Louisville, the Gateway to the South, is a welcoming city for new residents who are seeking Southern comfort and Midwestern practicality against a stunning backdrop of natural beauty. Louisville transplants find it easy to make themselves at home, and they wouldn’t dream of leaving. Situated on the eastern banks of the Ohio River, Louisville is one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Known for magnificent Victorian homes and the world-famous Kentucky Derby, Louisville has no shortage of Americana culture or history. From the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory to the thriving art, music, and business indie scene, abundant bourbon distilleries and world-class cuisine, there’s plenty to see, hear, do, and taste in Louisville. Residents love the variety among four perfectly distinct seasons, the low cost of living, strong economy, and range of job opportunities. And to help welcome you to your new hometown are some of the top-rated Louisville moving companies that’ll make the move seamless and stress-free.

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Living in Louisville, KY: What to Know Before Moving to Louisville

Home to a handful of Fortune 500 companies, River City, is the largest city in Kentucky and the 29th most populous city in the US. Around 770,600 residents call Louisville home, and the surrounding metropolitan area consists of over 1,000,000 residents.

Pros and Cons of Living in Louisville

Pros :

  • Low property taxes
  • Several excellent restaurants
  • Lively nightlife
  • The low overall cost of living
  • Good jobs are abundant
  • Beautiful parks and great recreation

Cons :

  • Need to own a vehicle to live here
  • Terrible traffic for commuters
  • Hot, humid summers
  • Occasional tornadoes and flooding
  • The fairly high crime rate
  • Poor air quality
  • Poor public education

Is Louisville a Good Place to Live?

Louisville is a great place to live due to its low cost of living, affordable housing, and reasonable tax rates. Its property taxes are significantly lower than the national average and even the sales tax is low. Groceries, utilities, and healthcare are also below the national median as well as many other expenses. Louisville is a southern cosmopolitan city with a delightful food scene, interesting museums, and thousands of acres of public green space — there’s lots to love about living in Derby City!

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: The property tax rate in Louisville is .94%, slightly higher than the Kentucky state average of .84%. The US average is 1.21%.
  • Sales Tax: The city enjoys a delightfully low combined sales tax rate of 6%.
  • State Income Tax: Kentucky imposes a flat 5% income tax rate, which is slightly below the national average.

Housing Market

Well over half – 59.7% of Louisville residents own their homes. That’s lower than you might expect considering that median home value as of September 2019 is $162,800 for a single-family home – about $75,000 below the national average. At the moment, home prices are steadily climbing, keeping pace with the national property market.

The average rental rate is currently $972 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, making the rental price almost $500 less than the national average. Despite rising housing prices, you can find exceptional deals in neighborhoods such as Southside, Edgewood, Merriweather, and Camp Taylor.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Louisville is lower than in most American cities, but it comes with lower wages overall. The median income in Louisville, $57,278, is considerably more than the median Kentucky state income at $48,375, and $3,000 less than the national average.

The Louisville cost of living index is 96.3, slightly lower than the US average index of 100. Housing, groceries, health costs, utilities, and miscellaneous costs such as repairs, dining out, etc. are lower than the US average. The only cost that’s higher than average is transportation at 118.5/100.

Based on Economic Policy Institute calculations, a single person living in Louisville can expect to get by on $2,682 per month, but a couple with two children will need to bring in $6,283 per month, or $75,400 annually to live comfortably.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Louisville is in a humid subtropical climate zone, but that doesn’t mean it’s always balmy and warm. On the contrary, there are four distinct seasons. July is the hottest month, with average high temperatures in the high 80s; however, high humidity can make it feel much hotter. The most comfortable months of the year are May, September, and October.

December and January are wet, cold, and snowy. You can expect about 13″ of snow annually. Most Louisvillians agree that the weather is overall quite enjoyable, and the 46 inches of annual rainfall is enough to keep things green without being an inconvenience. However, 2018 was an exceptionally wet year when Louisville saw over 68″ of total rainfall.

While Louisville is a beautiful place to live, the risk of natural disasters is higher than average. Major earthquakes pose little threat, but small tremors are not unusual, and there’s a chance of a stronger earthquake at some point. Flooding is a serious threat, especially as the 29-mile system of walls, pumps, and levees is aging. It’s well worth checking flood maps before buying a home.

In addition to these risks, tornadoes are the most pervasive and dangerous natural disaster of them all. While they’re more frequent in spring and summer, they’re not confined to warmer seasons – Kentucky has historically seen tornados in every month of the year. Fortunately, Jefferson County has a comprehensive disaster preparedness guide, and many resources are available when disaster threatens.

