Thinking of moving to Boise? There are many things you have to think about, including housing, jobs, and what living in Boise will be like — and especially if the city fits with your personality. I moved home to Boise in mid-2019 (even though I was born & raised here) after moving away in 2013, and there are so many things to think about before you move. Here are our top tips for moving to Boise, Idaho.
Click the links below to skip to any of the following sections:
Buying a Home
Finding a Job
Driving to Boise
Finding housing in Boise can be difficult in this market. Whether you are looking to rent or buy, it’s a competitive market right now — but that hasn’t always been the case and it may change in the future. Housing is not only tough to come by, but it’s also going to be expensive. When moving to Boise, Idaho, you will probably need a job in advance to get approved for a lease or mortgage. Here are some things to know, whether you are looking to rent or buy in Boise.
There are rentals in Boise, Idaho if you know where to look. Just as it’s a seller’s market in the housing world, it’s also a landlord’s market.
The best places to look, just like in many cities, are Craigslist and Zillow. But just like any other market, be on the lookout for scams. Scammers know the markets where people tend to be desperate, and Boise is one of them.
Boise neighborhoods: Where to live in Boise, Idaho
On either platform, you can enter your budget and preferred area and see what is there. Many landlords will require an application before they even talk to you, and those fees can add up.
A recent article by the Idaho Statesman explains how younger people are having a hard time finding housing in Boise.
Because of this, many people are looking to move to surrounding communities, including Meridian, Nampa, and Caldwell.
A 2019 study by Colliers found that around 34 people are moving to Ada County each day and the multifamily sector (apartments) has seen a 41 percent increase in unit volume since 2015.
Buying a Home
Buying a home in the Boise area may be just as difficult as renting. As with most things, if you have enough money you will have no problem. But Boise home prices have skyrocketed in recent years.
As of 2018, the median home price in Boise was $319,000 and the average sale price was $330,000, according to the Intermountain MLS.
Although you can find a number of homes in the $200,000s, you will be hard pressed to find anything under $200,000 in Boise itself.
If you’d like to find a realtor, here are some options.
Boise Regional Realtors is a local trade association, they can also be a great asset. Find them here.
Finding a Job
Boise’s job market is not exactly booming, but there are plenty of options. US News says the city has a healthier job market than cities of similar size. But the average salary in Boise is lower than the rest of the country, with $43,880 in Boise compared with $50,620 for the rest of the country.
In 2018, the unemployment rate was only 2.6 percent.
Boise is home to a number of industries, including in technology, trading, finance, logging, mining, livestock, and farming. Large companies based in Boise including Micron Technology, Simplot, Hewlett Packard, Bodybuilding.com, Clearwater Analytics, and Cradlepoint. There are plenty of jobs in both traditionally white collar and blue collar industries.
US News also ranked Boise as the #17 place to live in the country, and #66 place to retire.
Find jobs at Indeed.com or Craigslist.com.
Living in Boise, Idaho
Boise’s lifestyle is the main reason for so many new people moving to the city in the last decade or so. There are so many things to do, whether you enjoy art, the outdoors, nightlife, or food. Families and singles alike are welcome in the City of Trees, and it is easy to find your own niche when you get here.
Downtown Boise went from a small area 15 years ago to a thriving cultural center with breweries, restaurants, venues, and plenty of people today. There are also plenty of professional groups, including the Boise Chamber of Commerce, City Club, Boise Young Professionals, and others.
A Whitewater Park has been built just outside of downtown, and it is located on the Boise Greenbelt, which is a miles-long path for runners, walkers, and bikers.
Here are some tips for things to do in Boise:
9 Things to do in Boise, Idaho (for a first-time visitor)
Our favorite Boise museums (and other places to spend the day with your kids)
Visiting the Capital City Public Market in Boise, Idaho
Walking, running, or bicycling the Boise Greenbelt (map)
Visiting the Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho
Driving to or hiking Table Rock Boise, Idaho
Visiting the Basque Block in downtown Boise, Idaho
Driving to Boise
There are a number of ways to drive to Boise, and they are all reliable paths, even if you have a moving truck.
From Portland or Seattle
From Portland or Seattle, you will be driving into town on I-84. Although the interstate is a high-quality freeway with two lanes the majority of the way, you need to be aware that the road occasionally closes when it gets too slick in winter.
If you are driving into town in winter, check road conditions around Baker City and La Grande, Oregon before you leave. Oregon’s TripCheck.com is a great resource.
From Eugene or Bend to Boise
If you are driving to Boise from Eugene or Bend, you will be taking Highway 20 most of the way. While the road has been re-done recently, it is a one-land road the entire trip, and people tend to get very brave when passing. Just know it will take longer than the 300 or 500 miles it will take, and take your time.
There is also a 1.5 to 2-hour portion where you will not have cell service, so plan accordingly. Burns, Oregon is basically the only place to get gas between Bend and Ontario, Oregon.
Once you arrive in Ontario, you will get on I-84 to Boise, which is a two-lane road and is even 80 mph for a large portion of the time.
From the East
Depending on which direction you are coming from, you will likely be coming into town on I-84 from Salt Lake City or from I-95 from Montana. I-84 is a great road, although there is a mountain pass between Utah and Idaho.
If you are driving into town in winter, you will just need to watch the road conditions on your trip.
The longtime locals can be really ugly to newcomers. Beware of Custom Home Builders, Car and Computer repair shops, etc. Change your license plate ASAP.
I’m originally from Houston, Texas and I have been living in LA for a number of years now. Yes, California. Yikes ! Why ? Because I’m a professional drummer/musician, but it’s time to leave. However; I was in Boise this past August of 2019 I loved it. I didn’t want to leave.. I’m Hispanic, but I had no problem whatsoever.. I understand how they feel about newcomers.. People in Boise want people to respect their way of life, their city, and their laws.. That’s me in a nutshell..
I should be living in Idaho by the spring of 2021.. As we say in Texas.. Don’t Mess with Idaho.