If you’re finding that the hustle and bustle of the big city life is beginning to get you down, you might be thinking about escaping it all and heading for the hills! Buying a house in a rural area can bring about a whole new way of life, and it could be the change you need.
However, there are many things to consider before buying a home in the country, and it’s worth thinking long and hard about making your move. The pros and cons are a balanced mix, though a lot depends on what you want, and what your expectations are. Check out the advantages and disadvantages below.
The pros of rural living
Fresh air, stunning scenery, and no more traffic jams are just some things city dwellers dream of when considering moving to the countryside. Here are a few other benefits.
More bang for your buck
There’s no doubt that in the vast majority of cases, properties in rural areas are far more affordable than in urban areas. This is perhaps one of the main reasons many people plan to move away from the city, as they can spend the same amount on a 4-bedroom house in the country, as they would for a 1-bed apartment in the city. In a rural area, you can also buy a lot more land than you’d be able to in the city.
Prices are typically lower in rural areas since there’s far less competition compared to urban areas. If you find a place you love in the countryside, the chances are you won’t get into a bidding war. Instead, you’re more likely to be able to negotiate a better deal.
More space to grow
Most rural properties come with land, which you can use to extend your home, grow crops, raise animals, or add extra buildings, as long as you follow local regulations. Regulations and laws are normally far more lenient in rural areas, allowing you to build more easily, or rent your property on services such as Airbnb without negotiating strict rules.
The quiet life
The personal aspect of moving from the city to a rural area is also extremely important. If you’re craving fresh air, natural scenery, and a more close-knit community, rural living could be the perfect thing for you. It’s also ideal for those looking to become more self-sustainable and it can be a great way to go back to basics.
The cons of rural living
Life in rural areas sounds fantastic so far, but there are some disadvantages, and it’s well worth considering the flip side before making a choice.
Fewer public services
When you move outside of the city, public services tend to dwindle. In some rural areas, they can be almost non-existent, with locals helping one another, or traveling to the nearest town to get things done. This almost certainly means you’ll need a private vehicle, as public transport is likely to be in short supply.
Utilities can be tricky
In the city, you’ll rarely need to worry about water, electricity, gas, or any other basic utilities – they’re all taken care of by the municipality. In rural areas, this isn’t typically the case. Your water is likely to come from a private well, so it’s a good idea to carry out a quality check before drinking. Sewage is generally treated privately by way of a septic tank, which needs basic maintenance and monitoring every few years.
Electricity may be supplied by a smaller, local company, and you may experience more downtime than in the city. It’s worth having back-ups, such as a generator, or wood-burning stove. Finally, internet and cell phone options may be far more limited than you’re used to, so be sure to do your research.
Owning land requires you to maintain it. From fences to outbuildings, and even the basic elements of your home, you’ve got your work cut out for you. You may use a wood-burning stove in winter, which will need firewood chopping, drying, and storing. There’s always something to do in a rural property, which some people love, while others can’t stand.
Small-town economy issues
Living in a rural area means there will be far fewer employment opportunities compared to the city. If you’re able to work remotely, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but otherwise, you may struggle to find regular work. Some small towns rely on one major employer, which can be dangerous, and you need to consider what will happen if that employer goes under. Will residents leave en-masse, causing house prices to plummet?
The peace and quiet of rural living don’t suit everyone, and the remoteness can become a problem if you start to crave city life again. Think long and hard about whether rural life is for you and take the time to experience it as much as possible before making your choice.