Giddy-up! This horse capital boasts heaps of stables to lead the ponies to—and equally rustic (or contemporary: choose your flavor…) apartment units to hang your saddle in. Trot on up and let us fill you in on some of the basics on finding a pad in Bluegrass country. Read Guide >
Utilities: The winters are mild here, but budget some extra cash for cooling in the summer. Dang, it gets humid in this town. Subtropical? Methinks definitely. Keep your windows closed. The good news is there’s an uncommon percentage of landlords willing to pay your bills.
Leases: Call it old-fashioned, but most Lexington apartment managers and landlords are into bargaining. No, not on the price, but on the length of the lease. If you’re willing to commit, you might just get utilities, parking, and all sorts of other perks thrown in. Most landlords won’t air this info, so you’ll need to beef up your confidence and ask outright. It cuts both ways, too: a typical lease in Lex is a year, but if you present yourself as trustworthy, you may be able to talk your guy into a month-to-month situation. (Tell ‘em it’s for tax filing purposes…)
…And the first bottle of bourbon was distilled there
Got your bearings? Alright. One by one, now—the only hoods worth mention.
Downtown: Feels like Henry Clay is still alive down here. Everything’s old. Well, everything except those skyscrapers. Oh, and that fenced-off city block of grass. What an eyesore. Anywho, Lex’s Downtown is comparatively inexpensive to other inner urban centers. Modest (600 sq. ft.), renovated studio apartments right off Vine St. run around $500/month. If you need more space, $650/month will get you 800 square feet and $800/month will get you granite countertops and a $250 nonrefundable pet fee (!!).
Bohemia thrives on the margins, right? If you can manage not being in the thick of it (and, perhaps, waiting a few years for things to pick up), check out some of the areas adjacent to Downtown. For instance, the newly rejuvenated Distillery District is bringing lots of action to Manchester St. And on either side of Transy there’s a good dive bar and rad townhome options. (These are usually 2BR or 3BR and run slightly higher—due to the proximity to Downtown—than similar options in the UK area.)
UK/Arboretum: Beware of listings that claim to be “close to the university”; this usually means they’re a mile or more from campus. That said, if you want a quieter scene there are some gems to be found. Most older, colonial-style homes have studios attached to them which their owners are willing to rent to youngsters. But if you’re after proximity, there’s enough to pick from directly adjacent to the UK behemoth. Expect lots of houseshares ($350/month or less for a room) in duplexes. Also, condos: luxury units typically have longer leases (sometimes up to two years). Don’t pay over $500/month for 1BR/1BA unless it’s regal. And if you’re really strapped, hunt down a few roommies. 3BR/2BAs rarely top over $1000/month.
Feel settled? Not until you sport that seersucker suit at Keeneland for the first time will you truly feel like a local. Remember who made it possible when those winnings start rollin’ in!
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM RENT ADVISOR:
Lexington, KY, also known as The Horse Captitol of the World, is the second largest city in its state. It lies 83 miles east of Louisville, KY and 94 miles south of Cincinnati, OH. Roughly 282,000 people live in the city, and 453,000 folks in the metro area. The Kentucky Horse Park, Lexmark International, The Keenland, and Red Mile race courses are located there. The median household income is approximately $45,000. It was established by European settlers in 1782. One famous resident Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, was born and raise here. Lexington is at the center of the Bluegrass region.
•Low crime rate
•Beautiful horse country to see
•Casual unpretentious atmosphere
•Has a public bus system.
•Doesn't rank too high for median income
Lexington ranks 65th in size for U.S. cities. If you like all things horses, you should hang your hat here. For renting, you'll pay between 400-700 for older places, and 700-1300 for the new buildings, which fits the income of the area. This city is safe and laid back. It's medium sized, so you don't have the traffic headaches on a par with Los Angeles or Atlanta. For the LGBT community, folks are farily friendly for the region. There's even an annual pride festival. Lexington is proud of its efforts for strict codes in terms of Urban Growth, in order to protect the horse farms. There are a lot of music festivals, even the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra perform here. You won't find the highest salaries, so keep looking if you're wanting big bucks. As far as economy, the unemployment rate is about 9%. That's not good, but it's certainly not the hardest hit during this recession. -Debra M. Cole