Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving to Idaho

Moving to Idaho is a great decision if you like the calm and nature. Idaho is famous for its potatoes, however, it’s officially known as the Gem State because of the abundance of natural resources and scenic areas. It’s a state with a competitive job market and low crime rates. 

You’ll also discover that everything in Idaho is quite accessible and there is rarely any traffic.

So, if you are considering moving to Idaho, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Idaho of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Idaho.

Moving to Idaho: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Idaho

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Idaho, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Idaho, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Idaho? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Idaho had an unemployment rate of 3.1%, which is the higher than 3.00% last August 2023.

Jobs that are often in high demand are administrative assistants, sales representatives, cook, and local truck drivers.

Finding a job in Idaho is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Idaho from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Idaho. Book a flight from your departure city to Boise Airport, depending on your destination within Idaho.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Idaho cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Idaho may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to Idaho permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Idaho, selling or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell your old household items and personal possessions, and anything that will not be useful. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Idaho, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.

2. Upon your arrival in Idaho

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

Most people in Idaho get around by car. There is also a huge network of bike paths running throughout the Boise area. Boise also has a good public transportation system. The public transportation system in Boise is known as Valley Regional Transit that provides bus transportation at affordable rates.

Exchanging your driver’s license

If you have recently moved to Idaho, you will be required to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to the state within 90 days of moving to the state. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you will only have 30 days to transfer it over. To get a list of all the documents required, you can visit the DMV website.

Register your vehicle

If you’ve brought your out-of-state vehicle with you to Idaho, you’ll need to have it registered in Idaho within 90 days of establishing Idaho residency. You must title the car before registering. Register in person at any local DMV office.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Idaho, like the DMV. You’ll need to visit your local DMV office. You can register to vote in person or by mail by simply completing the Idaho Voter Registration Form.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Idaho is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Idaho for easy access is U.S. Bank. Idaho’s residents has access to a whopping 69 offices of U.S. Bank in the state.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Idaho proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Idaho as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$98.25

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

$462.00

Gym

$31.00

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Idaho

Best places to live in Idaho

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Boise. It is the state capital with a reasonably priced cost of living.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Eagle. It is a suburb of Boise and has some good public schools as well as other facilities. It’s a beautiful, safe and a family-friendly town.

If you are single, you should consider moving to Moscow. It’s a college town with a lot of opportunities to explore and socialize. Moscow is known as the place where people come to start over, so it’s perfect if you’re recently single

 Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, gas, and internet in Idaho is a straightforward process. 

  • For electricity set up, you can either contact or visit the website of Idaho Power. To set up water in Idaho, you can visit the website of Suez. Intermountain Gas Company is a reliable gas supply company that is known for its great customer service. You can simply visit their website or contact them to set up gas supply in your new home.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Idaho home value is $441,312, went down by 6.6% from 2022. Idaho’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $364.03.

Finding an apartment for rent in Idaho is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and Apartments.com. When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Idaho.

Cost of rent in Idaho

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Boise (Outside of Center)

$1,287.50

$2,000.00

Cost of buying a property in Idaho

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Boise

$441,312

Numbeo (Oct 2023)Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

Getting a property insurance plan is a great idea when you move to Idaho, to cover for damages caused by natural disasters. Flooding is the most common natural disaster that occurs in Idaho. The better the coverage, the less you’ll have to pay when any natural disaster damages your home.

4. Cost of living in Idaho

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,287.50

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($58.64 multiplied by 4)

$234.56

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$147.21

Internet with 60 Mbps

$64.01

Transit pass

$42.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$71.00

Gym membership 

$31.00

Total

$1,877.28

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Idaho

On average, there are 206 sunny days per year in Idaho. The hottest month in Idaho is July, with an average temperature of 92° and the coldest is January at 24 degrees.

The most pleasant months of the year in Idaho are September, June and August. Moreover, 7 months of the year experience snowfall in Idaho, December being the snowiest of them all with 13.7 inches of snow on average.

6. What to do as a local in Idaho

There are a lot of exciting things to do in Idaho. It is an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts and people who like the calm. 

There are a lot of activities to do in Idaho such as: mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and fishing on the Big Wood River. It is a state filled with many natural open spaces!

Some common grocery stores in Idaho are: Idaho City Grocery, WinCo Foods, and Fred Meyer.

The two most popular big chain stores are Big Lots and Walmart.

Must-visit food places in Idaho are Copper Rill Restaurant and The SnakeBite Restaurant.

Visit the popular cities in Idaho: Boise, Idaho City, and Meridian.

7. Fun facts about Idaho

  • Fun Fact #1: Idaho is referred to as the Gem State.
  • Fun Fact #2: Idaho grows around one third of America’s potatoes.
  • Fun Fact #3: Heaven’s Gate Lookout is a location in Idaho where you can see Washington and Montana.

Conclusion

Idaho hosts colleges like Boise State University, the University of Idaho, and Idaho State University, providing more educational options in the United States. Housing costs recently decreased by 6.6% in 2023, making it more affordable. The state’s diverse landscapes offer outdoor activities, from exploring the Sawtooth Mountains to kayaking in its rivers, making it an enjoyable activity for locals.

While moving to Idaho has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Idaho is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Idaho. 

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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