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Posted: 3/14/2021 2:00:33 PM EDT
Hi everyone. Have some questions I hope some will answer for me. I am planning on purchasing a retirement rural property, preferably in the 20-40 acre range, somewhere in the state. Still got a few years to work but tired of the snow and cold here in Iowa. Been looking for about a week and found some interesting ones. Right now I have an interest in the Hope/Texarkana area. Looking into a couple more in the central and northern part of the state.

As I look, I look into the prospects in the area for possible employment. I have 25yrs+ in CNC Lathe programming, setup, operation and as a quality inspector. I don't see too many good possibilities in many of the towns. Would like to be able to get $40k+ range employment if possible. Also I could change fields if needed. Not sure the cost of living there as compared to Iowa so adjusted to fit is feasible. Any light that can be shed would be appreciated.

Area weather is another thing. I have found that the avg lows in the winter in the northern part of the state get into the teens for a while. Not intolerable for me considering I have seen -30 temps with WC into the -70 range. Highs reach into the 90's as it does here but I'm sure for more days. Humidity here can get well into the high single digit hundreds for a week or so at a time . Humidity gets into the mid 90% range here fairly often. This is where my main concern is. I not only hate extreme cold but I'm gettin to the age that heat, especially the humidity, is becoming a factor. I have seen on a climate page that the Hope/Texarkana area has an avg high heat index of 117.8 deg. Is this common and is it a result of high humidity or more temp driven?

The type of property I am looking into is wooded as I want to be able to hunt my own land and not be right up on neighbors yet not totally remote. Getting too old for that. I understand that there is turkey, deer, black bear, wild pig, elk (?) and alligator. I would imagine that the elk bear and gator would be a more regional situation than the rest.

Also I do stock trading to supplement my whims and as I retire my income so high speed internet is also a concern. It seems that it is rather spotty especially in the rural areas. Any light that can be shed on that would be much appreciated.

At some point, hopefully soon, I plan on coming down to look at some properties and it would be nice to meet some of you that may be along my path. I will likely have more questions if things begin to line up so I hope you won't mind my stopping by on here to ask.

Also some insight into your gun laws would be great. I carry so that is a big question for now but general laws also.

Thanks to all for the help. Sorry if this went on a bit but I do look forward to the change in my life.
Link Posted: 3/15/2021 9:39:18 AM EDT
South Arkansas will have you seeing deer, bear, hogs, manbearpig, and possibly gator.  Elk are in the Northern part of the state. I've got family in the Hope / Springhill area of the state and they love it, and last I looked, land is more reasonably priced in the southern part of the state than the central and northern.
Link Posted: 3/15/2021 5:43:00 PM EDT
South Arkansas is cheaper because there isn't anything there to speak of - this is from someone born in Lewisville, AR.

Word is that Starlink will be available in at least part of the state soonish, so that would open up more options for high speed internet at a cost, of course.
Link Posted: 3/16/2021 4:54:13 PM EDT
Heat in the state can get intolerable in the summer.  It is greatly exacerbated by the HIGH humidity.  This can be mitigated by staying in the North-Central to North-West parts of the state which are at a somewhat higher altitude (+/-1000ft depending on area).  Colder temperatures are generally milder, with it being rare to dip as low as you stated.

Gun laws have been pretty lax since the 2013 introduction of constitutional carry.  There is no license required open or concealed, and this has been cemented by case law where a gang-banger was arrested for a concealed firearm and subsequently acquitted due to an illegal stop (you cannot be stopped for carrying a firearm).  Do the police know or understand the law?  Don't bet on it.  But, you are squarely within your rights.

As for internet, if you stray outside the major metro areas, there won't be any.  If there is, it will be of dial-up quality.  There are a few WISPs that have set up in the Eastern part of the state that provide 10Mbps, but I have little experience with them elsewhere.  I am currently signed up on the Starlink beta programme, and anxiosly awaiting my start-up kit (which they say will arrive this summer).  Current users at higher lattitudes are reporting 150Mbps speeds at 30-50ms latency.  Starlink has reported that that speed will increase very soon.  They have launched 360 satellites this year alone, and seem to be accelerating (120 in the last week).  Once the 12,000 satellite constellation is in service, they expect 1000Mbps speeds anywhere in the world.  I kinda geek out at how much SpaceX has accomplished.
Link Posted: 3/19/2021 2:28:28 PM EDT
I'd like to express my thanks and gratitude to those who answered and to those who may later. I am thinking I need to make a trip down there and run the state to see what the different areas look like and what each has to offer. I would really like to meet some of you when I come down that way. Gotta look into the job situation in different areas too. The heat gets pretty nasty here too. Mid 100's heat index is fairly common and it gets to 110 often. The cornfields around here have a tendency to produce humidity and thrive on it. I certainly hope that internet gets spread around more. I do need that to accomplish some of what I am wanting to do.

