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Old 03-14-2009, 10:37 PM
 
96 posts, read 462,788 times
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Hello All,
My family and I are considering relocating out of California (yes, I know, like so many others) and Arkansas is one of the possibilites for us. So naturally I have questions, I would appreciate any answers that you have for me.

We are looking at the north western mountainous areas anywhere around Fayetteville ( from Prarie Grove in the South to Bella Vista in the north).

First off, my wife and I are both in the medical field. I am an RN and she is an RT.

1) What is the starting pay for nurses in Fayettville/Bentonville? Would pay in Little Rock be substantially more?

2) What are the best regarded hospitals in this area?

3) What are commutes like in to Fayetteville from BV in the north or Prarie Grove in the south?

3A)Is the road in from either ends of Fayetteville clogged with commuters?

4) In the northern areas, what are the seasons like? Is there a long blooming season or is it over with soon? Any allergy issues?

4A) Does it rain everyday in the summer, maybe a little everyday, maybe no rain for weeks, etc.? What are winters like in the north, freezing rain, much snow, etc.?

5) What is the northern climate like for people with asthma, does the humidity help or hinder?

6) What is the air quality like in and around Fayetteville/BV/Prarie Grove/Rogers? Is there much bad ozone/pollutants? Any Red Flag Days?

With regard to humidity:

Where I live in Nor Cal we have rivers and lots of flooded open farming land, so people from Las Vegas that I've spoken with think my city is humid (I laugh). Las Vegas air dries me up like a prune but they have no problem with it. I've been to Florida in July and it was brutally humid, with this in mind:

7) How does the humidity in Northern Ark. compare to Florida humidity?

8) It's a matter of opinion, but what are the best grade schools in this area?

With regard to real estate:

I've seen on realtor.com what can be had in Bella Vista and what the countryside is like there.

9) Is Prarie Grove or Bentonville anything like BV? Lakes, rivers, trees, mountains, etc?

10) Are the type of community centers and community activities that are offered in BV available in any other near-Fayetteville location?

11) Does one area offer more outdoor opportunities than the other?

12) Does northern Arkansas have those durn cicada's that buzzzzzz all day? If so, do they ever stop?

13) Is there much threat of tornado or hurricane reaching that far inland in Northern Ark.? What affect did Katrina have on this area?

14) Lastly, and most important, is it hard to get Razorback's football tickets?

I realize I've asked a lot of questions so I certainly don't expect any one person to answer all of them, whatever you can contribute is appreciated.

From what I've seen on paper Arkansas looks like a great laid back, family friendly state to live in. The cost of living appears to be lower ( of course I only have California to compare to), there appears to be many museums and outdoor opportunities, and the population density is much, much, much ( I could go on) lower than most anywhere in California. Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,344 posts, read 79,526,740 times
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well let me be the first to welcome you to the AR forum and I will try to answer a few of your questions but I am sure others will be able to help you even more as my knowledge is not as extensive as some others who have lived in AR many years.

Again, just my views, but if you want the mountains, streams etc you would be much happier here in NWA than even considering Little Rock regardless of salaries plus my guess it salaries in NWA are going to be higher.

We have 3 or 4 pretty good hospitals in the area from Fayetteville to Bentonville. I think which one or ones are best is like so many things, very subjective. Some will tell you Mercy is best, some NW and some will say something else..

I am going to be jumping around here a little as I don't know how to pin point the questions: Humidity here is nothing like Fl, believe me..plus our summers are much shorter. Yes, it does get humid, and yes, the temps can climb but we have a daughter in Fl and one in Texas, we will take the summers here anyday..We really only have 3 summer months, Jun, Jul and Aug. early June isn't even that warm and by mid
Sep it is cooling off enough that your air will hardly need to be on. Again, this depends on individual comfort..

The pollin season is right now, from very early March until mid April or so we have been told. I suffer from all pollins and do fine with a pill or two each day. Without the little pills my eyes look like I have been on a 2 week drunk and I can not even sleep. NM, believe it or not was worse..

Rain and snow: we have enough snow to enjoy the wonders of a white winter a couple of times a year, but it rarely lasts. This year, of course we had the horrible ice storm, but from what we have been told, that is pretty unusual, maybe one bad one every 3 or 4 years. last summer we got enough rain to keep us from needing to do much watering, but certainly nowhere near daily. Again I think spring brings most of the rain. We just moved here last year. I am judging from what we have been told and what we witnessed on several visits before we decided to re-locate.

