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Old 02-10-2009, 02:04 PM
 
21 posts, read 61,098 times
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I have read through numerous posts here about the different areas in Louisville and differing opinions on where are good places to live. I mostly wanted to make sure I have everything summarized as best I can and make sure I am not missing anything as I research the possibilities.

I am considering a position in the Louisville area. I currently live in the San Diego area and for a variety of reasons, I am considering leaving for better/different pastures. I am married with 2 (3 in May) children. My wife does not work and my oldest child will start school next fall.

To answer the standard questions:

1. The company has a couple of locations, but I would most likely be working in the downtown area.
2. I can't say for certain how much I would be willing to spend - depending on potential salary, probably between 150K and 200K. I would most definitely look to rent for a period first to get a feel for any area I was in. I pay 1600 per month now for a small 2 bedroom apartment - I would prefer to pay less than that for a 3 bedroom. That may give you an idea of reasons to leave San Diego!
3. Shorter commute is better, but depending on other factors commuting 30 minutes would not be a deal breaker.
4. My kids would be in public schools - more below.
5/6. Neighborhood. Both my wife and I grew up in smaller towns, but have lived for a while in bigger cities. We want to live in an area that has other families around and children to play with, parks for children, but not so packed in as we see here in the newer developments - a decent sized back yard. If we went further out we would obviously expect to get more space. We will want to have access to the amenities of the urban city - museums, medical care, restaurants, etc. - but would be willing to drive to utilize them.

I think for us the two biggest things will be schools and healthcare. My youngest child has a medical condition that requires us to at least stay close to urban centers with adequate pediatric specialists. This also includes trips to physical therapists etc. This will also mean that she needs a public school with good services - help with an IEP, onsite therapists if possible, etc.

Schools in Louisville seem difficult to pick - like a lot of other bigger cities, it seems pretty hit and miss - a great elementary school may feed into a not so good high school (e.g. Audubon Hills elementary looks pretty good, but I think it feeds into a not so good high school?). The more sub-urban you go that seems to be easier to pin down (e.g. Middletown seems to have good elementary schools and feeds into Eastern High school which looks to be pretty good).

We also eat pretty healthy. That includes some organic foods - so the usual suspects on restaurant row are not a necessity, but good produce markets are.

So getting to the point and summarizing what I have put together from reading through the other posts:

Oldham County (Crestwood, etc.) - longer commute, more space, less urban, good schools - for us, farther from the bigger medical centers.

Anchorage - sounds great, but not in my price range

Middletown, Lyndon, etc. - More sub-urban than downtown, but less rural than Oldham County - Middletown in particular has good schools, harder to tell with Lyndon.

Closer in - St. Matthews, Audubon Hills, etc. - these are obviously the shortest commute and closest to medical centers, but are more hit and miss for schools, and possibly the least amount of space for the money.

My gut feeling is that most likely areas like Middletown are maybe the best fit for us, basically because they are in the middle - not so far out, but not right in the middle of the city either. The extra space that might be a possibility in Oldham county is appealing (my wife would want horses) as are the good schools there and it really does not seem like the commute is that bad. The alternative is that living closer to the city has its advantages as well.

I really have no knowledge of the Louisville area, so that is feeding into my seeming indecision. Are there other areas I should look into? Any input on the school situation in the more urban areas?

Thanks for reading this far and for any help!

Oh - I prefer Ice Cream over Pie and Cake, but if I had to choose...I guess pie!
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:34 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
10,728 posts, read 22,159,893 times
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The commute from southern Oldham Co really isn't that bad of a commute to downtown. I think the Buckner exit is only 14 miles from downtown. The best schools besides that (EM to HS level) are in the northeast corner of the city (Prospect to Lyndon to Middletown) or the Anchorage Indep. District which has a high tax rate. Places like J-town, St Matthews, & Audubon Park have great elementary schools but the mid & high school quality really varies.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
666 posts, read 2,324,421 times
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middletown is a great city to live in. it is a suburb of louisville, but it has its own main street that they are really revitalizing. there is a rainbow blossom (organic/health food store) and im also pretty sure they hold a farmers market here, but i have never been and do not know the dates for it. middletown has an immediate care center the next exit up the interstate, with 2 or 3 more hospitals and or immediate care centers opening up within the next couple years that are very close by. also, have you thought about jeffersontown? you can get a little more bang for your buck there. i wouldnt keep st. matthews out of the question, i think most, or at least part of st. matthews is in the Ballard High School district, which isnt that bad of a school. The last places i would look are Pewee Valley and Crestwood, it really would not be that much longer of a commute from those places then from Middletown.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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You have a fairly good understanding of the (east side) of the city, but areas of Crestwood sit on the Oldham/Jefferson border and really are not that much further from downtown.

