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Articles on Living in Small Town America

Introduction to Small Town Guide

Why Move To A Small Town?

Financial Advantages

Quality Of Life Advantages

Choosing a Small Town

Making the First Impression on the Family

Shopping For a Home

Looking At Schools

Looking At Amenities

Career Considerations

The Art of Commuting

Finding a Mover

Moving Considerations

First Days in Town

Expanding Out

Leveraging the Town Advantages

Staying In Touch With Old Neighbors


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What do you really want in a community?  Everyone’s list is different.  What is an amenity to some people, like a lot of shopping options, can be negative to others (too much traffic, too many ugly retail centers)

The first thing you need to do is to make a list of each member and rank their amenity needs by “must have”, to “want to have”, “don’t care” and “don’t want”.

Dad                       Mom                       Jane                         Tom                      

Golf                       Grocery store          Swimming Pool        Dirt track

Your next job is to identify the proximity of each of these amenities to your proposed small town location.  You need both the distance in miles and the speed limit.  30 miles at 75 miles per hour is a lot different than 30 miles at 30 miles per hour.  Be sure and be honest with yourself -- and don’t cheat on the distance or the time it takes to get there.  You are making an important decision and it must be based on accurate information.

The big question is whether or not your proposed location can satisfy every member of the family’s “must have” essentials.  Hopefully, these can be readily attained.  Then you start going down the list and see what desired amenities are missing.  Do not give up hope on these amenities until you have completely exhausted every search engine.  Frank’s daughter wanted horse back riding lessons, but there were no stables in the yellow pages or Google that offered riding instruction.  So he asked some local feed stores and found the perfect stables (that was listed in the name part of the phonebook) just 20 minutes from home.


Often, you will have a list of unsatisfied amenities that are available in the nearest city.  For these items, consider going to the city once per week as a family, and knocking out all of these pleasures in an organized sequence of errands.  It can also be a great way to build family unity.

For amenities that still can’t be found, re-think the ability to obtain millions of items and experiences over the internet.  Someone who likes to prowl through antique stores can have the same experience on eBay without ever having to leave their house.

Often, there is opportunity to “create” the amenity yourself.  For example, if it is important to you to have access to art lessons, but none exist, maybe the solution is to put together an art program yourself, using local talented artists who would like extra income.  Remember that in a small town, there are very few barriers to entry, and making an idea into a reality is not that hard.  In some cases, you can build a small business yourself around delivering the amenity you were trying to find.


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