Moving to Buffalo

Journey with us as we delve into the vibrant city of Buffalo, New York! Nicknamed the "City of Good Neighbors", Buffalo is more than just the gateway to Niagara Falls. This comprehensive guide like no other will unveil its dynamic neighborhoods, diverse culinary scene, and a plethora of cultural jewels ready for your exploration. Join us as we help navigate your potential move to Buffalo, providing you the insider scoop, and perhaps even a nudge to make this charming city your new home. So, shall we begin our adventure?

Moving to Buffalo, NY landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Buffalo


1. Welcome to the City of Good Neighbors

If you're thinking about making Buffalo your new home, brace yourself for a warm welcome. Buffalo is known as the "City of Good Neighbors" and there's a reason for that! Residents here are renowned for their friendliness, and newcomers often say they feel instantly at home. So don't worry about making friends in Buffalo, because the city itself is your friend.

2. Experience All Four Seasons

One thing's for sure: there's never a dull moment when it comes to weather in Buffalo. You'll get to experience all four seasons in all their glory. Summers are typically sunny and lovely, autumns are cool and vibrant with leaf-peeping opportunities aplenty, winters are snowy and perfect for cozy indoor days, and springs bring welcomed fresh blooms! Remember to stock up on all your seasonal clothing!

3. Winter Paradise for Sports Enthusiasts

Buffalo's winters are legendary and they're not for the faint of heart. But if you love winter sports, you're in luck! The city is home to countless sledding hills, ice-skating rinks, and nearby ski resorts, making it a winter sports enthusiast's paradise. And let's not forget Buffalo's beloved Bills--tailgating before their NFL games is nothing short of a city-wide holiday.

4. Enjoy a Delicious Food Scene

You might know Buffalo for their iconic wings, but their food scene packs much more punch. This city on the shores of Lake Erie offers a mouthwatering selection of local and international cuisine. From the classic "Beef on Weck", to sponge candy, Buffalo has distinctive flavors that leave every foodie satiated. Don't be surprised if you end up adding a few "Buffalo Food Tours" to your to-do list!

5. Inspiring and Vibrant Architecture Scene

True, Buffalo is an industrial city. But did you know that it's also a veritable treasure trove of architecture? From the grandeur of the Richardson Olmsted Campus to the Art Deco wonder that is City Hall, Buffalo is inspiring and vibrant with architectural gems. Architecture geeks, and those who appreciate beauty, will fall in love with the city's skyline.

6. Surprise! The City Smells Like Cheerios

Here it goes, the most unexpected secret about Buffalo: the city often smells like Cheerios. Yes, those toasted oat cereals you love! The General Mills plant downtown has been producing Cheerios and other cereals since the 1940s. So on certain days, depending on which way the wind blows, the scent of roasting oats and sweet honey wafts over town--it's like living next door to the world's biggest breakfast table!

Moving to Buffalo, NY is an exciting step. A haven for sports enthusiasts, lovers of all seasons, and food-fanatics, Buffalo has a distinctive charm few can resist. And above all, it smells like Cheerios. What's not to love about that? As you get to know your new home, remember that this is only the beginning of your Buffalo-loving journey. So unpack your bags, try some sponge candy, cheer for the Bills, and let Buffalo surprise you!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Buffalo

Pros of Living in Buffalo

Lower Cost of Living

Compared to other major cities in the U.S., the cost of living in Buffalo is significantly lower. This includes expenses like housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare. This affordability can lead to a high quality of life as it allows residents to have extra income for savings or entertainment.

Rich History and Culture

Buffalo is a city filled with historically rich venues, like the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. The city also has a love for arts and culture with many art galleries, theaters, and museums thriving within it. Learning and absorbing the city's past can provide a feeling of connection and pride in the community.

A Range of Outdoor Activities

The city's geographical location offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Summers are great for boating, fishing, and swimming due to the city's proximity to Lake Erie. During the winter, activities shift to ice skating and skiing. This balance of activities means there's always something to do, regardless of the season.

Delicious Local Cuisine

Buffalo offers a wide array of food that is sure to satisfy different culinary cravings. From the iconic Buffalo chicken wings to hearty roast beef on kummelweck rolls (Beef on Weck), living in Buffalo is a food lover's delight. The endless dining options cater to varied tastes and appetites.

