General Question

hopscotchy's avatar

Should we give up the city life and move out to the country?

Asked by hopscotchy (552points) November 30th, 2011

Me and my husband are considering a move 30 miles outside of the big city to a rural area on a 10 acre plot of land. I need some devils advocates in weighing the pros and cons of this decision. We love being in nature. We garden and want to do it on a larger scale with some livestock too. We’re just fed up with city life and the traffic and overcrowding. The commute to work is not a big issue. Also, the area we’re planning to move to is only 3 miles away from a small town with medical care and a grocery store. What am I not considering in my idealized version of this country life? Conversely, if you think it’s a great idea or have experience doing this yourself, bring it on.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Do it. You’ll never regret it,.

TheIntern55's avatar

I moved from a Baltimore suburb to a rural New England town. It was culture-shock. But I love it here. You sound like the type of people who would enjoy country living.

Moegitto's avatar

I grew up in a city (Wash. DC) but more than 80% of my family grew up in the country. First question is, do you have any kids? The number is not important, just if you have and children at all. Second, a grocery store and a medical center are only some of the needed things. One thing people always overlook is a sheriff. A county sheriff or some sort of security sector in your area is something to always look for. Not for personal property stuff, but my great grandmother refused to live more than 15 miles from a sheriff or firefighter department. Another thing, is I noticed you said you have a job, but you want to get involved with livestock. Livestock on a whole is pretty demanding work, but can be dividend by getting a working dog. Another thing is to locate and take down ALL information from your city services (Electric, phone, gas, water, etc.) companies. If your power goes out, it’ll take them some time to get to you. My family never had anything more demanding than 3 cows, and they never seemed stressed out by their livestock (cows, chickens and some pigs), but they lived in one of the more tornado ridden places in Maryland. Every summer they had to wait for like sometimes a week plus to get someone out there to fix the phone lines. Also, they lived relatively close to a mountain, and even though I never understood the physics of this, they got plenty good rain, but almost no snow (it still got REALLY cold though, a couple of times negative 17). You seem like you have all your ducks in a row, your got locations down, you got an actual plan, and you took notice of the important facilities. I think the move will be good for you, and I hope you enjoy the switch from a city busy body to a relaxed countrymen.

PS: My Great Grandmother and aunts (they lived with her) had about 4 BIG dogs, security isn’t a concern in the country as much as in the city, but I’m 6 feet tall and those dogs came above my belly button. I didn’t know the breeds though, but they protected the live stock. And they were good at that one job, lol.

chyna's avatar

If you have livestock you will never get to go on vacation again. You will be taking care of your animals all the time. Take into consideration how much you will have to spend in vet bills. If you both work, you will be spending your entire weekend taking care of your property, mowing, weed eating, etc.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Listen to @chyna. If you have livestock, travel vacations will become a thing of the past.
Taking care of 10 acres is no easy feat. It is fine if you have the right equipment and are handy enough to keep it all running.
I spend a lot of time taking care of my 5 acres. There’s always something – but I love it.

Jude's avatar

I’d do it in a heartbeat.

JLeslie's avatar

If you are over 50 I would think long and hard before doing it. If you are under the age of 50 I say go for it. Being in a natural setting brings more tranquility to life in my experience. Seeing the animals is such a treat, we have deer all the time in our yard. But, keeping up the lawn and the land can be a chore. If you don’t have a lawn that needs weeding and watering and seeding that helps a lot. If you have a lot of trees that will lose tons of leaves that you will need to remove, it ruins the enjoyment of fall, unless you are willing to fork over money to have someone else do it.

DaphneT's avatar

Things to do and Questions to ask yourself: Have you walked the neighborhood? Have you stopped in at the new neighbors and asked them about the land and local land issues and any other questions that pop into your head? What have you done to get to know the town and the people you’ll be living among? When are the local town meetings, where are the local hang-outs, do you belong to the same church, is that the center of community life? If not, what is? What are the politics? Can you live with neighbors who are diametrically opposed to your philosophies? Are you bringing a well-to-do income into a land-rich, money-poor town? Are you building new? Will your house design complement or highlight the lack of money in the local architecture? You plan to commute to work 30 miles away, does the winter weather support that? Can your neighbors help you out if need be, to feed and water the animals, the gardens, mow the lawn, fix the siding, the roof, the gutters, the out-buildings, do you understand the plumbing and sanitation constraints, the security of your water sources? Can you live with the smell? Can you live with the growth of the city you are leaving when it grows in your direction?
My perspective: I live on a forty acre farm, 17 miles from the center of the city, the people who bought the next door acres on one side haven’t done anything to give me a good impression so I don’t want them to finish building, they are not being good neighbors. The ones on the other side have started building and have selected a design that gives them a ‘view’ of our pond and woods, lovely in the spring and summer and still not theirs, they don’t pay us for it. Now I have to plant trees to block them from that view to get them out of my view. Again, they haven’t been around to introduce themselves and are just taking advantage. Is that what you are planning? Country living isn’t about being nature lovers. It’s about being people friendly and self-sufficient, cooperative and congenial. You’ll be the new people, it’s on you to make a good impression.

