Downsizing To A Rural Area - The Good, Bad, And What To Expect

Written by Karoline Gore

More Americans are favoring downsizing their homes, rather than supersizing them, and the practice of moving to a smaller home is no longer limited to those planning for retirement. While more seniors are planning to downsize, recent trends are showing that younger homebuyers are gravitating towards smaller homes - particularly if it is their last time buying a property. Regardless of their age and stage in life, a key consideration being cited by all homeowners looking to downsize is location. While there are the popular perks of city living, data in Realtors.com Market Hotness ranking suggests that more Americans are choosing to move to rural locations. So what happens when you combine the two? Is it worthwhile downsizing to a rural area? For many, it may be the perfect move.

Being Closer To Nature Can Mean Better Mental And Physical Wellbeing

The benefits of being outdoors are well documented. This is a great perk of downsizing your home to rural living instead of urban living. Although you are moving to a smaller home, you end up with more wide-open spaces and fresh air. Past studies have shown that those who live in the country experience better air quality (and better health as a result), more opportunities for physical exercise, and better wellbeing thanks to less noise and pollution, and better sleep.

In larger cities, the constant activity and bustle may overstimulate your brain and prevent you from being able to switch off. For a lot of people, the balance between work and home life becomes much harder to maintain. However, downsizing to a rural location means you and your family get more opportunities to integrate into a tight-knit community and experience a slower-paced life, which means more opportunities to get that balance right.

The Connectivity And Bustle Of City Lifestyle Is A Thing Of The Past

However, a downside to living in a rural area is the lack of urban amenities. With a smaller space, the lack of these resources can feel amplified. For instance, transport links are generally more developed and frequent, making it easy to travel and explore wherever you would like to without much fuss. Another good example is the slower broadband connectivity for country residents. According to a study commissioned by the Federal Communications Committee, 39 percent of rural residents lack access to high-speed internet. In addition to the convenience factor, urban cities are generally more culturally diverse. From metropolitan museums to ethically replicated cuisines, there is more to see and experience if you downsize in an urban community.

What You Lack In Space, You Make Up For In Savings

Downsizing in general can save you a lot of money. Smaller homes tend to use less energy, cost less to purchase, and also carry a smaller price tag to insure. The average homeowner pays $1,200 in insurance premiums annually. However, downsizing to a home in a rural area also means your home can carry a lower replacement value (thanks to lower market prices) - a key determinant in your insurance costs. There is also much more space and lower cost amenities like parking. For a young cash-strapped family or a retired couple looking to maintain their lifestyle with decreasing income, downsizing in a rural area can provide the least impact on their finances.

Regardless of the location you choose when downsizing, it helps to think ahead. Taking proactive steps to prepare your home, your possessions, and your family before the big move is always a good idea. From deciding what possessions you want to sell to thinking of how to repurpose your furniture in your new rural abode, there is a lot to consider - but there are many reasons to do so, and it may well be the right move for you.

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