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Below are many of the emails I've received with questions about Bella Vista, Arkansas, along with my responses.  I'm sure many of the same questions are on your mind so thought their questions and my answers might help you too!  My answers are in green.   I've gotten many more questions then these, but try not to put too many redundant questions on this page. Please keep in mind that any of the mail dated before November 7, 2006 were before Bella Vista Incorporated so the answers to the questions were based on when Bella Vista was an unincorporated village.  It shouldn't make a lot of difference in the answers but it should be noted that we are an incorporated city now and  no longer ruled by the Property Owners Association.  POA's main job now is to control and maintain Bella Vista's Amenities such as club houses, golf course, and parks and lakes, while the City is in charge of the streets, police & fire departments and day to day running of the governmental side of things.

If you have a question and can't find the answer you're looking for, feel free to email me.  Remember, you now have a friend in Bella Vista.  I try to answer all my email.  If you get a notice my email box is full, send again.  You can rest assured that my email box will be emptied as soon as I notice it's filled up.   I just hate deleting emails off the server until I have to.

 

 

----- Original Messages -----

Dustie,

I am planning to visit there in March or April, to check out the community to possibly move there in the future. I'm wondering how well single people are assimilated into the community? I'm 65 and divorced (no children) and want a much more active retirement community than what I have in my little hometown of Rector (in northeast Ark.) I have been toying with the idea of checking out B.Vista for about a year, and am trying to get my nerve up to visit the community. It's so scary to think about moving by myself to a brand new community, but B. Vista just seems to have so much to offer!

I did want to ask you - have they made much headway on the westside by-pass? I wondered about that...

I know you are married, but I wonder where I could locate some older singles to talk to who have moved to B/Vista? Do you think maybe the POA could possibly put me in touch with some?

Sincerely,

Candy

Hi Candy,

I think you'll find Bella Vista a very happy and friendly place, with there being no problem at all that you are single. I couldn't tell you the numbers, but there are plenty of single seniors in the area, both male and female. Many divorced, many widows and widowers... probably more then average in a city our size, since nearly half our population is made up of seniors.

There's so much to do here that you'll not be bored if you're willing to get out and about and get involved with the community. Plenty of clubs, churches, and organizations to join, believe me.

If you're thinking of coming for a visit, I'd shoot for spring or early summer..it's beautiful around here then. We don't have any hotels here in Bella Vista..though we do have a bed and breakfast. There is a hotel by the Wal-mart just a couple of miles N. of Bella Vista over the border in Missouri though. There are also hotels in Bentonville and Rogers (10 miles S. of Bella Vista).

Bella Vista/Rogers is where most Bella Vistians go to for medical (hospitals), dining (all the major chain restaurants like Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Chen's, Panaera Bread, Chipolte, IHop, Ruby Tuesday's, Red Robins, Etc), Shopping (All your major chain stores, Coles, Pennys, Dillards,Lowes, Sam's Club, Bass Pro, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Cabella's, Burlington Coat Factory, etc), Entertainment (Crystal Bridges American Art Museum, Malco Metroplex Theaters, The Amazium, American Indian Museum...etc.).

Bella Vista itself has a few restaurants, a couple really good Grocery Stores and limited other shopping. But with Wal-Mart about 5 miles North over the Missouri line and everything Bentonville/Rogers has to offer just to the South, we have all we need without messing up our Beautiful Natural City with commercial property. We're a city of 25,000+ folks, but spread out over 50+ sq acres with a goodly portion of it through the forests of the Ozark Hills, you'd never know it. We have the best of both worlds...vacation like living all the time surrounded by nature with access to all the major shopping, dining and entertainment when wanted.

As for the bypass, it's coming along. There's a lot of construction going on just to the South of us. No idea when it's supposed to all come together though, but at least now you can see it progressing...

Well, hope all this helps.  You do have a friend now in Bella Vista, so feel free to ask away if you have any other questions.

Dustie Meads
www.beautifulbellavista.com

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Hello,

About a year ago in 2014 we start searching for homes in your area that were 55 plus only. Now when I look on Realtor, Zillow, and any of the major real estate sites, they do not state for 55 plus only. Is Bella Vista Village now an all age community? I cannot differentiate between the two Bella Vista communities no age limit vs 55. Houses we have been looking at near 125k I have seen property taxes at 1700 on some and 1150 on others. I thought the 1150 maybe would be in the 55+ and the difference would be the no school tax simular to sun city and sun city west in az. I also thought I read that Hot Springs had changed there status from 55+ to an all age community. We are really looking for only a 55+ community. Please advise.


Hi Jack,

Bella Vista never officially had a 55+ rule. Because of the lack of jobs in the area in the early years (Pre Wal-Mart) only those looking to retire could settle here so that was the target market and we quickly became known as a retirement destination. Then in the 90's the the explosive growth of Walmart due to their Superstore concept, brought growth in all of Northwest Arkansas and slowly, but surely, working professionals began to find Bella Vista appealing. It was close to Walmart's home office in Bentonville, and with the golf courses and lakes and other amenities, as well as the cost of housing, Bella Vista looked inviting, even if it were full of seniors, so the demographics began to change. In 2006 the people of Bella Vista voted to incorporate into the City of Bella Vista, which brought even more younger families into the area. I'm afraid, other then two senior independent living locations in Bella Vista, we're a mixed bunch. I'd say that seniors still outnumber the under 55 crowd, but not by much. Depending on who you ask, some might say the under 55 crowd has surpassed us oldies.

Today, we are still a retirement destination for many, because of the amenities, but we are also a most popular "bedroom" community for young professionals with families. We are a great place to live, with lots to do, but if it's 55+ your looking for, that's not us any longer.

Hope this helps,

Dustie

 

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Dustie,

I enjoy your website and appreciate the time and effort you have put into it.  My wife and I are retired and considering Bella Vista as our retirement home location (we have children and grandchildren in KS, OK and TX so it is close to all).  My wife is concerned about activities in the area.  We currently live in Raleigh, NC and enjoy movies, museums, etc.  and we both are members of a fitness center and work out regularly.    Thanks.

Rob

Hi Rob,

The Property Owner's Association (POA) has put together a PDF file of the country club/recreation facilities in Bella Vista which you can access by visiting https://bellavistapoa.com/recreation/images/RecFacilitiesBrochure2012.pdf

Then there are regular fitness centers, such as World's Gym and Powerhouse Gym and Fitness center in Bentonville (10 - 20 miles depending on where you live), plus gyms in Rogers.  My 30 something daughter and son in law belong to Powerhouse Gym because it's near where they work.

Then there's miles of walking and biking trails in the area, and 3 swimming pools (one year round indoor pool) as well as 7 lakes for swimming. 

You shouldn't have a problem saying fit in Beautiful Bella Vista, believe me.   

The shopping in nearby cities is wonderful.  Rogers has major shopping and Movie theaters (have your wife check out http://www.pinnaclehillspromenade.com/)  They just opened a new Cabala's there, so we're really on the map now!  There's also major art and music in the area...especially with the new Crystal Bridges Art Museum ( 5 miles from Bella Vista as the crow flies) open and the Walton Art's Center in Fayetteville ( about 30 miles from Bella Vista as the crow flies.

That's what's so nice about Bella Vista.  You feel like your living in the country being situated in the foothills of the Ozark hills, but you're in easy driving distance to major shopping, dining, medical facilities, arts and entertainment.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask any other questions you may have.

 

Dustie Meads

www.beautifulbellavista.com
Where the deer and the antelope roam... OK...
so we don't have antelope, but we do have
LOTS of deer!


Hi Lorenda,

I've answered your questions by first putting your inquiry and then my answer is in green.

I wanted to know if there is more children there since I have a 5 year old son and 17 year old daughter.

Oh yes, there are many Children in Bella Vista.  In 2005 an elementary school was built on the east side of Bella Vista, part of the Bentontonville school district, and it has 500+ kids with a waiting list.  The rest of the east side children go to other elementary schools in Bentonville (Bella Vista doesn't have it's own school district.)  The West half of Bella Vista is in the Gravette School District and while they do have plans to build and elementary school in Bella Vista, it's not been built yet.   Both school districts are great from what I've heard.

I also would like to know if there is a limit to pets in your community. We have 2 border collies and and an Australian Shepard mix who is getting up in years, and we have 3 cats which I keep indoors because its better for them, one of them are getting up in years too. 

No, there are no pets limits in Bella Vista, other then you are not allowed to breed for commercial purposes, there are no limit on the number of pets.  There are limits on the type of pets though...no chickens or other fowl, no farm animals, that type of thing (we've a neighbor who has a big fat pet pig though).

Also is there an HOA or is it just POA? 

The POA is a HOA...just a different name and covers property owners too.  Currently POA dues are 24.00/mo.

How is the medical care there? 

The medical situation is very good and very thorough.  We've two hospital systems within a 20 minute drive and a large new clinic has just opened up in Bella Vista and a new emergency room is being added to the clinic as we speak.   I can't count the number of Doctors and Specialists we have access to in Northwest Arkansas.

Be sure to check out Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville as well as Bella Vista while you're searching the web.   Look at the whole North West Arkansas area as your new home if you move here.  Bella Vista is a bedroom community, with most your restaurants, theaters, shopping, etc...taking place in Bentonville and Rogers with occasional trips to Fayetteville for entertainment such as Bikes, Blues and BBB...Walton Arts Center's broadway type performances, etc...

Hope this helps and good luck with your search for a job with the home office!  ;-)

Dustie Meads


Hello  --  We are seeking a retirement home & planning a trip to NW Arkansas this fall.   Looking at Zillow real estate, noticing there seems to be an unusually high number of homes in Bella Vista for sale & foreclosure.  Are there any problems with this area causing people to sell or move out?  Also, I have read about algae being a problem with roofs in this area.  Have you found this to be true?  Are ticks and chiggers a problem?

Julie

Hi Julie,

I think the reason you see so many homes for sale in Bella Vista is because Bella Vista is home to over 25,000 people and nearly 13,000 homes.  I'd say we probably have much fewer homes for sale then other cities of the same size, but I've no way of knowing that for sure.  As for foreclosures, if you research a bit further then Zillow, I think you will find we have very few of those.  Perhaps Zillow lumps for sale and foreclosers together? 

There are no problems in the area at all, other then the usual growing pains any city has, since year after year we are growing.  We've actually less problems then most...we've a very low crime rate, have lot's to do, and enjoy natural beauty here in the Ozark foothills. We're also close neighbors to larger cities, allowing us big city amentities but allowing us to keep our small town feel.  The biggest problem we have is a traffic jam in the mornings heading out of Bella Vista and one in the evening heading back into Bella Vista for all those who have to still work.  Not a problem for retirees at all though.  ;-)

I don't know of a big problem with algae on the roofs, but I would imagine some might have problems.  After all we do have eight lakes in the area and humidity in summer.  We don't have a problem, but we're not right on the lake and our roof is only 8 yrs old.  We do get it on the deck from time to time, but my husband power washes every couple years and it comes right off.  I'd certainly not want to give up the lakes so I wouldn't get algae on my deck.  I love our lakes!  ;-)

Ticks and Chiggers.....a problem?  Yes, if you go off the beaten path into the woods much, which I do way to often.  I carry bug spray in my car and spray down really good most of the time, and do a tick check when I get home from off path hiking.  It helps, but I still get chigger and tick bites from time to time.  It's inevitable when you are in tick and chigger country, unless you keep to the roads, sidewalks and well walked paths. 

Again though, I'd not let ticks and chiggers chase me away from here.  I simply chalk it up to a price I'm willing to pay for all this natural beauty!

 

Hope this helps and hope you really enjoy your visit here!

 

Dustie Meads

www.beautifulbellavista.com

 


Dustie,

Your website is a wealth of knowledge. I have a question that I hope
I didn't overlook and I haven't been able to get an answer to through the POA.

I have found a couple of lots that I like but they are on dirt roads.
I've heard that once if you build a house they will pave the street.
I've also heard that they have a schedule. Do you know how they make the decisions?

Thank you!

 Ron

Hi Ron,

The city does put the road on their list to be paved as soon as the certificate of occupancy is given on the home. If it's the only home on the road, they will pave up to that house until there are more homes on the road. Contracts for road paving are given out in April, so much depends on when the certificate of occupancy is given and if weather is conducive for paving the road. Depending on these factors, it could take up to a year before the road is paved.

To learn more you can talk to the City building department. Their number is 479-268-4980.

Thanks for the question. I've learned something too. Hope you find the perfect lot!

Dustie
www.beautifulbellavista.com

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Hello I  just ran across your site. I used to have property in Bella Vista in the 1980's (Shows you I'm older) My wife and I are strongly considering buying a home in Bella Vista and we are researching all the costs, plus or minus. If you would, can you gives a some information about them. sales, real estate, personnel property, income and any other taxes you can think of. My wife has a small pension and social security. I have a good pension and no social security. I believe groceries transportation and utilities will be similar to where we are in the Black Hills near Rapid City. Any thing you could do would be appreciated. If there is a charge, I would compensate you gladly.

Thanks Bill & Sharon

Hi Bill and Sharon

 You're certainly looking for a Bella Vista home at the right time.  The market is all in your favor.  Prices are much more negotiable then they were in the 1980s.  The housing market, though not as bad here as in some areas of the country, is still in the buyer's favor.  Be sure to negotiate on price if you do find a home.  Competition is still and those who have to sell are very negotiable in this economy today.

 As for taxes, I always rely on the local chamber of commerce, which you can find here http://www.bbvchamber.com/general/108/state-and-local-taxes.  I think taxes are very reasonable, although I'd like to see the local 9% sales tax drop a bit.  Fortunately food isn't taxed at the same rate...it's more like 6%.  Real estate taxes are reasonable, and we don't yet have a Bella Vista city tax, however we do pay those 24.00 POA dues monthly.  And I do suspect it will only be a matter of time before the city has a tax of it's own, though it hasn't happened yet.

Utilities...well, in winter, on an all electric 1750 sq ft home for two of us...water/trash is about 40.00, electric 175.00/200.00, dish network (100.00)..cable would be about the same, high speed internet 33.00 (I pay 55 because I need their higher speed internet for uploading videos to microstock sites), phone is Magic Jack so 19.95 a year.

 Quite reasonable living costs here compared to other places I think.  Hope this helps!

 Dustie Meads

www.beautifulbellavista.com

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Hello,

we live in Centerton, Arkansas, are there any clubs in Bella vista that our family
can join? (swimming, tennis, golf...) if so, which ones are open to membership? thank you

Hi,

No, I'm afraid you have to live in Bella Vista or be a guest of someone who
lives in Bella Vista, to be able to use the lakes, golf courses and club facilities in Bella Vista.
Bella Vista property owners pay either 24.00 a month improved lots, or 16.00 a month on vacant lots, in order to upkeep the amenities, so they and their guests are the only ones who
can use them.

The exception is for those who might be staying in Bella Vista, renting a
home or townhouse (as they are considered guests), or those who live outside of the area who own a
"membership lot" and pay membership dues.  Often you can find membership lots for sale in the paper,
or a couple times a year foreclosed lots are sold on the courthouse steps and they sometimes include membership lots.  Membership lots are lots that aren't suitable for building but are good to own so you get to use the facilities at member rates as long as you pay the membership monthly dues (16.00/mo at the present time (2011). That still doesn't mean the use of the facilities is free, just that the rates are reduced.  And even membership lots require you to pay 16.00 a month Property Owner Association (POA) dues.
Membership lots go for around 500.00, although I have seen them sold for as little as 250.00.  You can call local Realtors, to see if they've any membership lots, or visit the POA website at
www.bellavistapoa.com and call them to learn about the next lot tax sale.

Good Luck,

Dustie Meads
www.beautifulbellavista.com


----- Original Message -----

Subject: Help with some local Info on Bella Vista Lots for a Former BV Resident

Dustie,

Your website is great and very informative.  My name is Rick and my mother and late step father lived in Bella Vista for about 13 years.  My step father passed away in 1999.  My Mother continued to live alone at Bella Vista until last year when, due to health reasons, she moved closer to us.

They had purchased a building lot in 1990 at Bella Vista and their dream was to someday build on the lot.  I donít have the address, but it is in the Highlands area (I think).  When I visited, I would always drive Mom by the lot for a look at what had been built in the area.

Now, unfortunately, Mom has moved to a nursing home for care.  Due to the expense, she has asked me to look into selling the lot at Bella Vista.  I have no idea what the market might be like now, so I thought you might be able to give me some insight.  The lot is not on the lake, but is a good building lot. 

I would appreciate your assistance.

 Rick

Rick,
 
First off, I'm sorry time caught up with your mom and step-father before they could fulfill their dream of building on the lot, but I hope they both had a good life and that life isn't too bad for your mom until she gets the chance to join her loved ones who have passed on before her.
 
Of course, with the real estate market down as it is, most lots are now worth much less then they were when originally purchased.   The only lots which have grown in value are lake lots and golf course lots.  Flat/good building lots have either maintained their value depending where they are and what was paid for them in the first place, or they have lost value.   $9,000.00 sounds like a fair value for a good building lot, if the land is not too sloping and has a lot of mature trees, and there are a fair amount of nice homes in the area.
  
For 29.00 you can list the lot on the Bella Vista's POA (Property Owner's Association) website for 3 months.   http://www.bellavistapoa.com/membershipServices/property.asp .  That site is usually listed number two or three in a Bella Vista Google search, and many in the area know to go there looking for lots, so it is probably worth listing there, also.
 
If it sells, you only need to contact a local title company, and they will make all the arrangements for the closing (changing of deeds and such). 
 
If you decide to sell through an agent you can visit the real estate agent's page on my site.  It contains links to most the agents who sell homes/lots in Bella Vista.  One of the requirements for their being listed on my site is that they have to do at least 50% of their business in Bella Vista.  If you do list with an agent, be sure to add the agents name and contact information to any ad you might have listed by owner since advertising laws require the agent be listed if there is one.
 
If you have any other questions, feel free to email and ask.  Thanks for visiting my site and I hope this helps.
 
Dustie Meads
www.beautifulbellavista.com  

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----- Original Message -----

Subject: tax sale lots

 
Dear Dustie,
 
Love your website on Bella Vista. It has been a great help to the wife and me to decide that Bella Vista will be our retirement destination.
 
We have noticed online that Benton county and the P.O.A. are selling off lots that are from tax sales in the next few days. Do you have any further knowledge on this? Are they viable properties or not desirable? Are they just a waste of time? Any info you may have would be greatly appreciated. Hope to meet you in a couple of years at Belle Vista.
 
Thank you in advance,
 
Don & Michele
 

Hi Don & Michele,

 
About two to three times a year Bella Vista has these sales.  Problem is, if you are not here to check out the lots, you are buying a pig in a poke.  Bella Vista is vast and weaves through the western foothills of the Ozark Mountains.  There are thousands of lots, an hundreds that, although buildable, are very steep or otherwise undesirable to build on.  Many in this lot might be good building lots, but I wouldn't be buying any of them without first checking them out, in my humble opinion.  Hope this helps.
 
