Kentucky Real Estate
Real Estate For Sale In Kentucky
Kentucky has history, culture, beauty, and uniqueness
What defines Kentucky?
In some ways, that debate also plays into its magnetism as a real-estate market: The Midwestern side is dominated by growth, the majority of the population and the cultural compass. Its rural corners are much more steeped in the traditions of the south, but its northern cities have been enriched by influxes of Germans and French.
And although the state has no coast, it is a bit of an island of waterways that contribute to how it not only separates itself from surrounding states but also where residents decided to settle and desirable access points for residents and its modern expansion.
A land of opportunity
You just may not have noticed because you already had drawn your impressions from its famous byproducts.
Kentucky is not the most populous state. It doesn’t have an ocean on a border, and its mountains aren’t all that high. Its cities aren’t that large, but it does have some of the most beautiful and affordable real estate in America.
The people who find their way to the contours and culture of the Bluegrass State often have been lured by one or more of the “killer B’s” that have formed the state’s veins and sinews: bourbon, basketball, ‘backy and ‘breds – as in tobacco and Thoroughbreds. You probably know about bourbon – the whiskey only made from the waters of the Kentucky River – and have seen the basketball at the college powerhouse programs of the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. You may have glimpsed fields of the broadleaf burley that made the state a world leader of tobacco markets, and you’ve likely watched the powerful Thoroughbreds who capture our imaginations on the first Saturdays of May.
But if you define Kentucky by the ovals at Churchill Downs and Keeneland or its recreational paradises and rolling vistas of beauty, you could be missing some of its rich history, influential legacy and ineffable beauty. And what more could you need?
Where it came from?
Where it came from?
Kentucky was a county in Virginia before breaking off into the 15th state of the union, founded in 1792 and divided into 120 counties. After some back-and-forth between the commercial and residential centers on the Ohio and Kentucky rivers, the capital was established in Frankfort, about 50 miles east of Louisville and built along a valley sliced by the graceful curves of the Kentucky River.
School children are taught the state’s name comes from the word “Caintuck,” but historians might stress that the Iroquois word "ken-tah-ten" – translated to "land of tomorrow" – is the origin. That seems to fit its exploration and development by a North Carolinian named Daniel Boone, whose family found a passage through the mountains that separated Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina, an opening that was christened the Cumberland Gap that provided entrée into the mountains, valleys and forests of a new nation’s unexplored horizons.
In the 1700s, Boone was considered a Western explorer, invading territory controlled by the Iroquois and the Shawnee in search of game and fortune. It was Boone who established the first real community in Kentucky, a fort on the banks of – yes – the Kentucky River that was called Boonesborough.
That fort was just south of what is present-day Lexington, the state’s second-largest city, which is about 100 miles east of the falls of the Ohio River, where the city of Louisville was founded and became the center of commerce and development as western trade emerged and statehood followed.
During the Civil War, Kentucky had its battles and its great sons – none more famous than the president himself, Abraham Lincoln, who was born and raised near Hodgenville – but the state, largely because of Lincoln, remained neutral, and to this day its growth and evolution have been part of a significant debate: Is Kentucky a Southern state, like those to its east and south, or is it part of the Midwest, married more to Indiana, Ohio and Illinois to its north?
Who lives here?
Who lives here?
Kentucky is a state of slightly more than 4.5 million, which grew by about 5% between 2010 and 2020. Barely more than half its residents are female, and about 83% are younger than 65. They are 84.1% white (non-Hispanic), about 8.5% Black and 3.9% Latino.
There are slightly more than 2 million housing units statewide, with a median value of $147,100, about $25,000 less than the nation’s median. About two-thirds of the houses are owner-occupied, and those owners pay a median of $1500 monthly for both mortgage and related costs. There are just less than 2.5 persons per household. The growth has been moderate, with 11,281 new building permits in 2020.
About one in five adults has at least a bachelor’s degree, but the high school graduation rate is only 87.2%. More than 88% of homes have a computer, and about 81.6% have broadband access/subscription, an improved rate that has been an important element of developing residential and commercial opportunities in the state.
Kentucky built its history in agriculture – tobacco, cattle, horses and the crops that feed them – but it today has a large stake in the automotive industry, with more industry-related jobs than any state other than Michigan. Both Ford and Toyota and their supply chains have major presences – Ford around Louisville, and Toyota at Georgetown – and they are continuing to expand. Ford is adding about 5,000 jobs in the coming years to make batteries and components for electric vehicles.
