The Real Scoop
I am a native-born who lived in Sacramento from the mid-1960’ s to 2005, left for 10 years and came back for family reasons. Here is my assessment of the city:
-Unaffordable real estate for the average wage-earner ($350,000+ for a old house in need of repair that you could buy in the mid-west for $120,000). In an area with decent schools, a 70’s half-plex will run you $300K. Decent newer home in the burbs or one of the older established areas will cost you much more. Most non-professional jobs do not compensate for this.
-Commuter traffic that takes me one hour to travel home at night 15 miles on I-5. I’ve seen country roads in the burbs flooded with cars trying to avoid the freeways. A mayor nixed the idea of a crosstown freeway in the 80s. All the land rights have been since bought up.
-There are proportionately very poor drivers, some quite aggressive who take chances with other peoples lives because of their impatience and lack of experience.
-Roads poorly maintained and with a lot of refuse on the shoulders. Honestly I’ve seen better maintained roads in third world counties. The state should probably enact toll roads to improve this.
-I’ve experienced, as some of my friends, non-responsive 911 attempts-which is unnerving.
-Light rail transportation is dangerous when not during peak hours. In the downtown area, many stops occupied by aggressive acting individuals who do not pay their fares. Fare increases have been recently enacted for fare payers to subsidize the non-fare paying riders.
-Very hot summers, often reaching 100+ degrees. If you are in the downtown area, there are many beautiful old trees that provide shade canopies, but not so much in the burbs.
-Air can feel dirty during the late summers, and so dry that you will need lots of moisturizer!
-Don’t believe when they say “only two hours to SF or the mountains”, as often on the weekends if you do not get out very early, you will be stuck in traffic on the freeways.
-Crime can be high in some areas, with many neighborhoods that are sadly underfinanced and past their prime as developers attract people further out to newer communities. A lot of urban blight.
-Homeless (drug) population is expanding into areas that were once occupied by professional classes.
-Bike trails can be dangerous in areas
-Pretty decent job opportunities when compared to states like Oregon (not Portland) or Nevada, and if you can get a job for the State (which are most of the jobs in the downtown area).
-Excellent colleges and universities nearby
-Access to multi-cultural food and the restaurant scene has gotten better
-One of the most diverse and integrated cities in the US, and generally most people get along and are not close-minded
-The arts scene is getting better, with the new Golden 1 Center promising to bring nationally acclaimed sports and music to the downtown area
-Great local baseball team
-Beautiful mornings and warm evenings
-Mostly sunny days
-Somewhat close to beautiful areas such as Napa Valley, world class skiing in the Sierras, and San Francisco – But you’ll have to deal with the traffic!
Hope this helps! Better to get an honest answer than some propaganda from the press!
C | Sacramento, CA