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Old 12-26-2022, 10:39 AM
 
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We are seriously considering relocating to Arkansas. We would like to be closer to family in Texas (but in a more retirement friendly state). We are originally from Texas (San Antonio, Austin, many years in Fort Worth). We are currently living in a suburb of Denver. We do plan a road trip there in the spring. While we are looking forward to going smaller, we also realize that we are accustomed to stores and such being all around so there is a balance between too big and too small. When we look in street view in google maps, we find maybe a mall with some stores/restaurants in the surrounding area. By and large we see a lot of open spaces and neighborhoods. While we don't eat out a lot, I will admit to being spoiled that stores and such have always been near by when we do go out. Does one have to drive distances to get to a Home Depot, the grocery store, even to grab a quick bite? Do these stores seem to be concentrated in one location? I know there is no substitute for a visit, because watching videos will only show us the best, and looking at street view is going to be hit or miss for truly seeing what is there. So I thought I would ask here in the meantime. Right now we are targeting Tulsa OK area or Arkansas. I appreciate any thoughts you might feel led to offer.
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Old 12-26-2022, 11:06 AM
 
899 posts, read 669,785 times
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Originally Posted by dfurlong View Post
We are seriously considering relocating to Arkansas. We would like to be closer to family in Texas (but in a more retirement friendly state). We are originally from Texas (San Antonio, Austin, many years in Fort Worth). We are currently living in a suburb of Denver. We do plan a road trip there in the spring. While we are looking forward to going smaller, we also realize that we are accustomed to stores and such being all around so there is a balance between too big and too small. When we look in street view in google maps, we find maybe a mall with some stores/restaurants in the surrounding area. By and large we see a lot of open spaces and neighborhoods. While we don't eat out a lot, I will admit to being spoiled that stores and such have always been near by when we do go out. Does one have to drive distances to get to a Home Depot, the grocery store, even to grab a quick bite? Do these stores seem to be concentrated in one location? I know there is no substitute for a visit, because watching videos will only show us the best, and looking at street view is going to be hit or miss for truly seeing what is there. So I thought I would ask here in the meantime. Right now we are targeting Tulsa OK area or Arkansas. I appreciate any thoughts you might feel led to offer.
We moved here from Dallas six months ago and really like it here. Traffic is much less of a pain, but during rush hours it can be slow. That still pales compared to DFW, unless you're near Bentonville at the wrong time.

Neighbors told us that Rogers is becoming the retail hub of the area. There are 99 stores and 900K + square feet here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinnacle_Hills_Promenade

West of 49 there is more to check out. But we don't go there much because we're not big shoppers and don't like traffic. Central and Eastern Rogers has pharmacies, supermarkets, restaurants, local merchants...that's where we go. We also end up sometimes in Southern Rogers, where we have a Duck Donuts.

Fayetteville probably has a lot of stuff...it has U of A, after all, and it's bigger. But it's only about a 15 minute drive, if we want to go. I've heard NWA is about half a million total, so it has lots of choices but won't compete with DFW of course.

The area is growing fast. There are lots of bike trails and people are really friendly. In Rogers, they have free concerts in the park for several months. The Waltons are spending, encouraging development. This article said benevolence isn't behind it.

https://jacobin.com/2021/03/walmart-...s-company-town
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Old 12-26-2022, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
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The Northwest Arkansas metro area is nearly 600k people. There are plenty of places to eat, including most of the national and regional chains you are used to.

There are two Home Depots (Rogers, Fayetteville) and six Lowes in the two-county area. There's one Whole Foods in Fayetteville, with a second announced for Rogers in a new development that is breaking ground soon (near the Rogers Home Depot).

We have Fresh Market, Top Golf, Pottery Barn, etc. The only large chains that I or wifey care about that we don't have are IKEA and Restoration Hardware.

I can't think of much else mainstream that we don't have apart from Trader Joes and Costco.

Aldi is a decent substitute, and there are Sam's Clubs every other town, too.

