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Are You Ready to Leave the Crowded City and Move to the Country?

If you are tired of crime, smog, traffic, never having time to enjoy yourself, high real estate prices and living like a dog in a kennel, then moving to the country maybe for you.

The Allure of Rural Living:

I grew up in Southern California living in the then pristine small surf towns of Laguna Beach and Seal Beach. The small town lifestyle of sleepy surf towns quickly changed as Southern California became a hot-spot to live. Soon, traffic jams, smog, polluted beaches and cramped housing conditions became the norm. For me that was when I decided to get out of town, so to speak and head for small town America. Having been a mild climate person most of my life, the decision to move to a 4-season climate area was one that I actually sought and to this day I love. My story is not unlike many urbanites that have chosen to leave the metropolitan  mess for a less stressful life. Or there are those who start their lives as urbanites that end up relocating to theElgin Opera House, Elgin Oregon countryside, after a relaxing vacation to a small pristine rural town or a visit to a relative who lives in rural America.  A drive through these small picturesque towns where everyone waves and kids still ride their bikes down Main Street, makes us all wonder why we haven’t moved out of the city sooner.

Money, lifestyle, kids, school systems, friends, careers, shopping and cultural activities are the key points that need to be considered carefully before making the big move from the city to the country. Despite the obstacles, more and more people are deciding in favor of rural living and their reasons include:

  • less crime in rural areas
  • less traffic and virtually no traffic jams in rural areas other than the occasional farmer moving his herd of sheep or cattle across the road
  • rural areas offer less expensive housing than cities
  • better outdoor recreation opportunities: Fly Fishing, Hunting, Bird Watching, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Gardening, Hiking, Backpacking Mountain Biking,
  • rural towns overall have cleaner air than metropolitan areas
  • individuals that live in rural areas and small towns are typically healthier
  • rural living is less stressful than living in a large city
  • rural areas typically have cleaner water
  • living in the country offers a more relaxed lifestyle
  • rural areas and small towns are great places for raising a family
  • living in a small town or rural area gives people a sense of belonging

Do Your Research Before You Take the Plunge to Move:

Fight the urge to jump forward with your new life; meaning don’t give notice at your job and put your home

up for sale yet! You probably couldn’t overdo the research when deciding on leaving the city to move to the country when it comes to important issues such as a new career or a new home. One of the best and least expensive ways to get to know an area is to subscribe to the local paper and a larger regional paper in the area. Before you make the final decision to move try to visit the area several times in several different seasons to get a real feel for the rural area.

If you don’t have a destination in mind, there are many rating guides that use a variety of criteria — population diversity, recreation opportunities, access to health care, etc. Also the internet is a valuable source to begin searching out real estate listings or to find a real estate agent in the area you are looking at.  

If cultural activities, shopping and great restaurants are your passion, look for a rural town within easy driving distance to a larger community. At Farm Fresh Living our farm, Stargazer Perennials is 16 miles north of La Grande, Oregon a town of 13,000 people and 50 miles south of Walla Walla, Washington with a population of 30,000. Walla Walla, Washington is the newest wine destination in the United States with over 100 wineries, great shopping and excellent restaurants. For us, the distance is perfect! We live in a town of 120 people but in 1 ½ hours we can be in a thriving downtown with a superior symphony and great shopping!

The level of involvement in whatever rural community you move to is up to you. Individuals raised in rural farming areas tend to have more respect for privacy than urbanites and despite the popular myth that everyone in a small town knows what everyone is doing, that depends entirely on how much you want people to know!

Can You Afford to Move?
So if rural life still appeals to you, consider the economics. Can you afford the move? What will you do for a living? If you own property in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago or other hot real estate markets, chances are you’re equity rich and would be able to own a similar size home on more land for less money. The cost of living is generally lower in small towns, and, since there are fewer shopping and entertainment opportunities, you’ll probably spend less.

One of the best career opportunities, and one of the reasons for the rural renaissance, is telecommuting. People aren’t tied to a place anymore; more people are working at home in their pajamas. Top telecommuting professions include: accountants, lawyers, stockbrokers, consultants, grant writers, internet business owners and software developers. Also don’t discount your current position, if you currently work for a large corporation you maybe able to still keep your current position and telecommute.

Are You an Entrepreneurial Type?
Entrepreneurial types may consider starting a small business or buying into one. Stargazer Perennials, the farm of Farm Fresh Living started as a locally based sustainable plant nursery that has since expanded into a successful family of companies that include an online plant nursery, online Fly Fishing Store, local farm stand and agritourism destination. Whatever your talents or interests, there’s a small business for you. Bed and breakfasts are a top choice for many former urbanites as are recreational guide businesses. The entrepreneurial opportunities are only limited by your imagination and the market. If you are thinking of starting an online web business, we recommend High Mountain Domains our internet website hosting, domain service and website building program; that even a beginner can use and learn in one evening.

Remember though if you do decide to move to the country show respect for the land, and the residents that were there before you. Embrace your new life rather than trying to recreate the life you came from, and you will be much happier in the end.