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Old 03-16-2018, 10:26 AM
 
338 posts, read 133,821 times
Reputation: 688

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Hello all!

My wife and I are going to be visiting a few areas of Arkansas in April. We will be looking for an area to move to.

What are the pros and cons of Arkansas? The areas that we're interested in are basically the western side of Arkansas. Forested and hilly/mountains are a major factor as well.

Jobs too. We both want to change our work routine. She would rather work in a bakery and I would like a maintenance job. Also some automotive, nothing major. Like a tire and lube shop.

Information like cost of living, around Ft. Smith or other cities would help.

We love to fish, hike, ride bikes, and camp. We'll have our son, his fiance and our grandson following behind. We're sick of Lousyana. Been through Arkansas several times and really like some areas. We don't want to move too far away from Lousyana (even though the farther, the better) in case we need to get to family members for family emergencies or crisis.

Any kind of information would be helpful and greatly appreciated! Thank you...
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains Arkansas
1,479 posts, read 907,158 times
Reputation: 3038
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanGuitarist View Post
Hello all!

My wife and I are going to be visiting a few areas of Arkansas in April. We will be looking for an area to move to.

What are the pros and cons of Arkansas? The areas that we're interested in are basically the western side of Arkansas. Forested and hilly/mountains are a major factor as well.

Jobs too. We both want to change our work routine. She would rather work in a bakery and I would like a maintenance job. Also some automotive, nothing major. Like a tire and lube shop.

Information like cost of living, around Ft. Smith or other cities would help.

We love to fish, hike, ride bikes, and camp. We'll have our son, his fiance and our grandson following behind. We're sick of Lousyana. Been through Arkansas several times and really like some areas. We don't want to move too far away from Lousyana (even though the farther, the better) in case we need to get to family members for family emergencies or crisis.

Any kind of information would be helpful and greatly appreciated! Thank you...
This sounds like my own posts for several years ago. We moved here from Louisiana in 2015 and never regretted it for a second. We also were looking for mountains/forest which is what we got. I'm in Newton County. This area and surrounding counties are going to be some of your thickest ozarks. We have lots of outdoor activities and the Buffalo Nt'l River for kayaking/canoeing/fishing. Lots of designated hiking trails, waterfalls, camping. Not sure Fort Smith would fit what you're describing but you can make that determination when you're exploring. The one downside to the north central AR area is less options for work, although there is a bakery in Jasper. There aren't any larger cities around but smaller towns scattered throughout. You'd have to expect to drive a little further for work and shopping. Cost of living is rather low. Property prices are low as are the property taxes. Far lower than it was in LA. Auto insurance, compared to LA, is half which was great.

For us, those cons are quickly forgotten since the drive is absolutely beautiful along the Arkansas grand canyon and it's the price to pay to live in paradise.

Last edited by Hollynla; 03-16-2018 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
9,605 posts, read 10,795,617 times
Reputation: 21898
I would suggest Fayetteville, the University is there, plenty to do. People are nice. Weather moderate. Breathtaking scenery.

Cons: traffic.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:43 AM
sub
 
Location: Ozarkatory
357 posts, read 164,327 times
Reputation: 547
It might be an improvement over Louisiana.
Wages will be low. Cost of living might be about the same or cheaper depending on your specific circumstances. The places with better jobs will be more expensive.
My biggest gripes about Arkansas come when I try comparing it to other places outside this general region of the country. For the area, though, it's about average.
Not going to sugarcoat it. The Ozarks struggle with some drug problems and poverty. It's not the cleanest or most charming part of the world (in terms of built up areas) either.
Depending on what you compare it to, none of that might seem all that bad, or the things you like outweigh the negatives. A lot of retirees and transplants from more expensive areas a lot of times are able to overlook the bad parts. I have a harder time with that.
Ft. Smith is a good place to start looking. It will have jobs and good access to what you're looking for.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:11 PM
 
338 posts, read 133,821 times
Reputation: 688
Thank you all. It seems as if there's more pros.

We are definitely looking forward for a change of scenery. We live between Lake Charles and Lafayette and it's all flat land. We drive to CenLa to get a hill fix. That and forests. I used to live in the "woods" and miss it dearly. We live in a rural area but it's all open fields.

We plan on buying out house and land so there's no mortgage and other large expenses. Will be raising animals and gardens to offset food costs too. We've "been there, done that" so it's time especially for wife and I to focus on each other and enjoy helping raise our grandson.

I can understand the poverty and drug abuse in the Ozarks. Read and saw a lot of cases in the Appalachians. We were planning to move to east Tennessee and went there a few times to look at houses and living areas. Also I'm around it while at work when responding to emergency calls.

