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SD Named Cheapest Place To Live

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According to a study done by The Commerce Department, South Dakota is the cheapest place to live in the nation. It’s determined by how much people are paying for rent and prices for services. So we spoke with a realtor to find out why.

There's no doubt that Sioux Falls is growing. Nearly everywhere you look there seems to be a new apartment building going up. And the cost to live in them is the cheapest you'll find in all 50 states.
“You'll see a lot of apartments at $475 to maybe $540 a month for a one bedroom depending on what's in the apartment,” said Joann Messersmith, Broker Associate and Property Manager, Legacy Real Estate.

She said that monthly rent check tenants write out in Sioux Falls is a steal.
“Even the fanciest downtown one bedroom apartments $1,000 to $1,200 or $1,300 a month, when you compare that to other metro areas of our size, it's a very good deal,” said Messersmith.

Messersmith said there is a big reason why it’s so affordable to live here.
“Property taxes are very reasonable when you look at and compare to the rest of the country,” said Messersmith.

She said Sioux Falls has a strong economy. And more and more people are moving here, and putting more money into the city's piggy bank. And when the city has money, property taxes stay down.
This then ultimately means rent stays cheap because property owners don’t have to pay the local government more for their land.      
But Messersmith does warn about one bad thing about so many people moving here. Builders can't keep up.

“Because the supply is lower and the demand is higher, and those vacancies are leveling out at zero, that has an effect of bringing your rent price up,” said Messersmith.

But she said even though rent prices have raised about 10 percent over the last two years because of the high demand, you're still getting more bang for your buck.

“You know those one bedrooms are 450 or 550 square feet,” she said. “But you'll never find things that tiny out here. That's just the rare exception.”

Those who live in North Dakota and Mississippi also have a low cost of living. Life is most expensive for people living in Hawaii, New York and Washington, D.C.
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