8 Reasons Why People Are Moving to Sacramento From the Bay Area
Over the last couple of years, the Bay Area has experienced a mass exodus of sorts, primarily due to astronomical housing costs. For those fleeing San Francisco, Sacramento has been the most popular in-state destination and Seattle the most popular for those going out of state, according to a report from SFGATE. As a result, Sacramento was the fastest-growing city in California in mid-2017. We are not surprised by these statistics, as our city has so many features and characteristics worthy of attention!
Boasting lower housing costs and laid-back living, Sacramento has become a popular choice for those interested in moving from the Bay Area. Take a look at the many reasons our city has attracted thousands of new residents as of late.
1. Housing is much more affordable.
Let’s start with the most obvious reason on this list. Housing in Sacramento is significantly less than that of the Bay Area — four times less, to be precise. The median home price in Sacramento is $309,300 and the median home price in San Francisco is $1,249,000.
Those coming from SF can financially thrive in a city like Sacramento. And they’re more likely able to afford the luxuries that are lofty fantasies in the Bay Area, such as a yard, a guest room, a garage, and spacious living areas. Many people have transitioned from a tiny studio in the Bay Area to a spacious house in Sacramento — one that they purchased instead of rented. Homeownership is much more attainable in Sacramento, allowing people to put down roots in the city and purchase an investment with long-term benefits.
2. It’s a wonderful place to work.
An estimated 120,000 Bay Area transplants have jobs based in the Bay Area due to the mobile nature of today’s workforce. They are able to travel to the city occasionally, some on a more regular basis. And others are seeking the vibrant job market in Sacramento, which has seen significant growth in recent years.
According to the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Sacramento County had the highest rate of employment growth between 2012 and 2013 when compared to the 50 largest counties in the country. This steady growth trend has continued all the way to the present day, mostly due to entrepreneurs and business owners who have flocked to the region. Some Bay Area employers, such as HealthSherpa and Fantag, have even set up offices in Sacramento to provide a lower cost of living for employees and to avoid the long commute into San Francisco. A healthy job market and the other attractive qualities of the city put Sacramento at the number two spot on Forbe’s list of the Happiest Cities to Work In back in 2015.
3. They can still access the Bay Area.
The Bay Area has plenty of desirable qualities, including breathtaking views, exceptional restaurants, unique architecture, pleasant weather, and more. But moving away from San Francisco doesn’t mean you won’t get to see the Golden City ever again! In fact, you can access it any time you want. Thankfully, the manageable distance of about two hours means you can visit the Bay for a weekend getaway or even a quick day trip. And then you don’t have to pay for it in real estate. It’s like renting a car and not having to change the oil or pay for regular maintenance!
4. Sacramento’s culinary scene is on the rise.
Sacramento is experiencing a renaissance of sorts on the culinary front, spearheaded by the dozens of creative farm-to-fork eateries in and around the city. In fact, some SF chefs and restaurateurs have migrated to Sacramento to escape high rent costs and get on the ground floor of the exciting things happening in the capital city. With the influx of new residents, particularly those who value all things local and artisan, comes an increase of vibrant restaurants serving up exceptional plates. Farm-to-fork fare is the standard in Sacramento, a city so immersed in the farms located just outside the city limits.
5. Sacramento is more laid-back.
While Sacramento has experienced a spike in population as of late, it is still far behind the crowded Bay Area. In 2016, Sacramento had an estimated population of 495,234, while San Francisco had an estimated population of 870,887 — and that doesn’t include Daly City, Oakland, Berkeley, and other surrounding Bay Area cities. The lower population of Sacramento makes it a much more laid-back place to be, with less foot traffic, easier parking, more spread out architecture and real estate, and a generally more “easy-going” feel. This can be a refreshing change of pace for ex-San Franciscans who are accustomed to the hustle and bustle of a larger city.
6. It is closer to nature.
Photo Courtesy of the American River Parkway Foundation
Sacramento is surrounded by rich farmland, refreshing rivers and distant mountains. It is easier to access the many outdoor recreational opportunities the region has to offer. In fact, the renowned American and Sacramento Rivers run directly through the city. And the American River Parkway attracts more than 5 million visitors each year. This 23-mile parkway and its many parks are perfect for hiking, biking, fishing, boating, rafting, golfing and more. Plus, there are several campgrounds in the region and beautiful hikes within a few hours of Sacramento.
7. It has an even more central location.
Sacramento truly has an ideal location. With just a two-hour drive, residents may access the wineries in Napa Valley, the ski resorts and water sports at Lake Tahoe, and the exciting attractions of San Francisco. These destinations already on the radar of San Franciscans are still attainable after a move to Sacramento. In fact, in the case of Lake Tahoe, they become even more accessible!
8. There is less traffic.
Like any major city, San Francisco has a lot of traffic, particularly during rush hour. Sacramento may be experiencing heavier traffic with the recent migration, but it is nowhere near the bumper-to-bumper frustrations that can sometimes be found in San Francisco. For city workers, lighter traffic can shave hours off of commute time, which in turn creates a happier work life. It’s a win-win!
Ready to buy?
With the area growing in popularity, now is the perfect time to buy if you’re able! Let us help you find your dream home in the Sacramento area — whether you are new to town or a long-time Sacramentan ready to establish roots in this desirable and popular city.
Category Neighborhood Guides, Real Estate, Sacramento
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.