Many Americans living in metropolitan areas are feeling the crunch of the economy. The job pool is overflowing with qualified candidates so it’s extremely challenging for people who have been unemployed long term to find a job.
The housing crisis also adds to the woes of would be workers waiting on jobs to open up. Because more people are renting than before rent rates are on the rise while availability is declining especially in urban neighborhoods.
These were some of the situations my fiancé and I were facing when deciding whether or not to renew the lease of our 2br apartment in a high rise in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The rent was going up to compete with a new complex being built nearby. My fiancé had yet to find work after being laid off from his position as a certified electrician and we were stretching our monthly means already so staying didn’t seem like an option.
We looked all over the 7 cities to see what we could afford. The few places we found available weren’t in school districts I would consider satisfactory for my children’s education or neighborhoods I would consider safe to walk on the streets. We felt stuck in the situation until we decided to go Green Acres and make the move out of town and into the country.
As a hands on kind of guy in a do it yourself kind of town my fiancé has ample employment opportunities and I work from home so my commute is minimal but there are people that drive over an hour a day each way from the boonies back into town just to help keep living costs down.
Here are a couple things that you should factor into consideration when deciding if country living is for you or if it "ain’t."
- Bigger houses are better except when it comes to heating and cooling bills.
- You have to haul your own trash so stop buying stuff based on packaging and individually wrapped items.
- If the roads are nicer it’s because gas is more expensive.
- The closest branch of your bank might be over 30 minutes away.
- Having a yard means having yard work and buying the tools to do it.
- In general groceries are more expensive (but there are alternatives like local farms or planting a garden as well).
It’s kind of a culture shock. We stick out as city folk the same way tourists stood out around our apartment. For the most part though people are friendlier, drivers are more courteous and the whole family sleeps better after a full day of fresh air and gazing up at stars we can actually see.
What do you think? Is country living for you? Have you thought about leaving the city? Let me know in the comments.