Dreaming of wide-open spaces and a life more in tune with nature? Rural living in Alberta might just be your calling. It's a world where the skies are bigger, the stars are brighter, and the pace of life just a tad slower. But, like any dream, it's wise to peek behind the curtain and see all that it entails - both the good and tricky bits.

A tractor working through a field in Northern, Alberta

Pro #1 - Ample Space and Privacy

When you think about buying a rural property in Alberta, you typically imagine having enough space to spread out your arms and not touch your neighbor's house. That's the kind of freedom and privacy rural living offers. You can have access to acres of land all your yourself and your family, perfect for gardening, raising animals, or simply enjoying the peace. It's a stark contrast to the cheek-by-jowl existence in more urban environments.

Privacy is another perk that's hard to overstate. Out here, it's just you and the wide-open skies. You won't have to worry about noisy neighbors or prying eyes, giving you a sense of solitude that's increasingly rare. Plus, there's ample room for hosting family gatherings, backyard barbecues, or even just stargazing without a single light to dim the view.

Pro #2 - Closer Connection to Nature

Living on a rural property in Alberta brings you closer to nature's doorstep. Imagine waking up to the sound of birds rather than honking cars or sirens, or simply being able to take a walk in your own woods. The connection to the land and the seasons becomes a daily experience, not just something you taste on weekend getaways. It's a lifestyle that can bring a profound sense of peace and grounding.

This closeness to nature isn't just good for the soul, its offers endless outdoor activities. Whether it's hiking, fishing, or simply taking a leisurely stroll through your property, there's always something to do. You'll find that life moves at a different pace when you're attuned to the natural world around you. It's an enriching way to live that many only dream of.

Pro #3 - Lower Cost of Living

Another attractive feature of rural living in Alberta is the lower cost of living. Property prices are generally more affordable than urban centers, giving you more bang for your buck. You can often afford a larger home and more land, which is great for anyone dreaming of a spacious living environment. Plus, the cost of everyday essentials can be lower too, making your dollar stretch further.

However, it's not just about cheaper real estate. The overall pace and quality of life in rural areas contribute to less spending on entertainment and dining out, encouraging a more cost-effective lifestyle. You're more likely to enjoy home-cooked meals and homegrown entertainment. This can lead to significant savings and a less consumer-driven way of life.

A frozen, snowy Alberta road in the winter.

Con #1 - Accessibility and Infrastructure Challenges

However, rural living does come with its challenges, especially when it comes to accessibility and infrastructure. Roads can be less maintained, and in the case of severe weather, it might take longer for services to reach you. This can make daily commutes to work or school longer and more difficult. Plus, public transportation options are often limited or non-existent, necessitating a reliable personal vehicle.

Access to high-speed internet and cell service can also be spotty in more secluded areas. In today's connected world, this can pose significant inconveniences, from telecommuting challenges to streaming your favorite shows. It's a trade-off that requires careful consideration, especially if your lifestyle or work depends heavily on digital connectivity.

Con #2 - Limited Access to Services and Amenities

One of the trade-offs of rural living is the limited access to services and amenities. Healthcare facilities, grocery stores, and entertainment options are not as plentiful in the city. This means you might have to travel longer distances for medical appointments, especially if you're looking for a specialist, for shopping, or a night out. It's a factor that can impact your quality of life, especially in emergency situations.

School options can also be more limited, affecting families with children. While rural schools often offer smaller class sizes and a close-knit community feel, they may offer fewer extracurricular and advanced placement courses. This can be a drawback for those seeking a wide range of educational opportunities for their children.

Con #3 - Higher Maintenance and Utility Costs

Owning a rural property often means higher maintenance and utility costs. Larger properties require more upkeep, from landscaping to repairing fences. If you have outbuildings or farm equipment, the maintenance list can grow even longer. This can translate to more time and money spent on upkeep compared to living in a more urban setting.

Utilities can also be more expensive. For instance, rural homes may rely on propane or oil for heating, which can be costlier than nature gas available in cities. Water might come from a well, requiring maintenance and quality testing. These increased utility and maintenance costs are essential factors to weight against the lower cost of purchasing the property itself.


So, there you have it - the scenic route through the pros and cons of buying rural property in Alberta. It's a lifestyle choice that offers as much space as the soul as it does for the body, yet requires a readiness for the responsibilities it brings. Whether the peaceful solitude and connection to nature outweigh the logistical challenges depends on your personal dreams and practicalities. One thing is for sure, though, the adventure can be as big as the land itself.

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Posted by Leah Millar on
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