Nestled in Bonneville County, Idaho Falls is a serene haven that beckons those seeking a quieter lifestyle. Renowned for its idyllic charm, the city boasts a cost of living that is 18% below the national average, making it an attractive prospect for those looking to trim their expenses while enjoying a high quality of life.
In this guide, we’ll delve into various facets of the Idaho Falls cost of living, providing insights into key expenses, price expectations, and crucial considerations for prospective residents.
The Cost Of Living In Idaho Falls
To understand better the costs of living, we need to break down this subject into smaller parts and explain each one separately. We’ll start with the housing costs.
A fundamental consideration when contemplating a move is housing costs. In Idaho Falls, the average home price stands at $366k, though it’s important to note that prices can vary based on factors such as property size, age, location, and amenities.
Remarkably, housing costs in Idaho Falls are 17% below the national average, making homeownership an appealing option. Monthly mortgage payments often rival rental costs, further enhancing the allure of owning a home. Before relocating, explore property websites to identify suitable housing based on your needs, family size, and proximity to schools and workplaces.
Renting in Idaho Falls
For those who prefer renting or are unsure of their long-term plans, Idaho Falls offers rental options that cater to various budgets. The average monthly rent in the city hovers around $1,250. For example, 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom condominiums are available for around $870-$1100 per month.
For 3 or 4 bedrooms, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $2,100, depending on the location. Keep in mind that the southern parts of Idaho Falls are often more expensive than the Northern parts of this city.
Before signing a lease, compare the monthly rental costs with monthly mortgage payments on a house. If they are similar, and you have the disposable income to cover added expenses like property taxes and maintenance costs, then you might want to opt to go the ownership route.
Buying Property in Idaho Falls
The median home price in Idaho Falls is $379.9k. This is less than the national average which is around $430k.
Surprisingly, buying an apartment in the city center is less than a house in the suburbs. The average monthly mortgage for an apartment is $1.155.
Of course, this is dependent on the neighborhood. One of the most expensive neighborhoods is Swan Valley/Irwin. The average home is priced at over $407k here.
Then there are the cheaper neighborhoods like The Village. You can expect to pay around $358k. Where you buy a home depends entirely on your budget and long-term goals.
Managing utility expenses in Idaho Falls is favorable, with costs 16% lower than the national average. On average, monthly energy bills amount to approximately $149.41, subject to property size and household size. Given the city’s cold winters, energy bills may increase during this season.
To estimate winter energy expenses, consult your energy provider for insights based on your property’s history, size, and occupants. Additionally, typical phone bills come in at $160.74 per month, varying based on network providers and specific plans.
Food and Groceries
Idaho Falls offers affordability in grocery shopping, with costs averaging 7% below the national average. Basic items like a loaf of bread typically cost around $3.61, and a gallon of milk is approximately $2.26.
Eating out is not much more expensive than buying groceries.
You can get a pizza for $20 and a burger for $10. If you often forget to pack lunch for work, no problem. Most lunch meals are only around $50 and a cappuccino is around $5.
Most inexpensive restaurants offer quality meals for around $12. But, if you want to spoil your significant other with a 3-course meal, it would be easily around $100.
The cost of clothing in Idaho Falls is comfortably below the national average.
You can get Levi Jeans for $40.35 and a pair of Nikes for $66.33. Summer dresses are only $35.33, too.
We’re sure that a new wardrobe is the last thing on your mind when relocating. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Knowing the clothing price will prevent you from operating outside your budget.
Healthcare costs in Idaho Falls are slightly higher than the national average, with expenses exceeding it by 3%. This discrepancy can be attributed to the city’s smaller size, resulting in fewer medical facilities and staff. Doctor’s visits typically cost around $125.41, while dentist consultations average approximately $108.20. These costs exclude treatment, medications, X-rays, and hospitalization.
For pet owners, veterinary appointments for pets cost around $52.86, excluding treatment expenses. Optometry services, on the other hand, average $118.13 for consultations, with additional costs for glasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery. To mitigate potential out-of-pocket expenses, consider investing in health insurance coverage, with various plans available to suit different budgets.
Idaho Falls offers a range of educational options, with top-rated public schools including:
The city also boasts reputable private schools like:
Each institution comes with its tuition structure.
Additionally, Idaho Falls is home to several universities, providing convenient opportunities for local high school graduates seeking higher education. Notable options include the University of Idaho, Idaho Falls campus, and Idaho State University, Idaho Falls campus, each offering diverse programs and tuition options.
The Eastern Idaho Technical College is a two-year state college.
Tuition fees are $4,793 for one semester. This includes tuition, transportation, books, and supplies. If you add room and board, and personal expenses, it would amount to over $7,000.
Two semesters are $9,590 but will be over $14,000 with room, board, and personal expenses.