I hope you find Bella Vista all that you are hoping it will be and I'll see you when you get here! ;-)
 
Dustie

 

Subject: Shopping

 

Hi Dustie.

I enjoy your site.  Lots of good info about this town.  I currently reside in North Carolina with my wife and our 1 year old daughter. 

I have been contacted by Wal Mart regarding a position within their company.  If I accept it, weíll be moving to NW Arkansas.  I love the scenery that Bella Vista offers.  Iím not much for flat, treeless home sites.  There seems to be a lot to offer in your area in terms of homes that fit our needs.

My question is shopping.  My wife often canít get past a community if it does not have Grocery Stores, Gas Stations etc..in close proximity.  Can you tell me how far the Grocery Stores are from Bella Vista?

Thanks!

Eric

Eric,
 
It's not a problem.  We have two very good groceries stores right in Bella Vista off 71 highway, and Wal-Mart is just 5 miles away from Town Center (intersection of highways 71 and 340).  Wal-Green and Lowes are both on the outskirts of Bella Vista and less then 20 minutes south on Highway 540 is Rogers with it's Pinnacle Promenade and Village On the Creek (All the shopping you could want).
 
If you're going to work for Wal-Mart, keep in mind that the far west side of Bella Vista (the Highlands) is the furthest away from Bentonville and could add anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to your commute to work and home, as well as to major shopping areas in Bella Vista, Bentonville and Rogers.  They are planning a highway bypass on the west side of Bella Vista, which would make it a faster commute and raise property values in the area, but it could be years before it's completed.  They've purchased the land, but they've not begun building yet.
 
I'd keep your hunt for a home stay along the highway 71 corridor, on the east side of the highway which will put you in the Cooper Elementary school area, the only Elementary school in Bella Vista.  The rest of Bella Vista children are bussed to schools either in Bentonville, or Gravette school district.  This will matter as your daughter ages if you stay with Wal-Mart.  Less time on the bus means not having to get up so early. 
 
Hope all this helps with your very important career decision!
 
Dustie

Subject: Taxes and Utilities


 
Hi Dustie,
 
I love your website, it is so informative! We are interested in relocating to BV and was wondering if you could help me understand your personal property tax. I am trying to figure out what our two $20,000 cars and the $20,000 boat would be. The formula we used from the internet came out to be about $900 ea a year. Which I was hoping was wrong!  Is there a formula for the state and the city or are they combined?
 
What changes have taken place now that you are a city? What expenses can we expect to pay per year?
 
What do your utilities run you a month?
 
Thank you for info in advance. I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Kathy
 

Hi Kathy,

 
Thanks for the nice words about my website.  I'm glad it's helped inform you of our beautiful area a bit.
 
I ran your personal property numbers by my husband and he seemed to think that was quite high for two cars and a boat.  We don't have a city tax yet, but I presume we will eventually.  Right now all our personal property taxes are levied by Benton County.  Here is their phone number.  479-721-1033  You can give them a call and ask them the millage rate and formula for figuring personal property tax to find out for sure.
 
Our home is approx. 1750 sq. ft. and is 19 years old.  We replaced our
heat/air unit in 2007.  We are all electric.  Here in Bella Vista you are either
all electric of your on Propane.  There is no natural gas.

Below is our Average Utilities
 

Electric: 110.00 (replaced our heat/air unit in 2007)
Water/Trash: 35.00
Dish TV with dual DVR and Premium Channels: 120.00
Phone (unlimited long distance) + High Speed Internet: 75.00
Paper: 29.00/quarterly
Property Dues 24.00/Mo
 
Definitely manageable ;-)  Hope this helps!
 
Dustie Meads

Subject: Request For Information

Good Afternoon,

 I love your site on Bella Vista but I need hard copies so I can share with the family. We are planning a trip to your area to see the sites and  to also look for a place to retire.  Please, if you can share a home listing, tax chart, site seeing information and a local map we would appreciate the help. Thanks in advance for your help,

 Paul

 

Paul,

 

I'm sorry, but I don't have what you are requesting.  I've nothing in hard copy to mail out.  I just have the website.  I do have links on the site that will direct you to tax information by the State, and to the local Chamber of Commerce where you might also request information http://www.beautifulbellavista.com/links.htm

I suggest www.realtor.com for home listings in Bella Vista, or hook up with a Realtor.  There's a page of Realtors on my website at www.beautifulbellavista.com/realtors.htm

As for tourist information, On 71 highway (the main highway that runs through Bella Vista, across from Bella Vista Lake, is an Arkansas Tourist stop where you can get all sorts of flyers and other information about Arkansas.  If you arrive Mon - Friday during business hours you can stop at the POA (Property Owner's Association) and purchase a map of Bella Vista for 4.00.  Their office is right beside the Fire Station at the SW corner of 71 highway and Lanshire BLVD (highway 340).

Another idea would be to check www.bookfinder.com and look for two books, The Bella Vista Story and From Vision to Reality.  Both are very good books about Bella Vista history.   Both copies are available through the Bella Vista History Museum on 71 highway once you are in Bella Vista.

I hope all this has helped and sorry I don't have anything for you in hard copy.  I'm not a realtor, or government or anything.  I'm just an individual who loves Bella Vista and wanted to create a website like I would have liked to have found when I knew I'd be moving to Bella Vista, a site with informative unbiased information that other's might be able to use to learn a little more about our beautiful area.

I hope you enjoy your visit!

Dustie Meads

 

Good Morning,

Iíd like to make arrangements for 4 for Friday, September 5, 6th and 7th at your resort.  How much would it cost for two rooms and two days of golf?

Thank you,

Jennifer


Hi Jennifer,

Once upon a time, we used to be a resort, but we've grown up and now we are actually a city. There is a Bed and Breakfast here as well as townhouses and homes for rent by the day or week, but no actual resort.  You can check www.vacationrentals.com.  Many people from out of town who own property here list their property with vacation rentals to have them rent it out.  For the bed and breakfast just do a google search of Bed and Breakfast, Bella Vista, AR.

As for Golfing, you can check out the golf pages of www.bellavistapoa.com.  They are the group that takes care of the amenities in Bella Vista..the Property Owner's Association.  They oversee the golf course, lakes, club houses and other amenities in Bella Vista and their golfing pages has information about how to arrange for tee times and such.  So does vacation rentals if you go through them to book your stay.

Hope all this helps and you can get your trip to Bella Vista all worked out.

Dustie Meads

Original Message -----

From: Jerry and Gwendolyn

 

Hi Dusty,

My husband and I have visited northwest Arkansas and like the area.  We are thinking about retirement and places to live and we saw the ad on Bella Vista.  We are more interested in 2 to 5 acres and putting a manufactured home on it.  Do they sell this large of parcels?

Gwendolyn & Jerry


Hi Gwendolyn,

Although Bella Vista encompasses thousands of acres, and covers about 65 square miles, very few of the already plotted residential lots are more then an acre in size.  Plus, there are restrictions in place that don't allow manufactured housing or mobile homes.  You can call the Architectural Control Committee (see my page of phone numbers) to get a copy of the restrictions for building. 

For what it sounds like you are looking for, Bella Vista wouldn't be the place.   In fact, finding anyplace with 2 - 5 acres in Northwest Arkansas is going to be difficult.  Land here has really gone way up in the last couple of years.  Our daughter and son in law have some friends who had to go quite a distance out from Bella Vista to find a small fixer upper on two acres in the small town of Gravette and it cost them 115,000.

You pay the price here for living near a larger metropolitan area that is growing.  We love it in Bella Vista though.  Although we don't live on much acreage, there's plenty of woods and trees and the homes are set far enough apart that we don't feel like we're cramped in a subdivision with postage sized lots and having to live in carbon copy little boxes all in a row!

Hope this helps to answer your question. 

 

 

From: Sandra

Subject: Kayaking in Bella Vista

Hi Dustie,

I hope you're still managing your Beautiful Bella Vista website, because it's really informative, and a great service to those of us who want to know more about your lovely community.

I can see that fishing and golfing are two of the major activities there.  I don't do either of those, but I love kayaking.  Your lakes web page noted that no personal watercraft are allowed on any of the Bella Vista lakes.  I'm not sure what is considered a personal watercraft.  I own a home in BV, and am thinking of living in it when we retire.  So my question is, would a kayak be allowed on the lakes, or would it be considered a personal watercraft?  I'm hoping it's jet skis that are outlawed, and not canoes or kayaks.

I also noted that only property owners and their guests are allowed to use the lakes.  I wonder how the general public is denied access?  As a Bella Vista homeowner, would I be able to use any of the lakes? 

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Thanks,

Sandra

Hi Sandra,

Rest assured, no personal watercraft does mean jet skis.  Kayaks and canoes are totally allowed on the lakes, but you do have to purchase a yearly permit.  You can get that through the POA (Property Owners Association) and I'm not sure how much they cost.  Probably 20 - 25.00.  You also have to have a photo ID card, which any homeowner can get for 35.00 a year.    If you have guests they can use the lakes for free, but only if they are with a card carrying member.

We have a number of rangers who patrol the lakes to keep off non member's.  For the most part they do an excellent job. 

Hope this answer your questions.  Thanks for visiting my site and the nice things you said about it.

Dustie Meads

 

From: Linda

Subject: Taxes

What a wonderful website.  I have visited it all day and enjoyed every minute.  We have lived in the west (Las Vegas) for the past 50 years but are really tired of the heat and growing population.  We are looking for a place to spend the second half of our life.  I want cooler (not cold) weather and my husband wants fishing.  A big question I have about any move is the tax structure and cost of living.  These are things we have to be concerned with on retirement pay.  Can you give me the tax structure in Arkansas.  Local, county and state.  How are the property taxes in Bella Vista.  The big problem we have here is very high energy cost especially with summer heat.  Also, the drought is starting to get to me as I like to see some rain.  We haven't had any moisture since September 2006.  Thanks again for the website, I love what I have seen.  Linda


Hi Linda,

You might find Bella Vista more to your liking, however, we do have cold weather in the winter.  There's been days when it's hovered in the teens, although our winter averages are more like 45 degrees.  We've had really warm winter days too, but the norm is 40/50s winter weather.

Here's a site that has state tax, state sales tax and person property tax for Arkansas  http://metrolittlerockalliance.com/overview/economics/default.aspx AND another for Benton country taxes http://www.co.benton.ar.us/ 

In addition we pay 24.00 a month in Bella Vista to take care of the common grounds, lakes and golf, club houses and the like, along with fees for usage fees for the clubhouses, pools, tennis courts, etc.  Added to that will also be city taxes eventually, since we became an incorporated town about 6 months ago and I'm figuring that they will be about 200.00 a year (just a guess though)

Energy costs aren't bad...for the month of may for our 1700 square foot home it was 90.00 for our all electric home, plus 40.00 for water and trash. 

Hope this all helps.  Wish you the best on your decision!

Thanks for the nice words about my website and I think you should pay us a visit when you get the chance!

Dustie Meads

 

 

From: Sandi

 

Subject: Hope to be there soon!!!

Hi Dustie,

Thanks to your Web site, my husband and I have put our house up for sale, contacted a realtor and we are heading your way.  My husband retires next Friday and we have several people already interested in our home.  This is the most exciting time for us.  My husband and I have lived in California all of our lives.  We have both visited the Arkansas area but itís been over 30 years ago.  While being exciting itís also very scary.  We are taking a big chance, leaving all of our family and friends.  WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!!!!

We came to the horrible realization, months ago, that retiring in California would be next to impossible for us.  Our current house payment is $1,700 a month and utilities are through the roof. Neither of us care for the desert so that ruled out Arizona , Nevada and New Mexico Texas seems way to big and Oklahoma is to flat.  The next state over is Arkansas , so I started doing some research and that is when I found your site.

You make Bella Vista sound like Paradise !!!!!  I was worried about snakes, tornadoes and ice storms.  All of your FAQ addresses those fears and I sure appreciated reading your input to everyoneís questions.  We are looking forward to getting settled and meeting all the wonderful people you say are there.

 Sandi

Sandi,

That has got to be one of the best emails about my site that I've received!  How sweet of you to write and let me know how my site has helped you and your husband with your decision.  I don't think you'll be sorry...well, maybe in the winter when you're wishing for a warmer time, but there's so much to do here I think even winter will be fun most of the time.  You just have to get involved and stay busy..that's all there is to it!

I've a tip for you in the house hunting department.  This area was so hot for so long that builders just kept building and building and now the there are more houses then people moving in.  That's really good for you!  It's definitely a buyer's market so the keyword here is negotiate!  Don't be afraid to offer a good bit less on a home that you find you like. 

Also, keep in mind, you get a lot more for your money here homewise, so don't even try to compare the price of homes here vs the price of homes in California.  Be sure to see your fair share of homes and compare them with each other price wise.  If you compare them to California prices, then you're likely to buy the first home you see!  Keep looking until you walk into the one that is well within your retirement means, leaving you money left over for fun and savings!  Hopefully you'll find exactly the right home that fits financially and also screams BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME!  That's what our home did to me...I looked at 16 homes before I found our home..and because I'd looked at so many, I knew in an instant that this was the home I wanted, and I've never regretted it!

 

Oh yes, you'll live here so much better then you could have lived in California...there you would have been just making ends meet...here you'll be living well!  Well worth putting up with a bit of winter, wouldn't you say?  Yes, California is beautiful and the weather so nice......but you do pay for that, without a doubt. 

Leaving friends and family, now that's going to be the hard part.  One couple I know who moved here took care of some of that..they now have their best friends living here, right down the street from them!  Get your friends and family to visit and you might coax some of them this way themselves.

I hope it all works out for you and that you have a wonderful retirement here in Bella Vista, Arkansas!  Thanks again for taking the time to share with me how you enjoyed my site!  It made my day!

Dustie Meads

www.beautifulbellavista.com  

****************************

---- Original Message -----
From: maureen
Subject: BV

Good morning, I hope you are still available to answer ?!!!  I am working with an agent, but live on the east coast.  I canít quite understand the difference between east and west BV.  Some lots are flat, some are sloping.  I think I was told the east side has the sloping lots.  Also, LOTS of foreclosures.  Is this a bad sign?

Thanks, Maureen

Hi Maureen,
 
Bella Vista is 10 miles or so from east to west.  Highway 71, which is also Highway 540, is the main drag into Bella Vista from the North and the South, leading into Missouri in North Bella Vista (our closest Wal-Mart for shopping), and in the south into Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville, our major shopping spots.
 
This is where Bella Vista built up first, about 3 miles deep on both sides of the highway.  The Highlands was the last to be built.  That's where Cooper communities finished creating the last lake, Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Bella Vista, on the farthest west side of Bella Vista.  That's probably what you heard as West Bella Vista, although no one around here really calls it East and West Bella Vista.  That's called the Highlands, because that's what Cooper named it.
 
There's no doubt that the Highlands does have more flat vacant lots on which to build then the rest of Bella Vista, but they still have their share of sloping lots too.  The far west side has a good number of vacant flatter lots to build on too.  But you really have to scout around between the Highlands and the farthest East lots if you want a good flat lot on which to build.  Most the flatter lots in between the Highlands and the farthest east, have been built on, or are owned by the people who built on the lot beside them (like we own our house lot and the lot beside us and would never sell it).
 
Bella Vista is built in the Foothills of the Ozarks (from whence comes the Beautiful in beautifulbellavista.com), gently rolling hills and valleys, so many of the homes are on sloping lots.  It's not easy to visualize, it's not like they clinging to hillsides or anything like like that, at least most of them aren't. The disadvantage of living in the Highlands (a beautiful area with the largest lake) and to the furthest east of Bella Vista (not as populated with homes) is distance from 71 highway and major shopping.  Being in the Highlands can add as much as a half hour or more, depending where you are in the highlands, to your drive to movies, fine dining, great shopping, etc.
 
This will change when the 540 bypass goes in.  They are working on the first couple miles of the Bypass now and will be working on more of it as moneys become available..  no one knows when that will be, but when it happens though, reaching the west side of the Highlands will much easier and that area will probably experience quite a bit of growth.
 
As for foreclosures, most people don't know that Bella Vista is made up of a whopping 36,000 lots, approx 11,000 which are built on.  That leaves 25,000 lots in the hands of private owners, and probably 15,000, if not more of them, are owned by out of town owners who bought them back in the 70s/80s/90s, either as retirement lots, or for investments.  Well, being as how there were so many, they never made good investments.  Most are worth less today then when purchased, unless it's a Lake or Golf Course lot.  Many who bought to retire ended up not retiring here, some have died or simply gotten to old and the families are stuck with the lots.   And because there are so many, it's not easy for out of towners to sell their lots, yet, they still have to pay the 16.00/mo lot fee.  So, with the economy being so bad,  many just end not paying the monthly fee, causing the Property Owner's Association to take the lots back by foreclosure and selling them on the Courthouse steps.
 
Homes that are being foreclosed on are for the same reason that homes are being foreclosed on throughout the US. This was a hot area when the loan companies were loaning to anyone and everyone.  Many who did not have the means and where with all to buy a home in a normal lending market got in way over their heads for little or no money down with adjustable rate or deferred interest loans and now they simply can not afford the payments.  They've little choice but to walk away.  I think the lenders should have to pay for all the pain and suffering they caused by lowing their lending standards to such unsustainable levels, but that's another story all together.
 
So when the Foreclosures in the area are looked at in prospective, we're no more prone to foreclosures then anyplace else in the US who had hot fast growth for so long followed by a real estate plunge such as has not been seen in years. Coupled with the fact that we have 11,000 homes and 36,000 lots in Bella Vista, the number of foreclosures is in not unusual and in keeping with the times.
 
Well, hope that explains it all.  Anymore questions?  Just ask away,
 
Dustie

**********************************************

From: David 

Subject: land purchase question 

March 2007 ( update - still true 2010)


Hi

I am thinking about purchasing several plots of land in Bella Vista for speculation, I've read in some of your past answers that land prices are not rising, is this still the case? I've been told by some land sellers (located in Florida) that prices are increasing very quickly and I should be able to sell the land within 1 year at a decent profit, what's your opinion. Thanks  I like the website.. 

David 

Hi David,

Thanks to some of the companies both in Florida and in California, it is true that lot prices are now on the rise.  About everyone has received the letters from these companies offering 5,000 - 8,000 for their lots or asking the owners to name their prices.  So to answer your questions, no, it's no longer the case that lots aren't going up in value as it was last year and the years before that.  When they began to move, they began to move fast!  Now it's going to be hard to find lots that are a good value, since owners are hanging onto their lots more, local home owners are scrambling to buy lots that are next to them, builders are on the prowl, as are Real Estate companies interested in speculating.  Things are slowing down now, but lots are still being held tight.  If the market slowdown continues, then you may see lots settling down to more reasonable levels, but I wouldn't say now is the time to buy lots unless you can get good build able lots for under 8,000.

