I have friends that have little money that live in Folsom and I have an attorney friend that lives in south sac. The lure of better schools and crime rate does tend to draw buyers to the subburbs. Sacramento is such a unique area in that quality of life can change from block to block.
I could rattle off neighborhoods in Folsom all day long, it really all depends on how much you want to spend and what you would like to be near (kids walking to school, commute, parks, etc.). If you have kids, I would start with school rating; http://school-ratings.com/
I can help you, and would more than happy to assist you in any way.
Lyon Real Estate
Poor people have fewer choices.
If you can afford to move to a pricey neighborhood, there are real estate agents aplenty (including yours truly) to fulfill your aspirations.
Once this is done, you will have a clear budget. And based on that budget you can start looking for a property. Having said that, why not consider Elk grove, it is not too far from south sac. But, it has a good school district, nice tree lined streets, and it is a great place to live. Here you may find nice homes (court yard) homes in the 100+k price range. Good luck.
Start by getting pre qualified for a loan. Your money will go far in certain communities and not so far in others. After you get your pre qualification, connect with a Realtor who will help you search and provide options for different cities/neighborhoods based on how much you want to spend and can spend. Get started today!
You should spend a few weeks driving around and talking to people who live in different neighborhoods because there are great pockets everywhere. Sometimes they vary by a few blocks, even, which is why it's a good idea to walk instead of driving through them.
Don't rely on somebody else's idea of what makes you happy.
Lyon Real Estate
As for areas, Granite Bay is an execellnt area. However, other factors should be considered before you decide on area such as commute time to work, school districts etc...
If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact me anytime.
Some neighborhoods you might want to consider are Citrus Heights, Foothill Farms, Granite Bay, Folsom, Orangevale, Tahoe Park, East Sacramento, Fair Oaks, Glenbrook, Rosemont. Lots of good opportunities are around, home prices vary.
Let me know if I can help you further!