The "Real" Estate Blog

 ----------The "Real" Estate Blog, specialarea Community

Here in the "Real" Estate blog, we will answer the questions, uncomfortable or comfortable, that many of our friends in the general buying and selling public need to know about.  There is much that goes into the buying and selling of real estate that is pretty much common sense.  But what about those issues, or those questions in which the answers aren't really common sense, or contain more grey, than strictly black and white?  We are here to help YOU by answering your real estate questions, and do our best to give you a perspective from the Real Estate professionals.

Area Insights

Bobs in Arnolds Park

Bobs in Arnolds Park in Arnolds Park

Bobs in Anrolds Park is famous for the Bobs dog. This is a place the whole family will enjoy. You will be able to enjoy an old fashion maid rite, hot dog, and don't forget the amazing shakes! Located right in the heart of all the action in Arnolds Park you will be able to park the boat and walk up to Bobs. Eat on the patio over looking West Lake or take your meal to go and enjoy it on the boat!

Okoboji Boat Works

Okoboji Boat Works in West Lake Okoboji

Okoboji Boat Works is home to "The Fish Shack" and "The Inconvenience Store". Formerly a marina of thriving boat sales since 1890, OBW now offers up many different rentals, a 24 hour gas dock, excursion boats, and more. I remember the days as a child of fishing for crappie and blue gill here and along the docks of Smith's Bay. Though the scenery has changed, the outstanding fishing has not.

Los Pueblos

Los Pueblos in Arnolds Park

Los Pueblos is a family owned business known for serving some of the best food around with a very festive atmosphere. Enjoy one of their famous margaritas while you munch on some chips and salsa. Whether you are in the mood for enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, or fish tacos, they have something the whole family can enjoy!

Dancers Unlimited

Dancers Unlimited in Spirit Lake

Dancers Unlimited
3209 Zenith Ave
Spirit Lake

Dancer's Unlimited is a dance studio located in Spirit Lake, Iowa, teaching children ages 3-18. They offer all-in-one classes (tap, jazz, ballet/pointe), hip hop, lyrical, and musical theatre classes.

Boji Roots Salon

Boji Roots Salon in Milford

Go check out Boji Roots Salon in Milford! Sherri does an amazing job of doing exactly what you ask and is very good at giving you ideas on new trends. The salon it's self to so cute inside! She also offers a great supply of products for you to purchase so you can feel like your at the salon even at home. Sherri is very flexible and also fast! When you are very busy its great knowing you wont be sitting at the salon for hours!

Okoboji Appliance Repair

Okoboji Appliance Repair in Okoboji

Dependable & knowledgeable residential appliance repair company. Servicing most major brands of appliances in the Okoboji area. Hours are M-F 8am - 5pm. 24-hour service available.

Milford Communications

Milford Communications in Milford

Milford Communications
906 Okoboji Ave
Milford, IA 51351

Milford Communications offers Cable Television, High Speed Internet, Telephone Service and different bundled packages. I speak from my experience with them, they have VERY good service and I am very satisfied with the internet service we get at our house.

Milford Communications offers service to the Milford area for residential customers and may be able to help you with Commercial High Speed internet outside of just Milford, give them a call if you want to see if you are in their service area.

New Journey Community Church

New Journey Community Church in Milford

New Journey Community Church
2105 N Ave
Milford, IA 51351

Services
Sunday at 10 a.m.

BIKE TRAILS DEMO

Demo Text Description here of this specific agent insight.

SUNNYVILLE BAKERY

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in SunnyvilleAgent Insight on the Sunnyville Bakery in Sunnyville City

Taco House

Taco House in Milford

A home town favorite! The Taco House is a hidden gem in the Great Lakes area. If your looking for delicious Mexican food give this a try. Taco House is not open during the winter months but you are able to put in a freezer order before they close to satisfy your craving on those cold days. Whatever you decide to order don't forget the Taco House hot sauce, you won't be disappointed.

EAST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of East Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category.

Pirate Jack's Bar

Pirate Jack's Bar in Arnolds Park

Best little gem on the lake. Located on West Lake you will be able to sit and enjoy a nice cold beverage, a wonderful staff, and one of the best views in town. They have a wonderful selection of drinks you can choose from. Make sure to try one of their margaritas, it is the best on the lake in my opinion! Whether you want to enjoy the fireworks on the 4th of July, or just any sunset in the summer, Pirate Jack's is the place to be.

