acreages also get very expensive within 30 miles of brookings, and all real estate in and around brookings is overpriced too. There's a bit of a buffer zone around Dell Rapids, Egan, Colman, and Trent, but even then acreages can get pricy. Might need to look west or south for better deals which I can see you're doing looking at bridgewater.
I'm spoiled by a 4 minute commute time, which will be up to about 23-25 minutes. 26.5 miles, commuting from egan to brookings, once they fix the interstate and make it 2 lane again.
There is also a temp difference that can be noticeable in this area.. western areas generally are warmer year around, while northern and eastern areas are cooler. Brookings is one of the coldest spots in the state which has a tendency to irritate me sometimes.. if you could draw a map of where the cold air always comes down and settles it would look something like this...
http://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv270/sholomar/MaxT4_northplains.png (broken link)
There are days where it's 10 degrees cooler in brookings then it is in Sioux Falls in the spring and fall especially. It's the difference between a comfortable jog and having to bundle up with more clothing. Oh well, I'm not gonna quit my job because of that.
Just keep in mind it might be 10 degrees warmer 20 miles west and south of sioux falls then it will be 20 miles north or northeast of sioux falls... spring and fall especially.