City vs. Country

Thanks so much for all your input on the old house . . all the houses for that matter.  We realize there are advantages, as well as disadvantages, to living in the city or the country.  For everyone, it’s a personal decision.  For us, what matters most, is knowing what we want and not being swayed by something that seems so great as did the 1883 house.  When I talk about living in the country, mostly I’m wanting to be out of the city limits, far enough away that the chance of annexation is slim to none, but not so far away that it takes forever to get to town.

When we first knew we were moving, we made a list of “want” and “do not want” items.  The top of the do not want list was to live outside the city limits. I think one of the most important things in life is to know what you want and work towards that goal.  When we don’t have goals, we’re easily swayed one direction or the other.  We know what we want and not living in the city is important to us.

There is one house that seems like it would be close to perfect for us but it’s way out in the country . . 8 miles down a dirt road.  We won’t consider that one.

We understand that living out in the country means there are no restrictions and anything could end up next to us.  That’s why we want enough land that we don’t have to worry about seeing or hearing neighbors, to some degree anyway.  We lived pretty far out in the country in Kentucky.  We dealt with mice when the farmers cut the fields around us.  Our closest neighbor was about 11 acres away but we heard their roosters (and I loved it!).  Our roads were not great but since I don’t travel much, it wasn’t something that bothered me at all.  Vince is taking my Honda back to Texas and he asked me to check to see when the tires were rotated last and get that done if needed.  They were rotated about 14 months ago and since then, I’ve put almost 4,000 miles on the car!  So, you can see I don’t get out much!

In our opinion, living in the city simply adds another layer of bureaucracy, along with added taxes.  Someone telling us what we can and cannot do with our own land . . not what we want.

Some of the issues that have been mentioned about living in the country.

Roads – Have you seen Texas roads?  Their back roads are better than many interstate highways.  Yesterday Vince and I were out driving around here in MO and we were in the city and Vince said “I’m so glad we’re moving to Texas where they have such great roads!”

Internet – We always ask if they have high speed internet and so far, everything we’ve looked at has had DSL.  If not, we can always go with satellite.  I’m not going to let internet be the determining factor if we find a great house/land.  Just so we can get something that works halfway decent, I’ll be happy and maybe if I don’t have such great internet, I’ll get more done!  🙂

Phone service – Not sure anywhere in that area doesn’t have reliable phone service but we will use our cell phones and probably not have a home phone unless Magic Jack is available there and right now, I don’t think it is.  We’ve checked everywhere we looked to be sure there’s cell phone service.  In fact, as we were driving down there, I was amazed that way out in the middle of nowhere, they had 3G.  There were just a couple of places that didn’t have 3G.  We didn’t have 3G here at home (in MO) and I kept complaining that it was everywhere in TX but we didn’t have it right here in town.  When we got home, I happened to look at my phone and we have 3G now!  Got it while we were gone.

Water/Sewer – We prefer to have city/rural water for drinking but a well for watering.  Many of the country homes do have wells or ponds (tanks as they’re called in that area).  We can pump water from the pond for watering a garden or fruit trees.  One house we looked last week is in the city and their water bill was $500 last month.  It’s so dry there that keeping grass growing is very expensive.  Most people in the city have water bills in the $300 – $500 range.   They informed us that includes sewer and trash pickup.  Still seems awfully expensive to me.  This is one of the first houses we’ve had with city sewer and we’ve never had a problem.  Texas is real picky about septic tanks and most houses there have two.

While many prefer living in the city, we aren’t in that category.  We do know the ramifications of living outside town and we’ll be real happy to deal with whatever comes our way . . just get me out of the city!  🙂


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    Helene says

    I’m guessing you won’t have to worry about reliable snow-clearing out in the country in Texas! 🙂

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    those water bills are huge! I think I would let the grass die and put in rock gardens! I totally understand about the city limits stuff – you need permission for everything. We live 3 miles outside the city limits on a road that most likely would never be annexed in – one can never tell of course. When we moved here there were just a little bit of homes scattered between here and town and now of course 30 years later there are a heck of a lot more but it is still country living for the most part. Our 4 acres doesn’t seem like enough sometimes, but most times it is ok.

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    Mary Beth says

    I would love to live in the country. I can think of a million and one reason to do so….then I think about gas prices, wear and tear on my car, convenience, and I know living in the city has it’s advantages. I would still rather live in the country…but have accepted my fate of city life.

