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Mid-South Gardening: I think i wanna move to Arkansas

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tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 29, 2010
6:27 AM

Post #7663829

we will eventually be moving out of the Chicago area...

Just on some general criteria, i narrowed it to NE Arkansas -- though i have never been there.

A few things we want are acreage, good soil [that's for me], warmer winters [i was thinking zone7-ish]
and I want to still be a days drive from Wisc -- since we are not planning on selling our 'summer' place up there.

I 'found' the perfect place while looking on line at property ... It's in Pocahontas AR ... one of my concerns is... it seems in the middle of no where and can I live that way? I really do think i can, but if we did something like this, we may bring MIL too as she is getting up there in age and we'd need things for her to do [any Sr. centers for activities?] ... plus my youngest [no sure on jobs in that area]

Those of you who are familiar with NE Arkansas... what info/advice can you toss my way?

Thanks in advance...

Terese
marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
7:39 AM

Post #7664025

Hi, Terese!
Just my opinion, of course, but you might want to consider moving a little more to the west into North central Arkansas somewhere between Pocohontas and Harrison. It is beautiful up in that part of the state. Jonesboro would be the nearest bigger city to Pocohontas. Jonesboro is a nice city and has good hospitals plus Arkansas State University. Also, the New Madrid (pronounced MAD-rid, not Ma-DRID) earthquake fault runs down into northeast Arkansas from Southeast Missouri and it is due for a really big earthquake sometime soon, according to the "experts" in such things. It is not an area I would want to be when/if that happens! All of northern Arkansas has colder winters than we do here in the central Arkansas area. Several counties in northern Arkansas got as much as 12" of snow (or more) during one of the winter snows we had this season. As a general rule, that does not happen frequently and certainly the winters are not as severe as the winters you experience in Chicago. I'm not sure but I think the extreme northern counties in Arkansas would be more likely to be in zone 6 rather than zone 7.
Never having lived in that area, I can't attest to the soil conditions. You might want to google the Univ. of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Each county has an extension service office and they would be able to more accurately tell you about the soil conditions in any given area. The cooperative extension agents are generally very helpful and will even come out to your home and draw a landscape plan for your yard and recommend plants. At least, they used to do that years ago--I'm assuming that service is still available and it is, or was, free.
I am sure you are planning to make a trip to Arkansas at some point to check out the area where you might want to live. You should consider a trip across the northern part of the state from east to west and just check it out for yourself. There are several large lakes in Northern Arkansas including Bull Shoals in the central part of that area. There are several resort areas all along that area which you might enjoy visiting. You can receive a free packet from the Ark. Dept. of Parks and Tourism which will send you several brochures listing the state parks with lodges and cabins and also camping areas. They also include a state map. Here's the link:
http://www.arkansas.com/

I hope this has helped. Good luck with your search for your new home! Dmail me if I can be of further assistance to you.

Marilyn
kathy_ann
Judsonia, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 29, 2010
11:35 AM

Post #7664534

If I had a choice to move elsewhere in Arkansas it would be over by Harrison/ fayetteville area also. It's absolutely beautiful up there. And not nearly as hot as we are in the more central part of Arkansas during the summer months. Still get cold winters, but not Chicago winters. I think you'd like it over in that area.

Your right about Pocahantas, There is nothing over that way, you'd have to travel a ways for everything. That's not fun.

Arkansas is a beautiful State to live in. All kinds of National parks and recreational spots to visit. PLenty of lakes, & streams also.

Now what made you decide to pick Arkansas? Inquiring minds want to know LOL

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 29, 2010
11:58 AM

Post #7664578

>>Now what made you decide to pick Arkansas?

Real EstateTaxes, first... then winters. [the heat and humidity will just about kill me in the summers... but if we still go to Wisc, it should be a non-player.] then the non-flat lands.

I just called on the one house i was looking at... real estate taxes were 720.00 for 2008!! I pd about 9100.00
and the guy was saying $350 credit for your residence.

one thing is... after living where we have been living our entire lives... highway in the back yard, under flight path to O'Hare, Metra [train] 3-4 blocks away... we are so tired of the noise and want peace and quiet. SO boonies are right up mine and DH's alley. As long as i'd have shopping 30-60 min away and UPS delivers... we'd be good as gold.

But we'd have to consider other family members if they came with.

If and when we do this... it's the last stop for DH and I. He's semi retired on a disability from work, and i've been a housewife -- retired at 22. BUT -- if our youngest son comes with... we'd need to be in a location where he could get a job.
marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
5:15 PM

Post #7665385

Wow, 9100.00 for real estate taxes! I thought my 1400.00 was high (and that is after the 350.00 tax credit)! No wonder you want to move! Of course, I should add that salaries are not as high down here so it probably balances out.

This message was edited Mar 29, 2010 7:18 PM

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 29, 2010
5:29 PM

Post #7665424

being semi-retired, salary is not much of an issue. I could probably get a part time job so i'm not so bored.
DH had a hobby that takes a bit of time and brings in some cash... BUT yes to the taxes ... now you see why i'm looking at AR.

Up in IL, our realestate taxes pretty much fund the schools... and they are about 2% of the value of the home.
I've seen homes with 20k in taxes!! our values are going down, but the taxes do not. go figure.
marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

March 29, 2010
5:45 PM

Post #7665473

that's government for you!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 29, 2010
6:03 PM

Post #7665513

OH .. I do recall the reason, aside from the tax issue, as to why i was looking at AR...

i was reading about "self preparedness" on a web site... the conversation led to -- where to live so you can garden and not be over populated.

someone posted a link to a map of the US that showed population and good soil... that is what originally led me to NE AR.

If there was, heaven forbid... an economic collapse or government upheaval... DH would love to 'live off the land' so to speak... pond for fishing and enough land to garden and maybe have some live stock.

