Moving from Florida to NW AR, maybe. Looking for a better quality of life!

Asked by David And Mary, Naples, FL Sat Jun 23, 2007

My husband and I are in our 50's still working but do not plan to retire to Florida anymore. We love the Bentonville area and we would have work there. Anything anyone could tell us. Our dog would also like to know if it's pet friendly. Looking for a better quality of life. Cost of living looks lower then FL but from residents experience is it?

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Bill Warren/…, , Mortgage Lending
Sat Jun 23, 2007
David and Mary,

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.

Best wishes.

Bill Warren
3 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Chandler, OK
Thu Sep 18, 2014
This is why working with a Realtor member is so important, call your Realtor member and they will get to work on this asap.
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hamilesl, Renter, Bentonville, AR
Thu Sep 18, 2014
Looking for a better quality of life in Arkansas! What a joke. I came to NW AR from Tampa Bay about nine years ago and absolutely hate it. It is a black hole. Too many people like Honey Boo Boo. Can't find work (and I have good skills and experience), miss the water terribly and there is nothing to do compared to Florida. Don't do it.
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hamilesl, Renter, Bentonville, AR
Mon Jul 14, 2014
Don't do it! Save yourselves and run back to Florida right now. I went from Tampa Bay to NW Arkansas about 8 years ago and God, how I hate it. Work is nearly impossible to find. I have never seen people like this (forgive me for being mean, but it's true), fat, stupid, uneducated, meth addicted, toothless, and HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH IT!!!! Honey Boo Boo fits right in. If you have ever even seen class, culture and variety, don't come to Arkansas. I want to move back to civilization but can't find work to get the money to go.
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Lindsey Fran…, Agent, Bentonville, AR
Thu Feb 6, 2014
Bentonville is a FANTASTIC place to be and you couldn't have picked a better time. There is a lot of growth happening in this area over the next 10 years but it is also a really great place to come and retire. The Ozark Mountains are beautiful and there are a lot of opportunities here in case you dont want to completely quit working. Also, the community would be hard to beat. I have lived here for 28 years. I wish you the best of luck in your journey here to Northwest Arkansas and if I can help you with anything please feel free to contact me via my profile information! I think you and your husband will love it here!
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Cody Burnett, , 72712
Wed Apr 28, 2010
Bentoville is where you want to be. I live it Hidden Springs right by the dog park. it is connected to a network of walking trails probably 20 miles long that meanders around bentonville and right past quite a few great neighborhoods. The dollar is strong here, ESPECIALLY compared to Naples. You can get a very nice 3000 sq. ft. home here for $300,000. From what I know 3000 feet in Naples might be $1.5 mm and up. We have a family of four and we spend about $500-$600 a month on groceries and eat well. I think gas is a little cheaper here too, but driving distances are probably less here so you will not use as much gas. The utilities here in my 2900 foot home are maybe $350 for water, gas, electric, trash, etc. etc and we have a pool.

I hope this helps. If I can of any assistance please let me know.


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Paula Prince…, Agent, Rogers, AR
Wed Jul 15, 2009
Very nice "dog park" located in Bentonville. My "Berny Mac" loves to swim in the creek and the walking trails in Bella Vista. Bring your pooch and load up the moving van!
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Caroline Car…, Agent, Cabot, AR
Sat Jun 27, 2009
Smart move! Culturally diverse thanks to the continuous corporate traffic for Wal-Mart. It's absolutely gorgeous there and super dog friendly! What are you waiting for???
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Ask, Home Seller, Magnolia, AR
Fri Jun 5, 2009
Hi My name is Paul i have a cluster of townhouses in Mountain View Ar. Ideal for investement an a homeThese townhouses are all rented an well maintained If interested E mail me at Thank you Paul
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Donna, , Bentonville, AR
Sun Mar 1, 2009
Hi David and Mary. I have lived in Bentonville for 15 years now and just love it. We have a new dog park opening in about a month and there are lots of walking trails, some with creek access, that your dog will love. Also dogs are welcome at the Saturday farmers market and the First Friday events held on the Bentonville square. The cost of living is great here, taxes are low, home prices are low and the weather is nice. You get the 4 seasons without the extremes of hot and cold. Bentonville is a friendly place with people from all over the country living here (thanks to Walmart). My hubby and I are in our late 40's and the kids are heading off to college and we considered moving - mainly since we could - but decided we would be crazy to leave a place we really love. Hope you decide to come!
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Deana Smedl…, Agent, Rogers, AR
Tue Feb 3, 2009
You have picked a great area. I live just outside of Bentonville and it is people friendly and dog friendly. There are many places around the Bentonville/Bella Vista area that you can walk your dog. I have been living in this part of Arkansas for 15 years and you will love it. Great place and plenty of great homes on the market. I sell real estate in this area if you need any help please feel free to e-mail me anytime. If you could think of any others questions I will be glad to help you with those as well.
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Chris Rix, Agent, Hot Springs, AR
Mon Aug 11, 2008
Depending on your line of work Hot Springs is great as well. The city is growing, the infrastructure is constantly improving, and taxes are still low. We are breaking ground on the city's new Bark Park for dogs. The Historical Bath Houses are being remodeled. We have lakes surrounding us. First Friday of every month is Gallery Walk in th art district downtown. The spring brings Hot Springs Music Festival which is amazing orchestra. We also have a jazz and blues fest mid-summer. Friends of the Fordyce wine walk, CASA chefs tour, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Live horse races Jan.-April, I guess if you get bored you could squeeze in a night at home! Having traveled and lived in different places, most recently Maui, I am glad to call Hot Springs home and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
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Judy Luna, Agent, Fayetteville, AR
Sun Aug 3, 2008
I concur with all that has been said about NW Arkansas. My husband and I relocated here 15 years ago for quality of life reasons and have not regretted it. We live in Fayetteville.

