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Old 09-26-2011, 12:08 PM
 
44 posts, read 123,767 times
Reputation: 15

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My wife, 2 year old son, and I own a home in Michigan. I've got job opportunities in Sacramento. As of this moment, my options are to fly in for work (which is a drag because I have to leave my family for 2-3 weeks at a time) or move to California.

Well, since there are so many helpful people chiming in on other posts - I thought I'd ask those of you who have great experience and advice.

My best guess, at the moment, is that I've got about $150K - $200K to play with. That means selling my house and stuff to try and make the move work.

I'm more than happy to live in a small, friendly community. I have no desire to live in a big city. I'd be happy to visit. We do enjoy green trees and nature. Hot, desert towns aren't really our thing.

Little hippy towns are good with me! Weather isn't an issue since I've lived in Michigan all of my life and, believe me, nothing is more depressing than Detroit in February.

My main concerns are purchasing a 3 bedroom house, on a budget, and crime. I don't even want to be near a place where I'd have to worry about my family's safety.

So - for around $150K, is this even a remote possibility? Or am I dreaming?

We're sort of the eco friendly, hybrid driving, metaphysical, book worm, naturalist, sweet natured type. We're much happier looking out of our bedroom window at green trees than concrete buildings. Where do we start?

Can you guys help me keep it real?

Much appreciated! Thanks in advance!!!

- John
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,190 posts, read 5,926,277 times
Reputation: 2048
I'm not sure if you'd like Sacramento.
It's hot, hot, hot, in the summer and the air quality is horrible! and, though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it's not the most lovely place in California.
Here's a looksy at some home prices in Sacramento although i do not know the town well so where these homes are located and whether or not they are in nice and safe neighborhoods, i do not know.

Search for Homes in Sacramento, CA

There is a Sacramento sub-forum (sacramento forum) and the folks there would be better able to give you information about the various communities in Sacramento.

And there are communities quite a way up in the Sierra Foothills that would suit you better (hippy [what's left of us ] towns) but they wouldn't be suitable for a daily commute to Sacramento.

p.s. consider dropping the "cali" and be prepared for some attitude about that CA nick-name.
There are entire threads (bored city-data-forum posters) dedicated to the "cali" thing. ... silly, but true.

Last edited by jaijai; 09-26-2011 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:19 PM
 
655 posts, read 466,753 times
Reputation: 824
I'm a native Californian and don't mind the Cali moniker. It's like Frisco, just something for hipsters to ***** about. Granted I never use either but won't rub me the wrong way to hear it. Definitely repost this in the Sac forum and give us more info like where you'll be working.

The city has a ton of trees and housing is around your budget. It gets hotter in the summer than the coastal areas but not nearly as cooking as desert cities. The central city and some of the outlying communities (Davis) have a pretty liberal, eco friendly, outdoorsy vibe.

For safety you will want to avoid the area between Elk Grove and Land Park/Downtown, also known as South Sac. Also the North Highlands area and scattered neighborhoods north and east of Fair Oaks until you get to the suburbs of Roseville/Folsom. There is a ring of smaller towns around the metro area but they all have different housing costs and vibes...
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:27 PM
 
44 posts, read 123,767 times
Reputation: 15
Hi. Thanks so much! Driving an hour (or two/three) isn't a big deal for me. I'm not sure that I would want to live in Sacramento - I don't know. I'm open to a ton of suggestions. I've made the drive from Portland to San Francisco tooooo many times. haha That said, I've had to stop along the way - just to get my head back on straight. I've noticed plenty of communities but haven't had much of a chance to spend any time. They seemed really cute and friendly. Small towns.

We absolutely enjoy hot weather - as long as it's green vs rocky.

Let's say this: for 150K one could purchase a mansion, in Detroit. haha Not something to boast about, btw. Where can I buy for that price within 100 miles of Sacramento? Some place nice, safe, laid back, and whatever. I've sort of described what we're looking for in the original post.

Just looking for a head start. I'd be happy to even hear somebody say, "You're crazy! You'll never get anything in California worth your time for that price and those towns don't exist!"

Whatever. Or the opposite response. I'm looking to raise a family in a nice place to live.

I have business in Sacramento. It's not a 9 to 5 commute job. I could live in Denver and still work in CA. I think I fancy the notion of moving there, though.

If anyone has similar interests - vegetarians or responsible meat eaters - those who are respectful to others - people that would prefer not to see the planet turn into a giant garbage heap - those who haven't got half a million in the bank but still manage to live a fulfilling lifestyle in a good community - those who have found beauty in Northern CA and have purchased homes there for reasonable prices - anything helps me out.

Again, I'm not exclusively looking in Sacramento - show me a house with trees and a lawn, and neighbors that aren't going to knife me for $5, and I'm interested!

I'll drop the "Cali" then - if that'll help. CA it is. LL Cool J isn't gonna like it though. haha

Thanks for the response!
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Verona, WI
1,201 posts, read 1,990,168 times
Reputation: 804
Since it seems you just need to be in the general Sactown area for work, you could consider a smaller town up the 80 to the northeast liks Grass Valley or something along 50. Otherwise, Davis could be a good fit for you, but your $$$ will not go as far there.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:33 PM
 
44 posts, read 123,767 times
Reputation: 15
I can totally repost in the Sacramento forum. Just to be clear, though, I really don't care if my family lives there or not. Actually, I'd rather live in a place that people don't talk about. Oh sheesh - maybe I should live on a farm in Iowa. haha Quakers.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:37 PM
 
44 posts, read 123,767 times
Reputation: 15
Grass Valley - Davis - thanks! That's what I'm reaching out for. You guys know the state. I sure don't - other than San Fran, Oakland, and LA. I'm looking for green trees, 150k homes, and decent people. Set me straight, folks. Thank you for your time and consideration!
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,679 posts, read 13,130,785 times
Reputation: 1829
Check out Auburn on I-80 and about 30 miles from Sacramento. It's in the Sierra foothills and in a wooded area. It has a nice historical downtown.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,139 posts, read 29,530,248 times
Reputation: 26599
There are plenty of towns w/i 60 miles of Sacramento that should meet your criteria. With the fall in housing prices, Sacramento was hit pretty hard. I think the median in the metro is about $200k, so there are plenty of options around 150k.

Check out redfin.com to get a sense of the real estate. I'd recommend renting for a few months to a year before buying out right to get a feel for the communities. Sacramento doesn't feel "big city," it is very much an All-American sort of place.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:01 PM
 
44 posts, read 123,767 times
Reputation: 15
You guys rock. Thanks so much for great suggestions!
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