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 29, 2010
6:21 PM

Post #7665565

I agree with the others. I would be sure to look at the more central and NW parts of the state. Pocahontas is a nice little town but you would need to drive to Jonesboro for shopping. I don't know what type of work your son does, but it would probably not be an easy place to find a job. It is in the middle of farm country. Most of the people in the area are large farmers. They grow rice, soy beans and some feed corn. Farms are usually 500 to 2 or 3 thousand acres. Very little industry of any kind. Like Marilyn said Pocahontas has doctors and dentist and a small hospital, a few fast food places, Wal Mart and a couple of grocery stores and that's about it as far as shopping. There are of course businesses that sell primarily to farmers.
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

March 31, 2010
3:01 AM

Post #7668747

I live in NE Ark, Jonesboro, to be exact. I'm about an hour from Memphis. There are smaller communities outside Jonesboro (Bay, Trumann, Harrisburg, Brookland, Paragould) that you might like. Jboro is a city of about 60,000 people.

As mentioned above, we have ASU and a Convocation Center where all kinds of activities happen, like concerts with big name stars, Business Expos, Health Expos, Craft Exhibit, Rodeos, Monster Truck races, etc.

We have Senior Life Center which your MIL would enjoy. They will even come and pick her up to attend different functions/classes that they offer. I took some painting classes there. But they also have various groups that gather to play cards, dominos, learn computer skills, have dances, etc.

We have a Nature Center on Crowley's Ridge where you can take guests to see the small gardens, hike the trails, and view exhibits of native wildlife.

We also have Craighead Forest Park with a lake, trails thru the woods, different unique playgrounds for children, fishing, etc. They got some grants to continually update the park. And they've really been creating a beautiful place out there. They host the 4th of July festivities there and it's a HUGE event. They also have Blues Fest there in the fall and a Civil War reenactment at some point.

We have UPS, FedX and 3 Post Offices.

We have 2 Super Walmarts, Lowes, Home Depot, several nurseries, several small shopping centers, a big new mall with national store chains, and lots of new national-chain restaurants (Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays, Fazoli's, Chili's, Outback Steakhouse, etc. We're hoping to get a Red Lobster sometime soon.) (And of course Memphis is only an hour away)

We have lots of banks, factories and other businesses. So your son would probably have better luck getting a job here instead of Pocahontas, which is about 40 minutes away.

We're in zone 7a, with mild winters, except this last one. We're usually hot and dry in the summer and may go a month or longer without rain, but again this past year was unusual. I don't think my yard has been dry in over a year.

As far as earthquakes, well, anywhere you live, there's the threat of some disaster, so you're not safe anywhere. A faulty wire on your toaster could wipe out your home. Tornadoes are a frequent threat, and we had a bad one back in 71 or 72 which wiped out our high school. But most often we're spared serious damage.

Most of the soil around here is red clay. But you can always amend it. I've converted mine almost completely to black gold. North Central Arkansas is rockier soil; my friends in that area complain that it's almost impossible to garden because they're more or less trying to garden on the side of a mountain and run into rocks everywhere. Of course, it would depend upon the home you choose. Just take a shovel with you and do a shovel test. But remember, bad soil can be amended. Soil that is rocky thru and thru (huge mountain rocks) may require a lot more muscle power or even machine power.

Pocahontas is really a "dead in the water" town; not much to do there, not much to see. Just farmland basically. If your son is going to work, he'll probably have to travel to Jboro and the 40 minute drive could get old fast. But Pocahontas is about midway between Jboro and Hardy. Hardy is beautiful mountainous country, a great place to live if you're retired. But not great if you need to work. It's a tourist attraction, due to Spring River. People fish, canoe, hike trails, horseback ride, etc. It's really a fun place to be on Fourth of July. They shoot fireworks out across Lake Thunderbird--awesome!

Ark is the "natural state" so just about anywhere you settle is going to be pretty. Jboro is growing fast--too fast for me. But if you settle in one of the smaller towns outside Jboro, you can have country life with the conveniences of the city.
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

March 31, 2010
3:12 AM

Post #7668751

Forgot to mention that we also have two hospitals--one that will accept anyone and one that will only accept people with insurance. We have lots of medical facitilities--cancer treatment centers, dialysis center, pain management center, etc., as well as a free clinic.

We're also the county seat, so we have both the county courthouse and the federal courthouse.

And if church is your thing, we have tons of them in just about any faith you can imagine. We even have a mosque and a private Catholic school.

Have I convinced you yet? When are you moving into my neighborhood? I think the house across the field is for sale. LOL

NancyAnn

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 31, 2010
4:31 AM

Post #7668815

Ugggggggg... i had this HUGE reply and my browser closed!! Leeme see if i can recall what i wrote...

NancyAnn -- thanks so much for all that info. I did browse at Jonesboro too... I should probably do a search within 30 min from a more major city.

There are a few variables as to when we move. We have one kid moving out mid-May and have to get the other to finish college... he may be the one that 'never leaves home' it seems. Then do we have MIL come with us ... she is 76, but quite healthy and mobile.

When you look at property up here in chicago area... then you look elsewhere... AR for instance, you can see why we want to pack up and run. Though aside from real estate taxes, and sales tax [Cook county is almost 11%, which is one town over] ... we do not have personal property tax though. Things may even out in the long run though -- but anywhere we go, will be lower cost of living than here.

If this house i found was anywhere else, but the total sticks, i'd snatch it up. It is about 95% of what i'm be looking for... price is higher than what i'd want to pay, and the house is way bigger than I'd want -- we are supposed to be downsizing, where this one is bigger than what i currently have ... but for what we'd be getting - it would be worth it.
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 31, 2010
8:28 AM

Post #7669258

Unless you just want to live in the northern part of the state, you may also look at Hot Springs, AR area...lots of fishing, skiing, scuba diving. Some great nurseries! Gambling...horses and casino. Lots of smaller areas that are minutes from Hot Springs proper. Plus, only an hour drive from the Little Rock.

