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Old 07-21-2013, 12:50 PM
 
45 posts, read 84,180 times
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I'm looking to a warmer climate. Currently in MN...have been looking at a few states (CA, OR, NC). CA, OR, and NC are no longer viable options for me so I'm checking out other states. I would like to consider AR (would have to give up the beach option), so here are my criteria:

1) Safe...very safe neighborhood with low crime
2) Very good public school - I have a young child in preschool
3) Warmer winter with little to no snow (warm for us would in the 30 degree range)
4) Kid-family friendly activities for my kid and I to enjoy (parks, zoo, fairs, etc.)
5) Diversity with access to Asian stores/community - we are Asian and my son is Caucasian/Asian
6) Good job market (if I move I will have a job so there is not a need to look for one but in case I need to look for one down the road)

My budget for rental would be $1200/m or less and my budget to buy would be $300k or less.

I don't need to live in the middle of a big city but I also can't stand rural areas. Suburbs with close proximity to things such as restaurants, big box stores, malls are what I'm looking for. I have never been to AR so I don't really know what to expect. Looking to see if it would fit what I'm looking for and suggestions on a few areas to check into. Obviously if it feels like a place for me then I would go check it out before moving.

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2013, 01:11 PM
 
320 posts, read 445,750 times
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Texas. It also has a beach/coast.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Sick of MI.
160 posts, read 381,746 times
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On my trips to Arkansas it seems the cost of living is dirt cheap compared to the upper Midwest. I know Minnesota is a bit more expensive than Michigan and it seems cheap by Michigan standards. However wages are lower overall, though unemployment is below the national average. I'm a college student working for ten dollars an hour now. I once said if I ever just decided to give up on college and try to get by on a ten dollar an hour job Arkansas would be a good place to do it, but I'm not sure there are many jobs for people with college degrees outside of Northwest Arkansas and maybe Little Rock, certainly not much high-tech type stuff. To me it seems to be a great state to either retire or live cheap while working low wage jobs or owning a small business. It's certainly not someplace you go to make oodles of money and live a jet set life.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,382 posts, read 79,598,441 times
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Yes, you will be giving up the beach idea but there are lots of lakes that offer water activities and certainly the other outside activities you enjoy can be found throughout AR, especially in NWA> We have several Asian markets right here in Benton and Washington County. I buy lots of cooking ingredients from them. They have much lower prices (most of the time) than out markets and a great selection of all types of Asian foods. Rogers, Fayetteville and Bentonville all have good schools. $1200 a month is very doable.

As for the snow: well, we have good and bad seasons, of course. Normally we will get 2 or 3 snow storms a year that drop 2 to 6 in per storm or we may get an ice storm. You can pretty much count on temps in the 40s and low 50s daytime and nights from low 20s to about 40. There are exceptions. We get some nights in the teens.

Throughout most of NWA the crime rate is extremely low and what we do have is often friends or family abuse or related to drugs, again with in a family or a less than desirable neighborhood.

NWA is becoming more diverse all the time, which is such a positive thing.

Hope this helps you a little. I am sure others will chime in.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
2,097 posts, read 2,705,772 times
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Let me count the times I had to cut through the ice on my pond with a chain saw.....it gets plenty cold in the Ozarks....try further south if you want to eliminate freezing weather.

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,382 posts, read 79,598,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemstone1 View Post
Let me count the times I had to cut through the ice on my pond with a chain saw.....it gets plenty cold in the Ozarks....try further south if you want to eliminate freezing weather.

Regards
Gemstone1
Of course if one wants to eliminate all freezing weather, we would be talking the deep south or the southwest, but compared to the upper mid west our weather here is much better. As for chipping through the ice I don't know where you lived in NWA but we certainly rarely see anything like that here. As I said, in 5 years we have had one real ice storm. We do have some freezing weather every year, even last year which was the warmest winter in history.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:31 AM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,531,408 times
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Any time a person moves from home part of the U.S. to another, especially east of the Rockies, they're just trading one form of bad weather for another. In the Rockies and westward, the dryness creates its own issues.
The one or two places with really good year-round weather tend to be overcrowded, expensive, and not very appealing as places to live in many other ways.
There is always a catch.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,382 posts, read 79,598,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northbound74 View Post
Any time a person moves from home part of the U.S. to another, especially east of the Rockies, they're just trading one form of bad weather for another. In the Rockies and westward, the dryness creates its own issues.
The one or two places with really good year-round weather tend to be overcrowded, expensive, and not very appealing as places to live in many other ways.
There is always a catch.
You are so right. Several of us that water walk (don't laugh) together were discussing this today. We are having unusually stormy weather right now, here in NWA. The east just is getting over a heat wave and the west has fires raging this summer. There is no utopia. Almost every region has something that mother nature likes to dish out. It is simply a matter of trading something for something else: For some humidity is what they can not accept, so they choose the South West: Others will leave the upper Midwest and be satisfied with a little snow, ice and humidity to escape the miserable winters; others will choose to ride out the horribly winters for the wonderful summers.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:54 PM
 
45 posts, read 84,180 times
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Thank you all for your letting me know. Does NWA have good k-12 public schools. From the little research I have done online it seems like education is a weak point in AR. I obviously don't know this first hand because I don't know anyone who lives in this state. It's important to me that my son has a good education.

Also, we are Asian so we are Buddhism...we don't go to church. We are not that religious to begin with. I have came across a couple threads that reference/suggest people should belong to a church if lives in AR - that is how people network, build relationships in this state. Is it accurate...go to church is more or less an expected/cultural thing to do in AR? In MN, this has never been considered as something people should consider. Don't get me wrong, we have plenty of churches here but everyone just do their own things. Go to church if you want or not go if you don't want...people meet and building relationships outside of church.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,382 posts, read 79,598,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNMom07 View Post
Thank you all for your letting me know. Does NWA have good k-12 public schools. From the little research I have done online it seems like education is a weak point in AR. I obviously don't know this first hand because I don't know anyone who lives in this state. It's important to me that my son has a good education.

Also, we are Asian so we are Buddhism...we don't go to church. We are not that religious to begin with. I have came across a couple threads that reference/suggest people should belong to a church if lives in AR - that is how people network, build relationships in this state. Is it accurate...go to church is more or less an expected/cultural thing to do in AR? In MN, this has never been considered as something people should consider. Don't get me wrong, we have plenty of churches here but everyone just do their own things. Go to church if you want or not go if you don't want...people meet and building relationships outside of church.
AR is more inclined to have people who do attend church regularly, but NWA is an Bible Belt as say, the areas from Ft Smith on south or the regions to the east part of the state. The smaller the community and the more rural, the more likely you are to find religion a part of life for many. Yes, you might be asked right up front, do you have a church or what church do you attend. I was asked that when we first moved at a wine tasting held at one of our liquor stores. But most people will accept your answer and never look down on you if you say you don't go to church or you are whatever. That would be the end of the conversation.

As for schools, Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville all have good school systems. Some of the smaller districts do not.
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