I remember the very first time Zach mentioned Sacramento as an option to me. It was before he'd even left his previous job, but was looking around and had heard of an interesting opportunity here. I'd never been to Sac other than driving through to get to Tahoe, and from what I'd heard from many others in the bay area that's about as much as you'd ever want to see of it. So when he said he'd sent in a resume for a job here, I wrinkled my nose and said, "Sacramento? Really?"
By the time he got his current job offer our 2 options were Michigan or Sacramento, so I was a bit more open to the idea. But, I was still apprehensive. Then we visited and discovered the downtown area, and fell in love.
And after living here for almost 2 months, I'm happy to report that we are still loving it. =)
Our house is adorable. We're still finishing setting it up, eventually I'll post pictures. But we have wood floors throughout, decent light, and enough space (upgrading from a 2/1 to a 3/2.5 has been quite lovely!). Our kitchen is no longer a cave hidden away from the rest of the house. We have an adorable little patio for D and the cats to play in and a semi-private driveway for riding his firetruck.
Our location is great. There are two main neighborhoods I think of when I say "downtown Sacramento"-- Midtown, which is populated more by 20something singles, and East Sacramento which is much more family-oriented. We're kind of between the two, which means we get to take advantage of both. We have bars, restaurants, and shops all within easy walking distance... as well as great parks, a community center with pool and library (which I still need to check out), and even a kid-geared art studio that D has fallen head over heels for. The neighborhood itself is beautiful-- lots of gorgeous historic Victorian homes; tall, mature trees to provide lots of shade; great sidewalks; lots of crosswalks. It's very flat, too, so you see about as many people riding bikes as you do driving cars. So much is within walking distance (I even found a dentist for D that's walkable) that we don't have to use the car unless we want to.
Also, the people here? Maybe we've gotten lucky, and maybe it's the downtown crowd, but people have been super friendly. We've already made all sorts of connections, from the playgroup I joined right after moving that's taken me right in and been incredibly warm and welcoming, to people we just happen to strike up a conversation with while out at a park somewhere.
It kinda feels like this is Sacramento's well-kept secret. The best part? We could actually afford to buy here. Cost of living is a good bit cheaper, meaning we might actually be able to buy the kind of house we want in this neighborhood. As much as we loved the bay area, that has yet to be true there, at least in the kinds of neighborhoods that would be equivalent to this. So that feels good (knowing we have a decent chance at home ownership). We even considered buying soon after moving, but figured we probably should wait to see how Zach's job pans out. Being a start-up and all doesn't exactly make it the most stable of employments (the company does have funding for another 2-3 years, but I'd rather wait till we know we'll be somewhere semi-permanently before buying).
And that's another benefit of being out here-- if Zach were working at a start-up in Silicon Valley, I would probably never see him. Here, he's working about as heavy a load as usual, and most nights is home in time to help give D dinner and put him to bed. It's nice to be away from the workaholic mentality.
So, yeah, Sac's been good to us so far. Here's hoping that continues. =)
PS- To clarify, none of the houses pictured here is our house, they're just other gorgeous homes in our neighborhood.