Wednesday, October 2, 2013

South Dakota is calling

Sept. 16-30, 2013 Wheels West RV Park, Custer, SD

Decisions, decisions.We've been looking at property here in the Custer area of South Dakota.
Weather: No, this part of SD does NOT get a lot of snow, nor below freezing temperatures often. This area is considered a "banana belt", meaning this area is a segment of a larger geographic region that enjoys warmer weather conditions than the region as a whole, especially in the wintertime. From the Active Rain site, "The mountains (Black Hills) provide a natural barrier from blizzard-like weather in the winter and scorching heat in the summer.  The mountains also create an air inversion over the area that traps warm air." We like snow, just not huge amounts at once.  So the weather is checked off and fine for us.
Population: NJ has 1200 people per square mile, SD has 11 people per square mile. Nice.
Services: Our concern is being quite a bit away from a vet and a hospital. But the closer you get to the city, the more you pay for property and taxes.
We've found 2 properties we like. One is just outside of the small town of Custer, SD and the other is 20 easy miles away from Custer, SD. The road to Custer is 65 mph, so it takes 20 minutes to get into Custer where the grocery store and vet would be.
#1 Property is just outside of the small town of Custer and 40 miles from the large city of Rapid City. $75,000 for 5 acres & property taxes about $1000./year, on a road with about 10 properties with homes already built, on a cul de sac. We were told we could probably get it for $60,000. It is the last lot for sale in that subdivision.
#2 Property  is 20 miles from the small town of Custer and 60 miles from the large city of Rapid City. $37,500. for 5.5 acres & property taxes about $500./year. One mile off the main road to Custer. This property has more pine trees so more private. There are less homes in this area.

Our thoughts are that if we could get Property #2 for $35,000. that would be less of an investment than $60,000 in town, in case we don't want to live in South Dakota after all. We would still have enough money for a good down payment on another property and/or home, just a little more of a mortgage and more conservative home.
With interest rates so low, we are not making any money on our proceeds from our house in NJ. So I would think, we'd make more money reselling this property in a couple of years if we don't want to settle here.
Also, with just purchasing property, we can still RV full time for a while and not have to worry about a house to keep safe or property to maintain. Both these properties can be left as is until we are ready to build or sell.

And why do we want to move to South Dakota? I have a spreadsheet of States and the majority have been ruled out. Our big requirement is not being taxed on our pensions. South Dakota does not. Property is cheap, taxes are fairly low. Our other considerations are North Carolina, West Virgina, and Oregon. We haven't been to West Virgina yet. So far, I like South Dakota more than NC and even OR.
Thoughts anyone????

Even though I said we are currently in a banana belt, we are getting an unexpected snow fall. We were supposed to leave Custer, SD for Casper, WY. But, Casper is supposed to get 6-10" of snow, which I love, but not in an RV. So we are hoping to just snuggle up here in Custer, SD until the weekend and the temps rise and any snow clears.

Since we spent the whole day looking at properties, I've got to keep this post short. I've got to catch up on my volunteer rescue computer work.

Send me your thoughts about our options for South Dakota.


  1. You dont mention utilities being present as septic could run 5k and a well 10k plus running elec. Also, find an HOA banning children-lol.

  2. There is nearby electric. Rural water will be coming within 2 years. That would give us another couple of years to FT. We need to pay the tap fee. No well needed. We would have to install septic. But, since we are "only" spending 35K (5.5 acres), this would be within our budget. Thanks for thinking of the details. This is what we need for input.

  3. So that area doesn't get a lot of snow, huh?

    1. I knew there would be comments about the UNUSUAL snowfall in Custer.

  4. Hey, our "address" is in Box Elder. That's why we're no where near that part of the country during this time of the year! LOL


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