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porkchoppie

Fayetteville, AR

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I was recently accepted to do a PhD at Arkansas and will most likely end up going there. But I've never been to Fayetteville and am hoping somebody can give me some pointers.

Is the cost of living higher or lower than average? What can I expect to pay for rent for a reasonably nice one or two bedroom apartment?

Also, what kinds of things can I do for fun? It would be great to find some fun coffee shops, restaurants, and recreational type stuff to do during the 5 minutes when my head isn't buried in books and journal articles? :)

Thanks!

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I've also been accepted to U Ark, so i'll be interested in replies.

From my own research, the cost of living is really reasonable and the area is quite nice. Bentonville, the area north of Fayetteville, is home to the Walmart Home Office and some other corporate HQs. It's also one of the top retirement spots in the US. A lot of money is coming in and the area is seeing a lot of growth, but its still the "south", so costs are lower.

Not sure if I'll be going here or not, but checking Craigslist home rentals really makes me want to!

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Hi guys!

Congrats on attending the U of A! You'll like being a Razorback. I finished my MFA here in 2006 and have been a staff member in various employ ever since. Fayetteville is a great town -- lots of fun for grad students. It's sort of the ultimate college town. It's easy to find a place to live that's within walking distance, it's very cheap to live here, there are millions (well, thousands) of others just your age and looking to have fun, and the bar/downtown atmosphere is pretty fun.

Here's the low-down:

1. Yes, cost-of-living is pretty cheap. As an example, I live in a 2-bedroom house on a double lot with a fenced in backyard within walking distance to campus. Two parking spots, full basement, front porch and huge kitchen. Very nice (not crappy at all). I pay about $750 a month. That's pretty high for around here. If you want to slum it, you can go as low as $300 a month. If you have income, then you can get a house and rent for $800 a month and do very well. Utilities should be about $150 a month, depending on the season and if you have gas heat.

2. Social life is pretty easy -- most departments will have some sort of social network. If not, latch on to one that does. The international student program is big here, and so are some of the other grad student programs. Dickson Street is the place to go bar hopping, restaurant skipping and all-around see and be seen. It can get tedious after a few years, but hopefully you'll enjoy it before you hate it. George's is good for live music (saw Gavin DeGraw there in October, and Merle Haggard before that), Mickey Finn's is good for a pub scene, Brewski's is more grad students and Common Grounds is a coffee shop/bar/restaurant that is open late. It can be heavy on the youngsters, but it's a nice place to go and get a coffee and study. People are really friendly here, so strike up a conversation if you are out alone. The bartenders and wait staff tend to be young and in college. Don't be afraid! One MAJOR MAJOR note: restaurants stop serving around nine pm there. There are also only about two delivery places. This can be a bummer. You need to plan when you go eat. Common Grounds is open late -- 11 at least, so there's always that. Plus, the sushi in town is great. I eat sushi in Los Angeles and I can honestly still say that Fayetteville sushi is great (not LA quality, but you see what I'm saying).

3. If you are a foodie, prepare for some difficulties. Fayetteville has the stuff you want, but you have to search for it and pay for it. We have three major grocery stores: IGA, Harp's and Wal-Mart. Embrace the Wal-Mart, love the Wal-Mart. Your snobbery will only hurt you. It really has the best selection of stuff. For better quality and somewhat better selection, try Ozark Natural Foods (grains, organic stuff, etc. -- owned by Whole Foods) and Richard's Meat Market. The Fayetteville Farmer's Market is every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning on the square from March to November. Great source of local produce, meat, flowers, crafts, plants, etc. If you ask around, you can find local people who sell all kinds of produce, cheese, meats, etc. from their farms, if you are into that kind of living.

4. When you are looking for housing, try to get something close to campus -- it's not worth trying to park on campus. There are lots of cool little houses near campus. Just plan a visit and take a look. Don't try to gauge something over the internet, though. Kinda hard around here, I think.

5. Weather: Mostly warm and mild. We just got plowed by an ice storm, which is unusual. The winters are usually around 40ish for Dec-Feb. Spring is warm -- about 60. Summers are hot! Your first 6 weeks of grad school may be over 100 degrees, so be prepared. Everything (and I mean everything) is air conditioned around here, so it's not too big of a deal, but it can be culture shock if you aren't used to it.

I'm happy to answer any questions, especailly if they are about the MFA in writing program! Good luck! Woo-pig sooie!

