Moving/Relocating To Arkansas: 11 Things You Need To Know
Arkansas lies in the south central region of the United States. Home to just about 3 million people, the state offers a great mix of its beautiful geography and metropolitan areas.
If you want to move to Arkansas, you should prepare for agreeable weather, an affordable cost of living, and excellent working opportunities, all the while surrounded by picturesque sceneries. Of course, it’s not all good, as every place has pros and cons that you should know before moving there.
That’s why we put together this guide of 11 things you need to know to help you find your way around Arkansas and see if living in “The Natural State”.
1. The Cost Of Living Is Very Affordable
Recent studies have but the cost of living in Arkansas to be 14% lower than the rest of the nation, based on the Council For Economic Research. This number considers the varying cost of groceries and other goods, housing and rent, basic utilities, transportation, healthcare, and other miscellaneous costs.
Low costs also means this is a great time to establish residency in Arkansas. Housing is one of the largest chunks that cut into your budget, but thanks to low housing costs, and affordable rent, living in Arkansas is very manageable. According to the US Census, between 2016 to 2020, the median gross rent is only 760 USD. Further reports show that an average household in Arkansas will spend only about 1,900 USD on energy. This number is 8.7% lower than the national average.
2. Look Into Buying Property Thanks To Low Property Taxes And Housing Costs
As we’ve already mentioned, housing costs in Arkansas are pretty low. In the same census, between 2016 to 2020, the median price for an owner-occupied housing unit was only 133,600 USD. This is significantly lower than the national average.
With a mortgage, this translates to only a 1,100 USD monthly payment. Of course, this number will vary depending on where you want to live. If you want to live near the city, or gated communities, especially those close to popular establishments, prices will tend to get higher.
3. Consider What Lifestyle You Want To Lead And Pick A City That Embodies That
When moving to Arkansas, aside from your lifestyle choices, you should think about why you are moving. Do you like the fast pace of the downtown, or do you prefer the simple life of the suburbs? You should also consider that where you live will greatly affect the value of your home or rent. If commuting is not a huge issue for you, you could save significantly.
Arkansas has a lot of cities to offer, as well as smaller towns and suburbs. Here are some of the best places we’d recommend for you to consider.
- Little Rock
- Fort Smith
- Cave Springs
- Little Flock
- Cammack Village
4. The Job Market Is Thriving, So Don’t Be Afraid To Jump In Looking For New Opportunities
Looking for jobs in a new state will be difficult. Still, you’ll be glad to know that the economy is steadily growing. Between 2017 to 2022, a 1.4% growth rate has been recorded. In the same period, businesses have grown at a rate of 2.5%.
When it comes to bringing in revenue, the biggest industries in Arkansas are Meat Processing, Healthcare and Healthcare services, Petroleum Refinery, and Supercentres. These industries also have the most considerable growth rates and, in turn, offer a lot of employment opportunities.
However, several other industries might not have the same numbers but are still very much worth looking into. Aerospace and aviation, biomedical sciences, data science and analysis, distribution and trucking, and logistics services are also seeing significant growth.
Finally, though it might not seem like it, the tech industry is seeing a booming rise in Arkansas. Thanks to several incubators and accelerator programs that get seed funds and incentives to further develop and research tech services.
5. Public Transportation Is Great
If you plan on going around the state, you’ll be glad to know that public transportation in Arkansas is well taken care of. Transportation is regulated by the Arkansas Department of Transportation. Their network of road transport is quite extensive. In fact, Arkansas has the 13th largest state highway system in the United States.
There are several major highways that snake throughout the state, serving its people daily. These include I-30, I-40, I-5, and I-540. In total, there are almost 3,000 miles of railroad. If you want to get from city to city, you will need the service of one of the 26 companies that run the rails.
For major cities, you can find several bus liners that serve the city and its people all day. Most have online platforms or apps that you can use to find the best schedule for you. The best part is there are available discounts for a cheaper fare.
6. Get More In Touch With The Local Culture And Join In On Festivities
Mark your calendars and join the fun. When in a new place, there’s nothing better than joining festivities and events to help you get to know its people. For Arkansas, it’s a healthy mix of southern life, culture, art, music, food, and everything in between.
- Arkansas Folk Festival in April
- Bikes, Blues and BBQ Festival in September or October
- Old Fort Days Rodeo in May
- ACANSA Arts Festival in September
- Arkansas State Fair in October
7. A Little Preparation Is Needed For Arkansas’ Temperamental Weather
For the most part, Arkansas has very agreeable weather. Throughout the year, it has a humid subtropical climate, which means that the summers are long, dry, and hot, and the winters are short and mild but a little wet. There is occasional snow, but only in the northern part of the state, and they rarely get deep.