The sheer number of undeveloped lots (over 20,000) in Bella Vista (Bella Vista encompasses over 65 square miles), however, should keep lot prices down for the most part.  I'm afraid that many who bought lots from for $24,900.00 are going to be hard pressed to make a profit for sometime to come. There's just too many lots not built on. 

What is happening now is exactly what happened to the folks who bought $15,000 and $20,000 lots on speculation back in the 60's through the early 80s when Cooper was developing Bella Vista.  There were just so many lots (36,000 including the lots in the Highlands) that eventually the lots dropped in price drastically as the original owners got older and decided not to settle in the area after all.  No one could see the future then, or they would have never bought anything that wasn't on the lake or on the golf course.  

Just as no one can see the future now.  I do know that, unless I could purchase a good building lot for under 8,000, I wouldn't consider it to be a good investment!  And finding good lots would require you to almost be here hunting daily.  There are people out there who are making it their job to daily hunt out the lots and absentee owners of lots to try to buy their lots.  You've a lot of competition.  If you are an out of town buyer, you'd better plan to spend some time here or I'd not be buying.

Hope this helps some..keeping in mind this is just my opinion.  Real Estate investment is a speculative business and you have to be willing to go into it knowing there are no guarantees.  Just keep in mind, like anything else, if it sounds too good to be true....well, you know the saying.

Afterthought...beware because there are thousands of lots we call "membership lots"...lots too steep to even be built on, or are marginal for building, for sale.  I would not risk purchasing a lot in Bella Vista, site unseen, because of this.  If you're thinking of buying multiple lots, it's worth the cost of a flight and a rental car to fly in and check them all out!  Or hey, you can hire me to go and look at them for you.  I'll charge 35.00 per lot, paid in advance via Pay Pal.  I'll even take pictures!

Dustie Meads

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Nancy M.

Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 6:07 PM

Subject: Re: Motels locations

Could you please tell me how to find what motels are available in Bella
Vista - not Bentonville? I'd like names and phone numbers and websites (if
available).  I'm planning a fall trip for a small group and we are
considering spending the night near Bella Vista. The only lodging I saw on
any of your sites, links is a motel in Jane, MO. We'd prefer Arkansas - and
also a restaurant nearby.
Thanks, Nancy

 

Hi Nancy,

Good reason why you can't find any motels in Bella Vista.  There aren't any.  All the commercial property in the area is owned by Cooper Communities Inc. and, thus far, they've chosen not to have hotels or motels in Bella Vista.

You can rent homes and townhouses depending on availability through www.vacationrentals.com, but as far as the closest motel or hotel is the Booneslick Lodge just over the state line in Missouri.  It's only a mile from Bella Vista on highway 71.   There are many hotels in Bentonville and Rogers on highway 540 with easy access into Bella Vista too, ranging from 5 miles to 10 miles from Bella Vista.

Hope all this helps.  Oh, and there are only three restaurants in Bella Vista, all relatively small.  The country club at the Highlands and Metcalf do serve dinner though.  For full menu ideas you can contact the country clubs directly.  Phone numbers are on my phone number page.

If you are going to want restaurants nearby where you are going to be staying, however, you'll probably want to stay in one of the hotels in Rogers off 540.

 Hope all this helps!

Dustie

 

From: JERRY H.

Subject: Bella Vista

Hi Dustie,

Great website!   My wife and I are looking online for a retirement area to relocate to in about 18 mos.  We are considering Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas.  My in-laws used to live at Dawn Hill in Siloam Springs, so we like the area.  I play golf and Judy wants to live on a lake.  The larger lake at Bella Vista would probably be suitable.  We have no children, so we have always had pets.  Bella Vista seems to have everything we want.  However, I am a little concerned about enough newer retirees moving in to replace the older ones and keep Bella Vista going.  Since it was developed in 1965, I just hope that it continues to be a nice place to live.  For instance,  I noticed in the POA newsletter that a couple of eating places closed down due to lack of support.

I will continue to read updates in the newsletter, and hopefully we can get up there soon to tour the area.  By the way,  I am retired from a VA Hospital here in Temple.  Judy is in education and will retire in 18 mos.

Any info would be appreciated.  Thanks,

Jerry and Judy 

Hi Jerry!

You've asked the number one question on everyone's minds.  Wish we could all see the future.  We have about 17,000 residents today with over 60% of them still retirees.  We've no idea how many younger folks are moving into the area since no one keep track of those who come and those who go and their ages.  It's obvious that there are many more working families then before in the Village, but how many more is anyone's guess.

Using our neighborhood to gage and my daughter's neighborhood, the ration is still heavily stacked in favor of retirees.  On my daughter's street of 8 homes, they are the only young ones on the block.  On our street of 12 homes only 2 are occupied by working couples with grown kids.

The closing of the restaurants is due to the fact that there's so much to do around here.  Bella Vista is close to Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville, meaning we have all the amenities of any large metropolitan area.  Competition for everyone's dollar is stiff, and it's been difficult for restaurants here in Bella Vista to compete.   Everyone wants the proximity to the larger cities, but it does come at a cost and that cost is some of the facilities closer to home can't compete.  We just aren't an all inclusive resort like Cherokee Village and some other retirement communities who are a great distance away from any "city".  But most of us love being close to larger cities...we feel we've the best of both worlds. 

That's also the reason younger people are moving to the area though...so it's a double edged sword.  Most everyone here really loves it though, and golf courses and the lakes are definitely why!

 

Hope this helps!

Dustie Meads


----- Original Message -----

From: Ron

Subject: population division or density


I have read your FAQ site and it seems to me I remember information that
71 runs through BV and that east of 71 is more hill country, and as I
understand it, west of 71 would be flatter (in general) and probably
where most the golf courses and lakes are located.  My question is have
I gotten the picture right, and is the east side less populated or are
the homes more distant from each other because of the hilly nature of
the area?

We will probably be coming back there later this year to look and we
would be interested in the least populated area or with more space
between homes.  We are not isolationists but having lived most of our
lives in California, where homes are much too close together, we would
now like some space.

Hi Ron, 

Good Memory..the west side is flatter, but not by a whole lot.  Both sides within a couple miles of 71 are pretty populated..then the further out you get the less populated.  2 of the Golf courses are on the East side, the rest on the West.  4 of the Lakes on the east with 3 on the west.

The hills around here do not make homes more distant from each other.  It's amazing how they can put homes on these hillsides.  We are looking at foothills of the Ozarks here though.  Go further east and you'll see hills where you could never put houses, along with breathtaking scenery.  We don't have that here in Bella Vista, or the homes would be very distant from each other.

You'll have to come back to visit...it's probably grown up a lot since you've seen it last. 

Dustie

 



-----
Original Message -----

From: Heidi 

Subject: Bella Vista residents


My husband and I could potentially be moving to NWA and I am interested in
Bella Vista.  We are in our 30's and have a 1.5 year old and another due in
September.  Can you tell me is it still considered a retirement community?
Are there lots of kids around to play with?

Thanks for all your info on your site.  It was very helpful.
Heidi 

Hi Heidi,

No, we are not just a retirement community anymore.  There are more and more young people moving in...however, we are still predominantly retirement age.  I don't know how long it will take the tide to turn in favor of families.  You will be outnumbered by us old fogies.

 

My daughter lives one mile from us and has a 5 month old and worries about friends for her to play with when the time comes.  Homes are on large lots and there are few sidewalks, so visiting other kids will be a challenge.  They will be starting the first elementary school in Bella Vista, slated to open for the 2007 school year, but I'm betting 2008, so that says the children population is certainly growing, but is it growing fast enough to suit your family... only you can tell I'm afraid. 

 

My daughter and son in law were willing to give up the "kids next door" to have the large yards and safer neighborhood for their daughter, and being only a mile away from grandma who is more then willing to baby-sit whenever needed helped make up her mind too.  ;-)

 

Hope this helps you out some... for more in depth information about Bella Vista check out the FAQ pages of my site.  You'll find questions that have been asked for the last three years by visitors and my answers.  Your question will join the ranks at the next update! 

Dustie Meads


----- Original Message -----

From: Mar

Subject: Questions about Bella Vista

My husband and I have enjoyed reading your e-mails and would like to ask a couple questions we haven't seen addressed. Currently we live in Florida but we are thinking about relocating to the Bella Vista area in order to be closer to family and also partly because we believe the cost of living may be less there. We enjoy an active lifestyle in our retirement community and we love meeting new people. We know that BV would have the same friendly atmosphere, and that appeals to us.

Recently the home insurance premiums have risen by three times in our area. For example a $200,000 home will now have premiums of $2500 to $3000 annually. Would you say the rates in your area are less than that? 

Is there anything you might tell us about septic vs. sewer? Is there a compelling reason to choose one over the other. I would assume a home with sewer would generally be higher in price? 

We know about the beauty and climate of your area because we nearly chose BV when we retired 9 years ago. We would certainly spend time there in search of a home; your idea of a month or two makes good sense. I am an avid bicyclist and suspect that there would be limited opportunities in the BV area? (Sorry, I'm not into mountain biking!) Maybe I'll need to find another sport? Are there indoor swimming pools and fitness centers?  

Is high speed internet available there? We're both computer oriented and have enjoyed being on DSL through Verizon for $14.95 a month...a bargain, I'm sure. If you don't have DSL, how much is Cable? 

Enough of my rambling. You certainly provide a wonderful service. Thanks in advance for your help. We'll look forward to meeting you in person when we come that way next month.

Sincerely,

Mar

Hi Mar,

Taxes on our 170,000.00 home are around 850.00/yr and insurance is around 500.00/yr.  So taxes and insurance is less then half your insurance alone.  OUCH!  No wonder your shopping around.

Sewer is going to cost a bit more, but you're not going to have much of a choice if you search homes that are only on sewer.  I think that includes some of the newer townhouses, but few homes.  Nearly all home in Bella Vista do not have access to sewer and are therefore on septic.  Take care of your septic and it won't be a problem...put yeast in the stools one every couple of months, have the septic pumped every 10 years or so...etc.  We've been on septic most our married lives and have never had a problem.

 Bella Vista has the Walking trail around the Bella Vista lake that you can also bike on..it's a circle and is 1.8 miles around.  It's flat.  Nearby Bentonville has also built some wonderful concrete sidewalk trails you can ride on.  I don't think you'll have trouble finding places to ride in the area, even if you aren't into mountain biking.  There is one indoor swimming pool in Bella Vista in the Highlands. There are three clubhouses with workout and weight rooms and Roidan Hall and Metfield have outdoor swimming pools open through the summer.  Branchwood in the highlands, the club with the indoor swimming pool, also has a hot tub, two racquet ball courts and a workout room with great equipment.  Only problem is..if you live on the east side of Bella Vista it's a good 10 mile drive almost.  There are a number of gyms in both Bentonville and Rogers, easy driving distances from Bella Vista..

We have both DSL (in most places) and Cable.  Cable is 39.95 and DSL is 29.95 I think.  No problem with high speed internet.  The furthest out, like far west highlands, you may not be able to get DSL but you should always be able to get cable.  To be sure though, check with your Realtor before you buy in a particular area.

 

 


 

Subject: <no subject>

Hi Dustie,
You do have a beautiful site. I'm new to the area and I like to keep up with current events and local happenings and such. What seems to be the best source for the state and national goings-on and the local as well? Is there a preference in the community between the local papers?

Thanks,
Susan

Hi Susan,

Thanks for visiting my site and for the nice thoughts about it.  My favorite paper is the Democrat Gazette.  My husband and I tried both papers in the area, the Democrat Gazette and the Daily Record, and we both preferred how the DG was laid out and the coverage, both local, state and national, was handled.   If you request it, you can get both papers for one week delivered to you so you can decide which you prefer.  That's what my husband did.  I didn't believe it would work, but it did.

Online be sure to bookmark www.nwanews.com.  It's the online version of the Democrat Gazette, as well as all our local papers, including the Bella Vista Weekly.

Welcome to the area and I hope you continue to find joy in living here!  Life would be so dismal if happiness were not a part of it.

Dustie Meads

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(UPDATE: 2009  The answer below was before the housing crash in 2008. Lots and housing prices have gone way down and both the companies that were speculating by buying lots in Bella Vista went out of business here.  Lots are all in the hands of private owners now, and are quite affordable if you can contact the owners.  The POA website allows owners to list their lots for sale so you might want to check them out if you are in the market for a lot.  Local Realtors all have lots listed to by out of town buyers.  Check my Realtor page if you are interested in lots and give some of them a call.)

Subject: land purchase

I am thinking about purchasing several plots of land in Bella Vista for speculation, I've read in some of your past answers that land prices are not rising, is this still the case? I've been told by some land sellers (located in Florida) that prices are increasing very quickly and I should be able to sell the land within 1 year at a decent profit, whats your opinion. Thanks  I like the website.. David 

Hi David,

Thanks to some of the companies both in Florida and in California, it is true that lot prices are now on the rise.  About everyone has received the letters from these companies offering 5,000 - 8,000 for their lots or asking the owners to name their prices.  So to answer your questions, no, it's no longer the case that lots aren't going up in value as it was last year and the years before that.  When they began to move, they began to move fast!  Now it's going to be hard to find lots that are a good value, since owners are hanging onto their lots more, local home owners are scrambling to buy lots that are next to them, builders are on the prowl, as are Real Estate companies interested in speculating.  Those companies have brought Bella Vista back to life, for a time anyway.

 

The sheer number of undeveloped lots (over 20,000) in Bella Vista, however, I think will slow things back down after a few years, and many who bought lots from these California and Florida companies for $24,900.00 are going to be hard pressed to make a profit for sometime to come. There's just too many lots not built on. 

 

What is happening now is exactly what happened to the folks who bought $15,000 and $20,000 lots on speculation back in the 60's through the early 80s when Cooper was selling lots and developing Bella Vista.  There were just so many lots (36,000 including the Highlands built in the 1980s) that eventually the lots sold dropped in price drastically until you could purchase a lot from an absentee buyer who decided not to settle here for a fraction of what they paid.  No one could see the future then, or they would have never bought.  Just as no one can see the future now.  I do know that, unless I could purchase a good building lot (and many of them here in Bella Vista are not good building lots) for under 10,000, I wouldn't consider it to be a good investment myself!  And finding good lots would require you to almost be here hunting daily.  There are people out there who are making it their job to daily hunt out the lots and absentee owners of lots to try to buy their lots.  You've a lot of competition.  If you are an out of town buyer, you'd better plan to spend some time here or I'd not be buying.

 

Hope this helps some..keeping in mind this is just my opinion.  Real Estate investment is a speculative business and you have to be willing to go into it knowing there are no guarantees.

Dustie Meads


( WEATHER UPDATE WINTER 2006 - This was the warmest and the dryest winter on record here in Northwest Arkansas for over 100 years!  We only ran our fireplace 3 evenings.  Finally did have a snow though, and I was able to sled down my hill...been waiting to do that since I purchased a sled at a garage sale the summer after our first winter when we had a 20" snow (2003) 

Subject: Trip

My wife and I would like to take the trip to Bella Vista to visit the area.  We saw the ad on Television and being avid golfers and looking for retirement property we thought this would be a great place.

Let me know how we make the arrangements to fly down for the visit.

Thank you

Jerry W.

Hi Jerry,

I'm sorry but you found the wrong website but maybe I can help you out a bit.   My site is just a personal site I built to let people know a bit more about Bella Vista if they were thinking of moving here.   We moved here three years ago and when we did we couldn't find anything on the net that really told us about the area.  We wanted to find a For Sale by Owner home and couldn't find any of those on the net either.  So we took a couple weeks and came down here, staying with my daughter, while checking the area out.

After we found what we wanted, I decided to embark on building a website that other's might enjoy and use to learn more about the area.  I don't sell property or real estate, nor do I recommend specific Realtors or Organizations.  I say shop around...many Realtors in the area sell lots and homes in Bella Vista, at all range of prices...starting at around 4,000 for building lots and going up from there, with the medium new home in the area costing around 160,000 and going up from there.

There are also older homes in Bella Vista, under 150,000 but they are less numerous and smaller homes in the older areas of Bella Vista.

Property on the lakes can cost much more...up to half a million dollars if you want a great home on Loch Lomond, the largest of the lakes.  We purchased our three bedroom two bath 1760 square foot home overlooking Lake Rayburn (not on the lake though) for 145,000 three years ago.  It's probably worth around 165,00 today.  It's in a beautiful neighborhood of more expensive homes but it's a charming home, and we didn't want to build.  It's the home that is pictured on my sites logo.  We love it.

The outfit that offers the weekend trips to Bella Vista and is doing the commercials, I think, only sell lots.  These are lots that they have bought and are reselling.  I supposed that would be a way to go if you couldn't get here to spend a couple weeks like we did, in order to find a nice home or lot.  Either that, or hook up with a Realtor that would really work for you.

I do think that, if you hunted on your own, you can still find really pretty lots here in Bella Vista for around 10,000.00 or so.  Originally there were 36,000 lots in Bella Vista.  Sometime in the 1990's the very last lot was sold except for lots and lands Cooper communities wanted to maintain control of themselves (they were the developers of Bella Vista).  All the other lots are in private hands, and often come up for sale.  Half the owners of the lots are absentee owners who bought in the 70's and 80's and have hung onto their lots hoping to retire here someday or hoping that lots would get back up to the price they originally paid ( 15,000 - 25,000).  Lot prices are going up...when we moved here you could buy a good lot for around 5,000... in three years, thanks to outfits like the one offering the free weekend trips, lots have gone up in value.  They are buying up as many as they can find, as are builders and other investors.  They are on the right track...Northwest Arkansas is growing by leaps and bounds and our area is expected to double in population within 10 years.  That means Bella Vista will be approx. 40,000 people!  By then I'm guessing we won't be able to stay an unincorporated village and will have to become a city, with a city government and all that entails. 

Nice thing about Bella Vista, though...because most the homes are on Septic most the lots are really large and surrounded by beautiful treed areas and rolling hills.  We are, after all, built in the beautiful hills of the Ozarks and we do have lovely golf courses and lakes.  We won't remain all retirees...many younger folks are moving in the area.  My daughter and her husband with our 3 month old granddaughter had a home built only a mile from us.  We are an easy commute to Bentonville (home of Wal-Mart) and Rogers, so we are becoming a bedroom community for the yuppy generation too.  There's even an Elementary School in the works, to be built by 2007.  We have an estimate 2300 children in Bella Vista. 

Bella Vista covers a lot of ground, 16 miles across from east to west and 4 miles deep from North to South.  Plenty of room for young and old alike.   We are still over 65% seniors...but the numbers are changing.  I still think this is a lovely place to live...close to shopping and other amenities...golf and fishing opportunities abound..clubhouses and tons of groups to join..art club, bridge club, welcome club, veterans clubs, history club, etc, etc....

I love it here in Bella Vista, as so most everyone I know who lives here.  You want to check out the neighborhood you want to live in....ours is almost primarily seniors and is on a dead end so we like that.  Talk to the neighbors where you are thinking about buying...get a feel for the area..things like that, and I think you will be glad of the choice you made.

