The allure of rural living has grown in recent years. With more and more Americans looking to escape the rat race for a simpler life, many are trading their cookie cutter houses for a taste of the country. Did you know 97% of our nation’s land is rural? Crazy, right? But rural living isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering a migration to the rural side of life, check out our guide to Rural Living: An Honest List of Pros and Cons:
But first, what is rural living?
A rural area is defined as an open patch of land that has few homes or buildings nearby and very few people. Rural living is living in such an area. Got it? Good. Now on to the pros and cons. You’ll notice some of these overlap. Depending on who you are, some pros can be considered cons and vice versa.
- Privacy – Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? If you live in a big city or a closed-in neighborhood, you probably are. Well not when you take a walk on the rural side. From sun up to sun down, you’ll have the freedom and privacy to do whatever you want without another living soul taking notice. Want to eat cereal naked on your front porch? Without a neighbor for miles, you can!
- Distance to the neighbors – Starry nights, the sound of gentle night creatures; this is all possible when you remove the neighbors. No more listening to the neighbors BBQ in the backyard or mow their lawn while you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing evening on the porch. Having neighbors more spread out will give you that peace and quiet you’ve been craving.
- Living beside wildlife – Are you the kind of person who wants to wake up and see deer standing outside your window? Then this is the life for you. With rural living, what you lack in people, you make up for in animals. You’ll be feeling like a Disney princess in no time with the frequent visits from deer, birds and other woodland creatures.
- Slow internet and cable services – If you struggle with the work-life balance then moving to a place where technology isn’t so easily available is probably a good thing. Think of all the time you’ll get back when you aren’t distracted by the Twitterverse. The same applies for your kids who will no longer have the option of spending their days glued to a screen.
- More space to grow your own food – Rural living offers plenty of space to plant that garden or orchard and truly live off the land. Some say you haven’t tasted an apple until it’s been plucked from your own tree. It’s cheaper, healthier and can even earn you a little income if you decide to sell it.
- Friendly peeps – Those who live in rural communities still adhere to the whole love thy neighbor creed. They may be small town, but they’re big heart. This is true of most rural areas who value friendship, family, and community.
- Less stress – The natural side effect of rural living is less stress. Without the outside stimulation of bustling roads, flashing lights, and constant chatter you’ll find your inner self calm and relaxed. This can improve focus and mood, making you a better human to live with. A win for you and your family.
- Pets, pets and more pets – Ever wanted a pet llama but never quite had the space? Well, when you go rural, you’ll have the space for that llama, some chickens and even a goat or two. So buy that fourth dog and head on out to the country side. There’s plenty of room.
- Cleaner air – Whether you realize it or not, the air around the city isn’t exactly the cleanest. Thanks to exhaust fumes, landscaping chemicals, and other metropolis toxins, we’re all breathing in less than stellar air. Rural living is literally a breath of fresh air.
- Self-sufficient living – There’s something about living off the land, getting back to nature, and going off the grid. It’s a primal urge in all of us to make our own living and know that we truly can survive on our own. Rural living fuels this confidence and lets us know that when the “big one” hits, we’ll be alright.
Yes, rural living has plenty of pros. And it really is the perfect location for some people. But like everything else in life, there are cons. Let’s check them out.
- Isolating – Where some see privacy, others see isolating. Those who live in rural areas can go days without seeing another living soul. If you love the social game and want the rest of the world to know what you’re up to, then rural living probably isn’t for you.
- Distance to the neighbors – Without neighbors nearby, it’s nearly impossible to borrow a cup of sugar, ask them to keep an eye on your house when you’re out of town, or any other thing you use neighbors for. Without neighbors, you really are on your own.
- Living beside wildlife – Did you know deer eat apples? And tomatoes? And pretty much any other luscious fruit you’ve planted. Those living the rural life have to nature proof their house. Squirrels and bats in the attic, raccoons in the trashcan, coyotes and other critters in the hen house. Yep, it’s a thing.
- Slow internet and cable services – Roughly 35% of the rural populations have slow or interrupted broadband internet. If you rely on internet for your job or simply can’t live without the best of the best, you may find rural living unbearable.
- Less accessibility to well, everything – Running up to the grocery store may take an extra 30 minutes. Going to the movies an extra hour. Depending on how close you are to the nearest town, rural living can make convenience nearly impossible.
- Slow emergency response – If you have a heart attack or any other emergency, it can take the emergency responders a good 20-30 minutes longer to reach you. And we all know in emergencies, every second counts. This is something to consider if you already have life threatening ailments.
- Personal safety is at risk – Most gun owners live in the countryside. This is because they understand that with the lack of neighbors and emergency response, they’re pretty much on their own when it comes to personal safety. Whether it be a burglar or grizzly bear, you’ll need to get good at protecting yourself.
- Finding employment – Rural areas aren’t exactly handing out careers. Unless you’re a farmer (and a good one at that), you could find yourself commuting a great distance to collect that paycheck. If you’re planning on working from home, remember you may have trouble with high-speed internet so it may not be possible.
- Winter sucks – Depending on where you live, rural roads are nearly impossible to navigate in the winter. This could lead to being snowed in for days or weeks. Remember that isolating was at the top of this cons list.
- Poor education – Rural areas lack good schools. They don’t have the resources or funding to supply the areas children with the quality education they deserve. This is a con for you, your children, and society as a whole. Plus rural children often have to be on the bus for an hour or more each way. Not exactly the most comfortable way to travel.
So there you have it. An honest list of rural living. No matter what style of living you choose, we wish you luck. If you’re serious about finding that perfect plot of rural land, check out our awesome list of properties.