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Good info on Fayetteville. I live in Dallas and will be relocating to Fayeville in teh Fall 2009. I will prefer to live away from campus in a quite complex. I am wondering if apartments in the Rogers and Farmington areas are within reasonable commuting distance to U of A. How about living in Springdale ?? I do not mind the commute as long as I get a decent place that is priced reasonably . Are there in any places in the Rogers/Farmington/Springdale areas to avoid and are there any places that offer what I am looking for

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Hi Moro,

Rogers will be about a twenty minute commute depending on the time of day you are driving in/out and Farmington is probably about ten-fifteen minutes. That said, neither one is really a necessary commute, as the price won't be any different and the quietness won't be any different than living in Fayetteville. The key to finding a quiet apartment complex in Fayetteville is to live in one of the ones further away from campus. I'd suggest The Cliffs or the Links for quiet, but not necessarily price. The less expensive complexes will be closer to campus, but they may have more undergrads. I really don't suggest living out in Springdale, Rogers or Farmington just to get a cheaper place -- they won't be any cheaper.

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Well I have stayed in Fayetteville for the last 4 years and honestly I do not find a ton to do.

The best things are hiking, back packing, fishing, hunting, canoeing and out-door stuff. Limited bars/club. Nightlife sucks if you are planning to be here long term. The closest fun city is Dallas which is still 6 hours away. Most of the fun stuff is hanging out watching movies, pot-luck parties, wii game nights, pool and bowling. Flying from XNA sucks since you always have to get a connecting flight hence costs are more.

Cost of living is low. Having a car is a must here if you want to get around.

It is a good place to start off, I have made the best of friends here and loved undergrad. But I would recommend another city if you are looking for a life outside school.

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Honestly, I have lived here for seven years as a grad student and I don't think the post above is an accurate reflection of the graduate student life. It seems like a pretty narrow-minded view of what's available.

As I've posted before, Fayetteville is a small town and one shouldn't come here assuming there will be tons of stuff on the level of New York or Boston. On the other hand, its great college town and I, for one, have found lots of great stuff to do over the years. Try thinking outside the box and looking for nightlife off Dickson Street, go bowling, look for movies that might be playing for just a couple weeks, try out new restaurants, go go-karting, check out the trails and camping opportunities, get involved in the green movement, keep up with the stuff going on at the public library, get involved in the free swing lessons, break-dance lessons or martial arts lessons at the fitness center, volunteer to be an english conversation partner, etc.

There's lots to do if you don't get yourself bogged down in how Fayetteville is a small town. Don't come in with a negative attitude and don't leave with one. That's the best advice there is.

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I've spent four years as an undergrad in Fayetteville and I think it's a nice place to live and study. It's a small-ish college town in the mid-south with a big-time college sports program, which makes for an interesting combination of "vibes". Football is HUGE around here. Games are on Saturdays in the Fall semester, so be prepared for an extra influx of traffic and people. The football stadium holds over 70,000 fans (which is even on the small side for an SEC school like Arkansas) and it's usually full to capacity. I would recommend avoiding campus on game days....

Fayetteville, to me, gives off sort of a hippie vibe. Maybe it's just the people I tend to encounter, but it certainly seems like there are more vegan, Buddhist, peace activist, anarcho-syndicalist types than one might expect to find at a large, public university in the South. But it's fun. You can meet all sorts of people of all different life-styles. I've met Buddhist monks and Mormon missionaries, Young Republicans and Green Party Congressional candidates. As previous posters have mentioned Dickson Street is the place to go for food and drink and live music. I've not done much socially in my time here, but the town is not dead by any means.

The cost of living isn't too bad. I've never really paid attention to that sort of thing until I moved off campus this year, but apparently it's pretty good relative to the rest of the country. I'm living in a 1 bedroom apartment about a 10 minute walk from the very center of campus and rent is $410 including water. Electricity runs about $25/month on average. I have free Wi-Fi access and don't use a TV, so I couldn't tell you about that. From what I hear, my rent is pretty reasonable for the location I'm in. It's really close to campus, very well maintained, clean, and no sketchy folk hanging about. Oh, and there's a well-shaded park and bike trail across the street from me, too! Arkansas has an 11% sales tax on food. I don't know what kind of funding you have from your department, but you shouldn't have to live in abject poverty.

This is a good place to start looking for off-campus housing: http://offcampushousing.uark.edu/

The university maintains a pretty efficient bus line which runs all over campus and goes into town. It's definitely easier to have car, and outside of campus it's definitely not pedestrian friendly, but campus itself is actually very easy to get around. For the main public university in the state, it's probably about a 20 or 25 minute walk from one end of campus to the other. It's definitely a hilly area, though, so riding your bike around campus might be an interesting experience.

Here's a link to the bus line, including videos of each route: http://parking.uark.edu/67.htm

I hope this helps. I think you'll enjoy Fayetteville!

