I live outside of SF, but have family in Southern Oregon. The Rogue River Valley/Ashland area (about 2 hours from Redding) is gorgeous, as is the city of Shasta in CA. I have no idea about prices/jobs/horse world, though.
If you were willing to go over towards Reno, you'd be avoiding the state income tax and have a lower cost of living. It's prettier than Redding too.
Depending on what job market you're looking at, Sacramento is not doing horribly. There is always a market for tech type consulting stuff, public sector stuff, etc. We have quite a few larger companies based out of here (like Intel and HP).
Housing is still depressed here so prices are low (for California). You can get a nice house in the greater Sacramento area for around $200K. Lower if you can get an offer in on a short sale. You can find property for around $300-$400K. My friend just bought a great little property up in Loomis for $430K, which includes 5 acres and a creek, and a house in very good condition.
I think you would really like the foothill area of the Sierras. So look up Shingle Springs, Placerville, Auburn, etc. Much more rural, but still VERY close to amenities.
Weather can be...hot, lol. BUT. It stays pretty mild in winter (we're getting some lows of around 30's this week at night, 50's during the day) and honestly, you get used to the hot temps in the summer. Everything is air conditioned, so its not a huge deal.
Sacramento is also great for horses. We have some fairly sizeable facilities all within an hour drive of the city center, and the local H/J show circuit is pretty robust (during the main season there are probably an average of 2-3 shows a month). Sonoma is close-ish as well. Lots of trails, and pretty much all disciplines can be found.
Anyway, let me know if you have any specific questions. I've been living here for the last 10 years and I love it. I was a Bay Area person growing up and spent college in LA, and find Sacramento to be the perfect blend of relatively low key living, but with plenty of amenities.
Well I just moved to the Bay Area, and I don't know anything about stuff near Sacramento... but I say DON'T move to CA. It's expensive and there are no jobs. We are moving back east next year and I can't wait.
Thank you for the input! KateKat, I will pm you:) For you bay area peeps, I'm not looking at that area because I KNOW it's super expensive. Just like Beverly Hills, LA, etc. Looking a little further north.;)
Belair, we will be staying in Reno a few days when we head out that way, so thanks for that tip!
No jobs? The job market here is HOT in many areas. I work in IT for a bank and we can't find people for our 6 figure positions.
Originally Posted by Frivian
I live in Walnut Creek, ~30 mins from the city. It's a lovely place, but $$$$$. Pretty much anything with such close proximity to the city is. Sacramento is lovely, I lived in Antelope for about a year.
Redding is most definitely affordable, but it's pretty out there in the sticks. I can't imagine there are many options if you're looking for a fresh start to a career. Sacramento is still pretty affordable (at least to me, being a CA native), has a great horse scene and would give you a lot more job options. The bay area is where all the action is up here, but it is mighty pricey and not terribly horse-friendly for the most part.
I love it out here; but, I'm also largely stuck here for my tech career, so I've chosen to love it until I get an opportunity to love a new place. :)
I was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley and now live in the Sacramento Valley. Not sure where the lack of trees comes from. Its not a wide, desolate plain. Sacramento is called the City of Trees. No, it doesn't stay lush and green all year round but its not horrible.
Originally Posted by LovesHorses
It can get hot, 105-110 for a few days each summer. Winters hit 30's. Pretty large horse scene in the Sacramento area, no matter what your discipline is. Several large barns and well-known trainers. Jobs are growing, the economy does seem to be getting better.
I certainly wouldn't by-pass the area if I were looking to move.