Is Boise, ID, a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons to Help You Decide


If you’re considering a move to Boise, Idaho, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and growing urban scene, Boise offers a unique living experience. Whether you’re looking on Redfin to buy a home in Boise or rent an apartment, we will explore ten key aspects to help you determine whether Boise is a good place to live.

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Quick Facts about Boise

Median home sale price $538,700
Average monthly rent $1,509
Walk Score 38/100
Transit Score 23/100
Bike Score 62/100

1. Pro: Outdoor recreation and scenic beauty

Boise is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the Boise Foothills, the Boise River, and nearby mountains. The city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, and whitewater rafting. With its vast network of trails, parks, and open spaces, Boise provides easy access to nature and encourages an active lifestyle.

2. Con: Scarce public transportation options 

Boise’s public transportation system is still developing, and it may not be as comprehensive as in larger cities. While the Valley Regional Transit system provides bus services, the coverage and frequency may not meet the needs of all residents. Having a private vehicle is often necessary for convenient transportation within the city and exploring the surrounding areas.

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3. Pro: Tight-knit community

Boise has a strong sense of community, with friendly and welcoming residents. The city fosters a community spirit, and you’ll often find local events, farmers markets, and neighborhood gatherings that bring people together. The community involvement and friendly atmosphere contribute to a positive living experience.

4. Con: Extreme weather conditions

Boise experiences a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year. Winters can be cold, with occasional snowfall, while summers can be hot and dry. The temperature variations may not be ideal for everyone, and individuals who prefer milder climates may find the extremes challenging to adjust to.

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5. Pro: Booming job market and economic growth

Boise has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, attracting a range of industries and job opportunities. The city is home to major employers in sectors such as technology, healthcare, education, and government. The booming job market and a lower-than-average unemployment rate of 3.6% compared to the national average of 6%, make Boise an attractive place for those seeking career prospects.

6. Con: Increasing population growth

Boise has been experiencing rapid population growth in recent years, as more people discover the city’s appeal. Boise County’s population grew 15.5% from the 7,005 people who lived there in 2010. For comparison, the population in the US grew 7.3% during that period. While this growth brings economic benefits and a thriving community, it also poses challenges such as increased traffic congestion, higher housing demand, and potential strains on infrastructure. As the city continues to grow, residents may need to adapt to the changing dynamics of a growing population.

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7. Pro: Affordable cost of living

Compared to many other cities in the United States, Boise offers a relatively affordable cost of living. The average cost of living in Boise is 4% higher than the national average. The median home price in Boise is $538,700 compared to the national median of $438,483. These prices and daily expenses are lower than in larger metropolitan areas such as Seattle, WA where the average home price is $885,000. This affordability allows residents to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

8. Con: Limited major metropolitan amenities

While Boise offers a range of amenities and services, it may not have the same options and depth as larger metropolitan areas. Some individuals may miss certain big-city amenities, such as major sports teams, an array of high-end shopping options, or a vibrant cultural scene. However, Boise’s charm lies in its smaller community feel and access to outdoor recreation.

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9. Pro: Cultural and arts scene

Boise has a vibrant cultural and arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and performance venues. The city is home to the Boise Philharmonic, the Boise Art Museum, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, which offer a range of cultural experiences throughout the year. You can immerse yourself in diverse arts and entertainment offerings, from live music performances to art exhibitions.

10. Limited air travel options

Boise’s airport, the Boise Airport (BOI), serves the city and the surrounding region, but it may have limited options for air travel compared to major hub airports in larger cities. While the airport offers connections to various destinations, the number of direct flights and airlines operating at the airport is limited. This can potentially result in fewer options and higher prices for certain routes, as well as longer travel times for international or less common destinations. If you frequently travel by air or require extensive connectivity, the limitations of air travel options in Boise may be a consideration.

 

Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.



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