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    Sibyl says

    Wow those water bills sounds like electric bills. I was complaining about our bill this month, it went over $100.00 usually closer to $50.00 but with no rain, we have been watering a bit. But I’ll let the yard go, and water the foundation before anything else.

    Hope ya’ll find something suitable. Yes keeping your eyes focused on what you really want is important. You and Vince only have to answer to yourselves. No one else’s opinion really matters.

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    Thanks for this Judy and a new mover to the US ( been here 3 years ago) I had no clue what the differences were opr even that there were differences. In the UK everyone is on mains water and sewage and has stupid planning laws and high taxes 🙂 the only reason you would choose country over city is the access to land and remember we talk in sq ft for land not acres

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    Katherine says

    I’ve lived in city limits before – but didn’t have nearly the issues you have now with the red tag guy, so YMMV. I Live with moderate covenants now, but they are enforced only gently and reasonably, so it’s not bad. We’ve been here 11 years and never been contacted re covenants. It’s definitely something to check out what the city/county/neighborhood rules are like and how they are enforced.

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    SarahB says

    Amen to that! We live in a small town but it’s ambitions are to be big so they are taxing big now…. to us that means we need to move further into the country. I have been absent a LOT from reading blogs because we are in yet another renovation that needs finished before we can list our house. But listing day is Saturday! We’ll pray for you, Judy and Vince, to sell quickly and still find the perfect house. By the way, a method that work for a friend was to drive around the areas that would be acceptable and start knocking on doors. Sometimes people are “considering” moving but because of the market being aweful they aren’t going to risk it. But if they have a buyer show up then it might be worth their time. Or you can hire an agent to do this since most agents have “go-fers” that can pound the pavement for them.

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    I understand your feelings. I prefer the country, but I am to the point in my life I want small town living, not city. I was really disappointed when you told us the rock house was in the city. Bill and I have a list of things we want in a house also and I agree that a list will keep you on track.

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    I’ve lived in the country on a farm for most of my life with the exception when I was in college for 4 years and the first year we were married. I wouldn’t trade it for city life for anything and can see why you are sticking to your guns on that point. Granted living in the country about 45 min. from a large town (have a small town with a few stores though) has not been a problem. Just make a list and get it all on the trip you do make. The shopping trips tend to be longer and on each one I spend more but at least I don’t have to spend more time making those trips. Keep up hope…something perfect will turn up sooner or later.

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    Mary says

    I love the city here in Minneapolis but have no desire to live in Atlanta. I’m doing my best to get Keith to look at places outside the loop not that I’m a fan of the Burbs either but at least I can get more space.

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    Sandra Neel Hutchins says

    I agree about having wells and also “city” water. Our water bill is $25 per month. We only use it for household use. We have two wells that are “free water”. We use those for watering the flowers, trees, etc. and for washing the cars
    Good luck on the house hunting.

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    Alma says

    I wrote before that my daughter was moving to Texas and they are currently looking for a house to rent. Their real estate agent told them that there is not much of a selection right now, but that will change once school is out for the summer. Agent said that many people do not want to list their house -sale or rent- until after school ends, so hang in there. Hopefully, the selection will become larger in your area of Texas.

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    pdudgeon says

    LOL, my son made a list like that when choosing which college to go to…
    number one on his list was that it had to have snow in the Winter.

    He got his wish! when we didn’t have snow at home, he did have it at college.

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    We live outside city limits where we are. Your list of priorities is similar to what ours was when we looked for a new home. We ended up giving in on the dirt road, but we live off the road. The people who live on the road are inundated with dust in the summer. I would hate that. We have tall trees blocking the dust from where we are.

    Where internet is concerned, we don’t have DSL. We tried satellite for a while, but it was frustratingly slow. We ended up with wireless internet, and it works very well. It’s probably not as reliable as DSL, but it’s not bad. If you have to go that route, look into wireless. It’s a better bet, and with things so flat in TX, you might get a good signal. Ours comes from a mountain across the valley, and our receiver is mounted on top of our roof. Even when it’s cloudy and foggy, it works. Dense fog slows it down, but it’s still pretty reliable.

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    Julia says

    I’m a country girl too! I’ll deal with some of the inconveniences of country living to have the joy of quiet country life! Good luck with finding exactly what you are willing to live with and without!