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Old 08-06-2015, 11:10 PM
 
9 posts, read 5,498 times
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Hi all. I've been a lurker for a while but felt this needed some input from you awesome folks.

My wife and I (as well as our closest married friends) are coming up to Boise for a little visit during Labor Day weekend, to experience the environment and see what we think. We are (basically) libertarian Christians from Commie-fornia (Stockton, specifically), who are all looking to relocate (because we are tired of the sirens, gunshots and political BS, lol) and after doing tons of research are coming to check it out.

This was decided basically last weekend, and what I'm looking for is some input as to the best way/places to visit, to get the best overview, if that makes sense. Is there any "must-do" or "don't bother" things we should be aware of? Obviously, I'm aware being from California makes everybody all or but I'm just looking to do some honest first hand research about the culture and environment.

Feel free to ask questions, I'm an open book. Thanks in advance!

(and yes I have searched for other topics as well as read through most of them.)


Cross posted in general Idaho.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:57 AM
 
742 posts, read 832,353 times
Reputation: 533
Are you searching for vacation spots, or are you searching for housing / neighborhoods / relocation?

There are a LOT of posts about this very topic already. It's really hard to give any input when your question is so open ended.

If you're coming out to vacation and see the pretty sites, that will take you in a few directions. If you looking to see what it might be like to live here, it's a different sort of response.

Big city? Small town? Are you retired? Will you be working? Bringing your own job, or needing to find one? Schools? Hospitals? Climate?

All of the stuff about libertarian Christian Californians doesn't mean anything. EVERYONE who moves here says that, and it is the sort of start that seems like you're just experiencing some sort of wanderlust (almost kind of like those who want to live in a waterfront cabin in the mountains on 10 acres with no neighbors and impressive views and within commuting distance to a city), but aren't very serious about the move. Being serious means coming up and driving in rush hour, seeing what winters here are like, figuring out the job situation, etc. Need more meaningful data.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:23 AM
 
9 posts, read 5,498 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by VandalsLOL View Post
Are you searching for vacation spots, or are you searching for housing / neighborhoods / relocation?

There are a LOT of posts about this very topic already. It's really hard to give any input when your question is so open ended.

If you're coming out to vacation and see the pretty sites, that will take you in a few directions. If you looking to see what it might be like to live here, it's a different sort of response.

Big city? Small town? Are you retired? Will you be working? Bringing your own job, or needing to find one? Schools? Hospitals? Climate?

All of the stuff about libertarian Christian Californians doesn't mean anything. EVERYONE who moves here says that, and it is the sort of start that seems like you're just experiencing some sort of wanderlust (almost kind of like those who want to live in a waterfront cabin in the mountains on 10 acres with no neighbors and impressive views and within commuting distance to a city), but aren't very serious about the move. Being serious means coming up and driving in rush hour, seeing what winters here are like, figuring out the job situation, etc. Need more meaningful data.

Understood. I'll put it like this...I'm getting the heck out of California no matter what it takes, lol. This trip is for me to see if Idaho is the place where I put my new roots. I'm not retired, work in IT (I know slim pickings), but also currently run my own IT business, which could be what I do as a job where ever I land, or not, it doesn't really matter to me. We don't have kids yet, but schools will be a consideration. Climate, 4 seasons. My family lived in Colorado for a time so winter isn't foreign to me.

I told my buddy who is coming with, that I'm to the point of just stopping random people on the street or wherever I find them and just asking questions to find out what I'm looking for. Haven't made that list of questions yet, but you get my point hopefully. Does that help? This is a complete research trip for me. I can see the "pretty sites" any time.

Thanks for your response!
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:43 AM
 
742 posts, read 832,353 times
Reputation: 533
If it's a complete research trip, were I in your situation I'd do a few things.

1. Come at least 2-3 different times. It does you no good to come during the nice weather season (Sept-Oct). There isn't a person on this planet who will hate Idaho during those months. You need to come in Jan or Feb (when it is cold, gray, snowy, and windy) and then probably again in July or early August (when it is hot and often smoky). Drive the roads during those times, get into rush hour and see what commuting to and from different places is like. See what it's like trying to get out of town on a Friday night, etc.

I really mean it when I distinguish between taking a vacation (sight seeing) and trying to figure out what life is like here. I have friends all up and down California, and when I go visit, and we go see all the sights, and are able to beat the crowds and skip rush hour, it is a thoroughly enjoyable trip. Heck, who wouldn't want to move to California if you ignored everything that made it a bad place to live? But then when I start thinking about the reality of it, what it costs to live there, the commutes, the security and safety issues, and on and on... well, it's a different story.

It's no different here. Go see the Sawtooths and you'll want to move here because your imagination sees you and your family hiking and camping every weekend. But that's just not the reality, necessarily (not saying you couldn't camp every weekend, just that there's much more to it). So go pound the streets, commute in rush hour, keep in mind that, yes, coming from California it will seem like peanuts, but you will get acclimated. It is very strange to drive more than 30-40 minutes within town or a metro area to get somewhere here, and it's frustrating for most of us. It will be for you to, eventually, should you move here. Save the 2-3 hour drives for getting away, not for getting to work.

2. Plan on needing to stage in at least 3 areas: Boise if you're looking at southwest/central Idaho; Idaho Falls or Pocatello if you're looking in eastern Idaho; and C'dA if you're looking at Northern Idaho. It's about 4-5 (long) hours between Boise and IF, and 7-8 to get to C'dA from Boise, and that's a pretty tough drive. It would be virtually impossible to try and explore those parts of the state in the same trip, by car, unless you're here a month.

3. Be a little realistic about your job prospects and quality of life. It's one thing to say that you'll move somewhere and make it work no matter what, but it's another when you're risking the well being of your family and career doing so. For every few that made it work, there are lots who didn't, including some on this forum who have openly stated they came, gave it a shot, and had to move because they couldn't get a job, or they were woefully underpaid (to the tune of $30-$40k per year). You can't eat scenery, even if it makes you happier. There's a reason 40 some million people live in California, and it's not because they like crime, congestion, regulations, and living on top of each other. It's also the same reason so many people live in Boise than throughout the rest of the state - there's just more opportunity here, relatively speaking.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
879 posts, read 2,485,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VandalsLOL View Post
3. Be a little realistic about your job prospects and quality of life. It's one thing to say that you'll move somewhere and make it work no matter what, but it's another when you're risking the well being of your family and career doing so. For every few that made it work, there are lots who didn't, including some on this forum who have openly stated they came, gave it a shot, and had to move because they couldn't get a job, or they were woefully underpaid (to the tune of $30-$40k per year). You can't eat scenery, even if it makes you happier. There's a reason 40 some million people live in California, and it's not because they like crime, congestion, regulations, and living on top of each other. It's also the same reason so many people live in Boise than throughout the rest of the state - there's just more opportunity here, relatively speaking.
This is a good point that many miss. I tried to move back to Boise last summer and I didn't have the luxury of months of savings or extra income to wait it out or end up with a low paying job. I applied 1 for 1; for every one job in Boise I applied for one job in California. I like both places and was just considering a change of pace and be near family. I used an Idaho address and 208 google phone number and still didn't get ONE legit call back in Boise. I did get ONE temp agency saying I'm great for a call center job starting at $9/hour. Sorry, $20/hour in LA (still not much) is still better than $9/hour in Boise. So I was offered a job back in the LA Area and promptly moved back.

Others will have different experiences or will be able to better balance things.

Another issue is that rents are skyrocketing in Boise, outpacing national trends. This just adds another element of risk and has made Boise less attractive for me to return to. Most don't want to buy in a place they're not sure about living in long term. But if you have the savings, job security, and credit it makes more sense to buy.

I completely understand one wanting to leave Stockton and the Central Valley in general. Boise is a great place with most of the amenities of a big city but without most of those big city problems. I could be mistaken but I don't know of a metro the size of Boise where you can float the river through town. Air quality is decent, traffic is manageable (dependent where you live), the pace isn't too slow but definitely isn't fast. Random violence is pretty much unheard of. Natural disasters aren't likely - although not impossible, especially fires and floods.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:00 PM
 
9 posts, read 5,498 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by VandalsLOL View Post
If it's a complete research trip, were I in your situation I'd do a few things.

1. Come at least 2-3 different times. It does you no good to come during the nice weather season (Sept-Oct). There isn't a person on this planet who will hate Idaho during those months. You need to come in Jan or Feb (when it is cold, gray, snowy, and windy) and then probably again in July or early August (when it is hot and often smoky). Drive the roads during those times, get into rush hour and see what commuting to and from different places is like. See what it's like trying to get out of town on a Friday night, etc.

I really mean it when I distinguish between taking a vacation (sight seeing) and trying to figure out what life is like here. I have friends all up and down California, and when I go visit, and we go see all the sights, and are able to beat the crowds and skip rush hour, it is a thoroughly enjoyable trip. Heck, who wouldn't want to move to California if you ignored everything that made it a bad place to live? But then when I start thinking about the reality of it, what it costs to live there, the commutes, the security and safety issues, and on and on... well, it's a different story.

