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Old 12-11-2015, 03:14 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado
3,268 posts, read 4,007,766 times
Reputation: 4195

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Hi, I just lost my job of 15 years working as a software developer in small family business. Basically my life is in the dumps and I am saving the money I have so I can study new technologies for the next year which will allow me to either start a new business of my own or be able to look for a higher paying job in the IT field. I am wanting to move to Boise, VERY POSSIBLY, because it is very cheap to live, at least relative to the Seattle area where I Live now. On top of that I utterly dislike Seattle, being a more conservative person and am also sick of the traffic and rather icy, cold unfriendly culture here and the weather is not so lovely either. I remember when I lived in Idaho it was a friendly place and the weather was very nice, either dry hot , mild or dry cold, which was easier to take than Washington's hot humid summers and perpetually wet and dark winters.

Anyhow, I am considering moving to Idaho now out of necessity, not because of political ideologies, weather or any of that. To be frank, Boise, is a very livable city and has the amenities I need. I feel if I am going to live in poverty, Boise would be a better place to live while I get myself together after the company I was working in for so many years laid me off.

I know that Idaho has pretty high taxes for an income earner or business person, despite being a "Red" state. So, I do not have long term prospects in Idaho unless, but for the next year or maybe bit longer i would like to be there so I Can save money and still enjoy the mountains before I inevitably have to go East. I'm eventually thinking I may end up in North Carolina , Tennessee or Texas (G-d forbid, but who knows? P.S. Mountain man here, flat, hot, humid I don't like.) so that I can find a software job and live in a place where I can actually put money in the bank. Living in Seattle is just becoming astronomically expensive and it's becoming overwhelmingly a playground for the rich while paychecks have become stagnant. In Seattle, software guys are practically like blue collar factory workers and even may make less if you consider the high priced neighborhoods they are forced to live.

As long as I am trying to save money, Idaho sounds good. With the 8% state income tax in Idaho (Red State?? ) , I would probably get raped hard if I ever had any type of profitable business. I am hoping during my study time and with my current software experience to launch a business that designs custom desktop and web business applications and also can offer software based consulting to businesses. However, I may be also open to doing part-time work to supplement my income in the Boise area, so I may be open to know what type of IT jobs may be available in the Boise area. I've heard the market has been improving, but Idaho, like my home state of Oregon, seems to be very fiscally socialist and business unfriendly, so the enterprise and even startup level job markets are not thriving. However, if anyone can fill me in on any opportunities in IT/Software Developer market in Boise I would be eager to hear.

I guess on that note, my one final and a very BIG question is what areas in Boise or around Boise would people think in the current rental market that I can rent a safe duplex or apartment (hopefully with 1 car garage) for $800 /mo or under. I see in Boise, unlike Seattle, many landlords actually pay utilities like water, sewer and even garbage. Even if they don't I hear they are significantly cheaper than in the Seattle area. Considering, I grew up in Oregon and lived in Portland for 10+ years and Seattle now for 3+ years I Have experienced some areas that truly can be considered "crappy". When I lived in Boise, people told me Garden City was dangerous and ghetto, but driving around I kept scratching my head and wondering where the dangerous area was or the ghetto. Heck, I am yet to see any city in the South Sound of Puget Sound area that looks as nice and safe as Garden City. Is Garden City really that bad?

So, as far as neighborhoods, can anyone give me any pointers or advice.. I see some areas look fairly cheap and I have considered them and have been to them before, but it has now been over 3 years. I'm looking into Nampa, West Boise, Mountain Home, Star, Emmett and few other places that seem to have decent price rentals. The low prices of Mountain Home really stuck out to me. Can anyone tell me why Mountain Home is so cheap? Is it because jets fly over your home 24-7? What is the deal ? If it is the farther location from Boise, it still doesn't seem any farther than Nampa or Star and has benefit of freeway versus the crappy and crowded state roads I had to drive back when I lived in the Star area.

