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15 Things to Know Before Moving to Buffalo, NY

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Buffalo, NY Written by Allie Gardner

Buffalo is the second largest city in the U.S. state of New York. It is located at the eastern end of Lake Erie, near Niagara Falls. It is popularly known as the City of Good Neighbours because of the friendly people that live there. In the last few years, there has been a rise in the number of people moving to this city because of the numerous benefits it provides. If you’re looking to move there, here are 15 things you should know first! 

1. The housing is affordable

The housing market is very affordable in Buffalo, with a median home price of $212,665. This however is a pro and con. Because of the affordability, houses get sold out very fast. This leads to a shortage in the supply of homes in Buffalo, so renting has become a popular choice among residents because the rental properties are very affordable.

However, if you still want to be a homeowner, there are many nice neighborhoods to choose from, and if you know where to look, you’ll not have too much of a problem.

2. There are many restaurants in the city  

Buffalo embraces all sorts of traditional and modern dishes. There are various kinds of flavored dishes to choose from, and these dishes satisfy all kinds of eaters, even for the pickiest ones! Some of the city’s most popular restaurants include Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant, Mulberry Italian Ristorante, Hutch’s, Toutant, etc.

Buffalo also celebrates Local Restaurant Week twice a year and hosts different types of food-themed festivals.

3. It has an exciting nightlife

Buffalo keeps its residents entertained with fun nightlife activities and bars are open till around 4 am. The city has many bars, nightclubs, and live music venues such as Bar-Bill Tavern, Club Marcella, East Aurora, Left Bank, and Town Ballroom. So after a long day at work, you can have something exciting to look forward to. 

4. It has limited parking spaces

 The streets are narrow in Buffalo. This makes it hard to park cars easily. And to make matters worse, most houses in Buffalo don’t have driveways, which makes the situation harder to control. You might have some trouble getting a suitable parking space when you go out.

5. The Metro system doesn’t go everywhere you need

The transport system in this city is very flexible and efficient. However, even after taking a bus, you might still need to walk half a mile or a mile to where you need to go, especially if you’re going downtown.

If you have an interview to attend, you need to get out of the house 15 to 20 minutes earlier. This will enable you to have enough legroom to get yourself where you need to be after getting off the bus.

6. There is barely any traffic

You don’t have to worry about traffic if you’re moving to Buffalo. You might only experience a little traffic jam if you’re out from 4-6 pm, or between 7 and 8:30 am. For the most part, there’s no traffic. You can get anywhere around the city in 10 to 15 minutes.

7. The city experiences all four seasons

Spring and summertime in Buffalo are always very beautiful. However, the snow is probably the worst part of the city because it snows very often in winter and the weather drops to around 20 degrees outside. The city gets about 95.4 inches of snow per year.

You could have all four seasons in a week at Buffalo. It’s not unusual to have warm and sunny summers alongside very freezing and snowy winters. 

Before moving, make sure to invest in a quality snow shovel and prepare for icy conditions. 

8. There is a very high rate of criminal activities 

The crime rate in Buffalo is 56.6, which is higher than the national average of 22.7. The chances of being a victim of violent crime in Buffalo is 1 in 106 and property crime is 1 in 34. The majority of crime comes from the east and west sides of Buffalo.

 We advise you to remain security conscious and keep your eyes out for safe neighborhoods if you choose to move to this city.

9.  It has a small-town feel

Despite being the second largest city in New York, Buffalo has a small-town feel to it. It does not have a lot of skyscrapers and apartment buildings lined up downtown like other big cities.

People still want to keep things the same way it was long ago. This is one of the reasons the city hasn’t expanded more than its present state. It gives it that ‘Big city, small town’ vibe, and not everyone likes that. 

10. Taxes are a problem

 The tax rates are very high in Buffalo, especially in real estate. 

 For property tax, primary residents in Buffalo are taxed at an average of 1.88% of assessed fair market value, and 3.27% if they own a non-homestead property.

For a combined sales tax, Buffalo residents pay 8.75% which is quite high compared to a 7.3% average sales tax for the U.S.

11. There is a strong job market 

 The city has a vibrant economy, and with a very low unemployment rate of 5.7%, you’ll be able to get a job that is the right fit for you in no time. 

Buffalo is home to a diverse economy, but some of the most well-known sectors are manufacturing, healthcare, retail, technology, labor, education, financial services, and hospitality. The area is home to several large corporations, including M&T Bank, Catholic Health Systems, Delaware North, Kaleida Health, and Rich Products.

Buffalo may have poor earning potential, but there is no shortage of employment opportunities.

12. The education system is decent

The public schools in Buffalo serve around 34,000 students in almost 70 schools. The high school graduation rate is 64%, which is not above the national average but has significantly improved over years past.

Overall, there are some exceptional schools in the area. The two top-ranked high schools in Western New York are in Buffalo: City Honors School and Nardin Academy. Other good schools include Frederick Olmstead, Mill Middle School, and Sheridan Hill Elementary School.

Buffalo is home to a lot of colleges and universities, including the University at Buffalo, SUNY at Buffalo, D’Youville College, Trocaire College, Canisius College, and Erie Community College.

13. It lives up to its name of ” The City of Good Neighbors”

In Buffalo, you are sure to meet a lot of bubbly and friendly people from different cultural backgrounds. Even when you don’t ask, people in Buffalo are always willing to offer a helping hand. This makes the community closely knit, and you won’t have trouble getting along with the neighbors here.

14. Canada is practically next door

A trip to Canada is almost too convenient when you live in this city.  In the Niagara Falls region, there are three border crossings between the United States and Canada, all within 28 miles (45 kilometers) of Buffalo.

If you don’t know your way around, there is a real chance that you will get lost and end up at the border. The next thing you know, you’re being stopped in your car on Buffalo’s waterfront and asked for identification.

15. There are many stunning buildings in the city

Buffalo is well-known for its architecture, which ranges from the many buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright to the historic parks created by the famous 19th-century architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Buffalo City Hall, A 378-foot art deco skyscraper with breathtaking views of Lake Erie and the city center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 In Conclusion

Buffalo is a magnificent city with a wide range of opportunities, energetic people, and art to enjoy. 

The snowy weather, high taxes, and high crime rates might be downsides, but your decision to move would be based on the things you look out for in your city.

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