Buying a house is a significant decision that requires thorough research, careful planning, and a deep understanding of your prospective area. If Idaho has caught your eye, it’s no surprise!
Known for its breathtaking landscapes, low cost of living, and high quality of life, the Gem State has a lot to offer. Here’s what you need to know before buying a house in Idaho.

1. Understanding Idaho’s Housing Market

Idaho’s housing market has thrived over the past few years. This growth isn’t just a result of nationwide trends; the state’s booming economy and the influx of new residents have driven strong demand for housing.
With that in mind, homes are selling quickly, so be ready to act when you find a place you love. Always keep a close eye on the market, or better yet, work with a reliable real estate agent who can provide you with the most current information. For additional details, consider visiting websites such as and other real estate portals.

2. Navigating The Buying Process

Now that you know about Idaho’s housing market, it’s time to focus on the home-buying process. While it generally follows a standard procedure, there are some aspects to be mindful of.
For example, the earnest money deposit in Idaho is typically between 1-3% of the property’s sale price. It’s a good-faith deposit that shows the buyer is serious about buying the home. Typically, the earnest money is held in escrow by a title company until the sale is finalized.
Another essential aspect to consider is home inspection. If you have particular concerns, such as structural considerations, a qualified professional will thoroughly inspect the home to uncover potential issues.

3. Considering Home Types And Styles

After understanding the buying process, you’ll be delighted to discover the rich array of architectural styles and housing types Idaho offers to prospective home buyers. Some options you can choose from include the following:
Ranch-Style Homes: These single-story houses are popular in Idaho due to their functional design and easy access to outdoor spaces
Craftsman Homes: Known for their intricate woodwork, large porches, and multipane windows. They are ideal for those who appreciate classic architecture and attention to detail.
Cabin-Style Homes: Often constructed with logs or wood, these homes provide a rustic charm that seamlessly blends with Idaho’s picturesque landscapes.
Modern Townhouses: If you prefer urban living, modern townhouses in areas like downtown Boise provide the convenience of city life combined with contemporary design. Often located close to amenities, these homes are an excellent option for professionals or those seeking a more cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Victorian Homes: These properties offer a taste of history with their distinctive features like steeply pitched roofs, ornamental woodwork, and multi-story floor plans.
Each home type and style comes with its own unique benefits and potential drawbacks. It’s essential to consider factors like maintenance requirements, energy efficiency, and potential resale value when choosing. After determining what fits your lifestyle and budget, you can narrow down your search and focus on finding that perfect Idaho home.

4. Choosing The Right Location

Once you’ve explored the types and styles of homes, the next crucial step is selecting the perfect location. Luckily, Idaho’s diverse landscapes provide an array of options, ensuring there’s something for everyone. For example, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you may want to consider areas close to parks, hiking trails, or bodies of water.
Conversely, if you’re attracted to the hustle and bustle of city life, Boise, the state’s capital, boasts a vibrant downtown area. Remember, location also affects home prices, so do your research and balance your preferences with your budget.

5. Understanding Property Taxes

With the ideal location locked in, it’s now time to navigate Idaho’s property taxes, which are relatively low compared to the national average. While they vary by county, knowing what to expect tax-wise will help you budget for your new home more effectively.
Be sure to inquire about the property tax rate in the area you’re interested in. It’s recommended to consult with a local tax expert or real estate agent to learn more about the potential tax benefits and obligations in your desired neighborhood.

6. Weighing The Cost Of Living

In addition to property taxes, gaining an understanding of the cost of utilities, groceries, healthcare, and transportation is equally important. This will help you budget better and avoid any financial surprises.
Additionally, consider the potential costs of home maintenance and upgrades. Particularly in older homes, these expenses can significantly impact your overall cost of living. Factors such as local weather patterns and crime rates may also vary homeowners’ insurance prices in different areas.

7. Checking Out The Local Amenities

Aside from house amenities, buying a residential property also implies choosing a community. Fortunately, Idaho offers a wealth of local amenities across its cities and towns. Here’s what to consider:
• Educational Facilities: Top-quality schools are abundant in Idaho, both public and private. It’s crucial to examine the educational options if you have kids or plan to in the future. Take a look at the school district ratings in your potential neighborhood.
• Healthcare Services: Easy access to healthcare facilities can be a game-changer. Consider hospitals, clinics, and specialty health centers.
• Outdoor Recreation: From vast landscapes to national parks, Idaho is an outdoor lover’s paradise. You’ll find everything from hiking and biking trails to water activities and winter sports facilities.
• Shopping And Dining: You’ll want your new home to be near shopping and dining options. Check out the local grocery stores, malls, restaurants, and cafes in your potential neighborhood.
• Public Transportation: Depending on your needs, access to public transportation can be an essential factor. Major cities in Idaho, like Boise and Nampa, offer bus services. Also, consider proximity to major highways and airports.
Each of these amenities contributes to the comfort, convenience, and enjoyment of your new home. Consider researching and visiting potential areas to understand what daily life there might be like. Remember, your new home represents not just a physical space but a whole new community and lifestyle.


To make the most out of your home-buying experience in Idaho, take time to understand the housing market, navigate the buying process, consider the type of home, choose the right location, understand property taxes, weigh the cost of living, and check out local amenities. Remember to ask questions, seek professional advice, and, most importantly, enjoy the process.

Max Anderson
Max Anderson is a real estate agent and Idaho housing expert. With extensive knowledge of the local market, Max has been assisting homebuyers in navigating the complexities of purchasing properties in Idaho for over a decade. Through his expertise, Max aims to empower prospective homebuyers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Outside of real estate, Max enjoys hiking in the beautiful Idaho wilderness, playing golf, and exploring local culinary delights.