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Thinking About Moving to a Small Town

Thinking About Moving to a Small Town

Farm Home Life wrote about living in small town America recently, and I read the article with interest. You see, we are considering moving to a small town sometime in the coming years.

I’ve been thinking about this more after our visit last summer to a small-by-my-standards-but-still-fairly-large town in the Midwest. It just seemed so idyllic, and more personable somehow (of course it probably helped that we were visiting family there). The thought that moving to a small town would save us money as well is a big bonus. We could easily sell our house here, even now, and have enough left over to pay cash for a house in many small towns. Being completely out of debt would be a wonderful thing (although with luck we’ll hit that goal before then anyway).

The idea is appealing to me, but I wonder if I could really take the plunge. Could I live without the mall? Well sure. I rarely go there anyway, except to stop into the food court now and then. We rarely go to the movies, so even if the town didn’t have a movie theatre, we wouldn’t miss much. Basically, we’re homebodies who take advantage of Netflix and the internet, so we’d be pretty much set as long as the town had internet service.

I did briefly live in a town of about 5,000 as a child, and enjoyed that, but I imagine it’s different as an adult. We’ll have to start thinking more about the potential advantages and disadvantages and the cost considerations (since we also want to travel a lot, proximity to a major airport is important too). One thing I wonder though, is how do you find the right small town to move to?

View Comments (5)
  • As someone who grew up in a small town and who now lives in another small town, IMHO the best advice would be to move to where you have family or know someone. Small town politics are notorious for being brutal to “newcomers,” who are defined as those who have lived there for less than 20 years. I left a lovely town for just that reason – the neighbors were horrible, and yes, it was all about the fact that we came from “the Big City” because I asked ;-)

  • Ditto to everything Mary said. Also..being debt free would be nice, but you would still need an income. Jobs are not as abundant in small towns and when you do find one, it is usually a lengthy commute away and low paying.

  • Mary, that’s discouraging, especially since we don’t have any family in the areas that interest us.

    Leslie, ideally we would be working for ourselves from home, so that part shouldn’t matter.

  • As someone who has lived in a small town for my entire life (7500 people, I guess not that small) I have a great perspective on this.

    Don’t worry about what Mary and Leslie have to say about being an outsider. Like any place, it’ll take a little while for the neighbors to warm to you, but as long as you’re not big fat jerks or anything, you’ll fit in.

    As for being from the evil city, us small town folk don’t hate that per se, we hate when former big city folk complain about how much more boring a small town is. Yes, it’s slower and yes, there isn’t as much to do. We understand that, and choose to live with it. If you move to a small town, be prepared for that.

    The difference in wages for a small town generally isn’t much. Teachers, nurses, social workers, etc. make pretty much the same wage in a small town as a big city, plus living expenses are always much less. If your job is pretty specialized, then you’d be better off living in a city. If it’s more common, you’ll have no problem finding work in a decent sized town.

    I lived in a big city for a little while, and never again! What a bunch of headaches. Give me my small town living any time.

  • This is one of the reasons why I love The Pioneer Woman’s blog (google her! Don’t know the link off the top of my head) so much. She moved from OK to Los Angeles back to uber rural OK. She loves it.

    I went from a tiny, tiny town to a mid-sized town to the sprawl that is Los Angeles. I cannot wait to get back to small town America. Not to negate Mary et al’s experience, but I tend to think that we create our own realities and you can carve happiness out just about anywhere you go.

    When I go a-hunting for small town living again, I’m going to focus on finding a blend of charm and an openness to liberal views. I’m excited about the search! Good luck with yours. :)

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