If you are thinking about other areas of the state besides Northwest Arkansas, it might help to look into those particular towns and metro areas.
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Old 12-27-2022, 06:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ILTXwhatnext View Post
We moved here from Dallas six months ago and really like it here. Traffic is much less of a pain, but during rush hours it can be slow. That still pales compared to DFW, unless you're near Bentonville at the wrong time.

Neighbors told us that Rogers is becoming the retail hub of the area. There are 99 stores and 900K + square feet here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinnacle_Hills_Promenade

West of 49 there is more to check out. But we don't go there much because we're not big shoppers and don't like traffic. Central and Eastern Rogers has pharmacies, supermarkets, restaurants, local merchants...that's where we go. We also end up sometimes in Southern Rogers, where we have a Duck Donuts.

Fayetteville probably has a lot of stuff...it has U of A, after all, and it's bigger. But it's only about a 15 minute drive, if we want to go. I've heard NWA is about half a million total, so it has lots of choices but won't compete with DFW of course.

The area is growing fast. There are lots of bike trails and people are really friendly. In Rogers, they have free concerts in the park for several months. The Waltons are spending, encouraging development. This article said benevolence isn't behind it.

https://jacobin.com/2021/03/walmart-...s-company-town



ILTXwhatnext - We just need to visit! Good to know about Rogers, it was on my list. Honestly, we don't shop much either (or go out to eat much for that matter). We are wondering if when we are partially (or fully) retired, we might find ourselves wanting to go out more. Maybe, but I don't think as much as my husband thinks. It sounds like there are plenty of options though, and that one does not have to drive across town to get a burger or go to the grocery store. I think it is a plus that it isn't the concrete jungle Fort Worth (or definitely Dallas) is. We are definitely spoiled where we currently live. We live off of a busy major street. Honestly, anything we could want is within about 7 minutes (10 tops). This just in our particular suburb, we rarely venture into the nearby major city we border. The plan is to rent where ever we land for the first 6 months to a year, to really get a feel for where we want to be.


Another concern, possibly, is work. I work primarily remote right now (go in a day here and there), and believe that I will be able to keep my job. My husband likely will need to find a job (accounting/CPA), though he is hoping to find something remote as well (even before we move). I guess for that we should start looking at job boards to get an idea of what that looks like in case one or the other of us ends up needing to find a job after we move. I appreciate your insights!
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Old 12-27-2022, 06:41 AM
 
9 posts, read 12,281 times
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Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
The Northwest Arkansas metro area is nearly 600k people. There are plenty of places to eat, including most of the national and regional chains you are used to.

There are two Home Depots (Rogers, Fayetteville) and six Lowes in the two-county area. There's one Whole Foods in Fayetteville, with a second announced for Rogers in a new development that is breaking ground soon (near the Rogers Home Depot).

We have Fresh Market, Top Golf, Pottery Barn, etc. The only large chains that I or wifey care about that we don't have are IKEA and Restoration Hardware.

I can't think of much else mainstream that we don't have apart from Trader Joes and Costco.

Aldi is a decent substitute, and there are Sam's Clubs every other town, too.

If you are thinking about other areas of the state besides Northwest Arkansas, it might help to look into those particular towns and metro areas.

Rock Climber - thank you for your insights. I would miss Costco, for sure, as well as a Sprouts or Natural Grocer (I have to follow a gluten free/dairy free diet). I already know going in those stores are not there, not a deal breaker. I've already acknowledged, in my mind, that I might need to drive 10 or 15 minutes to go to a particular store, I don't think that is a bad thing. My husband worries a bit more. I admit that looking at street view on google maps, it does appear that stores can be far and few in between. Most of the videos are skewed to only show you the positives (sometimes negatives) - and I don't think street view on google maps is going to do it either. We definitely need to visit, there is no substitute for driving it in person. I suppose Little Rock (or rather a suburb of) might be a possibility, but I'm really not sure about that. I definitely like NWA better in what I have looked at (on paper/video) so far.

