Thinking of moving to the country? Weigh up the pros and cons first

As lifestyles have changed during the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been an increase in what’s known as ‘urban flight’, with town and city dwellers flocking to country and seaside locations in search of a rural idyll.

Property websites have reported a big increase in people searching for houses in regional areas compared with the same period in 2019, and the trend is expected to continue. After all, lots of us have discovered we can work ‘remotely’ – so why not make it just a bit more remote?

The thought of trading in a cramped apartment or suburban dwelling in a smoggy city for a home in a picturesque country town is certainly appealing, but is country living really all it’s cracked up to be? Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

1. It’s quieter

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With fewer noisy neighbours and whirring sirens to contend with, and little to no rush hour traffic, it will be easier to concentrate when you’re working from home, and you can ditch the earplugs at night.

2. Nearer to nature
You won’t have to load up the car and drive before setting off on a country walk, because bucolic bliss will be right on your doorstep.

3. Less pollution
You can fling open your windows every morning and breathe deeply knowing that the air is free from lung-clogging particles, and with less light pollution you’ll be able to feast your eyes on the majesty of the stars when night falls.

Read more: Is moving to the country right for you?

4. Fewer people
If you’re a firm believer in Jean-Paul Sartre’s assertion that ‘Hell is other people’, you’ll love the feeling of abandoning an over-populated city in favour of a smaller town.

5. Safer for children

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You’ll feel less guilt knowing that the kids and grandkids aren’t exposed to all that city pollution and now have daisy-filled fields to play in and trees to climb.

6. Get more for your money
With a few notable exceptions – in-demand places where prices have risen precisely because of urban flight – you can generally get more for your money (inside and out) when purchasing a property in more remote locations.

Read more: Things buyers are looking for in a new home

7. You’ve got an excuse to say no to invitations
Having decamped to a distant locale, you’ve got the perfect excuse to turn down any and all invitations because it’s simply too far to travel.

8. Everyone will want to visit
Enticed by the beauty of the countryside and the guest room in your new pad, urbanite pals will be queuing up to come and stay for the weekend.

Cons

9. Everyone will want to visit
It might be fun to show off your country paradise at first, but if you’re not careful you’ll end up feeling like you’re running a B&B, except none of your guests are paying.

10. Shops are far away
Venture too far off the track and you’ll find your life revolves around making sure the fridge is fully stocked because you can’t just nip to the corner shop when the nearest shop is several kilometres away.

11. Further from culture
Galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas – they’re few and far between outside of major cities. Culture vultures will have to travel to get their fix.

Read more: Tree change vs sea change

12. Can’t just pop round to your friends’ houses
Spontaneous coffee catch-ups will be a thing of the past, and you’ll have a smaller pool of people from which to make friends. Fingers crossed your neighbours are nice.

13. You’ll need a car

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All of the above means that you can’t survive as a city-quitter without a reliable car.

14. You can’t be anonymous
You might begin to miss the anonymity of the big city in places where nosy neighbours and loose-lipped gossip mongers abound.

15. You’ll be an outsider (at first)
It may take a while to settle into your new surroundings and get used to people actually smiling and saying hello to each other instead of scowling non-stop and avoiding eye contact at all costs.

16. Internet issues
You might not be able to pick up the speeds you’re used to getting in the city.

Are you contemplating a move to the country? Share the things you think you’d miss most about the city in the comments section below.

– With PA

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