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Renter's Guide to Sacramento
Sacramento, the state capital of California is also its sixth largest city. It’s located in Northern California at the junction of the Sacramento and American Rivers. Sacramento to San Francisco is a journey 87.9 miles west, which takes 1 ½ hours without traffic. Sacramento to Lake Tahoe is a popular trek as it is just 118 miles inland, a 2-hour drive. If you were to travel from Sacramento to Los Angeles, you would go 386 miles south along 99 to Interstate 5; if you instead wanted to go to Las Vegas, you would begin traveling east at Bakersfield, a total of 571 miles.
Weather in Sacramento Ca. throughout much of the year is full of sun, as it is a Mediterranean climate with mild lows. In fact Sacramento has the most amount of sunshine per year than any other city in the United States; average high is around 84°F and its low in December is 38°F. Still, the dense tule fog in winter months can sometimes last for days.
Cost of Living in Sacramento, CA
Sacramento is served by Regional Transit, which has buses and light rail in and around the area; an adult one way is $2.75. However, most Sacramento residents still drive, with the average commute time being 26 minutes, which is also average for the nation.
There are of course a variety of fast food options and low cost restaurants like Round Table Pizza in Sacramento where an average meal is $14. You can also find more upscale fare that runs about $50 for a dinner for two.
For utilities, however, Sacramento residents pay on average $153.91 per month for a 915 sq. foot apartment, substantially higher than either San Francisco or Los Angeles, largely due to a recent slate of taxe increases.
Average Rent in Sacramento, CA
- Sacramento, CA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,442 /mo
Sacramento, CA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0007%
Sacramento, CA Rent Trends
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Living in Sacramento
For upper-middle class residents, Sacramento is very enjoyable, with nice suburbs and a generally sunny climate. There is much to do in the way of outdoor activities. Downtown Sacramento has been going through a revitalization and now has a hip vibe.
On the other hand, if you’re not making a lot of money or working for the government, you may find Sacramento to be costly… and dull. The summer months can get quite hot and the commute can be expensive and long.
Sacramento is considered one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation, a distinction it has had since Time Magazine voted it #1 in 2002. Since then, it continues to attract a wide variety of people of different races and classes. In 2010, the U.S. Census found Whites at 34.5 percent, Hispanics and Latinos at 26.9 percent, 13.9 percent African-American, and Asians at 18 percent.
However, Sacramento has also made the Top 10 of Forbes’ Most Miserable Cities in 2011, due to high unemployment, commute, and crime.
Things to do in Sacramento
There are plenty of fun things to do in and around Sacramento, especially if you like the outdoors. At the top of the list is Old Sacramento State Park, with historic buildings dating from 1849 and interesting shops right along the delta. Every citizen should also visit the California State Capitol and surrounding Capitol Park, designed after the U.S Capitol building in Washington D.C., as well as McKinley Park, a custom designed playground, which is based on East Sacramento’s 125 year old past.
Families looking to cool off can have a splashing good time at Raging Waters, see exotic animals at the Sacramento Zoo, or enjoy a movie night at West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In. Paradise Beach, located near California State University, is also an excellent spot to have a picnic, indulge in a swim, or simply relax by the water. Fishing is also popular here in the off-season.
Popular places to eat with the family include the Firehouse Restaurant in Sacramento’s Old Town. The Waterboy in Sacramento is known for great Italian and French food with locally grown ingredients. Adults that like their adult beverages can find many different local breweries serving food and beer, like Sactown Union Brewery or Rubicon Brewing Company. There’s also the Dive Bar in Sacramento that has live “mermaids” swimming in giant tanks. Couples looking for laughs on a night out may want to visit the Punchline, Sacramento’s premiere standup venue. The Ace of Spades is an all-ages club where a lot of local and touring acts play a variety of styles of music.
As for shopping, there are countless options in Sacramento from quaint, locally-owned boutiques to bustling shopping centers. Located on Arden Way, Arden Fair Mall features over 165 stores and retailers, including Macy's, JCPenney, Sears, Apple Store, Madewell. Then there’s Midway Antique Mall for vintage design lovers, with thousands of unique pieces, from antique furniture and decorations to jewelry and vintage clothing.
Sports fans don’t have much choice in terms of major teams - the only franchise is the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team that play at the Sleep Train Arena. However, Sacramento recently added its first Rugby team, the Sacramento Express in 2016.
Annual Sacramento events include Sacramento Museum Day, where the first Saturday in February more than 30 local museums are free. There’s also the Grape Escape in June celebrating regional wines, and the giant California State Fair in July.
Employment and Economy in Sacramento
Being the state capital, Sacramento is of course filled with politicians and government jobs. The top two employers are the State of California and Sacramento County. Other major companies in the area are Intel and publishers the McClatchy Company. Still, the employment outlook for the Sacramento area is mixed as there are fewer private employers in the area and those that are here offer lower wage positions in retail and hospitality.
Education in Sacramento
There are several different school districts in Sacramento, but most students located south of the American River are served by the Sacramento City Unified School District. It has been hailed as having one of the most integrated school districts in the country.
Tips for Renting in Sacramento
Sacramento renters have access to a rental hotline run in part by Sacramento Self Help Housing, which can help with code violations and landlord/tenant disputes. However, Sacramento does not have rent control and has seen some of the steepest rent increases and housing shortages in the state.
If you are planning to rent an apartment or home in Sacramento, California the best advice is to be prepared. Have all your documentation (paystubs, credit reports, etc.) ready as soon as possible and completely fill out your rental application. For a jump on the coolest places to live, don’t trust Craigslist Sacramento, as it is often filled with scams. Instead, use our free service here at RENTCafé that has only verified listings. With a little persistence and patience, you will find the apartment of your dreams.
RENTCafé is your one-stop shop for finding a great new apartment in Sacramento, CA. Easily search through a wide selection of apartments for rent in Sacramento, CA, and view detailed information about available rentals including floor plans, pricing, photos, amenities, interactive maps, and thorough property descriptions. Property owners and managers are one click away, so feel free to contact them and find out all you need to know about the apartment you’re interested in. Browse Sacramento, CA apartments with rents starting from $1,078 and submit your rental application today!