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Moving to Lexington, KY

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Located in Fayette County, among the scenic hills and fertile pasturelands of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region is Lexington. With a population of over 320,000 residing on approximately 285 square miles, it’s the second-largest city in the state.

People will argue tirelessly on whether Lexington is Southern or Midwestern, but what’s for sure is that it’s a city of charm, history, and culture. Lexington is over 240 years old, and from its foundation to this day, the city picked up several reputations.

For instance, Lexington and its surroundings are a popular area for breeding and racing thoroughbreds, earning it the distinction of being the “Horse Capital of the World.” Lexington is also a crucial stop in bourbon country thanks to the Distillery District, a historic neighborhood where you can find the city’s modern-day bourbon distilleries and breweries. And with the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University leading from the beginning, Lexington is known as a center of education with excellent schools from kindergarten all the way to college.

Situated close to where I-64 and 75 intersect, Lexington has all the advantages of a central location. From here, it’s easy to reach the rest of Kentucky and major cities in neighboring states: Louisville is roughly 80 miles west; Cincinnati, 83 miles north; and Knoxville, about 170 miles south.

Considering a move to Lexington? Keep reading to get an overview of everything you need to know before you relocate.

Homes for sale in Lexington, KY

The market

Lexington’s residential real estate market is an affordable one to enter for homebuyers and investors alike. The median home price ranges from $200,000 to $250,000.

Lexington, KY real estate consists mostly of single-family homes, taking up about 60% of the market. Luxury real estate, apartments, and condominiums complete the housing stock. About 45% of the local real estate were built between 1970 and 1999, while around 26% were built between 1940 and 1969. Newer construction dated 2000 onwards make up 21% of the market.

In terms of amenities, most homes in Lexington have two to three bedrooms. Other common features you’ll find in homes all over the city are:

  • Brick or stone exteriors
  • Fenced backyards
  • Kitchens with an island and stone countertops
  • Outdoor living areas (deck, patio, covered porch)
  • Basements (finished and unfinished)
  • Ceiling fans (for the humid summers)
  • Home offices
  • Open floor plans

There’s a wide range of architectural styles in Lexington, reflecting the city’s long history. Older and historic homes in and around the downtown area were built in the Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate styles, all of which made use of Lexington’s abundance of brick, limestone, and marble. Further out, on the outskirts of the city, acreage with farmhouse-style homes and equestrian properties are common.

Relatively newer homes, built in the late 20th century onwards, were usually built in the Craftsman, ranch, and contemporary styles and made use of both traditional and modern building materials.

Because of its large buyer pool and low housing inventory, the city is currently a seller’s market. For the month of February 2021, Lexington homes typically stayed on the market for about a month and a half before they were marked as sold.

Now that you have a general idea about the city’s housing market, take a look at some of the best neighborhoods in the city.

The best neighborhoods in Lexington


Ashland Park

This storied neighborhood to the southeast of the downtown area is known in Lexington for its collection of elegant brick mansions dating back to the late 1800s. Named after the estate Henry Clay built in the neighborhood, Ashland Park is one of the neighborhoods that benefited from the Olmsted brothers’ flair for landscaping.

Set among old-growth trees, the Colonial Revival, Italianate, and Renaissance homes and cottages in this area exude quiet luxury. Homes in this area are valued at around $540,000 on average, but it’s not uncommon for larger estates to fetch prices that start at $2 million.


Beaumont Park

Established in the 1990s, Beaumont Park is one of Lexington’s newer neighborhoods. It’s a very desirable suburb to live in. Families and individuals move to this area of high-end homes, condos, and townhouses for the highway access (US-68 and US-4) and its top-rated schools.

A bonus of living in Beaumont Park is that it offers a wealth of amenities: two parks, several eateries, a YMCA, a grocery store, and several businesses. Trips to the downtown area seem less necessary when most of the things you need are just a few minutes away.

