Close your eyes and think about living in the countryside. You can already envision the picturesque farm fields dotted with cows and hay bales. It’s a place where people slow down and wave at you as they drive past; a throwback to an earlier time before rush-hour commuting and light pollution were the norm. You can practically smell the lilacs blooming, the hint of wood smoke drifting on the air and—is that manure?
Buying a rural property isn’t all chicken coops, home-grown food and country charm. Before you head for the hills seeking a more pastoral life than the city or suburbs can provide, make sure you think through the challenges of buying a country home.
For example, if you’re eyeing a property, comparing homeowners insurance quotes can help you figure out how your premium might change. You’ll want to consider extra structures (sheds, detached garages, barns, etc.) and risks when you shop around.
One bright side is that you’ll likely save money from the utter lack of lifestyle inflation found in the country. As one Forbes contributor writes, “No one who lives down a gravel road wants to own a BMW. As long as I’ve lived here, I’ve never met ‘the Joneses,’ so there’s zero compulsion to try to keep up with them.”
That being said, here are four potential challenges of country livin’ to consider:
Water Safety 101
In the city, you turn on the faucet and water comes out. Sure, you may want to add a filter if you’re worried about lead pipes, but it’s a relatively straightforward process. In the country, you’ll have to figure out where your water comes from and, if it comes from a private well, get it tested for drinkability and usability. Be aware that there could be chemicals from farming runoff present, as well as any number of minerals.
Are You on the Grid?
Electricity is something we mostly take for granted. If you live in the country, you’ll likely appreciate it even more, especially if your home loses power for an extended period following a storm. As HGTV points out, one fallen power line could leave you without electricity for days or weeks. You’ll need a back-up power generator at the very minimum.
Snow can be beautiful when it’s falling down over a country landscape. But the next morning when you need to drive to work or replenish your groceries…not so much. Before you move to the country, make sure you figure out who plows your roads and how quickly they typically respond after a flurry. If your road is private, you will have to shoulder part or all of the maintenance costs. Of course, one nice thing about the country is that you may be able to pay your neighbor with a pickup truck to plow your driveway for a small fee.
Emergency services in the country may be spotty or slow to respond. There may be a gap between the time that you experience a health or home emergency and when help arrives. Before you seal the deal on a property, map out the nearest hospitals, fire stations and police stations. And make sure your health insurance will cover healthcare facilities within realistic driving distance!
For all the upsides of heading for greener pastures, there will always be challenges to living in the country. If you’re considering buying rural property soon, do your research. Start by comparing homeowners insurance quotes with CoverHound today.