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 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: 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.
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Lois Cameron…, Agent, Nixa, MO
Thu May 8, 2008
Dear David & Mary; I Loved Daytona Beach, Fl. but, I relocated to the Branson, Mo. area about 18 years ago and I am Home Now! We located to a small Community of Highlandville, Mo. that lies between Springfield, Tablerock Lake & Branson, Mo. We have the Best of both worlds. 25 minutes to all 3 locations, Low Taxes, & Friendly Neighbors.
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Phyllis Lloyd, , 72712
Wed May 7, 2008
Hey, NWA is great! Enjoy all 4 seasons. Lots going on there. Upscale shopping, great resturants, jobs, lower taxes than some places, fun activites....hiking, boating, most resent triple A baseball "The Natural". Come enjoy the good life. I have a great home for sale. I am an agent and it is my personal home. Being relocated with husbands job. View my website click on the links to read more.
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Diane Paulsen, Agent, Holiday Island, AR
Tue Apr 29, 2008
Hi David and Mary, My husband and I moved to Holiday Island, Arkansas 18 years ago and love it! He was originally from New England and I from the Los Angeles area, so we ended up in the middle of the country. Please view the web sites I have listed to get a better perspective of our community. We are 5 miles north of Eureka Springs, AR (a Victorian town plus) and an hour from Branson, MO. Our community has fabulous retirees from all over the country and wonderful families too. If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me. I have worked as a sales agent for the local developer from 1990 to 1997. I then entered into the Coldwell Banker franchise system, which is where I still "reside"! Thank you.,
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Steven Atwell, Agent, Sulphur Springs, AR
Thu Apr 24, 2008
I believe you will appreciate the slower pace of things her compared to other parts of the country. The beauty of Northwest Arkansas will capture your heart right away. The Dogwoods are in full bloom right now and it is a sight to see. Pet friendly? I would say very much yes. There are several dog care centers, specialty pet stores, walking trails (leash required) and some special functions for pets.
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.
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Rebecca Lynn, Agent, Saint Paul, AR
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Hi David and Mary,

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.
0 votes
Shannon Hill, , 72753
Tue Jan 15, 2008
Hello David and Mary,

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.

Warmest Regards,
Shannon Hill
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Shannon Hill, , 72753
Tue Jan 15, 2008
Hello David and Mary,

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.

Warmest Regards,
Shannon Hill
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Will Allen, , 72801
Tue Aug 7, 2007
You might also consider Russellville, more centrally located in the state, great area and the I - 40 runs right by us for easy transit. Also more bang for your buck here and very steady market with very steady growth.
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UnKnown, , Alaska
Fri Jul 13, 2007
I have lived in South Arkansas, Central Arkansas & now Northwest Arkansas. NWA is by FAR my favorite!! Here are a few more links about the area that you might find helpful:
City of Bella Vista:
City of Bentonville:
NWA News:
Arkansas State Parks:

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: 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!
Web Reference:
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John Hamilton, , Hot Springs Village, AR
Sat Jun 30, 2007
Hello... moving to Arkansas is the Right Choice. Check out Hot Springs Village as well at and
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LaVeta Key, , 72712
Fri Jun 29, 2007
Dear David and Mary,

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.
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