Living in the country can be a dream: wide open spaces, fresh air, lots of privacy and less stress. However, if you are moving to a rural area from the city, or getting a vacation cabin or cottage for the first time, there are a few things you could easily overlook. Here are three of the biggest things to make sure of when you are moving to the country.
1. You have a good propane service – Most rural houses use propane for at least some of their energy needs. Depending on where you are, it’s likely that you will have the option of on-grid electricity and will not need to use a generator. However, gas service may or may not be readily available in your area and propane might be your fuel of choice for a stove, water heater, and other gas needs. Additionally, propane heaters are extremely efficient compared to other types of heaters and are often the best choice for home heating. All of this means that you will need a residential propane service that will come to change or refill your propane tank. Look for a service that offers flexible plans, that adjusts its prices to reflect the energy market, and that has a reputation for good service.
2. Your septic tank is in good working order – Depending on where your home is located, you may not have a hookup to municipal sewerage, which means you typically will have a septic tank. A septic tank is generally a very effective and low-maintenance feature; however, you will want to know the history of it and how it was constructed. A septic tank ultimately drains through a gravel layer into the soil, which means that it needs an adequate drainage field. Additionally, there should be easy access to the tank for pumping it out and an inspector should be able to tell you whether the tank is in good shape or contains any waste that it cannot process, which will require cleaning.
3. Your communication needs are met – The communication and Internet services available in rural areas vary widely. For many who want to live in the country, this is not a major concern, as being more isolated is part of the allure. For others, having good communication is still a must for work or just for personal preference. Find out in advance what Internet services are available in your area and what they cost. Satellite Internet is an alternative, but is not as fast as the best high-speed Internet and may have spotty service depending on weather. Cell phones are an easy replacement for a land line, but check how good your reception is in the area.
What else is on your checklist for your move?