Living the lake life offers wonderful opportunities that allow its residents to escape from so many hassles encountered when living in the city or a town. There are a myriad of psychological research studies that found living in “blue” or “green” spaces are good for mental health. Lake life is pretty darn excellent at the lake, but there are downsides to every lifestyle.
What is the Downside of Living by a Lake?
The main difference between lake living versus city living and town living is tax payer-based services citizens depend on. In U.S. cities and towns, a larger population pays city and county taxes that support police departments, fire departments, EMT services, hospitals, and public schools. County governments rarely generate that tax-based revenue.
At most lakes that are not owned by or supported by major cities, utility services are more affected by extreme weather conditions. Internet service providers range from giving poor to sometimes good connections, and in rare cases, good quality connections. Likewise, cell phone service can be spotty or non-existent.
When it comes to health care, doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, and hospitals are long distances away. Ambulances and EMT services are slower to respond because of the distances. Since the Digital Age, one solution has boomed in the form of telehealth care if residents do not need in-office procedures.
It is a good idea for rural residents to take a CPR training course. Many organizations offer these courses for free or for a minimal fee. Lake residents should have ready a supply of first aid equipment on hand. A minor injury can become complicated when coupled with the added distance to receive medical attention.
Sheriff departments, not police, usually take care of crime, neighborly disputes, and minor complaints like loud music and drunken disorderly behavior. A sheriff’s office’s primary duty is to maintain safety on their highways and on their lakes in coordination with lake patrol agencies. Petty complaints that are unimportant to the safety and welfare of its citizens typically inundate the sheriff’s office.
Volunteer fire departments (VFD) are the main protection in case of fire emergencies. Usually there are several in operation in a lake region. If a situation is beyond the local VFD’s capabilities, VFDs can call on neighboring VFDs, and even the nearest city’s fire department for assistance. It is always wise for lake residents to meet with their local VFDs during their numerous fund raising and community support activities.
Home and property service contractors and mechanics operate differently in rural lake regions than in the city. Because there are significant levels of poverty associated with addiction issues in rural areas, rural residents need to thoroughly check references of prospective contractor and mobile mechanic service providers before hiring them and never pay money upfront.
A wise homeowner will purchase supplies and materials or have them delivered and only pay the contractor in full when the contractor completes the job. Rural residents may have to wait longer for work to be scheduled if the contractor has a quality reputation, but it is worth the wait. After an extreme weather event, the snakes crawl out of the den looking to take advantage of the desperation of homeowners, and local hardware stores quickly run out of stock.
Schools are usually located in the small towns surrounding the lake. Children can spend an hour waiting on their school buses and commuting to their schools one way. Attending school activities and parent/teacher meetings involves more time. Home schooling is becoming widespread in the U.S., and that could be a solution with many rural home schooling communities popping up.
When rural lake residents need to take appliances or computers for repair, it may require quite a drive to the appropriate dealer in a larger town or city. A mobile repair service may be available, which is usually more expensive. But the cost of time and fuel versus the extra cost of a mobile repairman’s fee usually balances out somewhat.
Lake residents live within nature. Irresponsible city folks love to dump their unwanted animals in the countryside for some nice farmer to adopt. That rarely, if ever, happens. County animal control agencies cannot handle the number of abandoned pets or the already present abuse of livestock by negligent owners. Usually there is a revolving door of rural residents who will foster and rehome abandoned pets at a great sacrifice to their own pets and livestock.
Wildlife surrounds lake dwellers, and that means taking extra precautions to protect their pets, children, and themselves. Many ways we expect to keep ourselves and our pets safe in town does not translate to the lake life. Wild creatures roam around the lake because it is a great place for them, like us, to hang. But more importantly, it was their home first. Lakehub.com published a factual article sanctioned by professional wildlife trapper and control services for information on mutual wildlife and human existence: “Pet Safety At The Lake Year Round“.
Many people trade the wonders of lake life for commuting to good-paying jobs in the city. Some lake residents commute four hours round trip five days a week, or stay in the city five days a week to earn their livelihoods. They fill their weekends to the gills with family and homeowner responsibilities. However, it is worth it to their peace of mind. Other lake residents opt to struggle with the unpredictable income of self employment.
To combat rural crime, most homeowners invest in security cameras and home security systems. It is much more difficult for law enforcement agencies to track down criminals in rural lake regions because there are more places for criminals to hide and it is easier for them to escape detection, and there are fewer law enforcement officers. Modern security systems have significantly dampened thievery, one of the most often committed rural crimes.
Managing time and the needs of everyday living will change with lake living as opposed to city lifestyles. Depending on how populated the lake is, there are typically few grocery stores, home improvement stores, and a variety of restaurants and nightlife entertainment venues. Most middle class rural lake residents make running lists of their needs and schedule semimonthly or monthly trips to town or the big city for supplies, which frees up a lot of time in between to enjoy the lake life.
What is the Downside of Living in a City?
Again, there are downsides to any lifestyle. There are people who thrive in city life and love every minute of its hustle and bustle. The people who are asking themselves the question, “What is the Downside of Living by a Lake?” appear to be questioning the pros and cons of lake life versus city life. We hope we have answered some questions and given some solutions that might make a move to a more peaceful and slower-paced lifestyle clearer.
Commuting in stop-and-go traffic, waiting in long lines for bureaucratic services, houses only tens of feet apart from one another, crowded apartment living, lack of parking spaces, higher auto insurance premiums, higher crime rates, noise, high rent, higher living expenses, air pollution, and lack of privacy.