JLeslie's avatar

@DaphneT I agree with being neighborly. I always make sure to get to know my neighbors. I have friends, who were my neighbors, from almost everywhere I have lived, and I have moved several times. I also think people can welcome the new neighbors to the neighborhood; It goes both ways. I don’t understand why you make it someone else’s job to do the introductions and make the first move. Either a person is neighborly or they aren’t, no matter whether you are the new person or the one who has been there for 40 years.

Is privacy the issue, is that why you want to plant the trees? Or, you just resent them having your view? No matter what, if the house was next to yours I would guess you might have a privacy issue, whether they purposely built their house for a view of your pond or not. I don’t understand caring about them partaking in the view.

hopscotchy's avatar

So many great answers and things to consider, thank you all.
@chyna the livestock will probably enter the picture much further down the line but we want to have the option, definitely good to consider that we’ll be locked in with the animals.

@Moegitto we don’t have kids yet but they’re in the plan.

@worriedguy I have the idea that we’ll maintain the area surrounding the house and leave the remaining acreage natural. Is that realistic in your experience?

@DaphneT all great considerations. We’re taking advantage of the USDA rural loans to purchase this house so we’ll probably be the poor folk in the new neighborhood. The house is lovely but definitely modest. It is surrounded by multiple different plots, all about 10 acres. Do you think it would be appropriate to knock on neighbors doors and ask them about the land before buying? I’m all for it but I don’t want to freak anyone out.

dabbler's avatar

Crazy neighbors with a meth lab & guns or constantly barking dogs ?

Yes, talk to the neighbors ! If they are freaked out by you introducing yourselves better to know that sooner than later. @DaphneT has some great points about neighbor considerations.

Cinamingrl's avatar

This time last year I was living in a very rural area of the high Sierras, moved there to find work and have a good life. But the job I’d taken didn’t work out, not enough work for me. I was about 50 miles from the nearest grocery store. And no way to find medical care if I had to. So I moved back to the city. Luckily I hadn’t burned any bridges and still had my friendships intact. And got my old job back within 1 week after coming back. I am alone, just my cat. So being so remote in the mountains as I was, it was not a good thing.
I’d say that it sounds okay as you have it planned. And your not too far from a city. so go for it.

JLeslie's avatar

@hopscotchy Are there homeowners documents or covenants for the area you are considering? Some controls on what type of house can be built, if people can keep 5 broken down cars on the front lawn, things like that?

XxBOOMxX's avatar

Are you an Oliver Douglas or a Lisa Douglas?
If you have to ask who they are, stay in the city a little longer.
AND, you don’t have to have livestock in rural America anymore than you have to like pizza in the big city…or high speed internet…or a gas station…
Me? I want concrete, the “Dome”, LSU, da Saints, Popeyes, Verizon, Walmart, Sams, horrible inconsiderate drivers, PJ’s, hospital zones, traffic, traffic, traffic, ...

Moegitto's avatar

@hopscotchy My only reason for asking about children was the proximity to a school. You know those stories the older folk say about walking 17 miles to school? It’s pretty true when you live in the country. That’s another thing you’ll have to look forward to, getting up early to drive them to school. Buuuuuuuut, you have some time for that. SO just worry about getting your home more, uhh….homey, lol.

DaphneT's avatar

Neighbors make living rural safe, enjoyable, sustainable, or not. Personally, I’m an introvert and shy. Making friends is hard, keeping them next to impossible, for me. I attribute this to distances to entertainment venues, local age and gender distribution and social status in the town I live in, as well as lack of common interests. I found out I had new neighbors after the fact and after they had done something to get some of the other neighbors backs up. The houses aren’t built so I can’t visit with plates of cookies: there is no one home yet. I can’t make them stop in to introduce themselves. It’s a small town, Of course being good neighbors goes both ways. I’m just saying you’ll have information before you commit to buying: if your potential neighbors freak out you really want to know before you move in next door.

Countrybumkin's avatar

I moved back out to the country. I belong here. Its serene. The people are polite and laid back. The cost of living has been cut in half. The well water has a metallic smell but i dont mind i kind of like it. I have to drive 10 miles to a grocery store. Corn and soy bean alternate yearly. I like the corn. Yes i absolutely love it. In the spring im going to have tomatoes, lettuce , cucumbers, strawberries. Mabe an apple tree and a pear tree. There are so many butterflies. Just peaceful. Are you taking into account the changes? The inconveniences of everything being so spread out. If that doesnt bother you, you may like it as well. I think you should it.

Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
WestRiverrat's avatar

Distances are measured differently in the country than the city. My college roomate lives in the city and it takes him 45 minutes to get to work. I live twice as far from work as he does and it only takes me 10–15 minutes. Depending on if I have to stop for coffee on the way.

He is 5 minutes from groceries and 20 from medical care, so am I, but my minutes are measured in miles while his are in blocks.

