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Buffalo
  • $450   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $769   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1270   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

91% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
severe winter snow
few traffic jams, winter recreation, snow sports, waterfront 6
lumberjacks be pullin syrup out of trees, snow walls, poor white people, botanical gardens, rick james corpse, rich white people, used to play pro hockey, more gentrification, and canada, eh? are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Buffalo roommate rundown:

Buffalo is near the US border with Canada, opposite Fort Erie, Ontario. Buffalo proper is very small, but the larger Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro area has over a million folks. Crossing back and forth at the four border crossings is popular and easy for anyone with a passport.

Buffalo is VERY cheap for New York state. That's mostly because it's closer to Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh than NYC. Your lifestyle expenses will be much more similar to Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh as well. All comparatively cheap for metros around that size!

Severe snow happens, immediately followed by city crews removing it. Buffalo handles its winter well; residents in town don't have to slow down much.

And yes, you should eat the famous wings and see the famous Falls once or twice, more if you're into them.

But it's even more Buffalo-typical to eat Cheerios with your roommates on your porch!

The rest of the Buffalo roommate lowdown:

  • located on the eastern end of Lake Erie, near the United States border with Canada, opposite Fort Erie, Ontario - small city of about 275,000, but the larger Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area is over a million estimated population
  • Buffalo is divided into 5 districts and 35 neighborhoods. Main Street divides the city with the West Side somewhat more expensive than the East Side.
  • VERY low cost of living FOR New York state, which makes sense as Buffalo is actually closer to Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh than NYC
  • severe winter snow (about 100 inches annually!) during about 7 months of winter, but snow doesn't sideline most Buffalonians as city crews plow and salt the roads regularly
  • Everyone loves the weather all the rest of the time that's not winter.
  • home to three State University of New York campuses, including University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, and Erie Community College
  • The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) operates Buffalo's public transportation, including its airport, over 300 buses, light-rail system, and harbors.
  • There are four border crossings from the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area into Canada. Crossing the border is usually easy if you have a passport.
  • waterfront hub, the city's total area is about 22% water
  • While crime in Buffalo is still higher than the national average, crime has decreased significantly since the end of the crack epidemic in the 1990s.



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

  • Cheerios: They've been made in Buffalo for over 75 years. A toasty oat aroma wafts along the Buffalo River as they bake them fresh every day. You could also wear the popular local T-shirt that says, "My city smells like Cheerios" as that will frequently come true if you move here.
  • Architecture: Buffalo is rated one of the top cities in the country for architecture, featuring many buildings considered masterpieces, including the Buffalo Central Terminal, the Buffalo City Court Building, the Seneca One Tower, the Darwin D. Martin House Complex, and the Art Deco Buffalo City Hall
  • Art Galleries: Over 50 art galleries, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the Buffalo History Museum, and the Buffalo Museum of Science
  • Honeycomb Toffee, Butter Lambs, and Beef on Weck: In addition to the famous wings, Buffalo is known for its honeycomb toffee (a sponge made from mostly molasses and baking soda), butter lambs (tiny frozen sculptures made of butter with eyes of peppercorn or clove), and beef on weck (rare roast beef sandwiches served with horseradish and dipped in au jus). Food trucks are very popular.
  • Niagara Falls is a major tourist attraction, mostly during summer.
  • Buffalo Theater District: over 20 professional theater companies
  • Porchfests: Various Buffalo Porchfests feature many beers plus many bands showcasing themselves on porch "stages" all over the city. The original kicked off in Elmwood Village, but newer porch-centric events are also underway in other celebratory Buffalo neighborhoods. If you and your roommates have a porch, you might consider letting local musicians use it as a stage! They'll probably only be there temporarily. Probably.
  • Grain Silos: Many miles of giant hollow abandoned grain silos along the Buffalo River are getting a second life as they're transformed into cultural spaces for poetry, live music, and theater performances. Both public vs. private and walking vs. boating tours are available. Some tours would take you and your roommates all the way to the stunning tops of the now historical grain elevators.


Here's the link to sign up for BUFFALERT, which will send you text messages to warn you of upcoming possible emergencies in Buffalo.





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.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


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.