Homes for Rent in Fort Smith, AR: What You Need to Know
Fort Smith (population: 87,891) is the second-largest city in Arkansas, behind Little Rock. The 1968 novel “True Grit,” set in Fort Smith, put the city on the map. It was adapted for film twice.
Things to Do in Fort Smith
Literary and film buffs love the True Grit Trail, which pays homage to the best-selling novel by Arkansas native Charles Portis. The trail follows a path for the book’s protagonist, Mattie Ross, in tracking down her father’s murderer in Dardanelle and bringing the killer to Fort Smith for a hanging. You can follow the route signage along AR 22 between the two cities. The Fort Smith National Historic Site is a popular attraction, thanks to the legendary Judge Isaac C. Parker. He was known as the “hanging judge” for the numerous criminals he convicted to death. The site features two jails, a replica gallows, and Parker’s courtroom, where he tried 13,490 cases.
Weather and Climate
While Arkansas isn’t part of the Tornado Alley, Oklahoma is, and Fort Smith is right on the border with Oklahoma. On April 21, 1996, a tornado touched down on Fort Smith, killing two people and damaging about 1,800 homes. The city gets 48 inches of rain per year versus the national average of 38 inches, and only four inches of snow annually compared with the U.S. average of 28 inches.
Cost of Living
Living expenses in Fort Smith are fairly reasonable, but Arkansas has one of the highest income tax and sales tax rates in the country. Fort Smith’s cost of living rate, food, and housing costs are 16.2%, 5.5%%, and 31.7% lower than the national average, respectively. The median gross rent in the city is $666. Arkansas levies 0% to 6.90% in income tax and 6.50% to 11.625% in sales tax. Counties and cities collect their own sales taxes.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Locals take pride in Fort Smith’s affordability, friendliness, and excellent schools. A significant number (48%) of city residents are renters. Those who prefer the suburbs should look into Barling, described by residents as the best of both worlds for its rustic tranquility and easy access to city amenities. Greenwood is known for its safe environment and a popular hammock park. Both Barling and Greenwood have superb schools.
Shopping in Town
If you love collectibles, you’re going to love Fort Worth for its antique malls such as Remember When, Through the Years, and Treasures at Century Plaza. Looking for national retailers? Central Mall is the largest indoor shopping center in Arkansas with 87 stores. You can also check out Fort Smith Pavilion, featuring more than 20 shops, Stonewood Village Shopping Center, and GreenPointe Shopping Center.