However, each area of the state has it highlights...and its lowlights ;o)...the best thing to do is search, search, search. Good luck!
maryleek
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 4, 2010
9:01 AM

Post #7679105

Terese,

You've received some excellent suggestions for evaluating the different areas of the state. The link below will take you to a personal slideshow I created with photos taken at Hot Springs National Park (it is located right in the middle of the city of Hot Springs) and will display some of the local fall color. I took the photos when we took my sister in law (visiting from Alaska) down for a late afternoon visit. Many parts of the state forests will exhibit the same trees, etc. and lovely color when we have good fall weather.

Come take a stroll through Hot Springs, Arkansas ...
http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewshow?fl=2783733&alb=0

Good luck with your decision and future move. I hope we have you for a neighbor one of these days.

Mary

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2010
1:06 PM

Post #7679445

very nice. thank you for posting the link.
gen2026
Camden, AR

April 6, 2010
11:58 AM

Post #7684452

Hello Terese! Can't believe I found you here on the mid south thread - and was excited to hear you might be moving to Arkansas!!! How awesome! Then you could join in some of our roundups...

My 2 cents worth... I am not that familiar with Pocahontas personally but had a friend who grew up there and she said there wasn't much there. But, then I love country life and do not have to be entertained. I LOVE peace and quiet and SPACE more than I like city conveniences, although I will be the first to admit that a 2 hr drive back and forth when you have someone who needs serious medical attention or hospitalization gets really old!

Arkansas is a little unique in that it has several different regions and each has its unique characteristics,... the Eastern part of the state is known more as delta land where there are large row crop farms... the NW part of the state is more mountainous but extreme NW AR has outgrown LR in recent years and has really boomed. The Southern part of the state where I live has been in an economic depression for at least the past 20 yrs, particularly in Camden which is near where I live - and so, although there are a lot of houses and farms for sale in the area - there is little employment available. Arkadelphia, Magnolia, and Monticello seem to be the exceptions to the basic overall decline in South Arkansas' economy and I think that is because of the universities located there and they money that the students pump into the local economy. IF, I could pack up and move somewhere else, it would probably be NW Ar because of the much better economy - but the costs for land, houses, etc are much higher there as well. If I was just moving within the state to live in a pretty place and not have to worry about a job - then there are lots of places... but it would probably be near Hot Springs - but not IN Hot Springs. I love the rolling hills of some of the outlying towns (some an hour or so away), but after hearing all my Dad's horror stories about trying to farm as a child in NW Ar - not sure I would want to have to plant anything! Might try growing rocks and be successful but not sure about anything else! I remember as a child seeing my uncles fences that had posts made out of ROCKS because he couldn't put posts in the ground!! :)

Arkansas is a beautiful state in my humble opion... and it has a lot to offer in the way of beautiful places to live, and wonderful people who live here, but I am sure that will come at a cost of giving up a lot of other things such as mass transit systems, great roads, etc. Our exchange student from Italy is used to living in town - and thought she had came to the end of the earth I think when she arrived in So Arkansas... LOL... but during our recent drive across Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas on our way to Colorado she realized that she COULD have ended up even more out in the middle of no where than she did !! ^_^

The further you venture into Arkansas though - the further away from Wisconsin you would be... and although I drove to Green Bay in a day - it was a REALLY, REALLY long hard drive and one that I would not recommend on a regular basis...

I know what a great gardener you are - and know that no matter where you land, you will have it looking lovely in no time! Please keep us posted on what you decide!

Genna

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2010
1:04 PM

Post #7684554

Thanks Genna for that great post. I have been 'scanning' more of the state. It really looks lovely.
and from where i have lived most my life... Burb of Chicago... total "flat lands" it really is quite unappealing when you love nature... oh and peace and quiet.

WOW.. that is a long trip to GB. that's 4 hrs from me.

We can usually do 700 miles in a day... much more than that is really pushing it.
gen2026
Camden, AR

April 6, 2010
1:12 PM

Post #7684573

yeah, I know what you mean. We just got back from a "road trip" to Colorado for Spring break with a vehicle packed to capacity!! Drove across Oklahoma in horrible conditions - ice and snow covered roads - but thankfully most of trip we had good weather. But it was a long way! about 1300 miles one way...

When do you think you will be moving??

I would warn you to do quite a bit of comparison pricing before you buy... knew a man who moved from California here due a transfer into one of the local defense plants and he WAY over paid for a house just because he thought he was getting a bargain (based on California prices!!). When he left this area, he took a BIG loss on his house because he couldn't sell it for near what he paid for it. I am sure that the closer you get to LR or NW Arkansas, the more the prices for land will escalate. Also, there are pockets in Arkansas where land prices are higher because of the particular school district - but if you don't have school age kids, then you wouldn't need to pay the higher prices.

Best of luck in your continued search! If you decide to come down this way for a visit, please let us know!

Genna

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2010
3:36 PM

Post #7684909

Genna -- we are probably yrs off... but you have to FIND a location first. I have one kids moving out in May, the other still in college... well they both are stull... but one moving out helps. THen there is MIL to take into consideration. Do we wait 'until she is no longer with us" or move her too, which means selling 2 homes, moving 2 homes -- etc.

First off, we need to find a state... then do some traveling to find a city/location.

I understand ya on the housing market... our's is bad, meaning we've lost a bit on the house, and we did not buy at peek... we;ve been here almost 9 yrs. But Dh has said... we;ll take a hit on this house, only to buy one where someone else has lost a lot of value. The one i saw up in Pocahontas was unbelievble... you can't even find anything like that in N. IL for under a 1.5 mil i'd guess. So 429k looked like a steal in my eyes.

If we bring MIL with us, and say there is a guest house, like the one I found... we can get more home [spend more] than we would if it were just DH and I.

