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Buffalo River Overlook

Moving To The Ozarks

If you are thinking of getting out of the crowded city during the current pandemic you may be considering where to move. Some people may have even considered moving to the Ozarks as that place they see as a refuge from all the problems of city life. If this is you, you might want to consider a few things that are surely different in the Ozarks than the city where you currently reside.

The Ozarks span five states, but the majority of the mountains and streams are located in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. There are many public forests, lakes and streams, cave systems, springs, and a host of other interesting features to explore.

Things To Consider Before Moving To The Ozarks

When I moved from Florida to the Ozarks I had a grocery store less than a mile from my home. Now I have at least a 30-minute drive to a grocery store. I have always bought groceries to last several weeks when I go, because I hate shopping. Now I have to be even more aware due to the distance involved. You can’t just run to the store because you forgot an ingredient you need for that dish you planned to cook tonight. So, unless you plan to move to one of the bigger towns plan to keep more food in the house than you are used to.

Bugs and critters are abundant here. Think ticks and flies as far as bugs go. Honestly, I grew up in southeast Arkansas, where the mosquitos make it impossible to enjoy any outdoor activity during the summer. There are very few of those here, but the flies can be terrible in the summer. Once warmer weather comes you might as well carry tick repellent and spray it on if you are venturing outdoors. The critters you may encounter range from the usual ‘possums and raccoons, to the occasional bear or bobcat. There isn’t anything here that will eat you, so no need to be scared to venture into the woods. Snakes are a real possibility too. Copperheads are the main concern, but I have seen the occasional cottonmouth here as well, as evidenced by the photo below.

Moving to the ozarks cottonmouth
Click for larger version

On the other side of that is the abundance of wildlife such as deer, eagles, fish, and all manner of birds, reptiles and amphibians. If you love outdoor photography as much as I do the Ozarks offer plenty of opportunity to photograph the wide variety of wildlife and beautifully abundant plant life.

Another consideration is that many roads are unpaved. This is especially true when you are looking at places to hike or otherwise get away. If you want to get to the best places you will undoubtedly encounter rough, rocky roads that you probably don’t want to take your family car down. This is hilly country, and it can be rough. So just be sure and plan accordingly.

The Great Things About Moving To The Ozarks

The above things are not meant at all to make moving to the Ozarks something to be discouraged. In fact, the many great things about moving to the Ozarks far outweigh any negatives if you love freedom and self-reliance. The people in the Ozarks are friendly and neighborly. Communities come together to help each other when there are natural or man-made catastrophes. I would say the friendly people are the major benefits to moving to the Ozarks.

Land and homesteads are still relatively inexpensive compared to other areas of the US. Much of the land here are undeveloped forests and agricultural land. This type of land is decidedly less expensive than in the cities or suburbs.

Getting away from the crowds is not hard or expensive in the Ozarks. There are plenty of acres of forests, clear water streams, waterfalls, and hiking trails only minutes from many places in the Ozarks. The unique geology of the area is truly magnificent. Some of the highest peaks in the Ozarks top 2000′.

Many lakes dot the landscape of the Ozarks as well. Although Lake of the Ozarks is probably the most well-known, the lakes along the White River Watershed are less crowded and cleaner. Beaver, Table Rock, and Bull Shoals lakes are deep, clear lakes with relatively lower numbers of boat traffic than those more well known lakes.

Steps In Doing Your Research

If you are considering moving to the Ozarks there are a few considerations to help you begin your research. Ask yourself a few questions to help narrow down your search.

  1. Do I want to live in or near a city vs. living out in the countryside?
  2. Can I work remotely or do I have a marketable skill for the area?
  3. Am I searching for a home and a few acres, or so I want a larger tract of land?
  4. How far am I willing to be from city conveniences?
  5. Am I comfortable living in an area where the nearest hospital may be over an hour away?
  6. Am I self-sufficient enough to do much of the work at home myself, or do I need to be near a plumber, electrician, or other service pro?

I’m sure you can think of many other questions you have. Be sure and do your research before you commit to moving to the Ozarks. While many places may not be for everyone, there are many opportunities to experience a slower pace of life in the Ozarks. If that is for you, then the Ozarks might be just the place you are looking for.

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