Real Estate Wrap: Sacramento is hot; the cost of living solo; Huston Smith’s home for sale

Sacramento is a popular destination for those fleeing the crazy expensive Bay Area housing market. Photo: Active Rain

SACRAMENTO IS WINNING IN ONGOING BAY AREA EXODUS

Nearly 16,000 residents left the San Francisco area in the last quarter of 2017 on the hunt for cheaper housing and new opportunities. And their number-one, in-state destination was Sacramento, according to a study by real estate brokerage Redfin. If they ventured out of state they were most likely to land in Seattle, the report found. The overall trend was not isolated to the Bay Area. People in expensive, high-tax coastal markets like New York and Los Angeles were searching for homes in metros like Sacramento, Phoenix,  Las Vegas, and Nashville where taxes are lower and housing is more affordable.

The current administration’s tax reforms may also be playing a part. “People leaving coastal hubs in search of affordability has been a consistent trend for the last five years,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Late last year there was a twist. Many of the popular migration paths that we saw Redfin.com users exploring yielded tax benefits along with increased affordability. We expect these trends to continue and will be monitoring them closely in 2018.”

The median price for a home in the state capital is just $350,000, compared to around $1.5 million in San Francisco, $1 million in Berkeley and $730,000 in Oakland.

There are also many who choose to live in Sacramento — with its growing restaurant and social scene — but continue to work in or around San Francisco. In fact, according to a recent article in the Mercury News, so many Sacramento-area residents have jobs based in the Bay Area — roughly 120,000 as of the council’s last estimate — that business leaders are talking of a burgeoning “megaregion” encompassing both Silicon Valley and the capital.


BERKELEY HOME OF SCHOLAR HUSTON SMITH UP FOR GRABS

130 Avenida Dr., the former home of UC Berkeley visiting professor Huston Smith, is on the market, listed at $1,399 million. Photo: Red Oak Realty

The former Berkeley home of UC Berkeley visiting professor and “seeker” Huston Smith recently came on the market. Smith, who died in December 2016 aged 97, was probably best known for his book The World’s Religions (originally titled The Religions of Man) which, according to Wikipedia, sold over 3 million copies and remains a popular introduction to comparative religion.

One of Huston’s most many quotable lines was: “If we take the world’s enduring religions at their best, we discover the distilled wisdom of the human race.” Toward the end of his life, while living in Berkeley, he was involved with the Pacific Coast Theological Society at the Graduate Theological Union.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 130 Avenida Dr., is described as airy and bright and features an updated kitchen, a pretty garden and a downstairs level that could be lived in independently. It is close to Tilden park and is listed at $1.399 million. “This serene place, with filtered bay views and green vistas, is currently owned by another deep thinker and it’s clear why: the place is perfect for quiet meditation and relaxation,” said listing agent Andrea Gordon.

LIVING SOLO CAN BE EXPENSIVE 

Top 10 most expensive cities in which to live solo. Source: Credit Loan/Zillow

This may surprise precisely no-one, but San Francisco is the #1 most expensive city in the U.S. for those looking to sleep solo. Oakland isn’t far behind, placing eighth in a “Sleeping Single” ranking included in a new study by Credit Loan. Post-college millennials in particular often relish ditching the roommates and living alone for the first time. Although young people are flocking to cities like New York and San Francisco, the best places to live alone are a little more off the beaten path, however. The data show that the average cost of rent in San Francisco for those looking sleep solo is an astronomical $3,296 a month. It is somewhat cheaper in Oakland, at $2,172.(The rent figures are sourced from Zillow.) An apartment in Sunnyvale would cost you $2,557, and if you were looking for a one-bedroom in San Jose, you’d pay $2,428 on average. The study reveals the cheapest one-bedroom home can be found for $574 in West Virginia.

If your budget happens to be roughly $1,800 a month, there are quite a few options for you to consider countrywide, including Laguna Niguel, California for $1,817 per month; Waltham, Massachusetts ($1,844); Stamford, Connecticut ($1,856); Aliso Viejo, California ($1,866); and Seattle, Washington ($1,872). And if you happen to like beaches and sunshine, a one-bedroom apartment in Miami might “only” set you back $1,924.