Twenty-nine-year-old Megan Haag can cross off one of the big goals on her “things to accomplish before I’m 30” list. As of mid-July, she became a homeowner and one of the first to purchase a house in Spearfish’s new workforce development at Sky Ridge.

Originally from the eastern part of the state, Megan came to Spearfish in 2015 to attend Black Hills State University. She started out as a business major but soon switched to education.

“My mom was a teacher. I would babysit all of her coworkers’ kids and I worked at daycares. So I knew it was my destiny to be working with children in some way,” Megan said.

While at BHSU, Megan fell in love with living in the Black Hills. She appreciated the welcoming, friendly, and safe community, and just how easy it was to walk outside each day and find something new to explore.

“There isn’t a bad view in the entire town,” said Megan.

After graduating college, Megan decided to stay and she is now a first-grade teacher.

“My favorite part of teaching is seeing the development of kids as they grow. It’s cool to see where they start and where they end and to know that you were a huge factor in that. It’s a really humbling job,” Megan said.

Before landing a home at Sky Ridge, Megan experienced what many of Spearfish’s young professionals are encountering: a difficult road to homeownership. While home prices have increased across the state of South Dakota, Spearfish is known for being the most expensive town to purchase a home.

Thankfully for Megan and 139 other local residents, a public-private partnership has been in the works between the City of Spearfish and Dream Design to create a new neighborhood at Sky Ridge. Sky Ridge is affordable housing for new and existing workforce, rather than low-income housing. The homes are for those who are at or below 125% of Lawrence County’s median income.

Dream Design is building the houses using high-quality and energy efficient materials to increase the livability and longevity of the homes. Sky Ridge houses include sprinkler systems, 2×6 exterior walls, efficient heating and cooling systems, insulated garage doors, and fiber-optic wiring. Dream Design has been able to keep the costs of the homes low by working with local suppliers to identify materials with dimensions that are in less demand. Floor plans were then built off of those dimensions. Dream Design has also maintained the low price tag by buying in bulk and purchasing lumber directly from the local sawmill.

“I’m thankful for Dream Design and the people they chose within the Black Hills community to work alongside them on the project,” said Megan. “I’m not sure we could’ve done it without them.”

As Megan and her family settle into their new home, they’re already appreciating the little things. Megan’s daughter is excited that she can run around because people aren’t living beneath them and she has liked going from a wooden floor to carpet in her new room. For Megan, it’s the extra space in the garage, living room, and kitchen. She’s also dreaming up plans for the backyard and relishing in the ability to make the space her own.

“I could paint an accent wall green tomorrow if I wanted to!”

But the best part? It might be the view. “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful” is the way Megan describes it.