Main Street isn’t just for shopping, dining or taking care of business.

It’s no secret that the “downtown areas” of many urban or even suburban communities are often celebrated for their housing opportunities and how well they seem to attract young people with their walkability, things to do and overall neighborhood vibrancy.

But some rural areas are starting to experience similar a revitalization of apartment living on their “Main Streets” and downtowns. Many smaller cities and towns are focusing more on filling vacant storefronts on the ground floor and providing better housing on upper floors.

This is true even in the Lakes Region of Northwest Iowa. Some of our towns, including Spencer, Estherville and Spirit Lake, are beginning to really focus on what their “Main Street” or downtown area’s have to offer in terms of housing and rentals.

Why you may want to live downtown

Many of these available apartments are close to restaurants, shops, grocery stores and other amenities. These downtown, second-floor apartments are a short walk (or lightning-quick drive) from everything.

That benefit is a serious draw to many young people, both singles and couples. They are perfect for people moving to a new town because they offer chances to meet others.

Small towns are starting to love their downtowns again, meaning events and other social gatherings are often focused on these areas.

How to find downtown apartments

The challenge, of course, is finding second-floor apartments. The ones that are available are popular – for all the reasons we’ve covered.

If you want to find a place to live in a downtown in the Lakes Region of Northwest Iowa, then you will likely need to check local media classifieds sections.

Finding opportunities in smaller areas requires finding the people who could have the info you are after. As we’ve talked about before, consider calling landlords who advertise, the local chamber of commerce and real estate agents to see what types of opportunities may be available.

Benefits of second-floor apartments on ‘Main Street’

What can you expect from living downtown in a smaller city or town in Northwest Iowa? A lot of what you could expect from a larger city, to be honest, just at a smaller scale.

1. Nightlife and entertainment

If there’s a local watering hole or two that draws crowds, chances are pretty good they are located in a town’s downtown area or along the main drag – or very close by. Many smaller towns also focus their cultural amenities around their “Main Street.”

This creates perfect opportunities to hit the town, socialize with friends or entertain visitors.

2. A walk away from…

Just about everything. Again, you’ve got a good chance in some of our communities of being a walk away from convenience stores, grocery stores, gyms, coffee shops or churches and more if you rent a downtown apartment.

3. Budget-friendly

This benefit could vary some from town to town, but second-floor apartments in smaller communities tend to rent for less than other rental housing opportunities in rural areas. That’s because they also tend to be smaller, though that’s not a big problem for singles with roommates or couples without children.

If you want to save money, then be sure to look into renting on your new community’s “Main Street.”

Find a place to live

Looking for a place to rent in the Lakes Region of Northwest Iowa? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at our rental housing directory. New listings are added often, check back from time to time.

Don’t forget to look for a job while you’re looking around.

We can’t wait for you to Get A Lakes Life!

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