Seems like Boise, Idaho is one of the hottest places on people’s move-to list these days.
According to a study conducted by Forbes, Boise was reckoned to be the fastest-growing US in 2018.
The city saw a population leap of nearly 19% between 2010-2018 and in 2019, it was judged as the best place for millennials to live in.
People who moved to Boise report that they found a much more equitable work-life balance and a way more affordable cost of living compared to cities they moved from.
This medium-sized City of Trees attracts those who want a slower pace of life and a safer place to live, work and raise their kids in.
If you’re planning on moving to Boise, Idaho from California, here are some things to think about.
Moving Out Of California
The largest number of new residents in Boise seems to be from California. Some surveys conducted in 2019 noted that nearly 60% of all net migration to Boise is from California.
Over the last couple of decades, there have been dramatic changes in California.
The job market has shrunk drastically, creating droves of “economic refugees” who seek job opportunities elsewhere. There is more visible poverty in the state today and California has the dubious distinction of having the country’s worst poverty rate.
40% of Californians were rated as “poor” or “near poor” in the last census.
There is a looming housing crisis, with average home prices doubling the national average.
Added to this mix is the climate change crisis, with the increasing incidents of wildfire-related destruction.
Silicon Valley and the hospitality sector have felt the impact of immigration policies.
The crime rate and drug abuse have increased, along with the incidence of gang warfare.
The cost of living in California is relatively high. The taxation rates are among the highest in the country. Income tax is the highest in the country, while the sales tax and gas taxes are also the highest.
Why Boise Attracts Newcomers
Investment: Boise is currently a hot-spot for investment because of the spurt in the job and population growth. The cost of doing business is relatively low, and the unemployment rate stands at just 3.5%. The student rental market has been thriving steadily because of the presence of the State University, the Bible College, etc.
Great Neighborhoods: For newcomers, Boise’s neighborhoods are a big attraction. The Bench, located on the edge of the Boise Valley, is an appealing mix of older residences and new builds, with easy access to the busy downtown area. The North End neighborhood has charming historic 1930s style homes, while Downtown is the preferred choice for young millennials and professionals.
Weather: Boise is blessed with all four distinct seasons. Short summers, and mild winters, more than 200 days of sunshine, and light snowfall make this city a pleasant place to live in.
Cost of Living: is nearly 4-8% lower than the national average according to different surveys. Taxes are also relatively low. With easier access to good quality housing, Boise residents fear that they may soon lose the tag of “affordable housing city.” However, rents and property prices still remain lower than cities of comparable size.
Accessibility: Boise is located conveniently in South West Idaho, with access to some of the big cities of the country, such as Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Denver.
Work-Life Balance: People can enjoy a better quality of life with easy access to natural beauty, adventure sports, leisure activities, entertainment, parks, and museums.
Healthy Lifestyle: Located in the famous Treasure Valley agricultural region, Boise’s famous Farmers’ Markets offer a dazzling array of fresh produce, baked goods, and meats.
9 Financial Considerations To Keep In Mind
The US Census Bureau reports that nearly 8 million Americans (1.5% of the population) moved to another state in 2018-19. Unless you’re young, super confident, and willing to take risks, it’s important to keep certain financial considerations in mind before you contemplate a move.
- Housing: Whether you plan to rent/lease/purchase a home, it’s important to scope out the housing costs in Boise, Idaho before moving. The housing market in this city has been growing. Though it was earlier pegged at about 8% lower than the national average, that is rapidly changing with the increased influx into the city. The average price per square foot stands currently at about $208. Spend a few weeks checking out the different neighborhoods. Look for convenient access to schools, medical facilities, shopping, leisure/entertainment options, commuting facilities, etc according to your priorities. This is important before you sign up for a rental/purchase.
- Assess Lifestyle Costs: Well before you make the move, check the prevailing lifestyle costs in the area where you plan to live in Boise. There could be marginal differences but important ones. Transportation, food, medical facilities, education, and entertainment costs have to be compared. Look at the mortgage/rental costs in the new location, cost of utilities, maintenance costs, property taxes, home-owners’ insurance costs, and take into account possible repairs or home improvement costs if you’re purchasing a second-sale home.
- Move-Related Budget: Studies show that a move across states can cost up to $3500 on average, for a distance of about 1000 miles and a load of about 7000 lbs. It’s important to start planning for the move. You may have added costs if you have a lot of stuff if you plan to stay in a hotel before you move into your own home and don’t forget the travel costs (driving/flying) for yourself and your family.
- Banking and Finance: If you own property in one state, it’s important to make decisions about how to manage it remotely when you move out. Plan for transitioning your financial services providers such as banks. Though this is the age of digital and remote banking, it’s still important to have a local bank account in your new area of residence. You can save on trips to the banking center’s physical locations through digital banking to ensure that you can open an account locally too.
- Notifications: Ensure that you notify your credit card company, recurring billers, insurers, your investment portfolio manager, etc. about your move. You could miss important emails that may continue to arrive at your old address. It’s also important to update your vehicle registration and driver’s license information.
- ROI on the Relocation: It’s important to calculate the overall return on investment of the move. Obviously, the move should make financial sense in terms of a better job/higher salary for both partners, improved lifestyle, greater educational opportunities for children, etc. This assessment should be done in collaboration with the whole family so that no one feels left out or short-changed.
- Assess Your Debt Position: A move is a great opportunity to evaluate your debt position and take stock. If you have a certain amount of debt, ensure that you demarcate 15% (minimum) of your post-tax income for settling. The highest-interest debts get priority, and others can be stacked in order of importance. This is also a great time to create an emergency fund out of any extra income that you may be earning out of a better salary situation.
- Establish New Household Savings Tips: Get better control of your finances with new (democratically agreed-upon) rules for increasing household savings to meet holiday or wishlist expenses. Get better and cheaper services from your cable operator, find ways to lower your energy and utility bills, ensure that you control due dates and automatic payments. Budgeting is a smart way to stay in command.
- Taxation: Moving to a new state could involve differences in taxes. Some states in the US do not have state income taxes. If you have tax-exempt income, federal bonds or investments in your former state, you’ll need to be aware of them and make suitable adjustments.