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Everything You Need to Know About Moving to South Dakota

South Dakota is known as The Mount Rushmore State and is home to one of the most unique sites in the world. The National Monument attracts over three million visitors from all over the world. So what makes South Dakota so fascinating?

South Dakota is known as The Mount Rushmore State and is home to one of the most unique sites in the world. The National Monument attracts over three million visitors from all over the world. So what makes South Dakota so fascinating?

The booming environment, highly rated for overall happiness and well-being, and some of the nation’s best fishing and hunting. All describe great reasons for moving to South Dakota, and that’s just the beginning.

Whether you’re looking for great museums, a chance to trek across America’s Wild West Legacy or a back-to-nature experience, South Dakota is the place to be. Perhaps you’re more of a city dweller, no worries because Sioux Falls is one of the state’s most diverse areas. The city offers a combination of family activities, cultural attractions, and cool places to visit for history enthusiasts.

There are literally thousands of reasons one would want to live in South Dakota, however, we’ll get started with just the tip of the iceberg.

The Top 5 Reasons to Move to South Dakota

  1. There is always something fun and interesting to do: Badlands National Park contains some of the richest fossil beds on the entire continent. It's a great place for hiking, and the trails fit every fitness level.
  2. It’s listed as one of the best places to live: The state’s natural resources, a thriving economy, and low cost of living constantly attracts new residents. National defense, agriculture, and tourism are the biggest drivers of the economy.
  3. Career opportunities are plentiful: At one time voted the #4 best job market in the country, South Dakota continues to attract highly talented and skilled professionals. Higher paying occupations include, mechanics, nurses, and information technology.
  4. The housing market is growing: The median home price in South Dakota is $188,600. Over the past year, home values have increased 6% and are expected to rise 4% this year.
  5. The economic outlook is also strong: CNN Money ranked the state as the number one place to start a business. Growing opportunities include professional, biotech and technical services sectors.

Quality of Life

No matter where we live, we all have the same desire for an enjoyable quality of life. South Dakota has a lower cost of living than the national average as far as housing, utilities, health, and transportation. The savings not only mean more money in your pocket, but you’re able to do more of the things that make your life better. The low crime rate, premium healthcare options, and affordable housing all contribute to a stress-free life. For the outdoors fanatic, you can lose yourself in the iconic attractions and vast natural beauty.

A rewarding education is nice, however, it's even better when starting wages reflect some of your hard work. Zip Recruiter picked Sioux Falls as the number one city for college graduates. The list of 10 compares the nation's major metropolitan areas based on reasons that make them attractive to new graduates entering the job market. Like, cost of living, entry-level jobs, and positions requiring a bachelor’s degree.

Graduates with the following degrees have these average wages to look forward to:

  • Associate Degree: $62,970
  • Bachelor’s Degree: $61,166
  • Master’s Degree: $68,701
  • Doctoral or professional degree: $119,016

Economic Outlook

The Mount Rushmore State was ranked 14th by U.S. News and World Report. The ranking is based on several metrics in the categories of economy, opportunity, crime and corrections, fiscal stability and quality of life.

Agriculture makes up about 20% of the state’s economic activity, while other main industries include business and professional services, outdoor recreation, and oil and gas production. Tourism continues to grow as more people visit places like Mount Rushmore, and Badlands National Park every year.

The unemployment rate is 2.9% and 9 of the 10 highest paid jobs are in the medical field.

Housing Market Forecast 2019

The median rent price in South Dakota is just over $1000 a month. Housing values are expected to grow at a rate of 4.0%this year, according to industry experts. And the median price of currently listed homes is $219,500, and the median price per square foot is $164. Over the past year home values have gone up 6.0%, and since the trend will continue to rise, now is a great time to be in the market for a home in South Dakota.

Many believe that a home is one of your biggest assets because it will appreciate over time. The average annual rate of home appreciation rates in 2018 was 11.05%.

Depending on the city, it’s not all good news for the housing market. New listings in the Sioux Falls region fell 9.2% to 395, however, pending sales were up to 286 at 33.6%. The challenge stems from low inventory, as levels fell to just 1,142 units at 14.8%. The good news is that inventory levels are starting to improve. In January 2019, Sioux Falls pending sales were up 2.2% overall. So Despite a sluggish fourth quarter in 2018, the regional housing forecast for 2019 is optimistic.

So What to Do Next? Here’s What We Suggest

It can be both exciting and stressful to decide to move to another state, however now that you've decided your next adventure includes relocating to South Dakota, let us help with some major details.

Clever Partner Agents can help you by advising you on the best areas to search for a home based on your budget concerns and wish list. We partner with top-rated agents from major brands and regional brokerages like Century 21, REMAX, and Keller Williams. These agents will use their expertise to help you navigate the buying process from start to finish.

Their services include searching for homes within your price range and desired locations, offering the best strategy to place offers, and if needed recommend financing options.

We are well equipped and can help you take the stress out of buying a home. Contact us today with all your questions.


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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