Louisville is urban in and close to downtown but not SUPER urban like you would imagine. It is safe in the city and good schools can be had if you know where to look. I wouldn't rule out city neighborhoods like the Highlands and Crescent Hill until you came to look at them, unless you are against rehabbed older homes. Louisville is a city you come to to calm down your life. Why deal with long commutes and interstate traffic when you can live in family friendly areas around Cherokee or Seneca Parks, much closer to downtown? If you are choosing Jefferson County, the schools will be hit or miss, but if you are a motivated parent, you can get your kids into the top schools which are better than the highest ranked Oldham schools.

As said, I also wouldn't rule out Jeffersontown, and I would also throw in Fern Creek and Highview (these areas will have similar commute times as Crestwood and Buckner in Oldham County!). These areas will have a bit more of that "redneck" vibe you stereotypically think of when you think KY, but they are very nice areas. You can get a large 4 bedroom house on a half an acre for 200k in certain parts of Fern Creek or Highview. Same with the south suburbs of Bullitt county like Shepherdsville and Mount Washington. Don't rule out Indiana either. Places like Sellersburg and Floyds Knobs, IN will put you MUCH closer to downtown and the major pediatric hospital, Kosair Children's. They will give you more land and more bang for your buck. Floyds Knobs and Georgetown, IN especially is tied in with excellent schools, approximately above the median for the metro area.

So for you and your price range, I would look at:
1) Crestwood
2)Pewee Valley
3) Middletown
4)Jeffersontown
5) Indiana burbs of Sellersburg and Floyd's Knobs
6) Don't rule out the very family friendly Highlands, Crescent Hill, St Matthews triangle. Anywhere near Cherokee Park or Seneca Park would be ideal. Also near Bowman Field and even the Louisville Zoo area close to Audubon Park on the map are very nice, and will cut you the hassle of dealing with long freeway commutes. While Louisville does not have traffic by big city standards, I have noticed the freeways becoming more congested as more people discover the city.
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
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Keep in mind that if you look into Indiana schools, yes they are good but you have to pay for your books. They do still have neighborhood schools though, we do bussing here.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:53 PM
 
21 posts, read 61,098 times
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Thanks for all of your input, it has been helpful.

At this point I am just trying to get whatever information I can. Any move would of course depend on getting a job offer, so it is wait and see for now. I just want to be prepared if it does come through.

Hopefully I would be able to work out some type of short term furnished rental for my family to stay in while we got a better feel for the area - or at least as good a feel as you could get in a few weeks - but we would need to get settled quickly enough to get schools and everything else lined up before next fall.

With the job market as it is you never know, but the potential position in Louisville seems somewhat positive - meaning I made it past the first reviewer instead of into the trash can.

Thanks again
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:00 PM
 
17 posts, read 45,493 times
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There are too many good neighborhoods to choose from in Louisville, however if you factor in the choice of school, it narrows the selection. Our school district is coming up on a momentous change in redistricting that has been ordered by court to be in effect by fall 2009.When we moved here from So. California ( I was raised in San Diego. Navy brat) choosing a neighborhood/school cluster was a pain. I would suggest that you put your stuff in storage and take your time investigating the neighborhoods and schools before you take the plunge buying or renting long term. If you need some leads on short term furnished housing, post a reply and I will get back to you.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:06 AM
 
282 posts, read 735,128 times
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I highly suggest that you at least check-out southern indiana (new albany, clarksville, jeffersonville areas); some native Kentuckians may not care for the area (state pride or something? ), but as a transplant, I think it's worth checking out. You could get a lot more for your money there than many Louisville areas plus your commute to downtown Louisville should be very nice. Simply take the 2nd street bridge over and bam, you're there. While people are sitting on I65 or I64 fighting there way to and from downtown, you'd have a much quicker commute.

I've also seen many good schools in the area and things offer a more laid back feel than downtown louisville - but, you still have downtown louisville literally minutes away if you cross the river.

I've found that all forms of insurance (home, auto, etc.) are cheap there.

Check it out. If it's a good fit for you, I think you'll like it.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Louisville KY Metro area
4,824 posts, read 13,220,566 times
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If your child needs special educational services, You must be in JCPS. Its simply a numbers factor. My former wife is a part of the JCPS special education area. While we were married, she would amaze me with the stories of efforts she and others in the system were making to serve.

Oldham County has a superior educational system, whether public or private, but where students have significant needs for medical assistance, JCPS just has the resources to accomplish more.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 20,483,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomocox View Post
If your child needs special educational services, You must be in JCPS. Its simply a numbers factor. My former wife is a part of the JCPS special education area. While we were married, she would amaze me with the stories of efforts she and others in the system were making to serve.

Oldham County has a superior educational system, whether public or private, but where students have significant needs for medical assistance, JCPS just has the resources to accomplish more.
Welcome back tom!
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