Many people live for the hustle and bustle of city life. They like being constantly connected and close to as many amenities and entertainment options as possible. But as cities and surrounding suburban communities grow, some people – perhaps yourself included – begin to long for a lifestyle that’s a bit quieter and simpler. And it’s this pull of simplicity that draws many to sell their homes and purchase rural acreage in the countryside.
If you’re thinking about buying acreage outside of town, you aren’t alone. But before you go out and make a sudden decision, it’s important that you understand some of the pros and cons of living on rural acreage. In doing so, you can make a responsible decision that’s right for you and your family.
The Appeal of Country Living
Whether you’re looking to buy a couple of acres in a secluded rural area, or you want hundreds of acres of farmland, there’s something highly appealing about living in a peaceful countryside setting. If you decide to make the transition, you’ll enjoy benefits like:
- The most obvious appeal is the space that comes with living on acreage. Whereas you may be lucky to have half an acre in the suburbs, you can purchase a dozen or more acres for a relatively small investment. This gives you ample room to enjoy your hobbies, raise your kids, and live your life without feeling like someone is breathing down your neck.
- In most cases, acreage comes with fewer restrictions and rules. If you’re outside of the city limits, you’ll find fewer zoning requirements, less thorough permitting procedures, and the ability to do just about anything you want on your property (so long as you aren’t breaking any provincial or federal laws). In a world that’s full of restrictions, this sense of freedom is irreplaceable and harkens back to the earlier days when life was simpler.
- Out in the countryside, you won’t find car alarms, honking horns, and all of the noise and riffraff that comes with living on a busy city street. In many cases, it’s completely quiet – save the noises from wildlife and nature.
- Speaking of wildlife, living out in the country allows you to live side by side with nature. Depending on what part of the country or what sort of terrain you have, this may include fish, mammals, and birds – many of which can’t be seen in more populated areas with commercialization. You also have the option of raising your own animals – including horses, cows, chickens, or whatever sort of livestock interests you.
- Lower prices. The price of real estate is heavily dependent on location. And in most cases, land in rural areas simply doesn’t have as much demand as plots of land in the city. In fact, your money may go so far out in the countryside that you’re able to enjoy acreage on top of having an extremely nice home.
With benefits like these, it’s no wonder that so many people are drawn to the idea of living on rural acreage outside of town. It offers benefits that simply can’t be found within city limits.
The Challenges of Living on Acreage
But for every opportunity and benefit that comes with living out in the country, there’s a challenge or negative that must be overcome or pushed aside. In particular, you’ll need to be prepared for the following:
- Maintenance and upkeep. A bigger piece of property offers plenty of advantages, but it also means you have more to manage. If landscaping and DIY projects aren’t your thing, then rural living might not be for you. In many cases, you have to be willing to do lots of mowing, landscaping, and home maintenance projects. Not only is it a lot of work, but it’s often hard to hire people to come out and do a quick job. It isn’t worth their time, and they’d rather take on simple jobs that are nearby.
- Social challenges. You never realize how wonderful it is to live in a neighborhood or apartment complex until you find yourself in the middle of farmland with the closest person living a mile away. If you’re an outgoing person, this creates challenges with your social life. It also isn’t ideal when you have young children who want to see friends on a regular basis.
- Distance from amenities. When you live out in the country, everything requires a special trip. Whether it’s groceries, gas, supplies from the hardware store, or a bite to eat, you have to really plan your outings.
- Challenges with utilities. While not always the case, you may find that you have challenges with utilities. For starters, you’ll probably be forced to deal with septic, propane, and well water, as opposed to sewer, gas, and city water. And then there’s the challenge with electricity. Because you’re in an area with more trees and growth, storms may frequently knock down power lines and cause outages. And because you’re in a less populated area, you may be one of the last areas serviced. This can be frustrating and creates the need for backup power supplies and generators.
Depending on your personality, skills, experiences, and resources, some of these challenges may be deal breakers. However, many of them can be overcome or offset by the advantages mentioned above.
It’s ultimately up to you to decide what will work for your family. Country living isn’t for everyone, but it sure can be nice!