Poplar Bluff is located in the southeast portion of the state, a good three-and-a-half hour drive from Springfield, the nearest large city. “PS” — as some locals call it — is nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks and surrounded by parks, including the University Forest Conservation Area, the Peck Ranch Conservation Area and the Ozark National Scenic Riverway.
Natural beauty aside, your new city also serves as the hub of Butler County, so all the main shopping, dining and entertainment happens right in your community. You’ll find convenient access to chain stores and restaurants, as well as smaller, locally owned establishments.
Now the bad news. Poplar Bluff has recently succumbed to high unemployment rates, meth problems and the higher crime rates associated with these things. Both violent and property crime rates are considerably higher than national averages, so you need to be a bit more selective about your neighborhood. The trade off for this is that the low cost of living means cheap apartments everywhere.
The majority of the safest, best neighborhoods are found to the north of the city center, close to the Ozark foothills. In these settled, close-knit communities you can find occasional apartment complexes and duplexes, as well as rental homes. Two bedrooms in this area generally range from $600 to $800.
Southwest of the city you’ll also find the occasional rental home in quiet, wooded communities with a rural feel. There are also a couple of apartment rentals available in this area with everything from studio apartments to three bedrooms. Two bedrooms here generally range from $500 to $650.
The rest of Poplar Bluff has a more varied safety rating and is generally less well regarded. The area directly west of the city center in particular is known for having higher crime rates. A general rule of thumb for locating acceptable apartment rentals in Poplar Bluff is to stay as far outside of the urban areas as possible.
Because many of Poplar Bluff’s properties are owner-occupied, it can be difficult finding rentals that suit special needs — like furnished apartments for rent or short-term lease deals. Some apartments in the more urban areas of the city may negotiate with qualified renters, but be weary of settling into any space that’s too close to high crime areas, regardless of how much it suits your needs.
If you’re relocating with a four-legged friend allow yourself plenty of time to find a cat or dog friendly rental. While some privately rented homes are quite pet friendly, you will have a harder time negotiating pet policies at many Poplar Bluff rentals.
In any case, welcome to Poplar Bluff. Enjoy the low cost of living and scenic atmosphere of this southeast Missouri city.