Moving to Boise

Enchanting vistas and a vibrant cultural scene await you in Boise, ID. Known affectionally as the "City of Trees," Boise has been buzzing on the radar of adventurous souls looking for a fresh new start. Our comprehensive Boise relocation guide aims to ease your transition, presenting the charming attractions and practical amenities of this gem nestled in the mountains. Let's delve into what awaits you in Boise; from its bustling farmers markets to tranquil riverside pathways, and from hearty food scene to a burgeoning tech industry. Buckle up; it's time to explore your potential, new home!

Moving to Boise, ID landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Boise

1. Everyone's Headed for Boise

Boise is the fastest-growing metro area in the U.S., so if you're thinking about relocating, know that you're in good company! No wonder, since the city offers incredible outdoor adventures, a thriving arts scene, friendly folks, and an alluring slower pace of life. Still, try not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, because...

2. The Anticipated Boise Slow-Down

Life moves at a slower pace around these parts-and Boiseans wouldn't have it any other way. It's a place where people make friendly chitchat, bikers always yield to pedestrians, and nobody's in a hurry. This slower slant on life encourages folks to soak up Boise's delightful scenery, enjoy its many parks, and explore the vibrant downtown area.

3. Small City, Big Heart

Despite its growing popularity, Boise continues to exude a small-town vibe. Benefit from the amenities of a larger city while still enjoying the close-knit community feel. Friday night football is a big deal, and local farmers markets attract folks from all walks of life. You might just find yourself developing (or reigniting) a love for small town pleasures!

4. It's an Adventure Lover's Playground

When they named this state Idaho, they really meant "Outdoor Enthusiast's Dream." Boiseans have easy access to some of the best outdoor activities on the planet. Enjoy immediate access to miles of running, biking, and walking trails, world-class skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing spots, and various camping sites. You may have to adjust to the altitude, but it's a small price to pay for nature's awe-inspiring wonders at your doorstep.

5. A Peek into the Secret Alleyways

You're definitely going to be in for a surprise. Boise has a mystical rule about alleyways. Certain alleyways in the downtown area are used as public art spaces. They are packed with cool murals painted by local artists! Block out an afternoon, grab your camera, and explore these alleyways brimming with vibrant art, which is something of an unspoken tradition in Boise.

6. It's a Hyphen Not a "Z"

One of the best ways to sound like a local is to pronounce "Boise" correctly. Newcomers often say "Boy-zee," while locals pronounce it "Boy-see." Pay attention to the hyphen, not the "Z". Not only will this make you sound like a local, but folks will appreciate your acknowledgment of the city's unique identity.

Overall, moving to Boise, Idaho, is an amazing adventure in itself. From the city's chilled-out, friendly vibe, to its vibrant arts scene, and its captivating natural beauty, Boise is a wonderful place to call home. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head for the City of Trees!

What to know before moving to Boise, ID image
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Pros and Cons of Living in Boise

Pros of Living in Boise

Natural Beauty

Boise is home to stunning natural landscapes, including mountains, rivers, and forests. Residents enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Its natural beauty also provides a picturesque backdrop for daily life.

Friendly, Welcoming Community

Boise, also known as the City of Trees, has a reputation for its friendly and welcoming community. It's a place where people greet each other on the street and neighborhoods host regular community events, fostering a strong sense of camaraderie and belonging.

Strong Economy

Boise has a diverse and robust economy, with healthcare, technology, and agriculture among its main industries. The city's job market is on the rise, which contributes to a high quality of life for its residents.

Cultural and Artistic Vibrancy

Although not as large as some other cities, Boise boasts a vibrant cultural scene with a variety of theaters, art galleries, and music venues. The city also hosts several major festivals throughout the year, showcasing local art, music, and cuisine.

Excellent Educational System

Boise takes pride in its high-quality education system. The city offers an array of public and private schools and is home to Boise State University, providing a broad array of educational opportunities for residents of all ages.

Cons of Living in Boise

Growth and Population Increase

Boise's popularity and rapid growth in recent years have led to an increase in population, resulting in a higher cost of living and more competition for jobs and housing. This rapid growth may also strain local resources and infrastructure.

Lack of Public Transportation

Public transportation in Boise is not as developed as in larger metropolitan areas. This lack of extensive public transportation can pose challenges for those who prefer not to drive or do not own a vehicle.

