Moving to Idaho from California 17 Pros and Cons

California is a beautiful, warm place that many people love living in. Yet, sometimes a person needs to move. Idaho is a beautiful state, but there are some different pros and cons to think about deeply before moving from California to Idaho.

1. Climate (Both)

The climates of CaliforniaOpens in a new tab. and Idaho are starkly different! California is known for being warm all year long, with temperatures rarely dipping below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and usually sitting anywhere from 60-100 degrees Fahrenheit on average. California usually experiences a wet and dry season rather than the four seasons that are apparent elsewhere.

Idaho is the complete opposite. Idaho has a long cold season and has snow often. It can snow in May or June and can continually switch between negative temperatures and hot temperatures in the spring and summer. The average temperature in the winter is around 10 degrees Fahrenheit to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. It rains sometimes, but snow is more common.

If an individual wants to enjoy snow and seasons, Idaho is the better choice. But, if a person prefers warm sunshine, Idaho would not be the place to move to.

2. House Market (Pro)

The housing marketOpens in a new tab. is ridiculously profitable in California. The average cost of a home in California is $834,400. The number of homes being sold is also going down from last year, but the change is slight at around 5%. If someone is intending on leaving California, they will make a large profit.

In Idaho, the housing market is cheaper than in California! The price for a home in Boise will cost around $585,475Opens in a new tab.. Dependent on a household’s financial state, a family moving from California to Idaho could buy a house outright and have a decent chunk of money left over! This makes Idaho an appealing place to move to.

3. Housing Types (Pro)

The housing available in Idaho and California are highly different. In California, due to the high population, they have many more apartments and smaller homes than Idaho does. In comparison, in more densely packed parts of Idaho, there is still an abundance of apartments and smaller homes but there are often larger homes with yards available as well.

In rural areas, there are large stretches of property and land to be built on. If someone wants to move to a larger home or wants to invest in some land, Idaho is a great choice! There are also options like Boise and Twin Falls for people who want to enjoy a more vibrant social life and don’t mind a smaller living space.

4. Job Availability (Pro)

Something that is important to consider when moving is the opportunity to be employed. In Idaho, there is an increase in jobs available. In most job types, there is a projected increaseOpens in a new tab. in employment opportunities. Some career types have incredibly high rates of employment needOpens in a new tab., such as office and administrative support, sales, food preparation and serving, and transportation.

Another good thing that the Idaho state government has is an online job searchOpens in a new tab. engine for the entire state. An individual just enters the job type they are looking for, the location they are looking in, and the distance a person is willing to travel. The website also offers links to find training opportunities, resources, and agencies within Idaho.

5. Job Types (Con)

Idaho does have a variety of job types to look into. However, with the smaller population comes a smaller variety of jobs that need to be filled. If an individual is specialized and highly educated, it might be significantly more difficult to find a job within that job type because there was no previous position for it.

This isn’t to say that there is no way that a person could find a job if they are specialized. In fact, it could give them an edge because some places would love to have someone specialized but didn’t have people like that available to employ. But, often, the job opportunities tend to be pretty similar and align with entry-level positions. Once again, whether this is good or bad requires some understanding of an individual’s personal circumstances and preference for job types.

6. Wages/Salary (Both)

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for people in Idaho is $23.05. This is both good and bad. This is good because it means that there are jobs in Idaho that have a livable and profitable wage, some being higher than that! However, there are definitely many lower-paying jobs as well.

Idaho is currently one of the only states that still have a minimum wage of $7.25Opens in a new tab.. California has a minimum wage of $14 to $15 an hour that is dependent on the work environment. If an individual is looking to make decent money in an entry-level job, Idaho is not the state for them.

7. Cost of Living (Pro)

The cost of living in Idaho is remarkably cheaper in Idaho than in California. In Idaho, the average monthly cost of living for a single person is $1,787. This includes rent, food, utilities, and transportation. The average salary of an Idahoan is around $3,186 a month. Considering both of these figures, the remainder is $1,399 or around 44%. This means that the cost of living is manageable with the average profit.

In comparison, the average cost of living for a single person in California is $2,350 with all the previously stated factors. The average salary of a Californian is $4,511. Considering these figures, the remainder is 2,161 or around 48%.

It seems a dollar is worth less in California than in Idaho. A Californian who has been making over four grand a month can pay for nearly four months of living in Idaho for the same price. If the individual or household has been saving money, they will be well prepared for Idaho living.

8. Education Quality (Both)

The education quality for Idaho is not outstanding, but also isn’t something to scoff at in comparison to California. Idaho ranks around 40th out of 50 statesOpens in a new tab., which does not seem great. However, California only ranks two states higher, at 38th out of 50 states. Both of these states have much to improve when it comes to public schooling.

