Are you thinking about making the shift from city life to a quieter, less urban existence? While the rural lifestyle offers some rich rewards, there are other aspects you might want to consider before plunking down the cash for a home in the country.
Mornings Start Early
This doesn’t apply only to farmers, although if you do decide to invest in livestock (or even a chicken coop), you should prepare yourself to wake up with the sun. Even if you have no animals or crops to tend, your daily commute is likely to be much longer than before, meaning you’ll have to get up earlier to prepare for the day. The longer commute is bound to take its toll on your vehicle over time, translating into higher maintenance costs. Depending on where you live, the birds may make quite a racket in the morning, too.
Roads Are Rough
City dwellers who are used to smooth asphalt roads and groomed sidewalks are in for a shock when they venture past the outer limits. Property taxes are lower in smaller towns, so the budget for road maintenance is comparatively small. Due to the weather, and lack of general upkeep, even driveways take a beating in rural communities. This can mean a double whammy for your vehicle, which is already struggling under the weight of extended mileage due to the commute—not to mention the additional cost of maintaining a driveway that’s rutted or prone to washing away.
Commerce is Scarce
When you live in “the boonies,” shopping opportunities are few and far between. That means you’ll have to plan ahead for every meal, and if you’re not in the mood for whatever is on the menu—well, unless you’d like to drive a half-hour or so each way, you may be out of luck. Similarly, if you run out of charcoal for the evening barbecue, dinner just became a major hassle. While most people get used to this eventually, it can come as a real shock to those who are used to Chinese takeout and pizza delivery available at all hours. In recent years, ecommerce and online shopping have changed how local rural shopping is done.
None of these issues should be considered deal-breakers on their own. They’re simply something to be aware of. Rural life isn’t for everyone, and the romantic scenes you might have seen in the movies don’t do justice to the reality. For many, these are easy sacrifices to make to transition to a space that is closer to nature with a slower pace. Be sure you know what you’re getting into before taking the plunge.
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