Known as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky is renowned for breeding horses, tobacco farms, fine bourbon and the Kentucky Derby. Kentucky has a spectacular collection of natural attraction and parks with mysterious forests, fresh lakes, magnificent waterfalls, and caves. Kentucky is a land of many diverse environments and plenty of resources, which includes the Mammoth Cave National Park – the world’s longest cave system as well as two of the largest man-made lakes. And don’t forget to stop by the Louisville Slugger Museum if you are a die-hard baseball fan!
- Spring is the rainy season, and summers are hot and humid. Fall or winter are the best times to make your move to Kentucky.
- You do not need a moving permit in Kentucky.
- Keep in mind that 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.
- Kentucky hosts many festivals and events that attract thousands of visitors each year. Before moving to Kentucky, check the local calendar to plan around the traffic times.
- Kentucky has an ample selection of housing available, ranging from one-bedroom rental apartments to luxurious Victorian homes.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to Kentucky easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cities and Metro Areas
If you are 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. Anchorage is one of the more affluent neighbourhoods with some of the lowest crime rates in all of Kentucky. Cherokee Gardens, a suburb of Louisville, is considered to be the best to raise a family and is the safest too. Fort Thomas has plenty of sidewalks and trails for dog walking and jogging and the community atmosphere is tangible.
Other notable areas include: Hurstbourne Acres, Union, Highlands Douglass and Crestwood.
Cost of Living
Compared to the US average, the cost of living in Kentucky is 21 percent lower. 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. With an average commute time of 23.5 minutes, even the high gas prices in the state are not a huge issue for residents. Groceries, utilities and health care are all below the national average.
Like most of the country, the Kentucky housing market has been going through a wild ride in the past couple of years. As many workers acquired more mobility than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak thanks to widespread remote work, which allowed them to choose their place to live independently of their place of employment, many set their heart on finding a home amid greener pastures, encouraged by the historically low interest rates. As a result, the Kentucky housing market has been testing new heights every month and is still on its way up, although at a slower pace since the sharp increase in mortgage rates earlier in 2022.
According to data collected in November 2022, the latest available at the time of writing, the median sale price in Kentucky had reached $234,400, representing a 5.0% increase compared to the previous year.
The climate throughout the state is quite 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. The south sees slightly more precipitation, and most occurs during the rainy season in the spring. All in all, the Bluegrass state has a climate that is favorable for agriculture.
Before moving to Kentucky, 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.
The educational reform of 1990 resulted in a number of quality educational institutes available for those moving to Kentucky. The state ranks fourteenth in educational affordability. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Kentucky:
These are some of Kentucky’s top schools:
- Elementary Schools: Three of the top 10 elementary schools include Kimper Elementary School in Kimper, Scapa at Bluegrass in Lexington and Rosa Parks Elementary School.
- 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.
The Kentucky State Government maintains a comprehensive website with information for visitors, residents and businesses.
- You have 30 days to register your vehicle after moving to Kentucky.
- A 6% usage tax is due when transferring your vehicle registration. This is assessed at your local county clerk’s office.
- You have 30 days to obtain a Kentucky driver license after moving to Kentucky. Contact your county clerk’s office for details.
- Find your local United States Post Office online.
- Kentucky no longer has any toll roads.
- Obtain a voter registration card at the State Board of Elections or at your local country clerk’s office.
- Each county has its own regulations for trash and recycling. Contact your local municipality for more information.
- Since 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. Contact your local county clerk’s office or the Kentucky state government utilities page.