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Moved from town to a farm and hate it? Share your story!


38carrots
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We've been vaguelly wanting to move to a rural property for years. Now we are finally maybe sorta ready and are putting our house on the market and hoping to make an offer on a farm that we liked.

 

The kids are excited. DH and I periodically have cold feet. Everybody seems to love it. Are there those who hate it?

 

We are city folks. I'd like to have a simpler life. I'd like to work more outside. I think I'm ready. Am I?

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Downsides I have experienced:

high rural water expenses

clogged lateral lines (sewer) with expensive repairs

propane gas shortages (very high expenses to heat in the winter)

electricity being out for weeks due to rural living (lower priority)

driving long distances for anything--groceries, activities, church, etc.

pig farm smells blowing for miles onto our property

rattlesnakes biting and killing our horse and dog

coyotes eating our chickens

mowing large lawns

blading your driveway after snowfall so you can get out

dirt.everywhere.always (get mud boot trays!!)

chores in all weather every day--having to set up people to chore for you if you go out of town

difficulty getting contractors to come out and do work on our property

ragweed allergies. seriously. misery!

paying a premium for trash pickup, having to haul trashcans to end of driveway via truck (long driveway)

 

I can keep going.

There's a lot to love about rural life, I grew up on a farm, but it's an adjustment period for townies who move out to the boondocks.

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I would hate to live on a farm. I've lived rural - really rural, and some of that really isolated - and I know I am not a farm girl. The thought of clearing the snow just to get out of the yard.... the mowing... the wolves, the cougars, the bears... getting gas delivered, keeping on top of septic, the lack of decent internet... the driving to get to absolutely everything, as opposed to everything except the drugstore and DH's office... no thanks, not my cup of tea. And then on top of that, to have a garden, with canning and preserving, and keeping the dugout pump going so the garden has water. Then add in some animals...

My grand parents and great grandparents would roll over in their graves, but I did not get the farm wife genes.

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I live in a rural area, but it depends on your definition of rural.  We've got a square-shaped property that is almost 3 acres.  I love that our neighbors are close but not right on top of us.  I love having room to roam around and a hill for picnics and playing, and we have beautiful views from all directions, really.  I love that we could have animals if we wanted them, and our neighbors do (we bought 1/4 cow from our neighbor -- it doesn't get any more local than next door!).  I love that it gets really dark here at night because there are no street lights, so you can see the stars, and I love that it's very quiet.  It's a really, really nice place to live.  We rarely have issues with power going out.  We do have very reliable high speed internet, and I think we could have cable or satellite TV if we chose.  Mail and Amazon arrive quickly.  We can be in a full service town in half an hour.  I'm nowhere near rural like Kinsa is.

 

That being said, it's also 15-20 minutes from a grocery store or library.  I love that and hate it.  It forces us to be smart about errands because there are no quick trips anywhere, but at the same time, there are no quick trips if we run out of something.  I can order things from Amazon, and they'll probably get here before I get a chance to get to WalMart.  I like that we aren't tempted to do a million activities that take away from school and family time, but I also know we miss out on some good opportunities.  DH has a long (45 minutes each way) commute, and although it's a pleasant drive, that's a lot of family time he misses, plus a lot of money in gas/tires, although if we lived closer to his office, we'd pay a lot more for housing.  We don't pay for water or sewer, but we'll have to replace our well and septic system if they die.  We have plenty of land, but we also have to maintain it by either gardening or mowing.  Pizza doesn't deliver here at all, but Peapod does.  It's just a lot of little ups and downs, but mostly ups.

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Things we don't like about living in the country.  Some of it's just disappointing.

 

For the first two years we didn't have trash service.  My husband thought we would just burn our trash.  I hated it.  Happy wife, happy life... we got trash service.

Mud gets tracked in the house more here than when we lived in the city.  

No pizza delivery.

It's 30 minutes to the nearest town with more than a Dollar General.

We live in the same county as the largest city, but we have friends that don't.  Their roads don't get plowed as quickly as ours do.

Ticks, but the chickens have really helped with that.

More bugs in the country.

Losing some of our livestock to wild animals.  Our dog was used to being in the house, although we had gotten her and trained her to keep our animals safe.  We looked outside to see a fox running off with our son's favorite duckling.  The dog was asleep in the house.

People dump off unwanted dogs and cats.  

Livestock chores in the winter

 

Some of these things we knew we would have to deal with.  This is why we chose a house that was no more than 30 minutes from the largest city.  We've gotten used to the drive, but we don't just hop in the car and go somewhere like we used to.  It helps that my husband works in town so he just picks stuff up on his way home.  We, also, wanted at least three churches to choose from so picked our house according to that.  Since we homeschool we didn't care about the schools, but it might be something to consider if there's a possibility of you needing to send your children there.  

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The driving gets really old really fast. No more quick trips to the  store/restaurant, if you forgot it you go without.  Make sure that they currently have the cable/phone/internet that you need, if they say it's coming in the near future don't believe them (15 years now my mom's been waiting).  Make sure you AND your neighbors know where the official property lines are, amazing how much people squabble over a few feet when they have so much space. Otherwise it's the best thing ever.  I loved being out in the quiet. Watching the deer in the pastures and walking down to our creek.  I loved the ability to garden on a big scale and I wanted animals too. Sadly we had to move due to a layoff.  I hope that once we get the kids out of the house we can find something in between the subdivision and the country.  

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How rural, how "city", what access will you have to things you are used to and have you or DH ever lived on a farm?  

 

With the farm you are buying, is it a "working" farm?  In other words, will you be raising crops or animals for income?  Or just wanting the space and possibly some animals/garden for your own benefit and the rest of the land is just to have land?  Or maybe thinking of running a working farm later on but right now you just want the space?  Do you have a lot of financial resources if you end up needing a lot of repairs (such as with fencing, which can run thousands)?

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What type of city are you moving from and how rural are you moving?

 

We have 5 acres and many consider us rural but we can go 12 miles down the road to a Walmart or grocery store. Vastly different than Kinsa's version of rural.

 

Medium size city. We'd be 1h from that city. 30 minutes to major grocery stores / harware stores / coffee shops; 45 min to Walmart.

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Things that I was not expecting:

The floor is never clean. Even if I just clean it, in comes the dog or a load of firewood or the kid from playing outside.

 

Simple is delightful and I really like how it feels to be this involved with my life. However, EVERYTHING takes longer: dishes, laundry, heat, visiting, paying bills, all of it.

 

It can become hard to relate. We live in the middle of the National Forest. It means that we are self rescue with fire, we frequently use a chainsaw to cut away dead fall in the winter to drive places, feet of snow, life flight helipad for emergency, one room house. You are not necessarily going to be there, but rural life puts you in a different perspective. We do not talk about it much with town friends and family.

 

Do you go to church? If not, you might want to consider it.

 

Everyone around us is extremely conservative. Not just traditional (we are that), but ultra-conservative. That is hard.

 

Simple gets really hard when you are sick, have broken something, or are getting older than 60.

 

Be prepared to complete suck at being a farmer, simple, or self reliant. Google is your friend. Making friends and admitting you are a city slicker goes a long way. You will get there. It just takes a bit.

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Would you or your DH have need to go to the city on a regular basis? If so, include additional cost of wear and tear on the car/tires/gas.  Is there a gas station sort of near the farm?  DH's grandparents ran into issues when the only gas station near their farm closed.  They had to start storing gas and they had to remember to always fill up while in town.

 

How well and how quickly do the roads get cleared if there is snow in your area?  Any chance of flooding issues that would prevent you from driving out?  What about the nearest hospital or emergency clinic?  If someone was injured or very ill, where would you go?

 

Do your kids like seeing other kids?  Will there be any opportunity for that where you wish to move?  

 

Also, make certain to get full inspections of things like septic systems, the plumbing, the wiring, the roof, etc.  Any repair may be costly and hard to get scheduled.  Know going in, with as much detail and accuracy as possible, what you are facing before you buy.  Plan on any improvements/upgrades/repairs to take twice as long and cost twice as much as in the city.  Are you or your DH really handy with repairs/maintenance of a home?  It will really help if you and he can do a lot of things entirely on your own.

 

You are leaving behind a house that needs repairs, correct?  Is  affording the purchase of the farm contingent on selling the house in the city?  If so, make certain that it is written into the contract that the purchase of the farm is tied to the sale of the house so you can extract yourself if offers for your house fall through at the last minute (which can easily happen with even the most pristinely perfect house).

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Rural property yes but I wouldn't want to live 30 plus minutes away from all things.

How do you have rural property that isn't thirty miles away from things? Maybe my definition is skewed, but around here 30 miles is close. We are over an hour from Big City and our house is considered close in for our closest town (extremely tiny, one gas station that doesn't even have an attendent, only a pump).

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Rural property yes but I wouldn't want to live 30 plus minutes away from all things.

 

I'm 30 plus minutes away from many things in my city lol

 

Ironically, we drive for 40 minutes for the kids' piano lessons (from one end of the city to another) and it would be about 55 minutes from the farm to the teacher. So really, not much longer.

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.... Vastly different than Kinsa's version of rural.

 

LOL!

 

I don't think there's an English word to describe where I live. Even the word "rural" seems too urban-esque.

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Just don't take on too much at once.  It's easy to get in over your head with farm animals and projects and chores, and pretty soon you're overwhelmed with work and you hate it.  Don't take on more than one new thing per person per year, and three projects total for your whole family,  and that includes a garden if that's new to you.  An orchard is a separate thing from a garden.  Chickens are yet another.  It will be a big change just running errands, don't take on too much.

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I grew up rural. I can't go back. The novelty of outdoor chores wears off VERY quickly. In my current life, most of my outside time is pure enjoyment and not work and I can stay in if the weather is bad. We can get sick and there's no mountain of outdoor chores waiting for us. We can have new milk in the house in 15 minutes. We pay MUCH less for gas because everything is close. Friends are close.

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LOL!

 

I don't think there's an English word to describe where I live. Even the word "rural" seems too urban-esque.

Well, I don't know if this is true anymore but there used to be a designation that was further out than rural.  I had family living in an area that was officially designated as "frontier".  That was a long time ago but still in my life time.  Maybe you are in the "frontier" area of Texas.  :)

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How do you have rural property that isn't thirty miles away from things? Maybe my definition is skewed, but around here 30 miles is close. We are over an hour from Big City and our house is considered close in for our closest town (extremely tiny, one gas station that doesn't even have an attendent, only a pump).

 

 

We have "rural property" , but we're only five minutes away from the grocery store :-)     Our small part of  the county hasn't been annexed by the city that has grown up around using the past seventeen years.  We can do all of the same things we did before with regards to hunting, livestock, shooting, etc.  Our property taxes are also much cheaper.  The downside is that any services that we need such as fire and police are coming from further away.  

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How do you have rural property that isn't thirty miles away from things? Maybe my definition is skewed, but around here 30 miles is close. We are over an hour from Big City and our house is considered close in for our closest town (extremely tiny, one gas station that doesn't even have an attendent, only a pump).

My parents live rurally. They have 80 acres of farm land that is...surrounded by other people's farm land. The driveway into their yard is a whopping 3.5 miles from the city. It's less than 5 minutes to drive in to town, and about 10 minutes total farm to shopping/groceries/restaurants with city speeds and traffic factored in.

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The smells can be awful - it can be someone spreading manure, or the rotting cabbage field nearby, or the chicken barn you can't even see from your house, etc...

 

People are often very friendly, BUT they already have their social networks established so they aren't really interested in integrating you.  It's not that they don't like you, they just don't need you and are busy enough with their lives and the friends they already have.

 

People let their dogs roam all the time so they attack your dogs if you go on walks and they crap in your yard.

 

You don't really know what they are spraying on that field over there - but you hope it won't mutate the children and you imagine it isn't organic (or if it is, see the first comment about nasty smells).

 

Even if city people drive just as long to other things in town, they will think driving the 20-30 minutes out to see you is too far and they won't do it much (so if you want your kids to have friends or maintain relationships, you have to do the driving).

 

If you have lived urban, this might really disturb you - people you know may honk at you and pull over if you are out for a walk.  I just about died when this first happened - frantically searching for somewhere to flee from the attacker (who turned out to be a nice guy from church just saying Hi).

 

Oh, and the dirt.  It is just in the air more - the house isn't just dusty, the farm fields get plowed and the house is literally dirty.  Even if you have the windows closed, it comes eventually.  Or it gets windy.  Dirty.  

 

It isn't all bad, of course (we're still here).  But you wanted some lowlights. :)

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I think of it more as a lifestyle really. Also a farm - to me - implies livestock and work. Some people live rural but don't run a farm.

 

Do you like to be self-sufficient?

Is it okay if you cannot see a neighbor?

Are your children used to doing chores or are they excited now before the work begins?

Will you be okay with making a few big shopping trips (you'll need freezer  & storage space) so you do not have to make an hour (or more) roundtrip every other day?

Are you and the kids okay with less outside entertainment?

Are you generally a more long-term planner or are you happy to decide each day what is going to happen? If you really live rurally, some planning is probably necessary so you don't run yourself ragged.

Are you familiar with propane tanks, woodstoves, chopping wood, having water come from a well instead of city, a septic tank instead of sewer?

If you live in an area where it snows, the snow plough will likely work on densely populated areas first before they take care of a rural road.

 

If you can see yourself facing some of these hurdles and shrug your shoulders, you should be good to go.

I would get this book or similar resources if you don't have it already: https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Country-Living-40th-Anniversary/dp/1570618402/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=PG3WF7R3GJ9DSD7FWDJ1

 

I loved living in a rural area when ds was growing up. We had horses, chicken and ds raised a market hog for 4H. We are now in a small town of about 65,000 people living in the middle of an orchard but can be at a number of stores / doctors / library within minutes. It's the best of both worlds.

 

Edited by Liz CA
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How do you have rural property that isn't thirty miles away from things? Maybe my definition is skewed, but around here 30 miles is close. We are over an hour from Big City and our house is considered close in for our closest town (extremely tiny, one gas station that doesn't even have an attendent, only a pump).

You can easily be in the country but still with in a 30 minute drive from most needs. Look at medium sized towns, around 40-100K people that have a developed edge.  Murfreesboro TN has big swaths of empty land within 10-20 minutes of all the major shopping, so does Bloomington Indiana.  

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We've been in what was considered a semi-rural area since my college kid was a year old. 

 

When we came here:

 

Only one small hardware store

Two poor grocery stores

No Wal-Mart or Target

Two fast food places

Two sit-down restaurants

A small, poorly rated hospital

 

The first thing I did indeed notice was the dirt and the bugs. And that the neighbor's livestock kept escaping and that the deer ate nearly every plant they could get with only a few exceptions. One year they ate every single tomato off the vine as soon as it was ripe.

 

No regrets. It's grown up now, and we have Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Panera, Chick-Fil-A, and the hospital even has a NICU and does joint replacements. Frankly I like having more conveniences, although now there's some traffic too, but not in our immediate area. Just when we go to town.

 

My one concern is how long we'll remain here. DH has been disabled for over a decade, and I'm getting older. I used to be able to do most of the outside work, but increasingly I need help with the heavier tasks if I want to remain mobile the next day. When my college son moves away, we're either going to have to hire people or move.

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I grew up in the suburbs of a big city, have lived in a medium sized city (75k) and lived in a small town (10k) 30 minutes (highway minutes, so about 40 miles) to anything bigger. For me convenience was a big issue in the small town. Walmart was the only big store in town really. I could not have survived without Amazon prime. 

 

Further out from the small town these things would have been an issue: 

 

cell service is spotty

Internet service

no food delivery

gravel roads which add wear and tear on cars, much less the dirt every time you drive to town 

more bugs

emergency services?  -Ex had a mild heart attack while he was working on a farm. It was quicker to drive him the hour to the ER than to wait for an ambulance, yes really. 

postal service?  - my sister does not get delivery to her house, they have to have  PO Box. 

limited activities - in our area everything was through church or school. We did neither, so our circle was very small. 

slower to adopt new technologies. I remember getting excited about getting self-checkout when every other town had it for about 2-4 years

road conditions in bad weather - I have several friends who live rural who feel comfortable driving in lots of conditions and around here roads are curvy with little shoulder. My commute to school before we moved was  lots of hills and there were many days I white-knuckled it on the highway. 

 

I lived in town with the small town. I realized I like having neighbors. They were too close on one side, but not only do I enjoy seeing people out and about. 

 

Good things: 

we had better customer service. The post office was great. A few times I had to call about a misdelivered package. I got through to a person and they were at my door in a few minutes. 

(this could be good or bad) cashiers will stop and talk with people, you get to know people beyond just ringing up your stuff - this can be annoying if you're in a hurry and you're the one next in line

fewer codes and regulations, also can be good or bad. No one will care if you leave your garage door open, but no one may care about the neighbors 40 non-working cars in the yard either

Darkness - good because you can actually see the stars

 

I'm back in the town of 75k. This is as small as I want to go 

 

 

 

 

Edited by elegantlion
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I have not, but we almost moved to a rural area.  The deal breaker for us really is the weather.  I wouldn't have minded the inconvenience of it if the weather weren't a factor.  For example, they didn't have mail delivery.  We would have had to drive to the post office.  That's not happening in the dead of winter.  Same with trash.  And no cell reception.  And internet?  Not much but dial up.

 

Don't do it...LOL

 

 

 

 

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As mentioned above....Check zoning. Make sure you are allowed to do what you want to do but also check zoning for properties around you as they might be zoned to allow a huge livestock operation, etc even if right now it is 20 acres of open fields or woods.

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How do you have rural property that isn't thirty miles away from things? Maybe my definition is skewed, but around here 30 miles is close. We are over an hour from Big City and our house is considered close in for our closest town (extremely tiny, one gas station that doesn't even have an attendent, only a pump).

 

Well, you don't get a Big City an hour away. ;)  Maybe it would be worth it. 

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LOL!

 

I don't think there's an English word to describe where I live. Even the word "rural" seems too urban-esque.

 

I'm thoroughly intrigued by where Kinsa lives. Someone save me and give me a hint! :w00t:

 

ETA: nm, saw the siggy!

 

ETA#2: How do people get to live in National Parks? Do you have to work for them?

Edited by 38carrots
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If you have lived urban, this might really disturb you - people you know may honk at you and pull over if you are out for a walk.  I just about died when this first happened - frantically searching for somewhere to flee from the attacker (who turned out to be a nice guy from church just saying Hi).

 

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

True! It happened already! I guess I've been in that area a lot visiting friends and boarding hoarses.

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We recently moved from a few acres to a neighborhood.  I really thought I'd love working outside and gardening and the privacy.  But, I'm never moving back.  My parents still live in the middle of nowhere and love the privacy.  It's not worth it to me.  I echo the above complaints.  Here are the top troubles combining both my old house and my parents' house:

 

Mice/rats in garage/barn or house

So much mowing!  Even with animals.

So far to town or any activities for the kids

When the power goes out, it stays out until every single town/neighborhood/store gets theirs back.  Then ours will come on a week after that.

Terrible Internet Service

Terrible Cell Phone Service

Stray animals adopt you and people nearby don't keep their dogs contained at their house so they cause problems on your land

Did I mention all the mowing? 

It costs a lot to hire people to do whatever you can't - baling hay comes to mind, bulldozer work, digging a hole for a horse that was put down where it stood

Ticks.  My mom got Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Ten years later the effects are still causing severe problems.  {She still loves the country and tick spray; she'd never move.}

You get attached to an animal - mostly barn cats - and something eats it.

Teenagers plus baseball bat (or a drunk) plus your mailbox which is at the end of a long drive not within sight of your house

No days off from chores if you have animals.  No sleeping in!

Animals = shoveling their refuse.  A lot. 

If you have a heart and feed a barn cat Fancy Feast, he will never again eat a mouse ;)

Vets cost more to come to your farm.

Ponds can be more problematic that you can even begin to imagine - snakes, snapping turtles, mosquitoes, duck weed, leaking/not holding water, weed-eating the edge, droughts.

Poachers on your land can be dangerous.  One even had the nerve to set up a tree stand and deer cameras on our land.  Granted, it was an area we rarely went back to so we didn't notice for awhile.

Every distant cousin wants to hunt on your land for free. 

A long drive to decent stores, doctors, restaurants. 

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We live on acreage but not rural according to dh.  Our street is a street of 10 acre lots with people behind us on 35 acres.  It used to be cow pasture and hay fields.

 We have 8 steer and we mow our own hay to feed them.  In the past we've had chickens but got rid of them when dd got sick (chronic illness and on an immunosuppressant ).

 We also had a horse in the past but none of the kids really rode her so we gave her away.  

We also have cats and dogs.  

There is always, always dirt, in the air, on the floors, pretty much everywhere.  And we live in Colorado so spring is muddy season and I've never in my life seen anything like this mud.  

I'm a girl from the suburbs so this was all new to me.  

We built our own house with the help of sub contractors, but dh and my father did the bulk of the work.  

In the twelve years we've lived here I've loved it but it is a lot of work.

 We are an hour or so from Denver, so not too far (that was my stipulation with so many kids I didn't want to be too far from a Children's Hospital).  

Grocery store is 4 miles away  everything else is 10 or so miles away.

 I put a lot of miles on my car.  A lot!  

Fastest speed I can drive to get there is 45 so it takes a bit.

The city has grown a bit in last 12 years but this year the growth is astronomical so we'll see how it goes in the future.

 Dh would love more acreage but it's too expensive unless we move much further east and I'm not on board.

There is always some chore or another that needs to be done and animals always need to be taken care of.  

When we were learning our cows escaped regularly but fortunately we were able to round them up and lead them home. Made it easier to butcher when the time came.(we send to butcher, we don't do it our self).  I really love our life here.  I wouldn't trade it.

 My 10yr old son though wants to live in a neighborhood with nice lawns and sidewalks.  He's not loving the farm life.  

Dd 15  loves it and wants to have cows when she grows up.  She and her dad are the cow people. She loves to bottle feed calves and care for them. It is how she makes money for car and college at the moment. 

Cows are stinky.  Dairy cows are really stinky.  I don't milk anything!  Too much work.  Which is why all beef cattle.

It isn't for everyone.  If dh weren't here I'd move to maybe neighborhood with one acre lots and just have my kids and dogs.  I wouldn't be up for all the work by myself or we just wouldn't have cows anymore.

Edited by Splash
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This sounds delightful.... :mellow:

 

We recently moved from a few acres to a neighborhood.  I really thought I'd love working outside and gardening and the privacy.  But, I'm never moving back.  My parents still live in the middle of nowhere and love the privacy.  It's not worth it to me.  I echo the above complaints.  Here are the top troubles combining both my old house and my parents' house:

 

Mice/rats in garage/barn or house

So much mowing!  Even with animals.

So far to town or any activities for the kids

When the power goes out, it stays out until every single town/neighborhood/store gets theirs back.  Then ours will come on a week after that.

Terrible Internet Service

Terrible Cell Phone Service

Stray animals adopt you and people nearby don't keep their dogs contained at their house so they cause problems on your land

Did I mention all the mowing? 

It costs a lot to hire people to do whatever you can't - baling hay comes to mind, bulldozer work, digging a hole for a horse that was put down where it stood

Ticks.  My mom got Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Ten years later the effects are still causing severe problems.  {She still loves the country and tick spray; she'd never move.}

You get attached to an animal - mostly barn cats - and something eats it.

Teenagers plus baseball bat (or a drunk) plus your mailbox which is at the end of a long drive not within sight of your house

No days off from chores if you have animals.  No sleeping in!

Animals = shoveling their refuse.  A lot. 

If you have a heart and feed a barn cat Fancy Feast, he will never again eat a mouse ;)

Vets cost more to come to your farm.

Ponds can be more problematic that you can even begin to imagine - snakes, snapping turtles, mosquitoes, duck weed, leaking/not holding water, weed-eating the edge, droughts.

Poachers on your land can be dangerous.  One even had the nerve to set up a tree stand and deer cameras on our land.  Granted, it was an area we rarely went back to so we didn't notice for awhile.

Every distant cousin wants to hunt on your land for free. 

A long drive to decent stores, doctors, restaurants. 

 

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If it is your thing and it is what you want, I am sure you will be fine.

 

For me, I went the other direction and I could never go back to small town or farm. I do visit, or used to anyway, relatives in small towns or farms and I hate it. I can tolerate the small town for a few weeks, but we have to drive a long way to get things we are used to, like organic pouch baby food.

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Medium size city. We'd be 1h from that city. 30 minutes to major grocery stores / harware stores / coffee shops; 45 min to Walmart.

I am two hours from a major city. Since 9/11, we have a huge influx of people from said city building second homes here..if its similar in your location, be prepared to be priced out as the prices will rise to city levels. Your children will be viewed as unsophisticated hicks, as your parks are taken over with city folk activities With city prices. Farmers here have voted themselves a hefty school tax exemption,as there isn't enough other business to tax to support the increased school enrollments of very needy students.internet and cell phone are sky high due to lack of competitiom.

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I'd like it a lot better if I didn't have to drive EVERYWHERE.  

When we lived in a large city I could walk or bike to all sorts of things.  Here, you can't even go on a decent walk because there are no sidewalks, the highway that actually leads to places is far too dangerous to walk or bike on (lots of heavy trucks going 60mph + and no shoulder)  you are surrounded by people that don't want you on their property, and when you DO dare to venture out on a walk, everyone and their brother has to stop and ask if you are ok and do you need a ride?  (including the creepy meth addicts).  I promptly gained 30lbs after moving here, in spite of having gardens to keep and yards to mow.  

We are pretty much stuck here forever though, because we built on property that has been in the family for generations.  

 

ETA: I was no stranger to rural when we did this.  I grew up WAY out in the sticks...you couldn't even see another house from ours, and we lived on flat open farmland! lol. I'm still not a fan.

Edited by The Girls' Mom
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We live in the country, 30 minutes from town. It took me 3 years to adjust, keeping in mind that I had never stepped foot on a farm before and was used to big cities. We do not have a farm, though. I wanted to get chickens and keep them in the basement to stay warm in the winter. I wanted a cow, sheep, goats. DH nixed all that, primarily because he does have farm experience and realizes that my version of farm includes no bugs, clean animals, no bad smells, and no plan for how to deal with their excrement. Basically, the old movies starring NYC have lots of horses on the streets (pre-automobile), but no manure. My imaginary farm is similar to that.

 

It was a PITA to have to spend an hour just on travel time to go to town. Now I'm used to it and the higher gas bills.

 

The smell of manure pits is the worst odor ever, but it doesn't happen very often, and doesn't bother me because I've adjusted. The first time I smelled it, I called DH, frantic. The sewer lines must have burst open, I said, the smell is horrific, call someone. He said we have a septic tank. There are no sewer lines.

 

Gunshots were hard to get used to. At first, DH told me it was cars backfiring. Nope. Hunters, target shooters, farmers killing livestock. We hear a lot of gunshots, and naturally this terrifies the dog, especially when really loud guns are fired close by. Sometimes it sounds like a war zone out there, but that's only when several people are target shooting together and think 2 hours is an optimal time to spend on that.

 

At first, the isolation bothered me. I was sure a serial killer would come marching out of the woods. Now I feel safe here. In all these years (since 2009), no crime has happened. It takes the state police about an hour to get out here. My plan is that if a criminal shows up, call a neighbor -- they all own guns -- or use a baseball bat or cast iron skillet to defend us. I doubt that will happen.

 

My kids went to high school in town. Town kids bugged them a lot to hold parties here. Since the cops aren't around, the kids can drink and use drugs without worrying about getting caught. Of course, we didn't do that. Instead my kids held and attended bonfire parties that were alcohol and drug-free. So wholesome!

 

My kids don't like living out here. There is nothing to do in the small town nearby. There is a skating rink and a movie theater. Restaurants. A mall that is practically empty even at Christmas. They are urbanites, even after all these years.

 

If you have a volunteer fire or ambulance company, pay the annual dues.

 

The code of the country (at least here), is to mind your own business (notwithstanding newsworthy gossip). Do not call the EPA if your neighbor is burning mattresses or the Game Warden if you hear rifle shots at night or someone has made a deer-attractive area in their field (to lure them there for hunting).

 

News spreads quickly. We got a puppy and when we brought him home, it was nighttime. He had to go out at 4.30 a.m. That morning, people began calling about the puppy.  A farmer had driven by and saw him, told someone (there is no real news here), and it got around.

 

Propane costs nearly $5 a gallon, but lasts a long time since we only use it for the stove.

 

Heating oil costs are a different story -- my  #1 dream is to live in a house that doesn't rely on it. The cost, even when low (compared to over $4 a gallon), is hefty.

 

We have a well. Replacing parts is expensive. Water has to be tested. And the water pressure is horrible.

 

We have a septic system and have to buy septic safe toilet paper and flush Rid-X down the toilet every month.

 

Trash can security is vital. There are wild animals that will get into it if they can.

 

I had heard people drop off unwanted pets in the country. So far, we've had several cats dropped off (including a 13 oz. kitten). We have a terrier who cannot be trusted around cats. It is a real PITA to secure a home for a cat. The farmers have tons of them, but their cats don't welcome strangers. Naturally, no dogs have been dropped off -- which was DH's greatest fear, that we would become a dog commune.

 

I now hate places that are covered in concrete and congested with cars and buildings.

 

I was shocked that people burn things -- including mattresses. If it burns and they want to get rid of it, that's what the burn pit is for. What doesn't burn is saved in a shed or behind it.

 

Environmental issues, surprisingly, are not a big concern. So there is fracking and pesticides are used. If you want something to die, put out poison. I have a dog, so I wouldn't do that.

 

I once waited nearly 30 minutes for a chicken to cross the road. SUV vs. chicken sitting in the middle road ... I was sure if I went around it, that would be the time the chicken decided to move.

 

I am still waiting for a neighbor's cow to escape and come here. It is really fun to watch the cows and calves. They all need baths, but aside from that, they fascinate me.

 

Mice come into the house in the winter. I have seen a snake in the basement. No big deal, it was not a venomous snake.

 

Great Horned Owls can carry a 16 lb. animal, so if you have small pets, they shouldn't be outside alone at night. I spent many a night out with my puppy, waving my arms around so owls would think I was a bigger owl. Hawks go after them too.

 

It is a lot of fun to watch a murder of crows go after a hawk that is trying to capture one of them for his dinner. The crows always win. They make so much noise that I cannot hear anything else -- including phone conversations.

 

If you hunt, do not mistake a turkey buzzard for a turkey. My neighbor did, and ate buzzard for Thanksgiving dinner once. Know your animals!

 

The dog and I watch for deer in the evenings. Once we saw a parade of 14 deer walk down the path from the woods, heading for the cornfields. Another time, a vulture was walking down our long driveway, all the way to the end. Birds  nest on the porch and kitchen window sill -- we always have several nests of Robins.

 

In fields and woods, watch for carcasses and groundhog holes. Wild aniimals hunt other animals for food and leave the remains. Step in a groundhog hole and you will sprain or break your ankle.

 

There is mud everywhere when the snow melts or it rains a lot. It gets tracked in the house. No point cleaning your floors until the mud outside dries;  it is an exercise in futility.

 

When I moved here, I knew nothing about country life. It helped to refer to myself as a Citiot. People laughed and relaxed. I wasn't moving from a big city to the country so I could complain about the smells and try to turn it into an urban oasis.

 

The other thing is, I now have a great desire to own a large pickup truck. Seriously. It would be useful.

 

PS I love living in the country, in case that wasn't clear.

Edited by RoughCollie
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Maybe you and your DH could write down your specific reasons why you are wanting to move to a farm, and if you plan on this being a forever thing.  Be as specific as possible.  Maybe start with separate lists then compare so you are being truly honest with yourself and with each other.  Write down a list of pros and cons to the move.  Be specific.  Then weigh the pros and cons list against your reasons for wanting to move.  It might help you to see more realistically if this is the best course of action for your family.  Also, if you determine it is, then it might also help you to stay focused on the positives while you deal with the negatives, as well as be more realistic in expectations and better at planning out this whole thing.

 

Hugs and best wishes.  

 

(Oh, on a side note, DH and I were both pushing really hard for a move a few years ago and had some good reasons for wanting it, but after we had already made the offer, had it accepted and were getting inspections done each of us had gotten cold feet, had looked again at our situation and kind of started feeling that the move wasn't worth what we were leaving behind, but because we thought the other one was really committed we didn't say anything much, just little hints.  We weren't even really being honest with ourselves.  We just kept putting one foot in front of the other, like we were on autopilot. At the same time, we both were feeling a lot of stress and tension and general malaise without really acknowledging and truly facing our concerns head on, together.

 

Finally, at the very last minute, when the contract would have become binding, I stated more clearly to DH that I thought we were making a mistake.  DH was so relieved.  In that moment he finally acknowledged to himself and to me that he had been thinking the same thing but had not really been able to consciously articulate the reasons for his unease and increased stress levels.  We cancelled the contract and a huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders.  We then reexamined why we were looking at that particular move and found that we had other, better options right where we were living.   We just needed to shift our approach/view and be more flexible in our thinking.  

 

I share this not to say you are making a mistake.  This could be a wonderful change for your family.  I love farms and ranches.  I think for many it is truly a fantastic place to raise a family in many ways.  A great many of my family are still farmers and ranchers.  It is a lot of work but can be so rewarding.  I say this to point out that it can be easy to just keep putting one foot in front of the other without communicating your true feelings with your partner or yourself or really being honest about concerns.  Keep those lines of communication open.  Be honest with each other about the positives and the negatives.  Don't assume a thing has to happen or happen a certain way just because at one point you both mentioned you thought so.   :)  ).

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We've been vaguelly wanting to move to a rural property for years. Now we are finally maybe sorta ready and are putting our house on the market and hoping to make an offer on a farm that we liked.

 

The kids are excited. DH and I periodically have cold feet. Everybody seems to love it. Are there those who hate it?

 

We are city folks. I'd like to have a simpler life. I'd like to work more outside. I think I'm ready. Am I?

 

 

My only thought is drive time.

 

I have loved, loved, loved living out in the country.

 

I will say that I am in a season where I would give my left arm to be ten minutes from our homeschool program because I drive there so much.  

 

But then I think what would I want long term?  And the answer is to NOT be in town.

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We recently moved from a few acres to a neighborhood.  I really thought I'd love working outside and gardening and the privacy.  But, I'm never moving back.  My parents still live in the middle of nowhere and love the privacy.  It's not worth it to me.  I echo the above complaints.  Here are the top troubles combining both my old house and my parents' house:

 

Mice/rats in garage/barn or house

So much mowing!  Even with animals.

So far to town or any activities for the kids

When the power goes out, it stays out until every single town/neighborhood/store gets theirs back.  Then ours will come on a week after that.

Terrible Internet Service

Terrible Cell Phone Service

Stray animals adopt you and people nearby don't keep their dogs contained at their house so they cause problems on your land

Did I mention all the mowing? 

It costs a lot to hire people to do whatever you can't - baling hay comes to mind, bulldozer work, digging a hole for a horse that was put down where it stood

Ticks.  My mom got Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Ten years later the effects are still causing severe problems.  {She still loves the country and tick spray; she'd never move.}

You get attached to an animal - mostly barn cats - and something eats it.

Teenagers plus baseball bat (or a drunk) plus your mailbox which is at the end of a long drive not within sight of your house

No days off from chores if you have animals.  No sleeping in!

Animals = shoveling their refuse.  A lot. 

If you have a heart and feed a barn cat Fancy Feast, he will never again eat a mouse ;)

Vets cost more to come to your farm.

Ponds can be more problematic that you can even begin to imagine - snakes, snapping turtles, mosquitoes, duck weed, leaking/not holding water, weed-eating the edge, droughts.

Poachers on your land can be dangerous.  One even had the nerve to set up a tree stand and deer cameras on our land.  Granted, it was an area we rarely went back to so we didn't notice for awhile.

Every distant cousin wants to hunt on your land for free. 

A long drive to decent stores, doctors, restaurants. 

 

There is a lot of truth to this.  It really is pleasant though and depends on your area.  We are rural Midwest.  I grew up on a hobby farm and then a real working farm in high school.  I don't remember ever being out of electric for more than a day.

 

Yes on the internet and you usually can't pick your cell service - your choices are probably limited to 1 or 2 options.

 

Yes on the mowing.  Otherwise fence everything and get goats.  ;) (And I hear guineas are great for ticks from my aunt.)  ;)

 

The cat tip cracked me up.  Truth.

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We just moved from a city to a farm about 6 months ago.  I had grown up on a farm so I thought I was prepared.  I forgot a lot of things after being in the city for 14 years.  Here are some of the things I'm not loving right now:

 

It's dirty!  I knew this, and yet didn't realize how much mud we would be tracking into the house.  We have plan to try to get the garage set up so that we can take boots off out there instead of in the entry.  I'm hoping this helps.

 

Mowing.  And mowing.  And mowing.  We have a lot of frontage along a state highway.  We wouldn't need to mow it as much as we do, but then it doesn't look as nice and DH and I both take pride in having a very tidy and pleasing property.  Basically, DH like to come home and think "Wow, our property looks so nice!" :)  So, mowing takes about 4-5 hours.  And that's just the mowing, there's usually some weed whacking that needs done as well.  Oh, as well as all the trash pick up along the road that needs done before we mow, thanks to the people that litter!  Thankfully our oldest will be helping with the mowing next summer so I'm hoping to capture back at least 2 hours of time.

 

Driving.  When we lived in the city we were very central and could be most places within 15 minutes.  We're kind of in the same situation here for stores like Kroger, Kohl's, JCPenney's and Walmart.  There's also a UPS store (only office/printing place around) and a Dunham Sports.  I'm very thankful for those places, but they're not where I shopped before, so that's been a transition.  For anything else, we have to drive about an hour.  For a chain restaurant that's not fast food, we have to drive 45 minutes.  

 

Dining out options - like I said above, for a chain that's not fast food we have to drive 45 minutes.  I do like that we're going to small, local places instead. HOWEVER, it's almost impossible to get a good salad or a piece of fish that isn't deep fried.  Pretty much everyone has great burgers, pizza and fried food.  And that's it.  The best salad I have had since moving here that I haven't made myself has been from Wendy's.  I didn't realize how many different types of places we ate in the city until that wasn't an option.  

 

The smell of manure.  I grew up on a small farm surrounded by a lot of other small farms.  Manure was around, there were some bad days but it was tolerable.  People pastured animals frequently.  I have now moved to the land of Factory Farms.  People around here call them family farms, but when you have 8 chicken barns, each as long as a football field, I don't consider you a small family operation.  It's very flat here, so it's easy to till, so hardly anyone has animals on pasture.  This means all manure needs to be dealt with, and there's a lot of it.  

 

So, 6 months in I wouldn't say I hate it, but I'm still transitioning and it's a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Moving in general is a lot harder than I thought it would be.  It's just very different here, even though we're only 90 minutes from our old house.  

 

 

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If I were you, wanting the "simpler life", I'd define what that means.

 

Do you want a rural lifestyle without modern amenities? Do you want a self sufficient lifestyle? Working farm to live on? Off grid living?

 

Many things can be accomplished in a suburban house as a trial run. Start gardening and see how that works (even 1/4 acre small lot can produce a lot of food). Some areas allow chickens or small animals. Do you make your own food already?

 

Are you tired of material things? If that's a problem then declutter.

 

Lots of times we have notions of what would work, but there are many options to accomplish goals. I'm sure if you're determined you could make it work out. But be careful to be practical and not romanticize your future dream. Look carefully into daily rural life. Maybe consider renting for a year before making a big purchase. Or do a trial in your current home.

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There is a lot of truth to this.  It really is pleasant though and depends on your area.  We are rural Midwest.  I grew up on a hobby farm and then a real working farm in high school.  I don't remember ever being out of electric for more than a day.

 

Yes on the internet and you usually can't pick your cell service - your choices are probably limited to 1 or 2 options.

 

Yes on the mowing.  Otherwise fence everything and get goats.   ;) (And I hear guineas are great for ticks from my aunt.)   ;)

 

The cat tip cracked me up.  Truth.

 

My mom tried guineas and ducks.  Built the ducks a nice house and let them out every morning.  All got eaten.  The guineas are so stupid they were easy picking and attracted more wildlife (foxes?  I can't remember what she said ate most of the guineas). 

 

Goats are funny.  She had a llama to protect the silly goats (her first attempt at animals).  When I would visit from college, I'd feed them paper.  I was a city kid and the goats fascinated me.  My parents decided to retire and become "farmers" after I left home for college.

 

I will admit that I put the worst of the worst but the op did ask for the bad side.  Now, there are many pros that I could list but I'll stick with one:

 

There is nothing more peaceful than sitting outside on a cool evening and hearing nothing but bugs and looking at the stars and fireflies.  (until a neighbor's dog barks or someone decides to shoot something.)  (my parents live where it is hilly/rocky, so noises travel a long distance). 

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My mom and stepdad just finished building a new home on fifteen acres. They hate it. And we (me and my mom and my bio dad) lived waaay out in the country for my entire childhood, so it's not like she didn't know what they were getting into.

 

Mainly, they're bored. Especially my stepdad, who is now completely retired. He likes to be around people and do social activities, so being half an hour from the nearest town that has any of that is driving him completely nuts. Gardening and mowing a huge yard doesn't take as much time as you'd think, and you can only sit out on the deck and watch the birds for so long before you start to go stir crazy.

 

They can't get internet fast enough to have Netflix, and they have to pay a small fortune for the crappy internet they can get.

 

The ticks. Omg, the ticks. When we visit in the warm months, dd can't play out in the yard at all because the tick population is insane, and they're the kind that carry diseases. My mom ended up being infected with one of them (something like lyme disease, but newer and rarer- I'm blanking on the name) and was sick for A YEAR. With treatment. And don't even get me started on the mosquitoes out there.

 

The drive sucks. There's a tiny gas station a mile down the road, but beyond that they have to drive over half an hour to get to the major stores.

 

When it snows heavily, they're stuck for quite a while. Tiny country roads aren't exactly priorities for the county to get plowed.

 

They would love to get pets, but they want to travel and they're too far away from civilization to hire a petsitter, so either they have to pay a fortune to have the animals kenneled or they don't travel. So far, they've just gone without any pets, and they're not happy about that.

 

They've had to spend a fortune on their septic thing. (Obviously I'm an expert, lol.) I don't know all the details, but the first kind they had dug was wrong and they would have had to pay hundreds every month to have it pumped. So then they had to spend thousands to have a different kind dug.

 

The sad irony is that they can't even really do much gardening, despite having all that land. It turns out the yard is so low that the ground is wet all the time, and a lot of the vegetables they've been trying to grow ended up with various diseases and issues. Plus even with high fences, the critters still manage to get in and eat what they do grow.

 

They actually hate it so much they're going to sell in the spring and move down here by us, even though they only finished building last year.

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