Moving to Sacramento from Atlanta - seeking advice!

My wife is applying for a promotion that will result in us moving to Sacramento. Both of us have wanted to live in Northern California, although we have only visited San Francisco.

I’d like to hear from people who live there - any kind of advice they would offer. Anything you can think of would be great as we are unfamiliar with the area. We like downtown living, and will probably keep our Midtown Atlanta condo while we are there. This means we are looking at renting an apartment. What resources would you suggest for finding a place? What areas would you recommend (my wife’s job would be in Folsom, but I think we might want to live somewhere that is less of a suburb)?

I am a computer programmer by trade and am hoping my current company would allow me to work from home. If not, what is the Sacramento market like? It looks like I would be better off in SF but everything I read indicates that commute is a nightmare, so that may not be an option.

Thanks for anything you can offer!

Hey, welcome to the Sacramento area! Unfortunately I have no actual knowledge of anything in Sacramento, except that you will want air-conditioning (but hey, after Atlanta at least you’ll be dry and hot).

YES. Sacramento valley heat is a far tamer beast than that godawful, humid, Atlanta stuff. It gets hot as hell in the summers, but at least the air doesn’t weigh a ton.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Folsom, but I’ve accidentally ended up there once or twice aiming for something else (don’t be concerned about this, it’s not excessively complicated to get around, I just can’t navigate my way out of a paper bag) and was surprised at how quickly it was that I was looking around going “uh… what am I doing in Folsom?” So it seems that you can probably get around from one area to another fairly quickly. :wink:

I just sent an email to my sister who works in downtown Sac but currently lives in Citrus Heights and just bought a house in Rancho Cordova. She’ll have better suggestions, she lived in a couple different apartments in several different areas of the city while she was in school.

I would absolutely never in my entire life consider commuting from Sacramento to the Bay Area on a routine basis. The very idea makes me want to stab myself. Repeatedly. I viscerally detest heavy traffic conditions though, so YMMV on how tolerable that commute is to you. It once took me three hours from end-to-end to cross the Bay Bridge.

There are about a zillion new “loft-style apartments” and townhomes that have been built in Downtown/Midtown Sacramento in the past few years. They were fairly expensive a couple years ago, but I imagine with the housing market being the way it is, prices have probably come down a bit.

Downtown Sacramento to Folsom is about a 20 mile commute, but it’s a “reverse commute”, so it’s not too bad a drive. (Of course, this comes from a lifelong Californian…I’m not sure how you feel about driving…) I can’t really tell you where to go to find resources regarding housing, as its been 15 years since that’s been an issue for me…

It really depends on what kind of “lifestyle” you want. If you like the suburbs, we have plenty of them. If you like “downtown living”, we have that. There are also plenty of “older neighborhoods” (homes built from the 20’s through the 50’s)…prices are “high” because we’re in California, but a lot lower than the Bay Area, for example.

As far as commuting to San Francisco, don’t even think about it. Seriously.
As to the weather, there are two rules:

  1. You can’t call it “hot” until the thermometer reaches 100
  2. "yeah, but it’s a ‘dry heat’ :slight_smile:

Let us know when you come out for a visit, and maybe we’ll actually manage a Sacramento Dopefest this time…

I’ve been told Sacramento can get very hot during the day but cools off at night, unlike Atlanta which can stay hot and muggy. I think I’d prefer Sacramento, and it is what I am used to (I am from Cape Town).

A cursory search on commuting tells me that a San Francisco job is out of the question for me, unless they let me telecommute nearly every day. It looks like we could get to Folsom fairly easily from the downtown area. We’d be interested in trying modern loft living for a while, but it looks like the rentals are expensive. If anyone has any suggestion on this that would be great!

Actually, this is pretty much what I do now in Atlanta. I’d be happier to work from home or find a job closer to downtown. My wife would be working in Folsom so she would have to do this commute, but I do think our preference is a more urban environment, so we would not want to actually live in Folsom.

Okay, word from the sis:

I think for someone who truly enjoys an urban environment, downtown/midtown type areas are the way to go.

Folsom and Natomas have some semi-urban aspects, but mostly it’s chain store and parking lots, even if they are in “new urbanist” drag. If you want a walkable place with a lively streetlife and independent shops and restaurants, you’ll want to be in Sacramento proper. Which is cool- Sacramento can be a fun city once you know where to look.

It will, like all of California, be expensive. Craig’s List is the obvious place to begin apartment hunting.

It is really hot. 110+ for a week straight is not that uncommon.