Now, to check out that organization that offers the weekend trips to Bella Vista.  We first saw Bella Vista by taking a Weekend trip that was being offered back in the 1980s by the original developers, Cooper Communities.  We didn't buy then, as we weren't sure of what we wanted to do when we retired.  We just wanted the free trip ;-).  Little did we know we were going to end up in Bella Vista, after all, because our son in law got transferred with the phone company to work in Rogers.  We wanted to be closer to them so ended up moving here 20 years after our free weekend trip.  Glad we didn't buy back then though...we love where we are now and this house wasn't even thought of at the time.  Of course, we should have bought a lot on the lake or a prime lot on a golf course, but even then they were pretty expensive!  Would have been good investments though!  Oh well...If we had bought that perfect lake lot and 1000 shares of Wal-Mart stock and we'd have our mansion on the lake today!

I did a search and found the link to the site that you were looking for when you found BeautifulBellaVista.com.

It's http://www.buybv.com   Enjoy your trip!

Dustie Meads


Subject: Bella Vista mini-trip. 

Hi Dustie,

I'm enjoying your web site.

My wife and I live in NW Iowa and want to retire in AR.  Last summer we vacationed with our RV in the Hot Springs area, and decided it's not for us.  We have scheduled a mini get-away for Feb 9-12th.  We'll spend the 9th and 12th as driving days which only leaves Fri and Sat, 10th & 11th, for a quick get-acquainted trip with the Bella Vista community.  I've been in touch with a few realtors to see what they can do for me during that time, but like to keep my options open. 

Do you have any ideas or suggestions on various realtors?   Any that you would recommend above the others?  What about places to stay for a couple nights?  Inn of B.V. ?  B&B's ?

We also have a 5th wheel RV.  I understand there are RV lots available for sale or lease somewhere, is that correct?  I read $500 - $600. 

Would you even consider looking at property outside Bella Vista?  Pros ----  Cons ---.   Maybe a visit will give us some answers.

I look forward to your reply.  We have a little Pomeranian who is one of the family.  We, too, would never give him up.

Thanks.

John & Carol

Hi John and Carol!

I do wish I could recommend a good Realtor, but I'm afraid I can't.  I think a good Realtor would be one that knows the area well and is one that you get along with well.  I do have some Real Estate Companies listed on my site.  It's a service I offer, free of charge, to any Realtors who do at least 50% of their business in Bella Vista, so you might want to check out their websites. Then I'd suggest you interview an agent from each agency and see if you feel more comfortable with one vs another. 

You'll also want to do a search of Bella Vista Arkansas Real Estate in Google and check out any of the agencies that come back in the search top 10 or 15 links and interview those that have good websites.

Look for an agent that is net savvy since you are from out of town.  You'll want pictures and such sent to you and communicating through Email will keep you in touch with what's going on.

As for RV sites, we do not have any of those for sale in Bella Vista, however, there is an RV area where RV's can rent space here, and some have long term leases. In fact, if you own a home in Bella Vista, you can't keep your RV at your home.  It has to be stored out of site.  There are a few homes that have built really large garages to house their RV's, but that's an expensive solution.  Most who own RV's usually store them at an RV/Boat storage facility.  You can keep your RV at your home for up to 7 days before and after a trip, to load and unload, but that's all.  The majority of time both Boats and RV's have to be stored out of site, either on your property or elsewhere.  If you have an RV and you decide to retire in this area (which, by the way, I think will be a wise choice over Hot Springs) then I'd suggest you come and stay in the RV park until you are familiar with the area and then make the decision on where to buy.

There is only one Bed and Breakfast in Bella Vista that I know of.  I've heard it's nice.  You can find it by googling Bed and Breakfast Bella Vista Arkansas I'll bet.  There are many homes are on the vacation Rental program also.  Some own a second home here and when they are not using it, they put it on the vacation rental program.  You can go to http://www.bellavistavacationrentals.com/ and check with them on availability of rentals that would work for you.  You can also stay in one of the many hotels in Bentonville or Rogers right off I-540.  They are easy access into Bella Vista.  Just search the net for an affordable one.  Be sure you've quick access to 540.

If you've not already done so, be sure to read my FAQ pages for many questions asked by various folks and my answers.  It will help you learn a lot about this area.

As for hunting outside of BV...might be an option, but for the money and amenities and things to do and still being close to shopping and all, I'd say you can't beat Bella Vista.

Hope all this helps!

Dustie Meads

www.beautifulbellavista.com

Wow...now that I call a small world.   How fascinating!  I know my daughter and son in law are going to be very interested in visiting your website and learning what they can so they can share it with Makenzie when she's old enough to wonder about her family history.  I checked the webpage and you have a Jasper Ivan Kanable who died in 1965 and says he died in Neosha (I suspect they meant Neosho) Missouri.  Gavin's grandfather on his father's side still lives in Neosho, Missouri.  It's going to be interested to know if he might be related to Jasper.  Very small world indeed.  Little miss Makenzie Kanable is asleep in her bassinet over here as I write this.  Nana and Papa are babysitting tonight.  She's 3 months old and the joy of all our lives, that's for sure!

Now, as for knowing a Realtor I can recommend...I really ought to go to Real Estate school here in Arkansas and get my license.  I was a Realtor in Joplin, Missouri when I discovered the internet in 1996.  Needless to say, I became hopelessly hooked, created www.realestateclipart.com and promptly changed careers from active Realtor to creating graphics and websites.  You aren't the first, however, to ask me to recommend a Realtor here in Bella Vista.  Alas..I'm not motivated to go out and work as hard as a committed Realtor works.  I did that for 5 years and don't miss it at all.  

I do wish I could recommend a great Realtor, but I really don't know that many Realtors in the area, and the ones I do, I don't know well enough to recommend.  What I suggest when people ask is to check my Realtor pages... I do have a page that I allow Realtors to link from if they do at least 50% of their business in Bella Vista.  Many Realtors in the area specialize in Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, etc..and add Bella Vista to the list although they don't do much business out here.  Bella Vista is large and extensive and unless someone is really familiar with it, you aren't going to get fair representation.  So be sure that your Realtor is very familiar with Bella Vista.  Also, you want to choose a Realtor who is web savvy.  If you are going to be dealing long distance, then knowledge on how to use the internet to send you images and info is going to be invaluable.  So pick a Realtor who has a good knowledge of email and has a website, or at least their office has a good website.  Last, interview any potential realtor and choose one you feel comfortable with.  If you are serious about finding a home in the area, I'd suggest you sign a buyer's agency agreement with a Realtor so you know they are working entirely for you.  Buyer's agency doesn't have to cost you anything (just require that the sellers pay the fees, which they usually do anyway) and will assure the agent you are working with that you are committed to them and they, in turn, will be very committed to you!  You can include a clause that their commission only covers home listed through a Realtor, and excludes for sale by owner homes, in case you should find a home on your own on the net. 

These are all my suggestions for choosing a realtor.  If you do a google search you can most likely find a list of questions you should ask any potential buyer's agent before you settle on one to help you.  Hope all this has been helpful and good luck to you!  Hope the weather is nice the day you visit.  You might want to stop at the POA office and purchase a Bella Vista map.  You can get clear directions to the POA office by visiting their website at www.bellavistapoa.com .  Drive Save and enjoy your stay in Branson!


----- Original Message -----

From: Roger and Wilma

Subject: Bella Vista

Hi Dustie

We found your website beautifulbellavista.com a few days ago. It is very well done and very informative.

We have been talking about relocation and Bella Vista is at the top of our list. We will be in Branson in late March and plan to visit Bella Vista for a day. Do you have any suggestions for a Real Estate Broker to contact?

We may be a relative of your favorite Grand Child. We are related to everyone with this name. The following website is part of our family tree and may help your children determine how we all fit in the family.

They can contact us if they are interested in more information.

Thanks

Roger and Wilma
Lincoln NE

 


Subject: Questions


Hi, Dusty,

Last fall we visited BV for a week. Based on that experience plus having many times visited relatives who lived in Rogers, we're interested in relocating to your area. We have some questions which we hope you can answer. First, the water issue and secondly school districts. Although our children are grown, we want to consider resale value when we make a purchase.  What are the hot areas and areas to avoid in the Village? What do you think we should know about the area that would affect our decision to live there?

Thanks for your help, Dustie.

 

Hi Julia,

You are very smart to consider resale on any home you buy and schools will make a difference to those that have children.

There are two rules of thought...some think being in the Bentonville districts is more desirable since they have a much larger district and some very nice amenities for after school activities, such as a great football stadium, the Arend Art's Center and more.  Bentonville has money and they pour it into the school system.

The other school system is Gravette.  A nice small town system, a more personal school experience. 

It's a matter of what you want I guess...I think push comes to shove though, being in the Bentonville district is going to be more desirable to those buying with children.

I can't really tell you which are the hot areas to buy in...they are all good I think.  Just the school districts may make a difference, but many beautiful homes over in the highlands are going up and selling well and they are all in the Gravette school district.  Many beautiful homes are going up in the rest of Bella Vista, also.  The East side is closer to shopping then the Highlands.  Living in the highlands is going to ad anywhere from 20 - 35 minutes to your drive into the Bentonville/Rogers/Fayetteville areas but that may change in 5 - 10 years with the addition of a highway bypass going in on the west side of Bella Vista.  The bypass should make the Highlands very desirable and property values might go up faster there then on the East side once the bypass is in.  

It's really going to be a matter of where you find the nicest lot or the nicest home..one that speaks to you and says...HERE'S WHERE YOU BELONG!

You might want to jump back to my site and read all the FAQ's.  They are emails questions I've been asked in the last couple of years and my answers.  You'll learn a lot as I'm sure many had some of the same questions as you.

As for Water..we are all on City water..no wells.

Hope this all helps and MERRY CHRISTMAS from Beautiful Bella Vista!

Dustie Meads

www.beautifulbellavista.com


(This is not actually a question/answer, but it was such an expressive letter about a visit to Bella Vista I thought I'd include it here for you to read.)

Hi Dustie,

I just got back from visiting with friends in Bella Vista Village and I too fell in love with this beautiful untouched state of Arkansas. I belong to the Highlands of Scotland and emigrated to Newfoundland in 1978 with my daughter and husband, part of my heritage being there. The reason I felt the way I did about Bella Vista was that it could be part of the North East of Scotland, the rolling treed hills and everything so green...just awesome, of course that is why there are so many Scottish names in the area...I guess. I know my husband would like it here also as he loves golfing, so hopefully when we retire in the near future we will return to Bella Vista and stay awhile in your RV park, I had a tour of it and liked what I saw, so peaceful and clean, an ideal spot to rest awhile.....I'm sure you would agree with that one.

While on my visit we went to Eureka Springs, another beautiful place, the country side just so pretty not a bit like I anticipated, also drove to Little Rock, visited Fayetteville, Bentonville, Pea Ridge National Park that was so interesting, not knowing too much about American history.

Some day please God my husband and I will return when we have the time to do these things and be able to enjoy your beautiful Bella Vista Arkansas.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Cunningham


Subject: Re: Weather


DUSTIE,  MY WIFE & I ARE INTERESTED IN MOVING TO YOUR PART OF ARKANSAS PERHAPS IN 2 TO 3 YRS WHEN I RETIRE.  WE WILL BE VISITING NEXT SPRING TO CHECK IT OUT IN PERSONÖ.IT LOOKS GREAT ON THE INTERNET !  I AM TOTALLY A CALIFORNIA BOY.  WHAT'S THE TRUE "SKINNY" ON THE HUMIDITY IN THE SUMMER & DO ANY TORNADOS EVER COME CLOSE ?  I HERE HORROR STORIES ABOUT THE HUMIDITY IN SOME STATESÖ.DO SOME CALIFORNIANS MOVE THERE & THEN LEAVE BECAUSE OF THE  HUMIDITY ?  I SUSPECT BECAUSE OF YOUR HILLS & MOUNTAINS THAT TORNADOS SKIP YOUR PART OF THE STATE.  HOW MUCH RAIN DID YOU FOLKS GET FROM HURRICANE RITA ?  I APPRECIATE ANY INFO YOU CAN PASS MY WAY.    DOUG 

Hi Doug,

Hardly any rain..less then an inch, from Hurricane Rita.  Very few tornados ever hit this region and the ones that have are mostly small ones.  You'll find a chart on the weather page of my site that charts the tornados from the 1950's on.  Because of the annual rainfall and the lakes and rivers in the area we have a high enough humidity rate that forest fires are not at all a problem.  We do have more humidity then California..but nothing like Florida, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana, humidity like that.  There are summer days where you are trapped indoors by the heat and humidity, but the nights are usually cool enough to open windows if you don't have allergies.

From what I can tell, with Hurricanes in the Southeast, Florida and the southern Atlantic coast, Drought and water troubles in the Southwest, Earthquakes and Mudslides and Fires in California, Snow and Cold in the North, high costs of living in Hawaii, the Northeast and the Colorado Rockies, Tornado's in the Midwest, I'd say that BELLA VISTA, ARKANSAS IS THE safest place in the US to live!

 

Dustie


DUSTIE,  I'VE EMAILED YOU BEFORE & YOU HAVE BEEN QUITE HELPFUL WITH YOUR INFORMATION.  HERE'S TWO MORE QUESTIONS FOR YOU.  MY WIFE'S FRIEND'S BROTHER LIVES IN BELLA VISTA.  THEY MENTIONED THE NOISY TREE FROGS & ICE STORMS.  SOOOOO, HOW OFTEN DUE YOU HAVE ICE STORMS ?  HOW DO THEY AFFECT THE DAILY LIFE THERE & FOR HOW LONG ?  WHAT KIND OF PROPERTY DAMAGE DO THEY CREATE FOR THE AVERAGE HOMEOWNER ?  ARE THE ROADS UNDRIVEABLE FOR LONG ?  AND,  TREE FROGS ?   THANKS, DOUG

 

Hi Doug,

I had to laugh over your email.  Tree Frogs too noisy?  Well, I guess if you are from somewhere that has no tree frogs...  We do have our tree frog chorus that plays for us throughout the summer evenings.  I actually love listening to the tree frogs myself, so guess it's a matter of who you are and where you are from.  You rarely see them though, unless you have a very bright porch light and leave it on all evening.  A few might find it's a great place to catch bugs since the light draws them.

The real noisy culprits around here, and your friend might have mistaken their chorus for tree frogs, is the Cicadas (tree locust is a common name).  They live 17 years as larva in the soil (great fishing bate) and crawl out, crawl up a tree and shed their skin and go looking for a mate.  Now they get really loud.  Some years they are more numerous then others.  This year they weren't numerous at all.  Both they and the tree frogs are harmless creatures of the night though and good for the environment.

As for ice storms..there was one a few years ago, before we moved here, that was pretty serious.  Trees and power lines down with power out for a week or so to some neighborhoods.  But I've been in the Midwest for 25 years and have only ever been in one serious ice storm..that was back in the 80's in Kansas City.  Broke half our trees and it was a big job to clean up after.  We were without power for 5 days too.  Ice storms can happen, but they are very rare.

Hope that answers your questions.  ;-)

Dustie


Subject: Question about pets


Hi Dustie,

 

We have a friend who lives in Bella Vista, and based upon Realtor.com and their comments, we interested in moving to Bella Vista.  However, we have two small dogs and three indoor cats.  Would that be a problem as far as CC&Rs or county restrictions?  We are planning check out Bella Vista (without the pets) in May and check out the area and homes.  Then we would come home and start getting our home ready to sell here in California.  We currently have a beautiful home, and live in a great area of California, 1 hour from Lake Tahoe, but we just cannot afford to retire here.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Rita,

That is exactly the same worry I had when looking at moving here.  My husband and I almost divorced over the fact that he didn't want to bring our two large dogs with us..he wanted to put them in the humane society!  It would have been over my dead body (he's not really a dog person and I've managed to sneak 4 dogs into our family).  He was worried that all the retiree's here would be bothered by pack of canines.

Well, it was either take us all, or take none of us and start dividing the furniture and the bank accounts (it was the money issue that got to him.  It was cheaper to take me with him, dogs and all, rather then pay me off.)  We need not have worried though...turns out every other home on the block here has a pet, many with multiples.  Bella Vista loves it's pets!  No restrictions that I'm aware of...not by Bella Vista's POA or by the County.

If you own a home 1 hour from Lake Tahoe, then you'll be able to move here and live like royalty!  We have a large population of Californians!  I'd say 1 out of every 3 people moving here are from California.  You'll love it here, I'm betting!  So come on down and bring the critters!  You'll be more then welcome!

Dustie


Dustie,

Thank you so much for you informative website.  My husband and I are
planning on retiring in six years and Bella Vista is on our list of places
we want to check into.

We are going to be in the area (Seneca, MO) in August of this year and
would like to spend a night or two in Bella Vista.  Can you recommend a
hotel?

Thanks again for all the information you have provided.

Rebecca

Rebecca,

How fun, traveling around checking out retirement areas.  We don't have any
hotels here in Bella Vista, but do have a lot of condo's that rent out, and
houses.  You can visit www.bellavistavacationrentals.com and see what might
be available.  Tell them you visited beautifulbellavista.com and I
recommended them, will you?  I'm trying to get them to link to my website.
;-)

We also have a bed and breakfast here in Bella Vista.  If it's in your
budget, you'll love staying there I'm sure.  Just search Google for bed and breakfast Bella Vista, AR
There are a number of hotels in Bentonville and Rogers, about a 10 - 15
minute drive on Interstate 540 that should also be on the itnternet.

I hope you have a great time on your trip!

Dustie Meads
www.beautifulbellavista.com


(another email from Sharon)

Hi Dustie,

 

Thank you so much for the info.  I pictured BV as Medusa, with the snakes coming out of her head to almost every town nearby.  The snakes were Interstate Hwys though.  The info on the web made it sound as if you had to get on the highways, with a good GPS system in the car, just to get a loaf of bread. 

Long stretches, with lots of traffic, have always scared me to death.  I hardly drive here, as the accidents are so bad.  It's doubtful that I'll suddenly become Evil Kneival at my age (sixty five next month).  Is the usual traffic, around town, slow?  I love S L O W.

Thanks again for the great site and the info. 

Sharon

P.S.  I was SO happy that you said you didn't see the poisonous snakes.  I pictured them coming through the a/c vents, up through the sink, and living in the kitchen cabinets.  EEK!  Poor Jon was planning to spend the first year, putting rodent fences around everything.  If I sound totally neurotic, it's because I am of course.  You'll probably think twice about getting together. ha  (Lordy!  Hope this isn't going on your website.  Hate to think I'd be a "marked woman".)

LOL...snakes coming out the air conditioning ducts would scare me, and I'm not even afraid of snakes.  I think your chances of coming across a poisonous snake are greater in Los Vegas because the desert is the home of a couple nasty species of Rattlesnakes and Vegas suburbs are creeping out into their habitat.

