Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Focusing In

After checking out various Sacramento neighborhoods for the better part of the year......we have begun to seriously focus on a couple areas which are all off the 50 South of the American and have reputable public schools. Below I list out the associated pros and cons as I see them.

Gold River - Larger tract homes, in nice established neighborhood. Closest to downtown. SMUD (much cheaper than PG&E I hear). River close by, but in the flats.
Folsom -Nice smaller city within a city. Lots of family related activities available. Primarily tract homes. SMUD. Traffic and congestion becoming more of an issue as more retail is added. Lake close by, some hills.
El Dorado Hills - Mix of older custom homes and new tract homes (we can't afford the newer custom ones). PG&E is very expensive. Our daycare is here. Rather conservative crowd. Reminds me of SoCal. Lake close by, foothills, potential asbestos exposure.
Cameron Park - Some nicer custom homes on larger lots. Must drive down the hill to Folsom and EDH for most activities. In addition to expensive power, I hear water is also very expensive. Longest commute to downtown. People seem to be more friendly and down to earth compared to EDH. Above the fog line, potential asbestos exposure, cooler in summer and winter.

There are a couple notable exceptions to our main target areas...... such as the "bring all offers!" house near Sac State.

Unfortunately, even with a hefty correction I think East Sac/Midtown and Davis will remain too expensive.


sacramentia said...

work is slow so I waste my time online... So we went through the exact same analysis as you are about a year ago.

PGE v SMUD. So PG&E is less at low usage and more at high usage. I can't find my old spreadsheet but if I recall correctly a $200/mo power bill is the same for both. A $500 smud bill is like $800 for PGE. If you only have an $80 bill, PGE will actually be cheaper. The first tier is less with PGE but the upper tier is like 36cents per KW with PGE and 25cents with SMUD, so if you have a pool and run the AC a lot you can get hammered. On a normal sized house with a few shade trees it shouldn't make much of a difference.

We came down to EDH or Folsom, CP too far, Gold River too much of a pain to get to American River High, but being on the bike path would be really cool.

We picked our top 3 and priced in what I thought the market would fall too and wrote some pretty bad offers. we pissed a few people off, somebody bit and we bought.

Gwynster said...

You are correct that SMUD is far cheaper then PGE. I'd love to be back in SMUD land.

I also think you'd go nuts in the burbs and EDH will make you bonkers. GR might be a better choice for you. I totally see you as a mid-town momma. You are far too hip for Folsom and EDH >; )

I've been seeing lots of rentals in GR and now east sac, you might give it a try before you commit.

Buying Time said...

I am going nuts!...but I would have to be even more nuts to pay for private school tuition on top of East Sac RE prices.

The kids are young, so in theory we could rent for a couple years downtown before they start school...but I doubt Mr. BT would go for it.

Mike said...


I mirror you on the places I would like to purchase my next home in Gold River, Folsom, El Dorado Hills. (In that order)

Unfortunately, these three places really have not gone down in prices much like the rest of sacramento. Therefore, I am currently looking at Roseville and Rocklin because the prices there have gone down a lot and they have good neighborhoods/schools.

I am also eyeing Anatolia area and Gold River Station as a last resort to stay in the Rancho/Folsom area. Anatolia is not that great of neighborhood but they have bargain priced new homes and is near the area I want to stay in.

Hopefully, price decline will accelerate in the gold river/folsom area over the winter and some bargains will pop up next year. We will see...

Anonymous said...

As a long term resident of the 50 corridor and 15 years in the 95682 zip, I offer the following comments: I have propane heat, water heater and stove. Electricity runs me about $35/month. Propane varies, of course, and is more expensive than the natural gas options in Folsom, etc. It takes us 10 minutes to get from home in CP to East Bidwell stores, however, we also live very close to 50. I believe CP home prices are actually more for smaller homes, less than other areas for larger homes. Commute time from home to Garden Highway office is 35 minutes, but I also do not drive peak time. As to asbestos, it is my personal opinion after many years in El Dorado County, that the "problem" is greatly exagerated. I have yet to see any evidence that the area has suffered statistically unique health conditions attributable to asbestos. As to water being more expensive (don't know, my landlord pays), it would surprise me if it was more or less expensive than EDH because I believe it is all supplied by EID.

Cmyst said...

Well. You know it took me over a year to adjust to EDH.
We're sort of in a minor dilemma now, because we found a really fun local SCA group that we are loathe to leave. We could always come up here to go all Medieval, though, while maintaining a mid-century modern lifestyle in the closer, older suburbs.

What bubble? said...

Folsom is the obvious choice.Gold river is full of darelicts and homelsss from the river.Bunch of assholes with money there.Cameron park is about as exciteing as watching grass grow.Eldorado hills is full of tasteless losers who can't afford granite bay.

Sippn said...

Yea but she doesn't like the poential traffic from the future retail - can't have it all

G Spot1 said...

"Eldorado hills hills is full of tasteless losers who can't afford granite bay."

So does that mean Granite Bay is full of tasteless losers with money?

Buying Time said...

So what exactly am I missing on the Granite Bay thing? People talk about it with a certain reverence that I have yet to comprehend.

We drove around and it didn't seem all that amazing and appealing. The parts we drove didn't even seem as nice as some parts of EDH....

