Living in Kentucky : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We are thinking of moving to KY. We would want to live in the country but I am wondering what it is like? We are from SD right now and have no rattlesnakes, wild pigs, etc. My kids go out and run anywhere they want in SD, but can they do that in KY? Any other thoughts about KY would be appreciated. Tracy

-- Tracy Lance (, November 25, 2001


I live just across the Ohio River from Paducah KY. Western KY is a beautiful place to live, but many areas are becoming quite congested. As far as your children playing outside, there are a few variaties of poisonous snakes (copperheads, water mocassins, and timber rattlers in the hilly areas), but they are not particularly plentiful. Some of the communities are particularly closeknit and it may be hard for an outsider to blend in easily. Unfortunately, some counties are pretty closed to non-whites, although Hispanics are increasing in population count there. What kind of jobs do you plan on pursuing outside of your homestead? I'll be happy to share any info I have with you. Obviously, I love the area; I live in IL because this is where the family farm is. Much of our leisure time is spent in KY. Good luck in choosing where to settle.

-- Debbie in S IL (, November 25, 2001.

Tracy, we have been in KY for about a year and a half. My husband got a job offer and we moved here from Tennessee. BIG MISTAKE!!! Don't get me wrong there are some things we like about KY. The people here are very friendly. So that's one thing we like. Maybe I'll think of something else later. I don't know about the cost of living where you are now but we moved from a state with NO income tax and no personal property tax to KY one of the highest taxed states in the country. What a SHOCK!! You didn't say if you homeschool or not. The homeschool group around here is unreal they don't seem to want to do anything. I don't think that is true of all Ky groups just this area. There are snakes in KY as well as TN but not all over the place. We saw one this year. Wherever you move you will need to watch things until you know what's in the area. We are hoping to move back to TN soon. We can't afford KY. To all KY homesteaders I know there are more expensive places to live but we came from one of the cheapest. So KY was a shock.

-- Lou Ann in KY (, November 25, 2001.

My family has lived on the same farm in southeastern ky for 50+ yrs , there's both woods and fields and in the past twenty yrs, i.e. my lifetime we seen only 2 poisonous snakes both copperheads. Someone mentioned timber rattlers but they are not at all plentiful and mostly only in the more inaccessible areas. THe same goes for wild hogs. Growing up we always played in and out of the woods and never came close to any danger; I don't feel that KY has any inherent dangers. One thing to keep in mind about Kentucky is scarcity of jobs in most rural areas or at least the lack of good wages, labor is very plentiful and cheap in Southeastern KY most certainly. But there are jobs. Now good points: good climate, with four all four seasons and none extremely severe; Centrally located in eastern us; If near the I-75 corridor its easy to get to a number of northen and southern areas for a day trip or weekend; Four major state universities and a system of widely distributed community and technical colleges; An excellent County Extension service.

-- Adam (, November 25, 2001.

Tracy, Ky. is a beautiful state, and I haven't lived there for awhile, but like Adam said, in the SouthEastern part, jobs sure aren't your high paying kind. Alot of the jobs used to be in coal mining or railroads. Kentucky varies wildly as to what area of it you live in. Louisville and Lexington areas are alot different than the Southeastern part as far as jobs, and the lay of the land. It depends on what you're looking for. Adam, I'm originally from Paintsville, ever heard of it? Lou Ann, we did just about the same thing! We had moved from Tennessee to Indiana, and was surprised on how much more expensive it was. We were up there for about 7 months, and just moved back. My husband had a good job, but we were both so homesick, we figured it wasn't worth it and moved back home. Although, I wish I could have brought some of that good Indiana dirt back with me!

-- Annie (, November 26, 2001.

If I could move back to Ky, I would. Loved it. We lived in the country near Richmond. If we could go back I would live just South of Berea. The arts and crafts in that beautiful town is worth it. I didn't find it expensive. Although, I have lived in Ill., Utah, CA, Ky. and now OK. Thought KY was reasonable,

-- Debbie (, November 26, 2001.

We live in western Kentucky 30 miles east of Paducah. My husband bought the land before I met him because it was cheap, and there's little possibility of encroaching development. Debbie's right about the people being pretty closed to outsiders, not matter what color. In our county at least (which is about 30 years behind the times because of a county executive who served that long) they leave you alone. We built a house with no building permits except from the electric company. It's all a matter of perspective, but for us, living here is really cheap; we frequently visit family in the city and are amazed at how expensive everything is, from groceries to gas. Personally, I'd prefer to be further east in Kentucky where there are more hills and mountains. Western Kentucky is very flat. We have mild winters which is good on the heating bills, but I'd rather have more snow; we tend to get ice more than snow. And the summers are miserable--very hot and humid. Our area actually was a malarial zone back in the nineteenth century! Spring and Fall, though, are gorgeous. I don't worry much about poisonous snakes (you see a lot of black snakes), but the ticks are awful. This year they've expanded deer season, and in our area a lot have been killed, so maybe the tick population will diminish. All in all it's not a bad place to live, but I'd look very carefully before you make the move.

