From its mountainous region in the east to the Blue Grass heart of the state, and down to the fertile grounds in the southwest, anybody moving to Kentucky today can still understand why Daniel Boone called it “a second paradise.”
Just like Louisville Slugger bats let the best in baseball get the hits they need, good advice can make moving to Kentucky a real home run for anyone.
If possible, plan on moving to KY during the fall or winter. Spring is the rainy season, and temperatures during the hot and humid summer can make moving difficult.
You don’t need a moving permit anywhere in Kentucky. However, the state is a commonwealth, which means its 120 counties have their own rules and regulations. Contact your local county clerk’s office to see if there are any parking restrictions or street cleaning times you need to know about before moving.
Because the counties all have their own local utilities providers, you may need to do more research than expected to find out which companies cater to your area. Ask your realtor or landlord to help you, or contact your local county clerk’s office or the Kentucky state government utilities page.
Kentucky hosts many festivals and events that attract thousands of visitors each year. Before moving to KY, check the local calendar to make sure your new address is accessible.
There’s an ample selection of housing available to those moving to Kentucky, ranging from one-bedroom rental apartments to luxurious Victorian homes. Take your time when selecting your new home so you can be sure you’ve found the best match for your needs and budget.
Before moving to KY, don’t forget to change your address online with USPS!
Cities and Metro Areas
Kentucky features a variety of cities and towns, from a bustling business center like Louisville to a rural and historic town like Frankfort. If you’re moving to Kentucky, you can be sure to find a place to call home, whether it’s a ranch outside of Lexington in the Blue Grass region or a condominium in Covington. Other important cities include Bowling Green, South Kentucky’s educational center; Hopkinsville, where agriculture meets business; Florence, where recreation is a way of life and Kentuckians go to shop; and Georgetown, where America owns a piece of Toyota.
Cost of Living
Compared to the US average, the cost of living in Kentucky is 21 percent lower—good news for anybody considering moving here! Moreover, in the third quarter of 2011, Kentucky had the eighth-lowest cost of living in the entire country. In addition to federal taxes, residents of Kentucky are taxed both at the state and the local levels for property, with state property taxes being relatively high and local property taxes relatively low. While prices of consumer goods are increasing slightly due to higher gas prices, the increase isn’t so much as to worry most residents. Though with an average commute time of 23.5 minutes, gas is still a big part of most people’s weekly budget, prices haven’t risen so much as to make a huge difference.
Highways and Public Transport
Those moving to Kentucky will appreciate its well-maintained infrastructure that allows for easy access to all regions of the state. Additionally, there are no tolls, and traffic is usually light, except around the bigger cities of Louisville and Lexington.
Roads in Kentucky are well-maintained and easy to navigate. When moving to Kentucky, check current traffic conditions in Louisville and Lexington, where congestion can lead to traffic jams, especially during busy commute times.
- Roads: Five major interstate highways and nine parkways cross Kentucky and connect it to surrounding states. State routes provide access to all areas of the state. Go to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet or call 511 for current traffic information when moving to KY.
- Railroad: Though railroads in Kentucky are primarily used for cargo transportation, Amtrak provides passenger service to Ashland, Fulton, Maysville and South Portsmouth.
- Airports: Blue Grass Airport in Lexington caters to domestic travel. Kentucky also has two international airports: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and Louisville International Airport.
- Ports: The ports of Huntington/Tri-State, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky and Louisville-Southern Indiana cater mainly to the coal industry.
If you want to move to the Blue Grass State, it’s reassuring to know that the number of jobs in Kentucky is rising steadily. At the beginning of 2012, the jobless rate was 9.1 percent, slightly higher than the US average of 8.5 percent and the lowest it’s been in three years. Experts predict the jobless rate in this state will continue to drop slowly.
Kentucky jobs are being created in the business and transportation sectors, as well as the leisure and hospitality sector. However, because increasingly more companies are opening corporate offices in the state, there’s a rising number of professional and business-services jobs in Kentucky, too.
If you’re moving to Kentucky, you’ll be pleased to know that the climate is moderate and well-suited to outdoors activities such as hiking, biking and horse riding. Summers are warm and humid and winters are cool, with lows of around 23 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s more precipitation in the south, and most occurs during the rainy season in the spring.
The climate in the Bluegrass state is favorable for agriculture. Besides the famous bluegrass that serves as a staple food for Kentucky’s finest thoroughbred racing horses, corn, soybeans, small grain, hay and tobacco thrive here.
Before moving to KY, it’s important to know that the state is on the path of several storm systems that cause many tornadoes. Storms usually occur in the spring and summer, between March and September, but can happen year-round.
As a result of the educational reform implemented since 1990, there are a number of quality educational institutes available for those moving to Kentucky. The state ranks fourteenth in educational affordability, which can be a decisive factor for families moving to KY. These are some of Kentucky’s top schools:
- Elementary Schools: Three of the top 10 elementary schools include Kimper Elementary School in Kimper, Rosa Parks Elementary School and Scapa at Bluegrass in Lexington.
- High Schools: The top three high schools are all in Louisville, and are Dupont Manual High School, Louisville Male High School (co-ed since 1953) and Brown School.
- Higher Education: Top-tier universities in Kentucky include the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and Transylvania University. There are also six regional colleges that offer both general curricula as well as county-specific curricula such as Cave Management or Forestry.
- Excise Taxes: A 6 percent usage tax is due when transferring your vehicle registration. This is assessed at your local county clerk’s office.
- Tolls: Kentucky no longer has any toll roads.
- Voter Registration: Obtain a voter registration card at the State Board of Elections or at your local country clerk’s office.
- Trash & Recycling: Each county has its own regulations for trash and recycling. Contact your local municipality for more information.
- Vehicle Registration: Kentucky’s Motor Vehicle Licensing System allows up to 30 days to register your vehicle after moving to KY. Fees are $9 for the title, $22 for recording any lien and approximately $21 for registration. Check with your county clerk’s office for exact fees.
- Driver’s Licenses: You have 30 days to obtain a Kentucky driver license after moving to Kentucky. Contact your county clerk’s office for details.