Winters Can Be Harsh

Boise experiences a full four seasons, and its winters can be quite harsh. The city sees a significant amount of snowfall each winter, which might not be ideal for those who prefer warmer climates.

Limited Diversity

Although the city is becoming more diverse with its growing population, Boise still lacks some of the cultural and ethnic diversity found in larger U.S. cities.

Distance from Other Major Cities

Boise is somewhat isolated compared to other US cities. The closest major city, Salt Lake City, is over 300 miles away, which could make travel and connectivity a bit challenging for those who frequently need to travel for work or pleasure.

Modern day picture of Boise, ID highlighting pros and cons of living in Boise, ID

Is Boise a Good Place to Live?

Boise, ID is a great place to live because of its thriving job market, outdoor recreational activities, and an excellent education system. The city is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including mountains and rivers, making it perfect for adventure lovers. Plus, it has a lively arts and culture scene with galleries, theatre, and music festivals that cater to diverse tastes.

What Is Boise Famous For?

The Great Outdoors

Boise is renowned for its exceptional access to nature. Nestled against the Rocky Mountains, Boise not only offers a variety of hiking and biking trails but is also a rock climbing haven. The Boise River runs right through the city center, providing water sports opportunities right in the heart of the city!

The Basque Block

If you're interested in cultural diversity and rich histories, visiting Boise's Basque Block is a must. This section of the city is dedicated to celebrating Boise's large Basque population and its heritage with restaurants, museums, and annual events that highlight the vibrant Basque culture.

The Growing Arts and Music Scene

A small city with big city vibes, Boise enjoys a thriving arts and music scene. From hosting the annual Treefort Music Fest attracting independent artists from around the world to its First Thursday Events filled with art, dining and shopping, this city surely knows how to express itself!

The Blue Turf

Sports lovers will definitely know Boise for the famous "Smurf Turf". The Albertsons Stadium at Boise State University, home to the Boise State Broncos, features a unique, eye-catching blue artificial turf. It's one of a kind, and a beloved local eccentricity.

Capital building of Boise, ID in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Boise, ID as of 2023, the property tax rate is approximately 1.05% of a property's assessed fair market value, which is slightly below the national average rate of 1.07%. This indicates that while residents of Boise do generally pay less in property taxes, the difference with other parts of the US is marginal.

Sales Tax

The rate for sales tax in Boise, ID is 6% as of 2023. Comparatively, this is significantly lower than the average combined sales tax rate in the US, which is roughly 7.12%. Thus, residents of Boise see slightly lower sales taxes on their purchases compared to the typical American.

Income Tax

Boise, ID residents are subjected to a progressive state income tax that ranges from 1.125% to 6.925% in 2023. When compared to other states, Idaho's top tax rate is relatively high, however, their lowest tax bracket is amongst the lowest in the country. This means that low-income earners in Boise face a relatively lower tax burden, while high-income earners are taxed quite heavily.

Housing Market

Boise, ID's housing market is notably competitive in comparison to other parts of the US. The median home value is approximately $400,000, above the national median. A strong job market and outdoor recreational options make Boise attractive for many, contributing to rising property values and rents. Rent prices are averaging around $1,300 per month, higher than the US median. Renter and buyer demand, coupled with a tight inventory, is driving these prices, creating a seller's market. While Boise's cost of living remains lower than coastal cities, it's essential to review local incomes when considering affordability.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Boise, Idaho is comparatively lower than many U.S cities. Housing, being the most significant factor, is much affordable in Boise than in metropolitan areas like New York or San Francisco. While the health care and grocery costs are similar to the national average, transportation and utility costs tend to be slightly higher. Overall, Boise offers an appealing blend of low-cost living, outdoor recreational activities, and a strong job market, making it an attractive choice for many seeking a balance lifestyle.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Boise, ID, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, experiences a climate categorized as semi-arid continental. The city presents four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and dry with average high temperatures in the 90s (degF), while winters are moderately cold with periods of snowfall and average lows in the mid-20s. Spring and fall typically display mild weather conditions. Boise's average annual precipitation is relatively low, approximately 12 inches, scattered evenly throughout the year. The city experiences infrequent extreme weather events, although it is susceptible to wildfires due to its dry, hot summers. Other potential natural hazards include floods, particularly in spring due to snowmelt in the surrounding mountainous areas, and occasional minor earthquakes. Despite these risks, Boise's overall mild and dry conditions make it a comfortable place for weather-conscious residents and visitors.