-- Katherine in KY (, November 26, 2001.

I live in eastern Kentucky, twenty miles east of Lexington, which is a metropolitan area. I have lived in Bloomington IN, Nashville TN, and Boston/Cambridge MA, as well as some smaller towns in TN and KY. Your children should be fairly safe from snakes and insects. As other postings indicated, there are three types of venomous snake in Kentucky, the most common - and most indigenous - being the copperhead. All three types of snake are reclusive. There are two types of venomous spider, the black widow and the brown recluse. Even though I worked for the park service in Southeastern Kentucky and Tennessee, I've seen a total of five copperheads and exactly two brown recluse spiders in over fifteen years of living here.

Some of the other respondents to the bulletin are accurate: Kentuckians do appear to be reserved with "outsiders". However, I've noticed that Hoosiers, Vols, and Yankees in general are similar in rural environments. I think that Kentuckians do try to accommodate people who are not "from around here", and are in general friendly and helpful to both neighbors and strangers, but dislike loudness, pushiness, and bad manners. They, like many other Americans with distinctive local dialects and accents, dislike being asked to "say something" because the outsider finds it cute. It's also annoying to many Kentuckians, both rural and citydwelling, when outsiders assume that rural Kentuckians are ignorant because their speech is not typically Midwestern, and because traditional speech forms are used in everyday conversation.

While it is true that there is a state income tax, many public facilities such as parks and libraries are better supported than in Tennessee, which levies a somewhat stiff (8.25%) sales tax on all purchased items, including food. There is no sales tax on food in Kentucky, and the sales tax is 6%.

Homeschooling in Indiana and Ohio is more stringent - there are more state requirements of homeschoolers, and the groups seem to be more active and responsible in general. In Kentucky, while there are many ardent, intelligent, and responsible homeschooling parents, there are also parents who take advantage of the very relaxed state standards for home education.

There are several factors for you to consider in such a move, and I strongly urge you to go to your public library for research. Some books that can help are the County and City Data Book, U.S. Statistical Abstracts, the Kentucky Revised Statutes (these are available online, and are the most recent Kentucky state laws)and the Information Please Almanac. You might try the Places Rated books, and you may also want to read some Kentucky newspapers online. Visit. Talk to some realtors. If you homeschool, do a search on Google for Kentucky homeschoolers, and see if you can contact someone online. Call some Kentucky libraries and schools. Check out the National Association of Realtors website: I found my home online!

As in any state, whether you live in a metro area or the country will make a difference. What kind of work you can do will also make a difference, so look at and see what's going on in Kentucky. You might take a look at the state jobs listings, too. Frankfort is the capitol, and is a nice place to live, being cosmopolitan AND rural all at once.

-- Julie Maruskin (, November 26, 2001.

Hi Tracy, We moved to South Central Kentucky 2 1/2 years ago from Wisconsin. After all that time I still regret moving. Don't get me wrong, Ky has some beautiful areas but the negative mindset toward 'outsiders' is alive & well at least in the South Central Region. Also, do your homework concerning taxes & auto insurance before deciding. In Wisconsin we had the same vehicles,same coverage & same driving record as we have here, our insurance costs have more than tripled for the same coverage. Property taxes are low compared to Wisconsin at least, don't know about SD. But they tax every thing here so you still pay the same in taxes just to different places.There is an awful lot of people drawing government checks in the area (within 125 mile radius), plus they receive every type of govt. program assistance available all the while dropping $50 + at a time buying lottery tickets. They also do day work off the books so they receive full govt' assistance while earning a decent wage tax free. I don't know if you are a very religious person or not & it doesn't matter to me, but be prepared to have complete strangers come up to you on the street, in the grocery store,Walmarts & in restaurants asking where you go to church, if you've been 'saved', attempting to tell you the 'good news' and not taking a polite "no thank you" or accepting your spiritual choice very well. I've personally had strangers tell me I'm going to hell for not accepting their invitation to join them on Sunday at their church. Another issue I really have a problem with down here is the issue of animal abuse/neglect that is very widespread. We have a 38 acre farm and have taken in as many as 23 abused dogs & 11 cats at one time because although the State law says each county MUST have a shelter/pound there is not a shelter in our county or the 4counties around us. Animal lovers are doing all they can to take in and get vet care for as many animals as they can afford to help but we have spent over $2500 getting vet care/spay/neutering done on strays in the last 13 months, this doesn't include our own pets or feeding any of the strays. Many people refuse to spay/neuter their animals so they dump the puppies/kittens along the road or worse, I've heard of a local resident who sells them to be used as 'training bait' for dog fights. It is a sick business that makes me so mad because we can't get the police to help either. They say to just 'shot em'. If you decide to move to KY , maybe you'd be interested in a nice 38 acre farm,it is really beautiful in the area, just not my idea of home;I'm planning on selling out this spring. My husband has already taken a job in another state so it is just a matter of time before I can sell out & go 'home' I like cold weather,snow,open minds,& religious freedom too much to live out my days in KY. I hope this helps you make an informed decision, please spend more than a few days visiting before making a decision. Everyone was very welcoming when we were tourists, but not the same once we became residents, I thought maybe it was something about us, but I know of 6 other families who are experiencing the same treatment all are from norther states too. Four of the families are also planning on selling out. Good Luck & feel free to e-mail me if you have other questions. Kathy

