Rapid City’s budget hearing on Tuesday night saw city council reject a mayor’s proposal to increase building permit fees – as a way to cover the city’s $ 203,000 budget deficit.
And while the Black Hills Home Builders Association calls it a victory for affordable city housing, there are still issues that make Rapid City what some consider a less than friendly place to build.
A home is one of the biggest investments a person can make, but some home builders say building in Rapid City isn’t as affordable as the surrounding communities.
“The Black Hills Homebuilders Association has always believed in affordability of housing for everyone and when you keep raising our fees and prices, we have no choice but to pass that on to the consumer,” he said. Hedrick said.
Dean Hedrick is the president of Black Hills Homebuilders and also works with Hult Homes and he says many regulations in Rapid City add thousands of dollars to the price of a home.
“We have high back edging, so every time I have to cut a edging and put a driveway approach in a new house, it costs me around $ 4,000. Rapid City forces us to make copper lines with anote bags. Rapid Valley allows us to make PVC. Rapid City by asking and insisting on copper, adds $ 1,200 to the cost of each house, ”says Hedrick.
Now, a thousand dollar regulation here and there may not seem like much, but when the dust settles, the consumer has to pay.
Hendrick says that for every $ 1,000 price increase in a home, the number of people who can afford a home drops dramatically.
“For every thousand dollars a house increases across the country, over 150,000 people can no longer afford a house … that’s a big deal,” says Hedrick.
So homeowners and builders are looking to communities outside of Rapid City for the best value.
“I can take a house I’m building in Rapid City, whether it’s Box Elder or Summerset, and it will cost me on average between $ 15,000 and $ 30,000 less to build the exact same house,” says Hedrick.
And a lot of people are enjoying the savings like Rapid City, losing out on big property tax gains.
“In the last five years alone in Summerset and Box Elder, over $ 50,000,000 in new residential construction has been spent in these cities because they are easier to build and cheaper to build,” says Hedrick.