For a mere $12.8 million, this Okoboji home could be yours

… and if you don’t have $12.8 million handy or prefer a more intimate setting, come visit us.

Lakeshore real estate market heating up?

The market has gone from a 60-month supply of houses in the range of $800,000 to $1.5 million to an inventory of less than a year’s supply …

“At one time, there were 72 or 73 properties for sale on West Lake (Okoboji), and now it’s probably down to 26 or 27.”

— Eric Hoien, Realtor, featured on 10news

See the video and read the full story on Peace Harbor, the Okoboji home with a record $12.8 million asking price.

See Trulia’s overview of  Spirit Lake/Okoboji real estate trends.

Spirit Lake population up 3.7%; household income at $53,971

Spirit Lake’s population is up 3.7%, to an estimated 5,018 people, with median household income of $53,971 annually, and per capital income at $29,589, according to the recently released 2015 Annual Fiscal Conditions Report, Spirit Lake, Iowa, published by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The city reported improved revenue of $4,414 per person, up from $3,442 in 2014, but still down from $5,987 in 2013.

About 32.5% of those employed work in management, business, science, and arts, with 21.9% in sales and office work, and 20% in production, transportation, and material moving. About 24% of Spirit Lake residents attain a college Bachelor’s Degree or higher, compared to about 26% statewide. According to the report, workers without degrees may have a hard time supporting their families.

Urban areas tend to have higher levels of college-educated workers, but the numbers tend to be lower in rural communities. This trend may have a negative impact on rural communities, because in the current economic climate, it is challenging for people with a low education level to find employment that pays a living wage capable of supporting a family.

Fortunately, 87.6% of Spirit Lake residents work inside Dickinson County, which helps maintain the local economy.

If residents commute to jobs located outside the city, there is a good possibility that their retail expenditures are made outside the city. The city loses sales tax revenue as a result. However, if a city has a lot of people that live elsewhere but work in the city—the city may gain sales tax dollars as a consequence.

Property taxes for 2015 increased to $455 per person, compared to $441 in 2014. McClelland’s Beach residents will be happy to note that, according to the report, a slight raise in property taxes is a good thing as it means property values are holding or increasing. Property taxes made up 10.3% of the city’s revenue stream in 2015.

It is generally desirable for per-capita, real property tax to remain stable or marginally increase over time. A decline may indicate lowering property values or tax delinquencies.

The Spirit Lake housing vacancy rate, based on 2014, the most recent year available, sits at 14.4%, compared to 39.4% in Dickinson County and 8.6% statewide.

Spirit Lake residents’ average age is 41.9 years old, according to the most recent estimate from 2010.

Reliance on intergovernmental revenue, “monies obtained from other governments” that “can include grants, shared taxes, and contingent loans and advances” increased 387% from $150 per person in 2014 to $567 in 2015. However, according to the report:

Over-reliance on monies from either federal or state government is not recommended. The revenue streams of both these levels of government are dictated by broad economic conditions. Therefore, an economic slowdown could potentially put local governments at risk if funding is reduced or lost for local services so vital to the smooth functioning of cities.

Read also: Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy bets $3.6 billion on Iowa

Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy bets $3.6 billion on Iowa

Iowa wind turbine - Warren Buffet's MidAmerican Energy bets $3.6 billion on IowaRead also: Northwest Iowa a hotbed of economic activity

McClelland’s Beach welcomes Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy and all our new friends landing in Iowa as wind energy creates jobs. We invite you to come visit and play in our neighborhood!

The location for the new $3.6 billion wind power project remains unknown, but the company is already heavily invested in Northwest Iowa wind farms.

Largest economic development project in Iowa history

“The proposed $3.6 billion project is the largest wind project MidAmerican Energy has ever undertaken, and it’s being done without asking for an increase in customer rates or financial assistance from the state to pay for it.”
MidAmerican Energy press release

“Every wind turbine you see in Iowa means income for farmers, revenue for counties and jobs for Iowa families.”
– Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad

Iowa hooks Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Farmers and other landowners hosting wind farms receive lease payments, and wind-farm operators pay property taxes, which local governments use for schools and other expenses, (Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad) added. Iowa’s relatively low power prices and high renewable-energy quotient have attracted companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Inc. and Facebook Inc. to the state.
Wall Street Journal

Northwest Iowa a hotbed of economic activity

… and the smart ones taking advantage of the hotbed of economic activity will live at McClelland’s Beach, their one-stop work and play home.

