Moving to Idaho

So, you're considering a move to the gem of the Pacific Northwest - Idaho! As you embark on this exciting new chapter, our comprehensive Idaho Relocation Guide will be your trusty sidekick, packed with all the essentials to support a seamless transition. Delve into Idaho's rugged beauty, low costs and top-rated amenities, while we cheekily sprinkle dazzling nuggets of wisdom throughout. From how to find your new dream home to navigating the wild world of potatoes, let’s join forces to transform you from a curious explorer into a bona fide Idahoan!

Moving to Idaho landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Idaho

1. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts

One of the most enticing reasons to move to Idaho is undoubtedly its abundance of natural beauty. With its spectacular mountains, rivers, and lakes, Idaho is a paradise for those who love outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, or just enjoying breathtaking landscapes. From the stunning Sawtooth Mountains to the mystical Craters of the Moon National Monument, there is no end to the number of places where you can explore and appreciate the great outdoors.

2. A state with a rich history

Idaho has a fascinating history, with cultural influences from Native American tribes and early settlers. The state has historic sites to visit such as the Oregon Trail, the Cataldo Mission, and the Bear River Massacre site. Mining, logging, and agriculture have all played a significant role in Idaho's history, and the state's past continues to shape its present and future. When moving to Idaho, you will undoubtedly learn new tidbits about American history and have plenty of opportunities to explore these stories firsthand.

3. The (in)famous potatoes (and other tasty food)

Yes, it's true, Idaho is known for its potatoes – and for good reason! The state produces around one-third of all potatoes in the United States. You'll find various delicious ways to enjoy them, from the classic baked potato to unique French fries flavored with truffle oil. But Idaho's culinary delights don't stop there! To satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in locally made huckleberry treats. Right from ice cream to jam, you can find it all! For more sophisticated palates, Idaho has a budding wine industry with more than 50 wineries producing some award-winning wines.

4. Affordable living

Idaho has consistently ranked as one of the most affordable states to live in the United States. Although housing prices are rising, they remain lower than the national average. Similarly, the cost of living, including groceries, healthcare, and transportation, is generally more affordable than in many other parts of the country. Moving to Idaho means more "bang for your buck" and potentially having a higher quality of life without breaking the bank.

5. The secret radioactive past of Idaho Falls

You may have never heard of this, but Idaho Falls was once home to the world's first nuclear power plant! The Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-1), located near the city, became the world's first electricity-generating nuclear power plant in 1951. Today, you can visit the EBR-1 Atomic Museum and take a self-guided tour of the facility. It's also worth visiting the Idaho National Laboratory, which is still in operation and focuses on nuclear energy research and development. Moving to Idaho, you'll find unexpected ties to the atomic age, and they make for great conversation starters!

6. A booming job market and business-friendly environment

Idaho has experienced significant economic growth in recent years. The state has a diverse industry base, including healthcare, technology, manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism, which means plenty of job opportunities for newcomers. The Idaho Department of Labor projects the state will experience steady growth in the number of jobs through 2026. Furthermore, Idaho's business-friendly tax structure and regulatory environment have earned it a spot in the top ten states for business on numerous lists. So, whether you're searching for a job or looking to start your own venture, Idaho may just be the perfect place to make your dreams come true.

In conclusion, moving to Idaho offers some very enticing perks, from its natural beauty to the affordable cost of living. Between the rich history, the delicious potatoes, the secret radioactive past, and the booming job market, you'll find plenty of reasons to call Idaho your new home. So pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a fantastic new adventure in the Gem State!


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Pros and Cons of Living in Idaho

Pros of Living in Idaho

Abundance of Outdoor Activities

Idaho is home to a plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities, including world-class fly fishing, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting. The state boasts numerous state parks, recreation areas, and national forests that provide endless options for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy Idaho's natural beauty.

Lower Cost of Living

Compared to many other states, Idaho generally has a lower cost of living, which makes it an attractive option for families and recent college graduates. Housing tends to be more affordable in Idaho, and the overall cost of goods and services is often lower than in other areas of the country. This can lead to a higher quality of life for residents.

