Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27: Who Lives Here and Why?

After speaking with some of the neighbors in the area, I was able to learn the most common reasons people move or live in Butterfield Riviera:

  • River and trail access
  • Peaceful and quiet community
  • Kid friendly environment
  • Multi-function neighborhood parks (Kids area, tennis courts, basketball etc)
  • Convenient commuting location
  • Feels safe
  • Wildlife diversity

The one issue residents worried over were fast drivers in the neighborhood, especially when kids or pets were out but also remarked that table speed bumps had recently been installed along many of the blocks and seemed to be cutting the worry and speed down.

Who lives in Butterfield Riviera East?

Population: 10,802

Median Home Price: 156,100 (Zillow)

Price per Square Foot: $108

Median Family Income: $44,512 (Zillow)

Who makes up the neighbors that live in the 95827 area code?

In 2010:

4,762 housing units (La Riviera/Butterfield east)
  • 4,475 units occupied
  • 287 vacant
  • 165 for rent
  • 51 in some type of sales status ( sold not occupied, for sale)
  • 9 seasonal/recreational
  • 62 homes vacant
  • 55% owner occupied
  • 45% renter occupied
  • 10,802 people living in La Riviera
  • Median age of men is 33.7
  • Median age of women is 36.9
Racial demographics show multicultural neighborhood
  • Caucasian - 7,315
  • African American - 1,084
  • American Indian/Alaskan native - 76
  • Hispanic - 1,756
  • Asian - 766
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander - 87
  • Some other race - 671
Family households (with children) - 2,487
  • Non family households 1,988
  • Average Household size - 2.39
  • Average family size - 2.98
  • Job growth % (2000-2010) -6.43%

All things considered I think this is an ideal home for us. Can't wait to move in!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23: Stores and Shopping

The stores and shops have changed with the economic challenges over the last few years. One of the commericial malls within the boundaries of the area, "The Ecelectic Center," is loved or strongly disliked for it's distinctive "Alice in Wonderland" look.

Residents here may travel 5 - 10 minutes in either direction along Folsom for additional stores and restaurants or particularly to find one of the major supermarket chains (Raley's, Belle Air or Safeway). Additionally, traveling over highway 50 on Bradshaw also offers a selection of more recognized fast food and restaurants (Taco Bell, Burger King, Mountain Mike's, IHOP, Starbucks, Pho Bac Hoa Viet, etc) as well as a Wells Fargo Bank with ATM.

Established stores and restaurants in the Butterfield Rivera area are weathering the economic times largely through support of the community.

Some of the more commonly recommended establishments:

Olympic Market (Formerly Hana's Market)
A predominantly Asian (Korean) supermarket on Folsom Boulevard that is one of the few family run supermarkets still serving the Sacramento area. Large selection of Korean and Japanese products, also offers a fresh produce section and fresh meat/deli section featuring good quality cuts at reasonable to fantastic prices. This market, particularly their produce selection and meat department is an open secret in the area.

Toshi's Rice Bowl and Fast Sushi

Toshi's has been around for many years and is a family run teriyaki and sushi restaurant. Offers an impressive variety of sushi rolls. Hot plates too.

Pita Q
Chicken or steak wraps, rice bowls and huge salads. A popular lunch spot in the area known for it's distinctive looks and healthy choice combinations the price and food quality are good. Also offers fresh soups/bisque and falafel.

For Fun
Westwind Theater Drive-In 6

While this place has been listed to be closed and/or remodeled multiple times over the years, it remains one of the last functioning Drive In theaters in the U.S. and very popular with all ages. Always shows double features and has a concession stand. The most recent plans to remodel involve adding a mall to the location.

Race Place Motorsports (RPM) Indoor Kart Racing
If your lead foot needs a pedal to put to the medal, this is a good choice! Put on safety gear, choose from one of four tracks and go for it. Drivers must be age 8 or up which makes this a family place. Besides offering corporate and private party space and events RPM is also involved with local charities and community organizations too.

Also in the area:
Sac Hydroponics
Bartending College
Hoicin's Modern Asian Cusine
Korean House
Midas Auto Service
New World Gifts
Game N' Trade
Golden Bowls Mongolian BBQ
Dentist's Office
Goodwill Express
Woodcraft Store
Pool N Spa Supplies

and more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 19: Specifics about Butterfield Riviera East Housing

Most homes were built in the 60s and 70s with the homes nearest to Stoughton Way built in the 80s.


This area is zoned RD-5. This is the most widely occurring single family residential zone. Where public water supply and public sewerage facilities are both in use, 5,200 net square feet is the required minimum lot size for interior lots, with corner lots being 6,200 net square feet.

Land Development
General Plan notes:

Densities of Existing Residential Development. Low density development (single family homes, mobile homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes) provides approximately 79% of existing housing units and occupies over 95% of the developed residential land. Medium density development (apartments, condominiums, and group homes) comprises 21% of the existing units occupying approximately 5% of the developed residential land. Thus, development in the unincorporated area is characterized by low density suburban sprawl. This pattern of development has made adequate infrastructure and services difficult to provide, increased traffic congestion, and diminished air quality. A more efficient pattern of land use can effectively address the shortcomings of continued suburban sprawl.