The traffic, well again, it depends on what you are accustom to. We have been on the roads during the heaviest commute times and the main roads can be slow, still not like major cities. Because we have lived in some of the worst traffic cities in the country we pretty much laugh when people complain, but yes, there are times that can be bad..The worst is from the MO boarder to the starting of the freeway in Bentonville and from south of Bentonville to about Fayetteville.

As for beauty, certainly BV is probably the prettiest, with lakes, mountains and everything elso natural, but Bentonville is nice also. The further south you go the less you will see of the Ozarks.

If you like the old charm of small towns you can see that almost everywhere here, Fayetteville is the most culturally diverse area and by far the most liberal. This goes with being a college town. BV and Bentonville are the prettiest I think and are the most conservative. This doesn't mean any area is totally one way or the other. As for schools, someone else can help you, my guess is the best schools are going to be Fayetteville and Bentonville. Much of BV is in the Bentonville school district.

I will let others chime in here now, but will add, you can have just about anything you want here in NWA..it is very family friendly, lots of outdoor activities, very laid back and yes, has the low cost of living.

Good luck,

NIta
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:11 PM
 
96 posts, read 462,788 times
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Thanks very much for your time answering my questions. It's interesting, my wife started talking with a traveling nurse today (she questioned her accent) who is working at her hospital for a bit while her Air Force husband works at a nearby military base and she just happened to be from Fayetteville. She echoed all of your sentiments, she really loves the area, grew up there, and can't wait to move back. She said the traffic around Fayetteville was very similar to the traffic that one of our nearby towns gets and if she's correct then to me it's not traffic at all. Real traffic is I-5 through Los Angeles at rush hour, or travelling through Boston in the morning (Yikes). She's happy about the wages she makes in California as a traveling nurse but said that starting pay is only about $22 in Fayetteville, this is half of what new nurses start out making in my area (near Sacramento). But home prices there in BV/ B-ville are crazy low compared to most places here and it's amazing what near new homes people can buy in the $130-$165K range.

What it your opinion about smog in the BV/ Fayetteville area? Is there any? I have pollution sensitive asthma so getting out of California and into an area with low smog is a must. We had wildfires so bad last summer that I wore a face mask insid and outside off and on for almost two months.

Also, do you have any opinion on the level of workmanship of the newer homes in the BV area? Were they put up haphazardly to meet the building demand and are people now having issues?
Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,344 posts, read 79,526,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalMan View Post
Thanks very much for your time answering my questions. It's interesting, my wife started talking with a traveling nurse today (she questioned her accent) who is working at her hospital for a bit while her Air Force husband works at a nearby military base and she just happened to be from Fayetteville. She echoed all of your sentiments, she really loves the area, grew up there, and can't wait to move back. She said the traffic around Fayetteville was very similar to the traffic that one of our nearby towns gets and if she's correct then to me it's not traffic at all. Real traffic is I-5 through Los Angeles at rush hour, or travelling through Boston in the morning (Yikes). She's happy about the wages she makes in California as a traveling nurse but said that starting pay is only about $22 in Fayetteville, this is half of what new nurses start out making in my area (near Sacramento). But home prices there in BV/ B-ville are crazy low compared to most places here and it's amazing what near new homes people can buy in the $130-$165K range.

What it your opinion about smog in the BV/ Fayetteville area? Is there any? I have pollution sensitive asthma so getting out of California and into an area with low smog is a must. We had wildfires so bad last summer that I wore a face mask insid and outside off and on for almost two months.

Also, do you have any opinion on the level of workmanship of the newer homes in the BV area? Were they put up haphazardly to meet the building demand and are people now having issues?
Thanks again for your reply.
I can't answer the question about workmanship at this time but can give you a little bit of what we have in our home. Our house is 16 years old, has been slightly updated but not a lot and though not top of the line, certainly better quality than many homes we have seen elsewhere for the $$. We used to live outside of Sac by the way, as we are from Ca originally. As for prices, we bought last May, we have 1700plus sq ft, about 1/2 acre or a little more, live in one of the most desirable areas in BV, 3 bedrooms, only 1 living area, huge screened in porch, 2 plus baths and paid $145,000.00. Taxes are very low.
We met with our realtor about a year prior to moving here, she and her husband sent us all kinds of information about BV and didn't pressure us in any way. when we were about ready to think seriously about buying in NW Ar we contacted her again. She kept in constant contact with us, again not pressuring us in any way. Finally we were ready, and here we are.


