If you are thinking about relocation to AR, there is a lot to consider. Currently, more than 3 million people live in Arkansas and that’s with good reason. It is a beautiful state, earning its nickname as “The Natural State.”
Beyond the beautiful natural features, there are also good employment opportunities and a thriving arts scene. It might not be the best place to go if you are attracted to big cities, but for folks who enjoy a quieter life, the cost of living and great outdoors can be a big reason for relocating to AR.
However, moving to a different state is a big task. You will need to think about taxes, houses, climate and so much more. If you are looking for a home in Arkansas, here’s six things to keep in mind while you’re relocating to AR.
1. Do You Have Air Conditioning?
Depending on where you live right now, air conditioning might not be a big concern for you. You might live somewhere that simply never gets hot enough to warrant a whole air conditioning system for homes and businesses.
However, if you are planning on relocating to AR, air conditioning should be something you consider. It should make your list of priorities when you are searching for a home in Arkansas. In July and August, temperatures can hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of heat is actively dangerous for some people.
Even if you don’t have a health condition, temperatures that hit three digits can be hazardous to your health. While looking for homes in Arkansas, inquire about the air conditioning system. A window unit might not be up to the task if you have a large space to cool, for example.
Additionally, if there is already a cooling system in place, ensure it is in good repair. You might not want to just take the seller’s word for it either. Consider hiring air conditioning repair people if there is any doubt about the ability of the system to keep up with demand. You wouldn’t want to finish relocating to AR only to find out in the midst of a heat wave that your air conditioning isn’t up to snuff.
On the flipside of things, winter tends to be somewhat mild in Arkansas, though heating could still be a concern. January is when it tends to get the coldest, but temperatures generally stay above freezing during the day and dip lower at night.
Storms that come in off the Gulf of Mexico can pose a threat at certain times of the year. In summer you might see the remnants of tropical storms and thunderstorms that started out on the gulf and made their ways inland.
2. Do You Have Special Health Needs?
If you have special health needs, you probably already know where your doctors and healthcare facilities are located where you are living now. While relocating to AR, you will need to search for those services all over again.
The best healthcare facilities in Arkansas are located close to Little Rock. U.S. News ranked UAMS Medical Center as the number one hospital in the state. Major cities are going to have more options and better treatments available than places that are more remote so if you are thinking of relocating to AR that is something you should keep in mind.
You will also find more convenient health care options when you are closer to metro areas. While all that untamed natural landscape is beautiful, it is also remote and can make things like finding a hospital a little trickier.
This is especially important if you have special medical needs. That is something you might have to factor in to your decision about relocating to AR.
Even if you don’t have special needs, however, you should try to find a primary care doctor after relocating to AR. Everyone needs a primary care doctor, no matter which state they live in or plan to move to. This is simply a good practice to stay on top of check ups and maintain good health. It is something that would be easy to overlook with all the stress and bustle of a big move to a different state, but spare some thought for your health while you’re thinking about relocating to AR. You’ll be grateful for it down the line.
3. Does a Loved One Have Health Needs?
Health care isn’t just about one individual, however. You might have a loved one who has special medical needs or ongoing health concerns. That is something to factor in as well.
When relocating to AR, think about the health needs of your entire family. If someone in your household has frequent doctor visits, a big move like this could be a significant disruption for them. It may be hard for them to re-establish the routine of going to see the doctor. Try to help ease that transition by planning things out before you actually move.
For example, you might search for doctors and facilities before you actually move. You could even try to figure out how far these things are from where you plan to live. Knowing the travel time could help alleviate some concerns.
Sometimes, people relocate for the sake of a loved one. You might be moving to find a senior living community for yourself or a loved one, for example. These communities are excellent for seniors and there are many within Arkansas.
Some of the best retirement communities in the nation are in Arkansas. Many folks retire to places in Arkansas such as Fayetteville, Hot Springs, Bentonville, Hardy, and Eureka Springs. In fact, the state has many senior communities that are extremely active. The beautiful natural wonders of Arkansas surely contributes to this.
4. How Will Your Taxes Work?
If you are relocating to AR or any other state, you will need to spare a thought for your taxes. Taxes instantly become more complicated when you do something like move to another state. You might find yourself in a position where you need to pay income taxes to two different states come tax time and that can certainly be a very tricky thing to sort out on your own.