I have heard from enough people that Caldwell definitely can fit well into the "ghetto" or "grimey" category. My apologies to those who may live there, but after living in Boise for a year, I have heard enough people trash on this town, even people I met who lived there. From talking to enough people and noticing it does have a higher crime rate, I will avoid Caldwell. IT is also a bit farther out. However, what are people's opinions about Nampa? Is that beet factory smell still as horrible as it was 3 years ago? Somebody I met on CD said they closed it down.

My goal is to live in a place that is cheap, quiet, safe and not a roach infested hovel. I'd like to live in a place where my house won't be broken into. I don't care about fancy , hip, trendy, high-end, just safe, clean and quiet, so I can get work done and not get jacked. I've lived in my share of hoods and have lived in high end neighborhoods, like where I am now.

I'm eager to hear opinions from people here and advice.. It's been a while, but I am actually excited to leave Seattle, all the traffic, snobby people, ultra-liberalism (worse than anything I experienced in Boise), exorbitant costs and dreary weather.


My life is kind of in the dumps now, lost my career, selling off all my possessions and just trying to find a new meaning in life.. Won't get into details, but would appreciate advice on Boise.

Last edited by RotseCherut; 12-11-2015 at 03:22 AM..
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado
3,268 posts, read 4,007,766 times
Reputation: 4195
Wow, the Boise forum is rockin'
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:15 AM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
3,110 posts, read 9,430,548 times
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Yeah...it is a bit quiet...I can hear the crickets chirping...
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:48 AM
 
742 posts, read 832,089 times
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Well, I mean... I suppose the advice is similar to what has already been posted many times over. Yes, you can find nice, safe neighborhoods for under $800, especially the further away from the North End and downtown you get. I would urge that you have a job in hand before moving. Despite some of the more, uh, "rosy" opinions in this regard, I still think it's very difficult to find a job here. I had some high school friends that moved back who are working entry level HVAC and retail right now, despite being 35 years old, because they moved back without job in hand, and they need to pay the bills. Both are college educated and have a decade or so in their respective fields, by the way..

So, sure... West Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Kuna, Nampa... should all be fine.

I surely wouldn't go out to Mountain Home unless you plan on living there. Commuting from Mtn. Home to Boise is ridiculous; I84 is a death trap in the winter. And you're not going to save a ton of money living way out there over what you would in Nampa.

I know that from the sounds of your post you're having a hard time and you're probably thinking you need a fresh start. But I would go into this sort of move with eyes open. No place is perfect. Boise may or may not be the place for you; it may or may not work out. It's impossible for anyone to say. The weather and winters here are dreary enough for 4-5 months that if you suffer from SAD, sun deprivation, and feel the dark, cold, gray weather as oppressive... you're going to notice that here, too. It kind of compounds because we're in the desert, so it's brown and yellow and sorta ugly, and not the beautiful green you have in the PNW. We're also not like Denver, which gets sunshine with its snow. Since the middle of November it's been either snowy, inversion, or raining... and while the temps have been pretty warm (with the exception of the inversion), we haven't seen a lot of sun. Just something to think about.

So you can give it a try, and see if it works out, and if not, move on, and if so, then awesome. But I don't know really what else you really want the forum to say, unless it is to commiserate.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado
3,268 posts, read 4,007,766 times
Reputation: 4195
Thanks for responding Vandals. Being on the busy Seattle forum for so long, I didn't realize how quiet the Boise forum was.

I have lived in Boise for a year so I do have a little familiarity with the area. What you said about the winter weather strikes me as odd, as I did a whole winter in Boise and what struck me was how dry, cold and sunny it was. Maybe, it was an odd year and I know with this El Nino weather system in the Northwest we have had more and heavier rain than usual. However, I remember a few years ago it being 35F outside and I was in my t-shirt drinking coffee in my backyard, because it was such a dry and sunny cold.

Anyway, as I wrote above in my first post, that I will not be needing a job and the reason I am moving there is so I can spend a year or so studying web and other programming technologies and build my skill set while living cheaply. As I stated above, that I didn't think there was much for job offerings in the area and would not rely on the local economy. The state tax alone would mean running a business there or working a full time or contractor job would not be desirable in the long term either. That is, unless, I just want to spend years living in a place like Nampa Or Kuna, where it is cheap, which I probably wouldn't.

