How To Live on a Rural Property Even if You Can't Afford It

| 3/29/2011 1:07:29 PM

 Modern homesteading storage shed 

I’m a lucky duck.  When I decided it was time to pack up city life and settle onto a rural property, I had land to come to – a homestead site purchased by my family probably 15 years prior.

But what if you don’t have that plot to escape to and the economy has taken the wind out of your property purchasing sails?  Here are a few ideas to ponder that just might get you from city lot to rural acreage faster than you think:

Group Purchase

I considered this for years before we actually moved, as the property we’re currently on isn’t exactly my ‘dream’ land (though it’s getting closer as time passes).  Do you have friends with a similar dream of rural bliss?  Maybe relatives looking to invest in rural real estate?  Or maybe look into the rural land co-ops that are forming all over (though co-ops are not for everyone).  Start by making a list of everyone you know who might be interested in such an arrangement, then figure out what you would want out of the deal and what you could offer your ‘investors’, and go for it!

For us, group purchase wasn’t the right solution, but for you it just might be ideal.


I would recommend this for anyone – rent a home in the town you’ve chosen to settle into before you actually buy.  And not just for a couple of months, but for six months to a year.  There’s nothing like having your romantic visions of rural life shattered by neighbours engaging in illegal activity or finding out your well water is contaminated with arsenic.  Bottom line?  There are things about a community you simply can’t learn by visiting on weekends or even talking to the locals.  When we arrived in the town we currently live in, I’d been gone for 22 years and really hadn’t a clue how things ‘worked’.  And honestly, I couldn’t imagine what we’d do with ourselves to keep busy.

Victoria Gazeley
5/28/2011 11:36:58 AM

Great idea to experience rural living through extended farmstays and WWOOFing! I hadn't thought of that, but will add it to the article on the blog - thank you!

Nebraska Dave
3/31/2011 4:35:42 PM

Victoria, you are so wise is promoting the idea of trying the lifestyle out before investing all assets into a dream. Rural living looks glamorous when it's Little House on the Prairie, but when the spring thaw hits and the animals needs fed by mucking through the mud while the freezing rain is coming down. It's not quite what the dream was from the city. Hard work, lots of sweat, and not much money are all a part of rural living. Most times when things break its just not economical to call the repair man so a knowledge of fixing things is almost a must for rural living. There's so much that can't be imagined just from a dream of living in the country. Checking out the lifestyle before making a purchase is a great idea. Have a great country life day.

Sherry 'Woodswoman'
3/31/2011 8:32:47 AM

Victoria ~ Great ideas. I agree, there are many ways to "Follow your Bliss". If someone has that intense desire to do so, there are many options available. We also provide a unique opportunity, for someone to exchange rent for work, at our small farm and sled dog kennel. (And we're not the only ones out there.) Obviously, one would want to embrace the true rustic life. But if so, it could be a dream come true for an individual.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters