Relocating to Boise: What to Know

The influx of people moving to Idaho in recent years has been astonishing but understandable. Idaho is an incredible place to live with some of the friendliest communities. The Boise metro area has become one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States.  Many millennials and young families are choosing to live in Boise because of its economic opportunities and quality of life. While many of the people moving to Boise seem to primarily come from California, people throughout the U.S. are finding Boise to be their ideal place to live. 

Idaho has been a top choice for many moving away from their home state in recent years, especially since the pandemic. A whopping 194% more people moved to Idaho than out of the state between March and August 2020! 
Well, if you're one of the many out-of-state newcomers that have decided to make a move to Boise, you probably already know because it's the same reasons you've chosen to move:

  1. Idaho provides many outdoor recreation opportunities
  2. The Boise community and culture is one that promotes work-life balance
  3. With considerably less traffic than in most big cities, a short commute allows for more time spent with friends and family
To put it simply, Boise is seen as a breath of fresh air.

Why are People from California Moving to Idaho?

26% of the 80,000 people who moved to Boise in 2018 were from California. It begs the question: why are people moving from California to Idaho? Here are two key reasons.

Cost of Living

Housing is very affordable in Idaho. Housing in California is expensive, especially for young professionals trying to get established. Many young professionals find themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck in California, while their dollar seems to go much further in Idaho. A house that would cost $850,000 in Los Angeles or $1.3 million in San Francisco would cost roughly $350,000 in Boise.


Idahoans live life at a slower pace than Californians. In California, the culture and expectations are to get up early, hustle hard all day, go to bed late, and do it all over again the next day. Idahoans like to take life a little slower, taking more time for family and friends, and having more of a healthy work/life balance.  While city living in Idaho is different from city living in California, it's preferable for many young professionals and families trying to settle down and establish themselves.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Boise, Idaho

Boise is known as the "City of Trees" and it lives up to the hype of the Pacific Northwest with its wide range of landscapes from mountains to deserts. These beautiful landscapes and the attractions they offer are visible from the city and are within a short driving distance. Idaho is an outdoor enthusiast's dream, but also an adventurous family's ideal location as there are so many outdoor activities nearby. This is just one of the few benefits of living in Boise, Idaho.  Other pros include:

  • Genuine, friendly residents
  • Family-oriented community
  • Mild weather with all four seasons
  • Low unemployment rate
  • Growing food and drink scene
There are very few drawbacks to living in Boise, but there have been known to be some issues with:

  • Air quality
  • Little diversity in the population (the city is 89% caucasian)
  • Rising housing and development prices
  • Lack of quality public transportation
Boise currently has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. However, Boise's cost of living is 1.2% lower than the national average.

Is Boise, Idaho a Safe Place to Live?

Boise, Idaho, is one of the top choices of places to live for families because of the safety it offers. Boise's crime rate is 25% lower than the national average. It is safer than 42% of cities in the United States, with a 1 in 54 chance of a resident becoming a victim of a crime. Plus, year over year, crime in Boise has decreased by 19%.

Best Neighborhoods in Boise, Idaho

While there are many incredible neighborhoods in the Boise metro area, there are two that are of particular note—Southeast Boise and Harris Ranch (part of East Boise).

Southeast Boise

Southeast Boise includes the stretch from Boise State University (BSU) to Bown Crossing and Barber Park over to the Oregon Trail. It's one of the largest neighborhoods in Boise and is known for being the most diverse. It's one of the top choices for young professionals and college students because of the easy commute to downtown and BSU.

There are many locally-owned shops and a wide variety of restaurants (ranging from Korean BBQ to vegan favorites) that locals love to frequent. The area also provides unrestricted access to Boise's 25 miles of biking/walking trail called the Greenbelt, as well as the river and all that it offers. This area is a true cycler and foodie paradise. 

Southeast Boise offers many great starter homes, typically ranging from $300,000 to $400,000, with many new listings every week. If you're looking for tree-lined streets in a more private and tranquil setting, you can find these types of houses in the "Boise River Corridor" ranging from $600,000 to $1+ million. If you desire new construction, there's much to be seen south of Gowen Road, with homes ranging from $400,000 to $700,000.

Harris Ranch

Harris Ranch spans North of the river and East Warm Springs Avenue into the Boise Foothills. It's more of a tucked-away community with a great location for fun in the river and hiking in the area. It's a short commute from Downtown Boise and is considered to be a very dog-friendly and family-friendly community. Nearby schools have high ratings from parents, especially parents that are newer to the area. While Harris Ranch has been established for a long time, it's only more recently a suburban area of Boise. 

Are you looking to relocate to the Southeast Boise or Harris Ranch area? Reserve your self-storage unit from Barber Valley Self Storage! Check out the great units we have available right in that area.