health are prioritized.
  • Lake Oswego offers convenience through multiple public transit options, well-structured road network supporting shorter commute times and high-speed internet connectivity.
  • Some of the potential drawbacks of residing in Lake Oswego include the high cost of living, particularly in terms of housing, and the wet climate, which may not suit everyone’s preferences.

Understanding Lake Oswego

Before you can truly decide if Lake Oswego is your dream home, it’s essential to understand the city inside and out. This involves its appeal, extending beyond natural beauty or community feel to encompass the city’s geography, climate, and history. To grasp Lake Oswego’s allure, explore its underpinning characteristics to uncover if it matches your living preferences.

Geography and Climate

Nestled in the state of Oregon, Lake Oswego occupies a geographic niche, represented by rolling hills, lush greenery, the Willamette River, and its namesake, Lake Oswego. Making up a significant portion of the city’s area, the lake emboldens a unique lakeside lifestyle. With an overall area of 11.35 square miles, it paints a picture of suburban living enveloped by natural grandeur.

Lake Oswego’s location spells a temperate climate. The city experiences warm, dry summers — temperatures average between the high 50s and low 80s (degrees Fahrenheit). Winter tends to be relatively wet, with temperatures mostly in the mid-30s to low 50s. The annual precipitation stands at approximately 46 inches, fairly distributed throughout the year, ensuring the ample vegetation stays flourishing.

Brief History

Digging into Lake Oswego’s origins, it’s a tale rooted in the early settlement of European settlers in the late 19th century. Initially called Oswego, it started as a hub for the iron industry. The presence of substantial iron deposits in the region led to the establishment of the Oregon Iron Company in 1865. The city’s growth is tied to these early industries’ success, which spurred infrastructure development.

The forging of the railroad system in 1886 significantly enhanced connectivity, boosting the area’s growth even further. The name ‘Lake Oswego’ was officially established in 1960, coinciding with the merger of nearby Lake Grove. The blend of city’s industrial roots and the progressively built residential community presents a city with a rich, vibrant past, lending to its present charm.

The Residential Scene

Housing Market and Prices

Enjoying a stable housing market, Lake Oswego offers a multitude of residential options. Lake Oswego homes boast an attractive median price of $724,000, as per the Zillow 2021 data. This reflects a yearly change in home values considering the city’s offerings. Home prices range greatly to accommodate a variety of budgets, highlighting properties from affordable townhomes around $370,000, to opulent mansions reaching beyond a couple of million dollars. Such variations allow you to find the property that suits your preferences and financial circumstances. There’s a continuous demand for rental properties as well, with an average rent of $2,200 for a typical one-bedroom apartment, according to Rent Jungle.

Neighborhoods and Community Vibes

Known for its tight-knit communities, Lake Oswego is home to 13 neighborhoods, each offering unique vibes. For example, the First Addition, grounded in the city’s history, showcases charming period homes and breathtaking tree-lined streets. It’s situated near the city center, boasting a high walkability score.

If you crave a sense of seclusion while residing near conveniences, Mountain Park could be your ideal pick. Mountain Park is the largest planned community in Lake Oswego, interweaving homes with nature trails and open spaces that invite exploration and leisurely strolls.

On the other side, if waterfront living ranks high on your list, you might lean towards the Lakewood neighborhood. Majestic homes line the shores of Lake Oswego main lake, with many properties providing private lake access and unparalleled views.

By pinpointing the neighborhood that complements your lifestyle, you’re one step closer to turning Lake Oswego into your haven.

Educational Landscape

Top-Rated Schools in Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego prides itself in maintaining premier educational institutions. Exceptional public and private schools constitute the area’s educational backbone, delivering a high standard of education for students of all levels. From elementary to high school, Lake Oswego School District consistently ranks in the top 1% nationwide. For example, Lake Oswego Senior High School is recognized for its academic excellence, boasting an impressive 97% graduation rate. Likewise, Lakeridge High School doesn’t stay far behind, registering a graduation rate of 92%. In terms of alternative education, the city houses a number of esteemed private institutions such as Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School and Large Montessori School.

Continuing Education and Libraries

Continuing education is within accessible reach within the city, with multiple options for adults seeking further learning or skill enhancement. Portland Community College, Clackamas Community College, and Lewis & Clark College are some of the nearby educational establishments offering a variety of degree programs and courses.

In addition to this academic network, Lake Oswego’s dedication to knowledge can be identified through its thriving library scene. A resident can take advantage of the Lake Oswego Public Library, which houses a collection exceeding 200,000 items. Apart from its extensive resources, the library regularly organizes book fairs, literacy workshops, and reading initiatives, creating a vibrant intellectual community. What’s more, the proximity to a metropolitan area like Portland provides access to a broader collection in the Multnomah County Library system, enabling residents to fulfill any literary or research craving.

Thus, an affirmative nod can be given when assessing the educational landscape of Lake Oswego. Getting a head start on intellectual growth, opportunities for lifelong learning, or fostering a love for literature: Lake Oswego secures top marks across the board.