I'd like to say that traffic is slow here..but of course it's not always. I'll bet it's slower then Vegas.  A lot less drunk driving too I'm guessing.  Speed limits on the Bella Vista roads is around 35 mph and most (not all) adhere to that, but get on 71 highway..the main North/South corridor, and it's 45 through the business district of Bella Vista (where the Bank, grocery store, strip malls, dairy queen, sonic, movie theater, soon to be Walgreen's and Lowes, is) and 55 mph going North beyond that area.   The trick is not to pull out onto 71 from any street that doesn't have a light.  You'll need to learn the round about ways to get onto 71 rather then the most direct route from your house, unless that route has a light. That's what we all do.  Catch a light and you are fine right into Bentonville..average speed is probably around 40 mph.

Unfortunately the humane society is north...and traffic is 55 that way for a couple of miles, then it slows again as you get into Missouri because of traffic lights.  They just built a new Wal-Mart in Missouri right over the line so many Bella Vista residents head that way to shop.  Sales tax is less in Missouri and you can buy liquor (Benton County is a dry county, no liquor sales). 

It's interstate 540 that has the long stretches with lots of traffic and you never have to get on it.  Speed limit on 540 is 70 mph.

As for getting a loaf of bread, there are two great grocery stores in Bella Vista and both can be gotten to without having to get out on highway 71..

There are many retired folks just like you and your husband who you'll be able to get together with, golf, fish, play cards, barbeque, paint (I just joined the art club and am learning to paint...I also redid their website for them...you can visit it by clicking here), talk...join the computer club..etc.  You will never run out of things to do here in Bella Vista.  And your dog will be more then welcome.  The whole place is full of dogs!  We Bella Vistians love our dogs!  I had four...now only three.  Alas, Sugar got too old and had to go to Doggy Heaven.  Now some lucky Angel has a beautiful new dog to call her own.


People here are very friendly, slower paced.  However, the pace is faster then Cherokee village..because we also have some younger still working people moving into the area now.  Although the mean age of Bella Vistians is still 60 the face of Bella Vista is changing and is going to continue to change.  That's something to keep in mind.  Good for property values in the future though.  The new stores, such as Wal-Mart, Lowes and Walgreen's is going to make this area even more attractive to younger folks...so I do think the time will come in the future when we aren't thought of a retirement community any longer.  That's a few years down the road though.  This is a place now for those who want a retirement area but do not want to be that far from a larger metropolitan area.

Guess that about clues you in.  Maybe we can have lunch when you come to visit.  We have some good lunch stops here in Bella Vista.

Dustie


Hi Dustie,

Your site is just great!  After calling, writing and searching the Internet, I've learned more about BV from you then anywhere else.  Bless you.

After ten days in Hot Springs Village last August, we came home, got the old retirement ball rolling and are almost ready to put our house on the market.  The Las Vegas market is good, so it shouldn't take long to sell it.  Recently, I stumbled across NWA on the net, my husband saw the bodies (of water) and was fickle enough to fall in love AGAIN.  We'll be in BV for a week, at the end of May, to see your part of Arkansas.

Questions:  Jon loves to fish and wants a pontoon boat.  Is there dry storage to rent, like there is in HSV (Hot Springs Village)?  Do you have any medical facilities in BV, not surrounding towns?  Do you have to go on the interstates to get to shopping (I'd cause accidents or the people on the road would just die of fright).  One of our thrills will be to get out of this wild traffic.  Do you have any street lights at night?  HSV doesn't and it's REALLY ark on those winding roads at night.  A mercury vapor light, mounted to the top of the car would help, but there aren't any power cords long enough to stretch fro the house to the highways.

You must feel bombarded with all these questions.  If you don't have time to answer them all, I understand.  Sniffle!

Thank you and look forward to meeting you.

Sharon

Sharon,

I'm so glad you visited my site.  I built that site exactly for you, and others like you, who are moving to the Midwest.  I set out to build a site that I would have liked to find when I moved down here.  Like you, I researched the area but couldn't find a whole lot of information so after we got her I began developing this site so other's will find what I didn't.  ;-)

OK...now to your questions...yours are in green, my answerers in black.

Jon loves to fish and wants a pontoon boat.  Is there dry storage there to rent, like there is in HSV? 

I also love to fish! ;-)  If you are wanting to keep your boat in the water, there are docking places to rent, however, they do not have lifts to keep the boat out of the water.  There are storage units in the area where you can rent.  That's something you'll have to look into when you get down here, as I don't know the prices or availability.  You could just buy a home on the water, put in a dock with a lift and solve the problem that way, but homes on the lakes are, of course, at premium prices...average 350,000 - 450,000 whereas the average home off the lake is much less expensive.

Do you have any medical facilities in BV, not surrounding towns? 

No hospitals directly in BellaVista, however, we do in Rogers and Bentonville, less then 10 miles from here.  One thing I like is that you can sign up for the Bella Vista Ambulance service for 75.00 a year.  They can get you to a medical facility pretty quick if it's needed!  We do have some Doctor's offices, Dentist offices and such, here in Bella Vista though.

Do you have to go on Interstates to get to shopping (I'd cause accidents or the people on the road would just die of fright).  

Bella Vista's main north/west corridor is highway 71, but it's not an interstate and is dotted with traffic lights which helps to keep the traffic speed down.   The main corridor through Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville is interstate 540 but you do not have to use the interstate to reach any of these destinations.  It will take longer, but you can go through Bentonville, then through Rogers to 71 Business and reach Springdale and Fayetteville that way.  But if you don't need to go to the Mall or Best Buy, then you really never need to leave Bentonville and Rogers to find what you are looking for.  And they are both easily accessible and close.

We do have our traffic problems, because of Rapid Growth...but would you believe I just watched 4 hours on Los Vegas on TV.   I taped two programs back to back the other night, both about Vegas.  The first was an hour program which took place in the Emergency room of the hospital.  The second was called Los Vegas/Boomtown and was all about the growth of Vegas.   Our traffic looks to be quite tame compared to yours.  The hospital said that 60% of their trama patients were automobile accident victims. So I'd say the traffic that we are complaining about with out growth here in Northwest Arkansas will seem quite tame to you!

Do you have any street lights at night?  HSV doesn't and it's REALLY dark on those winding roads at night.  A mercury vapor light, mounted to the top of the car would  help, but there aren't any power cords long enough to stretch from the house to the highways. 

Some areas of Bella Vista has street lights, and some do not.  71 highway, of course, does, but your neighborhood where you settle may or may not.  Many people have chosen to get the electric companies power lights outside their homes though, so your neighborhood could be quite lit at night.  You could even have one put in yourselves.  I don't think it's very expensive.  We have three people who have done it on our street so we're quite well lit.

I do hope this helps to answer some of your questions and I really hope you have a wonderful visit to our area.  I do have to say, after what I watched on Vegas, I don't blame you for moving along!  We don't have the weather Vegas has, we do have winters and humidity during the summer, but I'd choose Bella Vista over Los Vegas every day of the year!

Dustie Meads


Hello Dustie;

Our names are George & Susan Grammas.  We recently visited the Bella Vista area in January.  We are considering re-locating to the area from our current location in Brooksville, Florida (approximately 45 miles north of Tampa).  The move can't take place for a couple more years, but Bella Vista is at the top of our list.

We didn't get to look at more than a couple of houses, but we liked what we saw.  A very nice real estate agent from  Fayetteville took us there, telling us 'this was the place to live'. 

What we forgot to ask her was - are there any builders associated with B.V.?  It seemed that builders build a house and then put in the MLS system to be sold through real estate agents.  Is this true?  Also, is there any way to buy a lot and have a builder put a new home on it?

We'll probably have a lot of questions for you (hope you don't mind), but that does it for now.  Thanks in advance for your help.

 

 George and Susan

Hello George and Susan!

 

We've a lot of people moving from California to Bella Vista but you're the first couple I've talked to moving from Florida.  I'd love to be in Florida...but I think that is probably because Walt Disney World is my favorite place on earth.  ;-)  But if I can't be in Florida then Bella Vista is my second choice. 

Oh my, we have lots of builders building in Bella Vista.  Cooper homes is most known for building in Bella Vista, as Cooper is the folks that planned the Village and started the ball rolling back in the late 60's.  They build a good home, I've heard.  But there are a myriad of other builders.  All you need to do is check with the Home Builder's Association in Arkansas, get a list of builders and start contacting them.  Or better yet, come again for a visit and be sure to stay over on a Sunday.  Then spend the day going to Open Houses, and check out the work of various builders..then contact the ones you like and get a bid.

There are LOTS AND LOTS of lots in Bella Vista still not built on.  They are all privately owned, however, so hunting down one you'd like might entail some work.  Just like homes, they come up on the market through Real Estate Agencies.  Our POA (Property Owner's Association) has a notebook in their office of lots listed for sale by owners and there are hundreds in there.  Originally, when Bella Vista was platted, there were 36,000 lots.  For 15 years there was a big drive to sell the lots and they succeeded.  All lots were sold for between 10,000 - 20,000 dollars.  About 9,000 lots are built on now, and many lots are unbuildable (too steep, owned by homeowners next door and used as a buffer, etc).  Many lots are owned by out of towners who had planned on retiring here one day.  Some still do, but others have changed their minds and most of them will be willing to sell if a fair offer comes in. 

Because of the sheer number of lots, most are worth much less then what the original owners paid too.  You can get a good building lot in Bella Vista for 4,000 - 5,000.00 and sometimes, if you've good negotiating skills, 2,000 - 3,000.00.  The only lots that have gone up in Value are the lake lots (very few of them left that haven't been built on) and lots on the Golf Courses (also few of them left).  It's simply the law of supply and demand. 

All lots and houses are going up in value now though...as all of Northwest Arkansas has been experiencing a building boom in the last couple of years.  Also, our size and proximity to Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville, make us a good "bedroom community".  More and more working couples are finding that values are good here and the drive to work is not that far so our buyer base has expanded and prices are going up..supply and demand again.

The process of finding a lot and a builder and getting a home built will be a lengthy one though.  Once a lot is found then the lot has to be inspected and approved for the septic system, which could take up to three months..that's three months before a builder can even begin building.  Because of that, many area builders buy up lots before hand and have the septic approved so when someone comes along, they have lots they can start on right away.  Cooper definitely does that, as does many others.  Our daughter and Son-in-Law just had a home built here and their builders did that.

I'll get their name and number from her and send it to you.  They are good builders..there were some minor problems..but then that's expected when you're building a home.  Generally though, they are quite happy and have a beautiful home.

Want my advice?  I know it's a hassle, but I think coming from so far away, if you are sure you want to build, is to rent a house here for a year (there are many houses on the rental program here in Bella Vista) and spend the first two months finding where you want to be, finding a builder and home plan, etc...then build.  It's a year in transition, but it will pay off in the long run!

I do hope that helps.  And I agree with the agent in Fayetteville... if you must leave Florida, this is the place to be..although why you want to leave Florida when you are only a couple hours from Walt Disney World is beyond me.  ;-) 

Dustie Meads


 

When you interview the golfers i would like to know how many SNAKES they might encounter while playing golf at Bella Vista.

Thanks, John

John,

I'm the wrong person to ask if you are concerned about snakes.  I love snakes and go out of my way to catch them when I see them.  Of course, I turn them loose after I get a good look at them, but they are fascinating creatures. 

I've not heard of a big problem with snakes on the course.  Normally they would prefer not to be out in the open during the day.  Most you'll run across are completely harmless and would rather run then fight.  We do have a few dangerous species..the timber rattlesnake, the water moccasin, and the copperhead, all rarely seen.  According to Arkansas Fish and Game, we may also be in the range for the occasional coral snake (red and yellow will kill a fellow..meaning that if red and yellow bands touch each other, it's a coral snake, but I've never seen one this far north nor have I talked to anyone who's ever seen one here.   According to the maps, they are found only in a very small area of southern Arkansas.  For more information about snakes and other Missouri slithering things, visit www.snakesofarkansas.com

You're most likely to run across a copperhead then anything else, but even seeing them is rare.  I did hear that a small timber rattler was caught on one of the courses, but it was when they were dismantling an old storage shed on the edge of a course almost in the woods.

Any of the snakes found in the water on the courses are most likely to be the Northern Water Snake..although many will tell you "watch out..it's the deadly water moccasin (also called the cottonmouth)".  99.9% of the time they are wrong though.  I fish all the lakes of Bella Vista in my bass boat and have NEVER seen a water moccasin.  They are much more common in southern Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Best thing to do if you have a fear of snakes is study them and learn to recognize the dangerous snakes on site so you won't be jumping out of your skin every time you see a snake.  I'd venture to guess that every snake you see in your lifetime is going to be harmless.  No sense being scared of all those harmless snakes.  Save the fear for the very rare sighting of a dangerous snake.  Odds are you'll never see one in the wild, but if you do, you'll recognize it right away because you've studied it's species.  And having studied it, I'll bet you'll find, that although you give it a wide berth, you're not really as afraid of it as you thought you would be.

There's only three you have to memorize, easy to learn because they are in the pit viper family and have distinctively shaped heads and eyes and pits on the side of their heads...all the rest of the snakes you're going to run across are your friends!  ;-)  Well, maybe not your friends, but they do have an important job to do in the wild, so best to let them do it and go about your business knowing they are on the job helping keep the ecosystem in check.

Dustie


Sent: Monday, March 19

Hello Dustie,
        I have been doing some research about living in beautiful Bella Vista. Each day I pour through all the data I can locate on the internet. I have bookmarks at all of the sites including yours and the Bella Vista POA. On the realtors sites that list lots to build on there seems to be two types always mentioned. Flat and slopes away for good drainage. Is there a drainage problem? Will sites wash away in heavy rains? I know it sounds like silly questions but I have to cover all unknowns. My second question is about the type of homes permitted to be built. The realtors list most zoning as R-1 which covers single family units. This doesn't tell me about construction. Does Bella Vista allow Modular and or manufactured homes to be built on the lots? Thank you for a great web site. I look forward to your answers.

Regards,
Tim

Tim,

Hi!  Let's see if I can answer your questions.  First, we have a lot of hills and valleys here in the Ozark, so many of the lots that are built on are pretty steep.  However most are very firm...we are on solid ground here in Northwest Arkansas.  Ground that makes you want to cuss if you are trying to plant a tree or make a garden, but it's good for holding houses, even in heavy rainy seasons, unlike California where the houses slide down the hills.  Our hills are made of rock ;-).

The Village has an older section that has mobile homes, but other then that section they do not allow modular or manufactured homes to be built.  And I don't know if there are any lots left in the older mobile home area, however, the mobiles in that area do come up for sale from time to time.

Buying a lot in Bella Vista to build on is the hardest part I think.  There are just so many lots spread throughout Bella Vista.   Some further out then others, some you'd swear are in the boonies, and other's that are squeezed on both sides by houses, some really steap, some not so steep.   We are on septics here, so you have to make sure the lot you purchase passes a perk test (most all of them do because of our rocky soils).  The lots are all a good size, most wooded, but some are larger then others and some have more/less three then others.  Some are on older area's of Bella Vista (where the houses were built in the 1970s) and some in newer areas...Bella Vista is about 16 miles from side to side and about 4 miles North and South so that covers a LOT of land.  There are a LOT of lots...36,000 plated lots in the beginning with about 11,000 built on now.  All are privately owned now, but many of those owner's bought years ago when Bella Vista was being developed by Cooper Communities, and now are getting older and have no plans to move here.  Because of supply and demand, you can pick a good buildable lot for between 3000- 5000.00 if you contact the owner's of the lots.  This means work though..tracking down the lot number through the POA and then going to the courthouse in Bentonville to find who owns the lot and contacting them.  But a bit of leg work can net you a decent lot.  There's also scores of lots with for sale signs on them throughout the village..so you could drive up and down streets looking for them.  That's what we did when our kids decided to move to Bella Vista.  We got a map and started on one area, driving up and down the hundreds and hundreds of streets, looking for new homes being built, homes by owners, and lots for sale.

You really need to take a week or two's vacation if you are planning on lot buying in Bella Vista, believe me.  Don't buy a lot in Bella Vista site unseen, for sure!  You just won't know what you are getting unless you really know and trust someone here to check it out for you.

Dustie Meads


I and my wife are coming down next Monday to check out the area for retirement.  What courses can we play?  What are some good places to stay in Bella Vista?

Eric

Eric,

You can play any of the courses.  You'll just have to go to the POA and get a visitors card and pay the non member's cost.  Here is a link to the Property Owner's golf information site  http://www.bellavistapoa.com/golf/

The POA office is by the fire station right on the southwest corner of 71 HWY and 340. 

We don't have any hotels in Bella Vista, but we do have a number of townhouses that you can rent, and houses.  Often it's as cheap to stay in one of those rather then a hotel in Bentonville or Rogers and much more comfortable.  You'll want to visit http://www.bellavistavacationrentals.com/ and they can tell you what is available.

Have a great trip!  It's cool here right now..in the 50s.  Hope it warms up for you!

Dustie

 

Hi Dustie,

This is Kathy from California again with another question.  We have finally made the decision to move to Bella Vista and are flying to Bella Vista Feb. 24 - 29 in search of a lot suitable for building a house on Lake Loch Lomond.  There don't appear to be many lots on the MLS for that lake and I was wondering if you happen to know of any lots that are available for sale on Lomond.  I know some times people may be thinking of selling their lots but have not listed them.  Since you are on the water a lot fishing, I thought perhaps you may have seen lots advertised for sale by owner or may know of someone wanting to sell.  Just thought I would check.  We are definitely ready to purchase when we are there in two weeks, we just need to find something.

Thanks

Kathy

Canyon Lake, CA

Kathy,

I'm afraid I can't help.  If It were summer and I were going to be fishing I could watch for you, but it's been since November that I've been out on the water except for two days in Feb when it was nice and I was able to go out on the lake near me, Lake Rayburn.

If it weren't winter, I'd suggest you rent one of the boats at the Marina and scoot around the lake yourself.  When I did fish Loch Lomond I would often see signs on the water, most on homes for sale, but a few were lots.  Definitely the way I'd try to sell a lot I owned on Lomond or any of the lakes..by putting a sign on the water side as well as the road side.  But the weather may not permit the boat ride idea.

When you come down you can also go visit the POA office and check through their lots for sale book and might ask them what they suggest you do to help you locate a lot on Lomond.

I do wish I could help, but I'm afraid, not being in Real Estate, and living a good 10 miles or so from Loch Lomond (I'm on the East Side of 71 Hwy..and the Highlands, where Lomond is, is on the Far West Side of Bella Vista) doesn't put me in a position to know if any lots are available or where they would be.

If it's any consolation...I think you've made the right decision to move here!  I hope you find your lot and that it's not too much of a struggle.  It's definitely worth it.

Oh, you might also try the Marina at Lomond ...someone there might know of any lots that might be available.  479-855-8182  I know they are open year round but not sure of the daily hours.  If you call and don't get an answer you may have to call the POA office to find out when they are open.  Here is the number for the POA office 479-855-8000.