Exceptional Education

Live in Buffalo for its highly ranked education system. You'll find a variety of quality schools and exceptional higher education institutions like the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College. The city shows a strong commitment to education, providing a solid foundation for students of all ages.

Cons of Living in Buffalo

Prolonged Winters

Buffalo is known for having long, harsh winters. With heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures being the norm for a large part of the year, it can be tough for those who prefer milder climates. The weather can make commuting difficult and increase heating costs for households.

Job Market

While Buffalo has experienced economic growth in the recent years, it still lags behind other cities when it comes to job opportunities. Certain industries are thriving, but it is generally a little more challenging to find work within the city, especially when compared to other large U.S cities.

Public Transportation

The public transportation system in Buffalo doesn't score high in terms of efficiency or scope. The city is fairly spread out, which means that without a personal vehicle, getting from one point to another can be time-consuming and inconvenient using public transport.

High Property Tax

Even though the cost of living is generally low in Buffalo, property taxes tend to be on the higher side. This can be a burden for homeowners who are on a tight budget. However, it's worth noting that this tax goes towards maintaining community services and infrastructure.


Despite its many historic buildings and landmarks, some parts of Buffalo need infrastructure improvements. It's not uncommon to encounter pothole-ridden roads or old buildings in need of repair. This aspect might require adaptation for those used to more updated cityscapes.

Modern day picture of Buffalo, NY highlighting pros and cons of living in Buffalo, NY

Is Buffalo a Good Place to Live?

Buffalo, NY is a great place to live because of its rich history, attractive architectural landmarks, affordable housing and vibrant sports culture. The city also boasts of beautiful parks, contributing to its title as the "City of Trees", not to mention the dynamic food scene that satisfies all kinds of taste buds. So, whether you're a fan of sports, history or good food, Buffalo is guaranteed to turn you into a Buffalonian for life!

What Is Buffalo Famous For?

The Buffalo Wings

No trip to Buffalo is complete without trying the city's namesake dish - Buffalo wings. These spicy chicken wings were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo in the 1960s and have since become a staple of American cuisine. Restaurants around the city, and indeed the world, try to replicate these spicy delicacies, but for the authentic experience, you'll have to head to the city themselves.

The Buffalo Bills

Buffalo proudly supports its National Football League team, the Buffalo Bills. The intense fandom stretches far beyond the city limits. Despite a seemingly cursed history involving four consecutive Super Bowl losses, the city's love for the Bills remains unshaky, with fans braving ice, snow, and wind to cheer on their team in the famous "Bills Mafia".

Buffalo's Architectural Gems

This western New York city may have a blue-collar background, but it's also a mecca for architectural buffs. Buffalo is filled with stunning buildings designed by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and H.H. Richardson - you never know what incredible building you'll stumble upon next. Check out the architecture of Buffalo for a full guide.

The Winter Weather

People in Buffalo don't just endure winter, they embrace it! Winter in Buffalo means lake effect snow, and lots of it, but it also means community snowball fights, ice fishing, skiing, and snowboarding. If you're visiting Buffalo during the winter, don't forget to check out the winter activities you can enjoy!

Capital building of Buffalo, NY in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Buffalo, NY, the average effective property tax rate is 3.59% as of 2023, which is significantly higher than the national average of around 1.07%. This makes Buffalo one of the cities with the highest property tax in the nation.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, the combined city and state sales tax rate in Buffalo, NY, is 8.75%. This is on par with many other parts of the US, but higher than the national median of 7.12%.

Income Tax

For 2023, individuals living in Buffalo, NY, are subjected to a state income tax rate of 6.85% for incomes over $21,400, and a federal tax rate that ranges from 10% to 37%. This state income tax rate is slightly higher than the national average which is close to 4.6%.

Housing Market

The Buffalo, NY housing market offers appealing advantages for both buyers and renters. Unlike most US cities, Buffalo properties are relatively affordable, with a median home value of around $92,800, significantly lower than the national median. For renters, the average rent is also reasonable at roughly $850 per month. The city boasts a stable market, making it attractive for long-term investments. Despite a 6.4% year-over-year growth, Buffalo still maintains lower costs of living and a favorable buyer's market compared to the nationwide trends.

