Buying rural or urban? Know the differences

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The decision to move is a very personal choice that is typically reached after considering a number of variables. Career opportunities, a better climate, superior schools or a desire to be closer to family compel millions of people to move each year, and those factors underscore how unique each individual move can be.

Steinway Moving & Storage contends that the average American moves 11.7 times. No move is a small undertaking, and when such a move involves relocating to an entirely new setting, there are some things buyers should know. Here are some differences between purchasing a home in a rural or urban location.


A vibrant lifestyle and proximity to employment draws many people to urban living. Home prices tend to be higher in cities than in other areas, and the cost of living in urban areas tends to be more expensive due to the conveniences associated with city life. Buyers may expect to pay more for contractors, food and transportation. Property taxes are another consideration for urban buyers. Taxes tend to be higher in urban neighborhoods than rural locales.

Proximity to nightlife and restaurants attracts many people to live in cities. Urban buyers need to expect more congestion in cities than in rural areas. Having a car in the city may be a luxury instead of a necessity. In fact, many urban dwellers opt for public transportation rather than paying for parking or trying to find spots.

Noise may be another thing to think about. More people living closer together brings more noise and artificial light. Nature lovers may have to sacrifice proximity to wildlife and access to star-filled skies if they choose to live in cities.


Being able to spread out and enjoy private property is a major advantage of living in the country. Rural living comes with much larger home footprints at more affordable prices.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario says that potential buyers will need to account for distance to jobs and stores when opting to live in rural areas. Commute times can eat into fuel budgets. Those who work from home may need to investigate if there is reliable internet service where a home is located, as some rural locales still have spotty mobile service and internet coverage.

Additional things to think about involve the maintenance on the home and utilities. Some rural homes are not connected to municipal water systems. That requires usage of well water and having to do one’s own water testing. It’s also key to have a septic system tested to ensure it is in good working order. Rural residents may need to grow accustomed to slower repair times should electricity go out, so a backup generator might be necessary. Also, snow removal may fall on the homeowner, so buyers should look closely at driveway size and road access before buying.

Nature and vast starry skies draw some to live in rural areas. Sitting outdoors enjoying the sounds and smells of nature can be intoxicating. But homeowners must consider that insects and animals may be frequent companions in these areas. Those accustomed to urban living may be unacquainted with animals living so close to their homes.

Both rural and urban areas can be great places to live. Individuals should consider the pros and cons of each before buying a new home.

(We here at Country Culture are obviously in favor of rural living.)

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