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Old 06-24-2008, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Western, Colorado
1,599 posts, read 2,665,185 times
Reputation: 937

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Hi folks!! I don't post much here, but have used the many resources of this website to move before, and I'm hoping I can once more, although this time I'd like to use the forum.

Well, to make a long story short, my wife HATES Colorado, and you can say that I'm 90% happy here. She hates being so far from family, and to be honest, I'd like to be a little closer. It seems that we'd be about a 16hr drive to my father in Florida, and about a 10hr drive to see family in NY, so that seems reasonable.

I've been checking out the land out there, and it seems somewhat affordable. I'm looking for about 100 or more acres.

If you guys can give me some info on the following, I'd really appreciate it.

1. Politics? Is it conservative? From the info from city data, it seems so. I'm a die hard, and prefer to live among people like minded.

2. Land prices? I see land pretty cheap around South Shore. What other areas would have what I'm looking for, affordable, and within 1 hr of a city of about 50K?

3 Taxes- Property, Income, sales,etc - Do they kill you on taxes?

4. Demographics? From the info on city data, seems predominantly white. Does that seem accurate?

5. Economy? Are people hurting out there? How is the job situation? My wife is an attorney, and I'll be starting a business. More than likely she'll be making the commute to Huntington, WV

6. Crime? Do you have to lock everything down like I did in South Florida. I'm pretty sure not. Hopefully it's like it is out here in Western Colorado - I leave everything unlocked.

7. Schools? Are they good for the kiddies? We plan on having kids one day.

8. Weather? How is the weather? Is the humidity oppressive. How often does it rain? Is it cloudy alot? Etc..


That's I guess the things off the top of my head for now. I'm sure I'll come up with some more things as I think about it more and after some people post some replies.

We're planning on driving out there in about 3 weeks, and just want to get a mental image somewhat before we arrive.


Thanks

John
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 8,837,861 times
Reputation: 3294
I've never been to Greenup Co., but I've been to Ashland, which is the anchor town in northeastern Kentucky. Ashland has about 21,000 residents and Greenup Co. has 20,000 new rural and suburban transplants from Ashland. Needless to say, a very small place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoracer51 View Post
1. Politics? Is it conservative? From the info from city data, it seems so. I'm a die hard, and prefer to live among people like minded.
NE Kentucky has a considerable amount of moderately conservative yet populist, union-friendly Democrats. Think Wilsonian or Trumanian Democrats. That said, one of our state legislature's most left-wing legislators is from Grayson, only 30 miles SW of Greenup.

The most genuinely conservative areas of Kentucky politically are extreme Northern Kentucky (Covington, Falmouth, Florence areas) and parts of SE Kentucky (Russell Springs, Somerset, Corbin, Hyden areas.)

Of course, Kentucky in general will have more of a general conservative mindset as opposed to the libertarian mindset common in the West. I think you'll do fine.

Quote:
2. Land prices? I see land pretty cheap around South Shore. What other areas would have what I'm looking for, affordable, and within 1 hr of a city of about 50K?
Yes, land is pretty cheap in Kentucky overall. You could look also at South Portsmouth, Russell, or Greenbo Lake. The closest cities are Huntington (30 minutes) and Charleston (75 minutes), but both only have 55,000 or so people.

If you're looking for a larger city with a larger airport, more arts and multiculturalism, and for weekend trips to cool urban neighborhoods, Lexington is 2 hr. 15 min. SW of Greenup. On that note, you might consider Morehead, KY, a college town of 8,000 halfway b/t Lexington and Ashland/Greenup.

Quote:
3 Taxes- Property, Income, sales,etc - Do they kill you on taxes?
Commensurate to people's earnings and consumption--factoring income, sales, property, dividends, and all--Kentucky has the nation's 18th-highest tax rate. Comparable to Colorado, I think.

Quote:
4. Demographics? From the info on city data, seems predominantly white. Does that seem accurate?
Yes.

Quote:
5. Economy? Are people hurting out there? How is the job situation? My wife is an attorney, and I'll be starting a business. More than likely she'll be making the commute to Huntington, WV
Well, the coal industry in east KY and western WV is steady, as is the Ashland Oil refinery. The economy has been very slowly slumping since the 1950s in this region. I don't think the region is losing very much population, though, so that will be good news for you and your wife.

Quote:
6. Crime? Do you have to lock everything down like I did in South Florida. I'm pretty sure not. Hopefully it's like it is out here in Western Colorado - I leave everything unlocked.
Safe area. I've never heard about any crimes in Greenup on the news.

