Having lived in rural and suburban America, I have learned to appreciate some of the finer details of living away from larger metropolitan areas’ hustle and bustle. According to the US Census, 80% of the U.S. population lives in a city or an urban area just outside a city.
Many people have never experienced what it’s like to live out in the country or the woods on several acres of their own land.
Reasons for living out and away in the boonies on your own land include:
- Fewer neighbors, but friendlier,
- Less time stuck in congested traffic,
- Lower vehicle expenses, i.e.., insurance and smog control fees,
- More stars to be seen at night.
This is just to mention a few of the advantages with many others to know about.
For some, what is said in this article may not resonate because they’re very content and happy living in a city or larger populated area. We have done both, and here are some of the advantages we discovered having property in a rural or remote location.
No longer having neighbors so close to each other. Sometimes you can have great neighbors in urban areas who are considerate, kind, and helpful. However, when you’re living in a large neighborhood, it’s impossible to have all good neighbors.
This can be true no matter where you live, but when living rural or remote, at least those neighbors are much further away. In many cases, you can’t even see your neighbors because of the distance, rolling hills, or there are so many trees in the forest.
No more door-to-door salespeople. More populated neighborhoods bring people who think they have a product or products that you need. Even though you did not contact them or invite them to stop by, let alone ever heard of the product they’re pushing.
No more HOAs. This is an abbreviation for the Home Owners Association, a body of homeowners who organize a little domain to collect dues and create rules. Fortunately, I never fell into this trap, but I know many who have and regret it.
Not having to deal with crowded spaces. Crowded spaces due to the population of people. Having to wait in line just about anywhere you go, from the movies to the grocery store and restaurants.
Lower crime rates. With less population, there’s less concern about the criminal element. Believe it or not, there are still a few areas where doors are not locked, and people feel safe. If you live on your own acreage out and away, there’s even less chance of crime.
Less Noise Pollution. With fewer people around, there will be less noise to be heard.
When I would stop and listen, I realized just how much noise there is in a densely populated area. Motors revving, dogs barking, kids yelling, construction sounds, horns honking, and trucks backing up.
On my property, when I stop and listen, I hear the wind in the trees, squirrels chattering, birds singing, a hawk screeching, or a distance rooster a neighbor has.
Often I’ll hear a tom turkey gobbling as he calls for his mate; occasionally, I can hear a vehicle off in the distance on the county dirt road, or maybe an airplane flying overhead.
Less Traffic and Auto Expense
No more dealing with the commute or heavy traffic. Typically, unless you’re living rural outside of a larger metropolitan area, you have less traffic to deal with.
Away from such areas, there are little to no traffic delays. A rush hour is more like five to fifteen minutes when everyone is done working for the day.
Or, on the highway, you might get behind a truck or farm vehicle that’s driving slower than the designated speed limit.
Lower auto insurance premiums. When living in a more congested area, there’s a higher risk of having an accident. I saw a 30% increase in my auto insurance premiums when I moved into a more populated area.
In a rural or remote area there’s a couple of things that should reduce auto insurance.
- Less driving of a vehicle. When living away from it all, yes, you may drive further to get to a store, but it’ll most likely be less often.
- Less traffic and congestion. In most cases, if you do have to go into town, it’s a smaller community with a lot fewer people, which means there are fewer vehicles on the road.
No more smog control on vehicles and the extra fees it brings. This, of course, is only in larger populated cities and their surrounding areas. This is a requirement each time you register a vehicle.
Typically sit in line and wait for a tech to plug in your vehicle to a computer that reads the vehicle’s onboard computer to determine if there are any failed or not ready sensors.
Fewer Restrictions and Regulations
Potentially the ability to shoot your guns anytime you want. This is, of course, assuming that you’re out and away from neighbors and it’s your property. Always check local ordinances, use safe practices, and know what’s beyond the direction of your shooting.
Fewer restrictions on where to ride ATV, UTV, or a dirt bike. Assuming you have your own acreage, you can ride anywhere you want on your land. Of course, unless there’s some weird law written that says differently in your area.
Burn brush and debris. This is hard to do if living in a metro area or the city. Even in the country or in the woods, you can burn certain times during the year. During the summer months, there will most likely be a burn ban in effect.
Always contact your local fire department to see if there are any requirements to open burn in your area. In our area, a permit is required, which is free.
I am required to have a five-gallon of water nearby and a shovel, along with several other precautionary guidelines.
Other Advantages of Living in the Country or the Woods
Closer to a more natural habitat. Typically there are fewer sidewalks, paved driveways, and groomed landscape unless you choose to over-develop it.
See chipmunks, squirrels, deer, turkey, elk, and other wild animals on your property. These are especially true if your land is located in or near the forest.
There will be pine needles and pine cones under the trees that you can walk through. Unless, of course, you’re property resides in a damp climate that brings thick underbrush.
Potentially less stress. Being among the trees or out in a rural setting brings natural peace to the human mind and body. This, in turn, can help to reduce or eliminate stress.
More room to grow a garden or plant fruit trees. Assuming you have several or at least a few acres, then you’ll find this one to be very true—no limit to how big your garden can be or how many fruit trees you can plant.
Less yard work and mowing the grass. Typically people who live rurally or remote do not keep groomed yards or landscape. Although there is plenty of other work that one might have to do to keep their property maintained and safe such as plowing fields, removing dead standing trees, removing excessive debris, etc.
Stay in better physical shape. Living in the woods or out in the country requires a certain amount of activity. It all depends on what you’re doing with your land. But it’s going to be pretty hard not to be physically active if you own any acreage.
See more stars in the sky at night. In a township or city, there’s a lot of artificial lighting. These lights keep us from being able to see the stars at night. When you get away from those artificial lights and on a clear night, you can see the vastness of stars that paint the sky; it is truly amazing.
Breathe clean, fresh air. In populated areas, you might not always deal with smog because not all areas have smog. However, other smells such as carbons from some vehicles, smells that come from restaurants, not to mention smells that come from ally ways, or even garbage cans sitting on the street waiting to get picked up.
Overall when out in the country or the woods, you’ll breathe in more odorless smells, and if there are any, they’re much pleasant.
There are many advantages to living out and away from it all on your own acreage, whether in a farming community or the deep forest. The list here isn’t everything but the most common. If you’re fortunate enough to have property along a creek, river, or lake, then you have many more advantages to seek.
However, all of these things will fall on an individual’s taste. Not everyone can live away from the action that a larger metropolitan area or big city offers.
If you’re just not fully convinced and you’d like to know the disadvantages then read my post, 17 Amazing Reasons for not Living Rural or Remote.