Rolling hills and farmlands, expansive gardens with chickens laying eggs, and large stately homes steeped in the stories of a family’s generations — this is often what comes to mind when one considers constructing a home in the suburbs and rural areas of the United States.
Families who have grown weary of the city’s exhausting hustle and bustle will find the serenity, the ample space, and the uncomplicated way of life to be extremely appealing. As you investigate building a home in the countryside, you will likely discover an increasing number of advantages and benefits.
If you’re considering building a home in the outer suburbs of a major city or in a more rural area of your state, here’s a closer look at nine advantages you’ll enjoy when you construct your ideal home in your low-key location.
1. Space is on your side to build a bigger home
Rural areas comprise 97 percent of the United States, but according to the American Community Survey (ACS), administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, only 19.3 percent of the country’s occupied housing units are rural. This is compared to the 94.4 million people who live in urban areas (80.7%). Consequently, if you feel suffocated in your urban dwelling, these statistics explain why.
Rural areas provide greater privacy from your neighbors, space to breathe, and expansive property to do as you please, such as constructing an outdoor gym or a conservatory. More space results in larger dwellings. Your children will not be required to share a bedroom, and there is space for a home office and all of your family’s interests.
2. It’s custom-made with your fingerprints all over the design
In contrast to metropolitan neighborhoods, rural residences are rarely standardized. With acres of land at their disposal, your family and builder can realize your ideal home.
According to a 2018 report by the National Association of Home Builders, one of the most distinguishing characteristics of “nonmetropolitan” homes is the high proportion of custom homes. These homes are either “contractor built” or “owner built,” indicating that builders were hired to complete the project. In urban areas, only 16.9% of residences were custom-built, compared to 52.8% in rural areas. The majority of urban residences are typically constructed in tracts or subdivisions for sale.
Your fingerprints are all over the DNA of a custom-built home, from the layout and materials to the smallest details such as countertops, windows, and wall colors. You can design your residence to accommodate your entire family. Include an accessible bathroom for elderly parents or elders, or soundproof a room for your children’s music lessons. Custom-built residences can also be enjoyable. If your family desires an open-concept kitchen that connects to a lovely garden for dining al fresco, it is entirely possible. If your children desire a swimming pool and treehouse, you have the space to accommodate them.
3. The price is right
Depending on where you live, real estate prices will vary, but as a general rule, you’ll get more for your money in rural and suburban America than in main city centers, where housing and living costs are higher. Not only do you acquire access to more space, but you also pay less to secure this space.
The cost of a studio apartment in the heart of a major metropolitan area could purchase a four-bedroom home in the suburbs. Even more, land can be acquired in the countryside for construction purposes. With less competition, you will not need to engage in bidding battles.
According to the NAHB report, the average price of a single-family home built for sale in nonmetropolitan areas of the United States is approximately $245,552 — 33 percent less than homes in urban areas. Per square foot, suburban and rural homes are 10 percent less expensive than urban residences. The median price of a rural residence was $213,000, whereas the median price of an urban home was $344,000.
We are also aware that living in cities is more costly than in the suburbs and the countryside. A bottle of wine and dinner for two will be significantly less expensive in the suburbs than in the metropolis. Researchers compared the cost of living for urban and rural families in Pennsylvania and discovered that rural families paid less for consumables, health care, transportation, and, most notably, housing, which was 12.7% less expensive in rural areas. On the rural side, financial maintenance is also present.
The difference in income between rural householders and urban residents is not significant: $52,386 versus $54,296. Mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance are, however, less expensive for rural homeowners. According to ACS data, the median monthly housing cost for rural homeowners with a mortgage was $1,271 compared to $1,561 in urban areas. With comparable incomes and reduced living expenses, rural residents’ budgets are not as stretched.