Friendly Communities

Idaho is known for its friendly and welcoming communities, which make it easy for newcomers to quickly feel at home. Neighbors are generally supportive, and residents often come together for community events, volunteer opportunities, and local sports games. This creates a strong sense of belonging and identity for those who call Idaho home.

Low Crime Rate

Idaho consistently ranks among the states with the lowest overall crime rates in the nation, including both property and violent crimes. This provides a safe and peaceful environment for individuals and families, giving residents added peace of-mind in their daily lives.

Scenic Beauty

Idaho's breathtaking landscapes include the majestic Rocky Mountains, sprawling forests, sprawling farmland, and the stunning Snake River. Living in Idaho gives residents the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful natural settings on a daily basis, and many people take advantage of this by spending their weekends and spare time exploring all that Idaho's outdoors have to offer.

Cons of Living in Idaho

Extreme Weather

Idaho experiences a diverse climate, with rapid changes in temperature and precipitation throughout the year. Winters in some areas can be particularly harsh, with heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures. Additionally, the state is prone to being impacted by wildfires, which can pose a threat to property and air quality.

Limited Public Transportation

Public transportation in Idaho is limited, especially in rural areas. This can make it difficult for those without a personal vehicle to access employment opportunities, healthcare, and other services. This lack of reliable public transportation can also contribute to traffic congestion in some areas.

Less Diverse Employment Opportunities

While Idaho's economy is growing, the majority of job opportunities are in specific industries such as agriculture, food processing, and outdoor tourism. This may not appeal to all job-seekers, particularly those in specialized fields or seeking diverse career options. Thus, finding gainful employment might not be as easy for everyone.

Lower Wages

Despite the lower cost of living in Idaho, wages can be significantly lower than the national average for some occupations. This can make it difficult for residents to maintain their desired quality of life or to save money for the future, depending on their profession and financial goals.

Access to Healthcare

Rural areas of Idaho sometimes lack the access to healthcare services found in more populous centers. Residents in remote areas may face long travel times to reach hospitals, medical specialists, or mental health services. This can make it challenging for these individuals to receive timely and adequate healthcare.

Nighttime picture of Idaho highlighting pros and cons of living in Idaho

Is Idaho a Good State to Live In?

Idaho is a great place to live because of its affordable cost of living, beautiful landscapes, and recreational opportunities. Residents can enjoy a friendly atmosphere, good schools, and a strong sense of community, making it an ideal place to call home.


What Is Idaho Famous For?

Potatoes!

You say "Idaho," and most people will instantly think of potatoes. This state is the largest producer of potatoes in the United States, and the hearty tuber has become synonymous with Idaho. They even have their own Potato Museum, located in Blackfoot!

Outdoor Adventures

Idaho is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 2,000 lakes and 3,100 miles of rivers, it's perfect for fishing, kayaking, and rafting. Add in beautiful forests and mountains for hiking, skiing, and mountain biking - Idaho has something for everyone!

The Gem State

Idaho is nicknamed "The Gem State" because of its abundance of precious gems. In fact, it's one of only two locations in the entire world where star garnets can be found (the other is India). Other gems found in Idaho include opals, jasper, and agates.

Craters of the Moon National Monument

This otherworldly landscape in south-central Idaho looks like it could be straight from the surface of the moon. Craters of the Moon National Monument is a vast area of lava fields, volcanic cones, and impressive caves. It's an excellent spot to unleash your inner astronaut and explore this unique geological wonder.

Capital building of Idaho in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

Idaho's average property tax rate is 0.93% as of 2023, which is lower than the national average of 1.07%. This places Idaho's property tax rate in the bottom half of all US states.

Sales Tax

Idaho has a statewide sales tax rate of 6% as of 2023. Local jurisdictions can also impose additional sales taxes, resulting in a combined sales tax rate ranging from 6% to 8.5%. This combined rate is roughly in the middle when compared to other US states.

