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Old 04-05-2012, 04:02 PM
 
262 posts, read 431,645 times
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First, rent someplace in the town you end up choosing, do not initially buy...especially if you haven't been around or in that town in years (or if ever). Please get a feel for the place before you make a huge commitment on buying a house...you're going to be loosing lots of money if you choose to sell because you end up not liking it in your choice town.

I can't comment too much on San Deigo...but it'll likely end up that the areas you will want to buy, you won't be able to because you will need 400k+ to afford those areas... 250k I imagine will get you in the sketchy unsafe-feeling neighborhoods. You can't put a price on the feeling of safety!

Fairfield, IMO, is a terrible choice...but I equate Fairfield to being not much better than Vallejo...which not many have high opinions about. Back in the day Fairfield was nice...and maybe there are still good neighborhoods (someone else comment?)...but it's gone downhill from what I've heard and seen.

I think the Sacramento area would be a good choice...preferably closer into Folsom...Placerville...or have you checked out Grass Valley? That's further out but if you aren't looking for a lot of city-life may be a good option. If you are homebodies I guess it shouldn't matter if you are near a city or in the country right?
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,116 posts, read 4,088,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StandingRoomOnly View Post
I can't comment too much on San Deigo...but it'll likely end up that the areas you will want to buy, you won't be able to because you will need 400k+ to afford those areas... 250k I imagine will get you in the sketchy unsafe-feeling neighborhoods.
I wouldn't rule out San Diego County, based on price alone.

I lived in Fallbrook for over a decade - it's a very pretty inland community in North County - about a half hour drive to the coast. I just looked and was shocked to find quite a few houses in the $200,000 - $250,000 range. That was NOT the case even three years ago.

In 2007 the average cost of a home was $750,000 - but 2007 is long gone! And you can get some really good deals now. And since the OP isn't concerned about finding jobs in their new city, they have a lot more leeway, as far as location goes.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,161 posts, read 4,637,360 times
Reputation: 2930
I can comment a little on Fairfield and Sac. The Western and northwestern side of Fairfield is perfectly fine and safe. It's actually quite gorgeous on this side of the freeway..wineries, new houses, farmland, oak studded hills, small rural cafes etc....the area's called Green Valley/Mankas Corner. I actually have a relative out there and loves it. I'm pretty sure 250k budget is about right for the newer housing estates where they seem desperate to get people in now days. Someone mentioned humidity--there isn't any at all. Just lots and lots of wind, some tolerable heat during summer...sometimes tule fog.

The older areas of Fairfield are not good (some of the streets in/around the mall). Over the years, the undesirables have moved over from Vallejo and the drugs/crime seemed to follow. Pockets here and there (mostly southeastern side) that you'd have to scope out first.

Sacramento...well..250k may not get you into some of the nicer neighborhoods. My brother said that all of those sprawling housing estates out by Natomas/Arco Arena that popped up overnight have gone to sh**. It was hit very hard by the whole housing bubble and it's mostly renters now that couldn't care less about the neighborhoods. You may want to consider some of the surrounding towns also if you want to be around Sac. Carmichael, Rancho Cordova, Orangevale etc. You really have to love it hot though...it killed me when I lived in the area--I just hated that scorching heat.

I can't comment on San Diego however...the zoo and that big outdoor shopping center is just about all I know about it!
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Fuzhou, China & Bay Area, California
24 posts, read 175,358 times
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We wouldn't want to be in the actual Sacramento proper. We would instead consider the areas around like Roseville, Rocklin, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Lincoln, etc. It seems like there are still houses under $250k in those areas.

We would love to learn more about Fairfield, since it's not a city that has a lot of people talking about it. I don't even know what would be the reasons to choose between Fairfield and the Sacramento surrounding suburbs, except for maybe the Sacto area is a little bit hotter, has a history of floods (though we're unlikely to live in areas that would be affected), and maybe is more "city-like" than Fairfield.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,161 posts, read 4,637,360 times
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Where are your jobs or where will you most likely be able to find one? This is the most important factor in deciding what area is right for you.

Seems a little like you might be putting the cart before the horse?
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Fuzhou, China & Bay Area, California
24 posts, read 175,358 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by clongirl View Post
Where are your jobs or where will you most likely be able to find one? This is the most important factor in deciding what area is right for you.

Seems a little like you might be putting the cart before the horse?
I thought I mentioned I work at home? I'm self-employed (artist, writer, composer).
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:08 PM
 
1,424 posts, read 2,472,753 times
Reputation: 1070
Quote:
Originally Posted by StandingRoomOnly View Post

Fairfield, IMO, is a terrible choice...but I equate Fairfield to being not much better than Vallejo...which not many have high opinions about. Back in the day Fairfield was nice...and maybe there are still good neighborhoods (someone else comment?)...but it's gone downhill from what I've heard and seen.
Fairfield is a huge new growth area! They are building tons of new homes in Fairfield and opening lots of new stores too.

Fairfield New Homes
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Fuzhou, China & Bay Area, California
24 posts, read 175,358 times
Reputation: 26
So if simply comparing the suburbs of Sacramento County vs. Solano County, is there a big enough difference between the two county's suburbs to want to pick one over the others?
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,161 posts, read 4,637,360 times
Reputation: 2930
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunatiqueRob View Post
So if simply comparing the suburbs of Sacramento County vs. Solano County, is there a big enough difference between the two county's suburbs to want to pick one over the others?
It depends on what city you're talking about... you have to be more specific.

You can't really compare say, Vallejo to Gold River for instance...different sizes, different demographics, different socioeconomics.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Fuzhou, China & Bay Area, California
24 posts, read 175,358 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by clongirl View Post
It depends on what city you're talking about... you have to be more specific.

You can't really compare say, Vallejo to Gold River for instance...different sizes, different demographics, different socioeconomics.
I guess I'm talking more about the "general vibe" of the two counties. If they are generally quite similar once we average out all the cities within each county, then the only remaining factors would be which county has slightly better weather overall, and cheaper houses.
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