Neighborhood of the Week hits the road — Boise

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We can probably all agree Coeur d’Alene is the best town in Idaho. Right? Good. End of discussion.

I’ve lived most of my life in North Idaho, but much of my family (and in-laws) reside in Boise. As a University of Idaho alum, I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder about Boise State University, and, by association, Idaho’s great state capital. I visit the area a few times every year to see family, and my attitude has generally been, “Psssshhh, Boise.”

I won’t be badmouthing anymore. Or at least until the next time I’m stuck in traffic down there.

Medical bills and some unexpected home repairs sabotaged most of our summer vacation plans this year. We always visit Boise in the summer and spend most of the time with family, but for this trip, the wife and I stayed in downtown Boise and pretended to be tourists while our four kiddos terrorized Granny and Grandpa for a couple of days.

If you haven’t been down there lately, make a point to spend sometime downtown. It’s several city blocks filled with a variety of restaurants, shops and fun things to do for 30-something, overtired parents who just want to pretend they don’t have kids for a little bit. Ah yeah.

We ate multiple meals at Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro, loitered in a bookstore comparing stock items to Amazon prices, purchased used CD and DVD mystery bags at The Record Exchange, sampled cider and roamed around the empty hallways of the Capitol Building counting pictures of old white guys. It was delightful!

Look, no knock on Spokane or anything, but Boise has strong downtown game. I’m afraid of most public spaces, but even I felt safe after dark down there.

All this fun led me into thinking about the very first installment of Neighborhood of the Week Hits the Road. Well, and the fact that I haven’t been in town this week to write the local version. Oh, and since we have no money (thanks air conditioner and appendectomy!), this will be the last installment of Neighborhood of the Week Hits the Road for quite a while.

Boise has been a seller’s market for a while now, for many of the same reasons why North Idaho remains a strong market. People want to live there, and it’s a whole lot cheaper living there compared to places like Seattle or anywhere in California.

In July 2019, the median list price of homes in Boise was $365,000, according to Realtor.com data. That’s up a little more than 11 percent year over year, though the number was slightly down in July compared to the previous month. Average number of days on the market is 45 days, up slightly from last year. At the time of publication, just over 1,000 homes are for sale within the city limits.

From the list of 35-plus individual neighborhoods, Realtor.com reports the Highlands as being the most expensive (anybody want to guess why?) with a median list price just below $700,000. On the other end of the spectrum, Winstead Park has a median list price of about $265,000.

Wages in Boise, however, haven’t kept up with the soaring real estate prices, as reported earlier this summer by the Idaho Statesman, which also looked at the uptrending market in nearby Canyon County. Housing inventory also hasn’t caught up with the population growth, the Statesman reported.

They saw a housing affordability gap in the Boise metro area last year that was “worse than famously expensive areas like San Francisco, Seattle and Portland,” according to a data analysis from CoreLogic and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Basically, while the houses are cheaper, fewer people in the area make enough money to actually afford the homes.

Well, that puts a damper on the tone of this article, though the Statesman also noted some trends that suggest a mellowing of the market and a possible shortening of the gap. Follow the link below to read the full story.

While I won’t be moving to Boise anytime soon, it is nice to be reminded of the area’s many positives. Our kids like the area too, not just because their cousins live there but also because there’s a zoo. In fact, Zoo Boise has had some nice upgrades in recent years, and my 2-year-old got a cool death stare from a seemingly hungry lion. Fun!

Final thoughts: Go Vandals! Boo Broncos!

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Let us know about more standout neighborhoods and developments that we may feature in an upcoming Neighborhood of the Week. Contact Tyler Wilson at twilson@cdapress.com.

Real Estate Agents, take advantage of Neighborhood of the Week by sending in your suggestions for featured areas, including sites outside the normal confines of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden.

Idaho Statesman story link: https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/article230753284.html

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