South Dakota offers low cost real estate and a low population, all set in a beautiful setting. Its landscape is very diverse with part of the state having lush, green vegetation while other parts are dry and desolate. There are sweeping prairies and mountains covered with pines. In some places, the trees are so numerous that it makes the mountains look black, and that is why it is called the Black Hills. At the foot of these hills lies a dry, empty, flat stretch of earth called the Badlands. The Great Lakes of South Dakota also stretch for 443 miles, with 3,000 miles of shorelines. Its hard to believe that all of these different terrains could be found in one state.
The quality of life in this state is exceptional. South Dakota has a very low crime rate, a low cost of living and plenty of affordable properties available. In 2005, the population was only 775,000 with 436,000 people living in rural areas. There were 323,000 housing units in the year 2000, which was up 10.5% from 1990. These homes were evenly spread among urban and rural spots, with 166,000 units being in urban areas, and 156,000 being in rural areas. The median price of a home is $79,600.
South Dakota has a total acreage of 48.5 million acres of which 43.7 million are used for farming. South Dakota is also very inexpensive because it has no property taxes for family housing (only assesses large company owned properties) and there is no inheritance tax. 68.2% of residents own their homes and only 10.5% of properties are vacant.
In the larger metropolitan areas of Pierre and Sioux Falls, housing costs range from below $30,500 to more than $1 million. In more rural areas to the north, such as Aberdeen or the tourist Mecca of Rapid City, housing prices start as low as $20,000 and run up to more than $1.75 million for large estate properties and ranch homes.
A very popular place to live is in the Black Hills country. It is here that we find the popular tourist destinations like Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse carving. In 2006, the Black Hills average selling price of a home was $177,085. Homes are staying on the market on average 109 days. Homeowners can expect to receive 97% of their asking price. This is currently a buyers market and prices are continuing to drop. Rapid City is the largest city with a population of 70,000 and its average selling price in September of 2006 was $163,601.