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My wife and I are planning on renting a house when we first move down there if we decide on Arkansas. Does anyone have suggestions of areas that are good or areas to avoid? Also, are the management companies that rent out the houses good, or are there any that people have problems with?

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First, some disclosure. I was born in Fayetteville. My father is a graduate of the College of Architecture and he spent the better part of my childhood working on projects associated with the University of Arkansas (renovations, new buildings, etc). I myself am a graduate of the UofA. I have a deep love for Fayetteville and the UofA. I was looking at this forum for information about moving to Denver for grad school. I saw this thread and couldn't help but join in. I'd love to answer any questions you might have. I just thought you'd might like to know what sort of bias I have first.

@acup313 - There is divided opinion on Sweetser and Lindsey as far as management companies go. I'd avoid them if you are going to simply be renting a house. They own a great majority of the apartments in Fayetteville. Check out fayar.craigslist.org for some apartment listings. Clearly that's not completely representative of Fayetteville but it'd be a good start.

I currently rent a house that is 10 minutes walk from campus. I pay $610 a month with water included. Total bills (gas, electricity and internet, but no cable, run about $110). The house I rent is managed by an employee of the UofA that uses it as a second stream of income. It's an early 20th century house (1930's maybe) with some neat renovations but what appears to be the original hard wood floor (that's a plus to me; maybe not to you!). It's about 1500 sq feet with two bedrooms, a separate dining room and a laundry/utility room that is almost as big as a bedroom. Oh and it has a garage and storage shed. Yeah, and I'm only 10 minutes from campus on foot. Neat huh?

I figure you have a few options when looking for a place to live that is reasonable and managed well with a good location. Most of the houses around the UofA are rentals and most of them are owned by individuals, though an individual may own 6 or so houses of course. You could: 1) come to Fayetteville and stay in an extended stay hotel. There are two within a 5 minute commute of the UofA. 2) You could make a buddy at the UofA who would help you look for a house before hand. There are plenty of houses around. In fact, due to the whole real estate bubble there are dozens still up for rent today even though it's the middle of a school year. It wouldn't have been that way 10 years ago.

@nrunyan - Great post! I'd like to add that there is a WONDERFUL bike trail system that runs through the city. You can bike from the UofA to the main shopping area, what residents will call the "Mall" (creative, I know), in 30 minutes. I wouldn't recommend relying on it but it is a nice ride. Here's a map - http://www.accessfayetteville.org/government/parks_and_recreation/documents/maps/2009_Master_Trails_Plan__11x17.pdf. Walking on campus is fun because of the Senior Walk - http://campusmaps.uark.edu/322.php.

@solefolia - I would also add that it is consistently rated as one of the top place to live in America by publications such as Money magazine. I love my city, so I'm inclined to agree with them!

@porkchoppie - For stuff to do around town, to kinda see what community does exist for the 20 and 30 somethings, check out http://www.fayettevilleflyer.com/.

As I said, I'd love to answer any questions anyone has. I'm biased but I'll be honest with you as much as possible. Feel free to PM me.

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The trail map link in my post above is no longer active, so here are some updated links:

http://www.accessfayetteville.org/government/parks_and_recreation/documents/2009_Trails_Brochure.pdf

http://www.accessfayetteville.org/search/index.cfm?cx=008990162727966634135:gyqurngwvrc&cof=FORID:11&ie=UTF-8&q=bike+trail&x=0&y=0

Again, I really would like to make myself available for anyone moving to Fayetteville. Especially those of you moving here sight-unseen.

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I'm bumping this in hope of getting more info on house/apt rentals in Fayetteville.

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I was recently accepted to do a PhD at Arkansas and will most likely end up going there. But I've never been to Fayetteville and am hoping somebody can give me some pointers.

Is the cost of living higher or lower than average? What can I expect to pay for rent for a reasonably nice one or two bedroom apartment?

Also, what kinds of things can I do for fun? It would be great to find some fun coffee shops, restaurants, and recreational type stuff to do during the 5 minutes when my head isn't buried in books and journal articles? :)

Thanks!

I am not sure about prices, craiglist is always a great general reference, even if you don't end up renting via the website. Fayetville is SUCH a cute town! there is a great little artsy market type thing on weekend, the BEST used bookstore in the world (seriously, comparable to NYC), and the weather in that area is really quite nice. Lots of hiking and fishing.

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I am not sure about prices, craiglist is always a great general reference, even if you don't end up renting via the website. Fayetville is SUCH a cute town! there is a great little artsy market type thing on weekend, the BEST used bookstore in the world (seriously, comparable to NYC), and the weather in that area is really quite nice. Lots of hiking and fishing.