Midwest ‘green’ job growth to outpace U.S. employment

“…in the next 12 months, the rate of Midwestern job growth in environment-friendly enterprises is projected to outpace U.S. employment growth overall.”

Wind turns Northwest Iowa into a hotbed of economic activity

“Lately, the vast wind resource has turned the rural Northwest Iowa county into a hotbed of economic activity. A bevy of companies are moving ahead with large-scale projects that would harness and export the renewable energy to more populated regions.
Sioux City Journal

Wind energy boom blows into O’Brien County, SW neighbor of Dickinson County

The undertakings are projected to spur hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and create thousands of temporary construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs, as well as fill local tax coffers and grow communities that have seen an exodus in population in recent decades.”
Sioux City Journal

Spirit Lake – Why Polaris chose to build products here

McClellands Beach - Spirit Lake - Iowa - 51360We agree with Polaris. Those of us living on McClelland’s Beach in Spirit Lake get the best of Iowa’s best lake as well as a great city.

“Spirit Lake, Iowa, population of 4,907 people, is one of the most beautiful and dynamic cities in the Midwest. Spirit Lake is a full-service city offering a wide variety of recreation, employment and social opportunities to citizens and visitors. Spirit Lake has a vibrant downtown with a variety of retail businesses and an industrial park that provides current employers and potential companies with attractive amenities. Spirit Lake is a great place to raise a family. It is a rapidly developing city, boasting one of the fastest growing economies in Northwest Iowa.”
— Polaris website

Spirit Lake beach property part of home equity surge?

That beach property you’ve always wanted or own now could be valuable later. Iowa home prices are up 4.4% and the Washington Post reports that home equity surged across the United States.
From: Iowa home, property ownership back on the short list of growth investments?

Take advantage of Iowa home buyer tax credit program

“The program provides eligible home buyers with a tax credit against their federal income tax liability every year for the life of their mortgage, as long as the home is used as their primary residence, up to a maximum of 30 years.”
— Iowa Association of Realtors

Iowa home, property ownership back on the short list of growth investments?

Home Sales Chart – Iowa Association of Realtors

That beach property you’ve always wanted or own now could be a profitable asset to cash out on later. Iowa home prices are up 4.4% and the Washington Post reports that home equity has surged across the United States.

Between the third quarter of 2014 and the same period in 2015, Americans’ home-equity holdings grew by nearly $1.3 trillion, according to the Fed, thanks mainly to rising home prices.
Washington Post

Iowa home sales, prices see strongest third quarter in 8 years

McClelland’s Beach residents know this is a hidden paradise. It’s interesting that many Iowa communities are getting a lot of attention from the media.

“Our communities have been receiving a lot of national attention from magazines and online media outlets. Iowa truly is a great place to grow!”
– IAR President Jon Yocum

Get the full story at

Read also, Home again: US-flag swimsuits, Coors, Cheez-Its and cannonballs off the dock.

Home again: US-flag swimsuits, Coors, Cheez-Its and cannonballs off the dock

Ed Bartels and friends fishing - McClleland's' Beach - historic photo.
Ed Bartels, left, and friends with a big fish haul – McClleland’s’ Beach – Spirit Lake – historic photo.

Up north is Spirit Lake, which tends to be quieter, and more of a place for the locals to boat and fish. It is, however, the state’s largest natural lake and known for some of the best fishing in the area. So it’s worth an angler’s effort to get there.
– Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune

When the Chicago Tribune takes notice, you know you’ve got something, especially after you’ve just hauled in the big one off your dock at McClelland’s Beach. This is a wonderful piece on the “coming home” effect of the Iowa Great Lakes vacation areas. Read the full story.

Learn more about the real estate climate and McClelland’s Beach community.

U.S. builders start houses at fastest pace since 2007 Great Recession

For McClelland’s Beach residents who may be wondering about all the sudden building activity …

“More housing starts means more construction jobs as well as confidence from real estate developers that people will be buying. We’ll know the economy is really hitting stride when we see these starts in the range of 1.5 million.”
– Tara Sinclair, George Washington University professor, chief economist for job site Indeed

Read the full story.


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