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Old 03-25-2016, 03:18 PM
 
34 posts, read 38,709 times
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My husband and I, in our 50s, are thinking about moving to the Sacramento area, among other places. I've heard there are some relatively good walking communities around Midtown, but not exactly sure where to look. Also, it may be too expensive for us. Folsom sounds interesting, but is it livable, i.e., walk to grocery store, bank, post office, etc., as well as reasonably-priced, non-touristy restaurants? My random exploration on google maps seems...well, random.

We would like to be in a neighborhood where we can walk to coffee in the morning, maybe a couple of restaurants/wine bars in the evening, a grocery store, a bank, etc., all within walking distance. It doesn't have to be a LOT, but we do want some places (not fast food joints) nearby. We would be looking to buy, but would keep it around $300K. We want 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2 car garage, around 2K square feet. And we need to be relatively close to the airport since my husband travels for work. We don't necessarily want a yard, so, although a house isn't out of the question, a condo or townhome would work well. We enjoy neighborhood-y things, so if we found a community with front porches and friendly people, we'd be thrilled.

Most importantly, perhaps, is that we would be relocating again in about three years and want to be in an area where property values are slated to increase nicely. (Realizing, of course, that no one has a crystal ball!). Is this plausible in Sacramento? Can someone please recommend neighborhoods or areas with zip codes and/. or cross streets or landmarks? Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Rancho Cordova
254 posts, read 345,978 times
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Unfortunately that wish list doesnt' get you in midtown. Midtown starts around $390k and that will only get you a 2 bed, 1 bath at 1100sq-ft with a 1 car detached garage. That also isn't going to cut it for Folsom either. You may have some luck in 95610, 95621, 95828, 95821. Those are just some of the zip codes that meet your home needs and they may not meet your neighborhood needs.
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Nevada City, California
355 posts, read 651,076 times
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Hello!

The most walkable neighborhoods in Sacramento are Midtown, Downtown and East Sacramento, followed by Land Park, Curtis Park and Elmhurst. However, you will not find a 2,000 square-foot, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a 2-car garage in these neighborhoods for $300,000 -- you would have to nearly double that figure or settle for a smaller place and/or a less desirable neighborhood.

There are condos and townhouses here, but most are still above your price range for the size you're looking for. If you can bump your budget up to $400,000, here's a townhouse in Midtown:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Sacramento.../home/19043617

Here's a condo in your price range ($300,000) downtown, near the Crocker Art Museum. But it's 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and less than 1,000 square feet:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Sacramento...home/102280857

My husband and I are in our early 50s and love living in Midtown. (Midtown is composed of several smaller neighborhoods in the area east of downtown, roughly bounded by 15th Street on the west, the river on the north, and the highway on the east and south.) It's a beautiful neighborhood, and you can walk or bike to everything - restaurants, coffee shops, banks, stores, theaters, etc. It's very friendly, with lots of people walking the neighborhood and hanging out on their porches. A 2-bedroom, 1-bath bungalow (around 1,000 square feet) in our neighborhood sells for around $350,000, closer to $400,000 if it's updated. Some houses have one-car garages here, but there are few two-car garages.

Homes in Sacramento's city neighborhoods are in high demand, and with the new arena downtown, most expect values to keep rising - but there are no guarantees. If you are definitely moving in three years you should consider renting, no matter where you end up. Even if your property increases in value, you will still have to pay real estate commission, condo fees, maintenance, taxes, etc.

Folsom is a very pleasant place, but other than the cute Old Town area, which mostly has restaurants and boutiques, it is a typical suburb with subdivisions, chain restaurants and shopping centers.

Last edited by la_cavalière; 03-25-2016 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:19 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 14,163,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suigenaris View Post
...to buy, but would keep it around $300K. We want 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2 car garage, around 2K square feet...want to be in an area where property values are slated to increase nicely.
Median price went up 9% last year, so if you want to stay at $300K, move fast

Real Estate Market Trends for Sacramento, CA - Trulia
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:34 PM
 
8,631 posts, read 16,421,640 times
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Yeah, it sounds like you're asking for a great big house in a walkable neighborhood, but houses in walkable neighborhoods tend to be either very small or very expensive, and even the small ones are pretty expensive. Yeah, buying for 3 years and expecting to sell at a profit is not necessarily the best move, and the market timing is precarious at best--we're definitely in another housing bubble and there are some troubling signs it could pop soon (not that I have a crystal ball either.) If you're planning on just 3 years here, rent rather than buy, save yourself a lot of headaches--and if you fall in love with Sacramento and decide to stay (it happens) you can take your time to find a place you really like from the comfort (and reduced commitment) of your rental. If you really must store your house equity somewhere, that's another matter but there may be other means.