Pas and Toale Dentists

Pas and Toale Dentists in Milford

At Pas and Toale Dental we have designed our office to give you and your family a great dental experience that is gentle, enjoyable and timely. We have the expertise to solve any dental challenge that you may have and allow you to get back to living life to the fullest! You’ll quickly notice that our dentists, hygienists and staff are dedicated to bringing you friendly service using a compassionate touch. Give us a call at (712) 338- 2449 to schedule an appointment today!

Horseshoe Bend Recreation Park

Horseshoe Bend Recreation Park in Outdoors

Horseshoe Bend Recreational Area
1924 240th St
Milford, IA 51351

Do you like to sled? Don’t miss out on this one if you do. Just southwest of Milford, Horseshoe Bend has some great hills for sledding and tubing, including a lift for the tube hill. Also, cross country skiing and snowmobile trails.

During summer months, there are picnic areas, hiking and horseback trails, as well as camping sites and canoe launch for the Little Sioux River.

Shade of the Tree Counseling Services

Shade of the Tree Counseling Services in Spirit Lake

Substance Abuse Services Based on the 12 Step Model.
Employing the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care.
Person-Centered Therapy
State Licensed

Light of the Lakes Friends Church

Light of the Lakes Friends Church in Arnolds Park

Light of the Lakes Friends Church
10 Hwy 71 N
Arnolds Park, IA 51331

Services
Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

The Coffee Shop

This quaint coffee shop in downtown Milford, IA is the talk of the town. You must stop in for a hot or cold drink and enjoy the atmosphere of this eclectic cafe. Locals and visitors alike enjoy meeting at this town favorite.

The Family Diner

The Family Diner in Spirit Lake

The Family Diner is Spirit Lake, IA is a local favorite! They offer up a large portion for small money, but whether you come early or late you may be in for a wait. With homemade bread and the largest sausage patty you have seen, The Family Diner is consistently delicious. They are open only for breakfast and lunch and closed two days a week. In my former career at Stylecraft, the family diner was definately a favorite when our friends would visit from North Carolina. They were always inpressed with the bread and rolls and corn beef hash.

Pioneer Parents

Pioneer Parents in Milford

Pioneer Parents is the governing board that serves the staff and families at Okoboji Elementary School. They are a registered PTA group with three main fundraising events: Fall Fun Night, Movie Night and Spring Fun Night. Fundraising dollars are used to fund staff requests and support the school.

Kiwanis Park

Kiwanis Park in Spirit Lake

Kiwanis Park
1100 23rd St
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

Close to the schools, Fareway Grocery and the bike trails, Kiwanis park offers a Shelter house, access to the bike trail system, good playground equipment, especially for younger kids, grills, park benches, picnic tables and has handicap-accessible restroomsKiwanis Park
1100 23rd St
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

Close to the schools, Fareway Grocery and the bike trails, Kiwanis park offers a Shelter house, access to the bike trail system, good playground equipment, especially for younger kids, grills, park benches, picnic tables and has handicap-accessible restrooms

Rebe

Rebe in Okoboji

Re*be is one of Iowa's finest varicose vein centers dedicated to addressing the health and cosmetic concerns of men and women using the latest and most-advanced medical treatments for various body conditions.
Re*be surgeons are highly experienced with specialized training in vein diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Ronald Kolegraff M.D., A.C.P., A.S.G.S. is a Board Certified General Surgeon and Board Certified Phlebologist.
The clinic provides friendly service in a patient-centered environment to ensure an experience that exceeds your expectations of personal care.
Rebe provides complimentary cosmetic consultation or complimentary vein screening.

The Three Sons

The Three Sons in Milford

Founded in 1960, the Three Sons has been a staple of Milford, IA retail. From Herman and Emil Richter, owners, was born the University of Okoboji, a ficticious university that calls the entire Iowa Great Lakes the campus of the U of O. Part of the experience of shopping the three sons, if walking the old battered floors, and taking a trip upstairs for half price, plus a buck. Brands you would expect in Milford Iowa are abundant, such as Patagonia, Oakley, Under Armour, Tommy Bahama, and more. There are currently 2 other stores; one at the amusement park, and another near the Regal Beagle called the bridge store. No self-respecting visitor to Okoboji leaves without visiting one of their stores.

