Guide to Buying a Home in the Boise, Idaho Metropolitan Area

March 21, 2024
Last updated:
March 21, 2024
Post cover image
In This Article

Are you thinking about buying a home in the Boise, Idaho metropolitan area?

You’re not alone. While population growth has slowed since the pandemic boom, the Boise, Idaho real estate continues to lure home buyers from other parts of the country.

This guide gives you a broad overview of the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area, with an emphasis on relocation and home buying. We will cover everything from geography to economy, and from real estate market trends to local attractions.

As a mortgage company that serves this market, we want to help you make a well-informed decision about relocating and buying a home in the Boise area. Read on to find your home buyer’s guide to the Boise area.

The Boise Metro Area: Key Facts and Figures

The Boise-Nampa, Idaho metropolitan area (also known as “Treasure Valley”) is located within the southwestern part of Idaho. It occupies approximately 11,700 square miles spanning five counties: Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem, and Owyhee.

The Boise metro area has experienced significant population growth over the past few years, especially in surrounding cities like Meridian and Nampa. As of the last official tally, approximately 800,000 residents lived in the area.

Major cities in the area include:

  • Boise: Idaho’s capital and largest city, the core of the metro area
  • Nampa: Second-largest city in the region, located west of Boise
  • Meridian: Third-largest city, a rapidly growing suburb west of Boise

Agriculture was one of the primary drivers of Boise’s early economy. But the metro area has diversified since then and is no longer reliant on a single sector. Today, Boise’s economy includes a variety of sectors including technology, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Major employers in the area include Micron Technology, Boise State University, St. Luke’s Health System, Hewlett-Packard, and the state government. The state of Idaho maintains a pro-business climate, attracting companies and fostering a startup scene.

Other Things to Know Before Relocating to Boise

The Boise area is an outdoor lover’s paradise.

The Boise River is a popular local attraction that offers everything from fishing to tubing. There’s also an extensive riverside trail network, hiking and biking opportunities, and proximity to various mountains and ski resorts.

For these and other reasons, Boise frequently ranks high for factors such as livability, quality of life, and being a good place to raise a family.

Like much of the American West, this area has a strong Basque heritage that dates back to the 1800s. According to the downtown Boise Association: “Numbering about 16,000, Boise’s Basque community is one of the largest such communities in the United States.”

Boise Housing Market Overview

Boise, Idaho became one of the most competitive real estate markets in the country during the pandemic, with a sharp upturn in prices. And while the market has cooled since then, it remains competitive for those interested in buying a home in Boise, ID.

Tight inventory conditions continue to challenge home buyers across the Boise metro area. If you’re moving into the area and plan to buy a home, this will likely be your biggest obstacle. But patience and persistence usually pay off in the end.

As far as home prices go, the city of Boise itself is slightly more expensive than the national average. But some of the surrounding cities, such as Nampa, offer home prices that are on par with the national average.

Here’s how the median home prices in the metro area’s three largest cities compared to the national average, as of early 2024:

  • Boise: $468,000 (approximately 16% higher than national average)
  • Meridian: $517,000 (30% higher than national avg.)
  • Nampa: $403,000 (3% higher than national)

These numbers will likely change by the time you read this article. But they’re still useful for market research purposes. They illustrate how prices can vary across the metro area, and also how they compare to the rest of the nation.

Aside from the Great Recession and the post-pandemic nationwide real estate downturn, Boise, ID home prices tend to rise steadily over time.

As a future home buyer, spend some time exploring the different neighborhoods, communities, and cities that make up the Boise metro area. Whether that means a short-term rental situation, or just an extended vacation, a little onsite research goes a long way.

Factors That Attract Home Buyers

Home buyers have flocked to the Boise metro area over the past few years. Here are some of the often-cited reasons why people relocate from elsewhere in the country.

  • Affordability (Historically): While prices have risen, Boise was traditionally more affordable than major West Coast cities. Before the pandemic, the median home value was around $300,000.
  • Quality of Life: The area provides a good balance of urban amenities, outdoor recreation, and a smaller-city feel, leading to high rankings in “livability” polls.
  • Job Market: Boise has a diverse and growing economy, attracting workers in various sectors. The unemployment rate was down to 3.0% when this article was published, lower than the national average of 3.7%.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Access to the Boise River, Greenbelt, foothills, and skiing makes it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

The states that have supplied the most new residents over the past five years include: California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Texas. It’s noteworthy that many of these newcomers originate from West Coast states.

Many people from the more rural parts of Idaho are also moving into the Boise area, seeking economic opportunities and amenities.

The bottom line: From a relocation and real estate perspective, there’s a lot to like about the Boise, Idaho metro area. It offers a desirable quality of life, growing economic opportunities, and a beautiful natural setting.

If you’re thinking of relocating to Boise, ID, be sure to reach out to your local mortgage lender. Your first step is to get pre-approved for home in Boise to find out what you can afford in a home purchase. Once you’ve got your finances lined up, you’re ready to start the process of buying a home in the Boise, Idaho Metropolitan Area!

Other Blogs You May Like
Boise, Idaho Housing Market Forecast for 2024
January 31, 2024
4 min read
Boise, Idaho Housing Market Forecast for 2024
Recent forecasts for the Boise, Idaho housing market in 2024 suggest the market could look very...
Boise Real Estate Market: Prices – Trends – Forecast 2024
January 31, 2024
8 min read
Boise Real Estate Market: Prices - Trends - Forecast 2024
What are the top Boise real estate trends this year? Perhaps more importantly, what is the Boise...
Show 18 more posts
from this category

Connect with a Mortgage Advisor Today!

Whether you’re buying a home or ready to refinance, our professionals can help.

Compare Mortgage Rates in Your Area Instantly

No Obligation and transparency 24/7. Instantly compare live rates and costs from our network of lenders across the country. Real-time accurate rates and closing costs for a variety of loan programs custom to your specific situation.

Subscribe to our newsletter