Elk Grove or Sacramento?

11 Replies

From a person who grew up in Sacramento/Elk Grove, I favor the Elk Grove location due to the following: - better schools - lower crime rates - suburbs of Sacramento -25min drive to downtown Sac (about 45min w/traffic) You can see what's being developed in Elk Grove here: http://www.elkgrovecity.org/city_hall/departments_divisions/development_services/current_development_projects Sacramento in general, it depends on which neighborhood you're looking at also I think it's over inflated to buy anything right now (at least for myself).

@Karen L. I grew up in Elk Grove so this is really taking me back.  I think @Kay Li has better current insight than me but it was a "nice suburb".  A nice place to raise a family but I wouldn't have called it particularly "hip".  Almost to Davis but with way more potential for sprawl because there isn't all of that farm land around it.  The closer you get to Sacramento the more hit-and-miss you get with the neighborhoods.  Some of those South and West Sacramento areas can be a little more than dicey.  

I currently live in Elk Grove and it's suburban-SFH-central. There's always some SFH unit for sale (3-6 bedrooms), but almost none at a price that makes sense with the rents around here ($1800-$2500/mo. not enough on $300-500K houses). There are very few small multifamilies, and the apartments are either "new huge 150 unit corporations" or "40 year old 80 unit properties".

I don't even think I know of a D-class neighborhood within Elk Grove proper (just north of it in South Sac? yes, several.) You might be able to find distressed properties though, but the distress is the exception rather than the rule.  "Nice suburb" is a fine description. Also "boring or bland suburb". :)  But that's fine for my family. I have pleasant neighbors, kids feel free to play in the streets, people mow their lawn, and no drama usually equals low crime. 

That being said, since the crash, the majority of the people in my neighborhood (80% by my count) are *renters*. The owners that lost their house in the crash to foreclosure got bought out during the recovery and those houses are being rented out to long term renters, in the neighborhood for the well-regarded schools. Somebody has to own these houses and make money from them. :)  I wasn't RE savvy during the crash, so I didn't get in on the low prices.

East side (of highway 99) of Elk Grove is older, with some properties on large lots, established beautiful neighborhoods, mobile home parks, neighborhoods that time and paint forgot. It's the area with the few small multifamilies I know of. 

West side Elk Grove near Laguna (between the freeways) is almost all less than 20 years old it seems. Cookie cutter homes on tiny lots, some McMansions and a sea of terra cotta tile roofs.

North of Sheldon Rd on the West side isn't Elk Grove anymore, and neighborhood quality quickly drops from B to C then to D in a matter of blocks. You know you've left EG on the south when the cows, horses, and fields take the place of shopping minimalls.

This all being said, I don't actively look for investments in my backyard because I spent (wasted?) way too much time trying to make something work right here for my goals.  Your mileage may vary.

Oh, one last thing: there's a tribal gaming casino planned to be built in the southmost-central portion of the city which people take as a great benefit or the end of the world, depending on how you feel about gambling and/or money. :)

@Karen L.

Your question is simply too broad in scope. Sacramento has many different neighborhoods to it, and so does Elk Grove. It'd be much easier if you could provide two properties you were considering, with one in Sacramento and one in Elk Grove. Or, state a specific area of Sacramento vs a specific area of Elk Grove. As you can see from @Nate Pomeroy 's response above, there is simply too much to take into consideration.

Also, what type of investment are you considering? Single family residential? A condo? Multifamily? 2-4 units or 5+ units? Is the cap rate the most important metric? Or appreciation? Or the property's ability to maintain value in a downturn?

Sooooo much to consider as you see, as you answers will change my answers dramatically. 

Perhaps if you share a little more about what you're looking for, we can help point you in the right direction :-) 

I know there is a BRAND SPANKING NEW MEDICAL SCHOOL (private) either starting or just has started kicking out students and doctors to be in Elk Grove... it is NOT affiliated with UC DAVIS in any way, shape or form.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Northstat...

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However, I did try to browse the area on TRULIA to look for MFR's near there (figuring med students would be a great place to rent to if I could find an investment property there... but like other posters have mentioned... ELK GROVE is a bastion of SFR' nearly entirely. It is a decent suburb of Sac and little if any drama. Rents are way to low vs price to own to justify purchase at this point in such a hyperinflated market IMHO.

I am trying to buy a single family home Elk Grove. While the market right now seems hyperinflated, Elk Grove does have a number of good things going that may make it a even more desirable rental market. And also offer fair bit of appreciation just like the San Francisco bay area.

What does everyone think about area around Laguna blvd and Franklin blvd intersection?  And also about Elk Grove in general. 

re:"Laguna blvd and Franklin blvd intersection" - it's good. there are 4 banks between 2 of the corners there, 2 grocery stores, no check cashing places. My local take-and-bake pizza place is there. I've been to that Walgreens at midnight and no sketchy characters were present.  Decent park nearby that had my kid's soccer games once a month, so I've driven the neighborhood south-west of the intersection. I've also driven the neighborhood south-east of it and it's fine too.

The market is really inflated vis-a-vis the rents.  Unless you bought 8-10 years ago, getting something to cashflow would be super tough.

I'd be careful of Elk Grove, AFAIK there is new construction happening in the next several months. IMO this will flatten out Elk Grove pricing over the next several years(even more so when the down turn hits) 

Plus good luck cash flowing in Elk Grove, unless you have a huge down payment or find a 50% off deal with no rehab needed. 

From my experience if you don't work or live in elk grove there's no reason to go. Most people living in elk grove don't work in elk grove either. just my opinion.

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