Love mountains, but also love shopping? Love Austin, but hate the traffic?
Haaaaaaaave you met Fayetteville, Ark.?
Now, I must confess a great deal of bias — Fayetteville is my old stomping grounds, and whenever we get a chance, we head there for R&R. In fact, we were there over Christmas vacation, and had the chance to tour a very well-known starter home — Bill and Hillary Clinton’s first home — where they lived while both taught at University of Arkansas’ law school.
It is adorable. You can totally see why it helped Bill’s third try at proposing to Hillary (yes, she turned him down a couple of times). In fact, Bill told the story at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
“I was driving her to the airport to fly back to Chicago when we passed this little brick house that had a for sale sign on it,” he recalled. “And she said, ‘Boy, that’s a pretty house.’ Hillary commented on what a uniquely designed and beautiful house it was.”
Bill took note, and bought the 1,100-square-foot house. His mortgage, he said, was $175 a month.
“When she came back, I picked up her up and I said, ‘You remember that house you liked?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, “While you were gone I bought it, you have to marry me now. “
They had their wedding in that one-bedroom, one-bath house that is within walking distance of campus (and a very easy walk to the university’s football, basketball, baseball, and track and field facilities). These days, a mortgage on a similar house would be more than $175 a month, but you could still find an affordable home that size in Fayetteville, which would be great for someone looking for a nice little getaway spot for three-day weekends or longer. And if you factor in potential Airbnb earnings by renting out the abode during football season, it makes a home purchase even more affordable.
Like Dallas, Fayetteville has been experiencing a pretty steady rise in home sales. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this month that November 2016 home sales increased 25 percent compared to November 2015. Prices were up about 10 percent.
But if you’re looking for a retreat, there are still tons of options for almost every pocketbook. And you can still get quite a bit of house for your money, too.
Or if you want something larger, this Ernie Jacks stunner on Mount Sequoyah features a spectacular view, seven outdoor living areas, three full and one half bathrooms, and four bedrooms. At $894,900, it’s kind of a steal.
And if you need more room and a smaller budget, this six-bedroom home is next to campus and comes in at $240,000. It needs some updates, but you can make those over time with your Airbnb earnings.
But as much as I love that Ernie Jacks home, my absolute favorite home was designed by E. Fay Jones, noted Arkansas-born architect. If you’re a midcentury modern fan, you will love the Buckley House — 4,902 square feet of wow that features four bedrooms and two baths, and views that will not quit. I mean, look at all that light. Look at the outdoor spaces. This is a beautiful home, and at $840,725 it’s worth every penny.
With those kinds of bargains, you’ll have plenty of money to spend at some of great haunts, including a bookstore that has been referred to as “life-changing” — Dickson Street Bookshop, and Terra Studios, home of the original blue bird of happiness, and pretty much anything in the Fayetteville Square, including the amazing Farmer’s Market.