In terms of neighborhoods, Sacramento's central city and nearby neighborhoods are probably your best bet. There are charming little downtowns and village squares in Folsom, Roseville, Fair Oaks and Woodland, but generally the term "walkable" in those places means "drive there, park your car, walk around, then drive back home." There are parts of the central city where you might find something that fits your lifestyle. Look at the neighborhoods south of R Street: Southside Park, Richmond Grove, Poverty Ridge, Newton Booth--and the ones in the northeastern corner, Boulevard Park, New Era Park and Marshall School. The latter are more expensive. Another sub-neighborhood to look at is the "Thrifty Thirties" of East Sacramento, from Alhambra Blvd. to 39th Street, which aren't actually "thrifty" except in comparison to the "Fabulous Forties" just east of there. Most of the for-sale housing stock are early 20th century bungalows, most of which are already fixed-up "fixers", so while some will have second bathrooms added, sizes in (actually slightly above) your price range will be 1000-1200 square feet, 2-3 bedrooms with small yards.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Folsom
5,139 posts, read 9,309,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suigenaris View Post
Folsom sounds interesting, but is it livable, i.e., walk to grocery store, bank, post office, etc., as well as reasonably-priced, non-touristy restaurants?

We would like to be in a neighborhood where we can walk to coffee in the morning, maybe a couple of restaurants/wine bars in the evening, a grocery store, a bank, etc., all within walking distance. It doesn't have to be a LOT, but we do want some places (not fast food joints) nearby. We would be looking to buy, but would keep it around $300K. We want 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2 car garage, around 2K square feet. And we need to be relatively close to the airport since my husband travels for work.
Folsom is not walkable in the traditional sense.
You can live close to shopping center strip malls that have grocery stores, restuarants, banks, and other small businesses (I do). There are a few unique, non-chain restaurants here.

3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2 car garage, around 2K square feet for $300k in Folsom? Not likely...

Good luck in your search.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
41,225 posts, read 22,755,106 times
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Unfortunately I don't think you will be able to find a house in that price range of that size unless it's in a crappy area. Here's on in Citrus Heights, but it's in an HOA with dues of $323 a month https://www.redfin.com/CA/Citrus-Hei.../home/19215540

Here's a list of everything with 2k + sq ft with a max price of 300k that comes up in a Redfin Search for Sacramento County
https://www.redfin.com/county/336/CA...n-sqft=2k-sqft
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Old 03-26-2016, 10:59 PM
 
34 posts, read 38,709 times
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Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I did check out the condo in Citrus Heights since the condo fees are about what we currently pay, 2sleepy, but the walk score is quite low. Looks like we may have missed the window. For the right house with an upside potential, we might be willing to go to $450K and smaller, we absolutely have to have 3 bedrooms. So, it looks like, at this point, we run the risk of buying higher than we should for the short term.

Unless anyone has any different info, I guess we'll scrap Sacramento in favor of a market that's on the front end of a growth cycle!
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
41,225 posts, read 22,755,106 times
Reputation: 32322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suigenaris View Post
Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I did check out the condo in Citrus Heights since the condo fees are about what we currently pay, 2sleepy, but the walk score is quite low. Looks like we may have missed the window. For the right house with an upside potential, we might be willing to go to $450K and smaller, we absolutely have to have 3 bedrooms. So, it looks like, at this point, we run the risk of buying higher than we should for the short term.

Unless anyone has any different info, I guess we'll scrap Sacramento in favor of a market that's on the front end of a growth cycle!
I think it's the 2k sq ft issue that is leaving you with few options. Have you considered looking at 1600-1700 sq ft with a good floor plan? Our house in Reno was 3/2 with 2200 sq ft, but the house actually had about the same living space as our house in Carmichael which is about 1500 sq ft. The Reno house had a huge entry, probably 12 x 12, a separate laundry room that was about 10 x 12 and a weird kitchen that was not laid out well enough to build an island but big enough that it looked like a dance floor with appliances around the walls, and the strangest thing of all, a family room that was contiguous to the living room with no wall separating the two.
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:34 AM
 
34 posts, read 38,709 times
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Agreed 2sleepy. We are willing to go smaller in square feet. I realize that good use of space can resolve the size issue. Our house currently is 2,000 SF but a lot of the space is taken up by an odd loft area at the top of the stairs. We could go as small as 1500 I'm sure. A townhouse would be perfect. The only non-negotiable is the 3 bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms. Oh...and walkable. If my husband can't fall out of the door and into a coffee shop in the morning, it would be a no-go!
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