Economy & Job Market

Louisville’s steady economy is keeping pace with cities of similar size. The city’s economy is steadily trending upward with a job growth rate of 1.5%. The unemployment rate in 2019 was 3.5%, just above the national average.

Shipping and cargo have been the industrial mainstays since the city’s founding. Other major industries include product manufacturing, health care, medical sciences, high tech, and education.

The largest employers in the city are United Parcel Service, UPS Airlines, Ford Motor Company, GE Appliances, Humana Inc, Norton Healthcare, Jefferson County Public Schools, KentuckyOne Health, Yum! Brands, Anthem Healthcare, Kindred Healthcare, and LG & E and KU Energy.

Job seekers should look for jobs in manufacturing, healthcare, government, education, and mailing and shipping. The bottom line is that there are plenty of jobs in Louisville for eager job-seekers.

Traffic and Transportation

When it comes to public transit, Louisville scores 28/100 so most residents rely on their cars to get around. The public transportation system here is slow, inefficient, and extremely underutilized. The Transit Authority of River City, or TARC, is a network of buses with 43 routes covering five counties that provide 41,000 rides per day. Loulift is a free circulator comprised of electric buses servicing downtown, the Kentucky Derby Museum/Churchill Downs, and Old Louisville.

Major thoroughfares include I-65 which runs through the city and north to Indianapolis or south to Nashville. I-64 runs through the city and west to St Louis or east to Lexington and on to Charleston. I-71 runs northeast to Cincinnati. Inner and outer interstate beltways help move traffic around the city, but east of downtown, the interstates intersect in a spot that has become infamously known as “Spaghetti Junction.”

Due to the nearly 83% of Louisvillians who commute alone in a vehicle – one of the highest percentages in the country – traffic is predictably a challenge. The worst areas by far are Shelbyville Road, Hurstbourne Parkway, and Dixie Highway. The latter happens to be one of the deadliest stretches of road in the area, seeing three times as many crashes as comparable roads. Improvements are underway on Dixie Highway, but it’s currently only adding to congestion.

To further highlight the need for a vehicle in Louisville, the city has a below-average walk score of 33. But if you live and work in the central business district, you’ll be in the center of “walker’s paradise” where the walk score is 94, bike score is 74, and the transit score is 64. Other walkable areas are Phoenix Hill and Highlands. The Limerick neighborhood has earned a bike score of 88 and a walk score of 70, however, the overall bike score in Louisville is 40. Designed for short hops, LouVelo, the bike-share program runs 307 bikes through 27 stations throughout the city.

What to Do

Louisvillians may gripe about traffic, but they rarely complain about a lack of things to do, eat, or drink. Foodies will be happy to discover a wide range of excellent restaurants with new eateries opening every year, outdoorsy types will find plenty of green space, and culture and sports enthusiasts will find lots to explore. From the waterfront to the racetrack, here’s a short list of what you can expect in your new hometown.

Louisville is known for its creative twist on stick-to-your-ribs cuisine. You’ll find plenty of Americana and rich, Southern-inspired cuisine, but there’s much more to the food scene. Delectable ramen, inspired Italian, and exceptional Mexican food awaits, with celebrated chefs rolling out new menus regularly. Of course, bourbon is the spirit of choice in Louisville. The Urban Bourbon Trail directs you to the best bourbon bars in town, and if you’re feeling even more adventurous, hop in an Uber and check out some of the downtown distilleries. At some point, you’ll want to sink your teeth into a delicious Hot Brown, and for fresher fare, head out on a Saturday to one of the fabulous farmers’ markets in Highlands.

Louisville has arts and culture for everyone. The Speed Art Museum collection encompasses 6,000 years of art and offers interactive programming for the whole family. The Muhammad Ali Center offers immersive visitor experiences showcasing the six core values that drove Ali’s life. The Kentucky Science Center downtown boasts three floors of interactive educational science experiences and a four-story theater. Anyone interested in history and engineering will enjoy the Louisville Water Tower Park, situated at the Louisville Water Company’s original downtown pumping station. And baseball fans absolutely won’t want to miss the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.

