Things to consider for living in a more rural area
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    Registered User melodys's Avatar
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    Default Things to consider for living in a more rural area

    I have always lived in the suburbs, but I am considering purchasing a home in a more rural area outside my city and commuting 30-45 minutes to work. I am not familiar with the expenses that may be incurred and could use some input.

    The houses are less expensive than in the city, but my commuting costs would be higher. I do have a fuel efficient car and I can work from home one day a week. There would be a septic system that I have never dealt with before. Also, more land to take care of. I like to garden, but it would be a lot to manage. There are deer, bears and other wildlife. I am a single woman and want to be reasonable about my safety.

    What else should I be thinking about? What lifestyle issues do I need to consider? What expenses or savings could I expect from living in a more rural area?

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    Registered User Sumacaroni's Avatar
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    Heat, hot water, dryer - propane, gas, fuel oil or electric?? The difference in those is worth asking about average costs
    Septic pumping - in our area this a couple hundred every 3rd year, average life is about 20 years I think
    If there are holding tanks instead of mound/septic system - those are done as needed and can be as often as every other month, I think
    Water well and pump - testing, maintenance, potential for breakdown, how old is it? how deep is the well?
    Water quality - do you need a softener system or other treatment?
    Snow removal - how does the wind blow? drifting? if this is an issue in your climate, equipment to manage it
    Taxes can be higher with more property - check zoning and tax rate
    Garbage removal - does the taxing entity include in taxes or is it on your own, in ours we have to find and pay someone for it and it's not every week
    Driveway maintenance - we have a gravel driveway and it needs more gravel about every third year due to rain runoff and snow removal, the longer the driveway, the more concern I'd have over this

    Those are the main things I can think of for where we live and the difference between me out in the country and my brothers who all live within the city.

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    Another thing to think about is that it takes longer for police/fire/etc to show up (if they show up and if you can call 911 to get them there).

    How many LEO's are for your area? The county I live in has basically no officers. We live in the county and not in the city. If anything happens, we are on our own.

    If you are in a wooded area, maintaining a "fire ring" around your house.

    If the electricity goes out, they fix the towns/cities first and then the rural areas. You need to be prepared to be without services for a period of time. Also, if you are on a well, no power means no water.

    If you are rural, you are the warm, dry place. You are more apt to have rodents. We have five cats and I still saw a mouse run across our porch the other night. One of our cats is a mouser and doesn't eat the cat food that is offered. She is a really good hunter and provides her own meals. And, I still saw a mouse run across the porch the other night (**twitch**).

    You need to be prepared for problems. A few years ago, it snowed so much that we could only get out of our driveway with a 4x4. DH took it to work, but the boys and I were stranded at the house during the day.

    The last major snow storm (ok, major for my area) brought down a third of a cord of wood so far and we still have some storm clean-up left to do still. What if a tree falls across your driveway? Chainsaws and other tools would be needed. And, you need the skills to use them safely.

    Upkeep on the property is something to consider also. We have a little over an acre. It takes several hours to mow on "fast" with our riding lawnmower. There is the garden to maintain, the fruit trees to maintain, the berry brambles to maintain, etc. It takes a lot of time. Do you have the time/energy/gumption/desire to maintain it all?
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    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    Don't know your age, but if you are getting up there you need to consider 911 service, nearest hospital, doctors' offices, etc. A friend is currently trying to get her elderly father to move closer to or into, AT LEAST, a small town due to his medical problems.
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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    What about shopping for essentials? Grocery stores? Drug stores? Will you have to driver farther or have less choice, limiting sale possibilities? If you plan to do this after work, do you have the energy left at the end of a workday to deal with crowds at a peak time in the stores in addition to the shopping itself? With gas costs as they are, any extra driving should be factored in, even if it's not as substantial as the costs Sumacaroni mentioned.
    Donna

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    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    I would consider some flood lighting for safety. Either on motion sensor or dusk-to-dawn lighting. My parents had a huge flood light and a barking dog, both would alert them to someone being in their area. (they were out in the boonies)
    "If you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, march down there and light it yourself."

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    I live in southeast missouri way out in the country...and I have to tell you that I never gave it much thought about what I would need or how long it would take me to get somewhere or any saftey issues...I guess I just love it out here that all the other stuff didn't matter or I would just deal with it..of course I know all my neighbors and have known them all my life so I guess that makes a difference and we look out for each other..I did live in St Louis for about 4 yrs and found out that living in the city just wasn't for me the neighbors were just too close and I didn't feel safe at all...I guess I just love to walk out my back door and just see fields and woods...

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    I've pretty much always lived in a rural area. Dh and I lived in town about 5 min from downtown when we 1st married. I will take rural living anytime. When we have a ice or snow storm which is not often here in Al. we can't get down our drive. I've always felt safe here. Safer here than when we lived in town. I like to go out my door and no neighbors see me TC

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
    I've pretty much always lived in a rural area. Dh and I lived in town about 5 min from downtown when we 1st married. I will take rural living anytime. When we have a ice or snow storm which is not often here in Al. we can't get down our drive. I've always felt safe here. Safer here than when we lived in town. I like to go out my door and no neighbors see me TC
    I do have to giggle at your last comment- I can often be seen on my back deck in my pj's, putting dogs out, be it an early or late hour. No one can see except my neighbors passing down the 'common' drive the 2 of them share- they're probably used to it, and my pj's are always rated G with kids in the house!

    As for the original ?- one downside about living in the country- if you run out of something, you either have to drive a ways to get it (wasting precious gas) or pay 2-3xs as much for the item at the nearest convenience store. So even if you can get things on your way to/from work, you have to get used to planning to make sure you don't 'run out' of milk/dog food/diapers whatever on days you WONT be driving by the store- or pay through the nose!


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    We were looking into doing exactly what you are thinking of. We were considering building a house. Then the bad economy hit and we changed our minds. Gas alone was a big problem. My db and dsil do live out in the country. We love it out there. The 2 big things I see were the propane gas cost and taking care of the property. My db and dsil work all weekend on their lawn. I don't know much about the septic system, but others have posted. You would have no water bill; but I don't know how that would even out. Even years later I would still be concerned about the propane and taking care of the property in the summer.

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    Home owner's insurance may be higher due to your distance from a fire station. You may also have to pay a yearly fee for fire protection.

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    Registered User melodys's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful replies. You have given me food for thought and questions to ask as I house hunt.

    Some things apply to this area and others do not, but they are all good to think about.

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    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by savvy_sniper View Post
    Don't know your age, but if you are getting up there you need to consider 911 service, nearest hospital, doctors' offices, etc. A friend is currently trying to get her elderly father to move closer to or into, AT LEAST, a small town due to his medical problems.
    There was a time when I lived the rural on 17 acres. I loved the life. But now...to do it again...what mary said. With hubbys health...couldn't do it. Still dream of it but couldn't do it if we wanted. Winter in and out...up and down a hill. Curvy roads and up a "holler". Water freezing. Can't get to work.

    But there was a time.
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    Registered User BlissMommy's Avatar
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    Hubby and I are considering the same thing, but our small town isn't too far from the rural area we are thinking of.

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    While the rest of these posts are good, I would first and foremost suggest you stop at night and look at the stars.

    I occasionally miss where I grew up in Kansas, because we had such amazing views of the stars. Whenever a storm was coming into our area, I would go to a (small) hill, and watch the lightning rolling across the whole horizon.

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