We currently live off of a major road in the suburb within which we reside. Honestly we never need to leave this one street, anything we could want is within about 7-10 minutes from us. BUT - the road goes behind our house and is noisy, and the traffic is so bad elsewhere, there is a reason why we don't want to venture out (which is exactly what I am looking forward to getting away from).
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Old 12-27-2022, 07:27 AM
 
899 posts, read 669,785 times
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Originally Posted by dfurlong View Post
ILTXwhatnext - We just need to visit! Good to know about Rogers, it was on my list. Honestly, we don't shop much either (or go out to eat much for that matter). We are wondering if when we are partially (or fully) retired, we might find ourselves wanting to go out more. Maybe, but I don't think as much as my husband thinks. It sounds like there are plenty of options though, and that one does not have to drive across town to get a burger or go to the grocery store. I think it is a plus that it isn't the concrete jungle Fort Worth (or definitely Dallas) is. We are definitely spoiled where we currently live. We live off of a busy major street. Honestly, anything we could want is within about 7 minutes (10 tops). This just in our particular suburb, we rarely venture into the nearby major city we border. The plan is to rent where ever we land for the first 6 months to a year, to really get a feel for where we want to be.


Another concern, possibly, is work. I work primarily remote right now (go in a day here and there), and believe that I will be able to keep my job. My husband likely will need to find a job (accounting/CPA), though he is hoping to find something remote as well (even before we move). I guess for that we should start looking at job boards to get an idea of what that looks like in case one or the other of us ends up needing to find a job after we move. I appreciate your insights!
We looked at Bella Vista (on the Missouri border) a lot because of the beautiful houses and setting, but decided against it for several reasons. The most important was that we realized in some locations, our phones had zero bars. It's so hilly and that can also make internet a problem. Some actually get satellite for that. And they're just now putting in sewer...people up there have septic tanks, which we didn't want to mess with (and when they bring the sewer to those homes, people have to decommission the septic, costing thousands). Plus, that place is about golf...I think they have eight courses.

We didn't look at Bentonville because it's a little pricier. Tons of Wal Mart corporate stuff there. Crazy traffic at times. Our realtor lives in Centerton, likes it...but she has to deal with Bentonville traffic frequently.

Springdale, Lowell are more blue collar, seem a bit rough to us.

Fayetteville would have been ok, with that young vibe from the university but it was more expensive than we wanted to go. It's good that it's only about 15 minutes away if you need something from there.
Although there's a lot of construction going on, technically the bike paths are extensive enough you could ride your bike from Fayetteville north to the Missouri line.

Rogers: we like Wesner's Grill (home cooking), Maria's (Tex-Mex) and Sai Wok (Viet Namese street food, and they have killer fries). The Rail has good pizza. You should head over and check that area out. One Sunday, I had a flat tire. I got it fixed while I waited at the independent bike shop...on a Sunday. That downtown is vibrant. In warmer months, they have a Farmers Market and free concerts.

Since you're making the drive, you should go see Eureka Springs. I don't know about living there---they say it's one of the most affordable places in Arkansas, but I don't know about work. When people visit us, we take them to Eureka Springs for a day. Lots of Victorian architecture, really hip and tolerant, the Crescent Hotel is supposed to be haunted, the streets curve and wind all over the place...it's very cool.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xc_rEuLvS8
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Old 12-27-2022, 09:45 PM
 
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I would give Tulsa the edge in terms of shopping and services, but then again the Tulsa MSA is twice as big as that of Northwest Arkansas. If my wife and I weren't tied to NWA by our corporate jobs we'd probably think seriously about moving to Tulsa as we have good friends there and like it quite a bit in general.


That being said, Northwest Arkansas is really catching up. Bentonville caters to the bike/art/foodie crowd and Fayetteville is the lefties and the college students. Rogers is the closest we get to suburban Dallas in terms of shopping and food choices with the area around the Pinnacle.



