So, you’re thinking about moving to the country! This post is a great guide to help you take the next big step. Moving to the country can be an adventure and can be a positive experience for your mind, body and spirit.
Many people find they really enjoy the slower pace of life offered in the country. Without the bright lights of city and suburb living the night sky will be bright with visible stars and constellations.
Removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, the country offers an abundance of opportunities to hike, hunt, fish and enjoy nature to the fullest. You’re also likely to find more freedom to live and prosper from the land.
Country living can also offer more space to plant and tend your own crops. More land allows the opportunity to become more self-sufficient in growing and raising your own food. However, there are a few things you may want to consider before taking the plunge.
Income is one of the major considerations in deciding to move. Homes and property in the country can be significantly more affordable than in larger cities. This means you may be able to stretch your income further when purchasing.
It also means that you’re likely to get more bang for your real estate buck in terms of square footage and acreage. Also consider that more property will require more upkeep and maintenance.
Utilities to run a larger home are also likely to be more expensive. A larger home, outbuildings and property can all be expensive to maintain. Can your income support these additional costs? There are ways you can supplement your income from home while still enjoying the rural life.
When you move to the country will you stay at your current job? Moving to the country means that you are likely to be farther away from most offices and employment opportunities. How long will your potential commute be?
It’s important to consider gas prices and commute distances when calculating your income and total costs. Are you required to report to work late at night or early in the morning? Will you be on-call and expected to report to work quickly?
If so, you may want to explore other job possibilities such as working from home.
3. Availability of Utilities
You will also want to consider the availability of utilities in the area. How reliable is the electricity? Is it frequently down due to storms or downed trees? How long does it take for power to be restored if it is interrupted?
If you are building a home, are the utilities already connected or is there an additional fee? Back up energy generators or off the grid energy choices, such as solar, are an additional expense to consider. What is the availability of cell phone reception and high speed internet access?
If you were planning to work from home, access to these services is crucial. Children may also require internet access to complete school assignments. If cell phone reception is poor, you will need to invest in a landline telephone.
If you enjoy watching television, is cable or satellite available? How reliable are those services? It can be frustrating to have the television signal go out every time there’s a storm.
Another consideration is water supply. Will your new home utilize well water or water from a municipal source? Will you have to dig an initial or additional well? What is the quality of the water and water pressure from the well?
Also, many homes in the country utilize septic systems and do not have municipal sewer services. Septic systems can be costly to repair, maintain and replace. These are all important things to consider.
4. Availability of Services
If you had a medical emergency how long would it take the ambulance to reach you in the country? How far away is the nearest hospital emergency room or urgent care office? If your child became ill in the middle of the night how long would it take you to reach the closest medical services?
The availability and potential response time for police, fire and ambulance is important, especially if you have young children. If you have children, you’ll want to think about the local school system. How far away is it and is bus transportation provided from your location?
If the children miss the bus will you have time to drive them to school before work? As far as home maintenance, how is trash and recycling collection handled? You may have to pay for a commercial trash hauler or take your trash to the landfill yourself depending on where you chose to live.
Are recycling centers offered in the area? In addition, creature comforts of the city, such as restaurant delivery may be unavailable in the country. Do you often rely on calling for pizza delivery at the end of a long day?
Do you have reliable and rugged transportation? Living in the country means you’re unable to access the buses, taxis and train systems of large cities. Having your own reliable transportation is nearly essential.
Especially in bad weather, you’ll need a rugged vehicle– such as a truck or Sports Utility Vehicle– to get down flooded or snow covered roads. It is also likely that the nearest store will not be within walking distance so you’ll need to plan accordingly.
The nearest gas station may be further from your home than you’re used to so maintaining fuel levels is important. You wouldn’t want to get stranded on a country road with an empty gas tank.
What are the roads like and will they be cleared in the event of heavy snowfall? It’s important to consider that the roads may not be plowed quickly as they would be in a city. You will need to arrange a backup plan for getting to work or the store.
Snow covered roads may not be passable for several days so you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you have plenty of food, water and other essential supplies. Often, country roads are considered not critical and may be low on the list to receive maintenance such as expansion, paving and repairs.
Also, consider the possibility for flooding or damage caused by downed trees after a severe storm. Living in the country means you’ll need to be prepared with essential supplies in the event of an emergency.
Are you someone who craves the peace and quiet that is offered in the country? Or, do you need a hopping nightlife and a bunch of neighbors to feel happy? The somewhat isolated nature of living in the country is definitely something to consider.
It may be exactly what you’re craving, or it may be torture for you to be away from the restaurants, bars and events of the city. Will you be comfortable living miles away from the nearest mall, movie theater or sports field?
In many cities or suburbs there are a myriad of rules and regulations instructing people how to utilize their home and land. Many of these regulations may not exist in the country.
While that can mean more freedom over how you use your property it also means that you have to extend the same right to others. You may want to consider that your neighbors may have parties, burn leaves or keep livestock on their property.
Your potential neighbors may be far enough away that you won’t be bothered; that also means they might not be available in a true emergency or even when you need a cup of sugar.
Living in the country means paying a great deal of respect to plants, wildlife and your fellow man. Depending on where you’re planning to move, be prepared to share your land—and sometimes the road— with all manner of critters such as raccoons, deer and possum.
You’re also likely to encounter neighbors who also enjoy the peace and tranquility of country living. It’s important to respect the space, wishes and desires of your neighbors as well. Maintaining your property and avoiding activities that may pollute nearby water, air or land is an important part of living in the country.
The benefits to living in the country are vast, and for many people, completely worth any sacrifice. The peacefulness of country living and the great outdoors awaits you. Consider the points I’ve outlined before you plan on moving to the country and you’ll be the next satisfied country dweller.