4 Reasons to Take the Plunge and Move to the Country
A stylish, luxurious home with plenty of space. Falling asleep to the sound of the wind in the trees. Waking up to birdsong. All the beauty of England’s countryside on your doorstep.
It’s an enticing picture for anyone who’s grown tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city.
But deciding to up sticks and move to…well, the sticks, is a big commitment. How do you know if it’s right for you?
Here are four reasons why a move to the country could change your life for the better:
Country living could be good for your health
The idea of escaping to the country to improve your health might be a bit of a cliché, but there are reasons to think that it might be true.
Some studies show that people living in rural areas may live from 1.5 to 2 years longer than their urban counterparts. That could be due to a whole range of factors, from better air quality to closer proximity to nature.
Anyone who’s had to squeeze onto the Tube at rush hour on a hot morning or fought through city traffic to reach the office will know that big city life can be stressful. Living in the countryside can cut down on lots of this travel stress – and you’ll generally find that the absence of sirens, honking horns, and noisy neighbours immediately above and below will feel positively serene by comparison.
Research has even found that people who live in the country have lower levels of activity in their amygdala – the part of your brain that processes scary and threatening stimuli – than their big-city counterparts. That means living in the country might not just reduce the stress in your life – it might change the way your brain processes stress altogether.
A better return on your investment
You’ve probably already considered that moving from the city to the country will get you more for your money; on the whole, countryside properties offer significantly more square footage than houses of a comparable price in the city. That’s largely due to demand; there’s far more competition for less space in cities, meaning homeowners can charge more for their properties.
Of course, in the old days, this more affordable lifestyle would be offset by the more modest wages offered by lots of companies in rural areas. Some city dwellers had to accept a pay cut in order to realise their dream of a life in the country.
But the last few years have changed all that. With remote working on the rise, many property owners are finding that they can work for a city-based company without living in the city themselves. In other words, you might be able to find your dream home in the countryside and still keep your city salary.
All of this makes rural properties a very smart investment – your initial costs will be lower, and you’ll have more budget to spend on creating a comfortable, luxurious home environment.
A lower cost of living, without sacrificing your lifestyle
Many city dwellers assume that taking advantage of the reduced house prices in the country means sacrificing all the convenience of living in a city.
But don’t panic; if you find the right location, you’ll be able to enjoy all the peace and quiet of country life, but still have easy access to either bustling big cities or thriving local towns. Take Burgess Hill in West Sussex – the historic town sits on the cusp of the natural beauty of the South Downs, but is still within easy reach of several cities. All the vibrancy and variety of London life is only a 40-mile drive away, and it takes less than 30 minutes in the car to reach the culture, food, and history of Brighton and Lewes.
Closer, more intimate communities
Another cliché that’s rooted in truth: If you’re tired of never knowing your neighbours, move out to the countryside.
While many city residents might never get beyond exchanging a friendly nod with the people who live next door (or, if they live in a flat, above and below them), rural communities tend to be much more tightly knit.
Some of this is a result of the practicalities of living in the country; with houses spread further apart and fewer people competing for the space, it’s actually feasible for you to get to know everyone who lives on your street. If you have children, the smaller class sizes that are common in rural schools will make it easy for you to meet and remember all of your kids’ friends and their parents.
But some of the difference is cultural; it’s simply more acceptable in the countryside to stop and chat with your neighbours, to exchange numbers, offer support, and get help from them in times of need.
If you find the right area, you’ll also be able to find a real range of sports and community groups on offer. Burgess Hill in particular is renowned for its wide roster of community activities, from football clubs to amateur dramatics groups. If you’re considering moving to an area, it’s a good idea to go and check out any noticeboards or the local council’s website; there, you’ll be able to find an activity that really suits you or your family. Once you’re part of a few clubs, you’ll easily start making friends and putting down roots in your local area.
Time to take the plunge
Nowadays, moving to the countryside doesn’t have to mean being cut off from the world, or living in the ‘traditional’ secluded cottage.
Instead, it can mean having the best of both worlds. Some days, you might step out into the beautiful countryside, meet a local friend for lunch, and spend the evening at a local book club, painting class, or tennis match. On other days, you might visit the big city or browse the independent shops in your local town.
And however you spend your day, you can return to a spacious, luxurious home that suits you perfectly.