For nature lovers, over 9,375 acres of parkland are spread out over 137 Louisville parks. Olmsted Parks and Parkways includes a network of parks designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed NYC’s Central Park and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. There are multiple scenic loops and trails, but the Louisville Loop is the longest, stretching 100 miles for cycling, walking, and jogging. Cherokee Park is one of the top parks in town, with a dog park and bird sanctuary, and Iroquois Park offers 739 acres of natural and curated beauty. Waterfront Park runs along the Ohio River in what was once a run-down area but is now a beloved recreation zone. Jefferson Memorial Forest, the largest municipal urban forest in the nation, is only 15 miles from downtown. With 6,191 acres of hiking, camping, fishing, and bird-watching amenities, it’s tempting to get lost in this amazing wilderness.

Despite the lack of professional sports franchises, Louisville has plenty to offer sports fans. The Louisville Cardinals Men’s Basketball team plays NCAA Division 1 for the University of Louisville and have made it all the way to eight Final Fours. They play at the KFC Yum! Center on the banks of the Ohio River. They are the most profitable college basketball team in the US and have the skills to prove it. The Louisville Cardinals Women’s Basketball team has made the Final Four three times in the last decade, and also play at the Yum! Center. The Louisville Cardinals Baseball team from the University of Louisville put on a show at the Jim Patterson Stadium on campus. This winning team, which has produced major-league players, is worth watching. Louisville City FC, a United Soccer League team, plays the Louisville Slugger Field, and the Derby City Rovers is a semi-pro soccer team that plays at the King Louie’s Sports Complex.

Schools and Universities

Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) is the largest in Kentucky, serving more than 101,000 students in the city’s 150 schools. Sadly, the state of Kentucky has consistently underfunded education, and Louisville public schools have undoubtedly suffered. 40% of the schools in the state flagged for underperformance are in the JCPS system under a new accountability system, which is an improvement from the 75% of the state’s lowest-performing schools identified last year. Parents are well-advised to research local schools for performance and may want to consider private schooling. However, the number one high school in Kentucky, Manual High School, is ranked 30th in the nation, so the system is not without merit.

The Louisville area is home to several four-year institutions, including the University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, Boyce College, Campbellsville University, ITT Technical Institute, Spalding University, Sullivan University, and Webster University. There are also a handful of schools offering two-year degrees, including Daymar College, Jefferson Community and Technical College, and Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana


Louisville’s crime rates are higher than the national average – about 74% higher, but the rates are on a downward trend. Crime rates are dramatically higher in Louisville than in the state of Kentucky, which is unsurprising considering the higher population density in the city.

Utility Providers

Before you move, be sure to open your new utility accounts.

  • Louisville Gas & Electric is the primary provider of gas and electric service for Louisville. Visit the site to start, stop, or transfer service.
  • Louisville Water Company has been providing Louisville with water since 1860. To open an account, call their service line at 502-583-6610.
  • Louisville Department of Public Works takes out the trash in Louisville. Charges depend on the size of bin provided, and a new account can be set up by calling 502-574-5000 or 311.
  • For internet and cable, residents can choose between AT&T Uverse or Spectrum. Click on the links to check out services offered and to begin service.
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Best Neighborhoods in Louisville, KY


Just three miles due east of downtown lies Butchertown, one of the oldest sections of the city. Bordered by the Ohio River to the north, Beargrass Creek to the east, Mellwood Avenue to the southeast and E Main to the southwest, and I-64 to the west, the former industrial/residential area is now a mainstay of Louisville young professionals. Several decades of revitalization have rendered the area perfectly trendy with many chic boutiques and eateries. With 61% of the residents renting a mix of condos, apartments, Greek Revival, and shotgun-style homes, young singles will feel right at home.

The sole brandy distillery in the area is here, and the local Louisville Extreme Park is a haven for skateboarders, featuring 40,000 square feet of concrete skating surfaces, a wooden vert ramp, and a 24-foot full pipe. Local artisans abound, and fine dining is interspersed with craft beer bars and casual dining spots.

A short walk will get you to a LouLift station where one of the city’s fleet of electric buses can carry you down Main and Market or over to Churchill Downs. LouVelo stations throughout the neighborhood provide the opportunity to rent a bike for short jaunts. There’s plenty to do in this corner of town, although you’ll have to venture out to do grocery shopping and run practical errands.

  • Population – 4,187
  • Home Price – Median home value $120,077
  • Rent Prices – Median rent $854
  • Employers – AETNA, Chewy, KentuckyOne health, Norton Healthcare, PepsiCo, Louisville Metro Government, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, US Census Bureau
  • Schools –Greathouse Shryock Traditional Elementary School, Schaffner Elementary School, J Graham Brown School, DuPont Manual High School, Louisville Male High School

Something to try: Visit the Thomas Edison House to learn about the inventor’s time in Louisville.


