Thinking of moving to Boise, Idaho? Would you like to know great alternatives? Boise may be a popular choice for Los Angeles transplants, but with soaring house prices, drought gripping much of the Rocky Mountain region, and a general sense of isolation (Idaho isn’t exactly known for its glittering metropolises), you’d be forgiven for wanting to look elsewhere. The good news is, our team at Dwellics has put together a list of cities that don’t compare to Boise, they outclass it.
Option 1 – Brownsburg, Indiana
The first city for your consideration is Brownsburg, Indiana. This suburb of Indianapolis offers quality housing for a significantly lower price than Boise, with an average of $300,000 to Boise’s $465,000. We estimated the monthly budget would come in at around $35 more in Brownsburg (we calculated income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, childcare, housing and energy cost for a family of 3 with an income $80k per year) due to slightly higher sales tax (7% in Brownsburg vs 6% in Boise) and childcare cost offset by lower housing cost. Brownsburg also stands a cut above Boise in education, with five of its schools having been awarded the prestigious Blue-Ribbon Award, compared to Boise’s three. This suburb is much more beautiful than its name implies, shaded glens, mirror-like creeks, and historic bridges dot the woodland, and public parks provide a sunny space for your kids to play, after they get done receiving their excellent education, that is. Located close to Indianapolis and an easy day or overnight trip to Chicago, Brownsburg has something to offer for city and country denizens alike.
Option 2 – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Next up on our list is Ann Arbor, Michigan. This bustling college town boasts proximity to Lake Erie, cooler summers (83 degrees to Boise’s scorching nineties), and most importantly, a stronger education system. The average teacher salary in Ann Arbor is a full twenty thousand dollars higher than Boise’s, and it has seven blue-ribbon winning schools to Boise’s three. Ann Arbor also advertises a whole host of activities to stimulate enterprising visitors and residents alike. It has a thriving artists, community, with many independent galleries and theatrical groups worth your time. With its many lovely lakes and nature trails, this city offers ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Our estimated monthly cost of living for this area came in $812 higher than Boise’s due to higher childcare cost and property tax that couldn’t be offset by lower state income tax.
Option 3 – Hampton, Virginia
If you prefer the ocean to lakes, Hampton, Virginia might catch your eye. A suburb of Norfolk, it’s located right on the ocean, providing easy beach access year-round. Its housing prices stand at an average of just over $200,000, a full hundred thousand less than Boise’s. Its poverty rate and property taxes are lower, as well. Average monthly expenses are comparable with our calculated difference of only $7 (savings on sales tax and housing cost are offset by higher childcare cost here). The climate is more temperate, compared to Boise’s snowy winters and roasting summers. It possesses several scenic beaches and nature reserves and is located less than half a day’s travel to Washington, D.C., with all of its historic wonders. If you’re interested in the east coast, this is worth your time.
Option 4 – Hillsborough, New Jersey
Looking for something a little farther north? Hillsborough, New Jersey might prove interesting. Located in the suburbs of New York City, yet far enough away to still provide peace and quiet, this charming city has a low poverty rate, low property taxes, an average annual budget that’s an easy six hundred dollars lower than Boise’s, and mild weather year-round. This little town ranks among the top 50 safest places in New Jersey, and maintains a strong sense of community, with programs for youth and adults alike. Hillsborough also holds a little piece of history, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington used the surrounding hills as a training and winter camp. The stunning Duke Gardens, a nature preserve created by a wealthy philanthropist, provide a refuge for endangered native birds and plants. State income tax and housing cost are lower, but these savings do not offset higher property tax and child care cost that puts the monthly budget $611 higher than in Boise (since we used last year’s cost data and Boise has become a hot place, this difference may be narrowing).
Option 5 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Last but not least is Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It’s impossible to deny CR’s (as the locals call it) charm. This cozy town boasts the lowest property values of any town on our list, with average home prices only around $150,000, it handily beats not only Boise, but every other town on our list. Cedar Rapids also outclasses the rest of the pack in terms of Blue-Ribbon schools, a stunning eight schools within this quaint town. This quiet midwestern place also doubles as a manufacturing hub, with some of America’s largest bioengineering facilities, a perfect place to get your children into STEM. Though the monthly cost of living is $418 higher than Boise’s due to higher income and sales taxes, heating and childcare costs, we think this charming town is worth the price.
Boise is a great city, to be sure. But at Dwellics, we don’t believe in simply settling for great cities. We believe in finding the best for you personally. Check out our website www.dwellics.com, and happy city searching!