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Urban or Rural?

  • 2 weeks ago
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There’s no straight answer to the question of whether living rural or urban is better. It’s something that’s almost entirely up to you and your circumstances. There are a few things to consider before you make this big decision and being the helpful bunch we are, we’ve laid them all out here for your perusal.

Living in a rural area

When you live in a rural setting, you’ll be surrounded by nature and open spaces, as well as some winding lanes and period cottages. The air feels cleaner and you can see more stars at night. What’s not to love? Well, we’ll come to that, but first let’s look at what is to love about living in the countryside.

The tranquil beauty

This is probably the biggest draw because it’s just there. You don’t need to make any effort – it’s just the way the place is. If you want peace and quiet, unspoiled Cotswold views and fresh air – rural it is for you.

The community spirit

It’s impossible to be anonymous in a small village and if you’re looking for somewhere that feels like an extended family, you can find it in a rural community, especially if you pitch in with events.

Privacy and space

Rural properties are often larger than town or city houses and gardens tend to be larger as well, giving you more scope for privacy, as well as a vegetable garden and even some chickens.

The average price of a four-bedroom house in Cheltenham is £697,000, whereas a similar property in Bishop’s Cleeve is around £670,000. If you travel further out to Winchcome, you can expect to pay around £600,000 for a four-bedroom house.

Of course, there’s always a trade off for these cheaper properties.

Limited access to services and amenities

It’s probably the most obvious drawback of rural living – it’s harder to get to the things you need – supermarkets, hospitals and cafes. You’ll rely more on your own transport as there may not be as many buses or trains. What you save on the house, you’ll pay for in the car!

Fewer job opportunities

Job opportunities for all ages are somewhat fewer in rural areas. If you’re moving with children, you might be playing taxi driver if they get a weekend job a few miles down the road. Similarly, you might face a longer commute to your own job. Maybe you’d be happier in the town or city.

Living in an urban area

Yes, it’s more crowded, but you can run to a corner shop for those missing essentials, grab a taxi, jump on a train, nip out for noodles… You get the picture.

More access to amenities and services

This is the biggest advantage of urban living – shops, schools, GP, cafes, bars, parks are all on your doorstep (or at least, a few streets away).

More employment opportunities

From that Saturday job in a cafe for the teen to a high-powered career in intelligence, towns like Cheltenham have a lot to offer ambitious jobseekers.

More cultural and social opportunities

You can’t think of Cheltenham without thinking of its many festivals. There’s also a huge range of cuisines in the town too, as well as museums and art galleries. Just heading into a coffee shop offers you the chance to meet new people and exchange ideas – something you may miss in a little village.

The biggest downside to urban living – the cost

As well as the price of the property, living in a city can be more expensive too. Your average pub and cafe will have bigger overheads than their rural counterparts and so you’ll pay a bit more for your latte.

Towns and cities are noisier

They’re also a bit dirtier, with so much more going on. However, many people simply overlook these factors because they prefer the advantages of town or city living.

Urban living is crowded

The streets, the shops, the pubs – all have a lot more footfall in cities than in villages. Gardens tend to be smaller, too and detached houses are fewer – and much more expensive.

How to make the choice

It’s not easy, we know! Deciding between urban and rural is a complicated process and a lot of it depends on what you want now and in the future.

Think about your lifestyle

What’s your commute like? What do you do in your free time? Are you looking for a quieter life or do you need the buzz of a town? Do you socialise a lot? How will a move to or from an urban area change your work and social life?

What about your family?

If you have a young family or if you’re planning one in the near future then you need to think about schools, clubs and a social network. You might prefer a small village school or a school in an urban area that has more extracurricular activities and more diversity.

Finally – the money

No matter what’s on your wishlist, money has the final say. You might fancy a big four-bedroom place with a large garden in the middle of town, but if your budget doesn’t allow it, you’ll either have to choose a smaller place or move further out.

You also have to think about running costs after you’ve unpacked the last moving box. If your commute is a five-minute walk to a town centre office, then great. If you face 30 minutes or more in the car each way, is that bigger garden worth it?

Whatever you decide, Elliot Oliver has the properties – and the advice – you need to make a success of your next move.

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