Where to live in Kentucky

OK - so the wife wants to look for some land in Kentucky and then build a house, a barn, etc as we grow toward retirement over the next couple decades. She wants to have approximately 100 acres & “remote” (therefore, the land theoretically is not priced outrageously). She wants the land so she can have horses & ride them. I need for it to be somewhere within 60 minutes drive time of an airport if I want to stay employed and perhaps live there prior to retirement.

She wants to spend some time next summer “looking at parts of Kentucky”. Since a state is a pretty big place to just browse, I was looking for some insight into areas that might be recommended. Are there any dopers out there that live (or have recently lived) in Kentucky that can point me toward some areas of the state that might fit the qualifications?

Elliot County.

If you’re interested I can put you in touch with a realtor. They have been selling a good bit of land there to retiring out of staters for the past few years. Mostly it’s pretty cheap.

Bye the bye, Sandy Hook, from whence my name came, is the county seat.

Stopped to soon.

Lexington is about an hour away to the west. It has a largish enough airport that you should be able to get out without too much trouble. There’s one in Huntington, WV which might be 45 minutes to the east. It’s smaller.

It’s a good thing you are planning on working elsewhere. There are no jobs in Elliott county.

I would check out Shelby, Henry, Owen or maybe Grant counties. Beautiful rolling countryside, on the periphery of horse country and you’re within an hour’s drive (or so) of three cities (Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati) and two of the country’s busiest airports (Cincy and Louisville, although most of Louisville traffic is UPS related).

It’s a great place to live.

I live in Lexington and spent my high school years in Danville, so i can speak to this a little.

I think there are some other questions we need to ask, primarily regarding lifestyle, interests, etc. For instance, many counties in Kentucky are dry, and much of the state is very religious and very conservative. The Appalachian area has a lot of poverty and major drug issues. While education has been emphasized a lot more around here over the last 15 years or so, at least in some areas, there are plenty of people here who are too old to have benefited from the improvement. We still have the highest percentage of smokers, and of lung cancer sufferers, in the US.

OTOH: There are parts of the state that are gorgeous. There are few airports in the US that are prettier to land in than Lexington’s - it’s right smack dab in the middle of horse farm country. There are some decent colleges, and thus some towns which benefit from them culturally as a result. There is a lot of history here as well, with Daniel Boone, Henry Clay and others having left their mark.

My recommendation is an obscure one: the Forkland area, in southern Boyle County. It is very sparsely populated, but about 15 minutes from Danville on the other side of a range of knobs. Danville is the home of Centre College, which is a top-notch school with devoted alumni and cultural offerings through the Norton Center for the Performing Arts which are amazing for a small town (under 20,000 people). They hosted the Cheney-Leiberman debate in 2000, you may remember… There is a 500 acre nature preserve in Forkland. You can get to Lexington’s airport in about 45 minutes from Danville and maybe an hour from Forkland.

Danville also got a nice write-up last year as a great place to retire in Where to Retire Magazine.

Hope this helps.

I will second Nice Pete’s recommendations, and add that since Kentucky is made up of many small counties to include several others in your search.

The area between Louisville and Lexington is gorgeous. The non profit horse rescue I am part of just bought some land in Pleasureville. So if your wife will be taking care of horses anyway, you all might want to look into getting some federal grants and taking on horses that need homes.

There is much in the news these days about the slaughter houses being shut down. Reports vary, but about 100,000 horses a year were slaughtered for human consumption. That looks to end very soon. So some of those 100,000 horses will need a place to go. http://www.drf.com/news/article/82079.html

Since you are not in a big hurry, you could apply for some of those grants, and see if you might also be able to offer a home for horses in need. The non profit I work with specifically trains Thoroughbreds off the track for other careers. But before we can retrain them, they need to just be horses for a while at a nice farm. So if you have 100 acres and some barns, you could take some in. Give them some time to get the drugs out of their systems, then pass them on to a group like ours to retrain.

If you think something like this might appeal to you and your wife, being in between Louisville and Lexington is the ideal location. A couple of years ago, my husband and I thought about doing the same thing. We found several nice homes with land within an hour of Louisville and Lexington. We were looking for about 60 acres with barns and a small, but nice home, and found several under $200,000.

I would recommend finding a real estate agent that specializes in horse farms. If you need one I can find out who helped our group get our nice place. Here are some pictures:

Yeah, some idea of your proposed budget would help. We could keep an eye on the classifieds for you…

Aside to Grits et al: Where in Pleasureville? That’s just around the corner from me…

Ooops, hit submit instead of preview. But I will agree with Kilvert’s Pagan and say lifestyle choice is important, and you may want to ask some questions about that. But the area he suggests is right in the heart of horse country as well and would be ideal for a farm.

If you think your wife might like to look into some of the grants for taking on horses, let me know. I really think with the Horse Slaughter Ban being voted on, a lot of money will be made available for those willing to take on the excess of horses we will have. You might be able to get much more or much nicer land with what you have to spend if you look at the grants. And since you will be moving here with the idea of having horses, the area between Louisville and around Lexington is horse country, and also has access to the previous mentioned airports.

I will have to find out. We just acquired this land and I have not been out there yet to see it. This is the info on it if it might help. From an email announcing we were able to get the land we wanted:

"Moserwood Farms acquired 103 acres of fertile grazing land and alfalfa hay fields in Pleasureville Ky. Approximately 40 minutes up I-71 from our other location in Prospect Ky.

The farm has 4 tobacco barns, 4 good sized ponds, a limestone base to our fields and a spring that has a pump and well to allow spring watered fields. In it’s past the farm was a thriving tobacco farm and was visited by President Clinton. We are updating the facility daily and look forward to modeling it in the image of our Prospect location.

This addition will be used in combination with our current leased facility to accommodate our steady growth and allow more opportunities for sponsoring Second Stride Inc racehorses needing room to mend or await adoption.

We are very excited about all the potential the new farm has, it has 2 residences, one of which is a historic renovated log cabin. Our full time employee of 3+ years Rudy Perez and his family: Wife Maribel, daughter Darli and son Christian will be residing in the primary residence of the new farm. A wonderful peace of mind to have such a gifted horseman as Rudy residing with our horses full time!"

So do you happen to know where President Clinton visited when he was out in your neck of the woods? If not, I will ask for directions and can let you know. I haven’t been out yet since the weather lately hasn’t been very good for driving. Our unbelievably nice December tricked me into thinking our entire winter would be mild. Should have known better. But I do know that all our horses love to have visitors. So if you are nearby, and have family members who like to give carrots and love on horses, let me know…