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Idaho was one of the last areas in the US to be explored by Europeans. Lewis and Clark’s expedition arrived in present-day Idaho in 1805, and over the coming decades, thousands more passed through the state as they traveled west on the Oregon Trail. But it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that Europeans established the first permanent settlement. When gold was found in Idaho in 1860, those looking to strike it rich were drawn to the state. But if you’re considering moving to Idaho today, gold is likely the last thing on your mind.
After all, there are plenty of other excellent reasons to consider living in the Gem State. Whether you want to live in urban cities, like Boise or Idaho Falls, or you’d rather stick to Idaho’s more rural areas, you’ll find that there’s plenty to do, see, and explore here. The cities are safe, clean, and organized, and the people here are friendly to a fault. Outdoor activities can be found everywhere, from hiking or off-roading in the Snake River Canyon, to snowboarding, tubing, and camping in one of the state’s many other wild places.
Idaho’s economy is also a big draw. Just about anyone can find a job, with an unemployment rate below the national average. The most important industries in this state might be obvious: agriculture, manufacturing, forestry, mining, and tourism. Yet the science and technology sector accounts for more than 70% of the state’s exports and 25% of the state’s revenue, too.
Idaho has a fascinating history and if the state’s homes could speak, what tales they would tell! Some of the most beautiful homes were built at the turn of the 20th century and many are still standing today. These historic homes generally fall right in line with the classic Victorian style. They tend to be large and luxurious. When these homes were originally built, many of them served double duty as housing for visiting clergy or as boarding houses. Today, one of the state’s most iconic historic homes, the Clark House, is now a bed and breakfast.
As you might expect, home styles of just about every kind can be found in Idaho. However, there’s one style that reigns supreme — rustic chic. This design loosely blends design elements of modern architecture and traditional log cabins. You’ll find lots of exposed wooden beams, large bay windows, and plenty of wooden construction elements in these sorts of homes.
Ranch, Craftsman, colonial, and Tudor-style homes are all popular here, too. However, certain design features are quite popular throughout the state. Patios are the most popular feature in Idaho’s housing market. According to Realm’s data analysis, they were mentioned in 6,341 recent real estate listings. It makes sense that Idaho homeowners would prioritize outdoor features, as the state offers beautiful natural landscapes.
While there are many older homes throughout the state, prospective homeowners will also find plenty of newer builds. In fact, Realm’s data analysis shows that most of the homes in Idaho were built much more recently, in 2005. And it seems that Idaho homeowners take care to keep their homes looking fresh. Realm’s data analysis revealed that other popular home features include exterior and interior paint work, both mentioned in 3,836 listings.
One of the biggest benefits of living in Idaho is that you’ll be able to experience all four seasons. The winters here can be a bit colder than you might expect and the summers a bit more hot and humid. Because of this, it’s a good idea to make sure your home’s HVAC systems are up to snuff when you have your home inspection done. The good news is that, according to Realm’s data analysis, HVAC work is among the most popular features in the Idaho housing market, with mentions in 3,901 recent listings.
Because much of Idaho real estate is rural, there’s a good chance that the home you buy will have an expansive backyard. If you do purchase a home on a large piece of property, you may consider adding a fence to provide privacy and keep out wildlife. You wouldn’t be alone in that decision, as fences were also on the list of most popular home features, appearing in 5,474 recent listings, according to Realm’s data analysis.
Public transportation can be an issue here, too. About 88% of the state is rural, meaning many of Idaho’s smaller towns and communities are spread far apart. It almost goes without saying that if you’re considering living in Idaho, you’ll want to have a car — and since many areas of the state receive heavy snowfall, you may also want to look for a home with a garage, so your car gets year-round protection from the elements.
Fortunately, snowfall is the only major weather or environmental concern you’ll have to worry about when living in Idaho. According to Realm’s data analysis, 99% of Idaho homes were not located in a flood zone and 99.04% aren’t located within designated perimeters for wildfires that occurred within the last five years.
Why is Idaho real estate so expensive?
Home prices in Idaho have gone up more than 37% since 2020. This housing market surge remains high due to low mortgage rates, as well as the ability for more people to work remotely. In the past, it would have been relatively challenging for you to move to Idaho if you were tied to a job in another city. Today, that’s less frequently the case, as the pandemic has changed the work landscape for many people. Now, you can enjoy the natural beauty of a state like Idaho while working for a company based across the country. As more people flock to Idaho and the demand for housing continues to increase, the prices of homes will continue to rise.
What is the average cost of a home in Idaho?
As of September 2021, the average home value in Idaho was around $436,922. This changes based on the season and current environment, with homes becoming a bit more expensive in peak times, like the late spring and summer months.
Do houses in Idaho have basements?
You’ll find basements in many of the homes listed for sale in Idaho’s housing market. That’s because Idaho has relatively soft soil that makes it easy to build down, instead of up. Basements allow for greater energy conservation and more space within a given home footprint, so it’s a good idea to consider a home with a basement whenever possible.
We currently cover most standalone, single-family homes