Cost of Living

Buffalo, NY boasts a cost of living that is considerably lower than the national average and significantly less than other major U.S. cities. From aspects like housing, groceries, healthcare to utilities, you'll find reasonable rates in Buffalo. For instance, comparing Buffalo to New York City, one can experience an enviable quality of life in Buffalo at a fraction of the cost. This makes Buffalo an attractive setting for both individuals and families wanting city life without the exorbitant expense.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Buffalo, New York is known for its diverse and variable climate. The city experiences a humid continental climate with warm, humid summers and long, cold, and snowy winters. Average summer temperatures range from 60degF to 80degF, while winter averages can drop below freezing. Buffalo is also known for its significant yearly snowfall, receiving an average of 95 inches per year. This is attributed to the "lake-effect" phenomenon due to its proximity to Lake Erie. In addition to snowstorms, Buffalo is occasionally subject to severe weather phenomena, such as thunderstorms and high winds. Although rare, the city has also witnessed tornadoes. Buffalo's weather, though not without challenges, contributes to a robust seasonal change that brings breathtaking beauty to the city's landscapes.

Typical weather in Buffalo, NY

Economy & Job Market

*Finance and banking industry

*Healthcare industry

*Education industry

*Manufacturing industry

*Technology industry

When glancing through the pages of Buffalo's economy, you'll quickly learn that it's packing more than just bone-rattling winters and mouthwatering hot wings. Historically, Buffalo was a titan of heavy industry with the 19th-century opening of the Erie Canal, but nowadays its economic story is one of renaissance and transformation. The city's economy still has an industrial power but has expanded its horizons to diverse spheres like finance, banking, healthcare, education and technology. Buffalo is flexing its economic might in the technology sector, with a growing number of tech startups calling the city home. Its healthcare fields are flourishing too, with Kaleida Health, Catholic Health System, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute providing a significant chunk of the jobs.

Packing your bags for Buffalo? Buckle up, because the hunt for jobs here could be as thrilling as a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist! Buffalo has a lower unemployment rate than the national average, which is pretty neat, right? The city's job market is pretty stable, and if you're hunting for opportunities in healthcare or education, you're in luck. These sectors are strong and steadily growing, so they are worth considering. The finance, banking and manufacturing sectors are another good bet. And hey, if you've got a knack for technology, well, the "Silicon Valley of the East" might just have a treasure trove of opportunities awaiting you!

Traffic and Transportation

Commute in Buffalo, NY? It's practically a breeze! With an average commute time of just 20.8 minutes, Buffalo residents spend less time in traffic than much of the nation. But hey, who wants to drive all the time? Buffalo's public transportation system, operated by NFTA, offers a wide range of options including buses and light rail. It's safe, convenient, and perfect for those days when you feel just a tad too lazy to drive. If you're up for a grand aerial adventure, Buffalo Niagara International Airport is your doorway to the world. Named in honor of the mighty regional waterfalls, and servicing 24 major airlines, it's the third busiest airport in New York state. So whether by land or air, getting around the City of Light is as easy as pie! Happy travels!

What is the traffic like in Buffalo, NY?

Best Neighborhoods in Buffalo


1. Elmwood Village

You might as well call Elmwood Village the heart of Buffalo's culture. Populated with charming cafes, chic boutiques, and historic architecture, Elmwood Village has a charm that's hard to resist. The streets are lined with towering trees, making for a truly picturesque neighborhood. It boasts a strong sense of community with countless events like art festivals, concerts, and seasonal farmers' markets. Added to that, Buffalo's premiere art gallery - the Burchfield Penney, is also located here. No wonder, it was named one of America's 10 Great Neighborhoods by the American Planning Association.

2. Allentown

Are you into the arts, music, and a lively nightlife scene? Say hello to Allentown! Known for its eclectic vibrancy and historic character, Allentown is the go-to place for any artist at heart. In addition to numerous galleries and studio spaces, Allentown is host to Buffalo's annual art festival - a must-visit for art enthusiasts from all around. Plus, if you're a foodie, Allentown's array of unique eateries will keep your taste buds perpetually entertained.

3. Parkside

Parkside offers a charm of its own with its turn-of-the-century homes and serene, family-friendly vibe. As the name suggests, the neighborhood is adjacent to the sprawling Delaware Park, which was designed by the same landscaper who crafted Central Park in New York City. The park provides everything from a zoo to athletic fields and a beautiful lake. The neighborhood itself is a historical treasure trove, housing Frank Lloyd Wright's stunning Darwin D. Martin House Complex.