Typical weather in Boise, ID

Economy & Job Market

* The State of Idaho's signature industry is Agriculture.

* Manufacturing, particularly of high-tech products, is a vital sector.

* Health Services and Medical industry is expanding rapidly.

* The state is making significant strides in the Technology industry.

* Construction and Real Estate industry has been booming in recent years.

In the heart of Idaho lies the flourishing city of Boise. The city's economy is a mix of its cowboy mining history and the innovative strides of the present. Agriculture, a longstanding pillar, provides a spectrum of jobs from traditional farming to advanced food science. Idaho's famous potatoes are just the beginning! Concurrently, the city has embraced the 21st Century, evolving into a high-tech oasis, with multiple technology and manufacturing companies setting up shop in Boise, contributing to a significant share of the state's economy. The health, medical services, and construction industries too have been on an uptick, further fueling Boise's vibrant economy.

If you're planning to pack your bags and head to Boise, here's the scoop to help you navigate the job market. Boise enjoys lower unemployment rates compared to the national average--a testimony to its robust job market. Although having a job lined up before your move is a great plan, if that's not your case, don't fret! The city, with its diverse economy, offers ample career opportunities. For techies, Boise is a rising star with promising job prospects. Medical professionals can find their space in the expanding healthcare industry. For those with green thumbs, opportunities are blooming in the agriculture industry or the booming real estate market - a field where the construction is always in season. No matter what your passion is, the diverse job market in Boise has a place for you!

Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, Boise explorers! Prepare to be swept off your feet by our seamless transportation system. Those dreaming of a journey without long, stressful hours, you're in luck! Our average commute time is just 18 minutes - we're not kidding! Now, let's talk about our exceptional public transportation. Our ValleyRide buses cover every corner of the city, perfect for everyone from students to seniors! Did we mention it's as friendly for your wallet as it is for the environment? Hopping on our GreenBikes is another fantastic option for short trips around downtown. But wait, there's more! Flying to Boise or taking off for distant horizons is a breeze with the Boise Airport serving numerous destinations. Fasten your seatbelts, folks, because in Boise, we make every journey a thrilling experience!

What is the traffic like in Boise, ID?

Best Neighborhoods in Boise

1. North End

Let's kick-off our neighborhood spotlight with the charm and character of North End. Known as Boise's most historic neighborhood, North End entices with leafy streets lined with homes that take you back to the early 1900s. But it isn't just the vintage appeal. North End is also the city's arts and culture hub and is home to many of Boise's best festivals and parades. Bikers, joggers, and walkers will love the Hyde Park area with its popular local shops and eateries. You'll never lack for greenery either; check out Camel's Back Park for its incredible hillside views of the city.

2. Downtown

For those who crave the hustle and bustle of city living, Downtown Boise calls your name. Think chic lofts and luxury condos, five-star restaurants, unique shops, and the renowned Saturday Farmer's Market. Catch performances at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival or the Boise Philharmonic. Or, visit Jack's Urban Meeting Place (JUMP), an interactive creative center that celebrates the fusion of art, innovation, and community. If you're looking for the high energy vibes of metropolitan culture, this is your spot!

3. East End

East End has a magical allure with the best of both historic charm and the blissfulness of nature. It houses the Idaho Botanical Gardens and Old Idaho Penitentiary, both draped with compelling histories. For the outdoor enthusiasts, there's the easy access to the expansive Boise River Greenbelt with miles of scenic paths for jogging, biking, and wandering. You'll want to check out Bown Crossing, a quaint hub filled with boutiques and diverse dining experiences. It's the ideal escape in the heart of the city.

4. Boise Bench

Perched above Downtown Boise, the Boise Bench neighborhood has a distinctive 50s and 60s architecture. The neighborhood has evolved into a hotspot for craft breweries, farm-to-table restaurants, and specialty coffee shops. Famed for its tree-lined vistas overlooking the city, the Boise Bench offers enchanting sunrise views over the Boise State University stadium. Moreover, it houses the Boise Train Depot, a historic icon that offers a glimpse into Boise's past.

