Everything You Need to Know When Moving to the Louisville/Lexington Area
You're thinking about moving to the Louisville area, aren't you? Is it the exploding job market in the Derby City that's pulling you in? Or maybe it's because of the affordable houses there? Or is it the stunning backdrop of natural beauty in Lexington?
We get it. There's a lot to love about both Louisville and Lexington. But you also have a ton of questions, right? What are the best places to live? What will it cost to live there? How long is a one-way commute in the Louisville area? The list is endless.
Here at College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving, we understand just how stressful moving can be. To help lift some of the pressure off of your shoulders, we've created this comprehensive guide on moving to the Louisville area. Read on to learn more.
Living in the Louisville Area: The Basics
Louisville has existed as a consolidated county since 2003. It encompasses all of Jefferson County and its metro government.
And for the sake of this moving guide, we're going to focus on the greater Louisville area, which extends to the nearby Lexington.
Louisville on its own had a population of 617,638 people as of 2019. And if you include the metro area and Lexington, it brings the population to well over one million.
Between 2010 and 2017, Louisville added 58,247 residents. This translates to a population growth rate of 4.71%.
At 69.9%, whites make up the bulk of the residents in Louisville and Lexington. Blacks and Latino are also well-represented in these two cities.
The Cost of Living in Louisville & Lexington
The cost of living in Louisville is 8% lower than the national average. Housing, utilities, health costs, groceries, and miscellaneous costs such as dining out and repairs, etc. are lower than the US average. The only cost that's higher than the national average is transportation, at 103%.
According to Numbeo, it costs a four-member family around $3,074 a month to live in Louisville (excluding housing). Expenses for a single person run around $864.43 a month (excluding housing).
When it comes to renting, apartments tend to range from $837 to $1,863, depending on where you want to live. The median house price in Louisville is $251,050 (as of September 2021), up 14.1% compared to a year ago. And if you're interested in buying a home, there's no shortage of affordable and middle-class housing.
To give you a little bit context on how affordable it is to live here, Mental Floss recently ranked Louisville sixth in its list of 11 of the most affordable cities in the US. Both Lexington and Louisville also made it to the U.S. News' best places to live 2020 list.
The Louisville Area Job Market
According to Payscale, the average salary in Louisville is $63,000, which is higher than the national average. Nearby Lexington also offers an attractive environment for job seekers, with a median salary of $59,000.
Perhaps worth noting is that the August 2021 unemployment rates in both Louisville (4.1%) and Lexington (3.2%) dropped considerably at the start of 2021, and are lower than the national average of 5.2%.
Going by data from Zippia, home health aid, physical therapist assistant, and operations analyst are three of the fastest growing jobs in the Louisville area. But that doesn't mean you can't pursue a career in a different niche. According to Indeed.com, there are currently more than 17,000 jobs available in Louisville and 8,000 more in Lexington, all in different niches and industries.
Also, some of Kentucky's biggest employers are found in the Louisville-Lexington area. These include United Parcel Service Inc., Jefferson County Public Schools, Ford Motor Company, Norton Healthcare Inc., University of Kentucky, Xerox, KentuckyOne Health, and more.
The bottom line is that if you're a job-seeker looking for greener pastures elsewhere, moving to Louisville, KY could be a worthwhile decision.
Getting Around the Louisville Area
Thanks to its basic grid pattern and lack of urban sprawl, Louisville is a very walkable city. But you might still need a car if you plan on working outside Louisville. And even if you don't have a car, you can still use the TARC buses or the free Trolley de 'Ville to get around the city.
The average one-way commute in Louisville takes 22.4 minutes, which is way shorter than the US average of 26.4 minutes. So if you're already sold on moving to Louisville, you can finally say goodbye to early-morning traffic snarl-ups.
As far as walkability goes, Lexington doesn't fair badly either. Most neighborhoods here have a Walk Score of 30-70. Also worth noting is the fact that the town has minimal public transportation, and doesn't have many bike lanes.
Where to Live in the Louisville Area: The Lowdown on the Best Neighborhoods
Both Louisville and Lexington have an overwhelming number of neighborhoods, so we've tried to take the pressure off by mentioning a few of the popular ones.
Within Louisville is one of Kentucky's hottest neighborhoods, Hurstbourne, where nightlife is defined by the many high-end bars and clubs dotting the area. And if you're a golfing buff, there's a golfing course just a stone throw away. Did we mention that the streets and walkways here are safe, pristine, and pet-friendly?
Chevy Chase-Ashland Park (Lexington)
Widely considered as one of the best neighborhoods in Lexington, Chevy Chase-Ashland Park area is where luxury meets convenience. The fact that it's located close to the University of Kentucky and Downtown Lexington makes it an ideal neighborhood for students and young professionals alike. As for housing options, you can choose from the historic homes, updated bungalows from the 1920s, and the ample renovated apartments dotting the area.
