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      06-10-2015, 10:24 PM   #1
tylerwillingham
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How is Sacramento for a car enthusiast?

I've always wanted to move to the west coast and I think I might be able to do that in a couple of years, so I want to prepare for that. Sacramento seems like a great city similar in size to where I'm at now that could make a great long-term home or at the very least a good place to live before moving somewhere larger/denser on the coast.

I love cars, I love BMWs and having a garage is really important to me so that I can do routine maintenance. It looks like this is feasible in Sacramento (where it would be super difficult in the bay area) for a reasonable price.

How are the shops in the area? How's the dealership? Are there any scenic driving roads? How's the local euro car enthusiast scene? Are there any BMW specific groups/meets?
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      06-11-2015, 10:58 PM   #2
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      06-12-2015, 01:12 AM   #3
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Theres actually a large car presence in Sacramento and the surrounding area with a lot of good back roads leading to Tahoe, Yosemite and the Sierra mountains.

While the weather isn't as nice as the San Francisco region, the home prices are much more realistic for the average earner.

There are several spirited drives hosted by a Sacramento native who goes by M3Dragon here on the forum.
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      06-12-2015, 01:44 PM   #4
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I have lived in Sacramento for 23 years which is my entire life haha It's a cool place to live do I plan on living in Sacramento for the rest of my life NO! Cost of living compared to Bay Area, LA way cheaper. Sacramento has its nice neighborhoods and bad ones just like any other city so depending on where you live price will depend on that like they say, "you get what you pay for".

Now to the car scene there is nice car scene nowhere near LA or FL status but it is okay in my opinion. South Sacramento/Elk grove area has the highest car scene as well in the Roseville area 2nd maybe my opinion. There are nightly meets every Friday and Saturday nights but after attending a few its usually the same people, cars and younger crowd in Civic's and Integra's nothing wrong I was once into Honda's lol. There is also another meet/group that is every month I cannot recall there is a thread on it I think on here Cars & Coffee mostly Euro, those are nice but think because it is an older crowd.

On shops for just normal maintenance etc..there is Valley motorwerks only one I know of that is good. Aftermarket, performance total kontrolle engineering buddy use to work there and also there is CA tuned but believe they mostly deal with older BMW's. Most people I have talked to from buying parts for my E92 have been from the Bay area and seems like the Bay has a lot more performance shop options but if you live in Sacramento short distance little drive.

In the year of owning my E92 M3 I have personally seen only 3 nicely modded M's 2 E92's and 1 E90 M3 here. Occasionally I will see another E92/E90 M3 on the road so when I drive mine does make me stick out from an everyday civic & corolla. have actually been seeing more F80/F82 M3 & M4's so maybe Sacromentians as my friend from the bay likes to call us are getting rid of the previous gen M's lol

But like BzsBimmer said there are some nice roads NEAR Sacramento. You are kind of in the middle of Tahoe and Bay area so its nice to get away without traveling for a long distance.
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      06-12-2015, 02:31 PM   #5
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I lived in Sacramento for about 8 years about 8 years ago so my information may be a bit outdated.

The area is pretty laid back compared to the SF area. It is very suburban and lots of people raising families and such. It is probably a bit more urban than Kansas City but no where as much as SF and LA.

I really did not like the weather. In the winter it gets below freezing at some times yet it never snows. The summers are always super hot at 110 degrees or more. I also did not like the suburban feeling. I grew up in SF and Sacramento always felt like it was missing the energy of the SF area. It just feels sleepy. By comparison, the LA area is also mostly suburban but it has much more energy than Sacramento.

If you are used to a slower pace of life and like suburbia, then Sacramento is not a bad place to be. Being younger and single at the time I lived there, Sacramento was not where I wanted to be. I like the conveniences of being in a large urban center and the faster pace of things. I guess I'm just spoiled by living in the SF area. I decided to move back to SF after living in Sacramento for all those years.

Maybe look into the LA/Southern California area if you love cars and want somewhere suburban yet distinctly California. In Northern California, Sacramento is always eclipsed by the San Francisco bay area. There is simply a lot more things to do in the SF area and all major events are in SF area. You'll find yourself making the 2+ hour drive to SF to do things all the time. In many ways Sacramento is like the California city that doesn't feel like a California city. It has more of a midwest feel.
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      06-12-2015, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K
I lived in Sacramento for about 8 years about 8 years ago so my information may be a bit outdated.

