The real estate market in Elk Grove represents the epitome of the mass media hype with regard to the declining real estate market. There has been a dramatic decline in value there since mid-2005. I have a short sale listing right now that actually closes escrow on Thursday. Two years ago the property was appraised at $505k. The lender approved the short sale for $320k! If you are looking to purchase there, I suggest you connect with a local agent who works regularly in that area, and keep your finger on the pulse of the market there.
Elk Grove Unified School District is one of the fastest growing in all of California, and is well funded. There are many new schools that have the latest and greatest bells and whistles...
There are some fantastic deals to be had there - just make sure you do not overpay there...my husband used to live in Felton, and I know home prices in Santa Cruz must make the Sacramento metro area look extremely inexpensive by comparison!
Our son started school when we lived in the Laguna area renting and it was wonderful. We decided to live here primarily because of the great school system here and we were able to find a nice house for what we could afford. We also love the small town feel of Elk Grove, I'm from the Midwest and really wanted to live somewhere that has a sense of community. There's a lot to do in Elk Grove, organized sports and other activities at a low cost to residents and lots of fun for the family. They do movie nights during the summer in the regional park and have alot of festivals and fairs.
I don't know what on earth Jackmosta is talking about for traffic. There are stoplights that you have to stop at, but the last time I checked, that is in every city so I'm not sure exactly why he expects it to be different here.
Be sure to check out Elk Grove's homepage with the links Jim Walker provided, it should help give you an idea of what Elk Grove has to offer. Good luck in your search, when you are ready for a real estate agent we had a wonderfful one, Chris MacPhail with Prudential, he was very familiar with the area and took alot of time to show us houses until we found ours.
Elk Grove is an excellent choice for a buy and hold investment strategy. Especially for owner occupants. When the economy recovers, Elk Grove will too, because it is a nice city with a desirable school district, good amenities, many choices of shopping centers, employment opportunities in town and nearby.
More research is recommended here are some links:
MLS Search - no registration needed http://www.metrolistmls.com
http://www.elkgrovecity.org/community/about-elk-grove.htm (city of Elk Grove)
http://www.egusd.k12.ca.us (Elk Grove School District)
http://www.sacsheriff.com (Crime statistics and Maps)