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Old 02-15-2007, 08:01 AM
Location: zooland 1
3,744 posts, read 3,272,855 times
Reputation: 5495


I seem to be drawn to texas... for a number of reasons.. but Im retired and the tax structure,, real estate taxes primarily,, are a killer and not advantageous to me,, nor is no income tax...
Arkansas life also appears to have much of what we are looking for.. open space.. affordable land. weather that wont freeze me out for months

Im wondering what its like in eastern arkansas around the Texas border... I was thinking perhaps one could take advantage of Texas ammenities but enjoy Arkansas lower priced cost of living... My budget for a compound will be right around 500k,, land shops home.. We currently have 27 acres here in California and we would like anywhere from 50 acres up on the next homestead

We are preparing for a road trip this spring

any thoughts are appreciated
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Old 02-15-2007, 11:34 AM
Location: Indiana
154 posts, read 319,494 times
Reputation: 37
Default Notme ....

"Im wondering what its like in eastern arkansas around the Texas border."

Did you meant to say "Western" Arkansas?

Anyway, I'm from another State too, and been trying to get info just like you. I've inquired several times about the area in/around Texarkana but so far haven't had a lot of response. My guess from reading lots of info on this forum is that most folks relocating to Arkansas are doing so to the northern half of Arkansas, mostly in the northwest area.

I'm looking to escape high real estate taxes, cold weather, and find affordable property in a rural area. Maybe new construction is the best answer if we relocate to Arkansas, but at 65 I don't know if I've got another new home in my bones. I'll be interested to see if you get any answers from your post.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:52 PM
296 posts, read 1,133,734 times
Reputation: 127
Default Texarkana, Texas

Why not look into Texarkana, Texas? It's in Texas and right next to Arkansas. Best of both states. Someone that recently replied to a question on the Arkansas forum was from Texarkana and maybe they can give you some advice. Good luck on you conquest!
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:58 AM
Location: zooland 1
3,744 posts, read 3,272,855 times
Reputation: 5495
slip of my left brain had me write eastern instead of western..oops

Texarkana is a possibility... but Texas home taxes are a killer,,, and thats forever...
During our road trip I will be learning about why one district is so much cheaper in regards to taxes over another in texas... California is actually more expensive than texas when you factor in ALL the taxes we pay. As a retiree I am interested in how NOT to pay for government I don't use,,, I don't call 911.. I don't have children.. I pay my own medical.. I don't need super highways... I don't care if there are street lights in the city close by or if city hall is "fancified"...

all that being said I would also prefer no cross eyed neighbors
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:25 PM
Location: Arkansas
18 posts, read 67,673 times
Reputation: 22
Default Arkansas vs. Texas

Texas property tax depends a lot on growth, floods, tornadoes, etc. If there's no infrastructure in place, the property taxes go up. It can cost more than your house payments. Texas gives the place away to businesses. Most consider civilization to stop just south of San Antonio. That's also where a lot of people not so secretly believe Mexico territory really begins. We lived in McAllen, TX and were more housebound by heat & humidity then we ever were in Minnesota. Most homes have 2 central air conditioners that run from March through October. The house across the street from us actually had 5. The utility bills were enormous as in $500-$600 per month for all that cooling off. But I do miss HEB and all the wonderful produce. We just watch for Texas 10/10 onions and real ruby red grapefruit from the RioGrande Valley (it was born there, in Mission Texas).

We picked North Central Arkansas because of the tax structure but have been truly unhappy about being mislead when it comes to quality and availability of healthcare. Missouri is looking at matching the senior perks relative to state income tax. Find an area that isn't clobbered by weather and it might be worth considering.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:31 AM
Location: Indiana
154 posts, read 319,494 times
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What are your specific concerns about healthcare shortfalls in your area? Where do you go for hospital/doctor visits?

