Author Topic: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?  (Read 7170 times)

CBnCO

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City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« on: September 23, 2013, 07:27:02 AM »
I live in CO and recently sold my primary residence in the city with an idea of downsizing.  That said, I still have a small condo, 500 sqft, in one of the local ski towns...and, yes, I read with keen interest the recent exchange here around second vacation properties...and, for further disclosure, my girlfriend and I are active and late thirties.

My dilemma is this:

As I move closer to ditching my corporate job and entering into a MMM type "retirement", I'm playing tug of war of whether life in the mtns full time or in the city will be better, as I won't be able to afford to own two places any more

So, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, golf, skiing, wildlife, and life in a resort town (would likely be swapping to a slightly larger accommodation) v. Public transportation, parks, culture, universities, diversity, and the other amenities a city possesses...

Which would you choose?  Why?

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 08:09:04 AM »
I tend to enjoy nature and rural living. Farmers markets, more house/land for your money, homesteading, etc are all more attractive to me. The city is only a short drive away if we want to do the zoo or something like that.

If you are talking Colorado, there's no way I'd live in the city with such beautiful areas everywhere else!

Osprey

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 11:20:05 AM »
City mouse weighing in. The country sounds lovely but I think I would need to be bean introvert and have very fulfilling relationships in order to remain content with giving up the energy of city life.

When I was in the country I missed:
- Meeting new people
- Free live music, picnics, markets, book clubs and other such events
- Exposure to a wide range of cultures and values
- Nightlife

Now that I'm in the city I miss:
- Easier to form close relationships and easier for everyone to get together at someone's house
- Not having to plan my life around traffic
- Wide open spaces and being able to see the stars at night
- Having a large national park on my doorstep

I guess a large part of it depends on your personality.

Jamesqf

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 02:06:44 PM »
Country, definitely.  I actually meet - in the sense of having meaningful interactions with - more people in the country than I ever did in cities.

I think much of the cultural stuff in far better done on-line than in person, since it's much easier to find a community that shares your particular interests.  That's especially true of music, since to me almost all of that free live music is unpleasant noise.

Really, the only thing that I miss about cities is having a selection of martial arts dojos.

Winter's Tale

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 02:12:01 PM »
What about a college town?  Could give you the benefits of cultural attractions like in a city, but on a smaller scale and closer to nature. 

nz

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 05:03:32 PM »
Time to be ruthlessly honest with yourself.

If you live in the city how often would you actually take advantage of the available amenities? Eg galleries, theatre etc.

The same goes for the country, how many hikes will you realistically take?

I have friends that live in the city but they seem to spend all their time in the car and working overtime to pay for the inflated housing costs. I also have friends in the country who never seem to get off the couch.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 01:17:10 AM by nz »

Lans Holman

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 05:13:20 PM »
What about a college town?  Could give you the benefits of cultural attractions like in a city, but on a smaller scale and closer to nature.

That's my solution.  I live in a medium sized city with a university which ends up providing pretty much everything on both sides of Osprey's list.  Except maybe the starlight.

RootofGood

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 05:38:52 PM »
City mouse.  Everything is within a few miles.  Many things are walkable, including decent public transit.  Our neighborhood has 2 parks (playground, tennis, basketball, softball, soccer fields, etc), a library, and 2 community centers within walking distance (<1 mile).  All kinds of restaurants and groceries (regular and ethnic) within walking distance or short 1-2 mile drive. 

Our neighborhood is nice and tree-lined with sidewalks.  Walking around feels like you are in nature, and we see lots of friends and neighbors.  Our kids also walk to school at our neighborhood school.  Now that I'm retired, I only drive 5-20 miles per week to haul mega groceries or meet friends across town for lunch or something.  Housing isn't much more than out in the country, since we live in a gentrifying neighborhood and bought in when it was cheap.  Neighborhood has an interesting mix of people, which is cool.  It's also near family, so there are advantages to that. 

expatartist

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 07:32:30 PM »
I second the 'college town mouse' idea. Ideally a place with reasonable climate!

Advantages of a college town:
* Affordable restaurants/entertainment/cultural options
* Good place to own rental property - optional side income
* Lots of diversity for a small population
* Safer, cleaner, higher quality of life and more relaxed pace than a big city

MsGuided

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 08:19:43 PM »
I'm a fellow Coloradoan.  We own an un-mustachian mountain home, too.  Really regretting that purchase now.  The cabin is for sale, but the recent 1000 year flooding in our mountain has made it inaccessible for the next few months.  We are thankful it wasn't damaged so far.     

