The state Idaho is among the least populated states in the nation, but is also one of the major agricultural zones of the U.S. Famous for its potato production as well as other crops, Idaho also attracts geological interest as it has an abundance of both fossilized materials as well as gems of every type. The state is shaped a bit like an upside-down panhandle with the bulk of its prairie land in the south bordered by multiple mountain ranges. Due to the farming interests as well as migration, the state is split between three demographics: Hispanic, American English, and German to the middle and north. Boise, the capital represents the major urban area along with Couer d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and Post Falls. The state is booming in population due to becoming a new technology center nationally as well as increased mining and oil exploration activity.
Idaho's population is just over 1.5 million, making it the 39th largest state in the country. By area, it is the 14th largest. The state's economy is around $60 billion annually, and per capita GDP is around $36,000. Science and technology play a crucial role in ID, accounting for about 25% of the state's revenues.
The average home value in Idaho is nearly $180,000, which represents a 10% increase from 2012. The most expensive homes in Idaho are located in Hailey (median sales price of $1.1 million), Sagle (median price $531K), and Eagle (median price $514K). Prospective home buyers can find more affordable dwellings in Blackfoot, Pocatello, and Nampa, where the median sales price is around $150K.
Boise is Idaho's state capital and largest city, and the Boise Metropolitan Area is home to around 600,000 people, more than one third of the state's population. The top employers in the city are the State of Idaho, Walmart, Micron Technology, Simplot, and Hewlett-Packard. Boise is also home to popular dot coms such as Bodybuilding.com and Crucial.com.
Nampa is still a small city, but it is growing quickly. Major stores such as Cosco, Old Navy, and Bed Bath & Beyond have moved in, giving residents much greater shopping variety and convenience.
Meridian, ID is growing even faster than Nampa - since 2000, it has grown by over 80%. Major employers in the city include Blue Cross of Idaho, the Idaho Stat Police, and Scentsy, a candle company.
Idaho Falls frequently makes appearances on "best places to live" lists, and it's not hard to see why. Quality of life is high, the economy is booming, and the city is located close to a number of beautiful outdoor locations. If you're interested in a great place to raise a family, you should consider Idaho Falls.
Home to Idaho State University, Pocatello placed 20th in this list of the Best Small Places for Business and Careers. The city's top employers are the university, the Portneuf Medical Center, Heinz, and ON Semiconductor.
Idaho is a relatively small state, but consumers can still choose between local banks, credit unions, and big banks that have branches across the country.
For those thinking about relocating, RateZip.com can offer a wide portfolio of lending offers and rates available for Idaho regions. The most popular home loans in the state are fixed rate mortgages, which borrowers can find in 10, 15, 20, and 30 year varieties. In general, the shorter the duration of your loan, the lower your interest rate, although you will be forced to make a higher monthly payment.
If you aren't planning to stay in your home for a long time, or if you're comfortable with a mortgage rate that can change over time, you may want to consider an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). With this type of loan, you receive a low initial rate (sometimes called a "teaser") for the first few years of the loan, and then the interest rate adjusts each year depending on an index, which is usually LIBOR. A few notable ARMs are the 3/1 and the 5/1, which have a 3 and 5 year initial period respectively and then adjust every year.