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Old 01-31-2020, 12:23 PM
 
13 posts, read 2,369 times
Reputation: 55

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Hi all! Been lurking a bit and decided to jump in with my dilemma. Sorry if this gets a little long.

Hubby and I are in our mid-30s, forever childfree, dog parents. He is a service plumber and I am about to change careers and head to school for an accounting degree. We live in Houston, TX, and we are miserable. Cost of living is higher than I would like, the city is entirely too large and spread out, traffic is a nightmare, humidity is suffocating, and the area is just... ugly. We want to move. After some initial digging, I feel like Arkansas could be a good fit for us. Here are some bullet points:

* Chief interest in our new home are all four seasons without any terrible extremes, prettier area, low cost of living, and relatively safe.

* Hubby is a city boy, born and raised, and doesn't have much experience in outdoorsy things. He is interested in learning to hunt, and when I told him tubing the rivers seems popular in AR, he seemed interested. Other than that, current known interests are video games, billiards, responsible gambling (cards and craps), southern food lover, and gadget-enthusiast.

* Wifey (me) grew up rural, but been a city gal for over a decade, loves fishing, video games, gardening, foodie. Hiking might be a thing I'm interested in trying out.

* We are both SCUBA divers. Any idea if there is a diving community or opportunities in AR? Fresh water diving can be fun if the water is clear enough. Not a big deal either way.

* Our two most desired living situations would be either a small condo/apartment in/near a downtown area, OR a slightly rural house that offers some privacy and a little room, but close enough to commute for work. The suburbs don't interest us at all.

* Hubby LOVES the sound of the Fayetteville/NWA area. I worry there may not be enough work opportunity for us? I'm more interested in Little Rock. I also worry he might get bored with no decently sized city nearby, but I could be wrong.

* We are very interested in low COL, since I just want to be safe and comfortable, with some entertainment options, and just stack money for retirement and travel.

*Decent-speed internet is a deal breaker. We game online and stream Netflix a lot, so if we can't do that, we can't live there.

* Safety is a deal breaker. I mean, we're coming from Houston, so hopefully we can find something a LITTLE safer. In our seven years here, we've personally had a car stolen, hubby's work truck broken into and thousands in tools stolen, mailbox break ins in our complexes, and gun-point robberies in our complexes (though not us). We're over it. And these are NOT bad/cheap areas.

So, I think I'll stop there and see what you guys think. Are we likely to be happy in Arkansas, or are we barking up the wrong tree? Can you get decent internet speeds in the NWA area? Are there areas in Little Rock that are safe enough, AND still relatively inexpensive? For comparison, we are living 10-12 minutes west of downtown Houston, in a one bedroom apartment, about 650 sqft, for $1167/mo rent.

Thanks for any and all advice! Feel free to ask questions if I left out any necessary info.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:35 PM
 
Location: SE corner of the Ozark Redoubt
3,081 posts, read 1,090,348 times
Reputation: 3150
Quote:
Hubby is a city boy, born and raised, and doesn't have much experience in outdoorsy things. He is interested in learning to hunt, and when I told him tubing the rivers seems popular in AR, he seemed interested. Other than that, current known interests are video games, billiards, responsible gambling (cards and craps), southern food lover, and gadget-enthusiast.
Normally, this paragraph would be setting off alarms, for me, and I would be trying to politely tell you that Georgia or Illinois might be a better fit.

And here is why:
Quote:
I mean, we're coming from Houston, so hopefully we can find something a LITTLE safer. In our seven years here, we've personally had a car stolen, hubby's work truck broken into and thousands in tools stolen, mailbox break ins in our complexes, and gun-point robberies in our complexes (though not us). We're over it. And these are NOT bad/cheap areas.
All too often, people move away from urban decay, and then set about creating the climate that led to the urban decay they just left. They really aren't happy with what they find here, until they change it to match the disaster they just left.

But if you truly are interested in Tubing, Scuba and other outdoor activities, NWA or Little Rock might be a good fit. As for cost of living, you will find both cost, and wages, to be lower than where you are from.

You really haven't told us enough about yourselves. You will need to earn a living? What kind of employment would you be looking for. No Children, is there a chance this will change? Do you go to church, or what are your views of church?
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:51 PM
 
13 posts, read 2,369 times
Reputation: 55
Hubby is a service plumber, and so would be looking for a job in that field. He works on commission at his current company, and would probably prefer to stay commission-based. I would be going go school for the next four years and then will be looking for work as an accountant. I might seek part-time employment while in school, but we're hoping that won't be a necessity, just a luxury.