Ford manufactures primarily F150 pickup trucks, Escapes, and Explorers. Toyota manufactures its popular family sedan, the Camry. Total manufacturing shipments in 2012 were about $129.3 billion, and total retail sales approached $55 billion. Total employment in 2019 was 1,666,637 adults.
The median household income in 2020 was $52,238, and per capita income in 2020 dollars was about $29,123. Total annual payroll in 2019 was about $75 billion. Kentucky added about 39,000 to its payrolls in 2021, but its unemployment rate in December was 4.6%, even as companies looked to expand the workforce.
Kentucky, like most states, has an aggressive network of technical and community colleges, and the state is home to large regional universities: the universities of Kentucky and Louisville, Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, Murray and Morehead. But there are also the elite private universities such as Centre and Transylvania and Georgetown College, and smaller, religious-based schools such as Asbury, Berea and University of the Cumberlands. There are 91 schools serving about 200,000 secondary students.
The border along the north, separating Illinois, Indiana and most of Ohio, is the magnificent Ohio River, which flows southwest from Pittsburgh and was perhaps the most important factor in the state’s economic expansion, a thoroughfare for traders and a life spring for industry. The Ohio at the southwestern tip of Kentucky dumps into an even more magnificent waterway, the Mississippi River, which opened all that river traffic to then move south or north to reach every major outpost in the early United States.
Kentucky’s border in the east is the Big Sandy, which dumps out of the Ohio River and connects to the coal regions of the southeast along the West Virginia and Virginia borders. Then there is the Kentucky River, which is formed in the mountains of Kentucky and flows basically northwest, just south of Lexington, through Frankfort and up to Carrollton, where it, too, empties into the Ohio River, providing a river transport for coal and that other significant potion of exports: bourbon whiskey.
The five regions
The five regions
To pick a location in Kentucky to which you best connect is to understand what every child who studies Kentucky’s geography learns: the state’s five distinct regions, which help define the flavor and opportunity of the land and the homes that are built on it.
Bluegrass is the most prominent region in the state – and perhaps why the state’s nickname comes from the preponderance of poa annua, the long-stem grass that can nourish animals who graze on it and whose seed pods can take on a blue tint when struck by the sunshine. This region extends south from the Ohio River until the sandstone hills – called knobs – outside Frankfort and along the foothills in the south and east.
Cumberland Plateau basically is the mountains and valleys in the eastern part of the state that include the Cumberland River, the Cumberland Mountains, the Cumberland forest and Cumberland Gap itself.
Western Coalfield is in the western part of the state, extending south from along the Ohio River, near Owensboro and Madisonville. It has coal’s economic reach without the mountains.
Pennyrile abuts the Western Coalfield on its lower three sides and runs along the southern border of the state, from the Appalachian region in the east and to Kentucky Lake in the west.
Jackson Purchase is the small, southwestern tip of the state, from Kentucky Lake to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Land of tomorrow
Land of tomorrow
All those areas are unique and have their individual beauty and opportunity, but they are united by this common thread. No matter what you may have thought about Kentucky – maybe an idea that emerged from bourbon, basketball, or horses – you may not realize this:
This “land of tomorrow” is an escape for today, where you can find your affinity, your amenity, and your serenity no matter how you personally define them.
Kentucky Climate Risk
Air pollution risk
Total weather risk
Are you looking to sell your Kentucky real estate?
Find your dream home, today
Unreal Estate holds real estate brokerage licenses under the following names in multiple states and locations:
Unreal Estate LLC (f/k/a USRealty.com, LLP)
Unreal Estate LLC (f/k/a USRealty Brokerage Solutions, LLP)
Unreal Estate Brokerage LLC
Unreal Estate Inc. (f/k/a Abode Technologies, Inc. (dba USRealty.com))
Main Office Location: 1500 Conrad Weiser Parkway, Womelsdorf, PA 19567
California DRE #01527504
New York § 442-H Standard Operating Procedures
TREC: Info About Brokerage Services, Consumer Protection Notice
UNREAL ESTATE IS COMMITTED TO AND ABIDES BY THE FAIR HOUSING ACT AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ACT.
If you are using a screen reader, or having trouble reading this website, please call Unreal Estate Customer Support for help at 1-866-534-3726
Open Monday – Friday 9:00 – 5:00 EST with the exception of holidays.
*See Terms of Service for details.