Bonnycastle is just four miles southeast of downtown, bordered by Bardstown Road to the west, Cherokee Road on the north and east, Eastern Parkway to the north, and Speed Avenue to the south. This well-to-do neighborhood was developed in the short window between 1890 and 1914, which is evidenced in the distinct architecture of the stately Victorian homes and Craftsman Bungalows. The tallest building in the neighborhood, the Commodore Apartment Building, was built in 1928 and today serves as luxury condos.

This quiet, tree-lined neighborhood has become one of the most desirable places to live in Louisville, thanks to its proximity to downtown, beautiful older homes, and friendly atmosphere. This area is a relatively tight-knit community where neighbors know each other, and 52% of the residents own their homes. Crime is very low, and the schools are exceptionally good, making this an ideal neighborhood for families.

Bordered by Cherokee Park and neighboring Cherokee Golf Course, there’s plenty of green space to enjoy, and access to Hwy 60 and I-64 make it easy for commuters to get onto a major highway minutes from home. The neighborhood offers few amenities, but Bardstown Road is chockablock full of dining, entertainment, and shopping opportunities.

  • Population – Just over 2,987
  • Home Price – Median home value $426,135
  • Rent Prices – Median rent $815
  • Employers – Accenture, AccuQuest, Jefferson County Public Schools, Medtronic, Norton Healthcare, University of Kentucky, US Department of Commerce, US Department of Homeland Security, Wellspring
  • Schools – J Graham Brown School, Greathouse Shryock Traditional Elementary School, Schaffner Elementary School, Barret Traditional Middle School, Jefferson County Traditional Middle School, DuPont Manual High School, Louisville Male High School, Atherton High School

Something to try: Go to Sherby, the annual event on Sherwood Avenue each spring.


Three and a half miles due east of downtown, Clifton is bounded by I-64 to the southwest, South Ewing Avenue to the east, Brownsboro Road to the north, and Mellwood Avenue to the northeast. This diverse neighborhood is made up of people from all walks of life. It’s down-to-earth, friendly, and has a comfortable community vibe.

The neighborhood is walkable, kid-friendly, and dog-friendly. With an even split of renters and homeowners, lots of folks have been in the area for years, but Clifton also welcomes a steady stream of newcomers. A nice mix of condos, townhomes, and single-family homes gives house hunters and young families a lot of housing choices.

Clifton is an ideal spot if you want to be close to downtown but tucked away in a cozy residential area. Frankfort Avenue features a plethora of excellent restaurants, and plenty of eclectic places to drink, hang out, and shop. Live music lovers will find themselves right at home, as will lovers of coffee shops and killer nightlife.

Aside from all the hip, trendy shops, and fun goings-on, there are plenty of playgrounds and parks within walking distance, and grocery and retail shopping is abundant and accessible. To find all of these features along with affordability and quiet, is rare. Clifton is one of the best bargains in town, offering a high quality of life with a low price tag.

  • Population – 4,699
  • Home Price – Median home value $157,430
  • Rent Prices – Median rent $741
  • Employers –AIG, Commonwealth of Kentucky, KentuckyOne Health, Louisville Metro Government, NIKE INC, Progressive, US Postal Service
  • Schools – Breckinridge Franklin Elementary School, Field Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School, Jefferson Country Traditional Middle School, Barret Traditional Middle School, Atherton High School, Breckinridge Metropolitan High School, DuPont Manual High School

Something to try: Knock back a beer at Apocalypse Brew Works, a completely sustainable local brewery.


Just three miles southeast of downtown, Germantown is one of the best neighborhoods in Louisville if you want to be in a lively, hip community. This neighborhood borders Barrett Avenue to the north, Eastern Parkway to the east, and the South Fork of Beargrass Creek to the south and west. Once a solidly blue-collar stronghold, in recent years the neighborhood has become popular with young couples and college students.

Along with the youthful newcomers have come an assortment of bars, coffee shops, and restaurants, but many of the institutions in Germantown cater to longtime locals. There are some low-key live music venues, cafes, and several upscale dining options. You’ll find multiple grocery stores, including a small grocer selling only local Kentucky meats and produce, direct from the farm.

