The true cost of living in the countryside


The true cost of living in the countryside

Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2022

As the popularity of hybrid working increases and homeowners yearn for a steadier pace of life, there’s been a significant shift in decision-making processes when it comes to them purchasing their next property.

And, while packing up sticks and swapping the hustle and bustle of city life for an idyllic rural residency seems simple, it can sometimes come at a cost.

From house prices and everyday expenditure, to hobbies and vocational paths, various elements of the ‘rural premium’ should be explored before making any concrete plans.

So, to help you on your way, here are some of the key considerations to be made when contemplating a relocation.

The cost of housing

When compared to their urban counterparts, countryside homes can be significantly higher in price — with five-year increases 3.3% higher in rural areas.

However, as with any region, pricing does differ from one area to the next. While there are certainly some high-end figures circulating at the moment, you can still expect to see more affordable options if you look in the right places. 

From £321,163 in the Yorkshire Dales, to £581,659 in Guildford, the average asking price also differs drastically from one end of the country to the other. Therefore, it’s important to set a definitive budget before you begin exploring potential properties. 

Spending habits for rural dwellers

Of course, the initial cost of housing isn’t the only thing to consider when seeking residency elsewhere. Spending habits – whether food shopping and dining out, or local hobbies and entertainment – are a significant part of the equation.

Although there are some true culinary treasures troves in the countryside, local eateries can sometimes be harder to come by. This means that households could either save money by eating at home more regularly or commuting to and indulging at their favourite restaurant.

The same goes for hobbies. While there might not always be entertainment facilities close by, there are certainly an abundance of activities that you can partake in at your leisure – either alone, or with family and friends. Making a few hobby swaps can also help save you a little extra spend each week.

Essential expenses

When it comes to home insurance, the location of your property will have an impact on the price of your combined premium. In the eyes of an insurer, for example, a home situated in a remote area is less likely to be burgled or vandalised – resulting in a lower cost per month.

However, lower supply and demand of energy means that rural dwellers could also be paying higher expenses for bills. To make sure you get the best price in your region, you can evaluate different market offerings on comparison sites like Uswitch.

For those who regularly commute to places such as work or school, travel costs should be fully explored before committing to relocation. With public transport being less frequent in rural areas, residents rely more heavily on cars or alternative, eco-friendly methods such as scooters or bicycles. 

Professional opportunities

It is worth noting that average workplace earnings in rural areas are marginally lower than predominantly urban areas – not least when compared with London.

However, while limited professional opportunities may once have been a hindrance – with businesses largely headquartered in big cities – freelance and remote options are increasingly making different levels of work more accessible among countryside dwellers.

The bottom line

While the cost of living certainly plays a major factor in any decision-making, it’s important to remember that it’s only one piece of a much larger puzzle. There are myriad ways to increase your financial stability – from altering travel habits and cutting back on supermarket luxuries, to finding new hobbies to partake in.

So, before finalising any relocation plans, be sure to evaluate your lifestyle and career plans rather than solely considering the initial cost of purchase.

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