However, thanks to its position between the Great Planes and the Gulf states, Arkansas has been known to receive thunderstorms, hail, ice storms, and tornadoes in the worst of cases.
Arkansas is inside what is known as Tornado Alley and has seen its fair share of this natural event.
8. Get Out In The Sun And Get Some Fresh Air
Arkansas is a great place to live in if you enjoy the outdoors. If you prefer to stay inside, Arkansas’ natural beauty and amazing geography will change your mind.
Arkansas has a great variety when it comes to nature. You can find mountains, valleys, open fields, and forests. Arkansas has several state and national parks, such as Pinnacle Mountain, Village Creek, Ozark Folk Centre, and Queen Wilhelmina State Park. Here you can go exploring the wild, go camping, biking, hiking, and more.
If you prefer bodies of water, there are a number of lakes, rivers, and bayous. Several tourist attractions are tied up with these natural wonders. You should not miss Buffalo National River, Lake Catherine State Park, Cossatot River State Park, and Kings River Falls.
There’s so much more to enjoy in the state, and you’ll have lots of choices of destinations and activities. So, go out there and breathe in the fresh air!
9. Taste The Flavours Of The South And Take To The Tables And Try Arkansas’ Best Food
Food brings families and communities together. Once you’re new in town, one of the biggest things you should look forward to is experiencing the local flavours and favourites. Find out which restaurants have the longest lines, try what your neighbour recommends, or seek out what type of food is ubiquitous. All these have stories behind them that you should take part in.
Here’s a list of our recommendations when it comes to must-tries in Arkansas.
- Fried Catfish
- Chicken Fried Steak
- Possum Pie
- Smoked Hams
- Eggplant Casserole
- Cheese Dip
10. Engage With People Who Know What You Are Going Through And Be Part Of Expat Groups
Once you’ve settled down, it would also be nice if you were to engage more with your community. But, if you are unsure how to, try looking into expat groups.
These groups are made specifically for people who have found a new home in the area and might have difficulty adjusting. They are usually run and handled by people who are in the same situation, so not only will they be able to relate to what you are going through, they will have lived it themselves!
Most expat groups will have events, games, or even just small gatherings you can go to socialise. If that seems a little too much for you, you can always start by joining online groups. Several websites, the most common one being Facebook, have groups that are similar. You can chat with people online, get to know them, and eventually, you might find it fun to join in-person events.
Who knows, maybe in time, you’ll be the one organising meet-ups!
11. Engage With Professional Movers And Make The Whole Relocation A Breeze
Going on a trip is never easy. Much more moving you, your family, and all your belongings to a new city. That’s why you need a partner with years of experience to help you with your journey.
Sanelo is a professional moving company that will make sure you won’t have to stress about anything. Sanelo has years of experience assisting people to get their new start, whether it be a local move or an international relocation.
Once you engage with one of our representatives, they will guide you every step of the way, including a step-by-step on the paperwork and processes.
Not only that, but forget about the burden of carrying luggage around. With Sanelo’s shipment protection, your belongings will be safe on their way to your new place while you just sit back and enjoy the trip.
Conclusion On Moving To Arkansas
As you can see, there is not a shortage of why moving to Arkansas is a great idea. A wonderful mix of culture, the small town charm of laid-back country life, amazing food, a thriving economy, and so much more.
And you’ll be in a place that won’t put a hole in your wallet as Arkansas has a very livable cost of living, especially housing costs. Not to mention you’ll be living close to amazing natural destinations and have several choices for outdoor recreation.
So, whether you are looking into the urban hustle or the suburban lifestyle, there’s certainly a place for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving/Relocating To Arkansas
How Much Is The Average Salary In Arkansas?
According to the US Census, between 2016 to 2020, the median household income in the state was 49,475 USD. Considering the low cost of living in the state, your cash will go a long way, especially in housing.
Is It Hot In Arkansas?
Arkansas has what is called a subtropical climate. The summers are hot and dry, with mild winters, and they never get to extremes, thanks to the influence of the Gulf of Mexico. The weather in the state is considered to be very agreeable.
Is Arkansas In Tornado Alley?
Yes. Tornado Alley refers to an area in the centre of the United States where Tornadoes frequent and includes areas in more than 10 states, including Arkansas.
How Soon Do I Need To Engage With Sanelo Before The Call?
To give you and Sanelo’s staff to prepare, it is advised to engage at least three months before the intended relocation date.