Germantown contains the largest collection of camelback and shotgun houses in the city, and while housing prices have risen, it’s still considered a neighborhood made up of starter homes because of the modesty home sizes. 61% of the residents own, which is perhaps a reflection of the affordability of the older housing stock. Residents love the well-lit walkable streets and the welcoming feel of the diverse neighborhood.

  • Population – 4,055
  • Home Price – Median home value $130,290
  • Rent Prices – Median rent $817
  • Employers – AETNA, ABM Industries, CGB Enterprises, Chewy, KentuckyOne Health, Louisville Metro Govt, Norton Healthcare, Pepsico, United Ground Express, US Postal Service
  • Schools – Brandeis Elementary School, Greathouse Shryock Traditional Elementary School, Bloom Elementary School, J Graham Brown School, Barret Traditional Middle School, Jefferson County Traditional Middle School, Meyzeek Middle School, DuPont Manual High School, Louisville Male High School, Butler Traditional High School

Something to try: Visit Hauk’s Handy Store and ask about the “dainty” kept behind the counter.

The Highlands

Located mere minutes from Cherokee Park and ten minutes east of downtown, The Highlands has a long history as one of the best neighborhoods in Louisville. The neighborhood is bordered to the east by Baxter Avenue, to the south by Winter Avenue, to the west by Barret Avenue, and to the north by East Broadway. With a mix of Victorian homes and picturesque turn-of-the-century architecture, homes are mostly single-family or broken into separate apartments. 57% of the residents here are renters, and the demographic skews toward more educated professionals.

Many who live in The Highlands consider it something of a “little Portland,” thanks to its farmers’ markets, corner coffee shops, yoga studios, art galleries, and eclectic shops. The Highlands is also known for great dining and has the highest density of bars and restaurants in the city.

The neighborhood has no buildings taller than two stories, thanks to strict zoning regulations. Everything one could need is with walking distance, including nightlife. Best of all, the neighborhood manages to be safe and family-friendly without sacrificing diversity and density.

  • Population – 1,844
  • Home Price – Median home value $162,220
  • Rent Prices – Median rent $827
  • Employers – Accenture, Medtronic, Norton Healthcare, University of Kentucky, US Department of Commerce, US Department of Homeland Security, Wellspring
  • Schools – J Graham Brown School, Greathouse Shryock Traditional Elementary School, Schaffner Elementary School, Barret Traditional Middle School, Jefferson County Traditional Middle School, DuPont Manual High School, Louisville Male High School, Atherton High School

Something to try: Visit the Purrfect Day Café to cuddle kittens while you have a snack and beverage.

Old Louisville

Just south of downtown, Old Louisville comprises the largest preservation district of Victorian homes in the US. Bordered to the north by York Street, South Floyd to the east, 9th Street and Manor Park Drive to the west, and West Cardinal Boulevard and East Brandeis to the south, the neighborhood is right between downtown and Spalding University to the north and the University of Louisville to the south. The vast majority of the residents – 87% – are renters, which is no surprise considering the proximity to the universities.

If you love festivals, there’s no better neighborhood in Louisville to call home. This historic area has its very own Central Park, designed by Olmsted himself. Within this park, audiences enjoy the oldest Shakespeare theater in the nation at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival from June to August each year. The first weekend of October is the annual St James Court Art Show, and the second weekend in October sees the Garvin Gate Blues Festival unfold at Garvin Place and Oak Street.

The majority of Old Louisville residents tend to be either college students, young professionals, or empty-nesters. The neighborhood is eminently walkable – a good thing because parking is a nightmare – and all the amenities one could possibly need are available without having to drive. Public transit is easily available right outside your front door, and the scenery is hard to beat.

  • Population – 15,821
  • Home Price – Median home value $108,628
  • Rent Prices – Median rent $554
  • Employers – Brown-Forman, iTutorGroup, Forward Air, Inc, Postmates, Staples, Sysco, University of Louisville, United Parcel Service
  • Schools – Greathouse Shryock Traditional Elementary School, Schaffner Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School, The Brook-Dupont, The Phoenix School of Discovery, Louisville Male High School, Eastern High School, Butler Traditional High School, Jeffersontown High School, Presentation Academy

Something to try: Explore one of the Old Louisville Haunted Tours.

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Louisville is a unique city with a mix of Midwestern and Southern influences. As they say, it’s easy to get here, but hard to leave. Let us help make getting to Louisville as easy as possible. Get free quotes and hire professional moving services. Taking the stress out of your move is what we do best.

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Francesca Singer

Texan by birth, Francesca has lived in three states and five countries–which makes her a true expert on moving. When... Read More