Buying Land In South Dakota (Black Hills)

Let’s talk about buying land in the Black Hills. 

Hey guys, what's going on? My name is Christian Morrison, I am a local real estate agent in the Rapid City/Black Hills area. I do this Youtube channel for people looking at moving to the area, to kind of answer questions and give a good scope on what is happening here, and really helping with the transition here or maybe talking them out of it by accident, who knows? It's possible. Anyways, today I am going to talk about a question that I get a lot. Oh my gosh, I forgot to say my sales spiel! 

If you guys are looking at coming to the area, have any questions, concerns, want to talk about houses or anything like that, feel free to give me a shout, call me, texting is best. You could email me as well, but a lot of my replies, for some reason, have been going to people’s spam folders so watch out for that. That's why I say call and text is best, I don’t want you guys to think I'm not responding to you. Anyways, if you have any questions with that, you can call me/text me, all my info is below. There, got that out of the way. 

So, let’s talk about land. I get this question a lot. I get people talking about, “Ok, hey. Here is what we are looking for. X amount of acres, let's say 10 acres, we want to be out in the trees, we want to have hookups or availability to get water, and we want to be able to do whatever we want. We want to build a homestead, that's a really common thing. We want to get chickens, a donkey, llamas, whatever you want to get, right? We want to have a whole farm, so we can be self-sustaining, because the world is crazy and we don't know what is going to happen”, which is totally understandable. Now people are surprised a lot of times with how difficult this can be and it's not as cheap as you might think it would be. So a couple things to consider and I walk everybody through this. Almost all the properties you see online, if you see properties that are big chunks of acreage or even a little bit smaller, well it's actually probably more common on the smaller stuff, like 10 acres or below, but it's decently common on the bigger stuff also. Let's just say 10 acres and below for now, almost all that stuff guys, is going to have covenants and covenants in it. Covenants are restrictions on what you can do with the property based off of whoever developed the land in the beginning and sectioned it off, because they didn't want certain things to happen on that land. They didn't want it to become junky, they didn't want mobile homes to go there, whatever those covenants are, and some are much more restrictive than others. For example, a lot of times they will say, this area allows domestic animals, like dogs or cats, limited to 4-5 lets say, and that is it and they can’t be bred on the property. Extremely common to have those kinds of covenants and it's the most common and it will go on to say no livestock or poultry is allowed on the property. Now I know that may come as a surprise since it's South Dakota, why would they care there? But it is kind of the way it is on a lot of properties, so you will be surprised, you'll look at stuff, and it has covenants because it will most of the time restrict that kind of thing.

Now a lot of times, people are super shocked at the pricing of these lots. If you are going out looking at something that's even 2-3 acres and it's out in the trees, in a beautifully landscaped area, you could pay $200,000 for that lot, just the lot. A lot of times it won't even have water to it yet, you'll have to drill a well, which can be extremely expensive, you'll have to get a septic system in there, that type of thing. Now, not saying this to discourage you, it just depends on what you want exactly, because if a lot of stuff like that is really desirable to you, it's probably really desirable to a lot of people, and everyone kind of has that idea right now of “let's go build out in the woods, get a homestead, get away from people, we can be self sustaining if we want to be” right? One thing that is pretty cool about a lot of the more rural areas here, especially if it is a “subdivision”, meaning like there are some subdivisions that have like 1.5-3.5 acre lots that are out in the hills, most of those have fiber to them, so you can get high speed internet and be out a little bit, the one thing people aren't ready for or don't like or whatever is a lot of times those subdivisions, well it depends on which town your in, but like if you are close to Rapid, there is a town, Piedmont, just north of Rapid that has lots on it. They have fiber to them, but the lots, where they sit, are in a valley a little bit, so you don't have trees on your property, and most people right now when I said that are like “Ugh! I have to have trees, I have to have trees!” And I get that too, I mean you are coming to the Black Hills, you want to be in the hills, you want to be with the trees, just keep in mind you are going to pay a premium for that. Like those lots I am talking about, without the trees, they have everything to them. They have gas, water, electric, internet, all right to the lots, the 1.5 acre lots are $50,000, the 3.5 acre lots are $70,000, so contrast that with something that had trees in it, you're probably going to pay double or triple that for the exact same thing. 

Sorry, I've basically been going on a rant through this whole thing just because I want people to understand what they are going to get into, so if you are looking for properties to build a homestead on, you have to look for something that has no covenants, so look for that wording. It is a big selling point, so if you see a listing with that and you can reach out to me and I can help you find this kind of thing, but if you are looking with land with no covenants, you have to make sure you see that there are no covenants in there, or research it. It's actually from like, if I was just going to look at property somewhere else, it'd be kind of hard to find that, to be honest with you it's hard for me to tell sometimes if they have no covenants, but you can definitely find it, not to discourage you from finding it, but I am just saying it's harder than it seems to find that and not all the land you look at allows that stuff. Almost assume the land you are looking at does not allow that kind of stuff, and then if it does, awesome, but plan on it not, and you can send it to me, or if you are working with another agent, or whatever, send it to them and ask if its has covenants or not, so that way you know what they are. And if it does have covenants, ask them to send them to you, or ask me to send them to you, because sometimes, I was reading covenants the other day, and it said it allows up to 16 chickens, just no roosters, allows 2 other farm animals, like horses or goats, so there's some covenants that allow some of that stuff or horses. You know, whatever, it just depends on where it is, what the covenants say, and a lot of times it's good to have some covenants because if not, you can ruin the property value for you if your neighbor has a $5,000 mobile home and your house is worth $800,000 so you know what I mean, it can skew the value of the area. So you do want some covenants because you don't want stuff to be junky. Now, really quickly I want to touch on, I've mentioned before, the water, that kind of stuff. One thing you want to look for too, is you want to make sure electric is at least a decent shot by so you can get that electric to the property and you  want to figure out if it doesn't have water to it, what are the well depths to get it there or if you are close enough to city water that you can get city water there for cheaper. Then obviously you want to see if you have to get a melon system for your septic because that would be a little bit more than an average septic. All those types of things you would want to check out before moving forward on it, and again I can help you with all this stuff. If you want to chat with me about it, if you want to look at it, but prices on land can really vary. It's obviously going to be much much cheaper to buy land if it doesn't have a bunch of trees and it's not in the hills, and if it is it will be double or triple the price. 

Just kind of how it is right now, so again guys I hope this was helpful a little bit, hopefully it answered some of the questions that you have on the land side of things and what it is like. Feel free to give me a call, shoot me a text, if you have any questions and also drop a comment on what else I should do for videos in the future and I have another couple videos coming out this week. Thanks for watching guys, see you in the next one!