Do you have the itch to move to the country and leave the busy city life behind? You might have always lived in the city and want something new, or maybe you grew up on a farm and want to get back to your roots. Whatever the reason might be, here are a few points to consider before packing up and heading to greener pastures.

  1. Costs – In many cases your dollar goes further the further out you go. You can buy a bigger home or more land to finally start that garden you’ve been dreaming about. One thing to consider, however, is that the cost of maintaining a bigger house will also increase, as will the cost of maintaining the land and any other structures that go along with it (think barn, sheds, fences, stone walls, etc.). If you are buying a home, try asking the current homeowner for a breakdown of their costs to avoid guesswork.
  2. Commute/Transportation – Are you going to keep the same job you had while living in the city? If yes, your commute will most likely be a lot different than you’re used to. If you were taking a train or bus you aren’t going to find many of those where you’re going. Public transportation in the country is not typical. You may also need to consider changing vehicles depending on just how rural you are going because paved, two-car lanes aren’t always guaranteed. You can try driving the proposed commute during rush hour or in different weather conditions to get a better idea. Are you planning to telecommute?  If so, check the availability of reliable internet access before you sign on the dotted line.
  3. Job Market – If you are relocating and need a new job, you may find your options are limited. If you are able to work from home or planning to start your own business this may not be an issue, but if you are hoping to land a similar job in your new community you might find it challenging.
  4. Services/Utilities – Do you plan to build your home? If so, check which services and utilities are connected and the expenses you may incur to connect those that aren’t. If you are buying a resale, investigate the reliability of electricity, cell phone and internet service, especially if you’ll be working from home. You may need to set money aside for a generator. Be sure to check the viability of any wells upon which you may rely. If friends or family suggested this move because they’re already living this way, it may be time to sit down with them to discuss what it’s like to live in a home with solar panels or one that has a septic and well system as opposed to public sewer and water.
  5. Isolation – Peace and quiet and time to reflect can be wonderful, but will you want that as a constant? You probably won’t have neighbors close by, which can be both a blessing and a curse, but it doesn’t stop there. Consider the proximity of the nearest hospital, airport, grocery store, restaurant, police station, school, etc.

Now, you may be thinking, “That was a nice idea but it’s not for me!” Sometimes the grass can seem greener somewhere new, but always be sure to do your research before you make a life-changing decision. Any big decision will have its pros and cons. If these considerations didn’t sway you, then you just may be ready to breathe in that sweet country air.


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