4 Big Advantages of Country Living

traditional american farm with...
ShutterstockHaving space is a huge advantage that those in rural areas enjoy, and land prices and property taxes are usually lower.
By AJ Smith

Determining how much home you can afford and figuring out where you should live are huge life decisions. One of the most important questions you ask yourself early in the homebuying process is which environment is best for your finances and lifestyle -- the debate between the city, suburbia and the country.

We've covered the perks of living in a big city and the suburbs recently, and here are the benefits living in a rural environment can provide.

1. Lower Stress Levels: Whether it is the sound, the competition or the cost, living in the city can be taxing -- on your wallet and your psyche. Rural life is often associated with a family-based, low-key lifestyle. Some argue less stress can translate to a happier and healthier life overall, so you might want%VIRTUAL-pullquote-Overall the cost of living is usually lower in rural areas.% to try the country if you are feeling overworked or overstimulated.

2. More Time in Nature: Having space is a huge advantage that those in rural areas enjoy. Access to wildlife, trees and outdoor life can help you observe the cycle of life and get in touch with the natural world around you.

3. Lower Cost of Living: Home costs, land prices and property taxes are all usually lower in rural parts of the country compared to urban and suburban areas. While living in the country may make you farther from some large chain stores and may reduce the number of options you have for shopping, overall the cost of living is usually lower in rural areas.

4. Sense of Community: Living in a rural area can mean both some privacy but also the opportunity to be part of a smaller community. Your neighbors may be farther away in the country than in the city but often there is a shared history with smaller towns that create a connectivity sometimes lacking in more crowded spaces.

If you feel isolated easily, are allergic to nature or animals, and prefer hustle and bustle to peace and quiet, the country may not be the right place to call home. You will likely need a car to get around, which adds the costs of insurance, gas and upkeep. Your access to jobs in your field may be lower or your commute to work may be longer than those in an urban or suburban area. You may feel downtrodden without access to what is traditionally considered "culture" like live performances, music, art spaces or museums. However, if you are looking for more space, lower prices, and a potentially more laid-back life, the country could be exactly where you belong.

No matter where you choose to buy a home, it's important to keep an eye on your credit, since a bad credit score can costs you tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan. You can check two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.
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