Homes in Beaumont Park have prices that run around $594,000 and above.


Chevy Chase

This neighborhood neighbors Ashland Park to the south. Much like its northern neighbors, Chevy Chase has many old homes that were built in the styles popular during the early 20th century.

Chevy Chase is a small and mostly residential neighborhood. Several great schools are located inside the neighborhood, and the University of Kentucky is nearby. It has a few small businesses for necessities like medicine, laundry services, and pet care. Downtown is approximately ten minutes away if you need access to more supplies and amenities.

If you want to live in a small and tight-knit neighborhood, Chevy Chase might be right for you. Homes values in the neighborhood are around $490,000.


Garden Springs

Located to the east of Beaumont Park, Garden Springs is affordable and family-friendly. The neighborhood is centrally located and has access to nearby high-ranking schools, as well as healthcare and several grocery, pharmacy, and retail options.

Home prices in the area are significantly below the median price for the city at $187,000.


Downtown

Located in the heart of Lexington, the historic downtown area is where you’ll find some of the city’s oldest and most historically significant homes and buildings, such as the Adam Rankin House and Transylvania University. New and old homes mingle here, built in varying architectural styles of their times.

Living in Downtown is ideal if you prefer urban surroundings and easy access to cultural centers, farmer’s markets, and eclectic bars and restaurants. The median value of homes here is $252,500.


Kenwick

Living in Kenwick feels closer to living in a small town than living in a city. This upscale neighborhood of about 1,600 residents was once a part of Henry Clay’s Ashland Estate. Its inventory of homes is a mix of Victorian properties and Craftsman bungalows.

Kenwick is a stone’s throw away from National Avenue and its line of breweries, restaurants, and cafes. Families with children also take interest in the area because of its access to two highly ranked schools. The University of Kentucky is also close by, making Kenwick a highly desirable area.

A typical home in Kenwick costs about $345,000, higher than the median price for a home in Lexington and the national median price.


Southland

Southland is a walkable and vibrant neighborhood 10 minutes away from Downtown. College students regularly choose this neighborhood for its proximity to the University of Kentucky, while young professionals and families move here because of the area’s amenities. There are several restaurants and small businesses here, a farmer’s market, and high-ranking schools that are a few minutes’ drive away.

Many homes in Southland were built during the 50s and 60s using brick or stone. Home values in this area stay around $248,500.

Why make the move to Lexington, KY?

University

Moving to Lexington can enrich your life in many ways. Whether you’re searching for history or job opportunities, Lexington has something for you.


History

Founded in 1775, Lexington was mostly an agricultural settlement on land that was once part of the state of Virginia. In the 1800s, it burgeoned into a small city known for its culture. This is in part thanks to the foundation of the city’s two oldest universities, Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky. These institutions attracted many professionals and progressive academics of the time to Lexington. Soon after, the city became the “Athens of the West.” The name stuck. The city is today, as it was then, a place rich in history and culture.


Local culture and attractions

In a city that boasts over 100 public parks, a historic downtown area, and a strong restaurant and distillery scene, Lexingtonians never run out of interesting things to do or see.

Catching up on the history of the area? Head downtown and start a walking tour from Lexington Public Library — which has the largest ceiling clock in the world — up and down the storied streets of West Main and North Mill, until you wind up in front of the Kentucky Theatre, a historic movie and concert venue that has been around since 1922.

Fancy an outdoor excursion? Drive to Jacobson Park in east Lexington to play fetch with your dog, go on a paddleboat ride, or enjoy a picnic anywhere on the park’s 216-acre expanse. If you want to experience firsthand why Lexington is known as the “Horse Capital of the World,” visit the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park to watch a parade of horse breeds, brush up on equine history, or explore the park’s trails on horseback.

Want to taste the best bourbon in town? Spare a day for the Lexington leg of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Tour famous distilleries like Town Branch and cap off the day with a meal at one of the most popular restaurants and bars in the city.

