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Sacramento
  • $760   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $972   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1560   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southwest US)

84% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
thick fog (drivers beware)
commutable to more expensive city, urban forest of bicycle paths, temperate weather 6
old money, kinda hood, south sacraq, new SF, vanilla ice blocks, high end luxury hotels, don't come here at night, gay men in slippers walking chihuahuas, the hood, super hood, indians, houses built in a flood plain, trolls, upcoming area, and little mexico are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Sacramento roommate rundown:

From Sacramento's Gold Rush of yore until . . . about a decade ago? Most still believed Sacramento was nothing but a podunk cowtown. Many hadn't noticed it's California's capital, probably imagining L.A. or San Francisco or maybe even San Diego instead?

But Sacramento appeals to many roommates lately for its lower cost of living, the lowest for any major metro in California. And while government is still the largest employer, education, healthcare and medical research have now proliferated locally as well. Tech is increasingly popping up too. Some companies are enjoying proximity to the Bay Area for less rent.

You can drive to San Francisco in decent traffic conditions in about two hours. Some do this regularly, called "super-commuters." They're super tolerant of such a long commute, or they super love driving? Both? Might be worth it you go in once a week and already have your parking squared away. Otherwise, if you have to search for a space after you arrive, that's another two hours.

Sacramentans do tend to be more relaxed, and somewhat slower paced than Californians in other large cities. Extra especially the outdoorsy bicyclists. They're really in the zone.

Sacramento is an urban forest. Along with an extensive network of parks (about 5000 acres), this city loves commuting via bicycle on dedicated bicycle paths. And local urban bike paths eventually connect to the 32-mile American River Parkway, which itself connects with several other parks and beaches and other trails all the way to Folsom. You can even ride in the dark as long as you wear a forward-facing light visible from 300 feet away. Helmets are also encouraged, but motorized vehicles and skateboards are not. And you can walk your dogs too, as long as they stay on their leashes.

Along with milder weather and relatively flat terrain, Sacramento's bicyclists love how many of their bike paths are lined with gorgeous green trees. They started long ago, planting cottonwood and eucalyptus to dry out some swampland, then diversified into several other varieties, including willow, palm, and fruit.

Now they've nicknamed themselves "City of Trees" and claim more trees per person than anywhere in the world. Downtown is definitely tree-lined, making urban walking more pleasant too.

But if you'd like your outdoorsy more badass than walking or bicycling, Sacramento (or nearby-ish, within reasonable driving distance) has you covered too. If you're into anything mountainous, the nearby Sierra Nevada range is excellent. Tahoe's ski resorts are close too.

Sacramento really only has a couple of frequent environmental hazards. #2, the monsoon clouds of summer. They can cause flooding, so be wary at lower elevations during warmer storms with a lot of rain.

#1 is the fog that often makes driving hazardous. There are many entire days driving in Sacramento is a lot more dangerous than usual, merely due to heavy fog hanging around. Fog is possible all year, but usually happens in winter. We'd recommend looking at severe fog like a Southern "snow day," where you'd consider driving just too hazardous to be sane.

So you and your roommates would avoid driving altogether by staying home or walking, at least until the fog lifts. Or bicycling, but sloooooooooooowly, and only on car-free trails and separated bike routes.

But otherwise, if you can tolerate some unpredictable water, and life near but not at all within the Bay Area sounds promising . . .

. . . enjoy your friendlier urban forest inside California's increasingly buzzy capital.

The rest of the Sacramento roommate lowdown:

  • in Northern California at the base of the Sierra Nevada
  • about 520,000 residents inside the city, about 2.5 million in the greater metropolitan area
  • summers are very hot but dry, winters are mild but damp and foggy, often foggy enough to severely reduce visibility, especially bad for driving
  • Sacramento's streets are mostly numbered and lettered and laid out in an easily navigable grid.
  • Sacramento Regional Transit District (Sac RT), is the bus and light rail system. Service is best along three lines to major destinations.
  • Sacramento is hosting California's state government, along with the rest of their county and Sacramento, the city. This means a whole lot of state and other governmental and municipal agencies are nearby.
  • Most of Sacramento is moderately flat.
  • home to University of the Pacific, California State University, University of California (Davis), and Los Rios Community College District
  • home to the Sacramento Kings (NBA), and the Sacramento Republic FC (USL)
  • Sacramento is home to about 100 community theaters. Sacramentans love their community theater.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Sacramento's:

  • Crocker Art Museum: Special focus on Native American Ceramics and American Art after 1945, several guided tours are available. You and your roommates could also attend ArtMix, with DJs, food and drinks, and art-making activities. It's only about once a month though, confirm before heading over.
  • Old Sacramento: Once a riverfront pioneer town, now an historic tourist destination. Horse-drawn stagecoaches, cobbled streets, preserved historic buildings, a Riverboat, the Railroad Museum, steam locomotives, and carriage rides are all periodically available.
  • Sacramento History Museum: From the Gold Rush days to now, you can visit native cookbooks from previous centuries, mannequins wearing the seasonal attire of the River People, or their lowrider exhibit, Boulevard Dreams.
  • California State Fair: Yes, a lot of states have fairs, but this fair's ongoing since 1854? Also it's California, so it's XXL. Agricultural awards, commercial wine and cheese contests, homebrews, rabbit challenges, a cavalcade of horses, and the CA State Fair Cannabis Awards.


Here's the city of Sacramento's official .org for bicycle advocacy, making the whole city cleaner and healthier by "enabling more people to choose a bike for everyday travel."





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.