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Silver Gaia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 05:56 PM
Original message
Looking for Advice Regarding Possible Move to Arkansas
Hey Arkansas DU'ers!

We (hubby and I, ages 53 & 62, and maybe 27 yr. old daughter) are considering moving to Arkansas in about a year or so. My elderly parents, who live in Hot Springs, are both ill, and we may need to re-locate to be closer to them so we can help care for them.

Now, I'm originally from Arkansas, but haven't lived there since I was 12, so I'm not exactly up on what's going on there, but I've lived other places in the South (20 years in rural Tennessee), so I understand some of the challenges to progressives. However, we currently live in Sacramento, CA, and my husband has NEVER lived anywhere but California, so I have a feeling he may experience a bit of culture shock.

I'm not sure Hot Springs would be the best place for us. I love much about Hot Springs, because it is "home," but I've never felt in my heart that I really wanted to LIVE there. So... am thinking about Little Rock or maybe even Fayetteville (even though it would be about a 3 hour drive)? But am open to suggestions...

We'd consider a rural area, too, just so long as it was in reasonable distance of some city where we could connect with other liberal-minded folks.

I also need to be near (within a reasonable commute of?) a college or university where I can, hopefully, look for work as a part-time adjunct (or full-time) prof in the liberal arts/humanities/history area.

What I really, really need to know is some info on what are "good" and "bad" areas of various locales. For instance, if I were to look for property in Little Rock, what would be a good area in terms of quality of life, culture, low crime rate, etc.??? And what areas would I want to avoid? Please keep in mind, too, that property prices out here in CA are still sky-high, so what seems expensive in terms of real estate is relative to that in our minds.

Soooooo... Ideas? Suggestions? Advice? Any input would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Joolz
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not an expert, but...
Fayettville is probably the most liberal town. However, it is in a red district (NW Arkansas). The other three districts Little Rock, South Arkansas, and North East Arkansas are blue. But it is kind of a compromise anywhere you go.

If you need every store you could ever want, go to Little Rock. If your ok with having most stores Fayetteville has most everything. Outside of those, you are going to have to pick and chose. Fort Smith is closer to Hot Springs, but it is not liberal. Little Rock is still liberal, but it isn't California liberal. Fayetteville has the University of Arkansas main campus. Little Rock has it's own campus of the University of Arkansas and also a couple of other colleges. There is a nice town in southwest Arkansas close to Hot Springs, Magnolia, but I don't know if it is very liberal. It has its own UofA campus as well. Southern Arkansas is the poor area of the state, so you might take a large pay decrease moving there, but property is really cheap as the population in southern Arkansas is actually decreasing.

I have only lived here for 3 years, so I am not an expert, but there is my advice.
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twenty2strings Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-12-07 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. Fayetteville Rocks
Edited on Thu Jul-12-07 07:31 PM by twenty2strings
My wife and I have lived in Fayetteville for many years, and I wouldn't live anywhere else. The schools, library, entertainment and positive political environment make it unique for Arkansas. It is a liberal oasis in the conservative sea of Arkansas. If you choose Northwest Arkansas, STAY AWAY from BENTON COUNTY and Springdale. Eureka Springs is probably the most liberal, but if you're not an artist, musician, or shop owner, there's not much else to do there... It's a tourist town.

My wife works at the University of Arkansas in Housing, and they have a program to help find jobs for spouses of University employees. There's also the Northwest Arkansas Community College in Rogers/Bentonville, but just don't go there to live. RED RED RED.

As for Real Estate, it's gonna be cheap compared to CA, but Fayetteville market is higher than surrounding areas. A lot of F'villers actually live in Elkins or Farmington or Greenland - all little communities outlying the the area with about a 10 minute drive to town.

A really good friend of ours is a Real Estate agent - she's really cool. In fact, she just sold one of our houses for us, and is giving us tips on fixing up our other one for sale. Her name is Marilyn Shoffit and she works at Globalink. Her website is www.globalinkrealtors.com and her listings can be found here:

http://www.globalinkrealtors.com/bin/web/real_estate?ac...

Hope this helps out! Good luck, and if you choose Fayetteville, look us up!
P.S. Go to youtube and search Fayetteville Arkansas for video tours and a bunch of neat stuff.
Richard Hartrick
(twenty2strings)
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Silver Gaia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-13-07 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. Hey, thanks, y'all! You've both given me lots to think about. This
is a big decision, so your input is most appreciated. I knew I could count on DU'ers to give me some good solid advice. :)
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-19-07 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. I had a good job in Arkadelphia at Henderson State.
The pay was low, the benefits were fantastic. I had to move to California because Arkadel was too boring. It is not far from Hot Springs. I went to Hot Springs to do something halfway interesting, or Little Rock. I left 10 years ago. Maybe it has changed.
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glengill Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-19-07 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. I would like to recommend..
the SW corner of the state, but it is probably too rural for you. We have to drive almost 2 hours to get to a decent (and that is in Arkansas terms) sized city. Hot Springs is one of those "decent sized cities" to which I refer. That being said, I would have to recommend the Fayetteville or Little Rock areas. But, if you decide to look into rural...cheap real estate and cost of living, people are usually friendly, wildlife abounds, and there are no traffic problems to deal with. It is RED, though, for the most part. There are also 2 Community Colleges within 30 miles of our small town.

Sorry, but I can't help you with the good or bad areas of the cities in Arkansas. I have lived in this rural area all of my life, and only "visit" the cities occasionally.

I hope you find what you are looking for.
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aaronbees Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I really like SW Arkansas
I was a true city boy, but it's really grown on me; there's something about the people in this corner that's endearing to me. And I agree about the natural beauty: great trees (magnolias), rolling hills and some neat river bottoms ... it's a unique area, that's for sure. :hi:
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glengill Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-07 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I'm glad you like it
Texarkana is a nice area, I was there today to do a little shopping. We are about 75 miles north on 71.
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Arkyvoter Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. I can help you with relocation to Arkansas
Joolz,

I am a REALTOR and an instructor at a college in Arkansas, so I have much experience with the needs you have addressed. If you decide to move to Arkansas, let me know and I'll do my best to help you meet the goals you have set in regard to relocation and securing an adjunct position.

Arkyvoter
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Silver Gaia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-31-07 05:16 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Hiya Arkyvoter... Just saw this post tonight. Thanks for your offer to help.
:) Where in Arkansas are you located?
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elke2019 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Moving to Arkansas
My Fiance and I are considering moving to the Bella Vista area next spring. We love the hills and all the trees and fairly reasonable privacy and home prices. I'm a Progressive so I have reservations after reading the posts (my first clue when visiting was that Benton is a dry county). Any advice and/or do you sell in the Bella Vista area??
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Cannikin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-10-07 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
10. I just moved from central to NWA, and so far I'm loving it.
Although, as you said, it is about 3 hours away from H.S.

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MSchreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
12. Wife and I just bought two acres near Chidester/Camden
Took it off the hands of the state for under $1,000. It's in what was the White Oak National Forest. We're going to take a year to get everything together, and then we're moving there and putting a house on the land. There's nothing left here in Michigan to hold us much longer (just waiting for our daughter to finish at community college and move on to a university), so we are Arkansas bound.
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