Monday, February 12, 2007

Why I Love Where I Live

Another FUN MONDAY assignment -hosted by everyone's favorite Canadian, Marnie. Mena is my home at present - a 5,600 population town located in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. This is our state park, and the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge.

As a real estate agent, I could go on and on about our incredibly low property taxes. When I disclose the annual tax bill for a property, most people are shocked. For example, I live in a 1400 square foot house in the city limits, with annual property taxes of $279. Since we receive a homestead credit of $300 each year, I don't pay a dime! Even my 3,400 square foot office building, located on an acre of prime highway frontage, has yearly taxes of only $1,800. So if you're cheap - this is the place for you!

LOW crime. Around these parts (how hick does that sound?), most people own police scanners. If there is a violent crime, it usually stems from an ongoing domestic situation. The schools are very safe, and the fact that everyone knows everyone else can provide a measure of safety, too.

Over 70% of the county is National Forest property - so it can only become so populated. Even better, the scarcity of land almost guarantees that the demand for real estate will increase annually. But prices are still very low compared to those in the rest of the nation. Ever watch thos home improvement shows? Or "Flip This House?" I think people could do REALLY well here. For example, check out this house, and compare it to those you see on tv.

We also enjoy four distinct seasons. The most beautiful of all is Fall.

I don't plan to live here forever, but Mena will always be special to me for two reasons.
1) I met my husband here.
2) My daugher was born here.

Now I'm trotting off to visit your town - should make for another exhausting, but FUN Monday!


Desert Songbird said...

Gorgeous countryside, Tigg.

There are times I wish I could tear myself away from this large metropolitan area, with its outrageous real estate, astronomical property taxes, disgusting air, and horrific traffic, but given my current medical condition, I'm thinking that will be a pipe dream since most of the top specialists are in big cities.

My ideal location would be a tropical island some place where hurricanes are infrequent, and cute naked men with spiked drinks are numerous...

Amy W said...

Another Arkansas person! Great views.

Matt said...

Damn. $300 property tax! I don't even own a house but I have to pay more than that for my "car tax" in Virginia.


swampwitch said...

A-h-h-h-h! Makes me homesick. Raised in SE OK, I loved those "mountains." Always took foliage tours through them in the fall. I love how people try to prounouce Ouchita.

Beccy said...

I can't believe that house is for sale for $189,000. I'm hopping on the next plane and moving in! My shoe box would cost over five times that amount and I can't afford a bigger shoe box!

A very pretty place to live.

Bethany said...

My property taxes just went UP $600!

I need to move.

Willowtree said...

Sounds like a pretty good place to me, but then I didn't need any convincing. Some months ago I formed that opinion after going through the C21 listings you had at the time. I was just stunned at the prices, and the places look pretty nice.

Willowtree said...

Oh, almost forgot, my property taxes are $240.

Karmyn said...

Dang - my summer water bill alone is more than your tax bill. sheesh.

Anonymous said...

I'm not posting my property taxes because everyone will faint. Let's just say everyone's averages here are something close to my electric bill.

What beautiful country you have out there! Wow! :)

Pamela said...

My sis lived in Hot Springs Ark for a few years. But, I never got to visit her there.

I want to come visit you and every place I've seen today.

Love that green velvet paintint (so it looks like)

mjd said...

Okay, I am convinced. I am moving to Arkansas today. Oh all right, maybe not today, but you have made Arkansas very appealing.

min said...

Sigh. You are so lucky. I love my city, but Arkansas is so lovely.

Claudia said...

I love the mountains...great shot!

C said...

Awesome cost of living.

James Burnett said...

You're killin' me! Our 1300 sq. foot home in a burb of Miami just cost us $4,200 bucks in property taxes for '06.

I think I'm gonna be sick.

Tiggerlane said...

desert songbird - Thanks! I'm all for the cute naked men and drinks. Wonder if they can be imported? Probably couldn't afford the shipping.

amy w - Thanks! I'm just glad our Arkansas posts were so different.

matt - our annual car tags are $27.50 a year.

swampy - this past fall was AWESOME. One of our best years yet! Most people go "ouch - ee - tah," which is SO funny!

beccy - I'm telling ya, if more people knew about this place, we'd all be richer!

bethany - come on down!

WT - we DO have great values. Wanna invest some of your millions?

karmyn - my water bill averages $45/month. But let's not talk about the gas bill.

melissa - I used to live in Texas, where the taxes were astronomical. Come visit!

pamela - Hot Springs is so much fun. I'm going there this weekend AND next. One for business, one for pleasure. If you ever get back to Arkansas, Eureka Springs is great, too.

mjd - I happen to know a really good real estate broker!

min - I actually miss the city - but there is a measure of peace here that I appreciate more as I get older.

claudia - wish I had taken it! I stole it off a web site!

c - sounds like they're going to slash our food tax this year, too! By 3%! WOOHOO!

james - don't be sick. You get to live in Miami. I'm jealous!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your blog through Ree's blog. My dh and I grew up in Mena. You are making me homesick. I guess it is time to make a trip home.


The very nice man said...

That just looks spectacular and I just wish I could hop over to explore the area! You lucky thing!!

Kila said...

Beautiful photos! You sold me!

Wisconsin's quality of life is good (except for the weather, at times), but we do have high property taxes.

Vicki said...

Wow! That really is a great place to live.

Are you a real estate agent? LOL

mark said...

Wow. That's beautiful and it sounds wonderful. I definitely want to visit sometime. You've definitely got us beat for property taxes. We don't have a state income tax, so tax revenue is via sales tax and property taxes. The schools are under funded, so they raise property taxes. But no Income taxes! :) Thanks for sharing and sorry I'm so late to finally make the rounds.

Robin said...

I didn't get to many of these last just wasn't a "good" blogging week and I don't have the reasonable excuse of work getting in my way :/.

You HAVE done a GREAT job of "selling" where you live; my dad was a realtor, so I know all about finding the "good" in a place. I'm wondering where you think you'll end up next since you've indicated you won't live there forever (is your land somewhere other than Mena?).

Tiggerlane said...

JB - come back anytime! The coffee's always hot at my office.

Erik - I'd much rather visit your neck of the woods!

kila - Wisconsin would be too cold for me - how does a tropical gal like you handle it?

vicki - it's THAT obvious, isn't it?

mark - wish we didn't have the state income tax here. Texas sure didn't have one!

robin - not really sure, but I'd like to live closer to a city. Mostly for cultural exposure. Okay, and shopping!