As a result I had taken it off the list cause I couldn't find anything worth braving the American River traffic for.

Cmyst said...

Granite Bay got a boost from being one of the burbs that the Kings players bought houses in, and it likes to think of itself as very upper class.
I was really ticked off when I went to the Safeway in Granite Bay and discovered that their parking spaces were huge. Probably all the Hummers. I guess they can have fewer, larger parking spaces since they're counting on people spending about twice as much there.
My grandkid told me today that she gets depressed when she sees a Hummer. I told her that I find Hummers delightful, since I neither have to make a Hummer payment nor purchase gas for one.
There are many people who live in Granite Bay in trailer parks, just as there are many people who live in EDH in apartment complexes.

Sold in '05 said...

As someone familiar with the operation of our local flood control systems, I would add to this conversation- stay FAR-AWAY from the river plain. The future changes to Folsom Dam will make the dam less likely to be overcome by a flood, BUT will do very little to improve the situation for persons living downstream of the lake. If you live there long enough, you WILL get flooded. Most of the American River levies are designed for approx 150,000 cfs of river flow before overtopping, but the upstream watershed and dam are capable of producing flows of well over 600,000 cfs. This will put a lot of homes underwater.

Smart money should stick to the high ground.

Also, the dryness of the Blue Ravine area of Folsom from Folsom Lake to Lake Natoma, is dependant on the rather rickety Mormon Island Dam staying intact when stressed by a full Folsom Lake and challenged by earthquake faults near the Auburn Dam site on the north end of Folsom Lake. This dam has upgrades "planned" for sometime during the next 10-15 years that should make it stronger.

Sippn said...

but, but, but . . . thats where we put all the affordable homes!

I'm not that old (no AARP yet) but a lifer in Sacramento area. . . Granite Bay started as a boat ramp that we all used to drink at. Then they gave it a zip code.

Shelborne was the first "snooty" development out there around mid
'70s. Sometime after that they were passing the Grey Poupon.

srcerer said...

sold in '05,
Could you give some more detail about how one can check if a given neighborhood would be above the potential flood line?

I've been eying 95816, 95819, and 95864. I'm assuming most, if not all, of those would be at risk.

Buying Time said...

Thanks Sold in '05, I forgot to mention that....because its certainly a big consideration.

And Anon...I am not really worried about the asbestos thing after talking to my pediatrician (whose wife did a very thourough investigation of the records). But do still consider it a con.

Given the two, I'd rather live in the hills where there is no risk of flooding.

G Spot1 said...

re Granite Bay, we are looking to live there because of the schools. Their public schools are some of the best in the area next to Folsom. I think Folsom would be our first choice but we want to be on the 80 corridor for commute reasons. The homes and neighborhoods are very nice in Granite Bay, although in the newer construction the lots are all too small. We are also looking at Roseville although only a portion of it is in the Eureka school district.

One thing kinda funny about Granite Bay is the attitude. Granite Bay is full of the nouveu rich who think that they are wealthy because they can afford (or not) to take on a million or more in debt. I've lived in the Bay Area and in LA and these people have no f-ing clue what rich truly is. I've met people who live in GB who lie and say they live in Roseville.

Gwynster said...

"I've lived in the Bay Area and in LA and these people have no f-ing clue what rich truly is"

I have to add DC (really nova) and Boston to that list. That gets an amen from me!

Patient Renter said...

"Also, the dryness of the Blue Ravine area of Folsom from Folsom Lake to Lake Natoma, is dependant on the rather rickety Mormon Island Dam staying intact "

Good point. The dike/dam there is like an ominous giant that can be seen from a distance clear from highway 50. I guess I've gotten used to it, though it would be something to think about before actually buying right down the street.

Sold in '05 said...


The public versions of the maps are not very well published online.

The city of Sac was supposed to have released some new maps for the public but they seem to be dragging their feet over some issues with FEMA wanting to reclassify areas that Sac wants to develop.

The "official" flood maps come from FEMA. These are what flood insurance are based on. This website is not exactly user friendly but you can search by street name and zip and then view and print the maps (if you can work your way through the interface).


If you are a SacBee subscriber, you can access some older online maps that give potential flood scenarios for some Sacramento areas if levies fail. -


When looking at any current map, keep in mind that data for what constitutes a 100 year and 500 year flood on the American River is subject to upward revision. The design for Folsom Lake from the 1950's assumed a 500 year flood that has recently been determined to be closer to a 50 year event. So today's 500 year number may even be somewhat more likely than assumed.

HOUSE2008 said...

"Granite Bay started as a boat ramp that we all used to drink at. Then they gave it a zip code."


Speaking of boat ramps just last year I was over at a friends house and his neighbor two doors down in midtown Sacramento on U st. had his garage flooded. It was one of those craftsman style bunglows/homes with the garage underneath the house. The "driveway" was VERY steep. Anyhow, he had just bought a new suv which barley fit in those skinny garages. Well, here comes the rain,while leaves backed up the drains which in turn goes over the curb of th sidewalk down into his garage and before you know it his garage was filled with water up to the seats of the suv! ouch.! He should have parked his boat in there!
Thanks for bringing up the water issue here on this blog as that's something not thought of very oftern for people buying form anothr county. Only people who have lived in the area know the "oh yeah remember when"... moments of their neighborhood.