Those are a few of the many activities you can enjoy. Some other notable attractions include the Arboretum at the University of Kentucky, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Keeneland, and the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.


Cost of living

Affordable living is a reality in Lexington. Utilities, groceries, and healthcare cost much less here than in other cities and remain below the US average. Its sales tax is 6%, and a state flat income tax of 5% makes moving here appealing for professionals.

In the area of homeownership, the city keeps taxes lower than the national average. The average effective property tax rate in Lexington is at 0.98%, which is lower than the average national tax rate (1.1%).


Weather

Lexington residents get four distinct seasons a year, characterized by hot summers and mild to moderate winters. The area gets a lot of rain and humidity in the late spring and summer, while the hottest months run from June through September. The coldest winter days average 24 degrees, and the average annual snowfall is 13 inches. Overall, the climate in Lexington is pleasant and rewards its residents with many sunny days.


Job opportunities

People from all walks of life choose Lexington for its Midwestern big-city amenities set against the rolling landscape of the Bluegrass region. And as a fast-growing city, career opportunities are on the rise. Job growth in Lexington is expected to increase in the next ten years.

Agriculture, education, healthcare, and manufacturing are the biggest industries in the city and account for the biggest employers in the area. Top employers include the printer company Lexmark, the University of Kentucky, Fayette County Public Schools, and Tempur Sealy International.

The growth for small businesses is promising, too. According to a recent report on startups, new companies in Lexington contribute over 3,500 new jobs to the city each year.


Education

A nickname like “Athens of the West” doesn’t stick around for a few centuries without good reason. Lexington has a highly regarded public school system and post-secondary institutions respected throughout the state, a factor that has encouraged plenty of people to move here.

Fayette County Public Schools is the school district that serves Lexington. It is a collection of 54 elementary and high schools with a student body of over 42,000. Niche recognized it as the second most diverse school district in Kentucky for 2021. It also ranks number 20 out 168 in the platform’s list of “Best School Districts in Kentucky.” Most of the schools in the district have good to excellent school rankings.

At the post-secondary level, Lexington is home base for the University of Kentucky, Bluegrass Community & Technical College, and several other colleges.

Transylvania University is the oldest university in Kentucky. It’s located in the downtown area and was established in 1780 as a private college with a liberal arts focus. It has a student body of around 1,000 and offers 46 majors, 37 minors., and several dual-degree programs. People affectionately refer to the university as “Transy.”

University of Kentucky is the state’s main university and research center. It was established in 1865 and currently has a student body of about 30,000. The Carnegie Foundation recognizes it as a Doctoral University, or a university with very high research engagement. It has strong business, engineering, medicine, and public affairs programs.

Bluegrass Community & Technical College is a tertiary vocational school that offers more than 40 career paths to its students. It has three campuses in Lexington and another four spread out throughout the Bluegrass region. Its total student body consists of about 9,500 students, and they pursue a number of programs and degrees, ranging from auto body repair to computer science.

Relocate to historic Lexington, KY

As a seasoned Lexington real estate agent, I help buyers, whether they’re first-timers or experienced investors, find the best property in the area to fit their lifestyle or portfolio.

My diverse background — first as an army veteran and then as a public school teacher and organic farmer — allows me to understand the unique needs and wants of my clients. In turn, this helps me communicate with them to get satisfying results.

I’m affiliated with “The Agency,” an organization for real estate professionals in Central Kentucky. As someone with over 12 years of experience in real estate and places great importance in building rapport with my clients, I’m never too busy to listen. You can always trust that when you reach me, I will make time for you.

If you need a professional real estate agent to help you buy or invest in a home in Lexington, KY, get in touch with me, Paul Campbell. Call today at 859.684.5890 or send me an email at pcampbellhelps(at)gmail(dotted)com. Looking for more information about investing in Lexington, KY real estate? Everything you need to know is right here.