As for the state we choose... taxes will have A LOT to do with it. We will probably be fixed income, like we are now.
Real estates taxes up here are HUGE, but our income tax is currently only at 3% -- but they say it may go up to 4.5%. Sales is high, but i think it is everywhere. I'm currently at 8.25% in our county. food is about 1.75% which isn't bad, but some places are 0%. Then there is license plates ... it was 48$ per plate annually for a long time, then it jumped to $78, then $79 and now $99 per car. We have 5, including the kids. But DH & I it's 3.
And insurance up here is getting bad too. like the value of the home goes down, but the insurance keeps going up.

We dont need "big city" entertainment; IE theaters, museums, etc... a good hardware, grocery and good restaurants... DH likes to eat out.

We love tranquility, peace & quiet and nature. Wouldn't mind 'the other stuff' to be about 30 min away... and yes, as we age... a good hosp/medical facility is always good.

I"d think within the year we should be traveling to see if we can't find a location.

Just for sh*t's and giggles... this is the property which i fell in love with.
http://www.unitedcountry.com/Search06/SearchViewProperty.asp?item=703145&office=03034&no=03034-68520

certainly MORE house than i need... but with all that land... i could be really busy. i'd just need a gardening shed and green house.

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2010
6:22 PM

Post #7685297

The house in Pocahontas is very nice but what you have to keep in mind in a rural community like that is that there is not a big demand for houses of that type. So while it is a bargain compared to Chicago real estate, it could be a hard home to sell in Pocahontas. I know what you mean about differences in real estate prices. My son lives in Northern CA in the bay area and just an ordinary house is a minimum of $800,000. Here a similar house would sell for around $200,000. A decent size house with 4 bedrooms and 2 or 3 baths is over 1 million. So someone from that area looking at real estate in Little Rock could easily pay a lot more than a home is worth in this market just because as Genna said they are used to much higher prices. So bottom line you need to do a lot of looking and comparison shopping and learn what the prices are for any area you are looking at.
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2010
6:53 PM

Post #7685394

Simply stunning! I can see why you like it so much!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2010
7:24 PM

Post #7685473

well, the kicker was the guest house for MIL.

I was not even looking that high price-wise ... but it caught my eye.

too bad it's in the middle of no-where.
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #7685534

The people behind us have a guest house...his mother lives in it. It is a very nice little house. I wouldn't mind having one, too ;o)

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2010
7:45 PM

Post #7685548

I would love to have a guest house too! It could be my play house! LOL
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2010
4:32 AM

Post #7685975

Didn't JudyCooksey used to live in Pocahantas?

Two cents worth from this country person.
"shopping 30-60 min away " who needs it? UPS and FedEx will deliver anywhere. A DSL connection is a must!

"30 min from a more major city." You have no idea how fast we can travel in 30 minutes in a rural area compared to the same time frame in a major city. lol We do not think of distance in miles but in time.

"good soil [that's for me]" that I understand but you don't want to endure the heat and humidity so will go to WI during the growing season?

I'd say make it easy on yourself... you will be retired ~ look at a smaller home, a low maintenance yard... I am thinking of myself! lol

Interesting information here... I'm thinking all these DGrs work for the Arkansas Bureau of Travel.
Sheese! Now y'all got me wanting to move to Arkansas!
Aunt_A


April 7, 2010
4:47 AM

Post #7685993

I'd like to live in Arkansas but I'd live near the Diamond Mine.

I just love going there searching for rocks of every type; maybe someday I'll find a Diamond worth something. It's better and cleaner than Vegas...even w/ all the banks of dirt everywhere. LOL

You've got to consider the hills and curved roads in Arkansas; sometimes you don't travel very far quickly due to the back and forth roads. But, you can't have as many pretty places w/out those hills!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2010
5:25 AM

Post #7686057

Pod -- I did not know Judy, but I recognize her name. and I do browse the "Memory Garden" every few months...

as for the 30 min for shopping... that would be mostly for groceries.

There are reasons why we would like acreage... but also, i guess when "looking" you have what you'd really like to have, then make compromises along the way.

Aunt_A .. I've never considered OK... just seems to far away... and for some reason, when i think OK, I think tornadoes.

It's weird, the area i live in ... We do not get any 'natural disasters'. just heavy rains, but we have not been effected by that since we moved to a newer home. our old home used to flood.

Terese
gen2026
Camden, AR

April 7, 2010
6:57 AM

Post #7686247

Wow - beautiful home! That looks like it would be perfect - MIL in guest house - son who wants to live at home in the studio apartment! Plus room in the house for guests to come and visit. I can certainly understand why that caught your eye... house has lots of extras like hickory cabinets, etc which would add to the value... I have no idea what acreage goes for in that area, but in our school district that would be a bargain just because of the acreage... but across town, it may or may not be... So it would definitely depend on the location, situation, etc. You could always add a small guest house/shop building... if you found a different location. My husband's shop could easily be converted into a guest house if necessary because of the way it was built - but of course he would have no where to put all his "stuff" ! But you could design the guest house so that after your MIL was gone it could be utilized as a shop ?? Just a thought.

I hadn't really thought about what Pod said - but she is right you will need to take into consideration that IF you are going to Wisconsin for the summers you will be gone for most of the growing season ... that also means additional cost of hiring someone to maintain the lawn, water plants,etc while you are gone, and IF the house is in a more secluded area - it also increases the chances for theft since everyone in the area will know that you are gone for the summer! In some locations, neighbors will watch and help look out for your place while you are away - but to be gone for long extended periods of time can still create problems. We lived in Colorado 2 summers while my husband worked on his masters years ago... but we lived in town basically in a small neighborhood and the neighbors were great to keep tabs on things for us and we hired a friend to keep the yard mowed. But, even with that, it was obvious we were not there... never anyone outside in the yard, the cars were never moved, the dogs were not there, etc etc. So definitely a LOT to consider and plan for... especially if you plan to have any livestock on the acreage!