We are liberals and atheists, to get that out of the way. We know we are against-type for the area, but frankly we're used to that. We are the only liberals and non-christians in both of our families, and my husband is the only liberal, non-christian at his workplace. We're used to keeping our mouths shut and our opinions to ourselves when necessary, and we generally get along pretty well with those who think differently than us.

No, there will be no children in the future.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,203 posts, read 86,586,859 times
Reputation: 44639
I would certainly think NWA would work for you As for humidity that is one of the reasons we left
Dallas. We have it here, but nothing like Texas or Mississippi.

No your husband would not be bored in NWA. It has a wonderful mixture of urban and rural. It may not be Houston or Dallas size wise but everything from good hospitals, to top concerts, to bars, shopping and activities of all kinds can be found here. Probably you would find it a better match than Little Rock. All I can say is visit: check out the small towns as well as Fayetteville, Bentonville and Rogers and even consider Bella Vista for starters Jobs are very plentiful in the region I might add.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:17 PM
 
13 posts, read 2,369 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
I would certainly think NWA would work for you As for humidity that is one of the reasons we left
Dallas. We have it here, but nothing like Texas or Mississippi.

No your husband would not be bored in NWA. It has a wonderful mixture of urban and rural. It may not be Houston or Dallas size wise but everything from good hospitals, to top concerts, to bars, shopping and activities of all kinds can be found here. Probably you would find it a better match than Little Rock. All I can say is visit: check out the small towns as well as Fayetteville, Bentonville and Rogers and even consider Bella Vista for starters Jobs are very plentiful in the region I might add.
Thank you, hubby will be thrilled at your reply.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:04 PM
Status: "Yabba Dabba DO!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,417 posts, read 13,020,944 times
Reputation: 27550
Yes it is. Fayetteville.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:40 PM
 
Location: SE corner of the Ozark Redoubt
3,081 posts, read 1,090,348 times
Reputation: 3150
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
I would certainly think NWA would work for you As for humidity that is one of the reasons we left
Dallas. We have it here, but nothing like Texas or Mississippi.

No your husband would not be bored in NWA. It has a wonderful mixture of urban and rural. It may not be Houston or Dallas size wise but everything from good hospitals, to top concerts, to bars, shopping and activities of all kinds can be found here. Probably you would find it a better match than Little Rock. All I can say is visit: check out the small towns as well as Fayetteville, Bentonville and Rogers and even consider Bella Vista for starters Jobs are very plentiful in the region I might add.
I agree with this assessment.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, Ark
418 posts, read 962,022 times
Reputation: 398
"We are both SCUBA divers. Any idea if there is a diving community or opportunities in AR? Fresh water diving can be fun if the water is clear enough. Not a big deal either way."

You will find numerous lakes in this area and NWA, ie Lake Ouachita, Lake Norfork, Bull Shoals, Beaver Lake, Lake DeGray, etc, that are very clear and deep. Lots of scuba activity in the area and many clean, beautiful rivers to canoe, kayak, etc.

As for being liberal and atheist, as long as you're not in someone's face about it, no one will care one way or another.

Come up and check us out. I am a native Arkansan and a little biased but I have traveled extensively and don't think there are very many better places than this.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,203 posts, read 86,586,859 times
Reputation: 44639
I hadn't picked up on the Atheist/ liberal part. I agree with btoverdrive; there are a lot of liberals in the area even though the majority of residence are conservative. The democratic party is well organized; we have friends that are liberals and we can even talk politics with some of them. All you have to do is read the letters to the editor in any paper here to know there are liberals all over the state. We did have a couple we were pretty close to for awhile that were also atheists. I have to admit the relationship went down hill. The wife was very understanding about others views and not preachy. The husband was down right rude. The most important thing certainly is not to flaunt it. WE have a wonderful granddaughter who is what I would guess is agnostic as she believes there is a higher being of some kind. She is the sweetest, most caring granddaughter anyone could have: she would do anything for us but we have learned we do not mention religion at all except maybe to mention we are busy with a church activity or something. She does have her 4 year old in a Christian day care because of its fantastic reputation.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:29 PM
 
13 posts, read 2,369 times
Reputation: 55
Thank you all so much for the input. Hubby and I discussed it again last night with the new information and opinions I received from you guys and my own further research and he's pretty dead set that NWA is the place for us. It's pretty much gotten too hard to disagree, and I'm getting pretty enthused myself. Now we just have to wait out the year lease here, and in the meantime, make all the plans and arrangements. Hopefully the year flies by!
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