With its strong economy, affordable cost of living, low crime rates and ample access to outdoor activities to enjoy the area’s natural beauty, it’s no wonder more and more people are living in Boise, Idaho.
U.S. News & World Report recently released its "150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2020-21” report, ranking Boise as number 20 on the list.
If you are thinking about moving, let us help you explore why Boise continues to be among the hottest places in the United States to live, work, play and bank.
What Is Boise, Idaho Like?
The capital of Idaho and the state’s largest city, Boise is a vibrant, safe community with a population of about 230,000 people (and growing) — making it just large enough to offer all of the creature comforts of a bigger city while maintaining a small-town spirit.
Boise is a hidden gem in a state that has grown in popularity over the last few years. A recent Forbes’ report ranked Idaho as the top state people are moving to in 2020 — the first time the state has made the list’s top 10 in the last decade. According to the report, the state’s economy is expected to grow by an average of 3.5% over the next five years, which is projected to be greater than any other state.
Part of that economic growth is fueled by Boise-based Micron Technology, a producer of semiconductors (this includes computer memory and computer data storage products). Fortune ranked Micron Technology third among the 100 fastest-growing companies in the world in 2019 based on the company’s three-year revenue, profit and stock return performance.
The city is home to a variety of other businesses and industries, too. Clearwater Analytics and Cradlepoint are also headquartered in Boise. Other top industries in the area include farming, mining, logging and livestock. Boise is also home to Boise State University, several large hospitals, and many state and federal government offices. And, the Boise Airport offers nonstop service to some of the nation’s busiest airports if you’re looking to travel for business or pleasure.
Boise’s strong economy, historically low unemployment rates, low tax rates and housing costs that are below the national average make it an affordable place to call home. Plus, the city and surrounding areas do not disappoint when it comes to recreational activities — no matter the time of year.
Things to Do in Boise, Idaho
Boise (nicknamed the “City of Trees”) offers more than 80 city parks and 12 reserves, giving residents and visitors plenty of places where they can enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The city has pledged to plant one tree for every household in an effort to protect and preserve the natural environment.
Many of the city’s parks offer playground equipment and trails. There are also four sports complexes and a few other parks offering special activities like an archery range, bike and skate ramps, and whitewater excursions to keep you and your loved ones entertained.
Whether you want to float on the Boise River, eat and drink at local restaurants and breweries, check out historical museums, explore the Idaho Botanical Garden, see animals at Zoo Boise, catch a performance at Opera Idaho or hop onto the ice at Idaho IceWorld, there is something for everyone in Boise.
If you are an art lover, there are more than 325 pieces of art on display in public places around the city of Boise, many of them from local artists. These include murals, sculptures, mosaics and other art installations.
The popular Boise River Greenbelt is one of residents’ favorite parks with a 25-mile tree-lined path along the banks of the Boise River, which flows through the middle of downtown Boise.
There are also activities just outside the city limits that you don’t want to miss. The Ridge to Rivers trail system offers 190 miles of hiking and biking trails in the Boise foothills. You can head to the Bogus Basin recreation area and ski resort for a variety of year-round activities. Also, don’t forget to take a trip and dip into the hot springs sprinkled around the Boise area and across Idaho.
For a bit of cultural history, Boise is home to one of the largest and most concentrated Basque communities in the United States. The Basque Block in downtown Boise features the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, traditional Basque restaurants and the Basque Market.
Banking With WaFd Bank in Boise, Idaho
Deciding whether to relocate to a new community is both a personal and financial choice. If you are moving to Boise, WaFd Bank is here to assist you every step of the way. WaFd Bank was recently recognized as the best big bank in Idaho by Newsweek for its offering of checking and savings accounts, and for its strong mobile and online banking services.
With multiple locations across the Boise metropolitan area, your local WaFd Bank branch offers personal checking and savings accounts, business banking accounts, and home and custom construction loans, among other services. Our Easy Switch Kit makes changing banks a simple process.
Redfin’s Boise Housing Market Trends report lists the city as a “very competitive” real estate market, with many homes receiving multiple offers and homes selling on average about 1% above the list price. The average time a home is on the market in Boise is about eight days, according to the report.
Since the housing market in Boise is booming, it’s a great idea to get preapproved for a home loan if you are looking to buy so you do not miss out on a great opportunity.