Economy and Employment

Switching gears from education, let’s peel back the layers of Lake Oswego’s economic tapestry. You’ll find an ever-evolving job market and a hive of local industries that significantly contribute to the city’s economy.

Job Market Trends

Step into the job market of Lake Oswego, and you’ll find it teeming with opportunities. Employment growth has reportedly been at 1.4% over recent years. As per reports, it’s predicted that job growth over the next decade will stand at 42.6%, outpacing the national average of 33.5%. That signifies an upbeat trajectory for career progression, whether you’re a job-seeker eyeing a new role, or an entrepreneur scouting for new avenues.

Employment StatLake OswegoNational Average
Employment growth1.4%N/A
Future job growth (next decade)42.6%33.5%

Local Businesses and Industries

Swing by the industrial landscape, and you’ll find that Lake Oswego isn’t just a pretty face. Yes, it’s got parks, schools, a wonderful lifestyle, but it’s also got a solid industrial foundation. Home to several headquarters, it’s a magnet for businesses and industries of all sizes. The city houses businesses across diverse sectors such as technology, engineering, healthcare, finance, and crafts. Intel, Xerox, A-dec, United States Bakery – these are just a few of the many enterprises that call Lake Oswego home. It’s the city’s business-friendly policies, technological resources, and top-tier talent that make it a power player in the region’s economy.

Given Lake Oswego’s business and job prospects, there’s no disputing its robust economy. Whether you’re an industry professional or a budding talent, Lake Oswego holds promise for a prosperous living. Hence, it’s not just a good place to live but also a great place to work and grow.

Recreation and Leisure

Living up to its reputation as an oasis of recreation and leisure, Lake Oswego offers plenty for residents and visitors alike.

Parks and Outdoor Activities

Brimming with 24 parks, Lake Oswego ensures plenty of green spaces for outdoor activities. Trek the 8-mile loop around Oswego Lake, savoring scenic views and bumping into occasional wildlife. For water-lovers, you’ve got options. Hit the waters of George Rogers Park, a perfect spot for boating and kayaking.

If it’s golfing that strikes your passion, the city doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find The Lake Oswego Golf Course, an 18-hole par-3 facility providing a challenge for golfers of every skill level.

Art, Culture, and Events

Lake Oswego’s lively arts scene is another selling point. The Lakewood Center for the Arts, a cornerstone in the community, offers theater productions, art exhibits, and classes. Standouts include Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, an extravaganza that unites artists and enthusiasts across the country.

For avid readers, the city holds the Lake Oswego Reads program making literature accessible to all. That’s not all! Lovers of music are catered to by Sounds of Summer Concerts, a series of free outdoor performances.

In short, Lake Oswego’s recreation and leisure prospects combine nature’s allure with culture’s vibrancy, ensuring there’s never a dull moment.

Safety and Healthcare Services

Residing in Lake Oswego not only provides access to stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural life, but it also guarantees that your security is prioritized and top-notch healthcare is within your reach.

Crime Rates and Public Safety

Your safety, as a resident of Lake Oswego, is of paramount importance. Reports from authoritative sources like City-Data reveal that Lake Oswego has consistently lower crime rates compared to the national average. The overall crime rate, combining both violent and non-violent offenses, sits at 16.1, significantly lower than the US average of 22.7. Moreover, the city prides itself on a robust police department, diligently serving to maintain peace and ensure public safety.

Here’s a brief glimpse of Lake Oswego’s current crime rates:

Crime TypeLake Oswego’s Rate(Per 1,000 residents)U.S. Average(Per 1,000 residents)
Violent Crime0.63.7
Property Crime15.518.9

This data reaffirms, crime, particularly violent crime, stays remarkably low in Lake Oswego, making it a safe place to live.

Hospitals and Clinics

The healthcare landscape in Lake Oswego is praiseworthy, marked by a multitude of medical facilities ready to cater to your healthcare needs. Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, a renowned hospital located nearby in Tualatin, delivers comprehensive medical services ranging from emergency care to specialized treatments. Moreover, Lake Oswego itself is home to several clinics such as Bridgeport Family Medicine and Lake Grove Family Medical Clinic that deliver quality primary care services. For the wellbeing of seniors, Oswego Place by Bonaventure offers assisted living and memory care services in a residential setting. Therefore, living in Lake Oswego ensures you’re never far from excellent healthcare facilities.

Accessibility and Transportation

One of the significant metrics determining a city’s livability involves assessing its accessibility and transportation networks. It can indeed make a huge impact on the quality of life for its residents. Here, we explore Lake Oswego’s transportation scenario.

Public Transit Options

Lake Oswego offers a range of public transit options, ensuring you are never left stranded. TriMet, the region’s major transit agency, operates several bus lines that traverse the city, connecting residents to surrounding areas. They’ve got Bus Route 35, which directly links the city to downtown Portland. Additionally, they offer Bus Route 36, providing service to the South Waterfront District.

Then, there’s the Lake Oswego Transit Center, a central hub for the city’s public transportation, facilitating easy transfers. Apart from buses, you’ll find that the city provides a vibrant streetcar service known as the “Willamette Shore Trolley,” presenting a picturesque tour of the riverfront between Lake Oswego and Portland.