-- Kathy Aldridge (, November 26, 2001.

Tracy, please keep in mind this old Yiddish folk tale......

An old man sat outside the walls of a great city. When travelers approached, they would ask him, "What kind of people live here?" And he would answer, "What kind of people lived in the place where you came from?" If the travelers answered "Only bad people lived in the place where we came from," then the old man would reply, "Continue on, you will find only bad people here." But if the travelers answered, "Only good people lived in the place where we came from," then the old man would say, "Enter, for here, too, you will find only good people."

-- Annie (, November 26, 2001.

We've been in Kentucky 6 years now and really like it. We were in WI and the cost of living was much higher. We pay about 350 a year property tax for 75 acres, small house, barn. Car and house ins. is more expensive here and not too many health insurance carriers either.The people are very polite, church and family orientated.Everyone warned us about poisonous snakes and spiders, have never encountered either. The weather is the best, it was in the high 60's today. I hate cold weather but do like a change of seasons. Kentucky has just enough snow for me and a long growing season. We have few mosquitoes where we are. Couldn't even go outside in the summer in WI. without being bombarded constantly by the little buggers. We do have japanese beetles though, they are more annoying then anything. can do a lot damage to grapes, roses, berries.We live in a dry county, no alcohol can be bought or served in public.It does'nt bother us, not big drinkers.I think it is a great place to raise kids. Jobs don't pay much in our area.I agree about the treatment of animals, alot of drop-offs, could be people just can't afford to get them fixed.There are problems here like everywhere, I would recommend renting first in an area before buying and getting to know the community. you can get some really reasonable farms out here still.We are in south central Ky, 1 1/2 hours south of Loiusville and 2 hours north of Tennesse.

-- annette dengel (, November 26, 2001.

I live in north east KY. It is nice here, the people are helpfull and friendly. We live 35 miles from Lexington, We have had no problem with the local people and religion. We are invited to church, but it is left up to us if we attend.There are no wild hogs that I have seen here. My grand children play outside when they vist with no problem. Altho, I am a worry-wart, so we cover any thing I think might be a problem. Jobs are more available here than most areas, that is why our sons came here in the first place.Property taxes are cheaper than WVa. and MD., even tho there are more types on your property tax paper and w2. Some of the bad thing are, humidity, good old boys in the justice system,vary little snow , otherwise just like any area, there are wild animals we all deal with. even tho I have been told there are bad snakes here I haven't seen any in the 3 years I have lived here.There are many real estate places here, I have yet to find anything on the internet that was in my price range or fitted what I was looking for. It might be a good idea if you took a vacation in a area that interested you and you found out if it suited you and your family before making the move. maybe someone could offer you a place to set up camp for a week or so. Lexi

-- Lexi Green (, November 26, 2001.