Crescent Hill (Louisville)
Perched east of Downtown Louisville is Crescent Hill, a neighborhood known so much for its lovely, history-laden Victorians as its sturdy bungalows. This place was originally called 'Beargrass' because it sits between two forks of Beargrass Creek. Development occurred during the mid-1800s when the Louisville-Lexington turnpike and the Louisville-Frankfort railroad were being constructed through the area. Since then, more and more people have gravitated to Crescent Hill, and it's now filled with bars, restaurants, shops, and boutiques.
Indian Hills-Stonewall Estates-Monticello (Lexington)
If you're on the hunt for affordable and readily-available housing in Lexington, look no further than Indian Hills-Stonewall Estates-Monticello. The cost of living in this neighborhood is well within reach, so you'll never have to dig deeper into your pockets to sustain your family. And besides, one of the best schools in the state of Kentucky—Jessie M Clark Middle School—is found in this area. All things considered, Indian Hills is an ideal neighborhood for both young families and students.
The Cherokee Triangle (Louisville)
Quite a few articles have been written about this popular triangular-shaped Louisville community that staunchly believes in New Urbanism, a concept of suburban development that eliminates the role of the automobile by placing retail, education, housing, and entertainment within walking distances of each other. So if you'd rather walk to work or ride a bicycle than drive, then Cherokee Triangle is the neighborhood for you.
A suburban neighborhood located just 4.1 miles from Downtown Lexington, Brookhaven-Lansdowne is mainly comprised of single-family homes and small to medium-sized apartment complexes. The best part? Rents here are actually lower in price than 61.9% of Kentucky neighborhoods.
Things to Do in the Louisville Area
Art in Louisville
The city of Louisville is considered a world-renowned destination for art lovers. For instance, you can visit the Muhammad Ali Center, a state of the art museum that tells the story of the great Muhammad Ali. Other must-see museums in Louisville include 21c Louisville Museum and the Speed Art Museum.
Sightseeing in Lexington
From the popular Kentucky Horse Farm to the elegantly decorated race grounds at Keeneland, there's no shortage of things to see in the "horse capital of the world". Relocating to Lexington ensures that you get a front-row-seat to some of the best horse racecourses in the world.
In Louisville, the winters are very cold and wet, the summers are hot and muggy, and it's partly cloudy year round. Despite the extreme weather here, there's no shortage of fun things to do.
The Pros and the Cons
The Pros of Moving to the Louisville Area
- Lower Cost of Living: Like we mentioned, Louisville's cost of living index score falls below the national average. That means you're going to spend significantly less on things like food, utilities, and fuel if you do make the jump to the Derby City or the surrounding areas.
- Favorable Tax Code: In general, Kentucky ranks as one of the top states to live in the US mainly because of its tax situation. The individual tax rate in both Louisville and Lexington is 5%, which is considerably lower than what you can find in other neighboring cities.
- The Food: Louisville's food scene is as diverse as it is sumptuous. For the best eats in Louisville, check out this article by Practical Wanderlust. You won't be disappointed with the food in Lexington either. From the iconic Hot Brown to the delectable Benedictine, the Kentucky dishes in this town are every foodie's dream.
- World-Class Bourbon: Both Louisville and Lexington, and really the state of Kentucky as a whole, are home to some incredible bourbon. The world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail is one of the best experiences you can enjoy when living in either of the two cities. There are 11 different distilleries to find here, with most residents making the trip several times throughout the year to enjoy the powerfully distinct flavors of this signature spirit. If you do move to Louisville or the adjacent areas, you'll get the chance to learn more about how bourbon is created, along with the science of what happens when creating it.
The Cons of Moving to the Louisville Area
- You Need a Car in Lexington: Public transportation in Lexington is subpar. The bus system for Downtown, which is under the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, is decent. However, it's a different story everywhere else. Buses and lift vans do not often service the larger areas of the town. So if you're moving to Lexington, then you're going to need a car.
- The Education System: Kentucky as a whole was ranked #38 out of 50 states in Higher Education, and #33 in Pre-K-1 education in 2019 by the U.S. News & World Rankings. This doesn't look good especially if your move to Louisville or Lexington is hinged on getting your children enrolled into good schools.
- The Weather: The weather might be nice, but it can also be frightening. If you're moving to the Louisville area from the west coast, then you'll want to take the storm warnings seriously when living here. Tornados in Kentucky are no joke. While they are not going to be an everyday occurrence, you'll experience at least 2-3 severe storms every year.
- Louisville's High Crime Rate: When it comes to violent crime and property crime, Louisville gets a failing grade compared to other cities in Kentucky. So if you're considering a move to Louisville, make sure that your preferred neighborhood is safe for you and your loved ones.
Ready to Move to Louisville or Lexington?
Moving is a pretty difficult decision. We get it. Trust us. With that said, there are some pretty great reasons to call the Louisville area home. Its access to the great outdoors is unparalleled. It boasts a ridiculously low cost of living. And, it offers a culture you have to experience to fully comprehend.
If you decide to take the plunge and move, don't hesitate to reach out to the premier moving professionals at College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving. In each move that we facilitate, we stand by our overarching values of reliability, honesty, and trustworthiness. Count on us to make your upcoming move to Louisville or Lexington as stress-free as possible.