There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Kentucky:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Kentucky, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Bluegrass State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Kentucky that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.
The best deal in Kentucky at the moment? That would be Paducah according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Kentucky:
- Paducah (Photos | Homes)
- Maysville (Photos | Homes)
- Owensboro (Photos | Homes)
- Bardstown (Photos | Homes)
- Bellevue (Photos | Homes)
- Newport (Photos | Homes)
- Vine Grove (Homes)
- Hopkinsville (Photos | Homes)
- Radcliff (Homes)
- Shepherdsville (Photos | Homes)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Kentucky?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Kentucky. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Kentucky with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2012-2016 and compared it to the previous vintage (2011-2015). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still ‘cheap’ for Kentucky with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 520 cities and towns in Kentucky, only 15 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 15 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a ‘best place to buy’ index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Paducah is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Bluegrass State.
Read on for more on these places.
Paducah was first settled as Pekin by James and William Pore c.1821. The community ? favorably located at the confluence of several waterways ? occupied a site previously noted as a Chickasaw trading center.
Buffalo once forded the Ohio here, beating a broad path into the interior of Kentucky in search of salt licks. For thousands of years, various cultures of indigenous peoples inhabited the area, hunting the buffalo and other game. In the 17th century, the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, based in present-day New York state, drove out other tribes to hold the Ohio Valley as a hunting ground.
Evidence of American Indian settlement in the area dates back 12,000 years. Following a series of failed uprisings with British support, however, the last Shawnee were forced to vacate the area before the end of the 18th century.
First settled by European Americans in 1780, Bardstown is the second oldest city in Kentucky. Named county seat of the newly created Nelson County, Virginia (now Kentucky) in 1784, the town was formally established in 1788. It was incorporated by the state assembly in 1838.
Before Bellevue was founded, the area was used for hunting, fishing, and warfare by Native Americans tribes such as the Illini, Miami, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Tuscarora. In 1745, a three-day battle occurred in Bellevue among the Shawnee, Miami, and Cherokee Indians, resulting in many deaths.
Newport was settled c.1791 by James Taylor Jr. on land purchased by his father James Sr. from George Muse, who received it as a grant.[why?] Taylor’s brother, Hubbard Taylor, had been mapping the land twenty years prior. It was not named for its position on the river but for Christopher Newport, the commander of the first ship to reach Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Newport was established as a town on December 14, 1795, and incorporated as a city on February 24, 1834. In 1803, the Ft. Washington military post was moved from Cincinnati to become the Newport Barracks. A bridge first connected Newport to Covington in 1853, and the first bridge spanning the Ohio River to Cincinnati, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, opened in 1866. Newport experienced large German immigration in the 1880-90s.
7. Vine Grove
The area of present-day Hopkinsville was initially claimed in 1796 by Bartholomew Wood as part of a 1,200-acre (5 km2) grant for his service in the American Revolution. He and his wife Martha Ann moved from Jonesborough, Tennessee, first to a cabin near present-day W. Seventh and Bethel streets; then to a second cabin near present-day 9th and Virginia streets; and finally to a third home near 14th and Campbell.
Incorporated in 1956, Radcliff was first settled in 1919, when Horace McCullum subdivided lots along Wilson Avenue and sold them at auction to the highest bidder. McCullum named the new community after Major William Radcliffe, head of the Quartermaster Corps at the newly established Camp Henry Knox. After selling the general store which he had opened in the new town, McCullum no longer played a role in the development of the town.
American Indians have been shown to have lived in the area for at least 15,000 years.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Kentucky
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Kentucky. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 520 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Kentucky reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Kentucky
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Kentucky
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Kentucky
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Kentucky