Good luck! Have fun! It’s not the most glamorous city in the world, but it has a certain underdog charm and a feisty keeping-it-real hipness. Plus, it’s been at times the most “integrated” city in America. Few places have that kind of diversity living that well together. The good stuff about Sac isn’t as obvious as it is in other cities, but once you find it you’ll find a lot of it runs pretty deep.

For an “urban” living arrangement, I agree you should be looking at downtown/midtown Sacramento. This is the area bound by the Sacramento River to the west, the American River to the north, highway US 50 to the south, and highway Business 80 to the east.

However, most of the downtown core is commercial property, and it gets more residential as you go east from the Sacramento River. As you go east of 16th Street, it gets much more residential and less commercial.

Our light rail system connects downtown Sac, midtown Sac, Rancho Cordova, and Folsom. So, you might start with a light rail map and work your way from there. Most of the downtown and midtown light rail is along R Street, so you might want to focus on streets within a few blocks of R Street.

There is a supermartket at 19th & R. That might be a good place to focus.

There are also new restaurants and lofts around 16th to 19th Streets at J and K Streets and also I think near 20th & Capitol. Looks like some nice places, but a bit far to walk from light rail. Just so you know, the rail line going north-south near 20th & Capitol is railroad, not light rail.

If you want to look a bit farther out from dowtown and closer to Folsom on the light rail line, there are some new residential apartments or condos or lofts or something at 65th & Folsom Blvd. next to a shopping center containing some restaurants and an Office Max. It’s adjacent to light rail. There is also a brand new Target store planned to go in just a few blocks from there, but I don’t know when it is supposed to be built. It’s been in the works for some time now. However, that area is an older suburb (decent area), not really considered downtown, but it’s only a short hop to downtown and the prices might be better.

Thanks for all the great advice so far. It sounds like the downtown / midtown area will be our preference, but we will be visiting in a few weeks to take a look.

Does Sacramento have much of an IT industry?

Just wanted to say that I’ll be moving to Sacramento in a couple of weeks, too! I’m going through the same fun things you are. :slight_smile: Hope to see you all there!


Anyone need a place to stay for a few days while scoping Sac out? I’ve got a private room and bath available in my condo after September 13 - totally furnished, and best yet, free to dopers!

I’m located in a great area, off Fair Oaks Blvd., between Howe Ave. and Munroe, 2 miles from Sac State, 1-2 more to midtown and 2 more to downtown.

Let me know!

Depends on which part of the industry you are in. Lots of Helpdesk stuff, of course, and a medium level of Computer Operator type positions, though those may be getting harder to come by.

I can’t speak for Network/IT admin type work, as I have nothing to do with either of those.

Err…that’s a bit of an exaggeration…

it does get hot here, but not *that *hot. Over **100 **for a week straight, sure. Over 110, no. This is Sacramento, not Phoenix :slight_smile:

And 100 degrees with 30% humidity beats 90 degrees with 90% humidity any day of the week…

A few years ago, quite a few IT jobs moved east to Sacramento from the Bay Area/Silicon Valley. I’m not sure how many of them are still here, and how many have moved even farther east (like to India…).

Exaggeration, but not by much. You have to admit that when it’s 105 or so for 3 days, then it jumps to 110-11 for 2 days, and the settles back down to a balmy 101-102, it sucks.

I miss Sacramento. I don’t miss the heat.

ps- Where were all you people when I tried to do my horrific SacDope fest? Half of the folks that came were Bay Area people!

My advice is to lighten the load when moving a much as possible. Furniture, appliances electronics – they just get in the way. You don’t really want to take all of that stuff cross-country, right? I could help you get rid of it, even!

Nice try! We’ll probably get a relocation package, so we’ll just pay someone to pack it all up for us!


I’m now an Oregonian. Too far south for the PNW Dopefests, too far north for the CaliDopes.

Well, we live in Folsom, I work in Rancho Cordova and my wife works downtown. We moved out to Sacramento from Hollywood about a year aggo and thought we would live in Midtown, but we really couldn’t find anything we liked (we didn’t have a lot of time to look), so we ended up living in El Dorado Hills, which is about as opposite Midtown as you can get (in terms of lifestyle). A few months ago we bought a house in Folsom and we love it.

The Sacramento area is very nice, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, the wine country are all day trips away. If you like boating or hiking or biking there is a ton of opportunity for that here. Folsom has grown quite a bit, thanks in no small part to Intel locating one of their major campuses here.

Drop me a PM if you have any other questions.