5.4 out of 10

South Natomas

38.6242545154881 -121.495697750158
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Schools
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Hit Hard but Still Okay"

South Natomas is a sprawling, mostly residential neighborhood.

Home prices in this neighborhood are rock bottom. Given that most homes were built during the Reagan Era, the reasons might not be that obvious at first. But a closer look gives us a bit of a clue. Perhaps driven by White Flight, many people started to move out in the early 2000’s as the neighborhood, with its moderate home prices, began to diversify. Unfortunately, this new wave of homeowners moved in just as the conditions for the real estate crisis were being set. If you look at the market today—3 of 4 homes in South Natomas are being sold due to foreclosure. It’s a sad statistic.

The oldest part of South Natomas is in the southeast by Northgate Park. You will find a plethora of 1970’s style ranch homes here (and even a few from the 50’s and 60’s back when Natomas was a much small corner of Sac than it is today). This is the pick-up trucks and picket fences part of town, where lawns are a touch unkept and older trees have reached their shady maturity. The kind of place that you might expect your grandparents to live. Homes in this section of town hover around a very reasonable $100K.

In the late 70’s homes and apartments spread out across the top of West El Camino bringing with them even more 1970’s style ranch homes, with their perfectly symmetrical front lawns and shady front lawns. You can walk many of these street and feel like you are in the middle of the San Fernando Valley and that Jimmy Carter is still president. Except for the cars, of course, which here are mix of economy cars and muscle cars.

The western sections of South Natomas started filling up in the early 80’s and by the late 80’s the northeast section of Natomas started picking up its pace of constructions. About 2/3 of all homes in Natomas were built while the Big Gipper was prez and so during that other big real estate boom associated with the Savings and Loan debacle. These are those nice Contemporary style homes with shingled roofs, lots of windows, high ceilings and a feeling of luxury even in the more modest varieties.

After that last debacle, it was a good decade before any new homes were built in Natomas. You will be hard pressed to find a home built in the Clinton administration in Natomas.

As to schools, the Natomas High School is not really a draw, being average or maybe even slightly below average in terms of test scores as are the majority of the schools in Natomas. The heavy turn-over of homes has not helped in terms of creating a sense of community either with people moving out virtually overnight in some cases.

Restaurant choices are mediocre at best with a few Chinese food places and Mexican joints to bring a bit of flavor to what is basically fast food culture.

Nightlife is just as unsatisfying.

Despite all this, I still think this might not be an altogether bad place to raise a family if you are say a single mom on limited income. Things aren’t great, but they are affordable and far enough away from the more severe problems of urban life.
  • Very Affordable
  • Near Discovery Park
  • Diverse
  • Hit Hard by Foreclosures
  • Mediocre Schools
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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