About six months ago, I started on a new career path. My focus shifted from selling rural real estate to CREATING rural places. This includes places to live and places to enjoy the outdoors.
Now, here’s where I need your help. What is “rural”? I’ve spent the majority of the last six months trying to answer this question by researching other communities and places.
Large rural recreational properties are fairly easy to identify. Their owners use them for ranching, hunting, fishing, horseback riding… the list is endless. Rural residential properties are, in my opinion, a bit harder to pin down. Some have large lots (5 acres +) and an outdoor theme like organic living, equestrian or hunting. Again, fairly easy to identify. But others have small lots (zero lot lines – half-acre) yet a large percentage of the community (70%) set aside for conservation or farming. Is this rural? Do rural places have size minimums? Are they defined by their distance to a metropolitan area or the activities they foster?
Rural people are even harder to put into a box. My education is in forestry and I grew up working on farms, hunting and fishing. A large part of my childhood and career was spent living and working in small rural communities across the Southeast. I consider myself “rural”. However, now I live in a gated coastal Florida community on 0.3 acres surrounded by hundreds of neighbors. My idea homestead would be hundreds of acres, not hundredths. So, if I live in a suburban subdivision but enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, am I rural?
What does “rural” mean to you?
Written by Jason Shearer, Rural Products Manager at TerraPointe Services
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