The downsides of Irish countryside living
There are plenty of really positive reasons why anybody would want to live in the Irish countryside. Affordable housing, clean air, friendly neighbours, beautiful scenery are just a few of them. However there are some downsides too.
I get questions on and off about the affordability of living in Irish cities, in particular Dublin. If you've looked into this, you'll find that it can be quite high. When I tell people to have a look at what is available as regards housing 10-20 miles out from any major city/town, they are amazed at what they find. Beautiful homes, on huge plots of land, for a fraction of what they'd pay nearer the city. 150k to 250k will buy you the most amazing house in many parts of the country. You just have to be prepared to commute for work, play, groceries and many of the other daily needs in life.
I've never lived in the countryside myself but I have many friends who do and/or have. I've asked a few of them for what they consider to be the worst aspects of living in the Irish countryside. They've been kind enough to offer up some thoughts.
The thing you dislike most about Irish countryside living is:
The lack of decent internet and mobile phone coverage was probably the biggest let down for us. With the internet we didn't really think it would be as big a deal as it was until we tried watching Netflix using our satellite broadband connection. It'd be ok at times, but un-watchable often. Similarily with the mobiles. You'd get ok connection outside, but you can imagine what it's like having to run outside to take or make a call. Landlines are not a thing of the past! - Stephen in Cork
About a year after we moved in we had an issue with the septic tank. The whole septic tank thing was new to me to begin with, but then needing a repair soon after we bought the house was a bit of a pain. Being from the city, I hadn't been used to having these sorts of issues. There's relatively new laws in place now too for registration and inspection of the tanks. I don't know many of the details but epa.ie is the official source for info. - Graham in Limerick
Can I only pick one? 🙂 I suppose if I had to pick, it'd be the distance/time it takes me to get to work. I live in a lovely house near Kilbrittain in Cork. The drive in to town (Cork city) where I work takes me about an hour most days. I love the country life, and the fact that we get a great house for what we pay out, but the driving is a killer! - James in Cork
We've had a few issues with our neighbour farmer about dogs (ours) and parking (his). He's threatened to take pot shots at our dogs if they come near his land. Our dogs are timid old things, and I understand he's concerned about his own animals, but threatening to shoot them is a bit over the top! The parking thing...he'll often block the roadway with a tractor or trailer and not think a thing about it. He kind of thinks he owns the lane just because there's not a lot of traffic comes down it. - Dermot in Kerry
It drives me nuts when I'm trying to get to work (or just want to get home), and there's a load of cows crossing the road. To be fair it only takes a few minutes for them to pass, but I'd still prefer not to wait. I suppose it's not too much worse than a busy section of road really. - Paula in Waterford
When we bought our place up here near Mallow back in 2013 we didn't really think of the small things that we'd miss from being nearer to town. For example nobody will deliver food to our area. Like I say, small, but it can be the little things that you miss. - Kevin in Cork
The lack of local amenities really comes to mind, Liam. Playgrounds for the kids, shops, pubs, etc. We have to drive to them all, and have limited options. - Caroline in Limerick
And there you have it...
I didn't put these thoughts together to deter anyone from living in the countryside. Everyone who you just heard from said that even though there are downsides, they know there are too in cities, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
But it's good to have some insight in to what's in store. House prices are low in rural areas for a reason. There's less to do, further to drive, and not too many well-paying jobs nearby.
I'd love to hear from those of you who do live in the countryside. Or even if you've visited Ireland, and have an opinion on this. Add your own perspective in the comments below.