There are many advantages to raising your family in the country where kids have plenty of room to play and keep animals. If you choose country living near a big city, you'll have access to the best of both worlds. However, it can be tricky to adjust to country life, especially if you are used to city living. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering your move.
Access To The City
If you plan to work in the city, or if your kids will go to school in the city, then it's nice to have easy access on a nearby interstate. While you probably don't want to live too close to a major highway, you may want a house within a short drive. Just be sure to consider the roads leading from your home to the main highway too. In the event of a big snow or major storm that knocks down trees, secondary roads will be lower in priority than major highways. That means you might have to rely on a neighbor with a tractor to clear your area so you can get to work on time. At the very least, if you plan to buy a home on a deep lot that has a long private road or driveway, you may want to invest in a lawn tractor with a snow blade so you won't get shut off from the main roads when it snows.
Availability Of Municipal Utilities
Another thing to consider about your country home is whether it will connect to public utilities. If you're near a big city, you won't have to worry about electricity, but you may need a well for water and a septic tank for sewage. Both of these need proper maintenance to function properly. Repairs can be costly, so you'll need to understand how these systems work so you can avoid problems that drain your savings. Also, even though you'll be connected to the electrical grid, if there is a power failure, your area may be among the last to have power restored. The power company typically prioritizes work that affects the greatest number of customers, so rural areas may take longer to have power restored. If you have small children, you may want to invest in a generator as a backup power source in case you ever need it. Trash is another consideration. Since there may not be trash pickup in the country, you may have to burn your trash or haul it to the dump yourself.
Ability To Maintain The Property
While it may be your dream to live on a few acres surrounded by rolling hills and leafy trees, don't forget to be realistic about how well you can take care of the property. If you have to spend time commuting to work each day, you may want weekends to relax and enjoy your property rather than spend it mowing a large yard and maintaining your fences, barn, or driveway. The larger your property, the more work it will require to keep it in shape. If you plan to have chickens, goats, or horses, your dream of country living could turn into more work than you can handle, especially if you have kids who participate in school activities in the city.
The better prepared you are for your transition to the country life, the easier it will go for you. Preparation will save you from costly mistakes like letting your pipes freeze in the winter or forgetting to pump your septic tank. However, even if you have to undergo a steep learning curve, you'll probably think it is all worthwhile. When you live in the country, you have more privacy as well as freedom to do what you want on your land.