Pod - most of us left here in Arkansas love it - or we would have already moved somewhere else!! Hundreds of people, mostly retireds, move to Arkansas every year to stretch their retirement dollars. Most of them have had fairly successful careers somewhere where the pay was better so when they move here in retirement they are in pretty good shape financially. North Arkansas - particularly around the Mountain Home (and also Hot Springs) area is full of "imports" that have chosen to make Arkansas home.
'
Keep us posted Terese...

Genna
marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

April 7, 2010
7:10 AM

Post #7686269

Yep, Podster, we all work for the Ark. Dept. of Parks and Tourism! (for free) LOL

speaking of diamonds, somebody found a rather large diamond just a few days ago. I've been to the diamond mine just once and it was years and years ago. mmmmmm, maybe another trip is in order. :o))

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2010
7:12 AM

Post #7686272

Genna... i have considered many of those things...

I believe there is a shop on the property too. DH needs a shop. currently his is in the basement -- so it's a stinky mess most the time. He works with metal, and that metal dust is just everywhere, not to mention titanium shavings.

DH is one of those 'survivalist' thinkers... he prepared for Y2K, always stocking up for a natural disaster kind of thing...
so we'd like to be able to 'live off the land' if it comes to that... I like to live in my own naive kind of world where these things just wont happen...

so, living in a suburb isnt gonna happen for us. that is why we are gonna look for "land"
**rolls eyes** he'd love to have a 'shooting range' on the property. I don't particularly like guns...
He has a friend in KY that has one, and he thinks it's the greatest thing.

BUT -- like i mentioned... we are yrs off ... if and when we finally make the big move... I just want to have explored all our options. and if MIL is not with us... the 'shopping' will be a lot easier... she is currently 76?? but quite active and healthy.
gen2026
Camden, AR

April 7, 2010
7:24 AM

Post #7686306

Yeah I understand... one other thing to consider is that apparently a large part of this acreage is already fenced - another large expense were you to have to do it yourself... one reason my place isn't fenced yet! The pond is another extra - that would cost several thousand if you were going to have to have it dug(don't have one of those yet either!!)... and, not sure, but there are several houses in that area that have geothermal units - because there is a company in that area that makes geothermal units ... and IF it has that - that was another 15 - 20K investment... just food for thought.

My husband is somewhat like that... always thinking in extremes! so I totally understand... But it is nice to feel like you can raise a garden, shoot deer out of the back yard, possibly raise your own beef, chickens, etc if you need too! So far, I only manage to raise (most) of my own eggs... but I would love to get the fences up so maybe I could have a few cows. But then my kids would probably freak out when I wanted to put one of them in the freezer! :) I grew up on a farm - had hogs, cows, chickens, horses, and just about everything else at one time or another... my maiden name was McDonald and we always lived up to the song! LOL

Genna



marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

April 7, 2010
7:31 AM

Post #7686333

ROFLOL, Genna! By the way, did you know that you should sing one verse and one chorus of "Old McDonald had a farm" when washing your hands. That way you assure that you have washed your hands for 20 seconds, thus making sure they are really clean. I read that in the ladies room of a restaurant in Branson, MO. Just a little trivia for you! LOL

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2010
7:33 AM

Post #7686341

a friend of mine uses the Happy Birthday song.
gen2026
Camden, AR

April 7, 2010
7:40 AM

Post #7686366

Funny Marilyn...
JanieP
Jacksonville, AR

April 7, 2010
11:45 AM

Post #7686995

More from the bureau of tourism. Like some of the others have said-if I where to move out of the central part of the state, it would be to the NW corner. Before the real estate market went bust in most areas, the market for high-end/custom built homes had went bust pretty much in NW Arkansas. About that time a demographic report had came out saying that if they did not build a new high end home for 3 years in that area they would have new homes to sell the entire time. That should be helping keep the price of homes for sale down still. What those prices are I have no idea.

I was in West Chicago 2 years ago this month for some training. Worried for months after that I was going to get some large bill because of driving through and not paying tolls everytime I should have (lol). Great places to eat. Lost more money than I should have a casino on a river. We have (2) areas in Arkansas with that kind of variety, and they are small areas in comparison. But I love Arkansas and hope you will come and take a look.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2010
1:40 PM

Post #7687231

West Chicago is not far from me. ahhh, the toll system, and lucky you didnt get a bill as the fees are huge.
and great restaurants we do have!! lots of good eating out here. I'm not a gambler, but i've been to "the boat" once with friends... way to expensive. I think that one would have been Aurora, as Joliet is a bit south.

>>But I love Arkansas and hope you will come and take a look.

I'm really hoping we do come for a visit and just fall in love with it.
gen2026
Camden, AR

April 7, 2010
2:17 PM

Post #7687326

Just don't come in July or August !!! (at least not for the first trip!! ) ^_^

Genna

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2010
2:33 PM

Post #7687355

it will either be fall or spring... since we are up north May-Oct.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 7, 2010
5:22 PM

Post #7687743

Genna ~ I can see it now... the E I E I O ranch! I love it! I'm not long on large livestock. Chickens I love but have resisted more of them.

Fayetteville and north thru Bentonville is a pretty part of the state. We go thru there when we visit in MN although I did see the 13" snow that Fayetteville received this past winter was record setting. Brrrr! I'd have to snowbird to the south in winter. 8 )

Genna was right on the home/land prices being relative to where you currently live. One of my MN sisters sold her home the first day it was on the market. She told the realtor it must have been priced too cheap and the realtor said no ~ the buyer was from California and he thought it was a bargain compared to CA prices. When you shop, look at the mean real estate prices in that area of the state.

Further to drive but the Mena area is lovely too with some great parks and roads and hunting and...

