Moving to Buffalo, NY

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Last Updated on April 11, 2024 @ 2:51 pm

Thinking about moving to Buffalo?

Jump to any of the following sections to learn more about what to expect living in Buffalo, NY.

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Buffalo, NY At-A-Glance

With roughly 276,000 people, Buffalo, NY, has the state’s second-highest population next to New York City. “Queen City” is known for many things but is famous for its iconic food, beautiful architecture and vibrant sports scene.

Buffalo sits on the eastern shores of Lake Erie, making it an ideal location for nature lovers and watersport (and winter!) enthusiasts. When visiting or living in Buffalo, you’ll quickly learn that its second moniker, “The City of Good Neighbors,” is a testament to its warm and welcoming citizens.

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Buffalo: Love at First Sight (or Bite!)

With so much to love about this vibrant city, it’s impossible to address everything. But here are five things in Buffalo that will likely be love at first sight (or bite!) for you.

  1. Those World-Famous Sticky and Scrumptious Buffalo Wings: Indulge in this Buffalo-renowned culinary delight! These uber-popular wings are crispy, tangy and simply irresistible! 
  2. Watching the Bills and Sabres in Action: Join thousands of die-hard Buffalo Sabre fans to cheer on their beloved NHL team or take in the electric atmosphere at a Buffalo Bills game and root for their tough-as-nails NFL club. 
  3. Taking in The Impressive Historic Architecture: Marvel at some of Buffalo’s most iconic historic structures like Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery or Buffalo City Hall.
  4. Drinking Your Way Through the Craft Beer Scene: Known for its exploding craft beer culture, you’ll love sipping your way through Buffalo’s innovative and exciting breweries. Good luck choosing a favorite!
  5. Devouring a Beef on Weck Sandwich: This unique Buffalo delicacy combines tender roast beef, coarse salt, horseradish, a kummelweck roll and au jus dipping sauce. You’ll definitely be licking your fingers after one (or two) of these!

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An Innovative and Promising Economy

Buffalo’s economy has grown to combine its strong industrial roots with a modern and diversified business landscape. Some of its top industries are advanced business services, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage processing and life sciences. 

As a promising city for young professionals, Buffalo boasts an unemployment rate lower than the national average. If you’re moving to the city for work, you may find a job at one of its top employers: Kaleida Health, M&T Bank, Catholic Health Systems or Tops Markets LLC. If you have or are planning to start your own business, Buffalo offers a range of incentives, such as tax breaks and grants. New and expanding companies operating under “Start-Up NY” can also operate tax-free for 10 years. 

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An Affordable Place To Call Home

Buffalo’s low cost of living, beautiful architecture and high quality of life make it a great place to own a home or invest in real estate, especially if you’re young. In fact, CBS News recently named the city “The Best City to Own a Home for Millennials.”

The average home in Buffalo costs in the range of $220,000 to $240,000. However, more than half of Buffalonians rent their homes. According to zumper.com, here is what renters can expect to pay each month:

1 Bedroom:   $1,075

2 Bedrooms:  $1,250

3 Bedrooms:  $1,350

4 Bedrooms:  $1,548

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Top Areas In The City Of Good Neighbors

Allentown

This Buffalo Bohemian gem is popular with artists, musicians and young professionals. Its unique shops and lively bars make it a Buffalo hotspot, and the annual Allentown Art Festival draws huge, adoring crowds each year. Allentown has several amenities, and its laid-back, welcoming vibe makes anyone lucky enough to live here feel at home. 

Elmwood Village

Nestled in the heart of Buffalo, Elmwood Village’s historic homes and picturesque streets make it an ideal place to call home. This family-friendly neighborhood offers plenty of desirable amenities. It is home to popular tourist attractions, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Delaware Park. You’ll find chic boutiques, trendy cafes and the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market here. Unsurprisingly, you’ll find the neighborhood on the American Planning Association’s list of “America’s 10 Best Neighborhoods.”

Westside

This Buffalo-favorite is the most culturally diverse neighborhood in the city. It’s known for its welcoming neighbors, vibrant art galleries and stunning community murals. There are several shops, cozy cafes and restaurants to enjoy, but the area’s crown jewel is the Westside Bazaar. Here, you’ll find a collection of restaurants showcasing menus from around the globe. 