Take care and maybe I'll see you when I road trip that way.

Link Posted: 3/19/2021 3:36:17 PM EDT
You should consider NW Arkansas as well as the other areas.  Many more opportunities than Hope for sure.  Although I don't know what is available for machinists/cdc.

Link Posted: 3/20/2021 4:37:57 PM EDT
I live just north of Nashville (20 miles NW of Hope) and work in Hope.  I can echo most of what has been posted: temps get high and humidity stays thick.  Our area of the state is pretty spread out and rural so land is frequently cheap.  Hope has high speed cable and fiber is laid and about to come online very, very soon.  I also am part of the Starlink beta program (my farm is pretty rural.  Like not edge of the earth, but it's visble) and got the notice, paid my down payment and am waiting on my kit supposedly pretty soon.  Everything I've read says it is everything it claims and getting better.  Nashville, Hope, Texarkana, Ashdown and the surrounding areas are heavy manufacturing towns.  Tyson, Pilgrims, CertainTeed, Hexion, Domtar, Husqvarna, Jan-Eze, Mission Plastics, New Millenium, Klipsch, etc.  Very firearm/suppressor friendly.  Hope has a police shooting range that I "think" is open to the public.  I'll check.  Nashville has a 4H range that is a hidden secret with a $50 annual membership and we have have steel out to 700, pistol range, rifle range, trap range.  All covered etc.  Texarkana Gun Club is pretty active with a ton of matches every month across a pretty wide range of styles.  If you like a slow pace of life, it's pretty good country living here but you got to drive if you want to do "stuff".  

I'm in Hope 4 on 4 off so if you find some property or just need some eyes on something, give me a shout.  I'll help as much as I can.  Questions, whatever.  I subscribed to this post so I'll keep a watch here on it.  Since life is slow on shift work, I'm on ARFcom a lot.  Ton of good guys on the AR board, we're just not real big talkers/posters.  Just holler and we'll get you fixed up!
Link Posted: 3/21/2021 3:37:07 PM EDT
stevec223 thanks for the reply. I plan on running around as much of the state as I can in roughly a week. Fort Smith area seems to have some possibilites job wise. Plus I like the idea of a bit cooler summers. I ould easily handle the winters at least until I acclimated in a few years. Winters here get to be long and sometimes brutal. Although the winters are a bit nicer in the southern part. Will just have to see what part of the state grabs the right nerve I guess.

unstabl and JDMnAR I actually was looking at 40 acres on 145 online but i now see it is pending. I'm just waiting for the weather here to stabilize a bit so I can take off and not worry about things freezing up in a sudden early spring blizzard.

I am also familiar with having to drive to do much of anything. I live 4 miles off the nearest highway. About 9 mi from the nearest small town. About 20 from a bigger town of a few thousand and 35 from a metro area. I have my own acreage out in the country away from things although I have neighbors about 200 yds away.

I hope to be able to meet some of you so I can get a good feel for the areas I run through. I do appreciate your subscribing to this post unstabl.
Link Posted: 3/31/2021 2:38:13 PM EDT
For anyone's info who may want to be of assistance to me I will be in the state beginning this weekend. I plan on getting down there sometime Saturday and plan on being there through most of the week into next Saturday depending on how things go. Those interested please contact me. I would really like to meet up and talk about what the state has to offer and get inside info from you to help me make some decisions. All help would be appreciated. Email would be the best initial way to contact me. Thanks again. Looking forward to checking out the state and meeting a few of you.
Link Posted: 4/16/2021 2:49:09 PM EDT
Well what did you find?  I'm over in the Delta, and pretty much no one wants to live here who isn't from here, but I love it.

I lived in NW Arkansas for 10+ years.  Got too urban/crowded for me, so I got out.  

I would look at NE Arkansas.  It is a good combination or rural with Jonesboro being a fast growing "small city" and Memphis and LR both about an hour's drive if you have to go to the "big city" for anything.

Link Posted: 4/25/2021 1:04:42 PM EDT
We are looking for something similar and have been for about a year. All I can say is good luck. We drove from Texas in the fall with 6 or so properties to look at and in less than a week from when we scheduled the trip all but 1 were pending.
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