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2010
5:33 PM

Post #7687783

>>When you shop, look at the mean real estate prices in that area of the state.

Thanks Pod... will do.

I think the first place that sparked my interest was 80 acres in Clinton, AR
it was much more in my price range, and only one house... .but the land seemed awesome... lots of woods.
marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

April 9, 2010
4:04 PM

Post #7692921

Clinton is a lovely little town. My MIL lives there. It is more in the north-central part of the state. They have a Wal-Mart Super Center, a nice Harvest Foods, a nice, new hospital and several of your well-known fast food places, etc. as well as an older downtown area where there are the local businesses that have been there for years, such as a furniture/appliance store, a fairly large hardware/lumber store, etc. There is some lovely scenery from Clinton on northward all the way up into Missouri. You are right about lots of woods.
Here is a link to one of my albums on my picasa webpage. These photos were taken in Missouri and Arkansas along Highway 65 in the Ozark Mountains.

http://picasaweb.google.com/marsue777/BransonSpringfieldAndHome?authkey=Gv1sRgCJmT__vCjbjYpQE#5438989605443200482

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 9, 2010
4:17 PM

Post #7692945

very pretty... reminds me of central to southern KY.
antsinmypants
Marietta, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 10, 2010
12:57 AM

Post #7693734



This message was edited Apr 10, 2010 2:58 AM
gen2026
Camden, AR

April 10, 2010
3:39 PM

Post #7695073

Clinton is beautiful ... and not too far from LR. My niece and her husband recently built a new home in Clinton and she commutes to Children's in LR as a nurse. I wouldn't want to drive it everyday - but she doesn't seem to mind...

marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

April 10, 2010
5:00 PM

Post #7695260

When we lived between Conway and Greenbrier, it was 35 miles from our house to my MIL's and she lives approx. 1 mile off Hwy 65 on Hwy 16 in Clinton. It would be another 30 miles at least down to Children's Hospital in Little Rock from Conway so your niece's drive to work is approximately 60 miles one way, Genna. I used to drive 45 miles one way to work and that was far enough, believe me! I don't envy your niece!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 10, 2010
6:54 PM

Post #7695541

As I"m looking at properties on line... i keep seeing something about "Mineral Rights"

what does that mean?

I think i saw one that said something about 49%
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 10, 2010
7:05 PM

Post #7695571

You want 'em!

We have serious oil/gas exploration going on in this area. Mineral rights mean you will have financial compensation should they drill in a surrounding area.

Surface rights (which the landowner has) do not pay as much but give you control over the surface of your land, i.e. seismograph testing, drilling, etc.

In some states, former land owners can retain a portion, none or all of the mineral rights. A thorough search ~ ours was done by the title insurance company will prove the mineral rights before the transaction is completed.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 10, 2010
7:28 PM

Post #7695648

thanks Pod.
marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

April 16, 2010
6:26 AM

Post #7709587

Yes, and the gas companies are drilling all over the north-central part of Arkansas right now. Just ask Kathy Ann about that!

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 16, 2010
6:29 AM

Post #7709596

Which causes a lot of folks to not want to sell the mineral rights along with the property! In that case you get the rights to the surface land and they retain the rights to the minerals below.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 16, 2010
6:40 AM

Post #7709628

ok... i understand now. thanks.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 2, 2012
6:11 PM

Post #9027616

Update...

Dh and I are wrapping up a 6 week vacation where we have already driven over 4200 miles...

one his 'bucket list' was to do the Diamond Mine in SW AR. we spent 1 day in Murfreesboro, then drove to Heber Springs the next day...
while AR, especially north of Heber Springs heading NW to MO, was stunningly gorgeous... we drove back country roads into Branson.

DH can not accept the "Dry" county thing ... so we have scratched AR off of our list of possible retirement states.
marsue
Isabella, MO
(Zone 6b)

March 2, 2012
11:30 PM

Post #9027856

LOL, Therese! Of course, not all counties in AR are "dry" and if one does live in a dry county, there is usually a liquor store just over the county line in the next county. :D

It sounds as if you and your DH have had a lovely vacation--good luck in your quest to find just the right place to retire!
gen2026
Camden, AR

March 4, 2012
5:42 AM

Post #9029167

Terese,
Oh my...wish I had known you were going to the diamond mine! That is about an hour and a half from where I live! Would have LOVED to meet you in person! Believe me there are PLENTY of wet counties in Arkansas...i would say the wet outnumber the dry for sure!!

Hope you enjoyed your trip...and good luck on finding the perfect spot!

Genna

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 4, 2012
7:02 AM

Post #9029276

Genna... it's funny, we were driving thru Camden, and i was like... heck, i know someone who lives here... but between the two sites, i know a lot of folks, and just couldn't figure it out.

plus... this really wasn't planned.

we were in Fla and on our way home, DH was like... well, we would swing thru AR, on our way to KC, which also was not planned. it extended our vacation by about 5 days.

>>there are PLENTY of wet counties in Arkansas...i would say the wet outnumber the dry for sure!!

there is a map of AR with the counties... there are about 6 or 7 wet counties,
about half of all AR counties [i dont know how many total there are] half are DRY, and the other half are "moist" -- Wet with dry areas.

DH really has an issue with "the powers that be" telling him what he can and can't do. When we were in Heber Springs, we asked where the nearest liquor store was... the answer... about an hour in any direction.

