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Old 10-12-2009, 09:49 AM
Location: Pittsburgh
6 posts, read 8,934 times
Reputation: 13


My wife and I are living in Salt Lake City, and would like to relocate to California. We just had our first daughter, so we are thinking of buying our first home and settling down and raising our daughter there, so we would prefer to be in a place that isn't totally rampant with crime. My wife has a sister in Santa Ana and has lived in the LA area for a couple years, and I have taken a couple vacations to San Diego, but outside of that, neither one of us knows much about the cities and towns in California.

We found what seem to be extremely affordable yet nice homes in the Sacramento area on MLS listings sites ($60-70K for 3-4 bedrooms, 2000+ square feet). Skyline pictures we find on Google seem to suggest a big "town", perhaps similar to the size and feeling of SLC.

This looks great, but I am quite concerned that I am going to be depressed with no mountains around, as that was the reason I fell in love with Salt Lake City. I really love the San Diego area but it seems prohibitively expensive for us (I make roughly $60K and my wife isn't going to be working for the next few years so that she can raise our daughter herself, as that is extremely important to her). I am wondering whether there are any decent outlying areas of San Diego, or really anywhere in California with mountains, that would allow us the same housing costs as Sacramento. We don't mind being far inland.

Thanks for your time and assistance,

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:04 AM
8,319 posts, read 13,642,611 times
Reputation: 3970
Sacramento has a bit more than twice the population of Salt Lake City in about the same area. It is a much more culturally diverse place than SLC. Kind of like SLC, it has an old core city surrounded by much newer suburbs--a hundred years ago, SLC was bigger than Sacramento, but Sacramento's population (along with the rest of California) exploded with suburbs in the post-WWII era.

$60-70K for 3-4 bedrooms and 2000+ square feet is probably either in a very bad neighborhood or a bank-owned property in a mostly-vacant foreclosure neighborhood, or a burnt-out shell. Houses in that range in desirable neighborhoods sell for 3-4 times as much.

Look closely at the photo. Is there a chain-link fence surrounding the front lawn? That points to a bad neighborhood. Is the lawn dead? That points to a bank-owned repo.

You might be interested in Placer County, just to the east of Sacramento County. The big town is Roseville, about 100,000, and it goes all the way up into the foothills and the high mountains. If you like a little more rugged terrain, and a little more conservative atmosphere, the foothill country might be more to your liking.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:28 PM
403 posts, read 1,098,148 times
Reputation: 150
Yep... you'd be hard pressed to find a home anywhere in CA for $60-$70k... period. Sacramento is surrounded by communities that might work for you... but expect to pay more like $300k for something around your statistics. Roseville, Rocklin, El Dorado Hills, Ranch Murieta, some parts of Elk Grove and even West Sacramento as of late. Great schools, too. If you want hills, Placer County will be fine... but probably more expensive. Sacramento is, generally speaking, cheap for California. There are many other small communities along the Sierra Nevada Mtns. from Sacramento to Fresno.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:29 PM
454 posts, read 941,071 times
Reputation: 173
No need to be worried about not having a nice skyline to look at full of mountains. In the greater sacramento area, you can see the coastal mountain range, as well as the snow capped sierra nevada mtns. 60k is a great income, you will be able to find something to fit your needs. Always remember that there are plenty of townhomes in the "lower crime" suburb areas of Sacramento and Placer County that you can rent until you find what you're looking for.
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