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Tell me about Arkansas - nice climate for a second home??

Tell me about Arkansas - nice climate for a second home??

Old Dec 15th, 2005, 05:59 AM
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aggiemom
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Tell me about Arkansas - nice climate for a second home??

I'm hoping "happytourist" sees this post, but anyone else who is knowledgeable about Arkansas is very welcome.

I noticed on another post that "happytourist" mentioned that the area around Hot Springs has a moderate climate. I, too, am looking to escape the Texas heat. We've been here in the DFW area for four years now and I keep seeing ads on TV for Arkansas and it looks wonderful.

What areas should we explore in Arkansas? We're not ready to retire yet (we're 49 and 52) but would be interested in buying a second home. Maybe we'd rent first to see if we like the area.

I'd appreciate any information. Thank you,

mom
 
Old Dec 15th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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Fairhope
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I noticed that Hot Springs (Village) is an easy ride up I-30 for you. This is a good situation. Owning a second home is burdensome enough but having one that takes hours to get to is not pleasant. We have Tx relatives who own in Hot Springs Village and although they love it there they rarely use it!
The realtors in HSV can arrange an inexpensive visit for you if you want to look
 
Old Dec 15th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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Having grown up in Little Rock, I can't imagine that the climate in Hot Springs is much different than in TX.
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Old Dec 15th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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I'm here! Yes, the climate is different. Texas summers run longer and much hotter (we lived 12 years in north Texas). In the Hot Springs area we have four mild seasons, and lots of green trees to absorb the summer heat so it is never really bad. We get 55 inches of rain a year and we live near the Ouachita National Forest, so the greenery here is wonderful. This fall was absolutely gorgeous as we have lots of hardwoods.

Hot Springs Village would be the perfect place for a second home. It is a gated community with almost zero crime, so you could leave your home for long periods and not worry about it. This week's police report in the paper consisted of three drivers hitting deer, one person arrested at the gate for an outstanding warrant for unpaid traffic tickets, and five kids told to stop snowboarding on the golf course (we had 2" of snow). For 13,000 people, that's a safe community!

Many people here rent their homes out as vacation homes through local realtors, who take 1/3. Since Dallas is only five hours away, you could actually get here on long weekends (as many Texans do). The price of housing is very reasonable and you'll be astounded at how low the property taxes are, compared to Texas. Our 3600 square foot house is $1100 a year, but with a $300 homestead exemption it's only $800. You won't qualify for the HE until you live here fulltime. The monthly POA dues are $32, which covers streets, fulltime fire, police and EMTs, and other "municipal" services. We have our own sewer and water systems, underground utilities, 9 golf courses, 7 lakes, several restaurants, swimming pools, tennis courts, library, auditorium--basically everything a municipality has, except we're private.

You really should come for a visit and I'll be glad to show you around. If you have an RCI timeshare, you could trade for a week in the Village (although it's hard to get, as our golf courses are really popular with timeshare owners). You could also just rent here for anywhere from a few days to weeks or months. You won't be able to get into the Village without permission, so don't just drive up to the gate and ask to look around. We're tightly gated and we like it that way. Contact me for more information at [email protected].
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Old Dec 15th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Thanks all for your replies. Hot Springs Village sounds lovely, but is it "too retiree" for us? We will be using it as a second home, as my husband won't retire for another ten years. We also would like to be within an hour of a major airport. I also don't know if we want to live in something that's really planned.

But I'm definitely going to come to Arkansas and just look around. It really does look wonderful.

I'll also look on www.realtor.com in the Hot Springs and surrounding areas and get a feel.

Thanks again.

mom
 
Old Dec 15th, 2005, 02:01 PM
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Hot Springs is VERY "retiree" especially when compared with DFW. It is a nice place to go relax, go to the spa, watch the horse races, play golf, antique shop, and fish. I used to own a timeshare there, but I managed to trade it for one in Las Vegas, which is MUCH more our "speed" than Hot Springs!!

Go up for a weekend and see if it fits your style. Be sure to get out of the touristy areas, too.
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Old Dec 15th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Thanks Christie. I had a feeling it was "retiree." I don't know if we're ready for that yet.

Any other towns nearby that someone could just list? I like the idea of National Forest as well as a natural environment (ie., not too built up).

If anyone has any other suggestions?

