Arkansas is a southern U.S. state bordering the Mississippi River. It’s known for its abundant park and wilderness areas, with terrain encompassing mountains, caves, rivers and hot springs.
If you find yourself drawn in by nature and America’s vast wildernesses then you’ll surely appreciate the appeal of Arkansas. Any self proclaimed hiker could not resist the call of the Ozarks, the adventurous trails and forest of this region is picturesque beyond compare.
There are some wonderful places to live in Arkansas and the cost of living here is far more affordable than a number of America’s other 49 states.
Whatever you are looking for in your next home it is safe to assume that factors like crime statistics, as we’ve mentioned cost of living, and proximity to transport routes for work all come into consideration. Other factors like availability of quality public schooling, the diversity of the community and access to health care are also likely boxes that need ticking before you up sticks and move to Arkansas.
Given that finding all of this information in one easy, digestible format can be something of a chore, we took matters into our own hands to find the best places to live in Arkansas to give you the best pick of the bunch.
We have also listened to what local people had to say about their neighbourhoods so that you know you’re getting the most rounded and authentic view of the place.
Let’s get started;
Fun fact for you, Bentonville is the birthplace of the superstore chain, Walmart. Good to know! There is even a Walmart Museum that follows the development of the stores over the decades.
Home to 40,000 people, Bentonville is the best city in Arkansas in which to live. The cost of living here is a major draw, along with low crime rates and outstanding public schools.
Median home value is $174,400 which is lower than the national average. This is, understandably, the best place in Arkansas to buy a house. You get a lot of property for your money in this city so if you have a larger investment to make, Bentonville would be a good first port of call.
2. Cammack Village
Village by name but by nature, Cammack Village is a suburb of the Arkansas state capital, Little Rock. This highly desirable neighbourhood is home to just over 1000 people and so very much a village atmosphere.
Being in Pulaski County median home value here is a little steeper than in Bentonville. With house prices averaging at $191,700 this area is by no means exclusive or unaffordable. Monthly rent is dearer than ideal at $1,190 so potential tenants would do better in Bentonville, if looking at that factor alone.
Perhaps due to the small population or the neighbourly attitude they adopt but Cammack Village is the safest place to live in Arkansas.
This quaint suburb is increasing in popularity with the millennial generation so we can expect to see development here soon. Source: www.jeffkayle.com
Nestled away in the northwest of Arkansas is the city of Fayetteville, the first home of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Fayetteville is a fairly large city, occupied by 79,000 people. This is another area, like Bentonville that would be perfect for those looking to rent a property in Arkansas. Median monthly rent here is just $712 which makes it one of the most affordable places to be a tenant in Arkansas.
With this figure being so low it’ll come as no surprise to hear that 60% of the population live in rented accommodation; plenty of choices out there! This is a relatively low-income area but the residents here are diverse and highly educated too, 22% have a master’s degree or above. Source: Brandonrush / Wikimedia
Adjacent to Bentonville to the west is Centerton, home to 10,764 people this is an offshoot of Bentonville city. Locals would likely disagree, Centerton is a place in its own right with ample amenities and facilities to serve its community. El Farolito and Jim’s Razorback Pizza are popular dining options for locals so be sure to check them out!
Centerton is a particularly good Arkansas city for families. With 14 outstanding public schools in the area, there are quality educational establishments from elementary level through to high school.
The median home value here in Centerton is more than reasonable too at $137,900. With the average household earning $56,500 a year this is far from an aspirational neighbourhood.
5. Little Flock
The endearingly named Little Flock is not to be confused with state capital Little Rock. Little Flock is a suburb to the northeast of Bentonville and is home to 2,700 people. This is a quiet and safe place to live. Little Flock is a popular spot for millennials to buy their first homes and with median home value lying at $183,400 who can blame them.
Little Flock provides buyers with great value for money. At any given time there are a number of detached, large family homes on the market that come with a generous plot of land and private driveway. For $208,000, for example, you can invest in a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom family home that is set back from the road surrounded by trees and bushes. Source: www.zillow.com
Surrounded by valleys and natural springs, deep in the Ozark Mountains in Washington County is the town of Johnson, on the Springfield Plateau. This little town is rather charming and the group of 3,500 people who call this small town home do love it so.
You would think that a small town like this would come at a cost but despite its rural surroundings Johnson is greatly affordable.
Median house prices are below the national average in fact, at $163,600. Median rent, too, is more than reasonable at $705 a month. There is almost no catch, almost! The only downside to Johnson is the commuting options. Bentonville is a half an hour drive away and Little Rock nearly three hours away. That said, there are ample job opportunities in Fayetteville and Springdale. Source: Brandonrush / Wikimedia
7. Cave Springs
Cave Springs has a competitive property market, for parents in Arkansas all want to be in this schooling district due to having the best schools in the state. As such the property prices in Cave Springs are a little steeper than, say, Little Flock.
