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9 reasons to leave the city and move to a rural area

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If you’ve always dreamed of living in cottage country full-time, there’s no moment like the present to leave the city grind behind.

Here’s why:

1. Real estate in the city isn’t looking to improve any time soon

Moving to the country was thought of as a retirement dream; it was a goal to work towards once urban life was no longer a financial necessity. But as real estate prices in Canada’s cities continue to become further disconnected from the average Canadian income, buying in a rural area is suddenly a more realistic goal than owning a home in downtown Toronto or Vancouver.

2. WiFi coverage is better than ever

Gone are the days of dial-up. Improvements to Internet access are being made across Canada, with the federal government investing $305 million into providing Canadians in rural and remote regions with high-speed access by 2017. (With that being said, Internet service can still be spotty in some areas.) It’s best to always check before buying a property, particularly if you work from home.

3. Telecommuting is now a norm

Employment is no longer a hurdle for those who want to move to the country. Remote work is on the rise, as is self-employment. Doing the nine-to-five thing no longer means being confined to a cubicle—it can mean spending your workday sitting by the lake with your laptop.

4. Living in rural areas is no longer as isolating for kids

If you have kids, determining how they’d fare is often one of the biggest considerations when it comes to making a move. But with the ability to SMS and Snapchat, moving to the country no longer means that kids feel disconnected from their peers.

5. You can shop online

Rural residents of Canada will remember the days when you had to wait until you made a semi-annual visit to “the city” to shop. Now, with everything available online, purchasing necessities and special treats doesn’t mean having to travel long distances.

6. At-home entertainment systems are better and cheaper than ever

There’s no need to drive into town. With enough use, you’ll find that a home theatre system is cheaper than regular movie tickets and popcorn, with the added bonus of better seatmates.

7. Chronic stress is destroying us

Seeking out a slower pace of life? It may do more than just save you time—it may extend your life. In 2015, researchers from Harvard and Stanford found that common job stressors resulted in health conditions that were more fatal than diabetes or influenza.

Luckily, one of the best cures for common stress is entirely free and easily accessible if you live in the country. Countless studies have demonstrated that spending time in nature reduces levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. If spending a few hours at a crowded park on Saturday morning isn’t hacking it anymore, it’s time to start packing.

8. Avoid the long weekend mad dash to the cottage

You’ll never have to rush out of work early on a Friday afternoon ever again.

9. You can sell your second property

When your primary place of residence suddenly doubles as your weekend getaway, you’ll be in a prime position to sell your city condo. Now, you’ll just have to deal with all the friends who will want to come and visit.

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