It's no different here. Go see the Sawtooths and you'll want to move here because your imagination sees you and your family hiking and camping every weekend. But that's just not the reality, necessarily (not saying you couldn't camp every weekend, just that there's much more to it). So go pound the streets, commute in rush hour, keep in mind that, yes, coming from California it will seem like peanuts, but you will get acclimated. It is very strange to drive more than 30-40 minutes within town or a metro area to get somewhere here, and it's frustrating for most of us. It will be for you to, eventually, should you move here. Save the 2-3 hour drives for getting away, not for getting to work.

2. Plan on needing to stage in at least 3 areas: Boise if you're looking at southwest/central Idaho; Idaho Falls or Pocatello if you're looking in eastern Idaho; and C'dA if you're looking at Northern Idaho. It's about 4-5 (long) hours between Boise and IF, and 7-8 to get to C'dA from Boise, and that's a pretty tough drive. It would be virtually impossible to try and explore those parts of the state in the same trip, by car, unless you're here a month.

3. Be a little realistic about your job prospects and quality of life. It's one thing to say that you'll move somewhere and make it work no matter what, but it's another when you're risking the well being of your family and career doing so. For every few that made it work, there are lots who didn't, including some on this forum who have openly stated they came, gave it a shot, and had to move because they couldn't get a job, or they were woefully underpaid (to the tune of $30-$40k per year). You can't eat scenery, even if it makes you happier. There's a reason 40 some million people live in California, and it's not because they like crime, congestion, regulations, and living on top of each other. It's also the same reason so many people live in Boise than throughout the rest of the state - there's just more opportunity here, relatively speaking.

THANK YOU! That is the sort of stuff I am looking for exactly. I figure this will be a multi-stage thing, which is why I'm wanting this trip to be as beneficial as possible. I do have plans to come during the time frames you mentioned as well.

In relation to point 3, that is a big reason why we are looking now. My wife and I are still in an early part of our lives where we don't have kids or anything so we are doing the search now hopefully before our cost of living (as a family) goes up.

Thanks again for your post...It's surprisingly hard to get those kind of answers from people.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:04 PM
 
9 posts, read 5,498 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by boi2socal View Post
This is a good point that many miss. I tried to move back to Boise last summer and I didn't have the luxury of months of savings or extra income to wait it out or end up with a low paying job. I applied 1 for 1; for every one job in Boise I applied for one job in California. I like both places and was just considering a change of pace and be near family. I used an Idaho address and 208 google phone number and still didn't get ONE legit call back in Boise. I did get ONE temp agency saying I'm great for a call center job starting at $9/hour. Sorry, $20/hour in LA (still not much) is still better than $9/hour in Boise. So I was offered a job back in the LA Area and promptly moved back.

Others will have different experiences or will be able to better balance things.

Another issue is that rents are skyrocketing in Boise, outpacing national trends. This just adds another element of risk and has made Boise less attractive for me to return to. Most don't want to buy in a place they're not sure about living in long term. But if you have the savings, job security, and credit it makes more sense to buy.

I completely understand one wanting to leave Stockton and the Central Valley in general. Boise is a great place with most of the amenities of a big city but without most of those big city problems. I could be mistaken but I don't know of a metro the size of Boise where you can float the river through town. Air quality is decent, traffic is manageable (dependent where you live), the pace isn't too slow but definitely isn't fast. Random violence is pretty much unheard of. Natural disasters aren't likely - although not impossible, especially fires and floods.

Awesome to hear a different point of view, and I appreciate your post. We have thought about that, and that is one of my considerations when I'm looking at new places. The bottom line for me is to get out of California. I simply refuse to raise a family here. Coming to Boise is my first step in vetting a new environment, and further steps may be investigating UT, CO, or other states.

(Plus I'm secretly hoping that California splits into different states so I can just move to Jefferson and call it good. lol)
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
879 posts, read 2,485,636 times
Reputation: 440
Yeah the pay difference I'm sure varies by job. I assume, and I'm only assuming the tech jobs in Boise pay ok when compared to cost of living.

My friend works for LAWA, the entity that controls LAX and makes nearly 3x what a City of Boise employee would make in the same field BUT City of Boise requires more experience to start. It is pretty crazy. Granted LAX is one of the busiest airports in the world but at the end of the day it is still the same job.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:21 PM
 
695 posts, read 687,945 times
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I hear you on the "out of California, no matter what" feeling!

