California presented to people a new model for the American dream—one where the emphasis was on the ability to take risks, the willingness to gamble on the future.
-Historian H.W. Brands
The Best Thing About Elk Grove?
Raising A Family
Elk Grove is pure suburb. The city is working hard to correct some of the blandness of that experience but in the meantime doing what suburbs do best - providing families with “affordable” housing, kid-friendly blocks and really good public schools. We qualify the idea of affordability because this is California and the Sacramento area blew up during the pandemic as Bay Area residents moved here in droves.
Here's the pov of a local on living here:
Yeah, it'd be nice to live closer to the fun parts of Sacramento. But… if I get a mortgage on a place closer to midtown, I'd save maybe $100 a month in uber fees, but pay hundreds more in mortgage fees.
If I bought a house in midtown, I'd be stuck with the higher mortgage payments until I sell the house or pay off the mortgage. If I get a house in Elk Grove I'd have a significantly lower mortgage. If I ever don't feel like paying $40 for uber I could just go to a bar in Elk Grove or drink at home with some company lol
The Worst Thing About Elk Grove?
In Need Of A Center
Pretty much everyone understands the drawbacks of traditional suburbs for social experiences but we’re still going to hammer Elk Grove for not being quick enough to build out a bigger commercial district. Residents need more to do when they don’t feel like driving into Sacramento.
There is a section of town called Old Town, a charming little area with a handful of restaurants/pubs but they need commercial development here stat. A recently approved mixed-use project known as Elk Grove Railroad Courtyards will help. http://www.egcitizen.com/news/planning-commission-approves-mixed-use-project-for-old-town-eg/article_a7c4c8da-d301-11ec-9b00-076d0f1805a6.html
Here's a review of the energy of the city from a resident:
Elk Grove is an extremely bland suburbia with zero trace of culture. People commute an hour one way to their 8 to 5 median income state job in Sacramento then commute back to home to their cookie cutter house and watch Netflix and repeat. On the weekends they take their kids to soccer/baseball games or "lay low" and then repeat the cycle until their kids are grown and they can retire and move away from Elk Grove.
Lifestyle of Elk Grove
Whatever you imagine the lifestyle of a traditional suburb, the good and the bad, is available in Elk Grove. Lots of families put their kids through school here, save for college, do little league-type sports, commute to jobs in Sacramento and basically just try to live the American dream in a crazily expensive state.
The huge bonus you get in Elk Grove is sunshine nearly every day of the year, and a less than two hour drive to Lake Tahoe to the east and San Francisco to the west. If you’re up for the drive it is an amazing place for an outdoor lifestyle. You’re in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range so when you are up for getting the kiddos out of the suburbs the wilderness is close.
Check out the calendar of events for Elk Grove: https://www.elkgrovecity.org/all-events
Worklife of Elk Grove
There is no business district within the city limits of Elk Grove. Which means you either work from home or you’re doing the 15+ mile commute into Sacramento. That doesn’t sound like much but traffic is brutal so be ready for that. There are legends of super-commuters who make the hike into San Francisco from this area but seriously that is not a life.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
The development plans for Old Town make us think there is hope for Elk Grove becoming a more hospitable social experience to go along with its benefits as a traditional suburb. Suburban cities that have a more interesting commercial district are all the rage and if you want to get in on the ground floor before Elk Grove makes progress in that direction come check it out.