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7 Things People Love About Living in Rural Areas

In the wake of the pandemic, many Americans found themselves wanting to move — and often to more rural and remote parts of the country.

For some, it was to avoid the high transmission rates of the big city, while for others, it was more about capitalizing on the freedom that newfound remote work had provided. Still, others opted for rural locations to save money in the wake of pandemic-related job losses and industry downturns.

We’re a few years from that initial pandemic surge, but the move toward rural America is still ongoing. Data from the National Association of REALTORS® shows that rural communities had the highest share of inbound moves during the first half of 2021. Small towns and “micropolitan” areas were next in line, with large metro areas trailing the pack.

Here are just a few reasons Americans are flocking to these lower-density areas — and why you might want to consider it too.

1. There’s more land available.

If you’re looking for room to roam, you’re not going to find it in the big city — nor will most suburbs have what you need. Nope; if you want land — space for your kids and pets to run or a place to raise animals or grow crops — less dense rural areas are really your only option.

Rural communities also offer you a better connection to nature. Because there are fewer homes, properties, and businesses around, there are typically more intact natural elements in these regions. You might have access to a lake, river, or pond, enjoy forests and trails for hiking, or even be near designated hunting areas if that’s what floats your boat.

2. There’s more privacy.

In the big city, you typically share walls, ceilings, and floors with neighbors, and many times, can hear every conversation that goes on between them. And in the suburbs? You might have slightly more space (even a yard and a fence possibly!), but you’ll still be within earshot of neighbors next door, behind you, and across the street. You’ll hear their parties, their dogs barking, and their fireworks on the fourth of July.

If a quieter, more private existence is your priority, then a more rural location may be the best choice. Buy a ranch far removed from other residents, build a house near your favorite lake, or just put a good couple acres between you and your next door neighbor.

With less density and more land available, the options for creating your private abode are endless.

3. Home prices are more affordable.

Home prices have skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the median home price in the U.S. jumped 17.5% between December 2020 and December 2021.

While rural homes were no exception to this trend, their prices still pale in comparison to some areas. In January 2022, for example, Redfin data shows the median rural home price as $290,592. While that’s up 16% over the year, it’s still a far cry from prices in the suburbs. There, the median price clocks in at just over $330,000 — about $40,000 more.

That $40,000 could mean a larger down payment (not to mention a lower interest rate and lower monthly payment), added cash for furniture, decor, or renovations, or just extra funds for that much-needed emergency stash.

You also get more bang for your buck in rural communities too. According to that same Redfin report, the median price per square foot is just under $150 in rural areas, $170 in the suburbs, and $184 in urban cities. That means for the same amount of money, you get a much larger property (and who wouldn’t want that?)

4. You could use zero-down USDA loans.