I agree with some of the other posters that this is really a personal decision.  I think you and your gf/partner should have some serious discussions and mull this over together, imagining your ideal FI lifestyle and listing the pros & cons of each place/lifestyle.

Best of luck in making a good decision and good on you for deciding to pare down to one abode!  I hope to divest ourselves of our 2nd home one of these days.

brewer12345

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 09:35:51 PM »
I'm an introvert and an outdoorsman.  I would very happily live in the sticks.  DW is an extrovert.  My kids are one each introvert and extrovert and both test in the 9Xth percentile for math and reading, necessitating good schools to challenge them.  As such, I put up with a place in the burbs as a compromise.

I personally would do a lot better with less frequent but deeper personal relationships and lots of time outside with nobody else around.  Life is about compromises.  During hunting season I go at least once a week when I can and in the off season I schlep to where I can hike, fish and camp away from the crowd.

Jamesqf

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 10:20:23 PM »
Time to be ruthlessly honest with yourself.

If you live in the city how often would you actually take advantage of the available amenities? Eg galleries, theatre etc.

The same goes for the country, how many hikes will you realistacly take?

City, almost never.  Honestly, even living in a city, I can access most of the cultural stuff (again, with the exception of martial arts) easier online than I can in person.

Country, almost every day, at least if you broaden the definition of "hike" to include mountain biking, riding the horse, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter, etc.

arebelspy

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 10:26:44 PM »
Really, the only thing that I miss about cities is having a selection of martial arts dojos.



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rocklebock

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 11:03:39 PM »
City mouse. I grew up in rural and suburban neighborhoods but always lived in big cities as an adult. I like hitting the backcountry for a day trip or a short vacation, but I'm always ready to head home pretty quick. I could see living in a college town, but I'm visiting one now for work and I already feel claustrophobic after two days. If I lived somewhere remote it'd probably end up like The Shining.

It's interesting to me that people are equating the city with extroverts and the country with introverts. As an introvert, one of the things I really like about city life is not feeling like I have to be buddies with everyone in proximity. It's totally fine to ignore everyone but the people you really like.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2013, 11:36:52 AM »
lol arebelspy

As an introvert, one of the things I really like about city life is not feeling like I have to be buddies with everyone in proximity. It's totally fine to ignore everyone but the people you really like.

This much is true..in a smaller town you will see people you know alot, it get sort of annoying when you don't want your personal space accosted.

Jamesqf

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jfer_rose

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2013, 12:26:34 PM »
I'm another introverted city mouse.

My favorite thing about living in the city is that it has allowed me to go through life without owning a car-- I can and do get to everything I need by walking and biking.

If I am completely honest with myself, I am lazy. (Although I have not yet voted in the Are You Lazy poll:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/poll-are-you-lazy/msg142019/#msg142019 )

I don't want to be lazy but I am. Living in the city is good for my soul. There's always a lot going on and it's the frequent super fun events that keep me from staying inside alone and being a home body all the time. Things like social bike rides, festivals, museums, even good old fashioned people watching. It's a constant stream of fun things. So there's always a reason to go out instead of being lazy at home. I'm lazy at home more than I would like but I fear I would be a complete sloth if I didn't have all the fun things drawing me out from my cave!

CBnCO

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2013, 03:07:47 PM »
Thanks all for your input.  It's obvious that ultimately this is a very personal decision with about half falling on either side.  While I do like certain things about both, I'm pretty sure it's not worth continuing to slave away engaged in something I don't like just to have two homes; although, I have even explored the concept of keeping two places and positioning both to be marketable as VRBO rentals..just seems like a lot of work. 

As for the college town idea..we just spent the summer living in Boulder and had a great time; but, ask MMM about how expensive Boulder is to live in. 

I, ultimately, may try a stint in each scenario before making a final decision; but, it's always interesting to hear some other perspectives.

Thanks Again!


NinetyFour

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2013, 05:28:43 PM »
There are other college towns in Colorado, and I live in the best of them, IMHO!  It is the perfect size for me--large enough that we get high quality entertainment, but small enough that I can bike and walk most anywhere.  And the outdoor opportunities are almost limitless.

Fuzz

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Re: City Mouse Or Country Mouse?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2013, 05:31:53 PM »
I'm a city mouse that moved to the country--actually in the very same Rocky Mountain ski town that was recently profiled. IT'S AWESOME! I probably hiked 60+ times this summer (vs. 3-4 living in Seattle), and skied 43 days last year while working full time. I think with the ski town you wouldn't give up too much since you're social life in the city will visit you, and you can visit them too. Bozeman/Livingston would be awesome (better snow?), but it sounds like your ties lie elsewhere. 

I say head to the wilderness for retirement. The city will be there.