Quote:
7. Schools? Are they good for the kiddies? We plan on having kids one day.
The only good public school systems in Kentucky are select ones in the extreme Northern, Louisville, and Western Ky. Coal regions. Keep in mind, we're not known for our schools. That said, I would put Russell Independent Schools up against any in the entire Huntington-Ashland MSA. Unfortunately, private schools don't abound.

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8. Weather? How is the weather? Is the humidity oppressive. How often does it rain? Is it cloudy alot? Etc..
Coming from the dry conditions of Colorado, summer will seem hot and humid to you. We tend to not think much about it. Skies are generally overcast for about 40-50% of the year. We receive an average of 35-40" of rain in the state annually.

My personal recommendation would be metro Louisville. Great jobs, steady job market (not thriving or booming, but not declining,) some excellent public and outstanding private schools for the future kiddos, a steadily growing population, and...if you look just E/NE of Louisville at Henry, Trimble, or eastern Shelby Counties, you'll find some cheap land. The Louisville area is a hybrid of the South and Midwest, leaning more toward Midwest; this means that it probably wouldn't be as much of a culture shock for you as Appalachia would be.

Good luck with whatever you and your wife decide to do.

Last edited by EclecticEars; 06-24-2008 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
108 posts, read 397,425 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
1. Politics? Is it conservative? From the info from city data, it seems so. I'm a die hard, and prefer to live among people like minded.
The area is relatively conservative...even the Democrats around here are conservative! Most northeastern Kentucky residents are either "Fox News" Republicans or diehard labor union Democrats. Both the Dems and Repubs tend to be conservative on social issues and things like gun rights. Overall, it's more conservative than liberal for sure, so you should have no problems with local politics.

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2. Land prices? I see land pretty cheap around South Shore. What other areas would have what I'm looking for, affordable, and within 1 hr of a city of about 50K?
Land is extremely cheap, especially in Greenup County. The cost of living is very low anywhere within an hour of Huntington, except for Putnam County, WV. Do you definitely want to live in Kentucky or are you considering other states as well?

Quote:
3 Taxes- Property, Income, sales,etc - Do they kill you on taxes?
As jcm said, taxes shouldn't be too different from what you pay in Colorado. Some taxes may be higher and some may be lower, but it will probably sort of even out in the end.

Quote:
4. Demographics? From the info on city data, seems predominantly white. Does that seem accurate?
Yes. Huntington is probably the most racially diverse city in the Tri-State area, and it's still predominantly white.

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5. Economy? Are people hurting out there? How is the job situation? My wife is an attorney, and I'll be starting a business. More than likely she'll be making the commute to Huntington, WV
The local economy suffered a lot during the 1980s and 1990s, leading to a substantial population decline. Things have leveled off over the last few years, however. The local steel mill (AK Steel) has been doing much better over the last couple of years, and the Marathon oil refinery also seems to be pretty stable right now. The real economic growth over the last decade has been in the health care sector. This will probably continue to be the case in the future, because industrial businesses tend to fluctuate between periods of boom and bust. Right now, things are slowly improving, but the rising cost of gas and pretty much everything else is still hurting people (just like the rest of the country).

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6. Crime? Do you have to lock everything down like I did in South Florida. I'm pretty sure not. Hopefully it's like it is out here in Western Colorado - I leave everything unlocked.
The area is very safe, which is one of the reasons I moved back here after living out of state for a few years.

Quote:
7. Schools? Are they good for the kiddies? We plan on having kids one day.
The schools are relatively safe, but not particularly strong academically. Russell Independent Schools (in southern Greenup County) are definitely the best in the Huntington/Ashland metro area, IMO. Raceland and Ashland schools are okay, and Boyd County and Fairview are mediocre. Greenup County, Lawrence County, and East Carter are the school districts that I'd avoid. The Fairland school district in Proctorville, Ohio (just across the river from Huntington) seems to be the other top school district in the area, at least based on test scores and graduation rates. Actually, I'm almost tempted to rank Fairland above Russell, because their average ACT scores are almost identical (Russell--21.8, Fairland--21.7) but Fairland has a higher graduation rate and its schools are slightly smaller. You might want to consider Proctorville, especially if your wife ends up working in Huntington.

Quote:
8. Weather? How is the weather? Is the humidity oppressive. How often does it rain? Is it cloudy alot? Etc..
The weather is pretty moderate, with four distinct seasons. It does get humid here, but I personally reserve the term "oppressive" for places like Florida. It is cloudy here more than you might expect, but not to the point that it gets depressing. We might get one or two decent snowfalls a year, plus several 1" snowfalls, but it tends to melt quickly.
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