Like many places, BV is suffering from the economy, not as bad as some areas nor has AR been hit as hard, but certainly things are not the best they have been.

BV, at one time was considered nothing but a retirement community, now young families are moving in right and left, so the demographics are changing. I will say, some old Farts don't like it, but we (old also) love to see the changes...Much of the young crowd live east of hwy 71 as that is the Bentonville school district..

As for clean air, I can't actually tell you how it is rated here, but can assure you it is clean compared to other places we have lived.

If you want any more info you can privately message me.

GOod luck,

Nita
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,110 posts, read 7,357,374 times
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NorCAl
I can give you a CAlifornian's perspective of NWA.. We've visited Bella Vista the last few years.
I have been there in March, May and August, for two weeks each time. This year we are going in October, we are trying to git an idea of year round conditions.
Ok here's my take on it. Smog like in the SAcramento Valley is Non existant... Traffic in Bentonville on a friday afternoon is bad for there, but not to bad for a CAli person, kind of like Fairfield or Roseville not the Bay Area for sure.
Now I've never been to Florida, but the Humidity is kinda like HAwaii in October. You know it's there, and if you work outside it might bother you but I fished in it all day and it was just fine. From Fayettville to Bella Vista is about as "California" as you can get back there, meaning strip malls and fast food everywhere. Personally I like the boonies better, but that's me...
In Bella Vista the houses are built by many different builders (I think, they deffinatley aren't your Ca, Suburbs all look alike track home) and at least my uncles is better built than my track house....
The best part of Arkansas besides the wonderful outdoor activities is the people, you go to a fast food joint a kid who speaks english will smile and call you sir and thank you afterward....
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:19 PM
 
96 posts, read 462,788 times
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Awesome, thank you both for your replies. Funny, it was actually Roseville that the traveler nurse from Fayetteville was refering to. That's not really traffic it's more like hurry up and wait. There's not so many people that you can't move, a'la L.A., it's just the traffic lights that muck everything up.

Glad to hear that about the smog. We moved up to Mount Shasta in far Nor Cal for a few years and my asthma was better than it had been for a decade, but poor job prospects and poorer schools drove us back to the Sacto area and my lungs have been kicking me ever since.

We were thinking about visiting NWA in late May to get a feel of the land. Maybe a week in BV area and a few days further south. We've been wanting to visit that diamond mine place in Murfreesoboro after we saw it profiled on the travel channel a few years back so we may do that. Kinda a long haul from BV tho.



I've noticed that about the houses in BV, even tho some of them can be very close they're not all Cali tract house-like...very un-Folsom or un-Lincoln like. And there's a lot to be said when even a kid at a fast food joint knows how to act polite and respect the customer.

Do either of you previous posters have any sightseeing recommendations if we visit? I've heard about the chapel, what else? Any good river rafting trips that a seven year old can go on? Any great place to visit in the Ozarks?
Thanks again.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,344 posts, read 79,526,740 times
Reputation: 38683
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalMan View Post
Awesome, thank you both for your replies. Funny, it was actually Roseville that the traveler nurse from Fayetteville was refering to. That's not really traffic it's more like hurry up and wait. There's not so many people that you can't move, a'la L.A., it's just the traffic lights that muck everything up.

Glad to hear that about the smog. We moved up to Mount Shasta in far Nor Cal for a few years and my asthma was better than it had been for a decade, but poor job prospects and poorer schools drove us back to the Sacto area and my lungs have been kicking me ever since.

We were thinking about visiting NWA in late May to get a feel of the land. Maybe a week in BV area and a few days further south. We've been wanting to visit that diamond mine place in Murfreesoboro after we saw it profiled on the travel channel a few years back so we may do that. Kinda a long haul from BV tho.



I've noticed that about the houses in BV, even tho some of them can be very close they're not all Cali tract house-like...very un-Folsom or un-Lincoln like. And there's a lot to be said when even a kid at a fast food joint knows how to act polite and respect the customer.

Do either of you previous posters have any sightseeing recommendations if we visit? I've heard about the chapel, what else? Any good river rafting trips that a seven year old can go on? Any great place to visit in the Ozarks?
Thanks again.
Bella Vista has very few tract homes, most are custom or simi custom..

