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Old 12-20-2017, 10:32 AM
 
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Hello All, I have a job offer in Louisville. I've been to Louisville previously multiple times and it is one of my favorites in it's population range. I would purchase a home and perhaps settle roots. My big concern is with the economic stability of the area. Is Louisville one of those areas that is affected terribly with any downturns in the economy? i.e. loss of numerous jobs and housing crashes? Fortunately for me I was always living in a city where none of the previous recessions affected where I lived very much (SF, DC, NYC).

Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2017, 12:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ebck120 View Post
Hello All, I have a job offer in Louisville. I've been to Louisville previously multiple times and it is one of my favorites in it's population range. I would purchase a home and perhaps settle roots. My big concern is with the economic stability of the area. Is Louisville one of those areas that is affected terribly with any downturns in the economy? i.e. loss of numerous jobs and housing crashes? Fortunately for me I was always living in a city where none of the previous recessions affected where I lived very much (SF, DC, NYC).

Thanks.
No, if anything Louisville is "too stable." For example, housing prices in the good areas didn't fall at all during the great recession of 08. But lately the housing market has been one of the hottest in the country. For us, it seems over priced, but if you are from the coast, its dirty cheap. Louisiville's economy and commercial real estate growth is the most robust it has been in over 100 years. if anything, the area needs to gain more population to compete with peer cities, and it feels like its starting to do that, but it's not showing up too much yet in census estimates which show modest population growth (but still much better than peers such as Cincinnati and other older cities).

Louisville is really doing well these days:

https://louisvilleky.gov/government/...d-recognitions

https://insiderlouisville.com/lifest...to-louisville/

Louisville is a city that takes 3 years to settle into. If you are from a bigger city, at first you hate it as you start yearning for this and that. But its just big enough to fill cosmopolitan and its urban core is very impressive with amenities for its size. I never appreciated Louisville much until I traveled and lived in many cities. You simply won't find a better metro all around in the under 2 million range. The arts, food, culture, festivals, parks, and the sort of "live and let live" mentality are sort of New Orleans esque with 4 seasons and less crime.
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:30 AM
 
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^Thanks for that info. I had s concern with potentially my job disappearing and home value dropping during the next minor recession because I know some cities completely buckle during hard times.
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:04 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
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Originally Posted by Ebck120 View Post
^Thanks for that info. I had s concern with potentially my job disappearing and home value dropping during the next minor recession because I know some cities completely buckle during hard times.
Louisville generally weathers economic downturns fairly well as long as you are not associated with manufacturing. It has not experienced the housing bubbles and subsequent bursts generally associated with urban areas. If I had to categorize Louisville's economic history I would choose stable.
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Old 12-22-2017, 08:24 PM
 
Location: IL/IN/FL/CA/KY/FL/KY/WA
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Originally Posted by Ebck120 View Post
^Thanks for that info. I had s concern with potentially my job disappearing and home value dropping during the next minor recession because I know some cities completely buckle during hard times.
Really depends. I think the Louisville market is actually inflated by about $30-40k in the $160-$350k value range. You can get a $400k+ home and it will keep its value but it will be harder to sell because those homes aren't very hot right now during the "good times". Homes in the $160-350k range that are modernized and in good structural shape are selling in mere days for rather high asking prices, because inventory is at historic lows (crazy low in fact) and demand is at an all-time high (2016 was hotter but 2017 will be #2 in sales in the last 20 years despite the lack of inventory)

As Peter and Oldhag1 have mentioned, the Louisville market never had the huge run up and flop that hit many towns in the late 2000s, but I will also say that it's important to understand whether Louisville has an abundance or dearth of similar jobs to yours or not. If you have a lot of translatable skills and you're seeking a job under $100k/yr then you should have no problem weathering the storm. If you are in a specialized industry that has little translatable skills to similar jobs in the Louisville area then I personally would rent in Louisville and buy during the next downturn, or buy a cheap fixer upper in a good area.
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:31 AM
 
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Thanks for the advics guys. We'll see how it goes, I have Philly on the table as well or to get a promotion and stay put. Out of the three Louisville is more or less what I'm looking for long term but perhaps I can squeeze out another few years before landing in a place like Louisville.
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Old 12-26-2017, 03:37 PM
 
Location: I is where I is
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Originally Posted by Ebck120 View Post
Thanks for the advics guys. We'll see how it goes, I have Philly on the table as well or to get a promotion and stay put. Out of the three Louisville is more or less what I'm looking for long term but perhaps I can squeeze out another few years before landing in a place like Louisville.
Louisville is still somewhat an “underrated” city. More & more people are starting to realize this, so I’d come while the gettin’ is good. Louisville has an incredible COL for a metro of its size, and you could get even more across the bridge in So.Indiana. You’re missing out, friend
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Greg10556 View Post
Louisville is still somewhat an “underrated” city. More & more people are starting to realize this, so I’d come while the gettin’ is good. Louisville has an incredible COL for a metro of its size, and you could get even more across the bridge in So.Indiana. You’re missing out, friend
Definitely on the table.... I'm waiting for some final #'s to come through so I can further analyze. I'm excited for the idea of purchasing a decent home in a nice area in a place like Louisville but I'm really concerned about long term growth as a professional and the potential director and up availability of roles there. The smallest city I've lived in previously was Atlanta so I wonder if its a good thing you're competing with less people or if its bad that there are less positions available.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ebck120 View Post
Definitely on the table.... I'm waiting for some final #'s to come through so I can further analyze. I'm excited for the idea of purchasing a decent home in a nice area in a place like Louisville but I'm really concerned about long term growth as a professional and the potential director and up availability of roles there. The smallest city I've lived in previously was Atlanta so I wonder if its a good thing you're competing with less people or if its bad that there are less positions available.
Good and bad. To be honest ATL doesn't feel like a big city to me. It feels like a bigger CBD and like two Louisville's stacked on top of each other, and surrounded by another Louisville. If you have an equal job, I'd choose Louisville all day long. Even shopping is now a wash as everyone just uses Amazon and Louisville has an amazing outlet mall which is very accessible and also the huge Amazon Outlet which has prices that cannot be beat (fomer Zappos). Plus we have Gilt annual pop up which is insane, and great arts, festivals, and boutiques. If you immerse yourself in this indie culture and the hip areas, the city is awesome. If you live in a generic, located suburban strip apartment complex, your existence in Louisville will be mundane and inferior to a large city.

