Sioux Rapids

Sioux Rapids is hidden in the Iowa hills with 793 residents and is situated in the northern most part of Buena Vista County.  This community enjoys a wealth of outdoor opportunities.  The Gabrielson County Park located just south of Sioux Rapids, offers Gustafson Lake for fishing, a sandy swimming beach and picnic areas.  There is a playground for the children and family activities.

Area Insights

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent in The

I hear this one all the time from prospects looking to list their house. "Well, agent xyz told us that if we listed with her, she'd have it sold in a week." This would fall into the category of "If it sounds too good to be true, the probably is." The majority of agents are not going to make this claim, but rather will give you an honest market analysis, inform you as to how weak or strong the market is, especially the market in which your home resides, and present the objective facts. A good agent will then lay out an effective marketing plan, where the majority of the focus should be on "online marketing". Be careful to not get caught up in empty promises, reduced commissions, and being talked in to lowering your price below market value (unless you must have a quick sale). The key to choosing a good listing agent is to objectively determine who is going to provide you the best opportunity to sell your home. Will your listing agent also aggressively work to find buyers, or will they just list your home and wait for another agent to do the work.

Taco House

One of a kind Authentic Mexican Cuisine right here in West Okoboji! A local favorite and rated five stars by visitors young and old. Be sure to put this as a favorite on your list of places to not miss when you are vacationing in the Lakes area. Close to Terrace Park so if you are feeling up for a small walk you may walk from Terrace Park to the Taco House.

AmericInn

AmericInn in Okoboji

AmericInn Lodge & Suites is centrally located in Okoboji on beautiful Brooks National Golf Course. This hotel offers 61 guest rooms all with 32' flat screen televisions and plush top beds. There are a variety of different room types are available.....fireplace, whirlpool tub, patio or balcony. They offer a free hot home-style breakfast such as waffles, sausage, eggs or biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, yogurt and more! Enjoy the heated swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna or soak up the sun on one of the three patios. AmericInn offers an affordable option to tourists, especially in the summer. It is also conveniently located just off the trail system in Okoboji.

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.

Boulders Inn

Boulders Inn and Suites promises to make your Okoboji vacation comfortable and relaxing. This new hotel just south of Emerald Hills golf course between Milford and Arnolds Park offers 40 rooms with suites to meet your individual needs. One of the best things about Boulders Inn is that it is within walking distance of the Taco House. For some of you, I know that can be a big deal!

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!

Arnolds Park Amusement Park

Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park

Having lived in Okoboji all my life, there are a wealth of memories of Arnolds Park. I, like many of the locals, miss the nostalgia of the old Roof Garden, the fun house, the water slide and much, much more. With time comes change, and the amusement park continues to reinvent itself. Currently with over 20 rides to choose from, the family is sure to have a good time. The main attraction, The Legend Roller Coaster, is the 7th oldest coaster in the United States and apparently the 13th oldest in the world. Reaching speeds of up to 50 mph, the roller coaster has undergone substantial renovations in the last year. In front of the amusement park on West Lake is the Queen II excursion boat, and Pirate Jacks Bar. The sunsets here are unparalleled. If you have a chance to visit, make sure to check out the tipsy house, the three sons, and all of the shops. Just to the east is the green space, which provides great entertainment and in 2013 OAR came to play, which is a pretty big name for Okoboji.

West O Brewery

West O Brewery in West Okoboji

West O Brewery is the best place to go for your microbrews is Okoboji. All beer is made with natural spring water from West Lake Okoboji and are big partners in Keeping Okoboji Blue. You will definitely have a favorite brew with 15 tap options from ciders ranging to IPA's to stouts. Also, West O is known for its amazing Brick Oven Neapolitan pizzas!

Bridges Bay Resort

Bridges Bay Resort in East Lake Okoboji

Bridges Bay Resort is built on the land purchased a few years prior which used to be owned by the Nielsen family of Arnolds Park. This huge complex consists of a hotel, 3 condo buildings (a 4th is under construction), and over 100 vacation cabins. A popular part of the resort is the indoor waterpark that cabin and condo owners have access to, but also, so does the public for a fee. Braccos is a fantastic summertime restaurant and bar which is frequented by boat, by car, and by foot, especially from the owners of the condos and cabins. All of the units at Bridges Bay have an opportunity for a boat hoist, and it is an extremely popular destination for out of towners looking for a vacation spot in Okoboji. Because Bridges Bay is not within the city limits, many owners utilize property management companies to help them rent their units by the day, week, and month. I've personally sold and shown many condo and cabin units and would be delighted to help.

Brooks Golf

Brooks Golf in Okoboji

Enjoy an Unparalleled Golf Experience at Brooks Golf featuring 27 holes and immaculate bent grass fairways and greens!
Nestled among the Iowa Great Lakes is Brooks Golf. Originally constructed as an 18 hole layout by Val Brooks in 1932, the course attracted many famous players such Sam Snead, Walter Hagen, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias for exhibition matches and hosted the Iowa Open. In more recent times, Brooks has hosted the Iowa PGA Section Championship and the Barb Thomas Pro-Am.
Always known for its beauty and excellent course conditions, Brooks has matured into an excellent parkland layout for Midwest vacationers. In 1995, Brooks began an expansion to 27 holes, thus beginning one of the most aggressive improvement projects for golf in Northwest Iowa. Brooks Golf blends masterful design with superb playing conditions featuring bent grass fairways and greens. We welcome you to play and enjoy your stay in Okoboji.

Miller's Bay

Miller's Bay in West Lake Okoboji

Miller's Bay, on the west side of West Lake is a popular spot for boaters in the summer to just go chill out, throw an anchor, and relax. On the weekends, this bay is filled with boats tied up to each other offering families the opportunity to have the kids swim, or you might find a bunch of party animals chugging beers and enjoying the summer sun. Either way, everyone is having a great time, and so if you are out and about, just know that Millers Bay is where boaters go in the summer to be where the party is at.

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach in West Lake Okoboji

Omaha Beach is on the north end of Echo Bay, extending out into Omaha Point. Known for its secluded private access from Lakeshore Drive, Omaha Beach properties are some of the most sought after on West Lake, easily fetching over $15000 per linear foot of lakeshore.

 

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