Haywards Bay

Haywards Bay in West Lake Okoboji

Haywards Bay on West Lake Okoboji boasts low approaches and one of the few areas on West Lake to offer sand beaches. Renowned for the "bay of the flags", you will know you are in Haywards bay because of the all the American flags on the end of the docks. Fishing is great in Haywards Bay and the sunsets are one in a million. To get to Haywards Bay by car, one would drive the east side of the lake on Lakeshore Dr.

Winther Stave & Co

Winther Stave & Co in Milford

At Winther, Stave & Co., LLP we use a team approach. You have a team of accounting professionals at your disposal, not just one person. With specialists in many different areas, we can draw on that breadth of knowledge and experience to help with services ranging from taxes, to payroll, to wealth preservation.

Deli on the Ave

Deli on the Ave in Spirit Lake

Serving fresh deli sandwiches, grilled paninis, salads, sweet treats, specialty coffee and much more! Feel free to dine in and enjoy the atmosphere this unique deli provides, or order and take out. Ordering online is also an option for take-out and they also do corporate box lunches. Serving gluten free as well! You will definitely want to check out Deli on the Ave!

Hill Avenue Dental

Hill Avenue Dental in Spirit Lake

Your family deserves advanced dental care provided in a warm, friendly environment. Hill Avenue Dental excels in giving people of all ages beautiful smiles and healthy teeth. Your comfort is the highest priority of Dr. Dotson and Dr. Hartzell and their skilled dental care team.

Rolling Oaks Barn

Rolling Oaks Barn in Spirit Lake

The Rolling Oaks Barn is an authentic barn that has been restored. This century old barn is available for rent for all of your event needs. The upper level is the events area where the lower level is a full service bar and is open weekly and on the weekends.

Harvey's Five Star Roofing and Gutters

Harvey's Five Star Roofing and Gutters in Spirit Lake

Whether you need a new roof or roofing repairs, the team at Harvey’s Five Star Roofing can finish the job quickly & for an honest rate that works in your budget. Fully licensed, bonded and insured - Plus an unbeatable lifetime warranty!

Buchanan Park

Buchanan Park in Milford

Buchanan Park
Located a block East from Hwy 71 on 13th Street in Milford and a half block South on P Ave, this is a surprisingly nice and quiet little park that my kids enjoy frequenting. We like to take the dog and throw frisbees. In addition, the park offers a basketball court, swingset and other playground equipment, and some picnic tables.

Healthy Living Program Center Milford

Healthy Living Program Center Milford in Milford

Healthy Living Program Center -MILFORD
2207 US 71
Milford, IA 51351

One of the many convenient locations offered by the Bedell Family YMCA is conveniently located in Milford, on the North end of Milford on Hwy 71. Right next to Subway and just south of Perkins.

Offered at this Center are exercise equipment, free weights for ages 14 and up. Personal Training is also offered.

Hours open are
Monday - Thursday 5 am to 11 pm
Friday 5 am to 9 pm
Saturday 6 am to 9 pm
Sunday closed

Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church

Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church in Milford

Harbor of Joy Lutheran Church
1204 L Ave
Milford, IA 51351

Services
Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Pike's Point State Park

Pike's Point State Park in West Lake Okoboji

Pike's Point is located at 15973 213th Ave, Spirit Lake, IA on beautiful West Lake Okoboji. It is one of the largest parks in the Iowa Great Lakes, and provides for all kinds of activities including fishing, swimming, bird watching etc. This park also has a rest room, and a beach. If coming by boat, one wants to be careful as the point extends far into the lake, and there is a warning buoy roughly 300 feet from the point of shore. In 2010, many trees here were uprooted because of some severe straight line winds during the storm that reaked havoc through the Iowa Great Lakes.

Terrace Park

Terrace Park is located in Brown's Bay on West Lake, Okoboji. It is one of the largest public beaches on West Lake and has entertained beach goers for many years. Next to Terrace Park is Boys Town out of Omaha, Nebraska. I remember as a kid spending entire days at terrace park, either riding bicycle or taking a moped (yes a moped) down to meet with friends and playing king on the dock. In 2010, the morning after "the storm", Terrace Park was carnage. Boat were stacked on top of each other. Trees were uprooted, and hoists were tossed around. Boats and other water craft were found in Terrace Park that belonged to owners on the North end of West Lake.