9. Colleges (Both)

A college education is a different story for both states. In California, there are a variety of options for higher education. California is home to some Ivy League schools, like Stanford and Berkeley, some state schools, and community colleges. California has a wide variety of schools to choose from with varying levels of quality and cost.Opens in a new tab.

Idaho has some benefits that California generally lacks. Idaho has some state and private colleges. One of the schools that attract people worldwide is Brigham Young UniversityOpens in a new tab.IdahoOpens in a new tab. (BYU-I). It has a strong religious background and a conservative environment, and the average tuition is around $2,000 per semester. Outside of BYU-I, there is also the College of Idaho, which was ranked in the top 100 schools for liberal arts.

10. Political Atmosphere (Both)

Politics is always a tricky subject, especially when it comes to having a strong leaning right or left. California is known for being a place that has a lot of liberal views and ideals. In fact, the state has not voted for a Republican party member since 2006.

Idaho, on the other hand, is the exact opposite typically. Looking at a political mapOpens in a new tab., the entire state tends to show strong conservative views and has typically voted for RepublicanOpens in a new tab. candidates in the bigger elections.

With this in mind, there are a variety of pros and cons to moving to a state with a completely different political leaning. An individual might be able to learn more about the differing view, which enriches their understanding of a topic. It can also cause contention between people. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide how they react to a contrasting political climate.

11. Adventure Opportunities (Pro)

Idaho has a large number of opportunities to have fun outside! Idaho has many hikes available and is central to a variety of different national parks. One of the most famous opportunities nearby is Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is just over the Idaho/Montana border, which makes it an easy day trip to a national treasure.

Jackson hole, one of the greatest places to ski in the country, is also nearby. There are also lakes, hot springs, fishing spots, and farms to explore as well.

12. Diversity (Con)

Idaho, in comparison to California, does not have anywhere near the diversityOpens in a new tab. of California. People in California are about 71% white, about 40% Hispanic/Latino, and about 15% of people are of Asian descent. Idaho is about 93% white, 12% Hispanic/Latino, and less than 2% of people are of Asian descent.

A friend of mine who made the move from California to Idaho remarked about how there is no good Mexican food in Idaho. Another friend of mine who is from Mexico has made the same comment. That just considers the food aspect of culture! It is unlikely that people who live in Idaho will experience a lot of diverse cultures without making an effort to do so.

13. Transportation (Con)

Idaho transportation is not the best. One of the main reasons it is not the best is the fact that public transportation is not common. There are a few shuttles that are offered to and from college campuses to different stores, but beyond that, there are not many buses stops to be found.

Oftentimes, a person has to go into a bigger town like Boise or Twin Falls to catch a shuttle or bus to anywhere else. California has a variety of public transportation options: buses and trains are commonplace.

14. Traffic (Pro)

A friend of mine has stressed that traffic in California is nightmarish. It is awful because there are so many people in California all trying to get to other places. In Idaho, the opposite can be said.

In most of Idaho, the streets are pretty easy to navigate due to the grid system. Also, traffic is rarely stop-and-go. Besides the occasional car accident, it has pretty mild traffic.

15. Night Life (Con)

Idaho is not the place to go if a person is looking for vibrant nightlife. There are always the bigger cities that offer more options, but bars and clubs are not common in the smaller towns. Most of the shops close earlier in the evening, around 6 or 7.

It is uncommon for people to be out and about after a certain hour of the day. This is especially true on Sundays. It would be a culture shock for someone to move from the high life of California to the small suburbs of Idaho.

16. Family Friendliness (Pro)

People in Idaho are family-oriented, and many people have large families. It is not uncommon, even on college campuses, to see parents pushing children in strollers or bringing them to daycare. With the abundance of family life, there are many parks and places for children to have fun! The people in Idaho also tend to be familiar with their communities, so people are likely to interact with neighbors and be friendly.

17. Religious Culture (Both)

There is a strong religious presence in Idaho. It is common to see missionaries walking through town and to have church parking lots full on Sundays. Around 67% of the populationOpens in a new tab. in 2014 was Christian, followed by people with no religious affiliation at 27%. There are a few people who are Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu. In comparison to California, there is a lot less religious diversity.

Both areas have a similar amount of people who have no religious affiliation, but the variety of religious affiliations is much larger in California.

If someone is interested in living in an area where religion is a huge aspect of the culture, then Idaho would be a wonderful choice. However, if they are not interested in a religion of any kind, that could make Idaho a less preferable choice.

With these 17 things to consider, it will be much easier to make the best moving decision for an individual and their household.

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