14 REAL Pros & Cons of Living in Sacramento, CA

Thinking about moving to Sacramento, CA? I can share some useful insights.

I’ve lived in Sacramento for 3 years and I learned a lot about the city.

It’s a city with around 500,000 people, known for its history and being the state capital of California. You’ll find good food, a mix of different people, and it’s not too far from the beach or mountains. Like any place, there are good and not-so-good things about living here.

I’ll go over the important stuff you should know if you’re considering moving to Sacramento. If you’ve got questions, feel free to ask. I’m happy to help out.

Is Sacramento, California A Good Place To Live?

Sacramento is an excellent place to live, especially if you’re drawn to a lively medium-sized city with a unique capital-city flair.

In 2023, Forbes named Sacrament as the best place to live in California.

The community is rooted in a family-friendly atmosphere, with commendable schools, a reassuring safety record, and an array of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Nestled close to the Sierra Nevada foothills, it offers residents both stunning views and ample outdoor adventures.

But, Sacramento might not click with everyone. So, let’s jump into the 10 pros and cons…

SEE: 10 Pros & Cons of Living in Long Beach, CA

Pro: Cost of Living

While not cheap, it’s generally more affordable than other major California cities.

Renting an apartment in the city can cost, on average, about $1,850 per month. For those looking to buy, the median home price is approximately $593,962. This is quite a bit lower than in some other major California cities.

Utilities add to the monthly expenses, with energy bills averaging around $208.35 per month. Phone bills are also a consideration, averaging about $190.44.

Daily necessities like food also play a role in the overall cost of living. A gallon of milk might cost about $3.52, and a dozen eggs around $3.82. For fresh produce, expect to pay around $3.93 for a pound of potatoes and $1.74 for a head of lettuce.

A doctor’s visit in Sacramento averages about $174.92, and a dentist appointment might cost around $112.28. For those who wear glasses or need eye care, an optometry check-up is around $152.38.

Transportation costs are also part of the budget, with gasoline averaging around $5.20 per gallon. Public transportation options are available, with monthly passes costing approximately $94.50.

When it comes to shopping for clothes or going out for entertainment, a men’s shirt can cost around $32.51, while a movie ticket might be around $12.60.

Pro: Quality Education

Education in Sacramento is top-notch, and the locals benefit from many prestigious institutes in the city. 

Let’s talk about one of the most renowned universities nationwide, California State University.

With its roots dating back to 1947, the university is constantly ranked as the country’s top university.

This university has catered education to the people that have climbed farther on the fame ladder, including Tom Hanks and Lester Holt.

With more than 29K students and its large area, the university offers sixty undergraduate and forty graduate programs. 

There are also many other competent schools for pursuing education in the city. Sacramento also has good schools to shape and nurture the tiny minds of children! 

If your family has young children, moving to Sacramento will be great. 

The best Sacramento Education Institutes are: 

  • California State University 
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of California

Pro: Weather

If you like sunny days, Sacramento’s got plenty. It gets hot in the summer, but not much humidity.

The winter in Sacramento is the time to see Sacramento at its peak beauty. Winters make the city look more beautiful, and the weather feels desirable too! 

Even in hot temperatures, it is rare to snow in Sacramento. The snowfall factor makes it so that the winter weather is mild and manageable for the people. 

Living in Sacramento, you will gain exposure to all distinct seasons.

Whereas moving to places like Los Angeles or other states gives you constant weather, the weather in Sacramento constantly changes with the season. 

So, be ready to see the orange leaves of autumn come down and the flowers blossoming in spring! 

Pro: Less Crowded than Bigger Cities

It’s not as packed as places like San Francisco or LA, but still has a city feel.

Pro: Beautiful Scenery

Sacramento is overfilled with beauty due to its connection with the mountains and the attractions within the city. 

As you move to Sacramento, look far east every morning to see an astonishingly colorful sunrise!

The views of the sun rising over the Sierra mountain range are breathtaking! 

The closer you get to the mountains, the better the view gets. And this beauty comes at a cost.

Properties in areas closer to the mountain, including Foslom or Granite Bay, go for a higher value and look desirable. 

Pro: The Hip Lifestyle of the Sacramento Population

Travel & Leisure recently marked Sacramento with other cities, including San Francisco, on the list of the country’s coolest cities. 

Moving to Sacramento, you will find the locals here courteous, friendly, and helpful.

The friendly faces in the town make it easy for you to get used to the city’s life quickly and to find joy in living here. 

Expect the strangers holding the door for you and passing smiles at you randomly as you course through the city’s streets.

Pro: Location

It’s pretty well-situated. You can get to the mountains or the beach in a couple of hours.

When living in Sacramento you can switch up your scenery pretty quickly. You can go from city life to enjoying nature, whether it’s the beaches or mountain areas like Lake Tahoe, without needing to plan a big trip.

Related: 10 Pros And Cons Of Living In Oakland

Con: Crime

Listed as the second worst national city for human trafficking by the Human Rights Society, Sacramento suffers from a serious crime problem! 

Compared to the national Average, the crime rate in Sacramento is 53% elevated.

The report of high crime rates in Sacramento is an alarming situation for the people considering moving there. 

If there is an upside to this situation, it’s that the violent crimes in this city are reported far below the national Average! 

Nevertheless, if you decide to live in Sacramento, you must always remain vigilant and choose a safe neighborhood

Con: Increasing Homelessness

Sacramento struggles with homelessness, which is a visible issue in certain areas.

The city has faced challenges in managing this problem, particularly in providing enough shelters and support services for the homeless population.

The situation is compounded by high housing costs and limited affordable housing options, leading to an increase in the number of people living without stable shelter.

Con: Taxes

Being a part of California, one of the biggest drawbacks of living in California is the high tax rates for its residents. 

As a Sacramento resident, you must pay an additional 12.3% state income tax. Apart from the state income taxes, you must also pay federal taxes! 

With how much the local government is taxing their residents, they could consider creating a more pleasant environment for the locals.

Nevertheless, that remains a debate for another time.

Con: Air Quality

Due to its geography and climate, Sacramento sometimes faces air quality issues.

Con: Traffic

Like many California cities, Sacramento has issues with traffic congestion, especially during peak commuting hours.

While the city has public transportation options, including a light rail system, it may not serve all neighborhoods equally, making a car necessary for most of its residents.

Con: Hot Summers

Sacramento experiences very hot summers, with temperatures often soaring above 100°F, especially in July and August​.

Con: Housing

If you’re hoping to live downtown, be prepared to shell out $2,500 a month or to live with roomamtes. A simple studio apartment is about $2,200 per month.

When it comes to purchasing a home, the numbers aren’t any more comforting. With the median home price of around $593,962 you’d need to earn six-figures to be able to pay a mortgage.

Like in the rest of California a double-income household is a necessity in Sacramento.

Living in Sacrameto

Sacramento is a great place to live but like any city, it’s not without its drawbacks.

Ranked as the 25th most walkable city in the country, living in Sacramento gives you easy access to shops and nearby outdoor attractions, such as parks.

Nevertheless, there are also some significant shortcomings of living in Sacramento, such as crime and traffic. 

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