Income Tax

As of 2023, Idaho residents are subject to a progressive state income tax rate ranging from 1.125% to 6.925%. Although this may seem high when compared to states without income tax or a flat rate, Idaho's income tax rates are still lower than the majority of states with a progressive income tax system.


Housing Market

Idaho's housing market has experienced significant growth in recent years, resulting in increased home values and rental rates. Both buyers and renters face a competitive market, with median home prices around $392,985 and median rent at $1,218 per month. Despite these rising costs, Idaho remains more affordable than states like California, New York, and Washington. However, with a tightening inventory of available homes, demand remains strong, and potential buyers and renters in Idaho should be prepared to act quickly.

Housing market analysis of Idaho

Cost of Living

Idaho's cost of living is relatively lower compared to many other states in the US, making it an appealing destination for people seeking an affordable lifestyle. Housing, groceries, and utilities tend to be less expensive, without compromising the overall quality of life. However, Idaho experiences varying costs across different regions, with more urbanized areas being comparatively expensive. Despite the relatively lower cost of living, Idaho's economic growth remains strong, at a similar pace to other states.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Idaho experiences a predominantly semiarid climate, with significant variations in weather patterns across the state. The weather in Idaho is characterized by warm summers and cold winters, with temperatures occasionally exceeding 100°F in the summer and plummeting below 0°F in winter. Rainfall tends to be evenly distributed throughout the year, with drier areas receiving around 10-15 inches of precipitation annually and wetter regions getting up to 50 inches. Annual snowfall can exceed 200 inches in the mountainous regions, while the Snake River Plain sees much less accumulation. Seasonal weather fluctuations may result in thunderstorms, hailstorms, and periods of drought. Natural disasters in Idaho include wildfires, which are mostly prevalent during the hot and dry summer months, and floods, often caused by rapid snowmelt in spring. Earthquakes have also occurred in Idaho, though they are relatively infrequent and usually have low magnitudes.


Economy & Job Market

Agriculture and Food Processing

Energy and Utilities

Health Care

Tech and Innovation

Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

Idaho's economy has roots as deep as its famous potatoes, with a rich history in agriculture. In fact, agriculture and food processing remain one of the top industries in the state today. Besides its famous potatoes, Idaho boasts a diverse farming scene that produces everything from dairy products and beef to wheat and barley. However, Idaho's economy has grown in other areas too, with energy and utilities, health care, tech and innovation, and outdoor recreation and tourism really picking up steam. The flourishing tech and innovation sector has even garnered the state the nickname of "Silicon Valley with a view."

So if you’re thinking about packing your bags and heading to the Gem State, you’ll be glad to know that Idaho's job market is quite diverse and full of opportunities across various industries. The state has been experiencing consistent job growth and low unemployment rates, making it an attractive place for job seekers. Boise, the state capital, has become a hotspot for job opportunities, particularly in the tech and health care sectors. Meanwhile, popular tourist destinations like Sun Valley and Coeur d'Alene offer fantastic opportunities in the outdoor recreation and tourism industry. Just make sure you bring your love for wide-open spaces and don't forget to brush up on your spud facts!


Traffic and Transportation

Can you imagine gliding through traffic like a dream in Idaho? With average commute times of less than 20 minutes in big cities like Boise and Idaho Falls, you'll be singing "Life in the Fast Lane" all year round! And hold onto your potatoes, folks, because public transportation in these bustling metropolises is like a tour of the Gem State itself. Jump on ValleyRide or Targhee Regional Public Transportation buses to effortlessly navigate the cities and soak in the picturesque Idahoan landscapes.

But wait, there's more! Air travel in Idaho will give you wings (no Red Bull required)! With airports such as Boise Airport and Idaho Falls Regional Airport, you can swoop in and out of the state like a majestic bald eagle. Plus, for all you aviation enthusiasts, keep your eyes peeled for the frequent displays by the famous noisy and powerful Thunder Birds. So, buckle up, sit back, and enjoy the ride as you explore mighty Idaho's impressive traffic and transportation landscape. Watch out, world! Idaho's coming in hot!

What is the traffic like in Idaho?