Tracy, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that doesn't like KY. My husband says I'm just homesick. Julie is right about TN having 8.25% sales tax on everything but KY does have 6% sales tax on SOME foods. I haven't figured it out yet, apparently they make the rules as they go. Prepared foods are taxed some snack foods and some drinks are taxed while others aren't. The personal property tax is what really gets you. In TN our car tags cost $21 no matter what kind of car you own. In KY it is based on the value of your car. The tags (I think) are a certain amount but you have to pay tax every year. Our $21 TN tags cost $500+ in KY. KY does have its good points. It is a beautiful state and the weather is nice. But we had all of that in TN for a lot less cost. As for being cold to outsiders we have a place 15 miles from town. As long as I am here I'm OK. We have some of the best neighbors ever but when I have to go into town I really stress out because alot of the people are rather rude.Also from what I've seen all that tax money is not going where it should. The roads here are bad, the animal shelters are bad, the library doesn't seem to have up-to-date books(very important to homeschoolers)and the law enforcement is sadly lacking. We were here 2 months before I saw a sheriff's deputy car on the road. I would advise looking at TN but if you do decide to move to KY let me know I'll try to make you feel welcome if we are still here. By the way I have met 2 families here, 1has been here for about 10 years and the other 15 years(this one also has a lot of family here) and they both hate it here.

-- Lou Ann in KY (, November 26, 2001.

Well, I too have lived in Ky and seem to have been on both sides of the fence. I ended up living there for 10 years and can't imagine now how I survived. I am from the west and did not like the snow. I could never get the hang of driving in it. I was an oddity and a huge curiosity to my neighbors. I lived in the heart of Appalachia but I refused to stereotype and left my neighbors to come to me rather than the other way around. I will have lifelong friends because of that. I visited many churches as a result of the invitations...some of the best food you will ever eat. I had the most impoverished children come to my home and thought it was a compliment. I ignored the stray animal situation or it would have been the death of me...of course I didn't necessarily do as the Romans do, but I realized early on that respect for a way of life different than my own would get me in more doors than anything else and it did. There were times when I was as destitute as my neighbors and they grew to respect the fact that I never let on how bad it was for me. In fact there was a time I did not have a vehicle and started walking into town which was 13 miles away...the person who picked me up spread the word around and I almost became a celebrity and that one thing opened more doors for me. So, it is all in your perspective. Want to know why I moved to KY in the first place? I went without any other idea than I had to write about the state and do a presentaion when I was in the 4th grade. When I was 30 I decided to get on a bus and see for myself if what I had written was true. My time over that 10 years was not wasted. One never knows why or for what reason the heart sends you down one path or the other. I helped alot of people while I was there and they in turn helped me. For me it isn't the environment or the the people it's who you are and what you have to offer more than what you wish to receive. I was surprised more than once at the generosity of the people whether they were my superiors or my peers. If you want to go ...GO.There is probably some reason behind it. I never paid attention to the taxes or the anything else as I never had much money, but I sure learned alot and what I learned has been invaluable to me now. All the best, Dee

-- Dee (, November 27, 2001.

Hi Tracy, I have lived here in Kentucky for the past 23 years. I came here as a single mother with three little ones. I came in search of a peaceful place to settle down. And I found it here. I may have missed it earlier, but what is your reason for wanting to come here? If it is to find that "perfect" place, I am afraid to say, it won't be here. There are all kinds of people who live here from all nationalities and ethenic groups. The closer you stay to a large town or city, the more mainstream and tolerant you will find the culture. If you go really out the culture changes and people are more set in their ways. As far as economics, we do have the state income tax. The sales tax is 6%. Food is not taxed unless it is prepared at the store and ready to eat, like you would in a restaurant. People amaze me when they come here and expect the culture to change to accomodate them. That won't happen anywhere. I live near a town of 50,000 and I can drive out 20 minutes and find quiet country living. The people here are nice and friendly. I guess I will never be considered "from here" and that doesn't bother me. I have several friends who homeschool with no problems. The state does have guidelines but they are enforced by each county and most counties are not real strict about it. Remember that you will find good and bad in every town, county and state in the union. I have looked at land that I would never buy because I knew I could see potenial problems with neighbors. I just kept looking til I found something more suitable. You can not judge a whole state by the opinions of a few unhappy folks. Do your research and think for your self. I can not honestly advise you to move here. No one can say

-- Ria in Ky (, November 27, 2001.

Sorry, I am computer clumsy. Anyway, now that I have read Dee's post ahead of me I agree with her 100%. She said it all. Thanks Dee.

-- Ria in Ky (, November 27, 2001.

Dee, great post. Thanks!

-- Annie (, November 27, 2001.

Tracy, I've lived in KY for 15 years. We moved here from a very populated area in the north.I've lived everywhere from Maine to Florida.My family was originally from KY, so we were glad when it was time to move here. Our taxes wern't very high because we didn't own much that could be taxed; just our car, and of course income tax and sales tax. We do pay more for our cars now than we did, but property tax was higher where we were, we think we break even. I don't know your reason for wanting to live here, so allow me to share why we moved. My family had movedhere (my dad was in the service),and we had just had our first child. We began to wonder about raising our child in such a crowded area, schools, safety, etc... so with mom & dad moving, we decided to follow. We also wanted our children to grow up knowing their grandparents. We've now been here 15 years and don't regret one second of it. People are what you make or expect of them. We have found closed minded, open minded, friendly, unfriendly, ignorant, get the idea.:) Our children have a safe place to live, they know and love their neighbors, and have learned, as we all do at sometime in our life to be tolerant of all types of people. nothing will replace homesickness. Sometimes you can find home in the least likely places. As for us, it's KY until the Lord leads us somewhere else.