5. Harris Ranch

A newer neighborhood nestled in East Boise, Harris Ranch is the perfect fusion of modern living and neighborhood charm. Open spaces? Check. Shopping amenities? Check. Scenic biking trails? Check. Delectable dining? Check. Architectures that vary between modern and craftsman-style homes? Double-check. Located close to the city's outdoor recreational hotspots like the Boise River, Lucky Peak, and the Greenbelt, Harris Ranch offers families an idyllic setting to call home.

In conclusion, whatever your lifestyle priorities are, Boise's diverse neighborhoods got you covered. Whether you're an urban jungle enthusiast, historic charm lover, nature's peace seeker, or all of these, there's a corner of Boise waiting for you to call it home. Vibrant, scenic, dynamic, historic, Boise is truly a kaleidoscope of neighborhoods each offering a unique taste of Idaho's city of trees.

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Things to Do

Boise hosts a blend of energetic city life and quiet, tranquil outdoor vistas, making it a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you're a gourmet foodie, a dedicated history buff, or an adventurer ready to explore rolling hills and natural hot springs, you won't be short of things to do in Idaho's capital. Here are seven top things to do when you move to Boise. Enjoy!

1. Roam Around the Idaho Botanical Garden

No adventure in Boise would be complete without visiting the Idaho Botanical Garden. This living museum hosts a variety of plant species, both native and exotic. As you stroll these peaceful pathways, you can find serenity while learning about regional and foreign botanical life. Enjoy the seasons as they unfold - the annual Winter Garden Aglow is particularly enchanting.

2. Cycle the Boise River Greenbelt

Wind your way through the heart of Boise along the scenic 25-mile Boise River Greenbelt, a riparian patchwork of parks and natural areas. Whether you're cycling, walking, or paddling, the Greenbelt offers ample opportunities to encounter local wildlife and admire the surrounding scenery.

3. Tour the Old Idaho Penitentiary

The Old Idaho Penitentiary, in service for more than a century from 1872-1973, is now a fascinating historic site. Its sandstone buildings have a grim charm, and the tour delivers captivating tales of notorious inmates and daring escapes. Visit the rose garden that now grows where solitary confinement once stood, and feel a chill as you see the gallows that were in operation until 1947.

4. Sample Local Fare at Basque Market

The Basque Block, a tribute to Boise's Basque heritage, is a treasure chest of culture and tradition. At the heart of it is the Basque Market, a culinary delight where you can taste regional specialties like pintxos and paella, buy Basque products, and even partake in cooking classes. This is a unique cultural feast you won't find elsewhere.

5. Track Down Freak Alley Gallery

This is a unique, ever-changing outdoor gallery in downtown Boise. What began as a singular mural in 2002 has since expanded and evolved into a bohemian pastiche of street art and murals showcasing local talent. The gallery, open year-round and free of charge, promotes the idea that art is an accessible and integral part of daily life.

6. Head Underground to See the Boise City Ghosts

One of Boise's best-kept secrets is its collection of subterranean sidewalks, an underground labyrinth dating back to the early 20th century. A guided tour of these 'ghost' streets is an unforgettable venture into the city's past, from tales of vanished residents to curious historical anecdotes.

7. Bathe Amid Mountains in Kirkham Hot Springs

About 2 hours away from Boise, bathing in the Kirkham Hot Springs is worth a short trip. Relax in therapeutic, naturally heated pools surrounded by spectacular views of the Payette River and rugged mountains. It's the perfect reward for a long hike or a tiresome week.

Boise has captivated the hearts of scores of past visitors with its stunning landscapes, historic streets, and welcoming atmosphere. The activities above are just a taste of what the city has to offer. Now get out there and start exploring everything else Boise has in store!

Things to do in Boise, ID?

Find Movers for Your Boise Relocation

After thoroughly exploring the many aspects of life in Boise, it's clear why it's such a desirable place to call home. As you prepare to make this exhilarating city your own, remember that a smooth and efficient move is the first step to settling comfortably. To enhance your moving experience, consider leveraging the services of Great Guys Moving. This company simplifies moving by connecting you with some of the best, most affordable movers in the industry. Why not take that exciting next step towards your Boise move? Request your free, no-obligation moving quote from Great Guys Moving today - it's smart, easy and quick.

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