A Tale of Two Cities: Comparing the Cost of Living in Boise, ID, and San Francisco, CA

picture of the golden gate bridge in san franciscodowntown boise

Are you considering a move from the bustling city of San Francisco, California, to the charming city of Boise, Idaho? If so, you're not alone. Many people are drawn to Boise for its lower cost of living, stunning natural beauty, and high quality of life. In this post, we'll compare the cost of living between Boise and San Francisco. We will also explore the differences in schools as well as some of the local things you can do in the Boise area.

Cost of Living

One of the biggest differences between Boise and San Francisco is the cost of living. According to recent data, the cost of living in Boise is significantly lower than in San Francisco. Housing costs in Boise are approximately 60% lower than in San Francisco, and overall, the cost of living is about 40% lower. This means that you can enjoy a higher standard of living in Boise for a fraction of the cost of living in San Francisco.

School Rankings

Boise's schools are known for their high academic standards, dedicated teachers, and strong community support. Boise School District, the largest in Idaho, consistently ranks among the top school districts in the state. According to Niche.com, Boise School District has an overall Niche grade of A-, with high marks for academics, teachers, and college readiness.

In comparison, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) faces challenges with funding and resources. According to GreatSchools.org, SFUSD has a rating of 5 out of 10, based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. This is lower than the state average.

Local Things to Do in Boise

Boise offers a wide range of activities, restaurants, shopping, and lifestyle options for residents to enjoy. Here are some local things to do in the Boise area:

Outdoor Activities: Boise is known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and skiing. The Boise River Greenbelt offers 25 miles of scenic trails for walking, running, and biking.

Restaurants: Boise has a thriving food scene with a variety of restaurants to choose from. Local favorites include the Basque Market, known for its authentic Basque cuisine, and Fork, a farm-to-table restaurant with a focus on local ingredients.

Shopping: Boise offers a mix of shopping options, from boutique shops in the downtown area to larger shopping centers like the Boise Towne Square Mall. The Capital City Public Market is also a popular destination for local produce and crafts.

Lifestyle: Boise has a laid-back lifestyle with a strong sense of community. The city is known for its friendly residents, low crime rate, and high quality of life. The cost of living in Boise allows residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Ready to make a move to the Boise, ID area?

To get started on making a move to the Boise area, the first step is to continue researching the area and determine which neighborhoods best fit your lifestyle and budget. Next, it's important to visit Boise in person to get a feel for the city and its amenities. While visiting, consider meeting with a local Boise real estate agent who can provide valuable insights into the housing market and help you find your perfect home. One of our favorite ways to get Boise home buyers familiar with the community is to spend time in the city taking advantage of all the wonderful lifestyle options mentioned above.

In conclusion, Boise offers a lower cost of living and a high quality of life compared to San Francisco. If you're considering a move to Boise, you'll find a welcoming community, stunning natural beauty, and plenty of local things to do. Whether you're interested in outdoor activities, dining, shopping, or simply enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle, Boise has something for everyone.


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