Before you start belting out the lyrics to “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” you first need to ask yourself, “Am I really ready to give up city life?” Moving to the country is not only a change of scenery but also a lifestyle adjustment that can take some getting used to. But whether it’s peace and tranquility, room for a garden and livestock, or just getting more bang for your buck, these five reasons to make the rural move this year should be enough to convince you to start packing!
Moving to a rural area means you’ll have enough room to swing a cat… or anything else you may choose. You’ll finally be able to grow that vegetable garden of your dreams, plant an orchard, or even start your own beehive. You’ll have plenty of room for a storage shed or barn to store yard tools and sports gear. Whether you’re looking for a few acres or a larger piece of land, you definitely won’t feel crowded.
Peace & quiet
You won’t have to deal with lawnmowers, noisy neighbors, barking dogs (other than your own) or worst of all, leaf blowers, right outside your window on a Saturday morning. Nature takes precedence when it comes to country living, and you may even find the quiet a bit disturbing at first. Country residents quickly get used to the tranquility that naturally comes with buying a rural home. You may have some traffic noise depending on your location, but nothing that compares to the rampant noise pollution in urban or suburban areas. Hearing the birds in the trees, the cluck of chickens or even the sound of the wind will be amazingly calming.
Quite a deal
The numbers don’t lie: You can get more house for your money in a rural area. The U.S.Census Bureau estimates home ownership in rural America is more than 82 percent, while only 60 percent of city dwellers own their own home. Even though three times as many people live in urban areas, not all of them can afford the cost of a house in the city. The cost of housing in some rural areas can be as much as $150 lower per square foot. Property taxes are generally much lower in rural areas as well.
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Most rural homes aren’t part of a homeowners’ association, so you can do as you please with your property. Neighborhood associations, city regulations, and complaining neighbors can limit your freedom to put a trampoline in the backyard, build a swimming pool, or park your RV. County regulations often enable residents to raise livestock and grow their grass as tall as they want. If you’re going to park your antique tractor or car in the yard, no one’s going to tell you otherwise. Having the freedom to paint your home any color or keep your Christmas lights up year-round is your own prerogative when living in the country.
Quality of life
You won’t be fighting nearly as much traffic in the country, although you may have to drive a few extra miles for groceries. Many families move to the country to give their kids more outdoor time and less screen time. Sure, you may have to deal with a few more bugs and critters, but they’re a lot easier to take care of than honking horns and screaming neighbors. Stepping outside the hectic pace of city living can bring a significant change in the quality of your life.
Sandy Dunlap is a freelance writer who gardens and raises chickens on her ranch in Texas. When she’s not working around the yard, she and her neighbors are selling their produce and baked goods at the local farmer’s market.