10 Reasons to Relocate to Rural Land
We have been getting more and more calls from urbanites looking for a rural property to relocate to. We know there are many reasons driving these decisions, and we wanted to take a few minutes and share our take on the top 10 reasons to relocate to rural property. Read along and let us know in the comments if there is another reason why you have chosen to leave the city and move to the country.
In this current coronavirus pandemic that we find ourselves in, many city dwellers have begun to prioritize the relative safety offered by owning your own rural property. For example, it’s much easier to social distance when you have more room to spread out. During the shelter in place portion of the pandemic the only place that I actually had to come into contact with someone outside of my family was at the local hardware store, where they had conveniently set up curbside pickup.
Another important thing to remember when it comes to safety is the difference between crime rates in urban and rural areas. Studies continue to show that it is statistically much safer to live in rural areas.
If you are looking for a safe place to raise a family or retire, it’s hard to beat living in the country.
2. Quality of Life
Those living in the fast paced society of a big city never run out of things to do, but sometimes they find themselves trapped in an endless cycle of tasks and responsibilities that lead to a life filled with stress. Imagine a life with no traffic, no alarms or sirens blaring, and no city lights and smog drowning out the stars. All of these things can be found on a piece of rural property. This leads to people having less stress, more peace of mind and improved mental health.
If you find yourself stressed out by the city maybe a slower paced living is one way to improve your quality of life.
3. Close to Nature
More than ever, people are trying to get close to nature. With the rise in popularity of ecotourism and visitation to our National Parks at an all time high it is easy to see this trend today. Unfortunately, many vacations and trips have been canceled because of COVID-19, and people are finding themselves feeling trapped inside their city apartments and condos.
I have personally experienced more time outdoors during the last few months on my rural tract of land than I have in years past. I took the time during the shelter in place order to plant a garden and build a chicken coop. Both of these have made for some wonderful memories with my children. It is also giving them a sense of responsibility, as they have helped pick the garden and tend to the chickens.
I live in Jesup, a small town in Southeast Georgia, with local access to many natural wonders. I live near the Altamaha River, not far from the marshy coast of Georgia and the Golden Isles. I can take a day trip to ride bikes on Jekyll Island, or take a ferry to Cumberland Island to hike the dunes with the wild horses. I can load up my kayak and go to the Okefenokee Swamp for a day of warmouth fishing and be home in my bed that night.
There is nothing like being close to nature, and living a rural life allows that happen.
4. More Freedom and Privacy
Living in the city can sometimes feel like you are living on top of everyone around you. You can hear your neighbors when their TV is too loud, you get told you can’t change anything about the looks of your home, you have to worry about where to go when you walk your dog around the block. All of these things lend to a feeling of little privacy and no real freedom.
In the country you are free to plant a garden or have as many animals as you want. You can change your home or property in any way that you see fit. You can build as large or as small of a home as you would like. You can be as close to, or as far away from your nearest neighbor as you would like. Many rural properties can even be left in their natural wooded state for more privacy.
5. Lower Cost of Living
It is a well known fact that it is cheaper to live the country than in the city. I wanted to see exactly what those numbers would look like in my situation so I went to the CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator and ran the numbers as if I was moving from Atlanta to Statesboro, the nearest town in Southeast Georgia available. The results were surprising.
- Housing - 33% Cheaper
- Groceries - 7% Cheaper
- Utilities - 13% More Expensive
- Transportation - 22% Cheaper
- Health Care - 27% Cheaper
I was truly shocked to see the transportation costs and heath care costs were that much less expensive, but the housing cost was right in line with what I expected.
You should also remember that property taxes are much cheaper. Using the Georgia Property Tax Calculator I found out that a home of equal value in Atlanta would cost $500 more per year in property taxes than in my hometown of Jesup, Georgia. So not only do you get more house for your money, but it costs less in annual taxes.
