If you are considering moving to Boise, there is a lot to know. Idaho is a very unique place and some people who move here are very surprised — both good and bad — when they finally land in Boise or other places in Idaho. Here are some random things you should know before moving to Boise.
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How do you say Boise? You are probably wrong. Not that there is a *wrong* way to say it, but locals pronounce Boise as “Boy-See,” not “Boy-Zee.”
Feel free to pronounce Boise however you’d like, but if you want to blend in and not give away the fact that you are not yet a local, I would suggest start practicing your “Boy-Sees.”
Boise, and Idaho in general, is an outdoor community, and so we have a bunch of people who enjoy walking, running, bicycling, and hiking. Boise has a law that all cars must stay at least three feet away from all bicyclists. If you disagree with this, then Boise is probably not the right place for you.
We take our outdoor sports seriously, but even more importantly, the safety of everyone is serious and if you plan to move to Boise, then you need to take it seriously too.
Speaking of right of ways, let’s talk about cows. One of the questions on the Idaho DMV test is about cows and right of ways. Seriously.
There is a thing called Open Range in Idaho, which is a large area of land without any fences. You will find open range in the land all around Boise, especially if you are going on a road trip. If you are in Open Range land, then cows always have the right of way. What this means is you need to watch for cows — and if you hit one and the cow is injured or killed, you are then monetarily responsible for that cow.
And you might think: “How much could a cow possibly cost?” I have heard of people hitting a cow and having to pay up to $10,000 to the rancher. So just to make it easy, watch for cows. Do not hit a cow. It will make it easier for everyone.
Before you move to Boise, you should know that people moving to Idaho is a bit of a sore spot for locals. People living in Idaho do so because it has a small-town feel and is a great place to raise a family, and we tend to stay out of the national spotlight.
With the large number of people, and especially Californians, moving to Idaho in the last few years, costs have gone up, traffic has gotten worse, and real estate is nearly impossible to buy.
Because of this, I would recommend changing your license plates as soon as you possibly can. Idahoans feel better when they think the people around them are also locals, and if you want to also be an Idahoan you should also want to do this.
Speaking of real estate, the real estate market in Boise has gone crazy in the last few years. And by crazy, I mean homes have increased 300 percent, 400 percent, maybe even more in some areas.
Not only that, but homes are being sold for $100,000 over asking the day they go on the market, and receiving multiple cash-only offers. If you want to understand why Idahoans are upset about others moving here, this is a good indication.
Before moving to Idaho, everyone should have at least a basic understanding of the political landscape in Idaho.
Idaho has traditionally been a very red-leaning state, which it still is. With blue-leaning people moving to Boise, there are just as many red-leaning people moving to the state, which means the political landscape will likely stay the same for a while.
There are a number of great people fighting for the state, and who just want the best for its citizens. But you should be prepared for people fighting for their guns, at least one or two anti-women laws being passed each year, and a lot of science denial.
There is no better place on earth
As someone who grew up in Idaho and moved away (twice), I will tell you there is no place I’d rather be. Despite our issues, Idaho is beautiful, its people are wonderful, and it’s still a pretty great place to live.
If you want to ski, float the river, go hiking, get some brunch, have a downtown atmosphere, or really anything else you could want, Boise is a great place to live. It has grown significantly in the last 10 years, but only because people are discovering it finally.
If you plan to move to Boise, I would recommend visiting for a weekend, or a week, and finding your own piece of the city.