Looking for an affordable neighborhood in Boise? You are not alone.
It’s no secret that Boise is a great place to live. The City of Trees routinely tops national “best of” lists for its low cost of living, quality of life, inner-city gems like the Boise River and Greenbelt, and its close proximity to outdoor adventuring.
While Boise is ranked as “more affordable” than the average city on a number of factors, such as healthcare costs and transportation, housing costs are now higher than the national average. Housing prices are also among the fastest-rising in the U.S., which can make finding your dream home at an affordable price challenging.
Fortunately for home buyers, there are still relatively affordable neighborhoods in Boise – you just have to know where to look. We did the legwork and pulled together 10 Boise neighborhoods where you can expect to pay less than the city’s median $329,900 for a single-family home.
In compiling our list of neighborhoods, we looked at median sales prices, appreciation trends, commutes, area amenities, and resident satisfaction. However, in keeping with affordability, median sale prices and the availability of low-cost homes were our most heavily weighted factors.
1. West Valley
Median sales price: $280,000
One of Boise’s most affordable areas, West Valley is a classic suburban neighborhood with subdivisions built in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Its location makes it an easy commute to both Meridian and Nampa.
Ownership rates are high and the pride that residents take in their homes is evident. On any given evening, you’ll see families out gardening or walking their dogs while neighborhood kids play. Because of its age, the area features wide sidewalks and bright street lamps, yet you won’t have to worry about the HOA fees associated with newer developments.
A popular draw to the area is the nearby Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve, a 54-acre nature reserve features trailheads, restored wildlife habitat and serene lake views. Residents also enjoy living next to some of the Treasure Valley’s most popular dining and retail attractions, including those found on Eagle Road and the Village at Meridian.
2. West Bench
Median sales price: $276,200
The West Bench is prized for its central location and healthy stock of mid-century homes, most notably in the Westland Acres area.
Anchored by Capitol High School, the neighborhood is home to three city parks, including the Fairmont Park and pool, and its own library branch. It also features unique neighborhood charms like the Idaho Capital Asian Market and the Cole Village Shopping Center. Residents love the West Bench’s easy access to the interstate and Chinden Boulevard, as well as its close proximity to Garden City’s Live-Work-Create District, the Boise River Greenbelt, and Whitewater Park.
Median sales price: $294,900
This neighborhood is a hidden gem for those looking for their mid-century dream home. In fact, it's one of the few spots in Boise in which you can still find a three-bedroom house on a quarter-acre lot with hardwood floors for under $300,000. Yet the neighborhood tends to be overlooked because of its location, tucked against I-84. On the flip side, its location can be an asset, especially for frequent commuters.
Given its proximity to the interstate, you can easily get to just about anywhere in Boise in 15 minutes, including downtown. Borah Park and Borah Pool are also popular neighborhood draws. Homes around Randolph Drive are the most coveted, with prices to match.
Median sales price: $324,900
Also referred to as Southwest Boise, this once-rural area now hosts a wide range of housing options. Between Victory and Amity roads, you’ll find ‘70s and ‘80s acreage properties and ranchettes. Further north, you'll discover classic homes in traditional neighborhoods, particularly near Peppermint Park and Pepper Ridge Elementary School. Heading south, you’ll see a lot of new construction and planned communities with home prices $25,000-$50,000 below many other parts of the city.
Southwest Ada homeowners enjoy a straight shot to the interstate and the Boise Airport. Outdoorsy residents also value the neighborhood’s closeness to Lucky Peak and the pristine Idaho wilderness accessible by Highway 21.
Median sales price: $375,000
Southeast Boise is one of the largest, most diverse and sought-after neighborhoods for home buyers regardless of budget. This neighborhood offers more Boise River and Greenbelt access than any area in the city. Homeowners are also a short drive from the airport, downtown and Boise State University.
Newer developments like Bown Crossing include shopping and dining options for the entire family. While technically above our price cutoff, you’ll find more affordable houses priced below $330,000 than just about any other neighborhood in the city.
Median sales price: $325,000
This neighborhood is an urban farmer’s – or gardener’s – dream. It features predominantly ‘70s- to ’90s-era homes situated on quarter-acre lots with mature trees and landscaping. At any hour of the day you’ll see joggers, dog-lovers and families walking its wide, quiet streets. The nearby Collister Shopping Center is home to a branch of the Boise library, coffee shops and small family-owned restaurants.
Its close proximity to both the Boise foothills and the Greenbelt make it ideal for bikers and other urban outdoor adventures. In addition, the neighborhood is just a 12-minute drive to downtown Boise.
7. Depot Bench
Median sales price: $319,000
Named after the historic Union Pacific Railroad Depot built in 1925, this neighborhood is a patchwork of historic and contemporary homes. The Depot Bench is treasured by residents for its breathtaking views of downtown and the Boise foothills. While just a six-minute drive to downtown, there are plenty of local shopping and dining options on nearby Vista Avenue and in the Vista Shopping Mall.
Median sales price: $301,150
This neighborhood offers great starter options for first-time home buyers. Younger professionals are drawn to its location. It’s an eight-minute drive to downtown and within walking distance of the Greenbelt. Its close proximity to Boise State University means houses in this neighborhood have great resale value and are always in demand as rentals. Nearby Broadway Avenue offers many draws for residents, from popular Vietnamese and Nepalese restaurants to relaxing yoga studios.
9. Pierce Park
Median sales price: $302,250
Pierce Park was originally a 126-acre park named after developer and one-time Boise Mayor W.E. Pierce. The park has since been converted into Plantation Country Club, and the surrounding neighborhood adopted its surname.
The neighborhood now features mid-century subdivisions pocketed with small pastures, as well as ‘80s and ‘90s era homes. Due to the area’s popularity, there is a lot of new construction as well. Although the park is gone, golfers enjoy both the country club and nearby Pierce Park Greens. Residents also love the neighborhood’s closeness to the foothills and trails.
10. Glenwood Rim
Median sales price: $300,200
If you’re in the market for sweeping city and mountain views, this neighborhood is hard to beat for the price. Originally developed as a series of upper-middle-class subdivisions, it features large ‘60s and ’70s era houses on generous lots. With homes priced at an average of $138 per square foot, it offers some of the best value on the list.
Lisa Kohl is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. From Southeast Boise to The North End, up to Eagle and West to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.
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Information in this We Know Boise market report was obtained from the Intermountain MLS (IMLS) on November 6th, 2019. Deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Median home prices refer to single-family houses on less than one acre of land.