I am not sure about that area but I am a experience mortgage banker. I would suggest that one of your pre-planning items should be financial evaluation. IE, if you will be needing a mortgage for your new home. If so, I would like to give you my website address and welcome you to contact me for a No Cost Consultation over the phone. It is my experience that you will make the best decisions if financing is planned early on in the process.
I hope this helps. If I can of any assistance please let me know.
As others have mentioned, there is a great variety of possibilities here, and where you actually end up will depend in large part on your lifestyle needs. Fayetteville is kind of the cultural center of the area. With concert venues like the Walton Arts Center, as well as events associated with the University of Arkansas, there is a lot to do. Razorback sporting events (U of A) have a following almost like a professional team with tail-gate parties, etc. There is also a new baseball stadium in Springdale where the NW Arkansas Naturals (farm team for the Kansas City Royals) play. And the award-winning Fayetteville Public Library is not to be missed. If they don't have what you want, they can get it for you through interlibrary loan.
If you prefer a more bucolic lifestyle, then perhaps Bella Vista, Holiday Island or an area near Beaver Lake may suit you better. But even then distances are not too far to take in the occasional concert or other event in Fayetteville.
With regard to cost of living, yes, we do have an income tax, which Florida doesn't but the rate is very low compared to other states. Property taxes are approximately 1% of the purchase price of a home, and everyone gets a $350 per year "homestead credit." The only negative I can see in this regard is that sales taxes are somewhat high here (about 9%--varies from town to town) because local communities have added to the state sales tax to pay for infrastructure projects. But these are temporary until the project for which they were voted on is complete. So at some point, they will hopefully disappear.
I grew up in Minnesota and have lived in many places both in the US (Florida, Washington DC area, for example) as well as other countries. NW Arkansas beats them all. Florida is too flat. DC was nice but very expensive, although the cultural opportunities of a large city (i.e. Smithsonian, Kennedy Center, etc.) were unbeatable.
And I do think that NW Arkansas is pet-friendly.
If you need help in finding a home, I will also be willing to help in any way that I can. I basically work all over NW Arkansas from Fayetteville to Bella Vista and specialize in helping buyers like you who are relocating to the area. My main website at http://www.judyluna.com has lots of information about the area, including lots of links to local websites (city sites, chambers of commerce, etc.). And my home search website has the entire MLS on it: http://www.NWArkansasHomeSearch.com. And I have entered my blog web address below, so you can get an idea of some of the issues here and information about the local real estate market. There's lots to choose from and it is a great time to purchase here, as prices have come down significantly. It is a buyer's market.
If you have any specific questions about the area or the home purchase process in Arkansas, just contact me.
As far as the cost of living goes gas, and food is pretty much the same across the country (Except California) and housing right now , well all I can say is it a Great time to buy in Northwest Arkansas. There are deals to be had. There is a very large inventory of homes right now and prices are down.
I have helped several people relocate here from all parts of the country and one of the things that amazes them the most is the lack of violence. Sure we have or problems but all in all it is a very safe place to live.
Fell free to contact me for more information.
Hope to hear from you soon.
My husband and I moved from Florida to NW Arkansas. We like you, no longer wanted to retire in Florida for a lot of reasons. We have no regrets about moving to NW Arkansas. Personal income tax was a bit of a shock. The link I have provided will take you to the Census website and you can click on the Arkansas county of interest. You might also check out the Statistical Abstract for Arkansas published by the University of Arkansas. It is a valuable resource.
You can also visit my website and click on the MLS search tab and fill out the Free Neighborhood Report and receive a market report about the area you find of interest.
Good luck on your move.
I moved to NWA about 3 yrs ago. It is a fantastic place to live. I was raised military and have lived all over the world and seen a lot of it. Spent many vacations in Florida, also.
We have all four seasons, mountains, rivers, lakes and forrests. 8 miles west of Fayetteville is a civil war battlefiel park. Very interesting. We also have a great performing arts center. Walton Art Center....
I don't want to live anywhere else.
That being said, I also work for Century 21 in Northwest Arkansas and would be happy to show you around. Our cost of living is extremely less expensive than Florida. The cost of a new construction home around 2000 SF can be bought here for around $200,000 depending on what type of amenities you are looking for. We also have a large selection of townhome and condo living. Great golf courses too!
Would love to hear from you.
Wanted to say a quick hello. You will love NWA. I moved here 5 yrs ago and new within two weeks; I was home. I have lived in NE and Cetral Arkansas and all over the world. This is a fantastic place to settle. We have all four seasons, rivers, mountains, lakes, woods and streams. Not to mention, great golfing and lots of other family activities. Fayetteville is a mecca for earth friendly and animal friendly people.
With all of that being said; I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Shannon Hill and I work for Century 21 in Northwest Arkansas. I would be thrilled to help you guys find your dream retirment home. I have worked with many transplantees from Florida and other places. We love new people in Northwest Arkansas. come and see how beautiful if really is here. We would love to have you.
City of Bella Vista: http://www.beautifulbellavista.com
City of Bentonville: http://www.bentonvillearkansas.com
NWA News: http://www.nwanews.com
Arkansas State Parks: http://arkansasstateparks.com
I've got 2 dogs that love it up here! (a Lab named Sooie & a Beagle named Scout) There are several pet friendly parks that we like to walk & run them. As LaVeta mentioned, there are endless opportunities to explore the lakes, rivers, & trail systems & now we also have a new museum of American Art being built: http://www.crystalbridges.org It is going to be BEAUTIFUL!
Right now, there is also PLENTY of availability of housing. Recently our market was overbuilt & we have homes that are ready for new residents! If you would like a sampling of the housing that is available, shoot me an email! I'd love to send you some selections that match your criteria.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I put my website as a reference. You can also search all of the available listings there.
Welcome to Northwest Arkansas! I'm so excited for you to come join us!
You will love NW Arkansas. Bentonville/Bella Vista is the heart of a dynamic and robust growing economy. The urbanized population for a 60 mile radius, that includes three states, is estimated to be approximately 528,833. Per the 2000 census, that's approximately 181 persons per square mile. Bella Vista caters to retiree's with 9 golf courses, 8 man-made lakes and several recreation facilities that offer swimming, tennis, miniature golf, picnic and play areas.
Per the last special census, the median income was $45,264. The biggest negative for the area is the sales taxes in the local communities are approximately 9%. The property taxes make up for the higher sales tax with some of the lowest tax rates in the country. And seniors over 65 are given a tax credit along with the ability to lock their assessed value. The only way taxes for seniors go up would be if the millage rate is increased by popular vote. The state income tax rate is 7% or less. The largest employers are Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods and JB Hunt. The Chamber of Commerce predicts that health care will be the next largest employer in the area.
Bentonville has a population count of approximately 28,470 per the 2006 special census. The daytime population of Bentonville is approximately 60,000 persons. Bella Vista's estimated population is nearly 26,000.
There are many recreational opportunities in NW Arkansas, from the many lakes, rivers and streams to the many hiking trails and outdoor recreation spots. If that's not your cup of tea, there are always the fine arts offerings. We pride ourselves on being culturally diverse due to the abundance of global employers in our area. The schools are some of the best in the country.
If all of the above descriptions of NW Arkansas aren't enough to entice you to move to our little slice of heaven, you haven't checked out all the beautiful views of nature. From rolling grasslands to jagged cliff's of shear rock, to the variegated hues of green that dot the landscape from all the different species of tree and fauna. Springs and fall are exceptionally brilliant in color rivaling any fall showing of New England.
If there is any further information that I can provide for you, please feel free to call my office. Visit my site for any additional information that you would like to find about the area.