Another thought is that many on Lomond know a lot about what's going on in their neighborhood.  You might just drive over there when you are here and look for people out and about and talk to them.  Let the word out that you are looking for a lot that way.  Of course, being Feb. not as many are going to be out and about, but if the weather is half way nice, there will be walkers, people putting in the yards, etc.  Folks in Bella Vista are the nicest folks and will love to talk to you, I'm sure.

You might also pay a visit to Branchwood Club House...It's on Glasgow in Bella Vista and is the closest clubhouse to Lomond, so some of the folks there may know something or could spread the word for you.

Another suggestion is to run an ad in the real estate section under Bella Vista..wanted - Lake Lot on Loch Lomond in Bella Vista.  It will cost you, but worth it if it brings you a nice lot that others (such as the builders) don't know about and haven't snatched up yet.  www.nwanews.com in one of the local papers, the most read one.  They also put out the bi monthly Vista, where you might also run an ad.   www.nwanews.com/weeklyvista

I wish you the best of success on your hunt.  If any of these ideas net you a good lot, you have to promise me lunch sometime when your home is done and I'm out fishing on the lake!   Of course, you'll have to bring it to the boat as I'm sure I won't want to take a break from fishing to eat!  Like my daddy always said, you can't catch a fish if your pole ain't in the water!  ;-)

Dustie


Subject: Bella Vista sounds great!!

We are scared to death of coming to NWArk.  We don't want to be disappointed.  All that we have read sounds to good to be true!  Our only hope is that the area remains a secret, till we get there.

We live in Marysville, MI {thumb area} and we are flying to Fayetteville at the end of April, because we are sure this will be the place for us. The last time we flew there was no such thing as an E-ticket so flight will be an adventure for us.

We are both 56; my husband works for a major utility, and there are rumors that there will be a buyout and if not retirement  will be in 3 years that is carved in stone.

Our beagle died the day our youngest son got married.  He knew that he would have to compete with his new master's love and that was not going to happen.

We both really like to golf; I took lessons 2 years ago and am not that good, but I do have fun.  If my husband had more time I know he could try out for the senior  tour.

My real passions are knitting, cooking and gardening.

We've never been to Arkansas, what ideas could you give us the literature is vague we need an insider to make this the place.  We are very flexible and will try anything at least once within reason.

Sorry for the length of this e-mail.  Your weather is probably better than ours and would rather be out walking the dogs than staring at the computer screen.

 

Have a bright sunny day,

Mary Anne

Mary Ann,

I hate to tell you, but that hope of Bella Vista remaining a secret until you come is gone.  We have been here for a little over a year and we've seen new houses going up everywhere in the village.  In 2000 we had 11,000 residents and now we are pushing 20,000 according to recent newspaper article.

Some think tank came out with Northwest Arkansas having the fastest growing economy in the Nation (beating out Los Vegas that has been number one for the last 3 years) and now it seems everyone is popping in.  It also didn't help that Wal-Mart voted to require that every vender that sells to Wal-Mart have a permanent manned office in the area....so that means companies like Rubbermaid, Proctor and Gamble etc, etc, etc...are all opening offices here and manning them, bringing in more people to the area.  There's no doubt we are growing fast.

Now, having said all that, Bella Vista is still beautiful and we love living here.  Yes, the traffic going into Bentonville is bad in the mornings and afternoons (so we try to avoid those times) and yes, it's harder for golfers to get their favorite T times, but not that hard.....but at least we aren't buried in some backwoods out of the way place.  We have fast access to all the shopping we could want, large city type stuff..and yet here in Bella Vista we are still in small town mode...the best of both worlds I think.

I'm afraid I don't have any brochures or anything like that, and neither does the POA (Property Owner's Association).  In the beginning, back in the 60's and 70's when Bella Vista was being developed there was tons of information, but for the last 10 years since Bella Vista has had sustained steady growth without any push, there's been no need.  All the lots were sold or spoken for and now it was time to get on with the business of building and living....

 

So now it's just the websites you can surf to find out about the area I'm afraid.  I do have plans to put many more pictures on my site, and plans to take all of the questions I've been asked over the last year, and all my answers, just like this one, and put them on a special section called Frequently Asked Questions about Beautiful Bella Vista.  That should help people like you who are sending out feelers.

 

It is a lovely place...not without problems though, but no problems that are insurmountable and no problems you wouldn't have in any growing community. 

I think the nicest thing about Bella Vista is that the houses are all different, on decent size lots, all price ranges...not carbon copy cookie cutter houses.  And then there's the people...all like you and me..coming from other places to finally be able to relax in an atmosphere that is contusive to activity, socializing, and just all around enjoyment of leisure time.  Everyone seems to smile and wave and the neighbors actually know each other.  A great place to live if you ask me.

Hope this helps some!  Best to you and I'll keep my fingers crossed for the buyout!

Dustie


Subject: cold enuf 4 ya

 

Hi Dustie girl,

So, is this winter colder than the last one?  The weather guide shows it to be pretty brisk there today.  Who's walking the dogs?

We are planning to list our house in February.  As soon as it sells, we will search out the rental properties in BVV.

Beverly has a strong desire to get a little house boat.  We can't settle on who will be captain, so we will probably go the co-captain route.  Other than Lake Lomond, do any of the other lakes offer places to keep boats in the water (slips & such)?  Do house boats work out fairly well there?  I know several of the lakes have horsepower limitations and/or "no wake zones".  If we used it frequently, it would be an effort to launch and remove each use (yuk).  If one does have their boat in a slip, then is there a part of the non-use season that it should be removed?  

If this is the way we decide to go, then a house close to the lake of choice will probably make good sense.  Please share your thoughts and don't be shy.

Thanks a bunch!

Regards,

Denis

Ha..me shy???  Hardly.

First off, this is a much milder winter then we had last year.  I actually went fishing two full days last week...imagine taking the boat out twice in a row in the middle of January!  We've only had one light dusting of snow whereas last year we'd had up to 15" so far in two separate snows.  It's been lovely here for Winter time this year...getting colder now though.  Supposed to be in the teens tonight.  Brrrrrrrr... we now have the fireplace going.

Loch Loman is the only lake that has a Marina where you could put a house type boat.  It would have to be a small houseboat though.  I don't think they have any really big slips.  The largest boat I've seen at their Marina is large pontoons boats.

Now Beaver Lake would be perfect for a house boat.  It's a HUGE lake.  You could put every one of Bella Vista's lakes into Beaver about three or four times (or more)....and is about 20 miles East of Bella Vista.  It's an area you might want to check out once you begin renting down here.  It's a Corp of Engineer lake and would take as large a houseboat as you wanted to put on it.

Dustie


 

Subject: Potential Relocation to NW Arkansas


Hi Dustie -

You have created a tremendous website.  Very informative regarding Bella Vista.

I want to try and take a step further though.  My family and I currently live in the Tulsa area and I may have an upcoming job change that will require a relocation to the NW Arkansas area.  My wife and I have visited the area many times (especially in the Fall when the trees our gorgeous).  But prior to getting a real estate broker involved, I want to ask if there is any way to get my hands on additional information regarding ownership in Bella Vista.  We visited Bella Vista many years ago and know there are different options regarding ownership but I don't remember the full details.  Also, I would like to know the options in comparing the purchasing of existing homes versus buying.

Do you know if there is some way for me to obtain this type of information.  I didn't know if the Bella Vista properties has some kind of 'informational' packet available....

Thank you very much for your time and if we do relocate, in time maybe we'll be new neighbors.

Russell Carter

Russell,

There aren't any information packets today like there were when Bella Vista was in the "fast" sell scenario in the 60's and 70's.  Today you can look at Bella Vista just as you would any other town.  We are really no longer an exclusive retirement center.  We are more like a small city, with a population of around 11,000 people and still growing.  Most homes are single family dwellings on large tree covered lots.  The main difference, I think, is that we have more amenities then most small cities with our lakes and our golf course.  Plus we all pay a monthly fee rather then "taxes" that cities pay.  The current fee on an improved lot (a lot with a home on it) is 24.00 a month and on an unimproved lot is 16.00 a month.  That will most likely be going up in the not too distant future.

Also, there's a big push to incorporate into a city rather then a privately owned association.  If that happens, we will also have regular city taxes to take care of the roads, police, fire, etc...plus still have the monthly association dues to take care of the amenities.

The demographics of Bella Vista are changing too as a younger population begin to move into the area because of the proximity to Bentonville and Rogers, the peaceful setting with nice homes on large lots (vs carbon copy houses being built in many of the new subdivisions today) and the access to the lakes and the golf courses.  There are no rules saying you have to be of retirement age, so more and more people are realizing that they can get a nice affordable home in Bella Vista, regardless of age.  It's estimated that the medium age in Bella Vista within 10 years could be 50 years old rather then the medium age of 63 as it is today.

As far as building vs buying and existing home..it would be the same as anyplace you move.  There are a lot of nice existing homes on the market and a lot of lots and builders ready to build you a home if you want one.  My suggestion is, if you live a good distance from Bella Vista, then hunt for an existing home.  It's hard to have a home built just as you want it when you don't live in the area to watch the building process.  At least with an existing home, you see what you are getting.

If you can, the best idea is to rent for awhile until you learn the area and then you can buy.  But of course, most people don't have that option because of financial reasons.

When we moved here we looked into building vs buying existing and decided to hunt for an existing home first and found the perfect one after a week of looking with an agent.  Originally we were looking at homes less then 5 years old, but when we couldn't find what we liked the agent suggested we look at a home that was 11 years old.  We decided to go ahead and fell totally in love with it.  It's a beautiful well built home, well maintained and we could have never afforded to have a home like ours built new.  After a year we still love it and are confident we made the right decision.

It's really going to depend on what's out there when you start looking.  That's it in a nutshell.

Some rules to keep in mind....no boats or RV's may be left in the open for more then a week at a time.  I keep my boat in the Garage.  Any changes made to the property, such as putting up a fence, painting the house a different color, adding a garage or shed, etc, must be approved by the Architectural Control Committee.  Most the rules are the same as would be incorporated into any nice subdivision anywhere.

Once you purchase a home in Bella Vista, after the closing, then the POA (Property Owners Association, our ruling body) will then give you a copy of the covenants and rules for Bella Vista.

 

We love Bella Vista and I wouldn't have wanted to move anywhere else in NW Arkansas.  Best thing about Bella Vista is the PEOPLE!  They have all come from somewhere else, so everyone has that in common.  Everyone is so nice, everyone waves and you'll find you actually know all your neighbors a short time after moving in! Can't say that about most communities throughout the country today.

Hope all this answers all your questions.  Feel free to write should you have anymore! 

Dustie


Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 8:12 AM

Subject: Bella Vista Schools

I hope you can help me.  Is there a high school, middle school, or junior high school in Bella Vista?

Many thanks,

Glenn 

Glenn,

Hi.  I can help.  There are no schools in Bella Vista.  We are an unincorporated village, run by the Property Owner's Association, although there is a push for Incorporation...that remains to be seen though.  Right now all the kids in the village (about 2000 of them) either go to Bentonville Schools or to Gravette Schools, depending on what side of Bella Vista they live on.

Hope that helps and thanks for visiting Beautiful Bella Vista.com. (Update 2010 - We now have an elementary School, Cooper Elementary, part of the Bentonville School District).

Dustie

UPDATE: 2006 - The beloved landmark, the Horse Barn where riding was king about 30 years ago, has been torn down and in it's place goes Bella Vista's first elementary school was created where it stood and first opened for the 2007 - 2008 school year.


Subject: Thinking of moving to Bella Vista

Hi Dustie,

Your website was so informative. My husband just recently retired and we were thinking of relocating to Bella Vista...my only real hesitancy at this point is missing family and friends. We currently live in Chicago - we've both lived here our whole lives in Chicago - so you can imagine it would be quite a change.

I'm still working full time and would probably want to find a part time job if we did move. I've worked in offices forever but could do nicely without working full time. My husband is an avid golfer, loves to fish and is a ham radio operator - so I think he'd fit perfectly down there. We have 3 children, the youngest, my daughter is away at college and my 2 sons are out of school and working.

Can you tell me was it easy for you to meet new people down there?

My husband is 56 and I'm 55(can't believe I wrote that!)...what have you found the age range of residents in Bella Vista.

I currently belong to a book club and an investment club (where I've become an expert on picking bad stocks - all of us in the club would opt to quit but we've become very attached). Are there groups down there like that?

I'd appreciate any information you could give me.

Mary 

Mary,

Nice to hear from you! This is a lovely place to retire, however, we don't have the one thing that may be very important to you... your family and lifelong friends. I'm not sure how Bella Vista would get around that.

What we do have though, is beautiful country, and a slower paced lifestyle then you're used to. As to your question, is it hard to make friends down here? Only if you make it hard. I've never seen so many friendly people. I think it's because they've all come from other places...and have come to Bella Vista because they are the social kind and love to do things and meet other people. People here aren't judged by their occupations or their social status for the most part. They are mostly judged on their personalities. There are clubs galore! I don't know specifically about an investment club or a book club, but I will try to do some investigation and find out if there are any. If not, you can start one!

As for part time employment, I don't think you'd have any trouble finding any, but you'd have to probably look to Bentonville or Rogers. Bentonville is about 12 miles south and is the headquarters of Wal-Mart so there's no shortage of jobs there. One thing though...wages for part time employment down here compared to the Chicago area is probably going to be much less. You're probably looking at 7 - 8.00 an hour. You might, with perseverance, find something here in Bella Vista, maybe at the POA office or somewhere in Town Square.

I'd say there's no doubt your husband would love it, and if your a get involved type of person then I'm betting you'll love all the opportunities to make new friends. My husband and I went to Branchwood Clubhouse and played some racquetball and then sat in the hot tub. Another couple came and climbed in and by the time we all got out they had invited us to have lunch with them the next day. That's just the way folks are. Oh, and everyone waves. When you drive down any residential street in Bella Vista, if anyone is outside, they stop what they are doing and wave. Now that's friendly!

Ok...age... I'm 48 and my husband is 59 and I feel like a spring chicken (which I don't mind at all). (update 2009...I'm 55 now) I'd say the general age in the village is 60 - 65... with some older and some younger. At 55 you would be older then me and my immediate neighbor and younger then my neighbor across the street and behind me, but not by much. I think you would feel quite comfortable here at 55. You'd feel like a spring chicken too, since most would probably be older then you by 5 - 10 years, but not all.

It would be quite a change seeing as how your whole life was spent in the Chicago area. But most who have moved to here have moved from the north and have never regretted that they did. Some I've met are now making plans on going home, but they aren't doing it by choice. They are doing it because they are coming to the end, winding down and are going to be needing their family around them as they age. One gentleman and his wife have been here 18 years and are hating having to leave. But they are in their mid eighties and now need to be near their daughter. But they say they would do it all over again, that living in Bella Vista has been a real experience and the best place they could have chosen to retire. Now that's quite a testament.

I recently met another woman who was visiting a friend here in Bella Vista. She had lived here for 15 years and after her husband passed away she had to move back closer to her children. But she said, although she's glad to be close to her kids, after three years she still misses Bella Vista...more then that, she says there's time she mourns for Bella Vista. Now that's powerful and quite sad I think. A great testament to living in Bella Vista though

Well, hope all of that helps. I think that you'll just have to decide about leaving Chicago. That would be a hard choice. But you will have friends down here (you've got me for one). If someone moves to Bella Vista and doesn't make friends quickly then it's got to be that they don't want friends. You'll also have lots to do. When we first moved in I met one of our neighbors walking. She stopped to talk a few minutes then said she had to rush off as there was a play by the Bella Vista Village Players that she wanted to see. She said then that the trouble with the Village is there's always too much to do! She's 76 years old. Now that about says it all I think.

Dustie


Yup, it's me...in my first boat.

 

Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 8:10 AM

Subject: sell lot


Dustie,

My husband and I need to sell our lot in Bella Vista. Can you give me
information on selling lots? Who to contact. Does Cooper Communities buy
back lots?

Thank you,

Barbara

Barbara,

Cooper communities doesn't buy back lots, however, you can list your lot on the POA (Property Owners Association) website, which might help.  Their site is www.bellavistapoa.com.

Eventually I hope to have a section on my site for property owners and homeowners to list their property for sale, but time hasn't permitted me to do that just yet.

A for sale by owner sign with your phone number on it might help if you don't already have one up.

Unfortunately, Bella Vista still has thousands of good buildable lots available.  Originally, when they began in the late 60's, Bella Vista was divided into around 36,000 lots.  Today, more then 30 years later, approx 10,000 of those lots are built on, which leaves around 16,000 lots still available. 

Early on Cooper Development began selling lots like a used car lot sells cars...with lots of high pressured salesmen and a wine em, dine em, sell em, mentality.  In the early 80's my husband and I came down and stayed 3 days in a condo, all expenses paid, and all we had to do for it was listen to their 2 hour presentation and take a tour of Bella Vista.  Their salesman was intense, and although we didn't buy at that time (thanks to my husband...I was ready to sign on the dotted line) I can see how they sold so many.

Their tactics worked though, and it did get Bella Vista off the ground beautifully.  It truly is a lovely community.  Unfortunately many who bought found that, for one reason or another, they didn't want to move to Bella Vista in their golden years after all.  So currently there are many lots on the market and sellers are finding that their lots are worth much less then their initial investment.  When we moved here we were able to buy the lot next to us for 5,000.00, when I know the original owner probably paid three times that amount.

If you have a lot on a lake, or on a golf course, then you have it made.  If that were the case, you probably would have already been approached by a developer.  But if not, you just have to hope that it's in an area that's being developed with new homes and that someone sees it and wants it.  Be prepared to take less then you paid though.  There are just too many lots available right now.  That may change in the coming years (thanks to Wal-Mart, NW Arkansas is growing like crazy) but that's the scenario right now.

Hope I've helped some, and thanks for visiting www.beautifulbellavista.com. Keep your eye on the site, and if I ever do add a section for Real Estate you can list your lot there, if you've not sold it yet. (hope you sell it though).

Dustie


   


 

Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 8:31 PM
Subject: Moving to NW Arkansas


Dustie,
It was great to come across your website.  My family is planning a move to
your area this summer, and we are very excited.  Everything we have come
across about Bella Vista sounds wonderful and beautiful. Bella Vista seems
to offer everything we would want in a small town including the friendly
people.  My only concern is that we are a fairly young family, my husband
and I are in our mid-thirties (due I dare say 35 this year) with an 8 year
old daughter.  Is there a good mix of age groups in your community with
young children?  We hope to be visiting your area at the end of the month
and staying in one of your properties for the weekend.  You are doing a
good thing with your website to help families like ours get to know
communities like yours.  We are moving from Connecticut, where we have
been living for the last 5 years, however are originally from Texas.
Thank you for any extra information you can provide and I hope to meet you
some day. 
We are also dog lovers and hope to get our dog when we get to Arkansas,
although our cat will get to help pick it out.
Sincerely,
Trecia

Trecia,

I'm glad my website has been a help.  Bella Vista is a great place to live, being less then 15 minutes away from major shopping in Bentonville and Rogers, and still having all the amenities of a quiet bedroom community that's not yet too crowded.

