A funny story was told about a city man who had moved to a farm outside of Nashville. He wanted to raise some cattle and hay but didn’t have the right tools. One night as a storm was approaching he had to get the hay in fast. So why not pile what you could salvage into the trunk of your Mercedes E350?
They’re being called exurbanites, and no one’s laughing at them now, especially in Tennessee which ranks sixth in the nation for the exurbanite population. According to the Brookings Institute, there are 438,600 of them living in the Tennessee exurbs. I wish I could make it 438,601.
What’s the allure? Exurbanites want the convenience of the city with the peace and quiet of the country. Right now many of them are getting it. Like Oliver Douglas, the New York lawyer featured in the old sitcom Green Acres, they’re moving to the country to get away from traffic and perhaps fulfill childhood dreams of farming and animal raising.
But the biggest incentive is cheap land, or should I say, [tag-tec]cheaper land[/tag-tec]. [tag-ice]Housing[/tag-ice] is less expensive. People can spread out. You can have a four bedroom house and a few acres for much less than it would cost in the city. Contrary to what your real estate agent may be telling you, there are people on this planet who actually want a yard.
As investors we may be able to have our cake and eat it too. Growth is coming. Get ahead of the curve and buy a few acres out. Raise your family or spend your retirement there. As the growth reaches you, sell out. Then reinvest in something else.
Exurbanites are looking for several primary things. They want to be near an interstate. A close-by hospital is important for emergencies. They can go to the city for surgery and out-patient services. Most want some kind of garbage pick-up, and as we’ve talked about in a previous post, sewer lines are a must. Many small towns can supply adequate fire and police protection as long as the growth doesn’t get out of control.
Here is the list of other leading exurb states from the Brookings Institute.
Texas 6 percent
California 2.1 percent
Ohio 4.1 percent
Michigan 4.6 percent
New York 2.4 percent
Virginia 5.9 percent
Maryland 7.5 percent
South Carolina 9.5 percent
Wisconsin 7 percent