Hello, my name is Sameer Punjani, Broker / Owner, mygpsAgent.com. I moved to Solano County in 1987 and can help you answer all your questions regarding investment property in the region. Rental rates have been rising in the area, and investors are scooping up homes for cash. There are still foreclosures hitting the market, so buyers are sometimes picky when choosing, but properties which are maintained well usually go fast. In Vallejo, you can probably pick up a 3 bedroom / 2 bath in the $125-$150K range.
We can't comment on areas, but you can check out websites like http://www.crimereports.com and check with local police departments.
You can search for thousands of homes on my website for free at http://www.mygpsagent.com No obligation. Just take your time and let me know when you are ready and I can answer any questions.
I also have a live chat page at my site as well.
Broker / Owner
DRE # 01311106
Bottom line I am amazed how cheap the houses are relative to the rents. As an example I bought a 3 bed, 1 bath home in April for $165,000. The mortgage payment with taxes + insurance included is $900 a month. I am renting it out for $1750.
The downside to all of this is of course I am not the only one that knows . . . I've bid on several homes only to be outbid by cash buyers or even one case where I was the highest offer but the seller .
The magic of all of this is that the rents in Vallejo are still pretty high relative to most other parts of the country since it's still "bay area" - http://www.rentometer.com/