4. North Buffalo

North Buffalo has something for everyone, making it an extremely livable neighborhood. Known for its plentiful shopping options, North Buffalo is diverse and bustling, yet it maintains a strong sense of community. Hertel Avenue is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike for its wide array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Plus, North Buffalo is home to Buffalo's own Little Italy, so you can enjoy some delectable gourmet fare on any given day.

5. Harbor District

Once a bustling industrial area, the Harbor District has been transformed into a vibrant waterfront district. It houses the highly-visited Canalside and the Riverwalk, perfect for spending leisure time or catching exciting events. With an abundance of restaurants, bars, and shops, the Harbor District merges history, entertainment, and scenic views perfectly. It's also home to the coveted Explore and More Children's Museum, making it a great spot for families with kids.

As ends our whirlwind tour of Buffalo's top neighborhoods, remember, each of these neighborhoods has its own unique flavor and charm. Whether you're seeking quiet suburban comfort, a bustling arts scene, or a hip urban lifestyle, Buffalo's got you covered. Take the plunge and find your perfect spot in this gem of a city.

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Things to Do

Whether you're a new resident or considering a move to Buffalo, NY, you're in for a fun-filled adventure. Famous for its rich history, robust culture, and, not to forget, its famous wings, there's no shortage of activities to explore in the "Queen City". Don your adventure cap and check out these seven top things to do in Buffalo, NY, that will undoubtedly set you on a journey of discovery and entertainment.

1. Feast on Buffalo's Famous Wings

You cannot move to Buffalo and not sample its legendary chicken wings. Stop by Anchor Bar, the birthplace of Buffalo wings, for a taste of authentic, mouth-watering wings dripping in finger-licking sauce. Other notable places to satisfy your wing craving include Duff's Famous Wings and Gabriel's Gate.

2. Explore the Buffalo Naval Park

As the country's largest inland naval park, the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park is a treat for history lovers. With majestic ships, insurmountable memorabilia, and fascinating exhibits, you can delve into military history and appreciate sacrifices made throughout naval warfare periods.

3. Visit the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Art enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, an institution with collections dating back over 5000 years. Impressive artwork from renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol reside here. It's a visit that promises to enrich your cultural palette.

4. Attend a Game at the Highmark Stadium or KeyBank Center

Sports are part of Buffalo's heart and soul. Whether catching the Bills in action at the Highmark Stadium or witnessing Sabres on ice at the KeyBank Center, the electrifying atmosphere is something you'll want to experience first hand.

5. Delve into Secret Car Museum - The Pierce Arrow Museum

Here's an off-beat activity for all car lovers out there. Nestled within the former Thomas and Howard Company warehouse, the Pierce Arrow Museum houses a large collection of vintage cars and historical artifacts from the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company, including the famous Pierce-Arrow 'Buffalo-made' cars. This hidden gem offers a unique trip down automobile history.

6. Paddle Through Elevator Alley

For a unique experience on the water, consider kayaking through Buffalo's 'Elevator Alley'. As you paddle along the Buffalo River, you will be flanked by towering grain elevators - a symbol of Buffalo's industrial past. This less-traveled waterway offers a unique perspective on the city's architecture and the story of its growth.

7. Stroll Through Elmwood Village

Nothing screams "local living" quite like a leisurely stroll through Elmwood Village. This charming neighborhood is packed with local artisan stores, eclectic boutiques, and an array of restaurants. Every stroll in Elmwood Village promises a new discovery within its lively streets.

In conclusion, Buffalo, NY, is a city that thrums with energy, thrills with adventure, and delights with gastronomical feasts. Each of these unique facets amalgamate to make Buffalo a city like no other. Whether you're a food aficionado, history buff, sports lover or just a keen explorer, Buffalo has something to satiate every taste and interest. Make your mark in the city by immersing yourself in the unique experiences it offers. You're about to embark on an unforgettable journey in Buffalo, NY.

Things to do in Buffalo, NY?

Find Movers for Your Buffalo Relocation

Buffalo, NY, with its engaging culture, brisk winters, and neighborly atmosphere, is an exciting new place to call home. Make your journey as seamless as possible with the help of an established service like Great Guys Moving. They connect you swiftly with licensed and insured moving companies, guaranteeing you receive the most reputable and affordable options for your relocation. Take the first step towards your new adventure now by requesting a free moving quote. Welcome to the next phase of your life, in Buffalo, New York.

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