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Downsizing to a Small Town Means Making Big Decisions

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Small Towns

Image via Pexels | By Ted James

When you’re downsizing from your location to a place with a little less hustle and bustle and a lot more peace and quiet, you’ve got lots of options. It all comes down to what you’re looking for. There are close to 20,000 unincorporated places in the United States where 76% have populations of fewer than 5,000. And of those, 42% have fewer than 500 people.

As you can see, it all depends on how small you want your small town to be, and what your needs will be as far as things like the cost of living, transportation, employment, and a host of other considerations. Here are some of the items you’ll want to consider before you decide on your small town move, courtesy of John Trapasso Jr.


By and large, a small town will have a lower cost of living than a big city. It’s not only real estate that can be found cheaper in a small town, but goods and services like dining out, taxes, and groceries are often lower than in large cities.

If you move to a small town that’s not too far from your current large city home, you can save quite a bit in moving costs. Just be sure and research movers to get the best price for the most professional move, whether it’s short- or long-haul. Some moving companies will offer deals if you can be flexible with your dates, so be sure and ask about that when you’re interviewing movers.

Be sure to explore available rental options in the area if you aren’t planning on buying a home immediately. While rents will tend to be lower, you will also have fewer options to choose from. It may be necessary to plan far in advance depending on how frequently rentals turn over.


Jobs are certainly more scarce in smaller towns, but you can give yourself a massive advantage over the competition if you highlight your skills and experience in the best way possible. To do this, you can use this resume builder which allows you to customize templates – and best of all, it’s free!

On the other hand, if you already work from home or want to open your own small business, then your options on where to live become much greater. If your plan is to open a business in your new small town, consider structuring it as a limited liability company to protect your personal assets. This is something you can do yourself without hiring legal help. Be sure and check with local officials first though since rules vary from state to state. Research the town’s culture and demographics to be sure your business will be a good fit and add to the personality of the town.

Even commuting is possible, with many small towns being close enough to large cities to make that an option. For instance, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, a city of about 5,000, is only 16 miles west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city of more than 300,00. That kind of drive to work can make it worthwhile to move away from the city, even if your job is still there.


It’s often the case that schools in large cities draw higher caliber teachers and can offer more education services than those of a small town. There are exceptions, to be sure, but if high-quality public education is a priority, you’ll have a more challenging time finding that in many small towns.

High-quality health care can be hard to find in many small towns where sometimes only the basics are available. Often, travel to larger cities is required for more robust care. Check out the availability and level of medical care in the immediate areas where you’re searching. Then look at the time it will take you to travel to a more comprehensive facility should the need arise.

If you’ve been living in a large city, you may not have needed to own a car. But having one will almost certainly be a necessity in a small town where public transportation will be extremely limited, if not non-existent. Weigh the pros and cons of buying new vs used to see what kind of deals you can get with pricing, along with financing options.

Small towns are the backbone of America. They give it its richness and diversity every bit as much as our big cities do. With so many options open for you, the sky, or in this case, the land, is the limit.

John Trapasso Jr understands that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it's a life-changing experience. Call 919-656-7087.


All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about buying a home in NC, our experts at EXP Realty are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a EXP agent about buying homes or land in North Carolina.

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