March 30

Relocating from California to Idaho |Idaho Here We Come!


If you are considering relocating from California to Idaho, you’re going to want to keep reading   Let’s face it, life these days is EXPENSIVE.  And California is among one of the most challenging economic landscapes to manage and budget.  With that said, below you’ll find a thought provoking glimpse about moving to Idaho from California.  We also took the time to do a question and answer with a LifeSource Mortgage employee who made the move from California to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

Thanks to California transplants, among others, Idaho is one of the fastest growing states in the union.  If you love nature, Idaho just might be for you.  Also known as the Gem State, it has an amazing blend of rivers, mountains, farmland, as well as boasting an abundant amount of waterfalls, hot springs and more.

In addition to that, Idaho does have one of the lowest costs of living when compared to the other 10 western states.

If you’re thinking about moving to Idaho, we can help finance you and connect you with great real estate agents.  Contact Shawn at [email protected]

States With the Most People Relocating to Idaho

Idaho’s population seems to be growing the most due to transplants from the western states.  In fact, California, Washington, and Oregon had the largest exodus of residents to Idaho, the Gem State. According to, 17,722 former California residents left the Golden State for the Gem state in 2019.  Among the two other top 3 states, 13,505 left Washington for Idaho and another 7570 left Oregon for Idaho in 2019.

Top 5 Reasons at a Glance Why People are Moving to Idaho from Other States

  1. The Idaho economy is booming. According to 2021 S. News Best States rankings, the Gem
    State claimed the number 1 spot for economic growth as well at 4th place for fiscal stability. Idaho has a low unemployment rate that is well below the national average.  The national average is 4.7% and Idaho’s was 3.1% in 2021 (according to Bureau of Labor Statisctics).
  2. Idaho boasts a lower cost of living. Let’s face it, California is expensive in every way.  Housing and gas prices are among the worst in the nation.  Not to mention taxes.  Idaho has more affordable housing, fuel prices, and taxes, as well as lower cost on other day to day items.
  3. Career Opportunities in Idaho. Even during Covid, Idaho did very well.  With an unemployment rate of just 3.1%, you can see there is ample opportunity.  After all, California’s unemployment rate was 5.8% in 2021.  That’s almost double.
  4. The Gem State has 4 seasons. Not only does Idaho have four seasons, but Californians tend to fall in love the nature’s bounty in Idaho.
  5. Idaho has comparably low crime rates. While Idaho’s crime rate stacks up well compared to the rest of the country, it really does well when comparing “property and violent crime rates”.  For example, California has a violent crime rate of 447.4 (credit USA Today) per 100,000 people and is the 5th worst. Idaho is the 9th lowest with 227.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Aside from these top 5 reasons people are moving to Idaho, especially California, are focus on university education, less traffic, a lower tax burden, and more.

Question and Answer with Micah Peterson (moved from California to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.)

  1. What first prompted you to relocate from California to Idaho? Not happy with the politics or demographics of Southern California.
  2. Let me hone in on the city you chose? Specifically, what prompted you to choose Coeur d’Alene Idaho? Winters not too harsh, proximity to outdoor activities. Demographics/politics
  3. Did you know anybody in Idaho before you moved there? No
  4. What age were you at the time and when did you move there? 44
  5. Did you have kids at that time? Yes
  6. If so, what were their ages? 14, 16
  7. What was the most challenging thing about making this move? Coordinating the sale and move
  8. What was the most challenging thing about making the move to Idaho for your spouse?  Kids? Leaving our home that the kids grew up in
  9. What did you like the most about the move? Slower paced, friendlier people, generally felt safer
  10. If you had to do it all over again, would you leave California for Idaho?  Same for kids and spouse if appliable? Yes, it isn’t perfect here but still a lot better than CA
  11. From an economic standpoint, is Idaho what you expected?  How would you describe that aspect? Not really, was expecting to get a lot more house for a lot less money. That has all gone out the window now post COVID (still ALOT cheaper than California though). Work opportunity is limited in this town for those who aren’t self employed or working remote. Pretty much retail, food service, construction and there is a decent sized hospital which I’d say is probably the biggest employer in town.

In reference to jobs and the job market, it’s worth noting that Coeur D’Alene is somewhat remote.   So, if you chose a place like Boise or the outskirts of Boise, there is a robust job market.

Things to do to Prepare for Your Move to Idaho from California (or as soon as you get there):

  • Change your USPS address as soon as possible (as soon as you know your new address). In fact, to make moving from California to Idaho simpler you can actually change your address online. It is very easy, cheap, & is a great way to make sure your mail arrives to your new home with you.
  • Get a local driver’s license quicker by submitting a Certificate of Idaho Residency. Everyone can become a resident of Idaho once they’ve lived in Idaho for 90 days.
  • Plan your move based on the seasons. Summer time days can be very hot, so if moving in the summer, try to schedule morning or late afternoon for the heavy lifting (if possible).  Winters are not the harshest in the union, but Idaho does get snow.  Plan accordingly.
  • Map out your drive. Be aware, if you move across some of the mountainous regions, there are narrow roads with a few service areas.  Again, plan accordingly to do what you can to not get stranded.

We’d love to help you with getting pre-approved to buy your Idaho dream home.  Remember, we can help finance you and connect you with great real estate agents.  Contact Shawn at [email protected]

What Kind of Activities Does Idaho Have to Offer?

There are tons of things to do in Idaho, but here is a quick list:

  1. Snow Skiing and Snow Boarding. In fact, there is a good ski resort (compared to Southern California) just 15 or 16 miles from Boise
    photo of bogus basin ski area in idaho at sunset
    Bogus Basin Ski Area, Idaho

    called Bogus Basin.  Of course the world renowned Sun Valley ski resort is in Idaho, but here’s a list of a few more; Bald Mountain, Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Tamarack Resort, Silver Mountain, Brundage Mountain, Lookout Pass, Soldier Mountain, Pebble Creek, Pomerelle, Dollar Mountain, Kelly Canyon, Magic Mountain Resort, Cottonwood Butte, Rotarun, Snowhaven, Little Ski Hill, and Eagle Island Park.

  2. Hot Springs – Idaho has tons of Hot Springs all over the state. Idaho has 130 soakable hot springs that you can visit, unwind, and de-stress in.
  3. Waterfalls – According to the Geographic Names Info System by the U.S. Geological Survey, there are at least 63 waterfalls in the state of Idaho.
  4. State Parks – Idaho is home to 30 state parks with a massive blend of things to see.
  5. ATV Recreation / Motorsports
  6. Horseback Riding
  7. Zip Lining
  8. Amusement Parks / Wildlife Parks
  9. Fishing / Camping / Hiking
  10. Biking
  11. White Water Rafting
  12. Wine Tasting / Breweries
  13. There is a robust art / entertainment culture in Idaho
  14. Museums / Galleries
  15. Lakes / Rivers / Boating / Water Skiing / Wake Boarding
  16. Golfing
  17. Casinos………….and much more.

If you’re considering moving from California to Idaho or to Idaho from any other state for that matter, hopefully this helped.

We’d love to help you with getting pre-approved to buy your Idaho dream home.  Remember, we can help finance you and connect you with great real estate agents.  Contact Shawn at [email protected]

Author, Shawn Vaillancourt of LifeSource Mortgage.  LifeSource Mortgage Is a Premier San Clemente Mortgage Broker licensed in California, Colorado, and Idaho.  We specialize in many transactions, but focus on FAST closing purchase transactions and Reverse Mortgages.


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