Should I move to the country from the Big Apple?

Should I leave the city and move to the country?

Modern homesteading is not for everyone.  Every day when you commute for your job you can hear complaints. At least one fellow commuter will be mad about the ferry service. Or they’ll be nervous about power bills or the roads on a local mountain.  Or the weather.  Did you really think through your move to the country? Leaving any big city is a major change, and Big Apple makes an even bigger impact. A move to the country and out of NYC could be a huge culture shock for those of you who are new to this idea.

Don’t worry, it is all about preparation.  Make sure you analyse what you’re getting into with a rural environment.  Add a new property in the countryside to the mix. Be really honest with yourself.  That’s how you’ll avoid major mistakes. 

Here are a few things to go through before your big move to the country:

  • Income – What will you do for income? Are you going to commute to your job?  Will you work part-time from home?  Maybe you’ll make this change an opportunity to finally commit to your online business?  How much income will you need to live in a village full time?  Check our amazing tips on how to cut NYC moving costs, to see how you can organise for the best moving experience. Unless you’re independently wealthy – then you can jump to #4.
A small ferry and a dock: it is possible after a move to the country. Are you up for it?
A move to the country could mean a long commute. Are you up for it?
  • Commuting – How long your route to work is? Is it worth it, when you calculate invested time and money?  If you have a 45-minute long ferry ride, plus a half hour or more of waiting for the ferry to and from and another 2 hours on the bus… Every day? Impossible, right? Don’t worry, moving cross country has never been easier with our moving experts and these practical tips. You have to count all those things before committing to your rural dream. Maybe you can work from home full time? Yay for you, so let’s look at the next step.

Move to the country is only worth it if you can work from home.

  • Working from Home – Trust us on this, if you can work from home, it’s a lifesaver. Do you have designated office space on top of that commodity? Oh, lucky you. You’ll definitely need a reliable high-speed internet service available in the area. Be sure you are not easily distracted by all the jobs that need doing around your countryside home. It’s so easy to put that assignment aside when the garden needs tending or the chickens are getting lost. Working from home requires a high level of discipline, which is something people often forget.

When you move to the country you have to think wider:

  • Water Supply This one is crucial – do you have access to municipal water or you have your own water supply? If you are planning on drilling a well, or you have a creek or a lake, you’ll have to have it tested by a lab. Think of pesticide residues, rocket fuel, arsenic, even poop.  Yes, chemical spills.  Always have well water tested at a reputable lab, and the water supply source confirmed.  Your local municipality or county extension office should have testing resources available, or at least be able to point you in the right direction.  
Yellow stone lake
Water source needs to be lab tested from time to time in this day and age.
  • Emergency Services – How far away is a trauma centre should you need it?  How long would an ambulance take to get to your house?  Are local doctors taking new patients?  Remember that you move to the country requires a high level of awareness a knowledge when it comes to your health. A lot of the times you’ll have to do everything yourself, the old school way.
  • Isolation – If you thrive with lots of people and activity around you, then you’re probably not even reading this article. You should never consider a move to the country. But if you enjoy the quiet and are comfortable being a bit isolated, you’ll do just fine. Be prepared for anything with our advice on how to find the best NYC movers for your unique needs. We’ll find the most affordable and effective options to help maximize your new homesteading experience.

When you live in the countryside, everything affects you:

  • Weather and Road Maintenance – This is possibly the last thing you want to think about. However, the road servicing near your property also has to be maintained. It is not the same as in the Big Apple, where you’re all set all the time. In the country, roads are taken care of by the local government or a private contractor. When you move to the country, check the official priority for road clearing in winter or after storms, trust us on this one. Your road is probably quite remote and not a critical route. A tiny little (forget electric) car is not so smart for the country, not mention the snow. You need to find a healthy balance if you’re not willing to impact the environment by driving a truck.
Country gravel road
Fact is, your road is not the main route, therefore will require local maintenance.
  • Electrical Outages – Does the power often go out in the area? Is your new property on a priority trunk?  You’ll need to know how to fix and maintain your systems when you move to the country. So you see, transferring utilities to your rural home will be a bit more complex. Also, make sure you have emergency numbers on who to call in case you need help.

If you want to move to the country, know your surroundings:

  • Natural or Industrial Hazards If property sits on a floodplain (near a river), at the bottom of a hill, or near a mill, you should take precautions. All of these things determine the potential for catastrophe.  Get your insurance if available.  Don’t be one of those people whose life savings get destroyed by a flood. The beauty of the property is not worth it. Same goes for industrial facilities, present and past.  There are thousands of old industrial spill sites that remain contaminated after decades.  Make sure you do your thorough investigation of your potential new property.
Warning sign: landslide
Landslides are common, so don’t be seduced just by the beauty of the site. Do your research.
  • Zoning, Planning & Services – Is there an official community plan of your area? You don’t want to move to the country only to have an industrial or residential development ruin the scenery. Are there plans for upgrading water or sewer systems?  Is there a garbage collection?  Ask questions before you move to the country, and be prepared for the answers you get.

There is a lot of self-reflection you need to do before changing your lifestyle, but our tips should help you get some clarity. If the rural environment is for you, the rewards are fantastic. If not, then grab a cocktail and keep enjoying the city. 

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