Goodies

Goodies in Spirit Lake

Goodies Handmade Candies is a small family-run business located in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Goodies has become a "must stop" place when visiting the area.
Goodies offers handmade candies, ice cream, coffee, and gifts. Each batch uses fresh quality ingredients and no added preservatives.
Customers from all over rave with remarks such as, "Goodies makes the best candies they have ever had."

The Inn of Okoboji

The Inn of Okoboji in Okoboji

3301 Lakeshore Drive

Okoboji, IA 51355

WEBSITE

For a little History of The Inn dating back to the 1890's CLICK HERE

The Inn at Okoboji offers so much to do and so much history. Located on 500 feet of West Okoboji Lake lakeshore, the views are amazing. The Inn is a hotel/resort, with a dining and a full service facility designed for meetings, gatherings, events and weddings.

Also, The Inn has a 9 hole executive golf course and is partnered with other local golf courses in the Iowa Great Lakes Area. They also have in door and out door pools with a hot tub, docks, and an on-site boat lift

If you are looking for a family friendly place to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July while avoiding the congestion of the Amusement Park area, this is your spot. You don't have to be a guest of the hotel, but the 500 feet of lakeshore provide ample seating for hundreds of people to have a good time. They offer live music and offer hot dogs and hamburgers, so come enjoy the day and stay for the fireworks.

Spirit Lake Municipal Airport

Spirit Lake Municipal Airport in Okoboji

Spirit Lake Municipal Aiport

For those of you not familiar with the area, wondering what the story is behind the runway in Okoboji, here is a little information for you.

At the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Sanborn Ave in Okoboji is the Spirit Lake Muni Airport.

This airport publicly-owned and is not intended for large commercial airlines coming and going, it is for smaller, private plains to come and go. Often the runways are busiest Thursday/Friday afternoon and Sunday during the summer months bringing some of the lake home owners to and from the area to enjoy what the lakes have to offer.

Chaplin's

Chaplin's in Arnolds Park

Chaplin's is a great neighborhood bar with food, value priced drinks, the best karaoke, friendly and happy staff, plenty of parking and a welcoming atmosphere.

Cheap vs high end quality. A buyer's perspective.

Cheap vs high end quality.  A buyer's perspective. in The

Here's the scenario. You are building a house or remodeling your house. Material costs are up. Labor costs are up. You ask yourself, where can I save a buck? Before answering this question, you must be careful, especially if your home is located in an area where other quality homes are built, whether on the lake, off the lake, or in higher valued developments such as golf course developments, etc. Growing up in construction and with a plethora of new construction and remodels under my belt, let me share with you some of the easy things that your future buyers will recognize when they are looking for quality.
1. One of the first things buyers of higher end homes will look for is to determine if the owner used hollow core doors. It's an immediate sign that the seller was looking for ways to save money (where else then did they cut back that I can't see???)
2. The second most obvious is the counter tops. Did the sellers spend for a quality granite, quartz, or other hard surface, or was formica used?
3. The third item that might stick out is the cabinetry. Do the drawers have dovetail construction with hardwoods? Did they use "soft close" drawers? Are there pull outs for the pots and pans?
4. Flooring is an easy one also. Was laminate used, or is it engineered or hardwoods? Does the carpet convey a quality feel and plushness? Is there a nice thick pad underneath the carpet?
5. Though there are many other items to look at, cheap vs quality lighting and plumbing fixtures are probably the next major focus.

There is nothing wrong with with using lower cost materials, especially when trying to keep a project within budget, especially when trying to build more house for less money. Just be aware that most buyers looking to spend in excess of $300k for off lake homes and $500+ for East Lake chain homes, and $1M+ for West and Big Spirit will expect the very best materials and finishes.