Sights, of course the chapel, that will only take you a couple of minutes or maybe a little longer but can not be missed. Visit the lakes, at least a couple, the square in Bentonville and have a sandwhich at the Station restaurant right on the square. Next door to the Station is the original Waltons five and dime, kiinda fun..

Eureka Springs is only about an hour or a little more away and certainly worth the time.. There are lots or river activities but someone else will have to help you out there..

Nita
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Central AR
49 posts, read 210,052 times
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I tried to answer them the best I could. I was born and raised in Springdale all my life of 31 years untill 2007. I now live in Conway near Little Rock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalMan View Post

1) What is the starting pay for nurses in Fayettville/Bentonville? Would pay in Little Rock be substantially more?

??? Don't know

2) What are the best regarded hospitals in this area?

??? Have not used any to speak of so once again, not sure.

3) What are commutes like in to Fayetteville from BV in the north or Prarie Grove in the south?

North west AR is kinda all the same area in my opinion. Yet if I was living in BV, I would not want to commute to Fayetteville due to work traffic. This is the same if going in the opposite direction. I lived in Lowell ( between Rogers and Springdale) and worked in Springdale. I could normally make the drive in work hours in about 10-20 min. However, if you start to travel into Bentonville or Fayetteville, the traffic starts to really back up.

3A)Is the road in from either ends of Fayetteville clogged with commuters?

See above

4) In the northern areas, what are the seasons like? Is there a long blooming season or is it over with soon? Any allergy issues?

The whole northwest AR area is pretty much the same with exception to slight temp differances in elevation. And those are only slight. Even going all the way down to central AR does not make much differance. You get all 4 seasons for sure. I feel that they are all abut equal times. You can be in spring time like now and have 80 degree days and then the next 2 or 3 days may be in the 40s. So the weather is definatly always changing.

You always have things blooming but it may depend on the plants too. In my front garden we made it a point to plant seasonal plants so there are always blooms for the most part.

Allergy's can definatly act up around here as pollen can get pretty bad. My particular bad times are spring and fall.

4A) Does it rain everyday in the summer, maybe a little everyday, maybe no rain for weeks, etc.? What are winters like in the north, freezing rain, much snow, etc.?

You really will get it all. Rain my settle in for a few days but then you can go for a couple weeks with none at all. It seems to run in spells from a few years of light to heavy rain. The winter will give you a little snow now and then that may last a few days, but will also give you ice at times. Mostly it just gets cold in the winter though. Schools may have a weeks worth of snow days I guess out of the winter. Sometimes you can get a foot of snow and then the next year only a few inches.

5) What is the northern climate like for people with asthma, does the humidity help or hinder?

??? My daughter has very slight asthma but it never seems to bother her.

6) What is the air quality like in and around Fayetteville/BV/Prarie Grove/Rogers? Is there much bad ozone/pollutants? Any Red Flag Days?

I think the air quality is very nice here. Nothing like in CA I did get to visit WY last year though and it made me reallize 100% fresh air at it's finest though!

With regard to humidity:

Where I live in Nor Cal we have rivers and lots of flooded open farming land, so people from Las Vegas that I've spoken with think my city is humid (I laugh). Las Vegas air dries me up like a prune but they have no problem with it. I've been to Florida in July and it was brutally humid, with this in mind:

7) How does the humidity in Northern Ark. compare to Florida humidity?

??? Not sure how it compares, but we do have lots of humidity!

8) It's a matter of opinion, but what are the best grade schools in this area?

I went to Springdale and loved it. I think that Rogers, Springdale and Bentonville, and Fayetteville are all very nice. Some of the smaller surrounding areas like gravette, and others do not have the income like the others though to compete.

With regard to real estate:

I've seen on realtor.com what can be had in Bella Vista and what the countryside is like there.

9) Is Prarie Grove or Bentonville anything like BV? Lakes, rivers, trees, mountains, etc?

BV is nice. my in-laws lived there for years. unless it has changed, you do have dues to pay to live there though. Originally it was a retirement type village but has really grown with younger people. It has lots of hills, mountains, water, golf and etc. The other areas all have nice areas like that, but you have to get outside of the city limits for the most part.

10) Are the type of community centers and community activities that are offered in BV available in any other near-Fayetteville location?

not sure what centers you are referring to, but there are other centers such as the Jones center in Springdale. They are a free center and have swimming, ice skating, other sports games, computers, and etc.