Bentonville is really tough in terms of East/West travel, though some of that is due to current construction and should improve a bit once the 8th street corridor is widened and opened. For me this precludes living in Centerton (we didn't even look there during our house hunt) as actually getting to it from the east is just plain awful and we both work in Bentonville. Rogers is much better and if you learn the city you can get around it reasonably quickly.



North/South is much better. We live very close to I-49 and can drop onto it and be in Joplin, MO in 45 minutes or Fayetteville, AR in 22 minutes. It's actually quicker for me to get on I49 and go to the Chick -fil-a by Top Golf in Rogers than to slog across Bentonville in the evening to the one on Walton Blvd, though mileage wise it's twice as far.


Southern Rogers near I49 is probably your best bet in terms of shopping and services and being well positioned to get around the area quickly.
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Old 12-28-2022, 07:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Take a History Class View Post
I would give Tulsa the edge in terms of shopping and services, but then again the Tulsa MSA is twice as big as that of Northwest Arkansas. If my wife and I weren't tied to NWA by our corporate jobs we'd probably think seriously about moving to Tulsa as we have good friends there and like it quite a bit in general.


That being said, Northwest Arkansas is really catching up. Bentonville caters to the bike/art/foodie crowd and Fayetteville is the lefties and the college students. Rogers is the closest we get to suburban Dallas in terms of shopping and food choices with the area around the Pinnacle.



Bentonville is really tough in terms of East/West travel, though some of that is due to current construction and should improve a bit once the 8th street corridor is widened and opened. For me this precludes living in Centerton (we didn't even look there during our house hunt) as actually getting to it from the east is just plain awful and we both work in Bentonville. Rogers is much better and if you learn the city you can get around it reasonably quickly.



North/South is much better. We live very close to I-49 and can drop onto it and be in Joplin, MO in 45 minutes or Fayetteville, AR in 22 minutes. It's actually quicker for me to get on I49 and go to the Chick -fil-a by Top Golf in Rogers than to slog across Bentonville in the evening to the one on Walton Blvd, though mileage wise it's twice as far.


Southern Rogers near I49 is probably your best bet in terms of shopping and services and being well positioned to get around the area quickly.



Thank you for this insight!! We've watched so many videos, "driven" around on google maps so much, I can actually pictures the cities, their locations (and even the Chick-fil-a by the Top Golf!). We are looking forward to a visit in the very near future, will be certain to post after we do so - I know how helpful it has been following other's journeys here).
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Old 12-29-2022, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
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Originally Posted by dfurlong View Post
Rock Climber - thank you for your insights. I would miss Costco, for sure, as well as a Sprouts or Natural Grocer (I have to follow a gluten free/dairy free diet). I already know going in those stores are not there, not a deal breaker.
Fayetteville has a Natural Grocer.

It also has the Ozark Natural Foods CoOp which is like a smaller, local version of Whole Foods downtown (with an awesome patio with porch swings).

Whole Foods, too. All three are located along College Avenue, in different parts of the city.
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Old 12-31-2022, 03:15 PM
 
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I like both NWA and Tulsa. Imo, the Bentonville to Fayetteville area has a nice mix of stores so it has a bigger town shopping, but with a smaller town feel. You can always take a road trip if you want some bigger shopping or a bigger mix of restaurants. Housing prices have gone up, but they have done that everywhere. If you can get away from the cities a little bit, you can't beat the natural beauty. Arkansas is still going to be more affordable than a lot of places.

I lived in the Tulsa area for a few years and loved it too. Culturally, I was able to experience a bit more than I could in NWA. IMO, Arkansas is prettier, but the hills/mountains outside of Tulsa proper were nice too. The cost of living was affordable, but once again, prices have significantly increased everywhere. I found Tulsa to have a nice selection of shopping.

I never made it to the Coscto in the Tulsa area. The Sam's Clubs and Walmarts in NWA are much nicer than they are in other areas of the country.
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