First thing first..when you get here for good, take your cat and go visit the Bella Vista Animal Shelter so he/she can help you pick out a dog that needs a good home!  They are a no kill shelter and are in need of loving doggy parents for their residents.

Now, as to the ages of the people in Bella Vista....we are still predominately retirees, ages 55 and older.  The younger population is growing, but it's estimated that 60% are still over 55 (that used to be 70% in the not too distant past I understand).  We currently have about 2,000 school age children in Bella Vista, out of 16,000 residents.  Problem is, they are all spread out so I couldn't tell you were to look so that you'll be near other families with children around your daughters age.

You need to keep in mind that Bella Vista, being an unincorporated village, doesn't have it's own school system.  Children either go to Bentonville or to Gravett schools.  Gravett is a very small town with a small school system, whereas Bentonville is a large school system.  So you'll just have to decide if you'd rather have your daughter in a small school or a large school.  The West side of Bella Vista, which includes the Highlands, is in the Gravett School system, and the East side is Bentonville.

If you live on the East side, you are closer to shopping, as the Highlands is another 10 minutes further from Bentonville and Rogers, making it a 20 - 25 minute drive to major shopping.  We live on the East side, close to 71 highway, and we can be in Bentonville in 15 minutes.  We have some friends in the Highlands and it takes them 25 minutes to get to Bentonville.  If you want the small Gravett school system though, then you'll want to be on the West side.

What you'll want to do when you are down here is check out both school systems.  If you are coming down when school is out, you might want to call each school district now and ask some serious questions.

Here is the website for Bentonville Public Schools http://www.bentonville.k12.ar.us/web/default.asp

Here's the website for Gravett Schools

Those should help you out.

There's pros and cons about both systems.  The larger system will have more activities and more money to fund programs and such, but they also have larger student teacher ratios.  The small system may not have as many activities or amenities, but it will most likely have a smaller student to teacher ratio and larger parent involvement in the schools which sometimes equals better behavior in the students.   Smaller systems are sometimes harder on kids when they move to that system if they've not been brought up there, as many friendships have already been formed.  If your daughter is outgoing, that probably won't mean as much, but if she's shy, a larger system might offer more opportunity for friendships.

Within a few years, the 71 Bypass will be built and that will mean more growth out Gravetts way, so things could seriously change then.  But you need to look at all the avenues as they are now.

You might also want to look at the town of Bentonville if having friends close for your daughter is a priority.  Bentonville doesn't have the attractiveness of Bella Vista, and I think you can get more home for the money in Bella Vista, but Bentonville is a nice town.

Lots to think about when you come down for your visit...and I really hope you immensely enjoy yourself when you come down to check out the area.  Don't forgot to take some time out to smell the roses!

 

Dustie


Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 11:16 PM

Subject: Beautiful Bella Vista

 

Dustie,

You have a great web site - I enjoyed it very much.

My  husband and I have some friends who moved to Bella Vista about a year
ago.  We stopped in to visit them this past spring and we were so-o-o-o-
impressed.
We're actually considering moving there (we're in southern Calif. now), but
want to test the waters first.  So we are renting one of the vacation rental
houses there for two months this summer to see if we can survive the humidity
and bugs.  (These are the two things people insist will be a problem.)

So, I have been searching for any information I could find, and came across
your wonderful site.  What a good idea to have a site with a personal touch.

I do have a couple of "dumb" questions.  Where do you shop?  Groceries?
Clothing, etc.?  Malls?  Are the people in Bella Vista Village open to newcomers? 
I get the impression that people have settled there from all over.  Are you
active in any of the clubhouse activities?  This area is a little bit of a
mystery to me.  How is
the traffic?  Is there a library nearby?  (Sorry about the font change-I
don't know why it did that. My computer skills are limited.)

My husband has been retired for several years and I just took an early
retirement last fall, so we are looking for a place to settle.

Thanks for your time, and for your great web site!

Judy

Hi Judy!

You made me smile.  I guess I take our weather for granted... my kids are wanting to move to Florida someday, and I told them that before I did that I'd have to check out what it would be like living there in the Summer, what with the humidity and the bugs! hehehehe... 

I don't see Bella Vista as very buggy at all, but then, I've never lived in California.  Here it is June and I've not even been bitten by a mosquito yet!  That's amazing, since in Joplin I was getting bit before now.  I have had a few chigger bites (little bugs that bite your legs and make you itch for a couple days) but that's when I went Morel Mushroom hunting in the woods in April.  In Joplin, I had chigger bites all summer long because we lived in a more rural area and they hid out in the tall grass waiting for me.  No chiggers here except in the woods.  Hardly any problem with flies either.  The main problem we are having with bugs is ants coming for a visit in our kitchen...  They seem to be an ongoing problem.  I won't let my husband spray, because of our dogs, but we did put out "ant bait" and it seems to be taking care of them.

As for humidity, there is some, but not like in the South where you go outside and within minutes your shirt is soaking wet.  Our humidity is quite manageable (again, I've never lived where you live though, so can't compare).  When it's 90+ we usually stay inside or do indoor activities (shopping, movies, the mall, etc), but not just because of the humidity..it's mainly because it's hot so it's more comfortable inside!  But not many days are 90+ in a row...maybe 2 or 3 weeks a summer.  Check the weather page on the site.  It will give you average temperatures or our area..that should help.

As for shopping, oh yes.  Bella Vista has two nice grocery stores where we shop often (when we are going to buy lots of groceries though, we usually fight the crowds at Wal-mart...less expensive but usually lots of people).  There's lots of different type stores, not in Bella Vista, but in Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville..  Bentonville is 10 miles south, Rogers is 12 miles south, Springdale 20 miles south and Fayetteville 30 miles.  There's a large Mall in Fayetteville as well as all the major stores, such as Best Buy, Circuit City, Barnes and Nobles Bookstore, etc.  You name it, we have it.  And of course, they all have a Wal-Mart.  There's also stores that there's going to be a big mall going to be built in Rogers, which would put you only 12 miles or so from a mall.

Bella Vista has a library, nice one.  Bentonville library is nice too...neither terribly large, but there's always the interlibrary system for you to get books that may not be available at the local libraries.

I've not become active in the clubhouses...mainly because I discovered fishing, bought a little boat and have been spending every free moment boating.  But it's not like Country Clubs portrayed in the movies, full of the high and mighty.  Although many of the retirees here may have been high and mighty in their earlier lives, all I've met are genuinely nice and welcoming.  There's also plenty of just plain ole nice folks like my husband and I...middle class and ready to settle down and wanted to live close to our kids in a beautiful area with super people.  And we sure found it here. 

Everyone here loves newcomers, because, just as your impressions told you...they were newcomers themselves at one time.  Everyone here has come from somewhere else, and that is what makes them all so friendly.  Also, most are retired, and so they are, for the most part, much less stressed and much more relaxed and happier because of it.  Happy people are just nice folks to be around.

I really don't need to tell you all this though, because you will find out for yourself.  You won't meet a stranger here in Bella Vista...everyone here is just a friend you haven't met yet. 

Traffic...hehehhe.  I reciently talked to a couple from California, and when I mentioned that the traffic is bad on the main highway around 4PM during the week, they laughed and said that I've no idea what heavy traffic is.  We do have many on the main highway through Bella Vista and in Bentonville during the morning and evening work rush, but that's normal anywhere I guess.  Still, during the height of rush hour, we can get from here to Bentonville in 20 - 25 minutes, a drive that normally takes about 15 minutes.  Does that help explain the traffic?

This is a slower, less stressful, more fun and less expensive place then where you are considering moving from.  I don't know exactly where you are in California, but with what I've heard about the taxes, regulations, population, etc... I think you're going to be even more impressed with Bella Vista and Northwest Arkansas then you were when you visited after you've been here a couple of months this summer.  Our friends warned us too, and none of the warnings came true at all.  I really think they just didn't want us to go, and although I miss them, they aren't that far away, and I'd do it all over again in a HEARTBEAT!

Hope all the info helped and I hope you truly enjoy your stay when you get here.  Email me when you arrive and we'll do lunch! ;-)

Dustie


  



Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 12:27 PM

Subject: question about Bella Vista restaurants

 

Hi Dustie,

I just landed on your website, and my husband and I are thinking of coming
to Bella Vista tomorrow (Sunday) to check out the Faye Jones chapel.  We
are in Fayetteville.  I had a quick question for you, if you have time,
which is that we are looking for a nice place to have lunch and had heard
at some point about a good cafe, but I am not sure where to find it.  I
found a list of restaurants on the chamber of commerce homepage but wasn't
sure which one to pick.  Anyway, if you have any suggestions, that would be
great!

It sounds like you like living there a lot - I am from the east coast, my
husband and I have been going back and forth from the east coast to here,
we are both in academia (we both teach math at university) and now we have
had a baby, she is only 4 months, so we are looking for a more permanent
place to settle eventually.  I like Fayetteville a lot and we might end up
here.

In any case, our plan is to come to Bella Vista and find our way around
once we get there, I think there is some welcome center, is that true?
Hopefully they will be able to tell us how to get to the chapel and perhaps
give some lunch advice, but I thought since you seem to know and love the
area you might have some too.

Thanks for your time, I like your website, and I love the dogs!  I am a dog
lover too, but right now only have two cats, sadly!
Sincerely,
Catherine

Hi Catherine,

Wow, Math at the University level...something I wouldn't want to be teaching definitely!

I'd suggest for lunch you try the Metfield Country Club's Sunday Buffet.  There will, most likely be someone to direct you to Metfield's at the Chapel, but if not, when you leave the chapel, go back down to 71 highway, head south to Trafalgar (I think it's the 2nd street on your left after you get back onto 71 hwy).  Go left on Trafalgar and follow it around until you see the Metfield sign on your right.  I think it's about 2 - 3 miles but can't be certain.  They serve from 8 - 1 so you might want to eat before you go to the chapel.  You don't have to be a member to eat there, so no problems there and the cost of the buffet is 7.89 per person..reasonable I think.  You can also order from a small menu if you don't want the buffet.  I've not gone to their Sunday Buffet myself but heard it's very good.

Hope all this helps and that you enjoy your visit to the Chapel.  It's definitely a lovely thing to do on a beautiful spring day!

Dustie Meads


Sent: Friday, January 02, 2004 4:04 PM

Subject: Rules and Regulations

Dear Dustie,

Could you please tell me where I could get a list of the rules and
regulations of being a property owner of Bella Vista? My husband I are
purchasing a home there and want to know what to do when we get there. Are
out door animals allowed? What kind? Exotic? like birds? a dog? Thanks,
Christina 

Christina,

Welcome to Bella Vista (although you're not quite here yet).  The POA (Property Owner's Association) will provide you with the information you need, however, I don't think they will give you anything written until you have actually closed on your home.  You can check with them though.  Their phone number is on my site's phone numbers page and their website is www.bellavistapoa.com.

 Yes, you can have dogs (visit my site again and click on the "about me" link under the heading.  You'll see all four of my "kids".  Two live outside in the fenced yard with a doggy door into the Garage, and two live inside.  I think the dog population in Bella Vista is close to the People population, although there is a leash law that is pretty well adhered to.

Birds are fine too I'm sure, unless you were going to have an aviary and try to breed a lot of exotic parrots. That might cause a problem.  I don't think you'd get away with any farm type animals either.  You can check with the POA to be sure if you had any of these types critters in mind.

Here are the rules and regs that I know of that mostly affect home owners.  No RV's allowed parked at your house (unless you have a really big garage to shield it from view).  Boats and Golf Carts have to be shielded from view.  Any major changes to your home's exterior (painting the house a different color, adding a fence, building a shed, etc) has to be approved by the ACC (Architectural Control Committee).  Other then all that most other restrictions are the same you'd find in any nice neighborhood subdivision.

Hope that helps!

Dustie Meads

www.beautifulbellavista.com



One of the early Bella Vista Summer Cabins


Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 10:35 AM

Subject: Bella Vista

My parents and I are in the progress of buying a home in Bella Vista. I
heard from someone that there was a horseback riding facility and I was
wondering if its true.
-Amanda

Amanda,

There is a barn and a stables here, but it's in bad repair and I don't think it's going to be here much longer.  There are a number of horses and they do have riding on the weekends.  I don't know who maintains it all.   It is a shame to see it in such disrepair...it's a left over from the old Bella Vista and no one seems to take much of an interest in it all, although the horses are fed and maintained.

Hope that answers your question.  You'll like Bella Vista, I'm sure, and when you move here you can get in touch with whoever maintains the horses and find out more about them.

 Dustie

UPDATE 2006 - This beautiful old barn was torn down to make room for Bella Vista Elementary School.

Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 12:06 AM

Subject: Re: Beautiful Bella Vista


THANK YOU for your prompt and thorough response.

I can tell how much you enjoy Bella Vista.  Had you looked at other areas
before you chose that particular community?  What were your reasons, if the
answer isn't too personal?  (I don't want to take advantage of your good nature!)

I'm confused about the  airports.  Is there one in Bentonville and one in
Fayetteville?
Which one is the XNA NW Arkansas regional airport?

We live in San Diego, so Bella Vista will be a big change for us,
weather-wise.  We are pretty spoiled about our weather, but I think that having seasons
would be nice.
Your weather commentary is very helpful, as well as humorous.

I've been sharing your web site and your e-mail answers with my family.  We
have all  have enjoyed your writing, and are very grateful for your
information.  We'll be in Bella Vista in August (we wanted to pick the worst month);  I'm
looking forward to meeting you.

Judy

Judy,

 Actually, we were originally looking to move to Bentonville because our son in law took our daughter down this way 2 years ago.  I have driven through the main highway in Bella Vista many times but never knew that off the highway there were such beautiful homes and homesites until I came down and started looking for property.  One of the homes in the paper was in Bella Vista and when I started driving around looking at the diversity of housing, the hills, the beautiful trees, the pride people took in their yards, etc, I didn't look anywhere else for a home.

 You're not getting personal at all...In fact, you can read all about why we moved and a bit about us by clicking on the About Me link under the top logo on my site or just click on this link http://www.beautifulbellavista.com/about.htm

As for XNA, I've seen it in Expedia and other sites as being in Fayettville, although I have no idea why.  Maybe because they believe people would have heard of Fayetteville.  The airport is actually in Highfill, a very small town right outside Bentonville.   Bentonville does have a little airport for small planes, but unless you can fly a little plane that doesn't need much of a runway, you're only choice for flying in is XNA.  It is the only major airport withing a 1.5 hour drive.  The next closest airport is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but it is a major hub.  Nearly all flights out of XNA are going to have at least one layover.

XNA is actually short for EXciting New Airport.  It is only one of three new major airports built in the last 25 years.  Of course, it's building was spear headed by the late Sam Walton.  When Sam Walton talked, people listened.  Even today, although Sam is gone, when Wal-Mart talks people listen.  This last week Wal-Mart was holding their annual stock holders meeting.  The Highway just south of Bentonville was under major construction with all the orange cones and a couple lanes blocked, and they actually stopped construction, open the lanes and clean everything up at the request of Wal-Mart so their stock holders wouldn't be stuck in traffic.  Now that's power!  

 Here's a great site that tells everything there is to know about XNA.  http://www.flyxna.com

 Yep, you are spoiled...I only wish there were some way you could bring your weather with you!  There is a reason why it cost so much to live in California and that reason, of course, is the weather.  We do have winter...not my favorite of months, but we have the most beautiful springs and falls, and nice summers, and great people and cost of living, and stress free lifestyle, that I don't mind paying for it all by being caught indoors 4 months out of the year.  But I'd prefer to have all that and your weather too.  Greedy aren't I?  ;-)

 Neat that you're sharing my site with your family... they are probably as curious as you are about  Arkansasians.  They really do wear shoes, contrary to what many may tell you.  Be sure to tell them that.

 I have to laugh when you think of August as the worst month.  You're going to find it's really not that bad, I'm betting.  I look forward to meeting you too!

Dustie


 


Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 12:54 PM

Subject: Re: Bella Vista inquiry

Hi, Dustie!  I really enjoyed your website.  My husband and I are beginning to think about retirement locations, and Arkansas is on the list.  We're fairly familiar with Cherokee Village (another Cooper development), because my parents lived there about 15 yrs. after they retired.  We hadn't really thought much about Bella Vista until a friend mentioned her inlaws had lived there a short while.  Also, we just made a trip to St. Louis via Rogers, and drove by it.  We have a daughter and son-in-law in Tulsa, OK (we live North of Tulsa about 45 miles now).  B. V. would certainly be closer than Cherokee Village, and less remote, with respect to medical facilities, etc.

 Anyway, I won't bore you with our complete history...yawn...but will get to my questions, which I'm quite certain are not the normal ones you've had posed to you before: 

These about all I can think of right now.  As I mentioned before, these were probably weird and very, very dumb questions. But we've lived in lots of places, and I've gotten so that I try to think of everything I can BEFORE we move instead of afterwards!

Thanks so much for your help

1.) Is there a sense of community there? (It seemed to us, at least in driving past/through, that the town is just golf courses and a narrow strip of businesses lining the highway.  Is there more to it back off the road--more of an actual business center?). Do people know each other, and have shared activities, outside of golf? Are there many year-round residents, or are most just vacationers or part-time?

Oh, yes, a wonderful sense of community.  It's a big village, almost 9,000 people, with growth of 10% per year.  Many vacationers, but mostly year round residents.  We have many lot owners who are out of town residents who come down a few times a year for vacation, but the 9000 population are full timers living here.

When you go through here via 71hwy you are only seeing a very small part of Bella Vista.  Drive up any of the side roads and you'll see for yourself.  Bella Vista stretches 16 miles from east to west, so it's much more extensive then you see along the 71 corridor.

2.)  What is the most positive  thing you've found about living there?

The people of Bella Vista are wonderful!  I've found everyone I've met in Bella Vista to be very friendly.  Most are from other places and have been in the newcomers situation at one time or another.  I haven't found any cliquishness. all are welcome with open arms.  The lakes, the large treed yards, the hundreds of acres of common ground filled with mature trees..all give a feeling of being on vacation year round.

the most negative?

 Because of quick growth traffic is becoming more tricky, although nothing like you'd see in the big cities.  Rush hour traffic might add an additional 15 minutes to any drive home from Rogers or Bentonville.   Northwest Arkansas (including Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville) in 2005 were named NUMBER 1 economically growing location in the US..beating out Los Vegas, who has been number 1 for multiple years.  It's also been on CNN's top 25 places to retire in the US  This draws many to the area and they expect Benton County population to double in the next 10 years.  We've been discovered by younger professionals too, so Bella Vista's demographics are changing.  In the last couple years the medium age of Bella Vista residents has gone from 65 to 60 and it's still going down.  We have more families with children then ever before and although they are still a minority, their numbers are growing, so the medium population age of Bella Vista is definitely getting younger.

