Planning your build

Building a Home in a Rural vs an Urban Area

When building your dream home, one of the most important factors is location. Usually, we need to decide between a rural or urban area. Each has advantages and drawbacks. You should find a destination that will only enhance your lifestyle and overall satisfaction.

A rural area offers open spaces and a closer connection to nature with less population density and a slower pace of life. On the other hand, urban areas provide a vibrant atmosphere, proximity to amenities, and a bustling community.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of building a custom home in a rural versus an urban area, so you can make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and needs.

What are rural and urban areas?

Rural and urban living in the United States offer distinct lifestyles shaped by factors such as population density, infrastructure, and community dynamics. Rural living can offer more affordable housing options, larger lots, and the opportunity to engage in agriculture or outdoor activities.

On the other hand, urban areas are bustling with energy, cultural diversity, and numerous amenities. You’ll discover a wide range of entertainment, dining, and shopping options, as well as better employment opportunities. Urban living often promotes convenience, connectivity, and a vibrant social scene. However, it’ll be accompanied by higher living costs, increased traffic congestion, and a more fast-paced lifestyle.

Choosing between rural and urban living ultimately depends on individual preferences, priorities, and desired lifestyle factors.

Population Density and Lifestyle: Differences in Rural and Urban Living

In rural areas, you can enjoy a quieter and slower-paced lifestyle with a closer connection to nature and expansive open spaces. Urban areas instead tend to offer a fast-paced and dynamic lifestyle with a diverse population and an array of cultural experiences.

Rural Areas:

  • Lower population density, providing a sense of privacy and tranquillity. 
  • Opportunity for larger property sizes and more spacious homes. 
  • Greater proximity to natural landscapes, including forests, lakes, and mountains. 
  • Limited traffic and congestion, leading to reduced noise pollution. 

Urban Areas:

  • Higher population density, resulting in a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. 
  • Convenient access to a wide range of amenities, such as shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 
  • Extensive public transportation networks for easy commuting. 
  • A variety of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. 

Access to Amenities and Services: Examining the Differences Between Rural and Urban Areas

Rural areas often have limited access to amenities and specialized services, with residents needing to travel longer distances for shopping, medical facilities, and recreational activities. In contrast, urban areas offer a wide range of amenities within proximity like urban shopping centers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and cinemas.

Rural Areas:

  • Limited access to amenities, with fewer shopping options and specialized services available locally. 
  • Medical facilities, schools, and recreational facilities may require longer travel distances. 
  • Emphasis on self-sufficiency and a do-it-yourself mindset for certain tasks and services. 

Urban Areas:

  • Abundance of amenities and services within proximity, including hospitals, schools, and various recreational facilities.
  • Greater convenience with an array of shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment options nearby.
  • A wide range of professional services is readily available, including lawyers, accountants, and specialized consultants.

Cost of Living and Housing: Comparing Affordability in Rural and Urban Settings

You can expect rural areas to have a lower cost of living compared to urban areas, with affordable housing options and reduced expenses for daily necessities. Urban areas, of course, have a higher cost of living, including elevated housing prices, higher rent or mortgage payments, and increased expenses for daily needs.

Rural Areas:

  • Lower cost of living, including affordable housing options and reduced expenses for daily necessities.
  • Potential for larger homes and more land at a lower price compared to urban areas.
  • Lower property taxes and insurance premiums.

Urban Areas:

  • Higher cost of living, including elevated housing prices and increased expenses for daily necessities.
  • Smaller living spaces and higher rent or mortgage payments.
  • Higher property taxes and insurance premiums.

Community and Social Dynamics: Contrasting Rural Tight-Knit Communities with Urban Vibrant Scenes

Rural areas foster tight-knit communities where residents often know each other, creating a strong sense of belonging and support. In contrast, urban areas offer vibrant social scenes, diverse cultural experiences, and numerous networking opportunities, reflecting a dynamic and multicultural community.

Rural Areas:

  • Strong sense of community with tight-knit relationships and a supportive network.
  • Opportunities for involvement in community events, volunteering, and local organizations.
  • Preserving local traditions and cultural heritage.

Urban Areas:

  • Diverse and multicultural communities with a variety of cultural experiences and perspectives.
  • Vibrant social scenes with an array of entertainment options, nightlife, and cultural events.
  • Networking opportunities and access to a wider range of professional and social connections.

How to decide where to live

The decision of where to start your home is a highly personal choice that depends on your lifestyle preferences, priorities, and individual needs. To find what’s right for you, here’s a few places to start:

  • Evaluate your lifestyle: Reflect on your desired pace of life, social interactions, and proximity to amenities. Are you drawn to the hustle and bustle of city life or the tranquility of rural surroundings?
  • Identify your priorities: Decide what factors matter most to you, such as access to job opportunities, recreational activities, or maybe a strong sense of community.
  • Research and visit different areas: Gather information about both urban and rural areas that interest you to gain that firsthand experience.
  • Consider your plans: Think about your long-term goals, such as career advancement, raising a family, or enjoying a peaceful retirement, and which location will support that.
  • Seek advice and input: Talk to friends, family, or professionals who have experience living in urban or rural areas. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives to help inform your decision.

Remember, there is no definitive right or wrong choice. It’s about finding the environment that aligns with your lifestyle, values, and aspirations for a fulfilling and contented life.