The Bay Area is ranked one of the most expensive areas in the country. People are fleeing in large numbers and Boise Idaho’s population is exploding from Californians fleeing the state.
According to the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, in a span of about five years approximately 7,200 Californians moved to the Boise area.
Michelle Bailey, President of the Boise Regional Realtors is from the Bay Area and moved to Idaho in the early 2000’s. She has seen more clients from the Bay Area then ever before.
“There was a wave in the late 90’s and then again around the time I moved here…this current wave feels more significant than it has been in the past.” Says Bailey.
Forbes recently named Boise as the fastest growing metro area in the US, crediting the area’s robust tech sector and job growth.
Kayla Abeyta, who grew up in Southern California moved to Boise for her job at Blackbox VR, which is based in Idaho. She then moved back to California and is now heading up the San Francisco location of the virtual reality fitness company. She says the state has a lot more to offer than just potatoes.
“The way of life there is just easier! You can just do your thing, tasks are way easier. Just going to the grocery store, you can just park and pick up your stuff and head back home, you don’t have to worry about traffic,” smiles Abeyta.
In addition, she says the cost of living is appealing.
For example, the median home price in Boise is $332,698 according to the last 12 months of sales activity provided by Realtor Property Resource and data from the Intermountain MLS.
In San Francisco? The price of a home averages at $1,325,000. That’s about a million dollars more.
Gas prices in Idaho are also about a dollar less, averaging around $2.59 a gallon in the state according to GasBuddy.
Bailey says in addition to the cost of living there is a domino effect when people visit the state.
“There’s usually one person in the family who moves up, right? Maybe they want to retire or they’re moving for a job. Whatever the reason is, they move here, and then the family comes to visit and then they slowly start to see the rest of the family moved up.”
Kayla agrees there are plenty of benefits to Idaho and would be open to going back if the right opportunity were there.
“When my co-workers come here (to San Francisco) they probably want to leave faster than anybody! I think it goes to show that when someone grows up in Boise they never want to leave because it’s such a great place!”