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Old 08-01-2016, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Destin, FL
14 posts, read 27,615 times
Reputation: 18

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My husband and I presently live in Destin, FL, a beach resort on the Gulf of Mexico in the northern panhandle area. Our son and his family (three grandchildren) live in San Francisco and we will be retiring to northern CA in the next year to be close to them. We are native Floridians and the last of our family in FL. We have previously considered and visited Carson City, NV, and some small towns south of there, But that area proved too far from SF for us.

We are familiar with the bay area and everything north of SF up to Petuluma and found those areas not to be affordable. So recently we have considered Santa Rosa and specifically the adult community of Oakmont Village on the east side of Hwy. 101. I have been concerned that there are no recent postings on Santa Rosa and the earlier ones for 2010 mention gangs and crime and other negative problems within the city. What is the present status of the city? Are gangs still a major problem? Also, is anyone familiar with Oakmont Village?

Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,751 posts, read 6,609,417 times
Reputation: 6077
There is really no gang activity in Santa Rosa. And what little connections some may have in those circles is quite isolated and rare.
You won't see mobs of gangsters walking the streets of Santa Rosa.
I feel quite safe in SR.
The one thing I have never liked about SR is the roads and traffic. I learned all the alternate routes to the places I would go to often. Most times the shortest route is not the quickest or easiest.
Other than that, it's not a bad place to live.
I like rural, but if I had to live in a city, Santa Rosa would be an acceptable location.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Destin, FL
14 posts, read 27,615 times
Reputation: 18
Thank you for your prompt reply. Can you tell me which side of 101 is the better? I have read where the northeast is the best area, but best is not affordable housing. Do you know anything about Oakmont Village other than it is for +55 adults? From reading the real estate listings we can afford to rent there, but buying is a concern. We like the thought of moving into a neighborhood of adults with lots of activities. The CA real estate market is so high compared to Florida and we don't want to retire with a mortgage. We have spent a great deal of time in SF, so we really look forward to exploring the area on 1 and 2 day trips. We are so use to the hordes of tourists here in the summer and spring break creating terrible traffic delays that we will learn the back ways like you use. We do that here now. I rather be moving than sitting!
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Wine Country
659 posts, read 745,970 times
Reputation: 2020
My husband and I are newly retired and moved to Sonoma County 6 months ago. We absolutely love it here! We live in a beautiful little town called Windsor which is 10 minutes north of Santa Rosa and about equal distance to Healdsburg. We looked at over 40 homes in the region before making our decision.
I will try to answer some of your questions but, of course, my opinion is somewhat subjective.

First of all, if you do end up in Santa Rosa, you have nothing to worry about regarding gangs and crime. Like any city, it has good and not so good neighborhoods but, in general, the city is quite safe. There is an abundance of great restaurants, good shopping, live music events, farmer's markets, movie theaters, etc. We frequently find ourselves in Railroad Square, 4th Street, Montgomery Village or other areas of the city during evening hours and have no concerns.

Regarding Oakmont, we briefly looked at some homes online and came to the conclusion that properties were actually a bit more expensive (per sf) than in other areas of the city. Our realtor confirmed this. In general, if you're looking to purchase a home, you'll find a slightly better value outside of Santa Rosa. Rohnert Park, Cotati and Windsor, will offer more house for the money and more inventory. In general, inventory is extremely low here, so the more flexible you can be the better.

If you are planning to rent and set on Santa Rosa, I would look in Fountain Grove, Bennett Valley, Montgomery Village or Rincon Valley. These neighborhoods will have decent properties and a clean, safe feel to them.

I know you mentioned wanting organized activities and I can appreciate that but, honestly, there is so much to do here, you will have little trouble keeping busy. If driving is an issue, then that is another story of course. Most of us travel around this entire small county for entertainment and there's just always something fun to explore.

If you are golfers, there are several public courses around the county and most everyone we know has nothing but good things to say. Prices are very reasonable by our standards. There are also some excellent health clubs for working out, swimming and fitness classes and, again, we found them very affordable considering the amenities.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to try and answer them.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Santa Rosa
486 posts, read 702,505 times
Reputation: 497
I've been in Sr about three years now and it a very nice place to live. Only real issue is a lot of school districts are not very good. I live in Villa Los Alamos which is one light down from Oakmount. Oakmount has a lot of 55+ drama but is a very nice place. If you don't care about i school district I would look into living in the city of Sonoma, Rohnert Park, Windor or Northwest or southeast SR to get the most bang for your buck. I live in NorthEast SR since the school district is better then most of the rest of sonoma county.

You could also look at something like St Helen.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
9,388 posts, read 12,268,462 times
Reputation: 14546
Oakmont and other 55+ communities charge a lot for what you get. My cousin bought just south of Oakmont don't recall the name of her development and they're unhappy because it's too close to the fwy. Houses and lots will be small compared with what you're used to .
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Pahrump, NV
2,433 posts, read 3,371,120 times
Reputation: 2197
be warned! oakmont village is located ON hwy 12. unless something has changed, that is a very deadly intersection. there is one way in & one way out. hopefully they have installed traffic signals since the last time i traveled that road?
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:45 AM
 
46 posts, read 190,760 times
Reputation: 28
There is a traffic signal at the Oakmont entrance and Hwy 12 intersection. The traffic on Hwy 12 can be heavy at times and it is the only way into town from Oakmont. Bennet Valley and Rincon Valley are nice and safe areas in Santa Rosa, they are also on the east side. There is a gated community on the west side, off of Fulton Rd. It isn't 55+ like Oakmont, but the houses are comparable and it's closer to grocery stores and other amenities. Oakmont is really out there, it's barely in Santa Rosa.

The gang issues in Santa Rosa are minimal. I've been in Sonoma County for almost 30 years and never think about it, and I live very close to downtown and also lived for many years in what is considered the "bad" part of town. The area that is considered bad is called Roseland. It's in the southwest section and is really just heavily Hispanic so be aware that whoever is saying it's a scary place that's full of gang activity doesn't live there, and probably has issues with brown people. I'm a pasty white woman who lived in Roseland for 15 years and never had a problem. Santa Rosa is not a small town, there's about 150,000 people here so there is some crime, but all in all I'd say it's a safe place to retire.

Do investigate the towns around Santa Rosa, you might be able to get more house for less money.
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