 With more people moving in, our fees are going to go up.  Now we pay 24.00 a month for an improved lot, and 16 for an empty lot.  Plus there's fees for Lake Usage, Golfing, just about everything...lower fees for residents, but there's nothing here for free.   However, compared to costs elsewhere, and add in the beauty and peacefulness of the place, those of us who call Bella Vista home more then feel all the costs and traffic snarls are more then worth it!

3.) How far away is the nearest commercial airport?

Not far at all.  The Commercial Airport is www.xna.com (XNA standing for Exciting New Airport) as is only one of 3 major airports created in the last 25 years.  Of course, Wal-Mart's wife, Helen Walton, had something to do with getting a major airport built in this region.

Distance to the airport is about 25 miles I'm guessing.

 4.)  What are the worst critter pests you have there (tics, snakes...???) And how about plants--I'm assuming poison ivy, etc. thrive there!

Yep, we have all of them.  I've not seen any poisonous snakes here myself, but I do know we have copperheads, rattlesnakes and cottonmouths, but they aren't numerous and most will never see one.  Many will tell you that they have, but to them, most all snakes are one of those three as far as they are concerned.  Snakes should be the least of your worries.  Besides, see a snake in your yard and want it gone?  Just call me and I'll come catch it and take it away and release it somewhere else.  I love snakes.  Best thing to do is familiarize yourself with the poisonous snakes and then the more common non poisonous snakes should overly alarm you when you do run into them.

 Ticks....yep, but just spray a bug spray on before you go hiking in the tall grasses or woods anywhere and you'll not have a problem. Poison Ivy...Oh yes...lots of it.  Just learn to recognize it and you'll have no problem avoiding it though. We also have raccoons, possums, armadillos, foxes, bobcats (very elusive), deer, beautiful birds, etc...a wonderful wildlife heaven here!  That's part of the appeal of the Ozarks!

 5.)  Are there any people who like to play musical instruments for fun that you know of? (Namely strings--right now I play cello in a string quartet with 3 other fifty-ish women who mostly play for fun, but also do some weddings, luncheons, etc.) Are there any writer's groups? How about garden clubs with men as members ?  (My husband has the green thumb in our family!)

There's a big Garden Club, and although I don't know how many men belong, I'm sure your husband would be welcomed with open arms!  There are also many music groups such as Barbershop Harmony, Big Bands, Dulcimer, Chorus, Symphony Guild, Sweet Adelines just to name the ones that I've heard of.  Also Bella Vista is an easy place to begin a new club or organization...there's so many here there's sure to be people interested in the same thing you are.

Hope all this helps and hope to see you in Bella Vista someday!

Dustie



This far the most common, and only water snake I've seen, and I fish A LOT,
in the Bella Vista lakes. The Harmless Midland Water Snake
is a subspecies of the Northern Water Snake, the most widely spread
water snake in the US.


Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 7:39 AM

Subject: Bella Vista Info

Hi Dustie,

Enjoyed your website!  We are a year or so behind you in our search for a nice area to live.  I could not tell if you were inside or outside Bella Vista Village.  The homes built by Cooper look nice.  What made you pick Bella Vista as opposed to other cities in the area.  One of our concerns would be that the area may be too cold or too humid at times.  The air quality stats appear to be much better than our Texas area.  I am originally from California where home prices are out of reach.

We plan to take a road trip to the area as soon as we can get away.  Our concerns are probably the same as many "newbies", such as medical facilities, emergency services, weather, cost of living, housing, etc.  Please furnish what you can and then point out best sites for obtaining info and also best sites for exploring homes in the area.

The area looks beautiful and we just hope that the last winter was truly an exception to the rule.  We do want a climate somewhat cooler than the Dallas/FortWorth area, but not extremely different.

Thanks in advance for any assistance,

Best Regards,

Denis & Beverly 

 

 

Hi Denis and Beverly!

I lived in Dallas for five years when I was fresh out of college, and the weather up here is not that much different.  Probably a bit more humid a month or so out of the summer, but it's the humidity that gives us all our beautiful greenery.  Love the large shade trees not found in Texas..most the trees there are smaller and not as full because the amount of moisture they receive is not like what our trees get.  It's also not as hot as Dallas so even with the humidity you can enjoy the outdoors longer in the summer then in Texas I think.  Not so humid that you can't be out of doors.  And I agree with you...I hope last winter was definitely not the norm!  We move from Joplin, only 1 hour north, and winters weren't bad there at all.  There are often days in the winter when you can go outside with only a light coat or jacket.  Hope the snow this year is back to normal...just a little that never sticks around too long.

As for medical facilities, shopping, etc...We have it all within a half hour driving thanks to Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville and Fayetteville.  Every store you could image.  We are even getting a new Wal-Mart Super center which will only be 5 miles from here.

Air Quality is great, weather is great, shopping is great..the biggest problem is traffic since NW Arkansas is number 1 on the Economical growth charts in the country.  We are growing by leaps and bounds and keeping up with street widening projects and such isn't easy.

I love living here and suggest that you at least pay a visit!  Most who do end up coming here to stay!  We have a lot of Californians who have left to come here and now live quite well, since cost of living is probably half what it is there, especially in the area of housing..actually, in that area, it's probably more like 1/3 compared to costs in California.  Our average square foot home prices are about 80.00 a square foot for a new home. 

An average home in Bella Vista will cost you between 135,000 - 160,000.  You can go below that price and still find a nice home, or above that and find a great home.  It's all dependant on what you're looking for.

Hope this all helps and that you decide to come and visit!

Dustie



Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 6:23 PM

Subject: Re: Additional Info

 

Dustie,

Thanks a bunch for the info.  If the weather holds, we are going to try to get out there for a long weekend in early December.  We have something in common, I turned sixty in August and my lovely wife had her 48th birthday last may.  We are very excited about the area and look forward to seeing it up close and personal.  I will try not to abuse the privilege you have so graciously offered in information sharing.  If you cannot answer for a while I will understand.  I assume that you live in the Bella Vista Village that is currently run by the POA.  As we speak, you are probably attending one of those town meetings on the incorporation issue.  Just guessing you were not staying home teaching old dogs (4-legged ones) new tricks.  See, I am doing my homework and research.  Aren't computers great!  If incorporated, would the current restriction on "members only may use the surrounding facilities" be altered?  We know that there is no age restriction on the village, but currently approximately half of the residents are over 55.  On the surface, it seems that in time the community will change from its original charter.  The quiet ambience may somewhat be in jeopardy.  What do you think?  We thought that the reserve of approximately 25% of overall acreage for natural greenbelt areas was wonderful.  Do you think this will continue to remain untouched?  I would hope that the people in power would allow as much expansion and growth as could be accommodated.  As you can tell, Bella Vista is what really attracted us to your lovely area.

 

Thanks again for your assistance,

Best Regards,

Denis

Denis,

You are doing your homework...good for you!

Yes, the face of the village is going to change, whether we incorporate or not.  Incorporation takes a 50% plus one person agreement and I don't see that happening anytime soon.  Most I've talked to are against incorporation.

Our dues will go up...shoot, they are way low now compared to other associations that don't offer near the amenities that Bella Vista offers.  If we should incorporate the POA would still be in charge of the lakes, parks and other facilities and it will still be members only.

As for the face of Bella Vista...it's going to happen, regardless, simply because of the economic growth in Northwest Arkansas.  When there weren't many jobs in the area without having to drive great distances, then this community didn't appeal to the younger generation who had to work for a living.  For retirees, however, it was perfect.  Now there's jobs galore in Northwest Arkansas, with Wal-Mart requiring every vendor to have a fully staffed office here and the growth.  More growth, more business's...more business's more jobs, more jobs more growth.  So Bella Vista and it's beautiful surroundings is becoming appealing, and as more younger people move in and tell others, the reputation of Bella Vista being a retirement community is going to decline, the population is going to get younger and that's all there is to it.  It's not going to happen overnight.  I'd say that yes, 50 - 60% are over 55, but a good many of the under 55 are like me, semi retired with a retired husband.  We only have about 2000 children in the whole village, so the percentage of families in the Village is still low..probably less then 25%, but it's inevitable that it's going to happen.

Fortunately though, most of the houses have some good space around them.  It's not like the subdivisions of today...carbon copy little houses crammed up against each other.  The houses are all individuals and unique with lots of trees everywhere.  The common areas will ALWAYS remain common areas, regardless of incorporation or the changing demographics.  It's in the charter and we all purchase a piece of the common areas when we purchase our homes here.  They can't take that away from us without a vote I'm guessing and who's going to vote the common areas away?

I can't foresee the future..but I do know that we are going to grow.  There are 36,000 lots in Bella Vista (Bella Vista is 16 miles from one side to the other East To West and about 6 miles from North to South so covers a LARGE AREA.  Most of the lots are undeveloped...many not good building lots.  They are all owned by someone though, and the buildable lots will get built on..that's just the way it is.  Then the roads are going to be a bit crowded around here.

But even knowing all that, I wouldn't have chosen anyplace else.  I love to fish and the lakes are wonderful..not crowded at all.  Maybe a bit overfished of the big fellows, but there's plenty of little guys in them to grow up and they do stock them every few years.  I don't golf but the links are always full with people out there golfing on some of the crummiest days!  Days I wouldn't even fish!

The people are, for the most part, the nicest people you'd want to meet.  They are all from someplace else and have been where the newbies were, so seem to go out of their way to be helpful.  Plus, since most still are retired, they are happy people, no stress, and just plain good folks.

So come on up and check it out...and we'd love to have lunch with you if it fits both our schedules when you find yourself up here in Bella Vista!

 

Dustie



Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2003 4:15 PM

Subject: Looking

Dustie,

My wife and I live in Sun City, Georgetown, TX. We have been here about 3 years. We also have a mobile home in a retirement community in Minnesota. We are there about 4 months during the summer. Our kids and grandkids are there. Sometime in the future are going to give up going back and forth between Texas and Minnesota and stay in one place all year. Because of the severe winters it will not be Minnesota and because of the severe summers it will not be Texas. So we are researching various places. We are thinking someplace in SW Missouri, NW Arkansas or NE Oklahoma. We have been to Bella Vista 3 or 4 times and we like what we see. The homes are not too expensive and the taxes are low. We have not contacted a realtor because we are not to that point at this time. We were there about a month ago looking at some lots. Which brings me to the reason for contacting you. Does Bella Vista have an office to contact to find out what lots are for sale? Is each lot individually owned? A lot of the lots we looked at had bad roads going to them. Does Bella Vista improve the roads when someone builds a home?

Ron and Mary

Ron and Mary,

I'm sorry, this week has been very hectic and I've had a lot of email.  Tonight I've had a chance to go through them, and I don't remember answering your questions. If I did, I figure you wouldn't mind getting them answered again.  Better to answer twice then not at all.

All the lots in Bella Vista are now privately owned, so there's no central place to see all the lots for sale.  Many are owned by out of towners, and some of those have put them with local Realtors.  There's also a book in the POA (Property Owners Association) office with pages and pages of lots owned by individuals wanting to sell.  Also, often if you find a lot you like, you can go to the Benton County Courthouse in Bentonville, find out who owns it and contact them directly to see if they want to sell.

The POA website, www.bellavistapoa.com, has some lots listed there for sale.  It's an option all lot owners have, listing their lot on the site for a 15.00 fee.

Yes, usually they will pave the roads once a home is built there, but I don't know how long it takes.  You can find that out from the POA office. 

My husband and I moved to Bella Vista a year ago and we love it.  Very peaceful, beautiful setting and although we do have winters, they aren't northern winters.  Yes, cost of housing is very reasonable, shopping is abundant within a reasonable driving distance and the people are great! 

You might want to put your stuff in storage and come down and rent for a few months, giving you time to really search and find what you want.  It's worth it.  I looked at over 26 homes before we bought ours and I don't regret a moment spent (although at the time it was a bit frustrating, since ours was sold and we were on a deadline).  We love our new home and our neighbors!

Hope this answers your questions.  Best of luck to you on your decision!

Dustie Meads


Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2003 4:15 PM

Subject: Looking

Hi Dustie,

We will arrive some time this Friday afternoon.  We will try to give you a call in between our exploration runs.  Can you recommend a few eating places for good casual dining in the village and a local grocery store?

Thanks,

Denis

P.S. :  Can you hear Hwy 71 road noise from you home?  What is your approximate distance to the Hwy (as the crow flies)?


Denis,

Oh no, you can't hear the highway from here.  We are, as the crow flies, about 1 mile from the highway, and way high up.  Everything on the east side of 71 is in the hills.  We can see Lake Rayburn from our back deck.  Our neighbors across the street are on Lake Rayburn.  We live on Tibberton Circle Drive.  

You will want to stop at the POA Office (by the fire station, SW corner of the 340 exit off 71, also known as Town Center) and pick up a colored Bella Vista Map (cost 3.00).  There is Allen's Grocery Store in the little strip center behind Sonic and near Arvest Bank on 71 Hwy.  There's also Harps (we shop there often) and it's in Town Center (NE Corner of the 360 exit)..where you'll also find an Arvest Bank.

As for eating, there's a nice little Chinese Buffet in Town Center, the same little shopping center that Harps grocery is in, opposite end.  We've not been to any of the Country Clubs that serve lunch and dinner, but I've heard they are good and Metfield Country Club has a Sunday breakfast Buffet.  We don't eat out often but when we do we usually just go into Bentonville or Rogers, which is only about 10 - 20 miles. Rogers has a dearth of Restaurants, really good ones, right off the hi way.  Our favorite is the King's Buffet, a large selection of Chinese foods, lots of sea food and all the crab legs you can eat!

There's also a Sonic and a Dairy Queen for fast eating in Bella Vista on 71 hwy.

You're going to have a good time!  Nice season, and the weather won't be too cold it doesn't look like.

 If you can call, I'd love to hear from you.  If not, don't worry about it.  You could be kept really busy!

Dustie
479-876-9981



Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 9:32 AM

Subject: Bella Vista


Hi Dustie,
 
Thanks for your great website.  My wife and I are looking into retirement.  I ran across your website while researching Bella Vista.  We are in Southern Calif and that makes it a little difficult to just pop in on some some of the places out in the midwest and south.  How is the weather out in Bella Vista so far this year? Humidity?   Are there any lots left for sale in Bella Vista and who sells them?  Do you still like the place now that you have been there awhile?
 
Thanks,
 
Bob From South. Calif

Bob,

Many of the new folks I've met here in Bella Vista in the last months have come from California.  I think your state must be having a mass exodus!  We've some really nice neighbors down the street who came from California and just love it here, although they've not spent a Winter here yet.

Everyone worries about the humidity it seems, but it's just not that bad.  Not like it would be if you settled in the South, like Louisiana or Mississippi or Florida.  We do have about a month of heat and humidity in the summer, usually Mid July to Mid August, but it's nothing unbearable.  It's not like you have to change your cloths because they are dripping wet or anything.  My parents, who spend half their year in Mississippi and the other half in our home state of Ohio, judge the time to leave as to how many times a day they have to change shirts, leaving for Ohio when it's three shirt weather.  We don't have to do that around here for sure!  It's been beautiful weather here this year.  I was only kept from fishing for about three weeks this summer when the weather went over 90.  Too hot to sit out in the sun in the boat.

Do we still love it after a year hear now?  Absolutely!  This is where we will be until it's time to move someplace for really old people and hopefully that won't be for a good number of years yet.

Nice thing about Bella Vista vs other retirement areas is the proximity to shopping.  We have easy access to anything you would want..all the major chain stores and more.  We're not at all isolated like many retirement areas, having to drive big distances to get to any real shopping cities.  That's a plus.

The negative in the minds of some, if you want to count it as such, is  that the face of Bella Vista is changing...the people moving in getting younger, since it is close enough for working people to live and still commute to work at Wal-Mart headquarters or many of the other large business's we have in Bentonville, Rogers or Springdale.  We also have a good highway system coming into Bella Vista, making it an easy commute.  They suspect that this area is going to double in the next 10 years and that the medium age for Bella Vista is going to go from 60 to 50.  Thanks to the Golf Courses and Fishing Lakes, it will still be a great retirement choice for many, but we are going to have to share the area with more working folks too.  

It's not a negative to me though, because now our daughter and son in law and young granddaughter live in Bella Vista, and we love having them close!

Everyone smiles and waves, people are happy and friendly, there's so much to do...it's a great place to live for sure!

As for lots..they are all sold and into the hands of private owners.  Thousands of those owners are from out of state and would be happy to sell.  Any real estate agent in the area has lists of affordable (5,000 - 10,000) lots for sale.  The POA website (Property Owners Association, our governing body) has a section where owners can list their lots www.bellavistapoa.com so you can check them out.  I would consider buying an already built house though, as it's really hard to have a house built long distance I would think.  Or, you could move out, live in a Rental Home (plenty of them in the area available for short term lease) until you find the home you are looking for.

It's definitely worth a trip to check the area out I'd say.  The California couple who are our neighbors did that...and their mother flew out and joined them for a couple weeks of their month stay and she ended up buying a townhouse here too.  They went home and immediately put their homes on the market and never looked back.

Hope all that info helps!

Dustie Meads
www.beautifulbellavista.com



My Husband (In my 2nd boat)


Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 9:58 AM

Subject: Thank you for your prompt reply

 

Dear Dustie:  Thank you for taking the time to pass on this detailed information.  We appreciate it so much.  We will follow your advice.

Your input about the growth of Bella Vista is very insightful along with the proximity of   towns and jobs.  One thing that was a negative about Hot Springs Village is that it is a bit isolated.  We spent only a little time in Hot Springs, but that also is a small city.

So, do you believe that  Bella Vista will no longer be a retirement commnity?  Or will the part of it stay that way, with the town growing around it?  How is the condition of the RV park if you know?  Will they take larger units?  The one at Hot Springs Village wasn't much.

We'll get busy on the web.  Good luck fishing!!!

Jim & Denise

Jim,

The RV park is in a valley surrounded by pretty hillsides.  The RV's actually park on a parking lot, so yes, they can handle larger units.   

I think Bella Vista will always attract retiree's, because of the Lakes and the Golf Courses, so I think it will be a mix of retirees and working families, but it won't have the atmosphere of Hot Springs or other strictly retirement communities throughout the US. 

I ran into a lady at the store yesterday who's been in Bella Vista for 29 years now.  She said when they first moved here, they knew everyone.  Population was 2000 people.  Now it's over 9000 people and no way to know everyone, but she still loves it here. 

The people are still great though, and we know almost all our neighbors and are always getting together for one thing or another.  That's unlike anywhere we've ever lived...most other places we hardly knew our neighbors.  Here, no matter where you go in Bella Vista people smile and wave.  You won't find that many places either.

So come on down and check us out.  I think you'll be pleased with what you find.


 










 


 

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