Again, I thank yall. We're definitely looking forward to call Arkansas our new home!!
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains Arkansas
1,479 posts, read 907,158 times
Reputation: 3038
I know the area you are from. I was also from deep south Louisiana, but east of BR. The drugs and poverty problem mentioned will not be considered a problem compared to what you're used to. One of the best things about this area compared to south LA is that we have 4 real seasons of weather rather than 10 months of summer. People who are from here will complain of the humidity and I can't help but wonder what humidity they are referring to. In my area, the heat and humidity in the summer is bearable compared to what I grew up with. I remember last year on the 4th of July, I had my doors and windows open because it was cool enough outside not to run the a/c. I don't even have to turn my a/c on until May and haven't had to run it after September. I'm on top of a mountain at 2200' and that does make a difference. We keep a nice breeze often and no mosquitos.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
66,760 posts, read 76,048,785 times
Reputation: 35944
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub View Post
It might be an improvement over Louisiana.
Wages will be low. Cost of living might be about the same or cheaper depending on your specific circumstances. The places with better jobs will be more expensive.
My biggest gripes about Arkansas come when I try comparing it to other places outside this general region of the country. For the area, though, it's about average.
Not going to sugarcoat it. The Ozarks struggle with some drug problems and poverty. It's not the cleanest or most charming part of the world (in terms of built up areas) either.
Depending on what you compare it to, none of that might seem all that bad, or the things you like outweigh the negatives. A lot of retirees and transplants from more expensive areas a lot of times are able to overlook the bad parts. I have a harder time with that.
Ft. Smith is a good place to start looking. It will have jobs and good access to what you're looking for.
How many other states have you lived in? I can assure you, for a lot of reasons NWA is better living than many other states. Some of what you say may be true, but the job market is fantastic right now, the friendliness is something you see very few other places and the overall cost of living is low, so, of course salaries are going to be a bit lower. Most of us do not overlook the poverty here, we are not blind, but every state has poverty, a lot have more homeless than you can imagine and the drug issue is no worse or no better than here than anywhere in the country. It is just because we are more rural than urban we are more aware of it. Let's also not forget the low crime rate.
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
1,807 posts, read 2,418,416 times
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Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not ok
Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not ok

Good Luck
Gemstone1

Last edited by Yac; 04-06-2018 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:54 AM
sub
 
Location: Ozarkatory
357 posts, read 164,327 times
Reputation: 547
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
How many other states have you lived in? I can assure you, for a lot of reasons NWA is better living than many other states. Some of what you say may be true, but the job market is fantastic right now, the friendliness is something you see very few other places and the overall cost of living is low, so, of course salaries are going to be a bit lower. Most of us do not overlook the poverty here, we are not blind, but every state has poverty, a lot have more homeless than you can imagine and the drug issue is no worse or no better than here than anywhere in the country. It is just because we are more rural than urban we are more aware of it. Let's also not forget the low crime rate.
7 states. 20+ years off and on in Arkansas, stretching back to the '70's. That includes more than one place in Arkansas.
Poverty should have an asterisk. Regardless of where I've lived, people usually have homes, food to eat, and basic transportation at minimum. Most have cable, internet, smartphones, etc.
I tend to agree with studies that place Arkansas towards the bottom when compared to other states. That's just been my experience. There's no conspiracy to pick on Arkansas. NWA is an outlier, but even it isn't overly impressive. A lot of states have those kinds of areas. I've yet to see one that doesn't anyway.
Arkansas isn't all bad. Obviously some people like it.
For the OP, I think it's a half-step up from Louisiana no matter how you look at it. Quality of life improvement doesn't seem to be the biggest motivating factor. Scenery and lifestyle change seem to be what they're looking for, which can affect mood and then quality of life can go up in that way. If you like hills and trees, Arkansas can certainly accommodate that.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Ozark Mountains Arkansas
1,479 posts, read 907,158 times
Reputation: 3038
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub View Post
7 states. 20+ years off and on in Arkansas, stretching back to the '70's. That includes more than one place in Arkansas.
Poverty should have an asterisk. Regardless of where I've lived, people usually have homes, food to eat, and basic transportation at minimum. Most have cable, internet, smartphones, etc.
I tend to agree with studies that place Arkansas towards the bottom when compared to other states. That's just been my experience. There's no conspiracy to pick on Arkansas. NWA is an outlier, but even it isn't overly impressive. A lot of states have those kinds of areas. I've yet to see one that doesn't anyway.
Arkansas isn't all bad. Obviously some people like it.
For the OP, I think it's a half-step up from Louisiana no matter how you look at it. Quality of life improvement doesn't seem to be the biggest motivating factor. Scenery and lifestyle change seem to be what they're looking for, which can affect mood and then quality of life can go up in that way. If you like hills and trees, Arkansas can certainly accommodate that.
You never have much good to say about anything. Do you wake up on the wrong side of the bed everyday? As someone who lived in south Louisiana for 40 years, northern AR (in the ozarks) is a completely different way of life. I don't see anymore poverty here than I did in south LA. The scenery, the wildlife, the weather, the people, and the cost of living are all an improvement.
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