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Old 03-24-2020, 10:24 PM
1 posts, read 1,095 times
Reputation: 10


Hi all:
I've appreciated reading everyone's feedback on this topic in the past. We're considering a move from Milwaukee, WI to the Lexington, Richmond, or surrounding areas due to a job opportunity at EKU (starting this fall). I'd especially love to hear from anyone that currently works at EKU.

We have not yet visited the area and would love some suggestions on specific neighborhoods/areas to check out, based on our likes and preferences.

- Politically, we are moderate liberals. (We don't put campaign signs in our yard and we don't discuss politics.)
- We are a biracial married couple, and a mixed race family with two elementary-age kids and three dogs.
- We're looking to purchase an older home with good bones for around $250000, in a safe, pet-friendly area with good public schools and other young families.
- We like: to support the arts, local restaurants/coffee shops/stores (vs. big chains), a good library or bookstores, outdoor activities, visiting museums/zoos/aquariums, and farmers' markets. We'd prefer to not drive more than 20 minutes to do these things.
- We're quiet and polite and prefer the same from our neighbors.
- We would like to involve our kids in a variety of social activities.
- We would prefer our work commutes to be 25 minutes or less one way and definitely 40 minutes or less.

The two biggest things that are important to us:
- safe area with good public schools
- friendly people, preferably open-minded but at least not outwardly racist

We've done a ton of research on the crime rates, school ratings, etc., so we really don't need that information. We're looking for your personal recommendations for the cities in the area.

Thanks so much for sharing!
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:06 PM
Location: Eastern Kentucky Proud
1,013 posts, read 1,693,829 times
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I know a family that lives in Berea and works at EKU and Lexington. They haven't had any issues in Berea. As for racial or political problems, I wouldn't expect you to see any at all.

Just a thought.

Welcome to Kentucky!
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:40 PM
12,006 posts, read 11,042,876 times
Reputation: 22654
Berea or Lexington would be a good fit for your family. Not sure you can check all the boxes on your list, however - your housing budget is a little low for the type of house you describe in Lexington. And your commute time is a little short for the drive to Richmond from Lexington, unless you live on the southeast side of town, which again is problematic for your budget and other desires for your new home. Such houses can be found in that area, but they will be more costly.

On the other hand, Lexington normally has an abundance cultural activities of farmers' markets, an excellent public library system, and includes good public schools along with some that are struggling. Berea is Kentucky's arts and crafts capitol, and has lots going on through Berea College (now closed by corona). Richmond is just twelve miles up the road from Berea, so it would be a much shorter commute to EKU, which is on the south side of town, not far from I-75.

At present, schools, colleges, parks, stores, restaurants, libraries, etc. are locked down throughout the state, so while normally spring is a wonderful time to visit and check out amenities, I cannot recommend that you do that as long as COVID-19 is a concern, and it's on the rise here, for at least the next few weeks, according to our excellent governor, Andy Beshear, who is conducting daily press conferences that are being widely televised (and widely praised). But now would be a great time to do online research, so whenever you can come visit, your time will be well-spent.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:06 AM
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
19,885 posts, read 14,846,326 times
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Your budget is more in line with Richmond than Lexington. Richmond is a college town, as clearly you are aware, and as a result has some well rated public schools. Like most places in Kentucky, it is safe. It does not have as many cultural opportunities as Lexington, but most people find commuting for leisure activities is less taxing than commuting daily for work.

What is your definition of “older home”? I tend to think of older home as something built in the early 1900’s but have found some consider houses built in the 1980’s older, so I always ask now.
When I post in bold red that is moderator action and, per the TOS, can only be discussed through Direct Message.Moderator - Asia and Kentucky (including Lexington & Louisville)
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:15 PM
Location: Berea
8 posts, read 6,998 times
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I do believe Berea or Richmond would be a better fit for you, based on your criteria. While Richmond has a lot of chain restaurants, there are a lot of small local ones that are very good. Richmond also has a dog park at the Lake Reba park/complex. Lexington has MANY local restaurants, but housing will be pricier. You can find more yard space in Berea or Richmond. I lived in Lexington and moved to Berea to have more house/yard for the money. Berea is fantastic for the arts and crafts you are interested in. It is actually the state's self-proclaimed arts and crafts capital! The College Square area and Old Town are near Berea College (which was racially integrated in the 1800s!) and are such quaint, unique parts of Berea. Berea has some great local restaurants as well. You can't buy alcohol from stores in Berea, but can buy a drink once you place a food order at a dining establishment. For your commuting reference, like others have said, Berea is about 12-15 minute drive to EKU, and about 25-30 minutes to the Hamburg area of Lexington (major shopping/residential/business area) at exit 108. (Richmond is exits 95, 90, 87; Berea exits are 77 and 76 off of I75). Good luck and congratulations on your new position! My neighbor works at EKU and really enjoys it.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:09 AM
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
2,107 posts, read 4,771,087 times
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I cannot speak for Berea itself but I have been to Richmond for work and have family in a neighborhood that would fit your housing description to a "T" with the exception of price.

First, Lexington's Ashland Elementary and Cassidy Elementary would be the bonafide old character homes neighborhood with lots of families and people constantly walking dogs and being out and about. The problem is the southern and western side of Richmond Road (the main thoroughfare that is aka US 25) that is zoned to Cassidy is really expensive. Homes tend to sell well into the high 6 and even 7 figures. So I would cross that off completely. The other side of the road is Ashland zoned and the homes are smaller. This is where my family relatives live. While the homes are smaller, the prices have gone up in the last 4-5 years. What used to be purchased at approximately your budget is now $100K-$200K more depending on size and updates. These homes may also be smaller than desired with two kids and three dogs of undetermined size. So personally, I would cross Lexington proper off the list unless you want a newer home near Hamburg close to I-75, but even that area might be out of your budget it sounds. That characterization of neighborhoods near Hamburg though would be much more archetypal suburban. Yards here will be bigger than the older historic parts of Lexington off Richmond Road. commercial strips will be more chain oriented though the area is quite nice but traffic can be difficult on weekends and Christmas. I stay out in Hamburg when visiting over the holidays. The question on the meaning of "older home" for your search is also a good point.

Beyond this, the commute out to I-75 from historic Lexington would have a lot of lights and at grade intersections. And while it would likely be reverse the UK and downtown Lexington rush hour, would easily be over 20-25 minutes one way, possibly just to the interstate.

Berea seems like a nice area (have not been but have heard good things about its downtown and community), though school rankings for the city's independent schools don't look the best.

Surrounding Madison County and places further north towards Richmond rank much better. I personally have to agree with the earlier post about living near work which in this case is Richmond, and spending weekends driving the short distance to Berea and the slightly longer drive into Lexington. While Richmond may be more chain restaurant oriented, that does not mean there are not good local places. You can also find a little more yard/land here for the money than Lexington. Politically, Richmond probably trends more blue with EKU and Berea College but surrounding rural areas will tip the balance. Lexington and Fayette County overall will be much more blue in large part due to the urban population of Lexington and UK. However, most people are pretty live-and-let-live with politics in Kentucky. It tends to be group congregations (yes churches and universities both) that are noisier when it comes to broadcasting political views, so pick your social circles in these places with some consideration.
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