Subsisting in the 502
May 11, 2009 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to live in Louisville, KY on a salary in the mid-30's? Where?

I'm thinking of accepting a job offer that would pay in the mid 30's, near the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Where in the city, if anywhere, could a single fellow rent a place and live on that modest a salary? Proximity or easy transport to the UL area would be a plus. Bonus if near parks, bookstores, mass transit, music venues, etc.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total)
According to Wikipedia, "The median income for a household is $39,457, and the median income for a family was $49,161. Males had a median income of $36,484 versus $26,255 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,352. About 9.50% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.10% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those ages 65 or over."

So, I'd say yes.
posted by Flunkie at 6:55 PM on May 11, 2009

The median household income in Louisville is $39k, and the per-capita income is $22k.
posted by box at 6:56 PM on May 11, 2009

Sorry, should have been more explicit: Those numbers are for Louisville specifically.
posted by Flunkie at 6:56 PM on May 11, 2009

Absolutely. I've been doing it for most of my life on a lot less. You really could do it just about anywhere, but with the bonuses you want I'd suggest the Highlands, Germantown, and Crescent Hill. The Highlands and Crescent Hill both have lots of great restaurants, shopping, and coffehouse-type culture (the former also has nice parks). Germantown borders the Highlands neighborhood and is cheaper and closer to campus. Mass transit? Wrong city. If you want more details, my email is in my profile. Drop me a line anytime. Welcome to the bluegrass!
posted by Roman Graves at 7:48 PM on May 11, 2009

Oh, parts of Old Louisville are also very nice and close to campus. It's a beautiful Victorian district, but in terms of where to live it's a street-by-street thing.
posted by Roman Graves at 7:52 PM on May 11, 2009

Went to my first round of grad school at UofL. If I was a new, single 30something in town wanting to get a sense of Louisville's vibe, I would live in one of two places: Old Louisville or somewhere on Bardstown Road near where it hits Baxter Ave (The Highlands).

Old Louisville is a historic neighborhood that borders campus. It has a variety of housing types--many multi-million dollar historic homes that have been fully restored and some that are in (what appears to be) totally original and non-renovated (read: old and a bit run down) and everything in between. Many homes have been split into apartments and many homes rent out the attic or basement. Many students live here and rents are available at a multitude of prices (sorry, I was there awhile ago, so I'm not sure what rates are currently, but certainly many will be affordable on your salary which is pretty reasonable). See and for details. The vibe ranges from old money to yuppies to hipsters, but everybody gets along and its a really beautiful area. However, going to bars, etc. will be a bit of a hike, but easily bikeable everywhere you'd want to go as far as entertainment goes, including the Bardstown Road area and downtown.

If you really want to be in the thick of what I think is the most fun part of town, then you should find a place in the Highlands. This area is full of cool bars/music stores/non-chain restaurants/trendy shopping/coffee houses and is definitely one of the most fun areas in Louisville--but it does get loud and crowded, especially weekends when school is in. This area is home to my favorite movie theater of all-time, The Baxter, as well as my all-time favorite coffee shop, Sunergos.

One thing about Louisville that you need to consider, though: geographically, it is really spread out and public transportation, while technically available, isn't that great. If you need to hit Sam's Club or Best Buy or one of the malls, getting there by bus would be a big pain the ass and probably eat up a lot of time. You really need a car, although depending on your willingness to walk/bike/etc., it might only move on weekends. Parking (even downtown) isn't too difficult and without a car exploring some of the other parts of the city that are cool for different reasons becomes enough of a pain you might convince yourself not to do it, which would be a mistake.

If you need any more advice, my email is in the profile.
posted by jtfowl0 at 8:25 PM on May 11, 2009

My boyfriend says there are places to live on the north side of Eastern Parkway between Newburg and campus where you can easily find a nice apartment, fun atmosphere, decent nightlife in close proximity. It's somewhat close to good restaurants but it will most importantly be close to where your job will be.

He says expenses in Louisville aren't that high, you could live pretty comfortably in a one bedroom apartment. Great thing about Louisville is that everything is within 20 minutes of you.
posted by egeanin at 8:31 PM on May 11, 2009

Heh. I live in Manhattan on less than that. If I can do it here, you can definitely do it in Louisville.

(And I did it in Boston, too, with a car, which added expenses I don't have in New York.)

posted by ocherdraco at 9:43 PM on May 11, 2009

I was thinking something along the lines of what ocherdraco said. It all depends on the lifestyle you want to live. As a single person making $ in the mid-30s, you should be able to live slightly on the side of plush in a place like Louisville. Depending on your hobbies, debts, etc, you could probably go out and spend $50 a weekend just on entertainment and still be in the green... which by my standards, is excessive.

I know single people making just under 28k here in Fort Worth, TX (probably similar to Louisville) that have recently bought pretty nice houses & live very comfortably with full amenities. It's all about your debts and how you budget... esp since you don't have a family pulling you down (financially).
posted by eli_d at 9:58 PM on May 11, 2009

Very doable. Lived very close to it all my life, and have lots of friends there. One of my best friends works as a property manager for an apartment complex and makes low 30's and does awesomely. There's plenty to do, lots of it for free, amazingly enough. Keep your eye on things at the riverfront, there's usually something interesting going on there at least once a month.

If you need an apartment recommendation, I've got no trouble recommending any of the places in her company's set of apartments. MeMail for details.
posted by deezil at 10:47 PM on May 11, 2009

Your question about mass transit makes me whether you own or plan to own a car. While it's not impossible to live without a car in Louisville (or any southern city for that matter), your options and freedom will be vastly limited. So if you haven't, you might want to factor in that cost.
posted by kimdog at 6:26 AM on May 12, 2009

Louisvillian here - very doable, and the suggestions to look at Old Louisville are spot on. Tons of awesome old apartments, walking distance from the campus.
posted by jbickers at 6:45 AM on May 12, 2009

I'm with ocherdraco--it's possible in New York City, so I'm sure it's possible in Louisville.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:50 AM on May 12, 2009

A couple of years ago I visited two friends who lived in Old Louisville and I loved it! At the time, one friend was a med student and the other was a non-profit worker and both had great, big, apartments in Victorian homes. It seemed very nice and affordable to me (who lives in a bigger and more expensive city).
posted by jrichards at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2009

« Older Where are the amazing posters releases just before...   |   How are small law firms set up? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.