With the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest in major cities around the country, there seems to be a shift among Americans toward a more rural lifestyle.
The benefits of rural living include the simple fact that you would have more space. Less population density can mean less of a risk of being infected with COVID-19. Big cities like New York have also put an indefinite hiatus on cultural events like shows and concerts, leaving many wondering if it’s worth it to stay in a big city and have a small living space at a high price premium.
Rural living can come with a lot of benefits, but there are considerations to keep in mind before you leap, including the following.
If you live in a rural area, a consideration that you have to weigh heavily is how you’ll get medical care.
For routine care and chronic disease management, you may have to travel. There are expanding options thanks to telemedicine, which has grown during the pandemic.
What about emergencies, though?
There are 2.5 million people who visit emergency rooms each year just for brain injuries.
If you or someone in your family experienced an emergency, you might have to drive an hour or more to the nearest hospital.
If you move to a rural area, the best thing you can do, along with planning for a potential emergency, is to do your best to stay safe and healthy.
This means being careful in vehicles and on equipment, eating well and exercising, and avoiding excessive alcohol. You should also be careful of prescription medicines, avoid tobacco use, and make sure you get regular health screenings when possible.
Living far from the rest of civilization can at times seem appealing, but if you’re actually contemplating a move, you do need to think about the community itself.
Living near an active, thriving, and connected community can eliminate some of the downsides of rural living.
What types of cafes and restaurants are nearby? Do the members of the community frequently get together? Will you have a connection with other people.
Some people do well spending most of their time alone, but most of us don’t, at least not all the time.
One reason that more urban dwellers are opting to move to the country is that they can do so much from home that wasn’t possible even just ten years ago.
For example, you no longer need to go to an office to work in many cases. You may not need to go to a bank, and you can buy a lot of the items you need online and have them delivered to you, even if you are in a rural location.
With that comes the need for good, reliable internet, however.
A lot of people from urban areas are surprised to find out that internet speeds aren’t that fast, and service isn’t that reliable in some areas of the country.
If you’re going to be working from home and depending on your internet access, check on this before you make a move.
According to the FCC, around 97% of people in urban areas in the U.S have broadband internet access, compared to only 65% in rural areas.
Right now, many students throughout the country are learning online anyway due to coronavirus, but education is still something to consider.
If you’re going to homeschool after moving to a more rural area, you don’t have to worry about this. If you have children who are going to be attending school, you’ll need to compare the quality of education.
Some rural schools get high marks and others, not so much.
Buying a Home
If you buy a home in a rural area, there’s a high likelihood it will be an older property, and it may need some work. Sometimes rural homes need drastic overhauls even to make them livable.
As you make a homebuying decision, you’ll have to think about things such as whether or not the home is a good investment.
You’ll also need to consider if there are tradespeople around the area who can help you with the home projects that need to be done. You may be very limited in who can do work and how much time they have available. You may also be limited in sourcing materials.
These are just a few of the many things you have to keep in mind with a rural move. Just like anything else, though, being prepared can help you avoid potential hurdles if this is the right decision for your family.