If you’re the kind of person who wishes that you and Dallas and Ft. Worth could see other people, you might be a prime candidate for a rural relocation. Getting away from the hustle and bustle–and traffic, and taxes, and crime–of big cities and suburbia is easy in Texas because there is certainly no shortage of space. The thousands of square miles of open range have made it both popular and possible to move to your own slice of heaven. Whether it’s in the sandy west or the greener east, a country lifestyle of fresh air, self-sufficiency, and precious silence can be just the change you need in life.
But before you take the plunge, you have some things to work out.
Where Will You Work?
Banish the thoughts of eking out an existence from the land where you will live. Farming is tough for experienced people with inherited land. Don’t expect to get food, clothing, and shelter from what you’ll make on a farm, even in a good year. You must work, so start now in making your plan for it.
Consider the economy where you’re going. Are there employers there that offer jobs you are qualified for? Maybe you have a background that can help you provide ancillary services through your own business, like selling equipment to the oil drilling operations in the area or providing accounting services for local ranchers.
How Will You Get There?
You aren’t newlyweds with three suitcases and a flotilla of kitchen appliances still in their boxes, so you can’t just pile everything on the truck like the Beverly Hillbillies. Even if you’re not afraid of heavy lifting, it’s better to hire movers to get you from point A to point B.
This is particularly important if you’re planning on moving to our prairies and ranch lands from somewhere outside the borders of the US. As Unigroup Relocation points out, “The U.S. has restrictions on the importation of many items, such as weapons, alcohol, automobiles, plants, pets and others.” Hiring a professional company to help you ensures that you and all of your prized possessions will get from wherever you’re living now to wherever you’re hoping to live in one piece…without requiring you to nearly throw your back out. Remember: you’re moving to the middle of nowhere. You can’t just hop over to Urgent Care when you twist something trying to haul your couch off the truck!
Where Will You Get Provisions?
Of course, one of the great benefits of moving to the country is getting to grow a garden. Some Texas-appropriate vegetables can provide big financial savings for you as well as reducing the number of trips to civilization you’ll have to make. But not everything can be grown in the backyard, even if you make a foray into raising your own meats as well. There is still the issue of getting everything else from batteries to laundry detergent. Make sure that you not only have some reasonably close destination where these items can be had, but that you are also efficient in planning the trips. Make thorough shopping lists, and be sure to plan for specialized transportation. For example, if your drive home will be fairly long, plan to take a cooler and ice for your perishable items.And consider the size of the items you buy, so that you don’t buy more cargo than your vehicle can haul in a single trip.
Don’t forget the niceties of city entertainment. If you’re accustomed to regular trips to movies, concerts, and sporting events, you’ll need to adapt to more home-grown activities for fun.
Will You Lose Money?
Sometimes we flee urban America (or wherever) when our local economy tanks and we’re looking for something simpler. If that’s your rationale, you could get burned. For example, if there is an oil bust, the value of property in oil-heavy parts of the state will plummet. If you choose to move then, you’ll likely get a paltry offer for your place. That translates to less money for your new home, a tough blow to withstand in the midst of a major lifestyle change. So if the plains are calling your name, see how your neighborhood’s comparable homes are selling before you ring the realtor.
Like any major decision, a move to the country just takes some preparation. Done properly, it can change your life for the better.