Intro to Country Living
Country Site Map
Main Site Map
A Look at Some of the Pros and Cons of Country Living
For part of my growing up years, I lived with my parents on a wooded lot where my parents still live, but most of my living experience has been in situations where there were houses very close to one another. In fact, I've lived in houses on such tiny lots, that you could hold a conversation with your neighbor if you both your houses happened to have windows located across from one another. Now, living in the country on 80 acres with 1000's of acres of open land all around has been quite a change! For me, it's been a big change for the better, but others may feel differently about that. If you like to live in the city or suburbs, then that's fine too. Each person has to make their own choices and then live with the pros and cons of those decisions. Some people enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life. Not me! They enjoy all the entertainment that is easily accessible to them. They like being able to go a short distance to the store. They are close to many of the conveniences of modern living. If they don't feel like cooking, then they can hop in the car and drive a short distance to a wide selection of nearby restaurants. If they don't like driving, then they can use public transportation to go places. I'm sure that people that love city life can list out many other benefits.
Country Living - Our Place in the Wide Open Spaces
Now, obviously I am a bit biased in favor of country living, because it's where I choose to live! The place I live now is the best place that I've ever lived. BY FAR! I know that there can also be benefits of living near (or in) the city. It can be more convenient to be able to quickly drive to the nearby store to get something. If that store doesn't have what you need, then there can be many other options to choose from a short distance away. Of course, a short distance away doesn't always mean a "short drive". For those that have been stuck in rush hour traffic in heavily populated areas, you know what I mean. You might not be far away from where you want to go, but you might not be able to get there quickly if you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic! Sure, I know that there are "benefits" to city living. They can have it! It's not for me! Give me the country anytime! Below I've compiled a list of some of the PROS and CONS of country living based on my own personal experiences.
SOME OF THE PROS AND CONS OF COUNTRY LIVING
Another thing that I don't miss about living in or near town are the Home Owner Associations (HOA) and the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R). I understand the need to protect the value of the homes in a housing development, so you don't have some hillbilly setting up a junkyard complete with clunker cars sitting up on blocks in the front yard. Or, the wacky homeowner that decides to paint his house in a camo color scheme, or worse yet... hot pink! I've lived in parts of the country where pink and pastels are actually the "in" colors. I understand pink is a cute color... maybe for something like women's apparel, but NOT a house for goodness sake! Oh well, that's just my personal opinion. Anyway, I understand the need to protect the value of other homes in close proximity, but my experience with HOA's and CC&R's are that sometimes they go too far. As if we need more regulations and intervention in our country. It's bad enough already. Unfortunately, it's not just in town where CC&R's can affect your ability to choose how to live. Years ago, I had purchased some acreage in the mountains where I had hoped to build a home some day and start the country living adventure. Good thing I didn't because I don't think I'd really want to live there! The area has CC&R's and they were very restrictive. I should have figured that out before I bought the property, but I didn't. You couldn't have a garden, you could only have certain plants, you could not cut a tree on your property unless you had permission, and on and on. The CC&R was a massive catalog of do's and don't. It was way too restrictive. It's like you had to get permission to eat beans, because you might pass gas and upset the air quality in the area!
And on top of all that, after we first bought the property, my family went camping up there a few times. Once when we got up there, a neighbor was building a big wooden fence. Only problem was that it was WAY over the line and on our property like 10-15 feet. I talked with the neighbor about it and he was very confrontational. He accused me of moving the surveyor pins. He said, "I've lived here for XX years and I know where the property lines are supposed to be. After you bought the land, you moved the surveyor pins. I know where they used to be, and you moved them." Of course, I would never do such a thing. I suggested that we get a surveyor to resurvey the property (and split the cost), so that we could both know where the right property line was located. His response was that I could do whatever I wanted, but he was not going to pay for anything because he knew he was right. So, to get him to stop stealing our property, I had to hire a surveyor to come out and resurvey to property lines. Of course, the correct property lines were exactly where they surveyor pins were placed. Nothing had changed. I had to pay for the surveyor just to prove that the jerk neighbor was wrong. Thankfully, I got laid off from my job shortly after this! I say "thankfully", because then we needed to sell the property in order to get the money out of it. I was later thankful that we never had a chance to build with the restrictive CC&R's and such a lousy neighbor! Be no fun living next to someone like that! Not the kind of country living I was looking for at all! All this to say, make sure you understand what sort of restrictions might be placed on you if you move to the country.
Enough about CC&R's and bad neighbors... back to the topic of country living. Personally, I really like the outdoors. I understand that not everyone cares for the outdoors in the same way. Some people might prefer to sit in front of the TV or play video games for hours on end. If that is the case, then country living will probably not be appealing to that type of person. It is possible to be a couch potato while living in the country as well, but personally I have found that I am in the best shape of my life since living out here. We take frequent hikes, there is manual labor that needs to be done around the farm, and many outdoor activities that help keep the body active and in shape. That's why for me country living has led to a healthier lifestyle. Of course, as I shared in the section about raising cattle, I was careless while using some chemicals around the farm and managed to get myself sick for awhile. Now, that was not the fault of country living, but rather it was just good ole' fashioned stupidity on my part.
Lots of Wide Open Space to Explore
In my opinion, the country is also a great place to raise a family. There are so many things for children to do, experience, and learn while living in the country. I also happen to think that it's a great place for adults too! I can still remember when we first moved to the small farm where we now live. One of the first times that we took a walk on our property, the kids were so excited. They found animal bones, old bullet cases from hunters of years gone by, and many different special rocks. All these simple little things were real treasures to them, because they never found things like this before. When you have a tiny backyard, there is only so much that you can discover and do in such a small space. Sure, it's easy to take things for granted, and I'm sure that my kids don't really fully appreciate where they live now. That's human nature. Oftentimes, we just don't fully appreciate something until it is gone. I trust that some day when they grow up, then they will think back with fond memories and appreciate more of what they had while living in the country. Personally, I've lived in a enough different places to know that where we live now is special. There is so much more for me and my family to do out here than living on a small city lot.
When we first moved here, I was not thinking about this particular aspect so much, but the way things are going these days with the economic situation in our country, it would not be surprising to see an increase in civil unrest and crime. It's already happening in some places around the country (usually in the cities). It's happening in other places around the world. When things get difficult, then it is common for certain people of low character to lash out and try to seize what they want by force. Flash mobs, gangs, and increases in violent crimes can naturally follow. During times like this, I believe that living in the
country can be a safer place to be. Away from the big cities and the crowds that can breed rioting, looting, and civil unrest. Of course, there can be violent crime out in the country too. Where we live, there are gangs in the surrounding areas and drug operations. There are bad people everywhere, and you just can't entirely get away from it in this world. I'm just talking about generally speaking, I believe that living in the country is safer in many ways. When you are surrounding by a large number of people within a relatively small area, then you are just increasing the concentration of those rotten people that can cause trouble for others. I could on and on about my personal preferences in country living. If you were also not born living in the country, but you really think that you might like it, then there's only one way to find out for sure. Try it out! I have no regrets!