Thinking about rural living?
When the stress of dwelling in the city gets you down, it’s only natural to have thoughts about giving it all up for country living. You picture an absence of traffic jams, plenty of acreage between you and your nearest neighbors and being surrounded by peace and quiet.
All of those things are characteristics of rural living, and it can be a wonderful existence. However, it’s wise to be well-informed before leaving the urban life you know for a completely new experience. If you haven’t lived in the country before, then you can bet that you’ll encounter situations that you never imagined. It can be challenging at times, but country living truly does offer amazing benefits like cleaner air, less stress and an opportunity to connect with nature.
If you’re intrigued by the rural lifestyle, read on to discover some of the things you should know before making your move.
Can You Build on Wetlands?
The less well-developed regions of Seminole County are the home of many wetland areas. Occasionally, you’ll see that a parcel of land that contains wetlands is up for sale. Wetlands are beautiful, and they may represent an opportunity to live at one with nature, but many of these areas also are protected by state and local laws. These may prohibit you from building a house on or otherwise occupying this land.
Before you can begin building, state and federal authorities require that you identify and delineate any wetlands on the property. Reports regarding the delineation of the wetland border, soil conditions, and data concerning wildlife and plants on the land all must be sent to the Department of Environmental Protection.
The larger the parcel is, the better the chances are that you’ll have the setbacks that are required by the DEP to allow you to build. By no means should you make an outright purchase of the property. Instead, make DEP approval for building a part of your purchase contract. This means you won’t be stuck with land you can’t develop.
My husband and I are lucky enough to live in the rural community of the Black Hammock. We have wetlands on a part of our property but that has not been an issue. The property we purchased already had a home on it so we did not have to worry about wetland delineation or mitigation but we have learned a lot throughout the years about each.
Coping with Wildlife
One of the hallmarks of living in a rural area is the proximity to wildlife. This can be incredible if you want to observe animals in their native habitat. However, it also can be maddening when you’re trying to raise chickens, goats and other livestock.
We have lost our fair share of chickens and 1 duck throughout the years but it’s worth the price to live in this beautiful area.
In the country, you have to be prepared to encounter wildlife like coyotes, bobcats and bears. They will look to make a meal of your livestock and any food that you leave lying around. Your garbage can could be a veritable smorgasbord. This may mean that you have to take precautions to keep wildlife at bay.
Also, numerous poisonous snakes inhabit Seminole County. Whenever you venture outdoors, you’ll want to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.
We have a beagle mutt that has been bit twice by a pygmy rattlesnake and he’s healthy as a horse but it was really scary the first time around.
In the city, you probably enjoy excellent connectivity to the Internet and cell phone coverage wherever you roam. This may not be the case if you move to the country.
Remote areas may have spotty connectivity to the Internet, and cell phone coverage can be questionable. This isn’t true for all less-developed areas, but it may be a concern if you’re hoping to telecommute or run an online business.
If connectivity is a major issue for you, then you may want to test the area’s capabilities before purchasing land. Alternatively, you might be able to obtain a satellite Internet service or find a local library where you can use the Internet.
If you’re the type that insists on instant gratification, you may have to make some adjustments for life in the country. Things just move a bit slower here, and you may not find a grocery store, pharmacy or gas station right around the corner. Similarly, shopping for a new spring wardrobe may involve a lengthy road trip, and you may have to travel pretty far to find a doctor or specialist.
Also, keep in mind that a car or truck is a necessity when you live in the country. Most places are too far to walk, and your options for mass transit are extremely limited. You’ll have to ensure that your car is always in good working order so that it won’t let you down when you need it most.
Peace and Quiet
While it is true that living in the country may mean fewer options as far as dining and entertainment, there are many compensations as well. You’ll be giving up crowds, traffic noise and higher crime rates in exchange for cleaner air, birdsong and being able to see all of the stars at night.
You also may discover a tighter-knit community in which you can find a real home. It’s easier to get involved in local events and happenings in a less populated area, and you’ll also be better able to make yourself heard when issues arise in the community.
Do Things Your Way
Many people who choose the country lifestyle also appreciate that they have greater independence. It is certainly beneficial to live in a single-family dwelling where you control all maintenance and how the property looks. You don’t have to comply with the restrictions of a homeowners’ association or put up with the bland sameness that can come with apartment or condominium living.
Of course, it is enormously helpful if you’re able to handle most of the building and maintenance projects yourself. That way, when something needs to be fixed, you can do it yourself without waiting for a repairman.
People also love the opportunity to produce at least some of their own food in the country. This means fewer trips into town for supplies, and it can save a great deal of money too.
Country living isn’t for everyone, and it does require more work than living in the city. However, the rewards are many. You’ll be more independent, more at peace and feel far less stress in a rural area. As long as you’re prepared for wildlife and have good transportation, it should be a great experience.