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Old 01-13-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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My family visited the Black Hills and Rapid City for first time a few years ago and we absolutely loved it! I remember it was very windy in late May, in fact we got wind burned. The area is beautiful and the people for the most part were friendly. I noticed that housing is a bit more expensive than I thought it would be comparing it against the average wages. Also when I look around the city using Google's street view I do not see any new homes construction or ones recently built. I may not be looking in the right areas? It seems the one story ranch type is scattered throughout the city. We would like to move up there in the near future from Missouri. I work in IT at a hospital and my wife is a teacher. Do most families have two incomes in order to make ends meet in the RC area? Also are the homes up there well insulated against the cold winters? I have so many more questions to ask, but I will leave it at that for now. Any information or advice from the area residents would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:18 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
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Hi Frisk, I'm not a Rapid City resident so I can just answer a few of the more general questions.

Most of our houses up here are very well insulated. We couldn't afford the heating bills if they weren't. But fortunately for you, Black Hills Power is one of the cheapest utility companies in the nation.

And yes, as a rule most families in our state are two income households. There are a few families where the wife stays home a few years if there are small children, but generally we have dual income households up here.

Glad you enjoyed the Hills area. It really is beautiful country, isn't it?
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:11 PM
 
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Or three income families with both working and at least one working two jobs is not uncommon from what I hear. It's like anywhere else and is relative to your standard of living. Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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Compared to other areas of the country, the Black Hills area has less "professional" jobs. Being in the medical field is a great thing for around here. There is a high population of workers in construction, retail, and the hospitality industries making hourly wages. Which is why, as blackhillsdreams stated, three income families is very common.
Compared to income earned around here, yes housing is very expensive. But property taxes, car licensing fees, sales tax, etc is dirt cheap. Also there is no state income tax deducted from your paycheck.
Your wife should expect a huge paycut in teaching. We are #50 on state teachers pay.
New home construction has slowed down with the economy, but house value hasn't really been affected by it. There are just a bit fewer buying. Rapid Valley (East of RC) is where tons of homes are being built. Also Black Hawk (north west) area. There is new housing on the south side off of 5th street and Catron.
I talk to my realtor a couple times a year. She has told me that houses are not selling for drastically less, they just aren't selling as often. People are too scared to buy new and sell their old. They're waiting to upgrade at a better time.
The first year I lived here I was a sah mom. We relied on my hubby's $50,000 a year and made it fine. We just missed out on some of our old luxuries. It's been 5 years, I'm working school hours now at an hourly rate and we do great.
There is a huge population of sah mom's and homeschooling moms in the area. Because the cost of daycare doesn't outweigh the hourly rate the mom could earn in a non professional job.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Neat! Rapid City has Google Street View now! For the longest time we just had satellite view. I can see my car in front of my house!!!!

Ashnat had very good advice. Rapid City does not have as many high-income professional jobs as most other places but the cost of living here is DIRT CHEAP with exception to property taxes. The Black Hills is a very desirable area so therefore, housing is more expensive.

You said you saw a lot of ranch-style homes in Rapid City. You were probably in an older part of Rapid City which is what tourists usually see. Rarelty do tourists ever make it to the Westside or Southside. If you look along Sheridan Lake Road, Park Drive, Minnesota Street, Terracita Drive, and West Boulevard you'll see that Rapid City has a lot of variation in home styles. West Boulevard looks very nice on Street View.

If you have any more questions, fire away!
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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See Danny, that's where we disagree. Since you haven't lived elsewhere, you haven't experienced high property taxes. Compared to Omaha, Sioux City, Lincoln, and Kearney (where I've lived) property taxes are CHEAP. I laugh everytime I hear people complaining about taxes on the news. I had a 1200 sq foot, 1/4 acre lot outside city limits in Omaha, and my property taxes were $2600. If I'd lived 1/2 mile further in town, it would have been over $3000.
Here I have a 2200 sq foot home on 1/4 acre lot, and I pay $1800.
Considering that the midwest is cheaper than many other places, property taxes are a lot more across the country than my examples.
Seriously, we need to just increase property taxes, improve our school budgets, and move on. All this complaining over the cheap taxes makes me laugh.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:02 PM
 
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Ashnat, I'm not exactly sure where you live, but in looking at various real estate listings which show tax data, there are already many many homes in the Rapid area with taxes ranging $3500 and way up... From what others say, the city council always votes yes on the highest possible property tax increase every single year there. Be careful what you ask for... You just might get it. Your $1800 could more than double in the next 5-10 years. Then what?
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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If property taxes here are so cheap then why is it one of the key factors that keeps people from moving here? What part of town do you live in Rapid Valley? I know people here that pay about $2800 in taxes on homes that are worth about $190K. The home is appraised much higher so more taxes can be collected. That's what upsets people here. Then city hall takes the highest allowed property tax increase each year too.

Don't get me wrong, I believe taxes are very important. Heck, I'm a democrat. But it's very difficult on these people that you have said yourself live in 3 income homes.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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Further, Let's say I bust my butt and save everything I can for the next 20 years and retire to the black hills. If trends continue, property taxes will then be around $8000 a year. Why on earth should I pay that to help build schools and other things when I have no children? In fact, MOST people that retire 20 years from now will not be able to afford any kind of property taxes in that range. Most 401K's just evaporated. Social Security is a joke. People will end up working right up until they die.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Victory Neighborhood Minneapolis
1,777 posts, read 3,570,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBanany View Post
If property taxes here are so cheap then why is it one of the key factors that keeps people from moving here? What part of town do you live in Rapid Valley? I know people here that pay about $2800 in taxes on homes that are worth about $190K. The home is appraised much higher so more taxes can be collected. That's what upsets people here. Then city hall takes the highest allowed property tax increase each year too.

Don't get me wrong, I believe taxes are very important. Heck, I'm a democrat. But it's very difficult on these people that you have said yourself live in 3 income homes.
These property tax rates are not high at all, probably on the low side in comparison to other areas of the country. And if you factor in the fact that SD has no income tax (and for businesses - huge corporate welfare), then it's like tax heaven for those wanting to evade tax burdens in other areas of the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhillsdreams View Post
Why on earth should I pay that to help build schools and other things when I have no children?
Although I don't want to diminish some of your other points about 401Ks, Social Security, etc. as I couldn't agree with you more that something needs to be done on these issues, I just have a couple of points on the above sentence as I've heard it alot lately and it always sits badly with me: (1) Be glad that you don't have to pay for new multimillion dollar sports stadiums. There are many many South Dakotans and outstate Minnesotans that will come to Minneapolis to go to Twins games way more than I ever will, so why should I have to bear this tax burden? - If I think about it a little bit, I can see that it will help out the local (poor) economy, provide new jobs for unemployed folks in the area, and spur development in the area that it's being built in. Do I think it's necessary? - not at all, but will it be good for the community? - yes. And (2), if you're moving to a new area, then you're becoming a part of that community - most state constitutions have language deeming that all state residents have a right to "adequate education", and, unless one were to have attended private schools their entire lives (which would be a choice), then I would hope that they would have a respect for, and appreciation of, the great need for quality public education for everyone. And, most school systems have community ed courses (and adult basic ed) that are available to and benefit all ages so there are incentives for all persons to support having a strong local education system wherever they're at (besides simply wanting to leave the world a better place for future generations, even if they're not yours).

Last edited by Camden Northsider; 01-13-2009 at 11:57 PM..
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