Stick to the garden the first couple years, add some chickens or rabbits if you want to try livestock. No more than half dozen chickens or 2 female rabbits the first year or two. If you don’t like raising the livestock you can butcher or sell them. If you do like raising them then you can expand. You may just prefer to put in a food plot or two for the local wildlife at the far end of your yard so you can watch the critters without having to care for them.

Nullo's avatar

If you’ve got a workable setup, do it! Sounds like a lot of fun.

Roby's avatar

Absolutly…do it . I moved to the country in an cul de sac. We have deers that walk into our yard,as well as the peaceful sound of ..NO BOOB BOEXS. lol

rooeytoo's avatar

I have lived in the middle of nowhere (literally, 250km from nearest civilization) and in Manhattan. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but if you are only 30 minutes from a city, then it seems as if you will have the best of both worlds. When we lived out, I missed being able to go to a restaurant or a movie or a museum, art gallery, grocery store after 5 in the evening and on. Of course when I lived in the city I missed the peace and solitude of the bush. I’d say give it a go, I always give things a try, if you don’t like it, you can always move back to the city and at least you would not spend the rest of your life wondering what if…..........

wilma's avatar

A lot of good advice above me.
Where will your water come from? Your own well I am assuming. Has it been checked lately? What kind of sewer system will you be using? Will it be a drain field, is it in compliance?
If you are close to a small town with a grocery store and some medical care that sounds promising, but what about a post office? school? bank? pharmacy? You probably really don’t want to have to drive 30 miles for all of those services.
Is the 10 acres farm land or woods? If it is farmland will you rent it out for production? That could add to your income if you do. If it is woods are you a hunter? Do you object to hunting? I ask because your neighbors could very likely be hunters and may hunt near your land.
What is the local governing body? A township, county or probably both. Have you checked them out, do they have anything going on that might affect you?

I live in a small town in a rural area. The folks who move here from the city who do the best are adventurous, not snobs and don’t come in and try to change everything and everyone. They want to be neighborly and friendly. They appreciate what rural living has to offer and in turn their new neighbors appreciate what new ideas they bring to the neighborhood.
I hope it the right move for you, I know that it can be a wonderful way of life.

MissAusten's avatar

We moved from suburbs to a rural area when I was a kid. My brother and I loved it. My dad had an ATV with a mower to attach to the back, and he’d mow one big chunk of land on Saturday and one on Sunday. We had 21 acres at one time, but a good bit of it was wooded and didn’t need landscaping attention. Still, it was a lot of yard work but I don’t remember it being something my parents were slaves to. Both of my parents worked full time about an hour from home.

We lived six miles outside of a small town, but our doctor, the movie theaters, malls, and other attractions were in a larger town about 45 minutes away. Our elementary school and middle school was only a couple of miles away, so the bus ride wasn’t bad. Later, in high school, I was on the bus a bit longer but nothing extreme.

For a long time we didn’t have cable or anything because we were too remote, but at some point my parents got a satellite dish. Back roads are never cleared of snow as quickly or as well as main roads, so sometimes driving was tricky. If you’re used to that, it’s not such a big deal. My parents never regretted moving out to the country. They always wanted the space and the quiet, and my dad loved being able to go fishing right in our back yard.

As a kid,it was such an ideal place. We had woods, a huge pond stocked with fish (and we had no qualms about swimming in it), a rowboat, the freedom to ride our bikes all over the place, crazy adventures on the ATV, a small town community, almost no crime, and easy access to a larger city. If you enjoy that kind of lifestyle and won’t feel bored or out of touch away from the city, then go for it. I’m sure a local vet or your neighbors will be able to suggest help with the livestock if you want to go on vacation from time to time.

You’ll just want to make sure there aren’t neighborhood or association rules against live stock. When my parents bought the land the built our house on, it was part of a division of 7 acre lots (we had 3 lots). There were no farm animals allowed. None of our neighbors had animals other than dogs and cats, which always struck me as funny because the area was called Mini Farms. It would stink to find out after buying the land that you couldn’t raise even a small number of livestock.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I live on 21 acres out in the country. It’s heaven. Livestock can also care for themselves if they have access to grass and water. I ain’t never going back to the city.

comity's avatar

Moved from living just outside of NYC to a rural area and love it! My house is surrounded by 2 acres of lawn but my husband has a sit down lawn mower that he loves and ear phones, to listen to music while mowing. Our land backs onto a state park so we’re surrounded by birds, deer,, nature at its best. Also, this is farm country and I love seeing cows, sheep, goats, etc., and the people here are lovely But, having been a city gal, I like to go to theater, concerts, lectures, etc. Ithaca is only 25 minutes away and Auburn just 30 minutes away, so that satisfies my activity lust. Will you miss the activities of a city? If you think you will, is there a place not too far away that you can visit?

comity's avatar

I noticed you are 30 miles from a big city. Is there a smaller city or town with activites that you can partake in?. Sometimes travelling to a big city is exhausting, with crowded roads, streets, no parking, etc. I found it hard to drive to NYC even though I lived in the suburbs just 35 miles north of Manhattan.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther