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Ever since the first pandemic-induced lockdown struck the UK in 2020, many of us have been questioning our way of life. Ultimately, both our personal and professional lives have become less location dependent with new technologies making ‘living from a distance a reality.
Data is still in its infancy, however, a survey by Rightmove suggests that what was thought to be a Spring high in countryside relocation is now becoming a long-term trend.
All things considered though, living in a city or town offers its own lifestyle with foods from around the world, gyms, cafes, bars and enough parks to offer some nature time when needed.
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider moving to the countryside:
- More space for less
- Less pollution
- More nutritious food
- Better mental health
It’s easy to get caught up in the charm of countryside living, so let’s break those six reasons down and see if they are relevant to your goals and aspirations.
1. More space for less
Whether it’s the centre of Cardiff or the suburbs of Llanelli, if you’re moving to the countryside you’re guaranteed to get more square footage for your budget.
For example, the average property size in London stands at 705 square feet. In London a 705 square foot property costs around £513,000. That’s £729 per square foot. However in the rural north east where homes average 748 square feet, the average house price is just £140,000.
This essentially means that moving from a major city to the countryside could offer you as much as twice the square footage for the same budget.
Having more space comes with its own benefits such as:
- Rooms for hobbies/crafts
- Outdoor space for children and pets to enjoy
- Space for renovations and extensions
So if you’re looking to escape the cramped apartment and get some room to breathe, then moving to the countryside is for you.
2. Less pollution
Put simply, air quality in the countryside is far better than in urban areas. Even with the UK containing some of the greenest cities in Europe, an urban area will never achieve the same air quality as the countryside.
Harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide can be found in many urban areas at high volume. The most dramatic being SO2, can be found in concentrations 200 times greater in cities than in rural concentrations.
Not only does this offer improved lung health for you, but also offers a much healthier environment in which to bring up children.
3. More nutritious food
As large supermarkets look to squeeze costs of fruit and vegetables, production becomes stepped up with stronger fertilisers ultimately leading to poorer quality food. However, rural farmers are making a stand with CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs that allow rural populations to sign up and receive a weekly selection of freshly grown produce.
Buying directly from farmers offers a wealth of benefits:
- Better tasting fruit and vegetables
- More nutritious fruits and vegetables
- More sustainable lifestyle
- Cheaper produce (by cutting out the middleman)
- Great choice over quality (more organic produce available)
So if its a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle you’re after, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or a keen carnivore, the countryside lifestyle offers a great way of life.
They say that cities, despite their large populations, can actually be some of the loneliest places to live. Such noise and chaos can make it hard to find peace and like-minded individuals.
The countryside offers a different kind of community, though you may not be able to find the same diversity as in the city. Small towns and villages often come with their own range of traditions and events to bring communities together.
Smaller populations make them easier to manage, and community centres and village halls are often the epicenter of community events in the countryside.
5. Better mental health
We know how spending time outside can improve your state of mental well-being. Even the Nordic’s invented a phrase for it: friluftsliv. The act of spending time outdoors to relax.
However, moving to the countryside and almost removing so many options and stimuli is a benefit in itself – reducing stress starts with doing less. And that’s exactly what the countryside offers. There is a pressure of ‘doing’ and ‘being busy’ that is nigh on nonexistent in rural areas where you’re able to enjoy a slower pace of life and be more creative.
In conclusion, even if one of these reasons stood out to you, it’s worth seeing what properties are available in your area and arranging a quick viewing to get a taste of what moving to the countryside could offer.
Written by Aled for Bizeld on behalf of Cowbridge and Cardiff-based estate agents Harris & Birt.