At an average of $209,300, this is not too unattainable for many families but when you consider that 85% of residents live in an owned home and don’t look like they’ll be moving on anytime soon, the choice of lower budget properties are few and far between.
In reality, buyers seldom get change from $300,000. Knowing that Cave Springs has the best public schools in Arkansas it is fair to say that the neighbourhood is also one of the best in the state to raise a family. Source: Wawan eko yulianto / Wikimedia
Good housing, good schools and a diverse community of residents make Rogers a highly desirable place to live. Much like Cave Springs, there is little to complain about here. Local people highlight how this town in Benton County is healthy and active.
Home to 60,300 people, there are more than enough jobs to go around and it seems the community are working hard and reaping the rewards; median household income is $52,900 a year.
Many of the jobs around here are linked to Walmart in one way or another. With 32 schools in the Rogers school district, parents have a good selection of options available to educate their children.
Being so close to Hobbs State Park there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and explore as a family.
This small town is dearly loved by those who live in it. Close to Little Rock, Conway provides not only a fair cost of living but ample work opportunities too.
Median rent here is just $731 a month, so for anyone looking to live and work in Arkansas while saving for a house deposit, Conway may just be the place to head. 51% of people live in rented accommodation so this is a transient area with properties readily available for tenants.
The Conway schools district will already be on the list for any parents who have started researching and for good reason; 22 public schools in the area, all of which are performing in line or above national expectations.
10. Bella Vista
Bella Vista was originally marked out as a summer town for those who wished to reconnect with nature in Arkansas. Now a popular spot for retirees there is a thriving aging community here who have created a welcoming and homely atmosphere.
As you would expect with a more mature population, the majority of homes here are owned but there are some lovely properties out there to rent should $946 be affordable to you.
With rivers and lakes around every corner, Bella Vista really is deserving of its name. Although with a strong aging community you may think that families would not be at home here. Far from it, Bella Vista has some of the best public schools in the state.
Maumelle is a suburb of Little Rock but being home to 17,600 people it is really a place all of its own. This is our most expensive area to date but compared to other areas of America, Arkansas really is very reasonably priced.
Homes here in Maumelle cost on average $222,600. There are some more flashy properties available should a larger, more stately home be in order. Overall though, value for money in Maumelle is good.
This area is becoming an evermore popular area with millennials, on par with Little Flock in that respect. Local people love the Super Walmart and the multiple diners and restaurants that are dotted around the town. Source: maumelle-ar.purzuit.com
Lowell is another of our best places to live in Arkansas to be found in Benton County. There is a deep history associated with this area dating back to the 1840s, it was the first settlement along the Old Wire Road and was destroyed during the Civil War.
Now home to 8,000 people there is a rural feel to the area in that there is little to do of a night time. This quiet community would rather be tucked up in their own homes than lairing it up in town.
Home prices here are on par with the rest of Arkansas at $132,300, cheaper in fact than many areas we have highlighted so far.
13. Siloam Springs
With an artsy and hipster kinda downtown and a strong Christian community due to the private university, there is a diverse population of 15,800 people who call Siloam Springs home.
Median rent here is something to write home about for sure, averaging at $690 a month. The residents of Siloam Springs are a hardworking bunch who bring home $43,400 on average each year.
There is very little to find fault with in Siloam Springs, it neither performs, nor excels in comparison to other areas of Arkansas. Quiet, charming and functional.
14. Little Rock
You seldom find the state capital missing out on a place in the top fifteen best places to live and Arkansas’ Little Rock is no exception. With houses and jobs in no short supply, there is a prosperous community of 196,000 people who call Little Rock home; making it our most densely populated place on our list so far.
There is a wide variety of properties available to invest in in Little Rock. For an affordable $81,000 you could be the proud owner of a humble, cost 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom family home. Or should you have seven figures of cash then you could invest in a grand 5-bedroom inner city mansion with 4-bathrooms for $1,395,000.
Although a suburb of Little Rock, home to 19,162 people, Bryant is a town all of its own and has a community all of its own too. Locals jest that everyone here is interconnected in some way.
Bryant is the second safest suburb in Arkansas according to the findings of niche.com. Crime levels here are incredibly low, albeit the occasional theft or burglary that occurs, as to be expected with any inner city area.
For Arkansas this is a reasonably affluent neighbourhood, the average household earns $60,000 a year. That said, Bryant is by no means exclusive. Both parents will work and children attend public school. Locals say Bryant is safe, clean and an all round great area to live. Cheers to that! Source: metrolittlerockguide.com