The area is pretty laid back compared to the SF area. It is very suburban and lots of people raising families and such. It is probably a bit more urban than Kansas City but no where as much as SF and LA.

I really did not like the weather. In the winter it gets below freezing at some times yet it never snows. The summers are always super hot at 110 degrees or more. I also did not like the suburban feeling. I grew up in SF and Sacramento always felt like it was missing the energy of the SF area. It just feels sleepy. By comparison, the LA area is also mostly suburban but it has much more energy than Sacramento.

If you are used to a slower pace of life and like suburbia, then Sacramento is not a bad place to be. Being younger and single at the time I lived there, Sacramento was not where I wanted to be. I like the conveniences of being in a large urban center and the faster pace of things. I guess I'm just spoiled by living in the SF area. I decided to move back to SF after living in Sacramento for all those years.

Maybe look into the LA/Southern California area if you love cars and want somewhere suburban yet distinctly California. In Northern California, Sacramento is always eclipsed by the San Francisco bay area. There is simply a lot more things to do in the SF area and all major events are in SF area. In many ways Sacramento is like the California city that doesn't feel like a California city. It has more of a midwest feel.
+1
I'm not sure from where are you moving, but I would really check Sacramento out in detail before moving there. It is very different than San Francisco and perhaps that's what you're looking for.
Significantly less sophisticated and less vibrant than the Bay Area with temperatures in the summer that will make you think you've moved to Death Valley but the trade-off is cheaper housing and less gridlock.
Don't take this post as a knock on Sacramento because I'm sure there are many people that live there that love it, however there are many other places in California that you might want to check out before moving there.
Good Luck!
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      06-12-2015, 02:56 PM   #7
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I am a Sacramento native that just moved to the bay area (it feels like I just did but it's been almost 4 years now).

There are a lot of car meets and things going on such as Euro Sunday (eurosunday.net), but agreed, nothing compared to the bay area in terms of number of meets and enthusiasts. There are great shops in Sacramento that specialize in BMW's (Valley Motorwerks to name just one). I haven't personally dealt with dealers too much but Niello BMW seems to be the popular BMW dealership. You could always make a trek to the bay as there are a LOT of shops out here that specialize in maintenance and performance.

The good thing about Sacramento is, you are 1.5 hours to SF/Bay Area, you are 1.5 hours to Napa/Wine Country, you are 1.5 hours from Tahoe. Sacramento itself doesn't have much to jump up and down about besides the calmness and housing prices. If you are into tracking, decently close to Thunderhill and Sonoma raceway, a bit further to Laguna Seca. Sacramento is very centrally located.

If Sacramento pricing is your budget, you will likely NOT be able to find a decent living space with a garage anywhere in the bay area for a remotely close price. Good Luck!
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      06-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #8
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If Sacramento pricing is your budget, you will likely NOT be able to find a decent living space with a garage anywhere in the bay area for a remotely close price. Good Luck!
I believe this is the best reason to be in Sacramento. Rent and house prices are pretty reasonable. Also, close proximity to the SF area where you can drive out for the weekend.

But then if you are looking based on that, Southern California also has pretty affordable living costs and it is more desirable as a car enthusiast - it is the home of car culture in America.

SF area living costs are very high. Even with a low 6 digit salary, you'll have to watch your costs and can't afford to buy a home.
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      06-13-2015, 12:33 PM   #9
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I'm not opposed to the bay area, I can make much more money in SF and likely find a job easier (I'm a software engineer) but I don't really know the suburbs and owning an M3 in the city on 1 person's salary seems tough. Plus I like to do some of my own work (oil changes, small mods).

The initial appeal of Sacramento is that it's comparable in size to KC and comparable in price meaning that I could comfortably leave there on my midwest salary. The difference between SF and KC in terms of size and cost is so massive that my lack of knowledge about SF makes me hesitate even if it could be fine.

Regarding weather: I'm not really worried about those temperatures, especially considering Missouri can get just as hot but it's significantly more humid. I'll take the dry heat over what we get any day.

The relatively close proximity to many different things is very appealing about Sacramento, as is the cheaper cost of living, less gridlock and perhaps this is the wrong opinion for the bay area doesn't really scream "great place to live for someone who lives driving".

