Living in South Dakota- Things They Don't Tell You

Hey guys, what’s going on? Today I am going to go over things they don’t tell you, kind of the negatives about living in South Dakota. 

Hey! My name is Christian Morrison, I'm a real estate agent here in the Black Hills of South Dakota and I just wanted to go over some things. A lot of people that are moving out here, we have a ton of people moving to the Black Hills, to South Dakota in general right now, that they don’t know a lot of things about it, because they have lived in cities and bigger areas. So I want to go over some common things that people don't know about or some things you might want to be aware of before you move to South Dakota. 

First thing guys, it can be very rural in certain areas. We do have two big cities, in South Dakota and of course there are smaller towns around it but we have Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls is on the east side of the state, and Rapid City is on the west side of the state. I live in Rapid City, and I “basically” work all of the Western part of South Dakota, so that what I will be more apt to, but I did live in Sioux Falls for a year, so I can talk on that a little bit too, but the things that people don't realize about Western South Dakota in particular and the East side as well, is that it can be very rural in certain areas. People call me and they say “Hey I want to go and live outside of town, in the hills, I want to have property” that type of thing. And kind of the problem with that is that you can be 25 minutes to an hour away from any kind of store. It could be a 30 minute drive to go to the grocery store or the gas station or whatever, so not that that is a bad thing, that might be what you want, but I don't think a lot of people plan on that. So that could be one of the big negatives of it, you know, you have 30 minutes each way, it's an hour to go get groceries, go get gas, whatever, if you need to go grab something quick. I think a lot of people who are moving here from bigger cities are used to having quicker amenities, closer to their house. 

Another thing with being out in those rural areas especially if you are a remote worker or if you work from home is two things: really it could be bad cell service sometimes zero cell service. You can get, I forget what they are called, but a cell phone service amplifier, if you are in that world you probably know exactly what I’m talking about, and I’m probably saying it wrong, but anyways they can amplify your cell service and you can probably get something off of that. But a lot of times there is no cell service outside of the cities. Another thing is internet. Internet can be either non-existent or you have to get satellite internet, and it's horribly slow and really doesn’t work for people who work remotely. So that's another thing to think about when you are out that far, in the hills, or in a rural area, anywhere in South Dakota that's kind of the case, most of the time no cell service or no internet. 

Something else that people always ask me about and tell me about when they come here is is like “I want to move to South Dakota, I want to get property, and I want to have no rules, no laws, I just want to be able to do whatever I want out there, I want no covenants right, and that's fine and all, that's a good thing to want, the only problem is that if you have no covenants, no rules on your property, most likely there are going to be other properties close to there, unless you are buying 100’s of acres or something then maybe it won't be, but let's just say that there are properties to close to you, if that's the case, then they also have no rules, and not everyone will live their life the same way that you do right, so a lot of times you will have this very nice house, you know, like a million dollar house sitting there, beautiful property, next door to them is their neighbor, who also has no rules, but they have 650 junk cars, a bunch of trailers, and it just looks like crap and there is stuff everywhere. So a lot of people that want covenants I don’t think take that into account, so that's something to think about. If there are no rules, that means no rules for everybody. And if that's the way you roll, that’s totally fine, just more so wanted to put that out there for people because a lot of people are like “i don't want covenants, i don't want rules” which is fine, just something to think about with that. 

Another thing I wanted to touch on, on the properties out, the big properties with a lot of acreage, out in the hills, a lot of times, one thing you really want to look out for, and if you come here and use me as an agent I can walk you through it, or whoever you use as an agent, just make sure they are versed on easements and know how to look to make sure its a legal easement, check if its legal easement, that type of thing. It’s an issue I run into a lot with bigger pieces of property. Either one thing and you have an easement to get to a piece of your property through someone else's property, you need to make sure that easement is legal, or two, a lot of times you will have road access on your property, so someone else can drive on your property to get to their property. A lot of times they are legal, but sometimes they aren’t and people have just been using them, and maybe that's how the people who owned your property you're buying before, got access to it. You just need to make sure all those are legal and on the up and up, in those types of scenarios. 

Another thing with living out is the winters, people don't take this into account, I don't think. In Rapid City we really don't get that much snow, we only get about 36” a year, but in the hills as soon as you get out of Rapid City, Sioux Falls actually gets more snow, I don't know exactly how much but I want to say they get like 50-60” a year. In Rapid City, we get 36” so if you go to the hills, about a 30 minute drive from Rapid City, you jump from 36” to 106” a year. With that being said if you live in these areas, and I say 30 minutes to town and 30 minutes back. If you are out there in the winter, a couple things, one: you're going to need a plow of some sort to get out of your driveway, and sometimes to even get off your road, to the main roads. If you are on a dirt road or something like that, most of the time they aren't plowed at all, unless you have a road association, which happens sometimes, but you want to plan on having a plow, you also want to plan on, if you get dumped on with snow, so instead of taking 30 minutes to town, it might take 1 to 1.5 hours. Depending on how much snow, how slow you have to drive. That coupled with having no cell service, if you get stuck in a ditch or whatever, you better be ready to walk right? Kind of joking, but I have had it happen to people before, actually had it happen to myself before too, anyways. Yeah, the winters can be brutal in the hills a little bit. If you get too far in there 100, 100+ inches a year of snow maybe even more, a plow to get out, and maybe you like that stuff. If you like that kind of stuff, awesome, go for it. Not a big deal, just want to make people aware of that aren't used to that or you know they get this idea of being out in the hills you know sometimes guys, there are properties that you can only get to by snowmobile in the winter. The reason is because some of those roads you aren't allowed to plow them, because they are snowmobile tracks and things like that. A lot of times obviously if you were working with me or a good agent, they would walk you through those properties and stuff and tell you “Hey you can only go by snowmobile”. Which is kind of cool, to me, if it's a guest cabin, not a big deal, kind of a fun way to get there, in and out, anyways that can definitely be the case with properties here. Now obviously if you are living in the cities here, it's totally different. You get all the amenities, the roads get cleared fast, in and out of places easily. It's not a big commute to anywhere, but that's the cities. These rural areas are not that way at all. 

Now guys, the very last thing I want to touch on, and I've had a lot of people ask me about this kind of stuff, “Hey, are people upset that people are moving to the area? Do they want people to move there, do they not want people moving there, how are the locals acting about it”, you know that type of thing. And honestly, most of the locals are fine with people moving here, they like new people moving here, a lot of times those in these rural areas, what they want, they want you to come there and keep it the way it is. That is the one thing I hear from clients “don't come to our area and change it, come here and keep it the way it is. The reason you wanted to be there, is because it is the way it is, they want you to keep it that way. If that makes sense, that's the one thing I hear from people. If you are coming here, keep it the way it is, don't try to change everything. Which makes sense, especially if you are from the area, you've lived in the area your whole life, you want it to stay the way it is. 

Anyways guys, that is the last thing I wanted to touch on, thanks for watching this video, if you have any questions, if you are moving here, you want to chat about some houses, you want to look at some places, you have more questions for me, call me, text me, email me, write me an old fashioned letter if you are feeling that cool, or hit me in on any of the social media platforms I’m happy to help. If you have any suggestions, any video suggestions you want me to hit, drop those in the comments below, I do read every comment, and I will either respond to those or get a video out for those. Thanks so much for watching again guys, see you next time!