6. Ability to Work from Home
Many urbanites have realized in recent months that it is completely possible for them to do their jobs remotely. With this realization also comes the thought that if they can work remotely, why are they living in an area where they are not as happy with their surroundings. Most are enjoying the amount of time they are spending with their families instead of commuting to the office, and they aren’t very excited with going back. If it is a possibility for them to keep their current job or one at a very similar salary they would come out ahead if they moved to a cheaper location and worked from home.
One thing that has to be considered in this decision is the lack of access to high speed internet in some rural areas. Though some recent rural broadband legislation has been put in place to try and alleviate this problem, it is going to take time. Anyone looking to make this move should always make their agent aware of their intentions so that access to high speed internet can be made a priority in their search. A new tool to help in your search is the mapping service provided by the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative. I wouldn’t recommend anyone moving to a rural area to work remotely to assume current satellite internet or hot spot technology is fast enough for their needs. Take the time during your search to locate a rural property that will serve your needs now.
7. Healthy Organic Food
Living in the city is great if you like to go out to dinner at nice restaurants and experiment with different types of cuisine. Living in a rural area gives you the opportunity to supplement your grocery bill with garden fresh vegetables or meat and eggs raised on your property. I mentioned earlier that I was able to plant a garden and raise chickens this year on my property. It was great to have fresh green beans, peas and squash from the garden, and to be able to freeze our vegetables so we can enjoy them for the rest of the year. We are looking forward to the first eggs from our chickens, which should be arriving any day now.
With a little bit of work, you can turn your rural property into a gentleman farm and really up the food production capacity. Adding a few fences and barns will allow you to raise your own cows, goats and other livestock. The possibilities really are endless when you own your own land.
8. Lower Pollution
We all know that air pollution and other harmful contaminants are just a part of living in the city. Don’t you love that first breath of fresh air when you drive out to the country and get out of the car? According to the CDC air quality improves as areas become more rural. When you live in the country you get to experience this benefit every day.
Another thing to consider is water quality. We all have this picture in our mind of a crystal clear stream flowing through that perfect rural property that we are going to buy. The truth is, that is really a very rare thing. Most rural properties are going to have little to no access to fresh water right from the start. Most rural landowners rely on wells for all their water needs. Luckily here in Southeast Georgia, we have access to the Upper Floridian Aquifer. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quality of groundwater in the Upper Floridan Aquifer is among the best in the nation. Of course you should always have your well water tested regularly for any harmful contaminants. The CDC provides a great resource for water well owners full of information on how to test and maintain your well. Well water with its natural filtration is a great source of clean, fresh water if properly maintained.
9. More Time With Family
Do you hate your daily commute? According to the US Census Bureau, the average one-way commute time is 26.1 minutes. That adds up to 4.35 hours a week and over 200 hours per year. That’s over 8 days worth of time that could be spent doing much more meaningful things. The closest thing that I have to a long commute is if I get stuck behind a tractor or a slow driver for a few miles, or maybe getting caught by more than one red light when I go through town. This adds up to more time that I get to spend at home on my property with my family.
I’ve already mentioned some of the projects that we have done on our property this year. Each of those projects have been done as a family. We worked together to prepare, weed and pick the garden. My wife and kids helped me build and paint the chicken coop. We’ve spent many hours together during quarantine playing games and swimming in the pool. A rural life really is a life spent together with the people that you love.
10. More Room for Pets
Do you want a pet, but aren’t allowed to have one? Are your pets cramped up in a small urban apartment all day? Do you have to keep your dog on a leash at all times when you walk them? Owning rural property can be the answer to all of those types of problems. You can find a yard that’s as big as would like in the country. Many rural properties already have fences or can have fencing added easily. We all love our pets and want them to be as happy as we are. Give them some room to run and play on your own rural property.
As you can see from this list, we think there are many reasons to choose a piece of rural property over an urban life. We think it provides you with a much happier, healthier lifestyle. Truth be told, we’ve really only scratched the surface with this article. If you can think of any other reasons why you think it’s better to live in the country let us know in the comments below.