My goal would be to live in the Boise area for a year or so, since it is cheap to live there. I will be coming with enough money to survive at least a year until I need to relocate, probably out East, like to Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, etc and find a place with lower taxes and a decent job market.

However, I wanted to enjoy Boise area for a year and live as cheaply as possible. If, for some reason, I hit it big with my own business or get some amazing job offer, maybe I could stay longer, but Idaho's heavy tax burden on small businesses would probably make me think twice for the long term. The nicer areas of Boise are not particularly cheap if you are a high wage earner and forking out $500/mo on state taxes. Boise rent's have also gone up since I lived there a few years ago.

Nampa still looks like a bargain and I have heard it is fairly safe area. In fact, there is no where in the Treasure Valley I felt particularly unsafe or threatened, although I have never been to Caldwell.

Yeah, I am reassessing living in Mountain Home. I thought it was closer to Boise, but can see it is actually almost 50 miles away and the prices are not significantly cheaper than Star or Nampa.

Last edited by RotseCherut; 12-14-2015 at 07:27 PM..
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:44 AM
 
742 posts, read 832,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RotseCherut View Post
Thanks for responding Vandals. Being on the busy Seattle forum for so long, I didn't realize how quiet the Boise forum was.

I have lived in Boise for a year so I do have a little familiarity with the area. What you said about the winter weather strikes me as odd, as I did a whole winter in Boise and what struck me was how dry, cold and sunny it was. Maybe, it was an odd year and I know with this El Nino weather system in the Northwest we have had more and heavier rain than usual. However, I remember a few years ago it being 35F outside and I was in my t-shirt drinking coffee in my backyard, because it was such a dry and sunny cold.

Anyway, as I wrote above in my first post, that I will not be needing a job and the reason I am moving there is so I can spend a year or so studying web and other programming technologies and build my skill set while living cheaply. As I stated above, that I didn't think there was much for job offerings in the area and would not rely on the local economy. The state tax alone would mean running a business there or working a full time or contractor job would not be desirable in the long term either. That is, unless, I just want to spend years living in a place like Nampa Or Kuna, where it is cheap, which I probably wouldn't.

My goal would be to live in the Boise area for a year or so, since it is cheap to live there. I will be coming with enough money to survive at least a year until I need to relocate, probably out East, like to Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, etc and find a place with lower taxes and a decent job market.

However, I wanted to enjoy Boise area for a year and live as cheaply as possible. If, for some reason, I hit it big with my own business or get some amazing job offer, maybe I could stay longer, but Idaho's heavy tax burden on small businesses would probably make me think twice for the long term. The nicer areas of Boise are not particularly cheap if you are a high wage earner and forking out $500/mo on state taxes. Boise rent's have also gone up since I lived there a few years ago.

Nampa still looks like a bargain and I have heard it is fairly safe area. In fact, there is no where in the Treasure Valley I felt particularly unsafe or threatened, although I have never been to Caldwell.

Yeah, I am reassessing living in Mountain Home. I thought it was closer to Boise, but can see it is actually almost 50 miles away and the prices are not significantly cheaper than Star or Nampa.
People like to pretend winter in Southern Idaho / Boise is sunny, but it's not. Not as long as I've lived here, and I was born here and lived here for nearly all my life (minus some college years).

That's not to say we don't have some sunny or partly cloudy days - we do - but we tend to get a lot of cloud cover and inversion, especially in Boise. The temperatures aren't too bad, except for a few weeks during the season, but it does get hard not seeing the sun. PNW's know that all too well.

For instance, this winter has been fairly warm. We've had a few snow storms or snowfall, but it has melted and most of it has been rain. I have found this winter to actually be fairly pleasant, so far, compared to the last two years. But technically, winter is just beginning and we have another month or so of cold weather to go. So yeah, I think we're definitely seeing the El Nino here, too.

