12 Pros and Cons of Living In Buffalo, NY

I’ve lived in ten different countries and five states in the US, and one of those places was Buffalo.

So, is Buffalo a good place to live? From my own experience living there, I’ve got a pretty good handle on what it’s like. Buffalo is a city with its own feel and some typical city challenges.

I’m going to take a closer look at what makes Buffalo its own place, from the kind of culture and history you’ll find there to the weather and job opportunities. If you’re thinking about moving to Buffalo or just curious about how it compares to other places, I’ll share my insights to give you a better idea.

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Pros of Living In Buffalo

Buffalo has become a popular tourist destination and a great place to live. Here are some of the advantages of living in Buffalo:

Affordable Cost of Living

One of the most significant pros of living in Buffalo, NY, is its affordability. The cost of living in Buffalo, NY, is 27% lower than the state average and 5% lower than the national average.

One can save money on housing as Buffalo’s housing is 7% cheaper than the U.S. average. The affordable cost of living makes the city an attractive place to live and work for young families and professionals.

Great Food

Buffalo has made a name for itself in the food industry as one of the best places to eat in the country. With a wide variety of food options, from traditional Buffalo wings to ethnic cuisine, there is something for everyone.

In addition, the city holds an annual Taste of Buffalo event, where local restaurants showcase their signature dish. The food scene in Buffalo has grown immensely over the years, and many restaurants are now nationally recognized.

Stunning Architecture

Buffalo is known for its beautiful and historic architecture. The city is home to many art-deco and neoclassical buildings that were built during the city’s golden age.

Buffalo has several famous buildings, including the Guaranty Building, which was designed by Louis Sullivan, and the Darwin D. Martin House, which Frank Lloyd Wright designed.

The city also has several historic neighborhoods, including Allentown and Elmwood Village, known for their unique and beautiful homes.


Buffalo has an excellent nightlife scene, with many bars and clubs in the city. From craft beer bars to nightclubs, there is something for everyone.

The city has a thriving music scene and is home to many music venues, such as the Town Ballroom and the Tralf Music Hall.

Buffalo hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Buffalo Infringement Festival, which celebrates the arts.

Plethora of Amenities

Buffalo has a small-town feel but with all the amenities of a big city. The city is home to many large companies, such as M&T Bank and Rich Products, which provide job opportunities for residents.

Buffalo also has a thriving arts community, with several museums, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Buffalo Museum of Science. The city also has a professional sports team, the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres.

Fresh Water Access

Buffalo is located on Lake Erie’s eastern shores, providing residents access to fresh water. The lake is a popular destination for boaters, fishermen, and swimmers, providing a great place for outdoor recreation.

Additionally, the city has several parks and green spaces along the lake, including Delaware Park and Front Park, which offer great views and places to relax or exercise.

Close Proximity to Canada

Buffalo is located on the border with Canada, making it easy to travel to our northern neighbor. Many residents take advantage of this proximity and plan day trips to Toronto or Niagara Falls.

The border also benefits the city economically, as many Canadian tourists visit Buffalo to shop and dine.

Cons of Living In Buffalo

Here are a few drawbacks to check:


According to Neighborhood Scout, Buffalo has a crime rate of 1 in 116, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.

Property crimes, such as theft and burglary, are the most common crimes committed in Buffalo, followed by violent crimes, including assault and murder.

High Poverty Rate

Buffalo’s high poverty rate is another concern for residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in Buffalo is 29.8 percent, which is higher than the national average.

What’s even more disconcerting is Buffalo’s childhood poverty rate, 43.4 percent, the second-highest rate in the nation. This means that many children in Buffalo lack access to necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare, which can have long-term effects on their health and well-being.

High Sales Tax

The Buffalo sales tax rate is 8.75%, higher than the state average of 8%. This means that residents pay more for goods and services, which can financially burden those on a tight budget.

Harsh Winters

Buffalo’s winters are notorious for their harshness, with heavy snowfall, cold temperatures, and strong winds.

Winter storms can make driving, walking, and even functioning in the city difficult. The cost of heating and other winter-related expenses can also be a burden for residents.

Struggling Economy

The city has faced numerous challenges, including a declining population, a struggling job market, and a lack of investment. These challenges have resulted in a struggling economy with a high poverty rate and limited growth opportunities.

While the city has made some strides in recent years, including investments in the downtown area and efforts to attract new businesses, it still faces an uphill battle in terms of economic development.

Is Buffalo, NY a Good Place to Live?

Buffalo, might not get as much attention as New York City, but it’s got a lot going for it. Living here is pretty affordable, especially when it comes to housing, so it is one of the best places to retire in the state.

If you’re into culture, there are plenty of museums and art galleries to explore. For sports fans, Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres games are always a good time.

The winters are cold, but that’s just another reason to try out some fun winter activities.

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