Thanks,
mom
 
Old Dec 15th, 2005, 07:21 PM
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The average age in Hot Springs Village is 58 and going down. We have about 600 kids living here, but it is true that 80% of the residents are retired. Of the six families on our street, only one is older and one has three young children. However, real estate is really moving fast right now because of the Baby Boomers (and Floridians fleeing hurricanes) moving in. There are plenty of activities for all interests and ages. It's certainly worth a visit.
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Old Dec 15th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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Thanks for feedback from everyoine, as this is an area I too am considering. Happytourist, when you get a chance, check your email, as I would like to take you up on your kind offer of a local knowledgeable resident's (i.e.you ) tour!
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 03:07 AM
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I lived in Dallas for 25 years and looked seriously in NW Arkansas around and SE of Fayetteville.
The geography is great, but we found it too "farmer-john and Wal-Mart".
M (SMdA, Gto., MX)
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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I know what you mean, Mikemo.

My father's family is from SW Arkansas, and the first time DH and I visited there, DH kept gushing about how beautiful it is (and he's right!), and then he started saying he wanted to live there. Uh-oh. So, we got off the beaten path, and saw what it is REALLY like to live there, and he never brought the subject up again...
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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Happytourist: I lived in Hot Springs and I remember the heat in the summer. This was before AC in homes. We'd go to the movies to cool off. I also remember the ice and snow at times in the winter. Aside from the weather, I loved Hot Springs, it is beautiful, friendly and in a lovely setting. Regards, Joan
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Aggie, I just posted about Hot Springs. My parents bought a lot on one of the lakes to build on for their retirement, changed their mind and built in Huntsville, Tx to be near a sister of mine. I would visit them and can't say I saw or felt the climate was much diffenent. I was living in Georgia at that time. Why don't you look into one of the lakes. I keep in touch with friends and I know some of them have returned to Hot Springs and have bought or built on the lakes. I bet Happytourist could give you some info on them. Regards, Joan
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Hi chatham - thanks for the information about Hot Springs. I'm thinking maybe it's not for me, after all. It looks so nice on TV but this second home would be primarily for me to escape the heat, humidity and bugs.

Even though I've been here in Texas four years, each summer feels worse and worse. I just can't get used to it. We have wonderful air conditioning but I go stir crazy sitting inside and looking out at the lovely trees and flowers that I can't enjoy. We don't even eat outside.

Guess I'll keep looking for a place. My poor husband is a little desperate. He can't wait to ship me off somewhere when the heat becomes unbearable because I'm so grouchy.

I'll go anywhere, really. I don't mind some heat. Ideally, not more than high 80's. If it was a short drive from here that'd be great or even a short direct flight from DFW, that'd be great, too. Guess I'll keep looking....
 
Old Dec 16th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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To clarify: there is Hot Springs, a town of about 33,000 which contains Hot Springs National Park (and where Bill Clinton grew up), and there is Hot Springs Village, a gated golf course community of 13,000 15 miles northeast of Hot Springs. HSV was begun in the early 1970s. It is 26,000 acres (40 square miles), with 25% of it in permanent common space, mostly wooded, with 9 golf courses, 7 lakes, 26 miles of trails. Currently buildable lots range from the low teens to as high as $220,000. We have lots of retired military officers here, CEOs and VPs of Fortune 500s, as well as ordinary people (like us). There are single family homes and townhouses, but no apartment houses. We shop in both Hot Springs and Little Rock.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Thanks, happy, for clarifying. It was a little confusing for me. It does sound quite lovely, but I just don't think the weather is what I want. And it's the weather that's really driving the purchase of this second home. But it does sound like a nice place to visit for a weekend.

I really appreciate all your input - I've saved and printed the information here for reference.
 
Old Dec 17th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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NWA is no longer farmer john. It is one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S.. Bella Vista has lakes, golf courses, etc., and is close to shopping, restaurants, cultural, and sporting events. They do get some snow but there is less humidity than in Hot Springs.
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Old Dec 17th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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I've lived in Arkansas for decades - first in Fayetteville when I was in college - and then in Little Rock where I still live. Arkansas is HOT in the summer and COLD in the winter!!! Before I came to Arkansas for college I lived in Texas, and I can't see any difference in the summer weather, but the winter is worse here. Do I love living in Arkansas??? Yes, absolutely! But not for the weather...
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Old Dec 18th, 2005, 07:44 AM
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Thanks, Susan, for more first-hand knowledge of Arkansas. I feel that way about Texas, too - I like living here for many reasons, but the weather is the pits!
 
Old Dec 18th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Dear aggiemom, My parents built the first home in Elkins Lake in Huntsville. It backed up to the Nat'l forest. They loved it there but there came a time when my mother could not take the heat. They were born in Ca. but didn't care to go back so they relocated for their last years to Reno NV. Boy, they did have cold winters tho. During the summers in Texas they would get in their camper and spend the summer in Colo. It's too far for you from Texas, but the mountains in North Carolina have much cooler summers. Hey, I just thought of some place but too far I guess. Santa Fe, NM., spent some time there a few years ago and didn't need AC. Let's move to Ireland and we wouldn't have to worry. Joan
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