There are also other tax considerations. You might be able to get reimbursement for some of your moving costs, for example. The cost of moving can be deductible if you move a certain distance and start a new job. This applies even if your employer helps reimburse the cost of your move, in many cases. Look into this come tax time.
You also might find after relocating to AR that you have income that comes from multiple states now. If you still have rental property or a business in the state you left, that can certainly make your taxes quite complicated to sort out.
These kinds of complications prompt many who move large distances to hire a tax attorney or other professional tax expert. This comes with a cost, but that is well worth the price tag when your taxes are complicated due to a big move. Every state handles its income taxes slightly differently, for example, and that can be a real headache if you’ve moved from state to state in the same year.
On top of all this, if you buy a home in a different state, that can get incredibly complicated in terms of taxes and other financial concerns. That is a lot of money that is shifting around and multiple government agencies will want to know about it. Get help if you are feeling overwhelmed.
5. When it Comes to Buying a Home, Are All the Boxes Checked?
Buying a home is a challenge no matter which state you’re in. However, when you’re relocating to AR or any other state, there are additional challenges. For example, normally you could just check out the roof yourself and talk to the agent and seller about the state of the roof. However, if you are still in a different state you might not have as much information about roofing repair and maintenance on the property. Or it could simply be difficult to get a hold of this information.
Ordinary maintenance and repair concerns like this are more complicated when you are moving a long distance. It will be harder for you to view the house in person, so you will need to trust the word of the seller and agent involved when it comes to something like whether the roof needs repairs.
You can also hire your own contractors to take a look at the property. They may be able to give you a better grasp on the state of repair that the home is in so that you can move in with more confidence.
Of course, you should visit the property in person at least once. This isn’t a cheap prospect if you live far away, but it is absolutely vital. You can’t know if the floor creaks until you step on it. Likewise, you might not notice the signs of a home in need of bed bug control or other pest control services until you see the home with your own eyes.
This is all part of ordinary due diligence when buying a home. You would want to do these things no matter where you were moving to. However, the fact that you are relocating to AR and moving to an entirely different state makes the process more complicated and cumbersome.
It is important to have patience during this process. You certainly want to make sure the home you are moving to is in good repair, but you can’t address every little creak and dent when you are in a different state. Bankrupting yourself just to visit the home over and over again isn’t good either as that could have long-term financial repercussions.
When looking for a home in Arkansas, you also will want to consider the location. Arkansas is a beautiful state, which is why so many people decide to move there, so take a look at not just the house, but also its surroundings. Ensure you like the area nearby, including any cities or towns that are close to your home. It might not be a bad idea to spend a weekend in the area just to get a feel for the location as a whole. This can also help solidify your decision on relocating to AR.
Of course, you should also spend that time checking out the house. You don’t want to find out after a move that you need water heater repair or new plumbing, for example. Make sure your visit is also practical.
6. Can You Make Improvements to the Home?
You also might miss opportunities to make your home better if you don’t see it in person before relocating to AR. Many people visit a home they want to buy and are struck with inspiration.
For example, you might find that you want to get solar panel installation service after you see the home and the area. Arkansas certainly gets some bright, hot summers. Solar panels could drive down your energy costs and give you a way to make your home more efficient.
That isn’t all you might find. While taking in the beauty of Arkansas, you might find inspiration for a garden or other landscaping. The Natural State has a lot to offer on its own, but you can bring a little piece of that closer to home with your personal landscaping around your home.
Overall, it’s a good idea to thoroughly check out the features of the home you plan to buy. Will it accommodate you and your family? Does it have what everyone needs after relocating to AR? Something as simple as residential garage door installation can have a huge impact. The lack of a garage might be a major detractor for some people so get these kinds of details out of the way before relocating to AR.
A Lot to Offer
Arkansas is a beautiful state with a lot to offer. If you are thinking of relocating to AR, you are making a fantastic choice. Just ensure that you and your family will be ready for all the complications of such a large move, from the home itself to health care to taxes to weather. That is a lot to consider, but the eventual pay off makes it all worth it in the end.