11) Does one area offer more outdoor opportunities than the other?

I think they all offer the same. And if you want something like Beaver lake for example and live in Fayetteville, it is just a few minutes andyour there.

12) Does northern Arkansas have those durn cicada's that buzzzzzz all day? If so, do they ever stop?

Crickets, mosquitos, and etc

13) Is there much threat of tornado or hurricane reaching that far inland in Northern Ark.? What affect did Katrina have on this area?

Tornados = Yes.... Hurricanes = No. The Katrina effect was a bunch of rain that came in about a week later.

14) Lastly, and most important, is it hard to get Razorback's football tickets?

Not sure... I guess it depends on what sport. Baseball for example is pretty easy I believe while Football and Basketball are a bit more difficult.

I realize I've asked a lot of questions so I certainly don't expect any one person to answer all of them, whatever you can contribute is appreciated.

From what I've seen on paper Arkansas looks like a great laid back, family friendly state to live in. The cost of living appears to be lower ( of course I only have California to compare to), there appears to be many museums and outdoor opportunities, and the population density is much, much, much ( I could go on) lower than most anywhere in California. Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,344 posts, read 79,526,740 times
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Bella Vista does have a property owners association and yes, there is a monthly charge of $24.00. It covers many things including clean up after ice storms, keeping the roads clean during the snow season, mowing during the summer, as well as many other things. Now that BV is a city it remains to be seen if and when the association will be discontinued. That is for another forum though. We may not always love the charges, but when we see how clean everything is kept, we realize our money is going somewhere..

As for tornados, we have heard and again this is just what others have said, for some reason the way BV sits they rarely get any tornados, maybe bad winds but not tornados. In fact NWA isn't nearly as likely to get hit as some parts of AR and TExas. Everyplace has some natural disasters, we can't get away from mother nature, both her good qualities and her bad ones.

Nita
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:11 AM
 
39,059 posts, read 23,165,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalMan View Post
Awesome, thank you both for your replies. Funny, it was actually Roseville that the traveler nurse from Fayetteville was refering to. That's not really traffic it's more like hurry up and wait. There's not so many people that you can't move, a'la L.A., it's just the traffic lights that muck everything up.

Glad to hear that about the smog. We moved up to Mount Shasta in far Nor Cal for a few years and my asthma was better than it had been for a decade, but poor job prospects and poorer schools drove us back to the Sacto area and my lungs have been kicking me ever since.

We were thinking about visiting NWA in late May to get a feel of the land. Maybe a week in BV area and a few days further south. We've been wanting to visit that diamond mine place in Murfreesoboro after we saw it profiled on the travel channel a few years back so we may do that. Kinda a long haul from BV tho.



I've noticed that about the houses in BV, even tho some of them can be very close they're not all Cali tract house-like...very un-Folsom or un-Lincoln like. And there's a lot to be said when even a kid at a fast food joint knows how to act polite and respect the customer.

Do either of you previous posters have any sightseeing recommendations if we visit? I've heard about the chapel, what else? Any good river rafting trips that a seven year old can go on? Any great place to visit in the Ozarks?
Thanks again.
Float the Elk River. It's about 10-15 minutes North of Bella Vista, and in May it's beautiful, peaceful and easy for a seven year old. Also, you should check out the Farmers Market in Fayetteville one Saturday morning while you are here. It's close to Dickson St, a beautiful square, and you can sightsee around Fayetteville. Then drive to Prairie Grove to see the battlefield. There's a battlefield in Pea Ridge as well, and if you visit that battlefield, then you should take a drive out to Lost Bridge. Fabulous views near the lodge, hiking trails in both the North and South parks. If it's warm you could possibly go swimming, if not, you could rent a boat and see the dam. Have dinner at Across the Creek---all you can eat seafood buffet in Garfield. Very casual. Or you might want to visit the War Eagle Mill. They've worked tremendously hard to clear the hiking trails at the Hobbs Estate. You can have lunch at the mill--really good cornbread. Eureka Springs will be opening up all the stores. Plenty of great restaurants, hardly any chains. If you visit the Crescent, you should check out the Catholic Church--entry through the bell tower, very unique. Lake Leatherwood is neat and on the way to Eureka Springs. Several trails, one goes completely around the lake. There's lots more to do as well.
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