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Boise
  • $520   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $756   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1324   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northwest US)

70% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
rush hour, hitting a cow
stunning views, temperate climate, bicycle-friendly, hiking, winter recreation 6
californians, more californians, river tubes, gentrification goin on here, busy road and campus bars, rich people on a hill, street racing, chain restaurants and traffic, and wow look giraffes are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Boise roommate rundown:

Boise is Idaho's most populous city, its capital, and its cultural center. Boise hosts Idaho's largest university and most of its museums and sports teams. In short, Boise has all the Idaho.

And all the Idaho is increasingly popular and populated? A lot more students lately, in particular?

Rental options are increasing along with average rent and student density, so many with less to spend may merely need to be more flexible. Renting a room in an owner-occupied home farther away from the trendy center is increasingly an option for many roommates whose income didn't keep up with local demand.

Boise loves to ride their bicycles. Many commute along a network of bike paths including the Boise River Greenbelt. Or you could hike those. Or you could hike and bike them both on your way to the mountains for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.

What we're saying is the urban outdoorsy here is really on point.

You can't get better urban outdoorsy than Boise, especially for this rent in the Pacific NW.

The rest of the Boise roommate lowdown:

  • Boise is the most populous city in Idaho (about 225,000) and also the capital.
  • Boise manages to be both urban and outdoorsy while maintaining a smaller town cost of living.
  • The climate is generally dry with low humidity, with occasional summer heatwaves and freezing winter storms. Boise has four distinct seasons but the weather is still mostly mild, and outdoor recreation is possible most of the year.
  • Boise has very low crime, particularly for a capital city.
  • Boise is considered the cultural center of Idaho. The Basque Block is downtown, celebrating Idaho's ethnic Basque community, one of the largest in the US.
  • If you and your roommates don't live close to where you work and also don't really enjoy biking, you'll probably want a car. You'll also want to avoid the Boise Connector during rush hour. There's just one freeway connecting downtown with surrounding suburbs, so this smaller city still manages some serious traffic delays.
  • Boise has a large population of bicycle commuters who use the network of bike paths throughout the metro area, including the Boise River Greenbelt.
  • SO while city planners plan improvements soon, public transport isn't incredibly useful here now. So biking is great, walking is often OK, driving is a mixed bag, and public transport . . . not usually.
  • Boise hosts a few professional sports teams.
  • Skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing are available nearby in the Boise Mountains, and hiking and biking in the foothills north of downtown.
  • home to several museums, including the Boise Art Museum, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, the Discovery Center of Idaho, and the Idaho Black History Museum
  • home to Albertson College of Idaho, Northwest Nazarene College, Boise Bible, College, and Boise State University
  • If you or your roommates drive, you must not ever hit a cow or you might have to pay a rancher a lot of money. According to the Idaho DMV, the cows have forever right of way, so if you hit one you pay, and they're not cheap. In other words, hitting a cow is always your fault no matter how that happened or where that cow was standing. So help yourselves out by driving Boise with EXTREME cow caution.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Boise's:

  • Sequoia Tree: Idaho's largest giant sequoia tree can be found near St. Luke's Hospital. It's about 90 feet tall.
  • Gene Harris Jazz Festival: Every spring.
  • Idaho Aquarium.
  • Freak Alley: Said to be the largest outdoor art gallery in the Northwest. It's lots of murals and graffiti in an alley downtown. It gets completely painted over every few years, but it's all photographed and archived first, don't worry.
  • The Black Cliffs of Boise: Towering columns of black lava rock reaching for the sky. The volcanic basalt provides good handholds and footholds so they're very popular with climbers. They were burped up by an ancient volcano.
  • The Treasure Valley Rollergirls: All-female, DIY, flat track roller derby league based in Boise. They were founded in 2006, but became full-fledged members of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association in 2011. They have three home teams: the Sawtooth Sirens, the Owyhee Outlaws, and the Freak Alley Fugitives. You and your roommates could attend an international elimination tournament!


Here's the City of Boise Resident Hub, where you can pay utility bills and get info on neighborhoods and housing for new residents.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.