Great values and schools push city to top of state listing for home sales

More and more people are coming to West Linn to buy homes.

That was made clear in the latest listing of the Regional Multiple Listing Service, which showed Area 147 (covering West Linn and Lake Oswego) as having the highest increase for homes sold in the entire state. by: VERN UYETAKE - Amy Munson, who does much of her realty business in Area 147, says the West Linn area offers outstanding values to people seeking to buy new homes.

Originally, home seekers might have had their hearts set on Portland. But that market is incredibly tight, and in people’s search for alternative places, West Linn is increasingly coming out on top of the list.

“People used to think that West Linn and Lake Oswego were too expensive,” said real estate agent Amy Munsey. “That’s changing. There are great values, especially in West Linn. There are low prices, great buys and homes that are in beautiful shape, and a lot of West Linn houses have saunas. There are fewer older homes and fewer issues with collapsing homes. It is a young demographic that is coming: families with children.”

Two key factors are working in West Linn’s favor: The Portland home market is so tight and West Linn schools are so good.

Although Portland is the No. 1 location for desirability, homeowners there are taking their sweet time putting their houses on the market because they are waiting for prices to rise.

“Their inventory is painfully low,” Munsey said.

She noted that current listings by 3,000 Portland metro area real estate agencies show six new home listings for Northeast Portland. That number is five for homes from mid-central Portland to 122nd Avenue. And so people are looking in outlying areas, doing lots of research and finding that West Linn is an excellent alternative to Portland.

Munsey said, “Buyers can now see listings and price changes. They never asked me about that before, but now they’re asking me about that all the time. They use that in their calculations. If homes are priced appropriately, they will be selling with multiple offers.”

Munsey said that she starts receiving calls on homes in the half-million-dollar range 90 minutes after she first lists them.

“Eventually million-dollar homes will start to fly,” she said. “This is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.”

Twenty to 25 percent of new homebuyers coming to Area 147 are from out of state — “a huge number,” Munsey said. West Linners can pat themselves on the backs for this because the high quality of schools tops the reasons people are coming to the area.

“Lake Oswego, Lakeridge and West Linn high schools are fantastic,” Munsey said. “Parents see their child having a much better chance of preparing for colleges here. They are so impressed with the test scores.”

West Linn ranks high in amenities, too. Strolling along Willamette Falls Drive and visiting all of the shops and restaurants is an experience of Americana at its best, and Mary S. Young State Park is loved by dogs, dog owners, children and everyone else.

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