Anywhere else besides craigslist? A local forum or newspaper?

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I am planning to start my PhD at UA in Fall of 2014. I know they have https://offcampushousing.uark.edu/ to help with finding off-campus housing but I wonder what areas are safest. The most I could afford would be $500 a month for a 1 bedroom but I'd like to keep it around $400 or so if I can. I'm just wondering how safe those areas are.

 

I was thinking of going out there during spring break in March.

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Hi All,

I'm planning to leave my job from Chicago, IL & join grad school at Fayetville, AR. My gad school stipend (~$1100/month) is going to be half of my current income. I'm scared to death. Can any one tell how the hell I'm suppose to manage/ cut down living expences in this town? Any tips?

Thanks.

Sam.

prk_01234@yahoo.com 

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Hi All,

I'm planning to leave my job from Chicago, IL & join grad school at Fayetteville, AR. My gad school stipend (~$1100/month) is going to be half of my current income. I'm scared to death. Can any one tell how the hell I'm suppose to manage/ cut down living expences in this town? Any tips?

Thanks.

Sam.

prk_01234@yahoo.com

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Hi Sam,

I did my undergraduate study in Fayetteville, AR. I like the town but don't exactly love it. It's a nice place and people are extremely nice and hospitable. Fayetteville is not that big. Rent is not very expensive. With your stipend, you can definitely afford living there and don't have to be worried about cutting costs. Dickson is a street where you can find a lot of bars and clubs. Moving from Chicago to Fayetteville might make you feel shocked since the town is tiny. You definitely need a car to move around Fayetteville. If you live close to campus, there are buses that take you to classes and they run until 10pm. Good luck with your future endeavors.

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Bumping this thread because my partner and I are now both accepted here. If anyone around has any insights about living in Fayetteville (typical rent, good places to live, places to avoid, etc) that would be great! If you live close enough to campus is it easy to walk to campus and other parts of town?

Also what do people do outside of school at Fayetteville? I know it's nestled in the Ozarks so are there are lot of nice places to go hike, fish, and do other things outdoors? Also my partner, @Melvillage_Idiot, would love to know if there are any local bookstores or coffee shops in town?

If anyone has anything else they would like to add about the town I would love to hear it!

Edited by FishNerd

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I am seconding FishNerd's questions about Fayetteville. What neighborhoods are good to live in for grad students and what is typical rent? What is it like to live there regarding things to do, particularly outdoor activities?

Thanks!

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Hi, everyone!

I was recently accepted into UArk's English MA program and after having Fayetteville in mind for several months, am considering accepting the offer. My only concern is whether or not I'll be able to afford life as a TA out there. I've done a little bit of research and it appears that Fayetteville is on the lower ends for cost of living (compared to where we are now) and while I'm fortunate that my fiance would be moving with me to supplement our income, we have significant student loan debt we'll need to keep chipping away at. Does anyone around Fayetteville happen to know how the job market is around there for a computer programmer and whether Arkansas still pays competitively despite the low cost of living? (For reference, he'll have over a year and a half of job experience and half a year of internship experience once we'd be moving out there.)

Also, if you can't speak to the first half of this prompt, what is Fayetteville like as a whole? I heard it's an artsy city--is this true? Any other quirks I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance! x

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As for pay rates, you may see a bit lower than what you would see on the coasts, but the cost of living difference is everything. Houses are sometimes 3x-5x cheaper in the greater area than you could find on the coasts. Seriously. I have friends who live in that area of AR and MO just so they can travel with all the money they save. 

The biggest thing for finding your fiance a job would be to look to Bentonville. Walmart has invested money in creating a start-up hub atmosphere in the city. I highly doubt that a computer programmer would have a hard time finding a job at a startup or an established company. .

There is an arts scene. Definitely unique culture in the Bentonville-Fayetteville corridor than to much of the rest of the state. Enjoy the beautiful scenery. A free art museum (Crystal Bridges) and some of the best coffee around (Onyx Coffee Lab). 

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Very informative and helpful post, guys! Thank you so much! It's really helping me get a feel for Fayetteville that a google search couldn't provide. 

I do have another question--mostly about housing. Are there any housing complexes to stay away from? I've been reading a few reviews online, so I'm starting to get a little concerned about all the 1 star reviews I've been seeing for complexes that are within my budget and close proximity to campus. I've seen someone mention apartments/houses owned and rented out by individuals--is that recommended above complexes? Also, are there any websites that make searching for individual-owned spaces a little more streamlined/is there a different way to go about searching for that? (Craigslist I'm assuming?)

My many thanks! x

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