In the bit of research he was doing, he found that in some Mississippi counties you can actually be fined for transporting liquor in your vehicle... now that is crazy. ~~ we had purchased some booze, to take home, when we were on our cruise...

back to AR...we did not get to explore most of the state, but a bit of it... maybe if we look at it closer - DH may find some "moist" areas that are do-able. But this was certainly a learning experience.
gen2026
Camden, AR

March 5, 2012
6:26 AM

Post #9030511

Wow ... I would NEVER have thought that there were anywhere near that many counties that were dry!! Our county is so wet that every convenience store sells beer! Bradley County - 2 counties over, is dry, but I think every other county surrounding us is wet. Nevada county might be dry...would have to check that. I know Clark County (Arkadelphia) was dry - has two colleges in it - but they voted last year to make it wet. Prior to that, students would drive to Hot Springs (Garland Co) to buy liquor. Now they have several large liquor stores in Arkadelphia and several restaurants serve it. I would say you might be looking at an old map... considering I can probably name at least that many counties in So Arkansas that are wet... or maybe north arkansas is a LOT more dry than I think! Oh well... can't believe you actually came thru Camden! You should have hollered ! We could have grabbed a burger or something!

South Arkansas would fit his criteria for being wet (well in most places) but the humidity might kill you here! :) Plus, it is a really long hard drive to Wisconsin from here. Don't know if you have thought of this, but if you are going to be gone all summer, and you want to maintain your flower beds etc. You will need someone to mow the yard, water flowers etc or they will never make it here unless they are extremely durable plants! It gets into the high 90s and triple digits here on a regular basis... and the humidity reaches 100%! But, we can go for months without rain! We are STILL dry around here... not a good way to head into Spring and summer!

Sure hate that I missed having the opportunity to meet you in person!
Genna
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 5, 2012
6:38 AM

Post #9030531

I think you'll find that in most places across the south. I know east TX has many dry counties. Our county has 'dry' precincts. Three out of four cannot sell alcohol. One can sell but not serve it. You must have a club and memberships. No bars or restaurants that serve alcohol here.

Things will change though. When we moved here in the mid 1970s, Texas had blue laws. Certain groceries and other goods could not be purchased on Sunday. There would be aisles of those items in stores that would be closed off on Sunday. We had moved here from a large southern town in AZ where the stores didn't even have doors on them... open 24/7. It was culture shock but you had to want to be here to accept it.

Good luck in your choices Terese!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 5, 2012
7:32 AM

Post #9030591

http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/media-detail.aspx?mediaID=7974

We never really thought about it until we asked for Margaritas at the mexican restaurant we were at... shrugged that off --

then the next day, all the way across the state... same thing...

went to a restaurant that 'served' -- but it's more of a "membership" thing... $10 a yr for the privilege to drink at their establishment...
we told the gal we were in town for 1 night... she said, "Ok, sign here." when we got the bill, we realized that alcohol is taxed 20% !! Thankfully we only had 1 drink each.

POD -- after this experience, we hopped on the internet and did a bit of research and found most southern states are dry in some, if not most areas.

and it's not that we drink A LOT... it's the whole someone telling you that you can't do something. That is what DH has an issue with.

The area of KY that I want to look at has a lot of dry counties too... will have to look at it more closely now. and I wont even look at MS.

Gen -- i hear ya on the plants... these are all things i need to think about... we do have one kid where we may have the "Failure to Launch" thing... he's 21 and has about 2.5 yrs of college left... but he watches my plants during the seasons i'm not home.
gen2026
Camden, AR

March 5, 2012
11:04 AM

Post #9030880

That map is a little misleading ... at least in our area. I live in Ouachita County and I don't have a clue where the "dry"areas are! It is SUPER wet here! There is even a mexican restaurant that is located within 200 yds of a church... i was told ( by the manager) they would never be able to serve beer because they were too close to the church (and that might be what they mean by "dry" areas), but now they are serving beer ! I was really shocked to see they got their beer license.

After writing that ... I realize that our county has restrictions about being so many yards from schools or churches to sell liquor... but we aren't talking miles... Of course, legal age is 21 but that doesn't stop anyone either in this area.

Although a lot of establishments here in Camden have a "beer and wine" license, but most places do not have a full bar in a restaurant like would be found in the Little Rock area. There are private clubs, and a few places...

Sarah_Claire
Little Rock, AR

March 5, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #9031384

Therese, have you checked out Hot Springs, or Hot Springs Village? Beautiful, 'WET" and near Little Rock and lots of lakes.

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 5, 2012
5:21 PM

Post #9031442

I was going to suggest the same thing. Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village are big retirement areas. Also lots of people in AR have summer homes in Hot Springs. Most restaurants in Hot Springs and Little Rock have full bars. One small quirk - they can't sell mixed drinks, wine or beer before noon on Sun. The area around Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville is wet and also have full bars in restaurants.

Seems like you went through some of the more rural areas on your trip through the state.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 5, 2012
6:51 PM

Post #9031583

we have not been to that part of the state... maybe one day we can give it a try again.
Dh said something about trying TN next... but i honestly am NOT thinking about any trips after being on the road for 45 days.
gen2026
Camden, AR

March 5, 2012
7:36 PM

Post #9031618

LOL... I don't think I would be considering traveling either after that many days on the road! Hope you got to see some pretty scenery along the way!


ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2012
6:16 PM

Post #9033933

I live in a dry county, but every county adjacent to this one is wet. So I can drive across the county line, in any direction, and get a beer.

Jonesboro is growing though and it has changed in the name of progress. In the last couple of years, several new restaurant chains have come into town, on the condition that they could sell alcohol. So now you can go to Chili's or Red Lobster and have wine or beer with your dinner.

I grew up here, in this dry county. I remember the first time I went to another county and stopped at a convenience store and right there next to the sodas, they had beer for sale. My cousin laughed at me and said my eyes got as big as saucers. LOL
gen2026
Camden, AR

March 7, 2012
8:12 PM

Post #9034090

yeah I remember when they started selling beer in the grocery stores! I was shocked. Now it is in every convenience store, grocery store, etc and we probably have at least 8 liquor stores in town! Probably have more items of liquor and beer for sale on any given day than we have people in town! :)

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 8, 2012
5:45 AM

Post #9034331

we were in Cleburne county -- that just seemed to far from anything... everyone said an hour in any direction.