They offer low-cost, high-quality education that prepares students for the real world.
The education includes:
- Hands-on technical programs
- Workforce education
- Community education
- Online education
Idaho Falls predominantly relies on cars for transportation due to limited public transport options. While transport costs in the city are 20% higher than the national average, the good news is that gas prices are relatively low at $3,16 per gallon. Despite fluctuating fuel prices, driving remains a cost-effective choice for residents.
Idaho Falls boasts a vibrant entertainment scene that caters to individuals and families alike. Costs for entertainment activities vary:
- The Museum of Idaho, a history and science museum, charges adults $13 for admission, with discounts for children, college students, and Idaho residents.
- The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho offers affordable admission, priced at $4 for adults and $2 for children and college students, with free entry on the first Saturday of each month.
- For a cost-free outing, explore the serene Idaho Falls Japanese Pavilion, nestled along the Snake River.
- The East Idaho Aquarium provides fun and educational experiences for families, with tickets priced at $12 for adults and $9 for children under 13.
- Adults looking for a unique outing can visit the Idaho Brewing Company, where a pint costs approximately $6.
A regular cappuccino ranges from $4 to $5, and a standard bottle of water is priced at $1.
Dining out options include affordable fast food meals ($7 to $9), mid-range restaurants ($12 per person on average), and fine dining establishments with appetizers ($5 to $16) and entrees ($24 to $34) that can lead to a total bill of $60 or more per person, including dessert and drinks.
Idaho Falls is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The city offers easy access to parks such as:
- Sawtooth National Recreation Area
- Swan Valley
- The Greenbelt Trail (ideal for hiking, photography, and communing with nature)
- Snake River and Salmon River provide opportunities for water activities and hiking.
The best part is that these outdoor spaces are typically free to enter. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely meal in a scenic spot on a sunny afternoon.
Wes Deist Aquatic Center
Entry to the Aquatic Center operates on punch cards. The cards allow up to 10 admissions to the lap swim and public pool.
Punch cards are $50 for adults and $40.50 for kids and seniors.
They offer swim classes to children from 6-months to 12-years-old. They have aquatic fitness for adults as well, at $5.50 a class.
You can use your punch card for aquatic classes as well.
Pool rentals are allowed for events and birthday parties too.
The Aquatic Center is currently closed until 2022, while they conduct maintenance.
Zoo at Tautphaus Park
The Zoo at Tautphaus Park has five exhibits plus a kid’s area where they can interact with farm animals.
The exhibits have animal favorites from all around the world. In the African exhibit, you can find lions, zebras, etc. and the Asia section has snow leopards and sloth bears.
There are also exhibits for North America, South America, Australia, and New Guinea.
Entrance fees are as follows:
- 2-years and under – $0.50
- 3 to 12-years – $5
- 13 to 60-years – $8
- 62-years and older – $6.50
The zoo also has a military rate of $6, and a valid military ID is required for this.
You can rent out the zoo (or a section of it) for special events. Types of bookings allowed:
- Birthday parties at $150
- Daytime events at $250
- Private evening events at $650
Bookings must be made 3-weeks in advance.
Museum of Idaho
The Museum of Idaho is open 7-days a week. From Monday to Saturday, the doors open at 10 am and close at 6 pm. On Sundays, they open at 1 pm and close at 5 pm.
There are three exhibitions currently on display. They even have a ‘Discovery Room’ intended for kids. There are replicas of mountains for them to climb and caves to crawl through.
You can turn a boring Saturday into a fun learning experience.
Entry fees are as follows:
- $13 for adults
- $12 for seniors (62-years and over)
- $11 for students (4 to 17-year or a student ID)
Average Salary in Idaho Falls
In Idaho Falls, the average individual income stands at around $24,886, slightly lower than the national average of $57,412. Similarly, the average household income is $57,412, below the national average of $69,021.
These figures align with the city’s cost of living, which is 18% below the national average. Keep in mind that individual salaries vary based on occupation.
In the state of Idaho, the general sales tax is 18% above the national average. This means certain items will cost more, but considering that items like groceries are generally priced far lower than the national average, this balances out.
An upside is that in the state of Idaho, income tax is 54% lower than the national average. This means that you get more out of your paycheque than you would in other parts of the country.
Idaho Falls is a fantastic family-friendly place to settle down. There is plenty to do, from museums to escaping to the picturesque outdoors.
Idaho Falls cost of living is relatively low, and below the national average. This is a massive drawcard for people who are looking for a safe area where property ownership is attainable.
With its affordability levels, increased quality of life, scenic outdoors, and excellent school districts, Idaho Falls is an incredible place to call home. If you are planning a move to the area in the near future, consider working with a moving company in Idaho Falls. BustNMoves will be more than happy to make sure that you enjoy a stress-free moving day and that all of your items arrive at your new home safely and efficiently.