No place is perfect, but from a Californian who itched to leave Jerry Brown's quagmire, I have found Idaho to be as close to nirvana as I can get. After researching for years, visiting numerous times (Colorado too, as well as having traveled to many other states), and getting to know the people, Idaho has not been a disappointment. Are there things I'd like to be different - of course, but nothing that has given me one iota of regret.

For me, the open spaces within scant miles of a reasonably sized city was the key, a best of both worlds scene. A college town meant events, concerts, sports and more. Wine country and a (still small, but very decent) micro brew culture. Up and coming restaurants for foodies. A city capital that doesn't require you to strip naked and sign off your first borne to visit.

And FREEDOM for the most part as Idaho is not a nanny state yet.

Lower CoL, housing, gas. utilities (good for retirees, or semi-retirees). Four seasons but no extremes. LOTS of cultural activities and events, way more than I had imagined, was a pleasant surprise.

Most importantly, the kindness of Idaho's residents. Genuine, decent, good folks. Not everyone of course, but a MUCH larger majority than California! That was also a very pleasant surprise. I've read that others have said they find it hard to make friends here, happily, that has not been the case for me, not sure why, or that I am doing anything different or encountering different situations? But, like anything in life, it takes time, and generally you get what you put in, some luck helps to I suppose.

As for exploring the area - this is what we did, over the course of several visits:

1. Got a feel for neighborhoods and the average home cost in each. Did some comparisons on build quality and amenities provided by the various HOA's. You'll find many neighborhoods, with the exception of some older developments, have HOA's. Here is something you may not be aware of - most areas, you have "house water" and "irrigation water". Unlike CA, not all water provided to homes is potable. You're sprinklers will be irrigation water, that is "turned on" in your housing development sometime late Spring, and "turned off" late Fall. You will generally have two outside spigots (for your hose) that are "house water", but some homes have additional spigots that hooked up to their irrigation water. THIS SAVES YOU A BUNDLE ON WATER COSTS. Irrigation water, in my case (and most others I think) is charged via the city I live in, one a "once a season" basis. This year it was all of $65, ALL THE IRRIGATION WATER I WANT TO USE, from turn on, to turn off...for $65. Nice! I am still somewhat conservative, coming from CA, but since I love gardening, this is wonderful!

2. Shopped, or rather, browsed, to see what food, clothing, gas, eating out, etc. cost, as compared to CA. Gas, utilities, some groceries, are way cheaper, most everything else is pretty similar. Groceries are taxed here, but depending on where you shop, many grocery items are still less expensive than in CA so it often times balances out, or you come out ahead. Car repairs appear to be less as well.

3. Read the paper, watched the news, checked out FB for events to participate in. Great way to meet people and get a feel for the "human climate". Again, we were both surprised and thrilled to meet so many warm people!

4. Browsed the net for Chamber info. at various cities, most of them will let you look at their members list on-line so you can see what type businesses are local. Then went to those businesses websites and checked out their employment offerings.

5. Then, we relaxed and became serious tourists and had a wonderful time!!

Sorry to be so long-winded (fast fingers!), but hope this helps!
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Planet Earth, Milky Way
335 posts, read 279,762 times
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Originally Posted by webhead24688 View Post
Understood. I'll put it like this...I'm getting the heck out of California no matter what it takes, lol. This trip is for me to see if Idaho is the place where I put my new roots. I'm not retired, work in IT (I know slim pickings), but also currently run my own IT business, which could be what I do as a job where ever I land, or not, it doesn't really matter to me. We don't have kids yet, but schools will be a consideration. Climate, 4 seasons. My family lived in Colorado for a time so winter isn't foreign to me.

I told my buddy who is coming with, that I'm to the point of just stopping random people on the street or wherever I find them and just asking questions to find out what I'm looking for. Haven't made that list of questions yet, but you get my point hopefully. Does that help? This is a complete research trip for me. I can see the "pretty sites" any time.

Thanks for your response!
Visiting is entirely different from moving. I left california just a few months ago. I lived there for 31 years. I also did a relocation to the jersey shore years ago. Visited there like 8 times before I moved. when I got there I was like what did I do. You have to give your self a year to see if you like it. It seems the jobs here do not really pay at all, as its a right to work state. There is really nothing to not like about Idaho. Except for the low pay. I retired years ago but I still work so money is not a problem but I am not rich by any means and dont care to be either.
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