City-bound but craving some country living? For many the thought of escaping the hustle and bustle of the urban core and moving to a rustic rural retreat offers more than its share of appeal. But moving to the country isn’t the sort of step one should take without thinking about all of its advantages and potential disadvantages well in advance.
Vancouver Island is blessed with a diverse range of different home and property styles. Acreage, both undeveloped bare land and developed agricultural properties, are available in all of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s (VIREB) different regions. Always check with your local REALTOR® to see what properties are available that might match your country living vision.
The rural lifestyle has a lot going for it. Typically the price paid for a home in the city can purchase a nice piece of property in the country. Plus there are the intangible benefits such as peace and quiet (no traffic noise), clean air, rustic landscapes, lower levels of crime, and no neighbors yelling on the other side of the apartment wall.
But there are also some things to think about that might not have occurred when you first had that Green Acres moment (for those old enough to remember the vintage TV show). If you’re not retired, but having to go to work every day, then the extended commute to and from your pastoral dream home might become a little much after a while. That winding country road leading to your property (if you’re way off in the hinterland) might be shared with adjacent property owners in the form of an exceptionally long driveway. In a case like that the costs involved in fixing potholes or plowing snow would have to be shouldered by the various users, which would include you.
Also, for those accustomed to the luxuries of city living, suddenly dealing with well water that could be in short supply at certain times of the year, or malodorous all of the time, might take a little getting used to. Another urban service usually taken for granted is an efficient and functioning sewer system. Most country properties are on a septic system, and unless you’re building your dream home from scratch, you have no real idea how well the system has been installed or maintained.
Other points to consider for the urban dweller thinking about moving to the country are such mundane things as trash collection, mail delivery, newspaper deliveries and snow removal and plowing (which can be an issue on Vancouver Island in some years). Another downside to living off the beaten path is what happens if the power fails? In a storm rural customers may be among the last to have electrical power restored. You might want to consider purchasing a back up electrical generator for those times, if you settle on a country home.
Another thing you might think about before packing your bags are the people in your prospective neighborhood. Just because you’ve moved to the country that doesn’t mean you won’t have neighbors. True, the days of having to suffer through your neighbor’s stereo blasting through your walls may be gone, but that doesn’t mean the actions of your neighbor’s won’t trouble you.
For example, in the country, land may be used for such non-urban activities as hunting, raising livestock, grazing cattle, and agriculture. The dream of a quiet rural setting could be abruptly punctuated by gunshots, roaming livestock, or farm machinery working in the fields at the crack of dawn. Let’s also remember the barnyard aroma of manure and freshly fertilized fields which could become part of your new lifestyle.
So while it may be removed from the challenges of city life, country living offers its own unique set of issues and rewards. Preplanning and a truthful consideration of all of the pluses or minuses of your rural concept is a must, before you ever begin the search for your rural dream home. The best course of action, once you have decided that country living is for you, is to contact your Realty Executives real estate professional and begin the search for that perfect property. If you’re serious, your REALTOR® has access to the latest listings and can help you find the property that most closely matches your needs and budget.