Owning Land In Kentucky: Pros & Cons | askBAMLand

Are you looking to buy land in Kentucky? With rising real estate prices in the country, it is a good time to buy some property.

However, before investing in land in Kentucky, you should always consider the bigger picture.

Kentucky is a hot market for buying land. Whether you are interested in the backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, the blended culture, or the thriving industrial sector, Kentucky has a lot of prime real estate to offer. You can use this opportunity to broaden your socioeconomic prospects.

But a lot has changed over the last ten years. What was once one of the cheapest US states to live in, is now more expensive than some of its neighboring states.

Let’s take a look at all the variables that you need to consider when buying land in Kentucky. After all, buying land is a complex undertaking and you would want to make a rational financial decision for yourself.

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Why Buy Land In Kentucky? Everything You Need To Know


Farming is big in Kentucky, and it makes you more money

Kentucky’s Midwestern location has always been suitable for growing crops. Warm and humid summers mean plenty of rainfall, and the winters are snowy, particularly in the northern parts. You can buy large plots of farming real estate and make a profit off the crops that grow on your land. Centuries of farming in the state mean there is an active farming community in Kentucky. You might even find friendly locals to be helpful when you are setting up your own farm.

Additionally, Kentucky is home to many bourbon whiskey distilleries since it’s the world’s largest supplier. So that guarantees that there will be local demand for crops like corn.

Even if you’re not in it for the money, Kentucky is an ideal place to start a hobby farm.

A Busy Economy

Despite only having two major cities that rival other US cities in terms of commerce, Kentucky is still important to the national economy.

The first of these cities is Louisville, which is a major trading hub in automobile and home appliance manufacturing. It is also where the global air-freight hub for UPS is located. The city is strategically positioned at the crossroads of three main interstate highways – the I‑64, I‑65, and I‑71.

Next is Lexington, which is among the most stable economies in the US. Much like Louisville, Lexington is home to a wide range of manufacturing and tech businesses. The metropolis is rapidly expanding as thousands of new residents settle here every year. Lexington has recently implemented many urban planning and management reforms, making it an attractive option for urban real estate buyers.

These two urban centers make Kentucky great for trading. As a result, there are good prospects for real estate buyers and sellers in the state.

Great Locations with Easy Access to Urban Centers

If you like to visit cities while living in the countryside, then Kentucky offers plenty of options for you. You can buy land and properties near the Appalachian Mountains, or in the vast swathes of green farmland, while visiting nearby urban centers to get a taste of city life on the weekends. The state has the longest network of streams in the United States, which makes for some attractive waterside locations for your real estate investments.

You will still be able to travel to neighboring cities like Columbus, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Nashville, all of which are accessible by air and roads. If you don't plan to live in Kentucky permanently, you can still easily check in on your property by traveling into the state from these cities.

Lower Taxes on Smaller Estates

You will find that Kentucky's laws are quite friendly to landowners. There are several exemptions at the local government level pertaining to real estate taxes. For example, real estate up to 10 acres may be exempted from local taxes, and housing taxes in the state are some of the lowest in the country.

The state also has a flat tax rate of 5% on owning most assets, while the highest rates are reserved for high-income brackets only. If you are considering buying land or property in Kentucky, you can benefit a lot from property tax savings.

A Treat for Anyone Who Loves the Outdoors

If the prospects of living around the Appalachian Mountains and lush green farmland are not enough to lure you, Kentucky gives you many more reasons to enjoy life outdoors.

The state has a unique combination of Southern US culture, also known as blended culture. This term comes from a mix of traditions centered on farming, brewing bourbon whiskey, deer hunting, and horse racing.

And that’s not all! Folks in Kentucky also love sports like college basketball and baseball. It’s the essential American flavor of entertainment that you are all too familiar with.

Kentucky's culture has given the state quite a reputation among travelers and residents alike.

So if you would like to  be a part of this culture, owning some property means you get to have a stake in the local community and be a part of the festivities that define Kentucky.


High Poverty and Drug Abuse

On the downside, Kentucky is one of the poorest US states, with a poverty rate above 15%. If you are looking for an affluent place to live here, you may find one in the suburban areas around the major cities. However, there are only a handful of big cities in Kentucky. So for the most part, you will be looking at rural settings.

Kentucky also records a relatively high number of deaths per drug overdose when compared to other US states (about 29.9 in 100,000). This can be attributed to the relatively high poverty levels in the region.

Lack of Housing Inventory

Supply and demand can cause fluctuations in the available commodities and their prices. In terms of the real estate market, supply and demand refer to the availability of land or housing. Low availability of houses, for example, means that prices for buying a home will be higher, and vice versa.

Kentucky is no stranger to property supply and demand issues. Recently, the construction of houses has increased but the overall number of new homes available is still low. While sales of houses in Kentucky are showing record volumes in recent years, the housing market ranks among the lowest (at 43rd position) in the US.

Because of the low housing inventory, it’s a lot harder to find an ideal home in Kentucky. Only 13 homes were sold in February this year. Furthermore, If we take a look at Louisville – the most populated city in the state, a mere 66 new homes were built in March 2022.

Having a place to live is an important consideration when buying property or land in a new place. If moving into a new house with your family is your priority, then Kentucky might not offer you many options. You should expect to spend some extra time finding a home that meets all of your requirements.

Environmental Problems

The air quality in Louisville and surrounding areas is poor due to the high chemical emissions from factories. The automobile industry, for example, has caused a surge in new plants that manufacture and supply synthetic rubber to the sector. Kentucky also relies on coal mining projects, which only add to the already high air pollution.

The state is also famous for its local bluegrass species which release a lot of pollen. Exposure to bluegrass causes severe allergies in many people who come into contact with it.

Unsurprisingly, some places in Kentucky are known to have a high incidence of allergies, which put a strain on your physical health.

Carefully survey each area where you want to buy land. Ideally, you want to avoid areas where air quality is poor. If you are looking to purchase land intended for business, make sure that you comply with local rules and regulations in Kentucky.

How Long Does it Take to Own Land in Kentucky?

According to the experts, you may have to wait for around 35 days to complete a purchase of land in Kentucky. Factors that affect this time frame are the market conditions (demand and supply, employment opportunities, state economy, etc.), as well as your agent's requirements for securing payment and closing a deal.

Real estate agents are usually very flexible with payments and may accept funds in cash or bank transfer.

It's worth noting that real estate in larger cities like Louisville and Lexington have active markets in which properties take 22 days on the market to transfer ownership. We recommend contacting a trusted realtor to help guide you through the process.

The Bottom Line

Owning land in Kentucky is an excellent investment that pays great dividends in the long run. You can build your wealth by capitalizing on the appreciation of its value or simply start your own agricultural business. Owning land also benefits future generations, to whom you can transfer the properties you have accumulated.

Looking for land in Kentucky might seem challenging at first, especially if you are used to the more urban lifestyle. But if you seek the classical Southern US way of life without actually living in the South, you might as well give this Bluegrass State a chance. The real estate market is booming here, and who knows you might actually end up enjoying the peaceful country life.

We hope that this guide gives you a better idea about what you need to look out for when buying property in Kentucky.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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