Guest Post By Dixie Somers
City life brings many conveniences and opportunities, but with all of the excitement there is a cost. High crime, high taxes and a fast-paced lifestyle that leads to a lot of stress are at the top of the list. If your family is considering moving to the country and living off-grid, there are a lot of things you need to know before taking the leap. Here are three of them.
First, You Need Water
Living in the city, it’s easy to take for granted the many utilities that feed into your life and make city life so convenient—especially water. Water is the lifeblood of every community. If you don’t have a steady supply of water, you won’t last very long out there. So most rural families will have to pump water from their own wells, and that can be quite an investment. You’ll need to set aside several thousand dollars to install your own well, but you’ll also need to invest regularly in proper maintenance for wells to keep things running smoothly.
Criminals Are More Common
Many families move out of the city to get away from crime, so it’s ironic how securing your home from burglars becomes even more of an issue when you live out in the country. It’s not that country folk are up to no good. Most of them are actually just like you and want to live a quiet, peaceful life with their families. But out in the country, you don’t have a cop car five minutes away at all times. You’re more or less on your own.
Securing your doors and windows is something that you need to take seriously, as it is your first line of defense against thieves. An alarm and security cameras are a good idea. They might not scare away the thieves, but they might make it easier to round them up later on and prevent repeat break-ins.
Deferred Maintenance Can Ruin Your Life
Most homeowners in the city have to deal with a homeowners’ association (HOA) which has strict rules by which all owners and tenants must abide. Your HOA might seem like a hassle, but it also tends to do a good job of maintaining common areas and making sure that you maintain your home, your yard and your vehicles.
But in the country, it’s all on you. And that makes it easier to let things slide until “later.” the problem with deferring maintenance until later is that by the time you get around to addressing the issue, it has grown and spawned several other problems as well. What started out as a simple $100 repair has now grown into a cluster of problems that will require hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix. So if you want to avoid wasting money, then you need to be proactive and make ongoing maintenance a daily activity.
Off-grid living or homesteading is a way of life that many families have chosen and never looked back. But country living is not right for everybody, and it’s more challenging than a lot of people realize. If you are thinking about this lifestyle change, or even if you’ve already made up your mind to go, make sure that you take these three ideas into consideration.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.
*Photo courtesy of Dixie Somers