a suburban neighborhood

The Differences between City, Suburban, and Rural Living

Every person in the world has a different opinion when it comes to urban and countryside lifestyles. Some would never give up the city amenities, no matter the financial burden and health threats that kind of life imposes. Others who experienced country life say that getting away from the city where you wake up to the sound of birds instead of traffic noise has no price. Still, there is a third option for those who are a part of both of these worlds – the suburbs. Each of these has many benefits and some downsides. Knowing the differences between city, suburban, and rural living can help you find where you belong if you’re starting to reconsider your living conditions.

Life in rural areas

Life in the countryside is a dream come true for anyone who wants to get rid of stress and anxiety induced by big-city survival. Rural living includes life in the open, spread-out areas and small communities. There is a lot of undeveloped lands, usually surrounded by magnificent nature.

This lifestyle is a choice of people who enjoy close-knit communities, where everyone knows each other. You get to enjoy the vast space, lovely views, healing nature. This is the perfect choice for people in search of more sustainable ways of living. With a bit of gardening and farming skills, you can provide for yourself and your family and perhaps even start a small business. In addition, the peace, quiet and clean air makes it perfect for those working remotely.

Since Virginia offers majestic nature, many young families and retirees decide to move to local counties. Besides the obvious health benefits of clean air and a stress-free environment, they provide a lower cost of living and much more affordable housing.

Countryside in Virginia
Magnificent woods, lakes, rivers, and trails could be at your disposal if you move to the countryside.

The downsides of living in the countryside

Even though countryside residents have many health and financial benefits, there are some downsides. One of them is the commute issue. If you don’t work close to your home, you’ll need to drive to work in the city. Even though some rural areas such as Orange County are less than 30 miles from Charlottesville, which makes the commute to work bearable, not all places have the same luck.

In addition, local shops and amenities can be found only in the strict village center. Thus, you will need to stock up on food and supplies to avoid driving to town anytime you need something. That means that families usually need more than one car to get around. Also, with fewer amenities, you have fewer available services. Not being used to this occurrence can be hard if you’ve moved from the city to the countryside. However, living in rural areas makes you resilient and craftier. After you get used to such living, you’ll eliminate the need for many things.

Suburban life

There are clear differences between city, suburban, and rural living, including housing costs, development patterns, and population numbers. However, the difference between suburban and city lifestyles was never clearly defined. Finding the perfect home in a suburb is a choice of many growing families, young professionals, and retirees searching for a slower pace and more affordable cost of living. The benefits of such a lifestyle are many since you get to live peacefully and more comfortably. Plus, the commute to work isn’t as daunting as when you live in the countryside.

A house in a suburban neighborhood
Suburban lifestyle, no matter how convenient, may often lack green surfaces and have nearly the same living costs as the city does.

The good and bad side of being “in-between”

Life in the suburbs is different from city life due to a slower pace and more affordable housing. Still, a suburb is considered a subset of the city. There is no official definition for it. It’s not a central part of the city, nor is it a town of its own. Some suburbs share some country-like living amenities, but still, they are not the countryside either. The cost of living is very similar to that in cities, and since cities are constantly growing and expanding, places around them are often modified with new buildings construction.

It’s safe to say that cities are slowly swallowing the suburbs, making them closer to the core. This is a good and a bad thing since you will be a homeowner in a competitive market. Still, everything you were trying to avoid while living in the city will eventually catch up with you. However, if you’ve tasted the suburban life and you need more action, maybe the city is something worth considering. Since most moving companies provide their services to wider areas, a transfer to the city from the suburbs is not something you should worry about.

City lifestyle

Needless to say that cities are the centers of happenings. They are densely populated hubs of industries, cultures, and politics. There is no better place for work opportunities, education, social and cultural life, and thousands of other amenities. Often you will hear that cities have a life of their own, that they never sleep, and that is true. They are the places where everything is happening, where progress takes place and dreams come true. Still, achieving those dreams is not always easy.

Busy streets of Richmond, VA
One of the perks of living in the city is the fact that you can get almost everywhere on foot.

Life in the city takes its toll

Even though life in the city can give a lot, it takes the same. To sustain in such an environment, you have to work very hard and overburden yourself with life’s many stressful factors. Daily traffic jams, rush, ever-emerging bills, limited living space, polluted air, lack of green surfaces, high costs of living, and many other small things add up to a substantial overwhelming worry. For example, for the price of a tiny apartment in NYC, you can get two beautiful homes in the countryside. This change can help you get the home of your dreams and a passive income. Even with the recent fluctuations in the housing markets worldwide, investing in real estate is always a great idea.

City life eats your money, and you can never earn as much as you can spend. No wonder if you feel a sudden rush to run away from it all. You don’t have to make a radical change and move to the countryside, but you can try living in the suburbs for a while. Even though the moving process takes a lot of time and preparation, you can still get everything ready in 7 days if you develop a good strategy.


Leaving the city would certainly make you healthier. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be happier. Country life is not for everyone – you have to be ready for it. The urge to get away is becoming more frequent with young Newyorkers who are moving to the countryside looking for sustainable ways of living. Others, however, find it hard to let go of all the city amenities. In addition, for some, the move is a financial necessity or comes with age. Still, it’s essential to know your options when the time comes to change directions. Whether you decide to focus on your career, family, or eco-friendly lifestyle, understanding the differences between city, suburban, and rural living can help you turn your life around.

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