Once upon a time, Boise residents celebrated every time that we ended up on a Top 10, Top 50, Top 100 or “Best Of” list. 

Seriously. Someone actually created a LocalWiki page called “Top 10 Lists.” The description on the page read:  

“Boise loves absolutely nothing if not being listed on every top 10 list it can. Here we're attempting the near-impossible: a comprehensive index of every top-10 list appearance Boise's ever made. Please help us round this out. And, if you're an editor of a publication (no matter how minor or obscure), please add us to your top 10 list!”

Today? The words “please add us to your top 10 list” makes long-term Boise residents cringe. Many believe that being featured on too many of these lists is what led to the explosive growth that the area has seen over the past few years. We’d argue that the fact that being the capital city of one of the least regulated states in the country during the pandemic probably had something to do with it too, but we digress. 

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Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media
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We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but…we did it again! U.S. News and World Report recently updated their list of “25 Best Places to Live for Quality of Life” for 2023-2024. While compiling the list, they looked at factors like job opportunities, quality of schools and healthcare facilities, crime rates, risk of natural disasters, commute times, air quality and affordability. It doesn’t appear that they disclosed where they pulled their numbers from, but once they were crunched Boise was ranked as the 11th Best Place to Live for Quality of Life. 

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Before you throw your head back and yell “nooooo” at the top of your lungs, we’d like to point out that this national list flat-out lied about Boise to anyone who clicked into it! We’re not saying that we don’t have a great quality of life. We do. There are dozens of reasons we’re grateful to call the City of Trees home. But whoever told U.S. News and World Report that the median home price here is $221,475 needs to be fired! 

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Whatever time machine they used to travel back to 2017, we’d love to borrow it so that we could purchase a home at a more reasonable price! According to Redfin, Boise’s median sale price in May 2023 was $487,000. Realtor.com says the median listing price in Boise was $589,000 in May. Somewhere between those two numbers lies the truth and the truth is more than $250,000 off!  U.S. News and World Report’s list was updated on June 8. If those May numbers were out, where the heck did they find $221,475?! That’s a lie. A flat-out lie.

While the article did celebrate one of our area’s big wins, a low crime rate, it did also point out one of our weaknesses, air quality. That’s also one of the things that shock people the most when they move to Boise. If you lived in an area where wildfires aren’t really a thing and you never heard of something called an “inversion,” finding your car covered in ash and being trapped below clouds for days can REALLY surprise you!  

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