You mentioned the heat and humidity of your prior home in Texas, but how does that compare to where you now live in Arkansas?
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:59 PM
9 posts, read 39,053 times
Reputation: 18
I have lived in East Texas--the Mt. Pleasant/Pittsburg/Daingerfield area-- since 2000 and moved into my house in the summer of 2001. I am retired and moved to this particular area for the bucolic lifestyle and the many lakes available as I am an avid bass fisherman. The one thing that has become a huge issue here is property taxes. Rising property taxes seem to be a big issue across the entire state and it has certainly been a dividing issue here. You will find that in Texas, school boards rule and they are the ones who set the tax rates...based, of course, on some state variables. School boards NEVER, EVER have enough money so I expect the property tax rates to continue to rise. I would certainly caution you to investigate the property tax issue in Texas and thoroughly understand what you might be facing before moving here.

I have a friend who moved here from California and owns a winery in the area. According to him, he pays far more in property taxes here than he did in California. He has been in a constant fight over the property tax system, the tax rates and the tax increases and has not won a battle yet.

On the other hand, there is no state income tax and there is no tax on food items so there are some benefits. To me, the people here are the best assets that the state has....you will never find more helpful, friendlier people than in Texas, except, of course, for Tax Assessors, School Board members and County Commissioners!! Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:45 AM
Location: Indiana
154 posts, read 319,494 times
Reputation: 37
Default Taxes ...

I've noticed real estate taxes are considered high to some residents while medium to low to other residents - depending upon what they have experienced before living in other parts of the U.S. Our annual r.e.taxes run about $2,000 which seems high to us, but our new neighbors who relocated here from New Jersey believe they are finally finding r.e.tax relief at this level.

Regarding comments about school boards ruling, that's the way it has been from the beginning. Those serving on the board step forward to do the job most others won't consider. They deserve credit for sacrificing their time and energy to take care of business which MUST be handled by someone. Those serving on the board will [obviously] make decisions based upon what they deem best for the community as well as for their own school aged kids. Sometimes, that's where the rub comes to play.

We live in a relatively poor County in Indiana, mostly removed from commerce. The newly elected school board ran on a ticket of a "new school" and managed to be voted into office with that theme. What the voters didn't take into consideration was an underlying issue in the hearts of the new board members ... namely, the incorporation of a new sports facility along with the new school and classrooms. The board consisted primarily of parents who had sports minded kids - parents who wanted basketball/football exposure for their kids hopeful for college scholarships.

The new school will cost $8 mil which was a minor surprise to most of us, but something we figured to deal with. What we didn't see coming was the sports facility addition which will cost an additional amount, slightly more than the new school, an extra $9 mil. The voters were incensed at the school board's actions with the added expense, but the board publicly stated that no one else wanted the job so they acted the way they saw fit for the times. Now that their work is done they will eagerly look to serve only one term.

The new $17 mil ticket will probably double most resident's annual taxes. We'll will feel that new burden with this year's taxes, first installment due in May, '07. If this County was full of commerce the tax burden might be less, but no such industry exists here.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:34 AM
Location: Frisco, Tx
419 posts, read 1,344,200 times
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I'm just curious what amenities in Texas you are drawn too if you are living in that area of the state? If it's lakes, fresh air, etc., I tend to like the Arkansas side of that better than East Texas. If it's convenience to Dallas then it's gonna be a 3 hour drive from Texarkana and a 5 hour drive from little rock, so what's the difference? If I was in your situation I would choose somewhere around Mena or Hot Springs and live in a beautiful area while still in easy proximity of whatever you're seeking in Texas.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:50 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,773 posts, read 37,441,293 times
Reputation: 20763
sounds like Property taxes are the death of us retired, or soon to be, unless you have a prop 13 (CA) status. _'i'm shopping for a low fixed cost place to plant myself...

My WA state (no income tax) property tax went from $1200 - $8000 in 7 yrs, and from $8,000 to $11,000 for this yr. (aggressive assessor) 5 acre / decent, but not spectacular home (we built for under $100k, including land) Assessor thinks it's worth $850k, and mentioned he would buy it in a heartbeat for that. I didn't plan to sell it, just needed a place to lay my head...but not cost me $33/day in taxes

Our levy is ~$15 per thousand, school is starving... library threatening to close (but they do have the $$ to provide free unfiltered internet access to local sex predators), have to 'co-pay' $500 to 100% volunteer fire dept to show up, unless they need to administer medical aid, then it's an extra $800/call. (please leave $1300.00 pinned to your door in case of emergency)

and so it goes...
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