Things to Do

So, you're moving to Idaho, the Gem State! With its outstanding natural beauty, friendly communities, and vibrant cities, you're definitely making a wise choice. If you're new to the state, you might be wondering about the top things to do in Idaho. Fear not! We've got you covered with this list of seven must-visit attractions and experiences. No matter your interests, Idaho has something to offer everyone. So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover why Idaho is the hidden gem of the US!

1. Soak in the Tranquility of Redfish Lake

Redfish Lake is unquestionably one of Idaho's crown jewels. Nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains, this glacier-carved lake boasts crystal-clear waters, stunning mountain backdrops, and a range of recreational activities. From fishing, kayaking, and hiking to simply enjoying a peaceful sunbathe on its sandy shores, a day at Redfish Lake is a must for anyone in Idaho. Make sure to visit in the early morning or late afternoon to capture a picture-perfect reflection of the Sawtooth Mountains on the water.

2. Marvel at the Wonders of Shoshone Falls

No visit to Idaho would be complete without witnessing the awe-inspiring Shoshone Falls. Nestled along the Snake River, Shoshone Falls stands an impressive 212 feet tall and 900 feet wide, making it one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States. To truly appreciate this powerful spectacle, make your way to the viewing platforms that offer panoramic views of the falls, and don't forget to take your camera to capture this dramatic scene.

3. Explore the Fascinating Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is undoubtedly one of Idaho's most unique and otherworldly attractions. The park features an eerie landscape of lava fields, cinder cones, and fascinating geologic formations that make you feel as if you've landed on another planet. Hike along the park's seven developed trails while you learn about the region's volcanic history and marvel at Idaho's very own piece of the lunar landscape.

4. Take a Walk on the Wild Side at the World Center for Birds of Prey

Calling all nature and wildlife enthusiasts! The World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise is a must-visit destination that champions the conservation and protection of our planet's incredible raptors. Here, you'll meet eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and more while learning about their vital role in our ecosystem. Be sure to stop by the center's interactive exhibits, bird shows, and take part in a guided tour for an unforgettable experience.

5. Immerse Yourself in History at the Old Idaho Penitentiary

History buffs will be captivated by the Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise, a unique and somewhat off-the-beaten-path attraction. Opened in 1870, the historic prison operated for over a century before it was decommissioned in 1973. Nowadays, visitors can explore the preserved buildings, including the solitary confinement cells, and learn about the lives of the inmates and the harsh realities of life behind bars. Visit during Halloween for a chillingly spooky experience!

6. Discover Idaho's Pristine Wilderness in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

Spanning a vast 2.3 million acres, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness is a spectacularly pristine expanse of untouched wilderness that few know about. For those who crave adventure and solitude, the area offers myriad opportunities for backpacking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and fishing. Experience true wilderness as you explore the untouched beauty of its canyons, forests, and rivers, and reconnect with nature.

7. Ride the Hiawatha Bike Trail

Last but certainly not least, a ride on the Hiawatha Bike Trail should be on every Idaho newbie's bucket list. This former railroad track traces a scenic 15-mile route through towering trestles, pitch-black tunnels, and beautiful mountain landscapes. Don't worry if you're not a seasoned cyclist - the trail is mostly downhill, allowing riders of all ages and abilities to take part in this unique adventure.

Whether you're drawn to jaw-dropping natural wonders, engaging historical sites, or thrilling outdoor adventures, Idaho offers an abundance of unforgettable experiences. So pack your bags and get ready for an incredible new chapter filled with exploration and discovery in the Gem State!

Things to do in Idaho?

Find Movers for Your Idaho Relocation

As you embark on your exciting journey to Idaho, let Great Guys Moving simplify the relocation process for you. Our service will put you in touch with top-notch, licensed and insured movers who have a proven track record of quality and affordability. To receive your free moving quote, simply provide us with a few details about your upcoming move and let us connect you with the perfect movers to make your transition to Idaho effortless and seamless. Don't wait any longer – get started on your Idaho adventure today with a no-obligation quote from Great Guys Moving.

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