Louisville has the 4th highest millenial home ownership and one of the last cool cities left with reasonable COL and still some awesome, young walkable urban neighborhoods. I agree with Greg, get while the getting is good.

Come to Louisville with a 4 year plan as it's not as easy to "settle in" as a very large city. If you end up not progressing in your career or not meeting the people you want, you can always peace out with a crap ton of money in your bank...the same cannot be said for other cities. I feel like Louisville is an easy city to "conquer" but its definitely not too small either.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:44 PM
 
Location: IL/IN/FL/CA/KY/FL/KY/WA
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Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
Good and bad. To be honest ATL doesn't feel like a big city to me. It feels like a bigger CBD and like two Louisville's stacked on top of each other, and surrounded by another Louisville. If you have an equal job, I'd choose Louisville all day long. Even shopping is now a wash as everyone just uses Amazon and Louisville has an amazing outlet mall which is very accessible and also the huge Amazon Outlet which has prices that cannot be beat (fomer Zappos). Plus we have Gilt annual pop up which is insane, and great arts, festivals, and boutiques. If you immerse yourself in this indie culture and the hip areas, the city is awesome. If you live in a generic, located suburban strip apartment complex, your existence in Louisville will be mundane and inferior to a large city.

Louisville has the 4th highest millenial home ownership and one of the last cool cities left with reasonable COL and still some awesome, young walkable urban neighborhoods. I agree with Greg, get while the getting is good.

Come to Louisville with a 4 year plan as it's not as easy to "settle in" as a very large city. If you end up not progressing in your career or not meeting the people you want, you can always peace out with a crap ton of money in your bank...the same cannot be said for other cities. I feel like Louisville is an easy city to "conquer" but its definitely not too small either.
Peter nails most of the commentary here. However, I'd add a few thoughts:

Louisville is very much a family oriented south-mid-western city. A Louisville vs Atlanta (or other city larger than Louisville) debate comes down to a few factors.

1) Do you have kids?

A 4-year plan is great if you're single or coupled with no plans for kids, but if you already have grade school kids or older then you seriously have to consider job replacement locally, and it depends on the industry you work in. Louisville is focused on fast food (Papa Johns, KFC/Yum, etc), Logistics (UPS, Amazon, etc) Manufacturing (Ford, GE, etc) and Healthcare (Humana and a multitude of feeder companies to Humana and others).

2) Are you already meeting your retirement savings goals?

This question is what Peter was referring to Louisville as a city to easily conquer if you're earning a high income here because the COL is so low. Despite the inflated home values I mentioned in a previous post, you'd still be under 25% of your net income for housing and still get a nice house in a solid area with good schools (which helps resale even if you're not having kids yourself). In fact, our rental house (which suits us perfectly as a rental) is 8% of our gross income currently (16% of net) and we have put away a TON of money this year before my department was shut down and I was laid off. Very few top 25 cities are going to be able to say that you can easily stay under 25% of net income for housing, and from what I've heard about ATL, 30%+ is the norm there.

3) Does your job require over 30% travel?

This one would easily go in favor of a city that had an airline hub. Louisville lacks direct flights to much of the west coast and would require a connection to many cities that weren't hubs - I had some coworkers do day trips to Omaha pretty frequently and it exhausted them because 10 hours of the day was travel with no direct options.

4) Do you desire to meet people outside of work?

This isn't as important, but if social time outside of work and meeting new people is important to you, then Louisville will be a struggle. The dating scene in Louisville is incredibly shallow when it comes to educated and professional men and women. I struggled dating when I was in my early 20's here because I'm not family/kids oriented and am a centrist politically, which also means my wife (whom I met when I lived in Florida) and I struggle to meet others who are similarly educated and professional types in town as well. My wife loves the friendliness of the people here and enjoys that comfort in that people really seem to care about others here, but that courtesy is generally surface level from the townies and they're usually not looking to expand their network of friends they've had since high school.

You need to be a single hipster/liberal to really have a shot at a decent social network in Louisville. We'll be on the lookout for more DINK couple meetup groups when we eventually move for my next job.

Despite my frustrations with aspects of Louisville, there are certainly winning qualities it has going for it at the moment, and for the brief 2-year period I was here for my return after 17 years in the 80s and 90s (plus whatever time it takes me to find the next gig) it put a lot of money in our pockets, but caused our family a lot of stress with 2 layoffs in 20 months. You will have a better chance at getting a good home in southern Indiana with good schools (Floyd County) because the long-term locals have a sigma against southern Indiana that was true 30 years ago but has long since vanished - the townies here are people who don't really adapt to change well. That's why it's taken it so long to grow.

Last edited by ServoMiff; 12-28-2017 at 07:54 PM..
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