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Getting Around In Buffalo Is A Breeze

Navigating Buffalo is relatively simple, thanks to its diverse transportation choices. Walk Score gives Buffalo a 67 Walk Score, making it somewhat walkable. However, here are some other options:

  • Driving: Buffalo’s well-maintained roads and extensive road network make driving the city’s most common form of transportation.
  • Public Transit: The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, or NFTA, offers buses and the Metro Rail to its Buffalo residents. The bus system allows affordable transportation across the city and suburbs, while the Metro Rail serves a 6.4-mile downtown route. 
  • Ridesharing/Taxis: Popular rideshare options like Lyft and Uber are readily available throughout the city, as are traditional taxi services. 
  • Ferries: The Buffalo-Outer Harbor area has a ferry service connecting to popular destinations like Canalside and the Outer Harbor. 
  • Biking: Biking is becoming a popular mode of transportation for more Buffalo citizens each year as the city has invested in dedicated bike lanes, bike-sharing programs and an expanding network of well-maintained trails. 

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Excellence In Education

Families moving to Buffalo will appreciate the range in educational opportunities for their children. At the heart of the public school system is the Buffalo Public Schools, the city’s largest school district. BPS prioritizes academic excellence and community engagement and offers special programs and initiatives such as special education and bilingual education. Parents can also send their children to a private, charter or parochial school.

Buffalo’s most prominent higher education institutions are the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and SUNY Buffalo State University. For five years now, the University at Buffalo has made U.S. News & World Report’s list of Top Public Schools. UB has over 19,000 undergrads, a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and over 450 degree programs. SUNY Buffalo State University has over 6,400 students enrolled in 79 undergraduate programs. 

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Four Full And Fabulous Seasons Of Buffalo

Thanks to its proximity to the Great Lakes, Buffalonians are lucky in that they get to experience four full seasons each year. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect each season:

Spring (March to May): During this transitional season, highs range from the low 40s to mid-50s, and lows are typically between the high 20s and low 50s. Spring in Buffalo brings rain and the odd snow shower in March.

Summer (June to August): The summer months in Buffalo are lovely and warm, bringing average temperatures between the high 60s and low-to-mid 70s. Of all the major cities in the Northeast, Buffalo enjoys the sunniest and driest summers. 

Fall (September to November): The cool yet comfortable weather and stunning changing leaves make fall a popular season in Queen City. The frost usually starts to settle in mid-October, and the average temperatures range from the low 60s to the low 40s. As cold fronts move over the Great Lakes in October, the cloud cover increases, and the lake-effect season begins.

Winter (December to February): Winters in Buffalo bring bitter cold and heavy snowfall. Over half of this snow results from the “lake-effect” process as cold air crosses the warmer lake water and becomes saturated. You can expect highs between the low to mid-30s and lows from the high to low 20s. 

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10 Things You Just Can’t Miss In Queen City

Whether you’re planning on moving to Buffalo and becoming a permanent resident or just passing through, these top attractions and experiences will surely create fond and lasting memories.

  1. Explore the Albright-Knox Art Gallery: Get lost in this extensive collection of modern and contemporary masterpieces and thought-provoking exhibitions. 
  2. Get Wild at the Buffalo Zoo: Explore a range of animals in diverse habitats and exciting exhibits at this popular family-friendly attraction.
  3. Unwind at the Buffalo Botanical Garden: Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of being surrounded by lush gardens, exotic plants and a glass conservatory.
  4. Visit the Breathtaking Niagara Falls: Prepare to be mesmerized and awestruck while taking in one of the world’s natural wonders. Witnessing the power of the cascading waterfalls is truly unforgettable.  
  5. Get Active at the Outer Harbor: Enjoy the beautiful scenery while you walk, jog, paddleboard, bike or kayak along this picturesque waterfront. 
  6. Wander Through Elmwood Village: Stroll through this popular neighborhood and enjoy its unique shops, cafés, galleries and restaurants. 
  7. Take in the Incredible Architecture: Hop on a guided tour to explore Buffalo’s stunning architecture, like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House.
  8. Catch a Show at Shea’s Performing Arts Center: Enjoy Broadway shows and concerts in this world-class and newly restored grand theater. 
  9. Visit Buffalo Naval Park: Step back in time while you explore historic naval vessels, military artifacts and educational exhibits.
  10. Indulge in a Food Tour: Tap into your inner foodie and discover Buffalo’s diverse and delicious food scene. It won’t take long to see what all the fuss is about!

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Kelsey Woods

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The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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