So, you’re thinking of moving to Idaho?
We have to say, you’re making a solid choice. Idaho - in our humble opinion - is one of the greatest states of this here United States of America. Organized in 1863 and then formerly designated as the 43rd state of the Union on July 3, 1890, Idaho has a population of around 1.7 million, most of whom (about 750,000) reside in the Boise Metropolitan area.
Idaho has it all. A bustling economy that is surprisingly tech-oriented (we’re not just about potatoes anymore!), an outdoor life to die for, warm and friendly people, low crime, and a million things to do for individuals, couples, and families.
But before you pack up your U-Haul and head over, there are a few things you should know about the new area you will call home.
Try Before You Buy
When visiting Idaho for a few days, it can be easy to fall in love and decide you have to move here. RIGHT NOW.
But settle down cowboy. Did you come during a particular season? Was it late spring when it’s just warming up and is nice and sunny? Or maybe you went boating with some friends on the 4th of July. Or caught a BSU football game one crisp, fall evening.
That’s all well and good, but you need to see Idaho in all her glory, both the good and the bad. When visiting, make sure you plan on staying for at least a week and our recommendation would be to visit multiple times during the year to get a feel for the different climates (more on that in just a second).
Make sure you are getting a lay of the land as well. Meaning, if you are going to buy in Meridian for example, but work downtown, then make a drive down and back during the rush hours. This will give you a feel of what a typical commute is going to feel like. We don’t have a ton of congestion and traffic, but it is getting worse, especially as more and more people move into the state.
By visiting a few different times per year and staying for multiple days during each visit, you will get a truer picture of what it is like to live here.
If you are moving here from a traditionally blue state (say California or Washington) then you should know that Idaho is heavily Red. Like, Republicans outnumber Democrats almost 4 to 1.
However, it should be noted that Boise has a more liberal lean than the rest of the state. Don’t plan on a democratic governor any time soon though. Idaho votes conservative and will most likely continue to do so for a long time to come.
The people here are warm and friendly, but tend to be more traditional in their thinking and way of life. The pace moves much slower here and progressive ideas take a while to develop and even longer to be implemented.
The idea that Idaho is a backwards, uneducated group of hillbillies is not accurate to say the least. It is lily white (i.e. Caucasian) to be sure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idaho#Demographics), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tolerant of others from a different race or culture. Some of the more hardcore liberals would most likely dispute that, but it has been our experience for the most part.
The people of Idaho have carefully sculpted the culture and the traditions of the state over the last 100+ years and are simply not anxious to change it any time soon. If you are willing to respect that then you will be met with open arms.
Idaho has a pretty mild climate, all things considered. One thing we do love about it, is that there are four distinct seasons.
Summers are hot and dry, with average highs in the high 80s or low 90s. Fall highs will rarely get above 750-ish. Winter is cold and wet, snow is hit or miss (unless you happened to get caught in the winter of 2016/2017, affectionately dubbed “Snowmaggedon” by the locals) in the valley but plentiful in the mountains, making for great skiing. Spring is our personal favorite time of year when things begin to thaw and the sun comes peeking out, warming us up. Temps during the spring will generally top out at around 65 degrees.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, there is always a perfect climate for you. From snow skiing to snow shoeing, from kayaking to hiking, Idaho’s perfect geography will blow your mind.
If you love hunting and fishing you will be in heaven itself. Would you rather go exploring? Check out the old mines, the beautiful mountain ranges, white water, lakes, and camping grounds.
Idaho truly has something for everyone and the climate to match.
Median Home Prices
Now we’re getting to the juicy part. If you are coming from an area with ridiculous real estate prices, like California, or even back east like New Jersey or New York, then you are going to look at the prices here in the valley with jaw-dropping shock.
And that is even with the recent run up in prices recently. The fact is, your money in Idaho real estate will go so much further than almost any other area of the country, particularly when you factor in cost of living, quality of life, economic opportunities, crime rates, desirability, and more.
One trend we are seeing is buyers coming in from California or other high cost areas and not only having enough money to buy a much bigger, nicer home than the one they just sold, but having enough left over to also put into investment properties. You’d be hard pressed to find a more lucrative scenario.
As of this writing (mid-2020), the median home price in the Boise Metro area is around $370,000. Compare that with $550,000 in Southern California (for a smaller home to boot) and you can see that this is a no-brainer.
In conclusion, if you are considering the move to the southern Idaho area in the near future, we’d love to chat. We can answer any questions you might have, help plan a visit to the area, send you some listings of homes that would fit your budget and lifestyle, and in general just be a resource for you and your family.
Idaho is a beautiful, growing, and adventurous place. When you’re ready to call it home, give us a shout.