-- Deb in KY (, November 28, 2001.

Tracy----My wife and I have lived in KY all our lives. We live within an hour's drive of Lexington where I work and my wife works in Danville, 1/2 hour. We are preparing to sell our home because of a new job which requires me to live in that county. People have been asking us for years why we don't move closer to our jobs----the answer is where we live now has one of the lowest tax rates in KY, it is a little depressed economically, but that has its advantages--life here is quaint and crime is virtually non-existent. My wife lived in Louisville for 2 years while finishing up law school and she was so glad to get back. We live in Casey County and no restrictions exist in the county--we are 12 miles from the county seat which is very quaint with its little mom and pop shops, we are 12 miles from Somerset, Ky and Lake Cumberland and all that has to offer with boating, etc, and an hours drive to Lexington and 2.5 to Nashville. We feel very fortunate to be where we are located and are regretful in having to leave. We have 1.6 acres w/ 3 bedroom home, 1.5 baths, large kitchen and laundry room and family room. Huge horsebarn/shop w/poured floors and electricity. A 3 panel fence where we graze our horses. Then I also rent a little bit of pasture ground for cattle. And pasture rent is so cheap often free just for upkeep. We also have the convience of county water but we also have a great well system that we have never ran short of water. We love it. It's great place for kids to run and play and grow up. As for the snakes, there are some but we have yet to seen any on our property Michael---- Bethelridge, KY

-- Michael Woodrum (, January 11, 2002.

I think the words to a song say it best..."Kentucky, you are the prettiest place this side of heaven, to me." (: Or as Bill Monroe put it, "kentucky is Paradise." I am a single lady planning on a move with my Mother to Kentucky. Right now we live in Ohio. People in Ky are some of the nicest. No doubt about it. I've traveled all over the USA. (and all over Ky.) The land is beautful. Lush rolling hills and redbud trees all over the place in spring. To the lady who posted that their is a pet overpopulation problem in Ky...unfortunately that is a problem all over the USA. I'm a major cat lover & I rescue strays. Folks just do your part to help God's precious creatures, wherever you live! Perhaps you can make a difference in your little part of the world. "There is no greater gift than the love of a cat."--Charles Dickens

-- Annabelle (, January 22, 2002.

Hi, I've lived in Kentucky for about 8 yaers now and am wanting to move out west, maybe South Dakota. How is it in South Dakota? I live in Carroll County, right on the Ohio River. Its about midway from Louisville to Cincinatti. Its really beutiful here with pretty mild winters, but the summers are muggy. There is quite a bit of work here. We have 3 steel plants, 2 chemical plants, and more under construction soon. We also have river boat gambling within a 25 mile radius. There are lots of hills. Land in Carroll County is climbing but neihboring counties are much cheaper. We have plenty of deer, wild turkey, and lots of other wildlife. Nothing to dangerous around, I've never seen a rattlesnake here but we do have copperheads. There are alot of farms, matter of fact, Carroll County used to be the biggest burly tobacco grower in the country. People here are rather friendly, although maybe a little backwards. Its typical small town stuff. Let me know if I can help you further.

-- matt smith (, February 14, 2002.

Why do you want to move? As mentioned above I lived in Ky., I have also lived in Utah, Ill. Wis., CA., and now in OK. (husband's job,we not nuts about moving are anything). I do not remember snakes in Ky. and we were sorta of rural. Here there are snakes everywhere,spionions, anything posion lives in Ok., but then this is definitely rural, homes are miles apart. We have wild pigs, cats and coyotes plus who knows what else is out there. Sounds like where your at you have it made if your kids can roam and you not being afraid. Ky, and Ok. are very similar except the land is cheaper by far in OK. I have wonderful friends selling a 100 acrea farm near Richmond, Ky. and settling here on a 300 acrea (that is what I am on too)a very nice home much cheaper. Say Richmond (and if your near Lex. double the cost) land could be for 2,000 an acrea. Here, and I am in rolling hills justs like that area is 400 - 800 an acrea. As mentioned check out real estate prices, ins., and taxes before the move. If your happy in SD, stay.

-- debbie (, February 15, 2002.

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