If you're coming here to live and you're not expected to work, I would really advise you to look for some cheap rentals in or around the downtown area. For the few hundred a month you might save being out in Nampa, you'll make up in gas and other expenses. It's night and day. You'll find so much to do being close to the river, Greenbelt, foothills, and downtown... versus being stuck out in mind-numbing suburbia.
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Old 12-27-2015, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado
3,268 posts, read 4,007,766 times
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Thinking I may look into renting a place in Nampa, Garden City, Meridian or somewhere else in West Boise.. If you think traffic and gas is bad living in a Nampa or West Boise, you would be terrified to see how much fuel and traffic you must endure living anywhere in the Puget Sound.. I live in the Snoqualmie Valley and a 30 mi drive can take an hour and a half, even at not the worst traffic peak times.

I think I will try to get the cheapest rental I can and if needed I can drive into Boise once a week for shopping and attempting to have some type of social life. From my memories, Boise is fairly Mormon/Christian Evangelical mix of people. A lot of people seem to marry young and the city seems mostly geared for families. The only nightlife is in the downtown area and seemed geared towards college kids. I do remember a very modest little hipster/liberal element in the downtown/North End areas. There seem to be a few places possibly geared to the 20/30s professional crowd, but not very prevalent. Most professionals I met in Boise were of the married/stay home on Saturday Christian/LDS types. Being a conservative Jewish guy, I probably will not generate a good deal of friends or have much in the way of social life.

I will also be working 12+ hours a day and my main goal is to survive. I'm hoping I can enjoy all that Boise has to offer, but being an upper 30 something guy, unmarried, living on a shoestring, non-Christian/non-LDS, non-Liberal I will probably not have much to do anyway.

I'm wondering if downtown Nampa has had any revitalization. From what I remember there was just a few bars.

Anyone know how far McCall area is from Boise if I wanted to do some weekend hikes?
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Boise, Idaho
704 posts, read 631,906 times
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I caution you on getting the cheapest rental you can find. Very seldom buying the cheapest anything reward you in the end. For example, renting an old home with poor insulation and heating/cooling systems can actually cost you more per month in the long long after you factor in utilities. If the only way something can compete with is lowest price, you should always ask yourself "why?". Paying the most somethings mean you are paying for bragging rights, etc., too so that isn't always the best solution either.

Downtown Nampa has done some revitalization with a brand new library, etc., and they have cleaned it up quite a bit too. They even have a restaurant (Little Saigon) that i have driven out of my way for. There is a hole in the wall brewery called the Crescent that does no marketing but is actually pretty good. I think it is probably the oldest micro brew place in the Treasure Valley. It is kind of like Cheers on TV as they cater to a lot of regulars but it very quiet which I like.

McCall is roughly a 2 hour drive from the Boise area. When it gets hot in Boise in the late summer, it is great to go hiking through the mountains any where around here. Be sure to check out the Ridge to Rivers trails in the foothills and mountains above Boise. Lots of outdoor places to enjoy within a two hour radius including Bogus Basin, Crouch/Garden Valley, Idaho City, Cascade and McCall.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:22 AM
 
55 posts, read 76,268 times
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RotseCherut, I'm also looking to move to Idaho (particularly Boise) and I work in IT. I'm coming FROM Texas (born and raised) and can agree with your sentiments towards the flat, hot, humid features of Texas (especially Houston). I traveled throughout all the east coast states and loved eastern Tennessee, but having been through the inland PNW, I found Idaho was for me (the Sawtooths sold me).

Everything about Idaho seems perfect except some of their taxing (food, income tax). However, I will admit, I won't miss the property tax rates here in Texas (3-4% here). A 200K home at 3% tax rate costs $500/mo in property taxes. This more than makes up for our absence of a state income tax. Fiscally, Tennessee is probably one of the easiest states to live in. Low taxation, low cost of living. But I've found I love the freedom that comes with living out west.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Boise, Idaho
704 posts, read 631,906 times
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As you look at real estate here in the Boise area, keep in mind that the tax assessor offers a "Home Owner's Exemption" that doesn't apply if the property is being used as a rental. That can make a difference in up to $89,580 in valuation (maximum exemption). There are different levies based on where a home is located, so here is the link to the Ada County Tax Assessor's website to help you understand where the money is going.

https://adacounty.id.gov/Assessor/Ap...y-Tax-District
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