Stories From People Who Left the Bay Area for Sacramento
SFGate asked people who used to live in the Bay Area the major reasons behind their move to Sacramento, and this is pretty much what they said:
Lower Cost of Living
Briana Mullen, 25, a Bay Area Native who relocated to Sacramento, said: “I just bought a house,” the 25-year-old said. “And my mortgage is only a couple hundred dollars more than my apartment’s rent.” Mullen spent the first 22 years of her life in the Bay Area, having grown up in Concord before attending UC Berkeley. Upon graduation, she moved to Sacramento for a job in the state superintendent’s office.
“I knew I wanted to work in public service,” she said, “but even earning a higher salary in the Bay Area, the cost of living would totally negate what I earned.” In Sacramento, she has disposable income and the opportunity to save money. “The financial stress of living in the bay just wasn’t worth it to me anymore,” she added.
Pictured below is a typical house in downtown Sacramento:
Nichole McKenna, 33, said: “I moved from a basement apartment in East Bay to a whole house in Sac for less,” said McKenna, a dentist with three years of Sacramento living under her belt.
Aminah Ikner, 42, said, “I was able to buy a house, something I could never do in San Francisco.”
Katheline Tran, 26, said: “I bought a spacious house for the price of an old, dated condo.”
The house below at 3369 Auntie Burney St, Sacramento was sold for only $300,000 on Feb 26, 2018:
Anecdotes such as these reveal the obvious: Sacramento boasts an affordable housing market, at least compared to the skewed standards of Bay Area residents. That’s enticement enough for many to pick up and move to the state’s landlocked capital.
The median home value in Sacramento is slightly short of $300,000, according to Zillow. San Francisco’s median home value is nearly quadruple that number, at $1,194,300.
Real estate prices aside, many of those who made the leap from the Bay Area to Sacramento have discovered a city coming into its own, with a burgeoning food, arts and culture scene.
A City on the Rise
When Michael Bauer visited Sacramento in 2016, he discovered an explosion of new restaurants, some of which were run by chefs trained in Bay Area kitchens.
Despite a handful of restaurants lacking “focused execution,” Bauer says he discovered a “fresh energy in the dining scene” and “some things to love.”
Outside of up-and-coming restaurants, hints of an oncoming hipster makeover are scattered across the city. When the monthly art walks, microbreweries and third-wave coffee shops begin cropping up, the young and hip can’t be far behind.
For a 20-something like Mullen, the city offers “everything I could want,” including trendy shops, bars filled with young people, and farmer’s markets — all accessible by foot or bike.
While San Franciscans were consumed with drama at Uber and the NBA Finals, Sacramento’s mayor was striking a $100 million partnership with Verizon to upgrade the city’s tech infrastructure and create a more connected, less digitally divided city.
Between 2014 and 2015, the most recent years for which census data is available, nearly 170,000 people moved to Sacramento, the majority of which (25 percent) were aged 25 to 34. In just five years, Sacramento’s population has grown by six percentage points.
In the most recent influx, 12,000 people came from the Bay Area; according to Trulia’s annual “migration report,” those looking to leave the Bay Area are most likely to move to Sacramento.
Besides the “outstanding quality of life in Sacramento,” the Greater Sacramento Economic Council says the city has begun to attract non-agrarian businesses, including a handful of startups.