Also, thank you to everyone that's responded so far. I appreciate the input
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      06-13-2015, 09:33 PM   #10
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If Sacramento pricing is your budget, you will likely NOT be able to find a decent living space with a garage anywhere in the bay area for a remotely close price. Good Luck!
A sacramento budget would be way different than a SF budget because the SF salaries are significantly higher. How much would you recommend budgeting to rent a place with a private 1+ car garage in the bay area?
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      06-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #11
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I agree, everything is relative. I'd say budget $2500-$3000 a month minimum. Obviously this will change based on location and other factors. Coming across a unit with a closed 1+ car garage is getting more and more difficult these days.
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      06-13-2015, 10:22 PM   #12
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I agree, everything is relative. I'd say budget $2500-$3000 a month minimum. Obviously this will change based on location and other factors. Coming across a unit with a closed 1+ car garage is getting more and more difficult these days.
What cities would you recommend with that budget in mind? I want to do a little research. That's not a concern for me with bay area salaries
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      06-14-2015, 11:23 AM   #13
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Look into Lincoln also. Nice newer houses. I have a rental there that's 2900sf, 2 car garage, 5 bed, 3 bath. It rents for $2250/month. Doesn't compare to living in the Bay Area, but you get a lot for your money out there.
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      06-16-2015, 12:16 AM   #14
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I grew up in the Silicon Valley, the southern part of the Bay Area most of my life (45 mins from SF). But in the last 4 years, I have spent my weekends in the Sacramento and Davis areas. I have grown to like it. While there night life or eateries isn't as plentiful as the Bay Area, there are still good places to go. Parking is much easier to find downtown and there is a lot less traffic. I have only seen one other modded E9x, mostly just see E46s or E36s

As a software engineer, you would probably have more opportunities in SF or the Silicon valley, however cost of living is much higher. Like others have mentions life is much more vibrant in those ares as well as the car scene.

I would also consider your other hobbies. If you like the nature or biking, Sacramento can be a great place to live. It is very bike friendly, and the city is covered in trees. And there are a lot more outdoor activities nearby.

You can try looking into Tracy, similar housing pricing to Sacramento doable on a single income, but I believe it is going up. It is approx. 45min to 1 hr from SF or Silicon Valley. It is a commuter city, with many people living there and commuting into SF or SV for work. The ACE train takes you into the heart of SV and there are shuttles that take you from the stations to most major companies in the area. There are some very good performance shops within 30 mins of Tracy. Performance Technic and Edge Motorworks.
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      06-16-2015, 12:04 PM   #15
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What cities would you recommend with that budget in mind? I want to do a little research. That's not a concern for me with bay area salaries
Check out the peninsula for single family homes for rent. They should be around that budget for the 2 BR houses with attached garages. These are within 20-40 min from SF and the traffic isn't terrible as long as you stick to HWY 280. 101 can get backed up. San Bruno, San Mateo, San Carlos, Belmont, Palo Alto, Mountain View.

You can also look at east bay, but mostly everywhere will have bad traffic around rush hour time and you'd have to take the toll bridge or public transit every time you want to go into the city. Fremont, Union City, Pleasanton, Danville, Livermore, Walnut Creek.

If you want to be at the heart of silicon valley near Apple, Google, and a lot of other larger companies, South Bay includes San Jose, Saratoga, Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, just to name a few.

That should give you a bit of research to do
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      06-24-2015, 03:00 PM   #16
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Look into Lincoln also. Nice newer houses. I have a rental there that's 2900sf, 2 car garage, 5 bed, 3 bath. It rents for $2250/month. Doesn't compare to living in the Bay Area, but you get a lot for your money out there.
Is it fairly easy to rent out houses in that area? $2250/month is pretty good given what the houses sell for out there. My wife and I are looking into purchasing a rental property in the near future.
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      06-24-2015, 05:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by Boo-E View Post
Look into Lincoln also. Nice newer houses. I have a rental there that's 2900sf, 2 car garage, 5 bed, 3 bath. It rents for $2250/month. Doesn't compare to living in the Bay Area, but you get a lot for your money out there.
Is it fairly easy to rent out houses in that area? $2250/month is pretty good given what the houses sell for out there. My wife and I are looking into purchasing a rental property in the near future.
Yeah, I've never had any issues. Owned out there for 9 years and prob only 2 months vacant.
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      06-24-2015, 07:20 PM   #18
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I believe this is the best reason to be in Sacramento. Rent and house prices are pretty reasonable. Also, close proximity to the SF area where you can drive out for the weekend.

But then if you are looking based on that, Southern California also has pretty affordable living costs and it is more desirable as a car enthusiast - it is the home of car culture in America.

SF area living costs are very high. Even with a low 6 digit salary, you'll have to watch your costs and can't afford to buy a home.
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