When you live in Boise, life is good.

The people in Boise are friendly. We're talking about the kind of friendly where you walk down the street and people smile and say hello. Having come from Los Angeles originally, I find this to be an impresive quality of our city.

My wife and I relocated from Los Angeles to Boise in 2003. It's the best move we ever made.

My name is Steve Barbey and I'm the owner of BoiseIdahoHomes.com and the real estate brokerage, Atova. More on that later.

If I had to define Boise to someone in one sentence I would have to say that Boise is the perfect blend of classic "small town" feel and "big city" amenities.

My wife and I like the "safeness" for our three kids, but we also like being able to enjoy the plentiful upscale restaurants and seeing movies at one of the four local stadium style movie theaters.

Our favorite movie theater is the Edwards at BoDo. The name BoDo comes from "Boise Downtown". The complex was built in 2008 and includes the movie theater, several upscale boutique clothing stores and several upscale restaurants including the ha'Penny Bridge Pub and P.F. Changs. BoDo is a walking venue so once you park in the structure everything is right there to enjoy.

Across the street from BoDo is the Century Link Arena and the Grove Plaza. The arena is home to Idaho Steelheads hockey (Go Steelheads!) and Idaho Stampede Basketball. Both are minor league teams that play for major league counterparts.

The Grove Plaza is home to Alive After Five, Boise's summer concert series featuring live music, bazaar-type shopping and a running fountain for the kids to play in. When we're at the Grove Plaza we often enjoy dining at the Brick Oven Bistro which offers super tasty home-style cooking.

Downtown Boise as a whole is a thriving area. Home to the hustle and bustle of business people by day, downtown Boise becomes a haven for fun at night. Families, college kids and couples converge to create an active, exciting environment. Favorite restaurants in downtown Boise include Old Chicago, Berryhill & Co., Chandler's Steakhouse and Old Spaghetti Factory.

To the north of downtown is Boise's highly desirable North End. Offering classic tree lined residential streets, the North End is home to many beautiful turn of the century homes. If you like vintage, the North End is definitely worth checking out.

In the heart of the North End lies Hyde Park which offers vintage book stores and other boutique shopping. We like the Hyde Park Pub & Grill. Also be absolutely sure to check out Goodies Sweet Shoppe. They hand make their own ice cream cones and candies and they have a killer chocolate shake. Yum.

The Boise area at large is home to abundant outdoor activities including hiking, river rafting, fishing, skiing, mountain biking, camping and waterskiing. In 2010 Boise was recognized by Outside magazine at the best overall town in the Western United States.

Enjoy an evening of the arts. Visit the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise Little Theater, Boise Philharmonic or Ballet Idaho. Our favorite is the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. The quality production and second to none setting amongst the Boise foothills simply cannot be beat. We used to visit the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, we prefer the Hollywood Bowl.

When it comes to sports, Boise State Football is the big kid in town. BSU football sits firmly in the top 10 of the BCS rankings and on game day legions of loyal BSU fans descend upon Bronco Stadium for tailgate parties and game time.

Before moving to Boise we explored Spokane, Cour'd Alene, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls. Once we decided on the Boise area we explored Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Star, Middleton, Kuna and Garden Valley. Eagle, Meridian, North Boise and East Boise were our favorites. But anywhere in Boise would have worked just fine.

Boise, Meridian and Eagle make up the bulk of the Boise area. You'll find everything from turn of the century homes in the North End to fancy new construction in Meridian to estate homes in Eagle. There is something for everyone at every price point.

As the owner and principle broker of the Atova, I don't service clients directly. I would, however, be happy to talk to you about the Boise area and refer you to a qualified agent at our brokerage. You can call me any time at 208-724-8169 or feel free to contact any of our agents at any time.

Most folks find our free tour of the Boise area to be very helpful. A few hours spent together at the beginning of your trip can make the rest of your visit much more valuable. A typical area tour invovles seeing each part of town and showing you a home or two in each area. This will give you a good feel for each area, the style of construction of each area and what your money will by in each area. Let us know the days of your visit and we'll be happy to show you around.

Thank for for visiting BoiseIdahoHomes.com. We look forward to meeting you!

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