Living rural. Is it for everyone? Probably not but I really like it! There is lots of peace and quiet and a real sense of space and privacy. No traffic jams or crowds of people. I love hearing all the birds, seeing real living things and smelling fresh air. Backyard fires in the summer and fireplaces burning wood in the winter. Living rural could mean being in a small village or a country property. Either way there is a large sense of community which helps provide a sense of security.
As a mom of three children aged 4.5, 3 and 5 months there are definitely some things that are harder because of living here. I would never try to dissuade anyone from moving rural but if you have kids here are some things to consider.
FORGET TO BUY SOMETHING? – I can’t tell you how many times I have come home from being in town, unloaded all the kids and realized I forgot to get the milk or diapers that were at the top of my list. Two options; say ‘oh well’ (he can wear his last diaper till tomorrow can’t he?) or pack everyone up and go out to get milk (insert sigh here). Making the most of your trip into town is key and having extras of essentials really helps.
DON’T WANT TO COOK TONIGHT? – No motivation to cook? Want to order something for delivery because you need to get the kids fed? Maybe, if you’re lucky. Your options could be none, one or a few. Be sure to ask about food options and if they deliver when deciding to move. Trust me it will save you some nights!
DO YOU LIKE TO BE CONNECTED? – Do you and your kids like watching Netflix or YouTube, love downloading or just being online? Living rural can limit your options for providers and speed. Many have to rely on satellite internet that doesn’t provide speeds fast enough to watch videos (even if they advertise they do). Find out your options before you decide to buy.
CAN YOU HEAR ME? – Along with internet, cell phone reception can be poor. For the first two years of living rural I could only get reception standing at my front door or outside. But that was only if I froze still once reception was clear. Picture that with kids. Not ideal at all! Having a home phone might be a necessity. Make sure when looking at rural properties you take a look at your cell phone and see how many bars you have.
SNOW, WIND AND RAIN – The weather can have a huge impact on your day. Got a large driveway or long laneway? Make sure you plan ahead for snow removal. If your kids go to a rural school expect buses to be cancelled more often. Have large trees on your property? Make sure you have a plan on how to remove downed limbs or trees. All of this can have a huge impact on your ability to get to work and the kids to school or childcare.
THE POWERS OUT…AGAIN – This usually has to do with weather but deserves its own category. Power outages from wind downing trees or a snow/ice storm are not uncommon throughout the year. That means no furnace so you probably want to make sure you have a fireplace or woodstove. Most rural properties have wells with an electronic pump to bring water into the house. No power = no water. Hours on end of no power to make food, flush toilets, wash up etc can be tricky. But I do have to say some special moments can be created when you are all forced to sit together in front of the fire with no distractions!
WHO IS GOING TO WATCH THE KIDS? – Whether you need to find a daycare or even just a babysitter so you can go for a child-free dinner, living rural can make this harder. Unless family lives close by it can be hard to find a sitter that can come to your house, especially if they don’t drive. Most daycares and nursery schools operate in populated areas so you may have to go out of your way to find one. Definitely check out your options before you move.
YOU WANT TO DO WHAT? – Extracurricular activities and weekend boredom can guarantee you are going to have to travel. If you’re lucky you can find a soccer league that plays close by but you may be looking at a 30 minute drive to get to the closest dance class. Have a play date with someone? Chances are they don’t live near you and your outing becomes a trip. Having a vehicle for each adult in the house is a necessity when living rural.
The best thing you can do when looking to move rural or relocate is to use a local Realtor. Having one that is familiar with the area will help ensure you get the best advice and knowledge. A local Realtor will have information and advice regarding all of the above problems and be able to direct you in the right direction while providing inside information on the area. And who knows, your Realtor may even become your first new friend!