Commuting and Connectivity

Speaking of daily commuting, living in Lake Oswego comes with the perk of shorter commute times. According to Data USA, the average commute time in the city stands at 21.3 minutes, a little shorter than the national average. This transformative commuting experience attributes to the city’s well-structured road network, featuring Highway 43, which conveniently connects Lake Oswego to Portland and other neighboring cities.

On Connectivity. Lake Oswego shines in terms of strong internet connectivity. Various providers including Comcast, CenturyLink, and Frontier provide high-speed internet facilities that accelerate connectivity. To reinforce this, a BroadbandNow report states that the average internet speed exceeds the national average, offering fast and reliable internet services throughout the city.

Collectively, the efficient public transit, lower commute times, and exemplary connectivity make Lake Oswego an impressively connected city, amplifying the convenience for its residents and improving their living standards.

Pros and Cons of Living in Lake Oswego

As part of the article’s continued exploration of life in Lake Oswego, this section delves into the advantages and potential drawbacks that come with residing in the city.

Advantages of the Area

A significant advantage Lake Oswego offers revolves around education. Boasting a district of highly-rated schools, the city serves as an exemplar for academic excellence country-wide. The educational institutions, like Lake Oswego High School and Lakeridge High School, outshine others on numerous metrics, including SAT scores and graduation rates. The city’s academic commitment extends to younger children as well, making evident through its public offerings of enriched Kindergarten programs.

Safety, a paramount concern for many, also ranks among the perks of living in Lake Oswego. Echoing the low crime rates discussed in the previous section, the city exhibits stringent public safety measures. A lesser-known benefit of this safety is the peace of mind it brings, allowing residents to live comfortably without constant worry.

Convenience is another facet of Lake Oswego life that residents can count among the city’s strength. The public transit options provided by TriMet, coupled with the city’s short average commute time, endorse this benefit. Complementing its physical connectivity, the city holds a strong internet network, credited to providers like Comcast and CenturyLink, boosting its digital connectivity.

Lastly, the healthcare facilities in Lake Oswego, including the Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center and numerous local clinics, ensure that residents can access quality healthcare services when needed.

Potential Drawbacks

Despite its numerous advantages, Lake Oswego also carries some potential drawbacks that could deter potential residents. Chief among these is its housing market. The city’s high living standard corresponds with an above-average cost of living. Housing reflects as a considerable chunk of this expense, making Lake Oswego’s property prices steep compared to the national average.

Additionally, the city’s weather may not appeal to everyone. Lake Oswego exhibits a wet climate, particularly in winter, which can lead to relatively high annual rainfall statistics. However, this does not overtly impact the resident’s lifestyles and is generally accommodated as part of Pacific Northwest living.

Lastly, while Lake Oswego is diversifying, it’s slower compared to larger cities. As such, the city might fall short for those seeking a culturally diverse environment rivalling that of major metropolitan areas.


Lake Oswego shines as a city that values education, safety, and quality healthcare. It’s a place where you can enjoy the serenity of diverse neighborhoods, access to a well-stocked public library, and the assurance of a top-notch medical center. While the cost of living might be high, the benefits of top-rated schools, low crime rates, and convenient transportation are compelling. However, it’s important to consider the city’s wet climate and slower pace of cultural diversification. Ultimately, whether Lake Oswego is the right place for you will depend on your personal preferences and lifestyle needs. It’s a city that offers a high standard of living, but like any place, it may not be the perfect fit for everyone.

Lake Oswego, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, is known for its picturesque neighborhoods, excellent schools, and strong sense of community. The city offers a mix of urban and suburban living with plenty of parks and recreational areas like Tryon Creek State Natural Area and the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. However, the high cost of living, particularly housing prices, can be a drawback for some potential residents. According to local observer data, the city boasts low crime rates and high educational attainment among its residents, making it a desirable place for families and professionals alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main subject of the article?

The article primarily discusses Lake Oswego, a city in Oregon, detailing its geography, history, housing market, educational facilities, job market trends, and recreational opportunities. It also touches upon the city’s quality of life based on various factors like safety and healthcare services.

Is Lake Oswego a good place to live in?

Based on the article, Lake Oswego stands out for its quality education, low crime rates, strong public library access, and healthcare facilities. However, elements like the city’s high cost of living, wet climate, and lower pace of diversification could be potential downsides, depending on individual preferences.

How is Lake Oswego’s transportation system?

Lake Oswego is reported to have an efficient and accessible transportation network. Its thoroughfares and public transportation services offer residents easy commutation to and from significant points in and around the city.

Does Lake Oswego offer quality healthcare services?

Yes, Lake Oswego is known for its state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, particularly the Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, providing top-tier medical services to its residents.

How is the job market in Lake Oswego?

The article suggests robust job market trends in Lake Oswego. The specifics might change based on the industry trends, economic conditions, and time of the year, but the overall outlook remains positive.

What are the educational opportunities in Lake Oswego?

Lake Oswego boasts of high-ranked schools and a strong commitment to education, as indicated by its extensive public library access. The city’s educational institutions cater to all age groups and academic interests.