4. You can add money-saving additions to your build
When you don’t have to worry about close neighbors or sharing a fence, you can make your residence self-sufficient in a variety of ways. You will have space to cultivate a vegetable garden and cultivate your own fresh produce, herbs, and flowers. You could also consider raising poultry for an endless supply of eggs, as well as cows, goats, and rabbits.
With a well-kept garden and a few grazing animals, you will have many of the ingredients necessary for cookery. Forget the weekend farmers market — you’re the farmer now, or one of your neighbors most likely will be.
While working with your builder, you can request a cold chamber to store refrigerated items and a greenhouse to protect your plants from excessive heat, cold, or pests. These two facilities lack electrical power.
Now that you have the luxury of space to work with, don’t neglect the energy efficiency hacks at your disposal. Consider installing solar panels, wind turbines, and windmills to cover your energy needs. Self-sufficiency results in additional savings.
5. It’s all yours
According to the ACS, rural households are significantly more likely to own their homes than their urban counterparts. The homeownership rate in rural areas is 81.1%, compared to 59.8% in urban areas. Rural homeowners are more likely to own their homes “free and clear,” i.e., without a mortgage. This could be due to the lower overhead costs of maintaining a property or the cost-conscious lifestyle.
44% of rural householders have paid off their mortgages, compared to 32% of urban homeowners. Without a mortgage, rural homeowners have more money available for reserves and discretionary expenses. And according to the NAHB report, more than 16 percent of rural single-family homes are paid for in cash, compared to less than 9 percent of urban homes.
6. Your home is your legacy built to last
When purchasing undeveloped land or a prepared lot with the option to build a custom home, your property is likely to be permanent. You can build a larger home for less money, as well as a residence for multiple generations or a family estate. This includes detached guest suites and pool houses, separate entrances for added privacy, and multiple master chambers with en suite bathrooms.
By residing in a multigenerational home, everyone can contribute to the cost of living, young adults can save for their own homes, and grandparents can help care for their grandchildren while also receiving the support they require.
7. You’ll have fewer restrictions to deal with
In rural areas, there are fewer restrictions on what can be constructed. There may be fewer zoning restrictions, permit requirements, and restrictions on when your builders can work (your neighbors are too far away to complain about the commotion). As long as you do not violate state or federal laws, you will have more freedom to use your property as you see fit. However, you will have to consider wildlife and water environmental impact assessments.
Cities can impose restrictions on the access of heavy-duty vehicles to a site, but this is typically not an issue in rural areas. This is an excellent combination of benefits for both you and your builder.
8. You can build your own sense of community
Building a house in the country will allow you to leave a positive impression on the community and form relationships with your neighbors.
It is no longer necessarily true that detractors associate the suburbs and rural communities with fewer opportunities and isolation from certain amenities. In 2016 and 2017, according to a 2019 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, more than 2.6 million individuals moved from major cities to the suburbs as a result of increased affordability.
And once they’re there, “amenity creep” ensues, as homeowners demand improved transit and walkable communities close to shopping and entertainment. According to the PwC report, employment centers are appearing as residents determine they want to work closer to their homes.
Even though there may not be a Starbucks or McDonald’s at a significant intersection, this is a fantastic step towards revitalizing the economic and social aspects of rural and suburban life.
9. You’re leveling up your health and peace of mind
The scientific community comprehends your desire to relocate to the rural. Numerous studies have shown that this idyllic way of life is beneficial to your mental and physical health due to the calming natural scenery outside your window, the fresh air, and the proximity to green space.
For instance, one study found that a one-hour walk in nature, or even just viewing pictures of nature, can enhance memory and attention spans by 20%. Another study discovered that “forest bathing” or walking in the countryside has numerous health advantages, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety. Almost the opposite effect of squeezing into a crowded subway during peak hours.
Your slumber will not be disturbed by the sounds of traffic and sirens, the crime rate is significantly lower than in the city, and there is less pollution and litter.
Building a home in a suburban or rural area can remove you from the rat race and bring you closer to a simpler existence, allowing you and your family to determine what is most important.