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How to find the ideal rural home

(ran HS edition)

How To Find Your Ideal Country Home, Second Edition, by Gene GeRue (Heartwood Publications, Zanoni, MO 65784; order by phone: (800) RURAL 22), 1996, 395 pages, $24.95.

Reviewed by ROBERT J. BRUSS

Almost two years ago I reviewed the first edition of this unusual book about the author's quest to find the ideal rural place to move. Eventually, Gene GeRue and his wife, Christina, settled in the Ozarks of Missouri.

GeRue recently updated that monumental, well-researched book to make it even more practical and valuable to those considering a move from the city to the country. Whether the move is for retirement or just a different way of life, this is the most complete guide I've seen about moving away from big city life.

It is a "fun reading" book filled with facts, maps of important things to consider when moving to the ideal place, drawings, checklists and even a few forms, but the book contains primarily sage advice gleaned from the author's do-it-yourself experience. Humor is obviously an essential element in both this book and moving to the country.

Although the author slightly overdoes the old-fashioned illustrations, the book is filled with enough details to satisfy the reader's answers to questions on just about every pertinent topic. For example, there are maps showing where thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes occur most often. More important, the book shows cost of living by areas and how to find or create employment.

The details in this book are endless. To illustrate, there are maps showing where prostate and breast cancer deaths occur most frequently. Although the book's title indicates it is about moving to the country, it's really about small-town living and what to expect.

Practical tips, such as subscribing to the local newspaper for a few months before visiting a town, are abundant. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid gold 10.

Robert J. Bruss is a nationally syndicated columnist on real estate.

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