Maybe I can do more digging in the northern counties... and even though all the country side we drove thru -- while it was very pretty, it seemed a bit too 'rural' for me... In over an hour, I think i was 1 real grocery store, but 2 Super WallyWorlds ... i'd have to look at a map, but i'm thinking it was Harrison. we drove 65 up into Branson.

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 8, 2012
5:59 AM

Post #9034345

You need to check out the Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville area. It's all one metropolitan area. A huge first class art museum just open in Bentonville a few months ago - Crystal Bridges. Founded by Alice Walton. Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas. Lots of restaurants,shopping and cultural l events. You were in a very rural area of the state. The whole state is not like that. Sounds like you would prefer the conveniences of a city. Then you can always take day trips into the more rural areas.
gen2026
Camden, AR

March 8, 2012
6:00 AM

Post #9034346

Yeah, lots of the state are very rural... and actually compared to Chicago we don't have any non-rural areas including NW Arkansas and LR! My husband works for AT&T and there was a big article that circulated on line yesterday about AT&T looking for a company to buy their rural areas. So he and his boss and his group all had a discussion about what constituted a rural area... for instance their is a central office located in a small dot called Bodcaw. Many, many years ago there used to be a town at Bodcaw - but now it is just a spot in the road a very slimly populated community. Hope, about 30 minutes away, is a "City" compared to Bodcaw, and technically it does qualify as a city I believe...but if you compare it to Hot Springs or Little Rock it would still be considered rural. Then they were saying that if you compared even Hot Springs or LR or Fayetteville area to Dallas/Ft Worth ...there is no comparison. I guess my point is, it is ALL relative, and depends on what you are used to.

I guess it would be really hard to go from Chicago to rural Arkansas - huge culture shock I would think! But, if you want some peace and quiet you could sure find it here! But forget the selection that you are used to in the grocery stores, clothing stores, etc... you will need to catch that on your trips to Wisconsin! :)

Glad you got to see part of the state anyway.

Genna

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 8, 2012
6:04 AM

Post #9034353

Genna what does DH do for AT&T in Bodcaw?? Just curious. My son does work for AT&T (used to be an employee but now with AMDOCS).
gen2026
Camden, AR

March 8, 2012
6:04 AM

Post #9034355

And I cross posted with Charlotte, but she is right, you might really love the NW part of the state. With the UofA there, they have access to a lot of cultural events that the rest of the state (other than possibly LR) doesn't have. But, for the most part, they have extremely rocky soil... so not sure that meets your criteria for nice farm land. Most of us who live in the rural areas of the state are used to driving to Little Rock or some of the larger cities for things sometimes... but that probably seems pretty foreign to someone who is used to having everything handy in a large city.

Good luck in your search! I am sure with time and research, you will find the perfect spot !

gen2026
Camden, AR

March 8, 2012
6:11 AM

Post #9034370

Leigh doesn't go to Bodcaw now... well at least not except for rare occasions, but that was one of his COs (central offices) when he worked out of Hope. Now he goes to big metropolises like Village, Macedonia, and McNeil. With McNeil being HUGE compared to the other two! :) They have central offices in those "towns" that handle all the phone lines in that surrrounding area... and he goes there on a daily basis to handle whatever needs to be done concerning those lines. He used to go to Bodcaw once a week or so when he worked out of the Hope CO. What is AMDOCS Charlotte?
We are really concerned...not sure how much longer any of the CO techs will have a job as they keep cutting and cutting. There are two that work out of Magnolia - Leigh and one other guy who has about 2 mos senority on him! In hindsight, he should have stayed at the Hope CO and not transferred because he would have had seniority there. Now, if they cut one out of Magnolia, it will be him. If he had stayed in Hope he would have almost been assured of keeping his job for at least a few more years - but when he transferred 8 yrs ago we didn't know all that! They sent around an email about a month ago asking for voluntary layoffs...early retirements, etc. They got some that way from across the state - but not as many as they wanted. Haven't heard if they have cut the remaining number that they wanted done or not.


tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 8, 2012
6:34 AM

Post #9034406

>>seems pretty foreign to someone who is used to having everything handy in a large city.

the town we have lived most our lives in, is about 8,000 residence ... it has grown a lot since the 60's when we moved here, but mostly in industry.
we are about 30-35miles from the 'BIG city' and 5 miles as a crow flies, from O'Hare.
so we are suburbia, not really the BIG city -- we really dont like the big city atmosphere, but I do enjoy the conveniences of nearby shopping and dining.

While the highway is in my back yard, and the train station is now about 8 blocks away [ we moved 4 blocks farther away ] BUT, noise-wise that's too close.

I think i could deal with a 30 min ride to 'conveniences' and be content.

I googled that Fayetteville area ... and that puts me at a 12 hr drive [700+ miles] from Lake Delton ... that's too far for me. I"m thinking 600 miles max. Though we have considered Florida ... that is a whole 'nother story though.

cperdue

cperdue
Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 8, 2012
12:45 PM

Post #9034831

Genna AMDOCS is a very large Israel company. They design and service systems for tele-communication companies throughout the world. About 5 or 6 years ago AT&T transferred their engineering division to AMDOCS. Don't know exactly how many - thousand or so. By doing that it took them off the AT&T payroll and I'm sure reduced their cost benefit wise, etc. AT&T now contracts with AMDOCS. When they transferred them they, went over to AMDOCS with the same years of service as they had with AT&T. As far as what Jeff was doing everything stayed the same - just gets paid from a different company. He is still in the same building, same office as he was before. He designs and services systems throughout the US. He has people in various locations around the US that work under him. At one time he supervised a group in India. Don't know if he still has any in India or not now. That's why he can stay here with his dad and still work. As long as he has his company laptop he can log in and work anywhere.
Here is a link that explains the company.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdocs

This message was edited Mar 8, 2012 4:20 PM

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