Solma's Punkin Patch

Solma's Punkin Patch in Sanborn

Solsma's Punkin Patch began in 1999 as a way to make a little money for the Solsma kids' college education and it has continue to grow and evolve. Fireworks sales from June 1 to July 8 and in December. Pumpkin sales from Labor Day to Halloween. Fall produce of all kinds, country store, corn maze (weather permitting). Ruby Red Popcorn and Drug Free Beef available year around. Call or stop by the the store in the off season. Located 4 miles east of Sanborn, Iowa on Hwy 18. www.solsma.com 712-729-3174

Cafe Esteam

Cafe Esteam in Spirit Lake

This new coffee shop is located in the Allure & Co. downtown Spirit Lake. They offer amazing coffee, smoothies and homemade baked goods. This is a great addition to the community!

Ruthven Meat Locker

Ruthven Meat Locker in Spirit Lake

Ruthven Meat Locker located downtown Spirit Lake. They offer a wide variety of quality fresh and award-winning smokes retail meats along with seasoning rubs and cheeses. You cant go wrong with the "locker trash" it definitely makes the best boat snack!

Newell Orthodontics PC

Newell Orthodontics PC in Spirit Lake

Dr. Newell and his staff work as a team to provide our patients with the highest quality orthodontic treatment in a professional and caring atmosphere. Our clinics provide orthodontic treatment for children and adults ranging from limited tooth movement with retainers, full treatment with fixed appliances, cleft lip and palate, and complex orthognathic surgical cases. We also work with your family dentist as well as numerous other dental specialists to coordinate your orthodontic care.

Yesterdays

Yesterdays in Arnolds Park

Yesterdays Restaurant has been an Okoboji favorite and is only opened seasonally. Yesterdays has a complete dinner menu that features nightly specials. They have a wonderful martini menu that will not disappoint. Make sure to also make reservations in the Japanese Teppanyaki Room. Watch as asian inspired meals are prepared and served by your personal chef.

Los Lagos

Los Lagos in Spirit Lake

Calling all Mexican food lovers! Los Lagos has a wide variety of authentic Mexican food to choose from. Come in and sit down in the large, open dining room with a full-service bar. They offer happy hour drink and food specials that are sure to please!

Pub 19 Bar & Grill

Pub 19 Bar & Grill in Spirit Lake

Established in 2005, renovated in 2016, Pub19 Bar & Grill is your premier destination for great food and drink, and a superb dining experience. With an expansive menu and beautiful facilities, we’re certain you’ll enjoy your meal and your time spent with us. Indoor and outdoor seating is available!

Emerald Hills

Emerald Hills in Arnolds Park

Emerald Hills Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in the Iowa Great Lakes. Golfers throughout Okoboji will tell you that compared to the rest of the golf courses around, Emerald Hills is probably the most challenging. When I grew up as a kid, we lived just a half block from the back side of the course. We would sneak on with a couple short little clubs and balls we found walking the course and sometimes spent more time being chased by the sprinklers than trying to hit golf balls. Emerald Hills was owned by Gordy and Bette Benit many years ago and they can be credited with growing this course into the masterpiece it has become. Later purchased by Randy Rohlfsen and a few others, Emerald has flourished as one of the best courses around. If memory serves me right, Randy has been there since the early 1990's and has always had a strong conviction to help young golfers. He has taught and coached numerous high school teams, and they also put on a 5 day junior camp every year which has been a tremendous hit. I grew up on this course and can honestly say, you better be hitting the ball straight!

WEST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of West Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category

Sunshine Foods

Sunshine Foods in Milford

Sunshine Foods, located on Highway 71, is Milford's only full service supermarket offering Fresh Produce - Butcher Fresh Meats - Deli - Kitchen

 

Get In Touch

Local Expert Updates

Brooke Jones

Cell: 641.420.2172

Janie Eick

Cell: 712.339.0574

The "Real" Estate Blog Homes For Sale

$167,500

Status: Active
506 E 10th St, Spencer, IA 51301

  240074

 2

 1

  744


Listed by : , JIMY MAC LENZ (712.336.1240)

$159,900

Status: Active
608 Madison Street, Lake View, IA 51450

  230758

 2

 2

  1,446


Listed by : HOMETOWN REALTY, KELLY BIERL (712.260.5711)
Price Decreased

$159,900

Status: Active
1614 3rd Ave N., Estherville, IA 51334

  230850

 5

 3

  1,739


Listed by : HOWELL REAL ESTATE AND AUCTION, MARK HOWELL (712.362.4844)
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