Nina Asusa, Broker

Nina's journey in real estate began in the early 1990's where her passion for real-estate quickly grew from an investor and home renovator, to where she is today. In 2006*, Nina launched her full-time real estate career and quickly found herself helping her clients, who many became friends, achieve not just any lifestyle, but the lifestyle they wanted for themselves. Her model was and always will be ''Don't follow someone else's story; create your own story, create your own lifestyle, because 'home is where your story begins.'''  From a single realtor, to developing a strong team of realtors she personally mentored and later owning a real estate brokerage firm, Nina's focus remained the same. She continues to channel her high energy and extensive experience into understanding her client's needs and wants, and in helping them in their real estate journey. Nina's greatest honour is the trust others grant her when welcoming her in their life's journey.

Urban vs. Rural Living: Things to Consider Before Making a Move

By: Nina Asusa

Urban vs. Rural Living: Things to Consider Before Making a Move


Thinking about moving from the city or suburbs to the country? It’s a major change, we know! But with some thoughtful planning, there’s no need to worry. Here are a few topics we have found helpful to consider before making a decision.

 Family and Friends

Staying in touch virtually is easier than ever. But being able to regularly meet in person with the people you know and love is a real joy. If most of your friends and family live nearby in the city or suburbs, it might make sense to stay.

 On the flip side, leaving the city or suburbs for a more rural lifestyle affords you a great opportunity to make new friends, expand your social circle, and learn new skills and points of view.

Things to Do—Amenities and Essentials

In a vibrant, multicultural metropolis like the GTA, there’s always something new to experience. Whether its arts, culture, fashion, food, major events, or professional sports, living downtown Toronto or in suburbs like Brampton and Mississauga, provides boundless opportunities.

Think too of daily needs like grocery shopping or going to the gym. Many rural communities lack amenities that city-dwellers sometimes take for granted. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, though. With good planning, locally-obtained essentials can be topped-up by a weekly shopping trip to the nearest town or city. 

Space, Nature, Pace of Living

 It’s no secret that country or small-town living provides more space to grow than urban or suburban living. Space requirements are an important factor to consider for families with kids or multigenerational living needs. The desire for more ‘breathing room’ is a primary driver of urban-to-rural transitions.

 Spending time outdoors and being surrounded by nature is another major benefit to rural living. Depending on the location, this can mean cleaner air and enjoying a more active lifestyle. Who doesn’t love the outdoors?

 Of course, urban and suburban living can offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Toronto and its suburbs boast gorgeous parks, conservation areas, and walking trails. Think of the Etobicoke Creek Trail in Brampton or Centennial Park in Etobicoke.

 Work, Work, Work

 Assuming stable electricity and high-speed internet is available, moving to a rural location can be a great solution for professionals who work from home most or all of the time, or who must regularly travel regionally for their employment. (And if you’re retired, of course!)

But if your job requires your presence daily in the city, consider the drawbacks of a rural move. Rural communities are often served poorly, if at all, by public transit, which means you will be driving to and from work daily, likely for an hour or more each way.

That time spent behind the wheel comes with serious pitfalls, from the environmental costs (an increased carbon footprint), to impact on health (longer commutes equal less sleep, more stress) and personal relationships (less time spent with family). Not to mention increased maintenance expenses and—if you drive a gas-powered vehicle—the cost of fuel! 

Other Things to Consider

Emergency Situations

Insurance can be more expensive in rural areas, due to a higher risk of fire damage and distance from emergency services. If your new home is located far from hospitals, learning first aid for medical emergencies can be a lifesaver, literally.

Backup power and a fallback method of communication are also important, especially in winter, since rural utility lines can take longer to fix than those in the city.

Renovation Challenges

Buying a ‘fixer-upper’? Keep in mind that transporting materials and finding qualified contractors in rural areas is more challenging and expensive than in larger towns and cities.

Water Safety 

Safety is paramount when buying any home. Since rural homes usually rely on an off-the-grid water supply and wastewater disposal system, having your water source evaluated is a must. A water potability test will look for E. coli and other harmful contaminants. If the water is contaminated, you may need a new (and costly) well and filtration system, as well as a new septic tank. There’s no need to worry: a qualified well and septic inspector will put your mind at ease.

Zoning Rules

Zoning bylaws restrict property use in various ways. For example, even if your new home comes with enough land to plant a small farm, there may be limitations on selling the produce, if the property is zoned exclusively for residential use.

Decisions, Decisions

Life is full of tricky choices. When it comes to choosing a home, take time to weigh your options carefully before making a decision. Think about your life now, what you want it to be, and what you value. Consider the pros and cons of moving outside the GTA vs staying local, but don’t be afraid of change because it can be refreshing. You’ll make the right choice for you and your family!