Projections of future housing needs in Sacramento County indicate that multiple family units will receive a greater share of the demand, paralleling a nationwide trend. Development at densities higher than the historical trend should provide more efficient delivery of public infrastructure and services, and require less capital investment.

County of Sacramento General Plan 17 Land Use Element (Adopted)

Local and National Trends in the Housing Market. Demand for housing in the unincorporated county has typically favored the single family home situated on an individual lot. Historically, homes in the county have been more affordable than housing elsewhere in California. That relative affordability may wane in the coming years as local housing prices climb. For example, between February of 1989 and July of 1990 the median home price in the Sacramento area rose from $100,200 to $140,000. Median home prices are expected to continue to rise throughout the planning period.

Information from County of Sacramento Planning Division, Sacbee.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18: Community Spiritual Growth

Spirituality is important to us both and we tend to find with our large circle of friends and family it's always good to know the variety of churches and denominations that are close. We have found that for some, walking along the river or being in nature allows one to feel closer to deity, and for others a church or temple engenders a sense of connection.

Capitol Christian Center
This is definitely the largest most recognizable church in the area and is just over the freeway from Butterfield Riviera. The private school is close by as well. Capital Christian Center holds to an orthodox historical Christian faith, offers 3 styles of service to suit your needs, childcare, children and teen focused worship and events, traditional choir to high energy music.

Christ Unity Church
Located on Folsom Boulevard in the and very close to Butterfield Riveria East, according to the website Christ Unity of Sacramento is a non-denominational Christian ministry based on the teachings of Jesus and the power of prayer. Recognized for its outstanding spiritual teachings, conscious expanding meditations, world-class music, and powerful prayer ministries, Christ Unity of Sacramento has more than 600 congregants.

Zion Presbyterian Church
Located closest to Folsom and Butterfield this church also has childcare and an active congregation. Services are usually in Korean.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14: Realtors In the Area

I tried to do a little digging with local realtors.

I first spoke with spoke with a realtor with Caldwell Banker Real Estate who had a property listed in the community. He worked through referrals and wasn't based in the community but said he was familiar and had sold there before. It's known to be a good area over all especially for families just starting out but it is considered an established community. The houses are older which can be seen as less attractive when there are new developments in Folsom To his knowledge no one was "farming the area." Sales here are modestly price since the market turned so while it's always good to have a sale it can be less glamorous then other places.

We went exploring and attended a local Harvest Fair held at one of the local high schools. There an agent from Keller Williams spoke with us. He also had some listings in the area and agreed, when I asked, that no one was farming this area. "A lot of the homes on sale here are from referral or REO to the agent, this isn't considered a new area where growth still has potential like in Folsom where lot of farming is competitive.

Except for the Keller Williams agent, the agents seemed to live outside this area often toward Folsom, but also Elk Grove.

Real Estate doing transactions in the area:

Lyon Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
Caldwell Banker
Atlantic and Pacific Real Estate
Realty Trak (mostly foreclosures)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 12: The Politics, Parks & Utilities of Butterfield

Butterfield Riviera is an unincorporated area served by the Department of Neighborhood Services. There are no CC&Rs.


County Supervisor - Don Nottoli (5)
State Assembly - District (8) Mariko Yamada
State Senate - Senate District (6) Darrell Steinberg

US Congress - US Congress (7) George Miller
US Senate - Barbara Boxer \ Diane Feinstein

The local community parks such as Riveria East Park generally feature play areas for young children, tennis courts, basketball hoops, paths and large field for soccer or running about.

There are access points to a state park with boat launch all along the river. To access the launch, cross over a mostly paved running and bicycle path. Hikers should note there are plenty of man made trails into the unpaved, scenic area around.

State river access points like Gristmill Recreation Area American River Parkway often feature nature trails and interesting flora and fauna.

Besides hikes, running bicycling and kayaking along the river, this location is close to RPM Racing and The Sacramento West Wind Drive-In 6 which are scheduled to evolve over the next few years. Light Rail is easily accessible from the Butterfield exit and can help gain access to other Sacramento neighborhoods or travel up to Folsom and the outlet malls.

Utilities & Services
Sacramento Regional County Sanitation - weekly pick up, includes recycling.
Arden Cordova Water Service
California American Water Company
Folsom Cordova Unified School District
Sacramento Unified School District
Sacramento County Community Hazards and Nuisance Complaints Center
Sacramento Regional Transit District
Rancho Cordova City Hall
Cordova Recreational Park and District
Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce
Animal Control
Sacramento Area Sewer District
Sheriff's Department

Information from County of Sacramento Planning Division, Sacbee, BRECA

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 7: Schools in Butterfield Riviera

This community falls into both Sacramento City and Folsom Unified School Districts. While I noticed there aren't any schools directly in this area, there are private and public schools close by and access to the local CSU only minutes away too. There are a few very good schools here and some others that seem to be showing positive progress.

(Overall API score range: Low 200 – High 1000, Interim 800)


· Capital Christian School (Private, PK - 12)

· St. John Vianney (Private, K - 8)

· Capital Christian School (Private, PK - 12)

· Our Lady of the Assumption (Across River, Catholic, K-8)


· Cordova Gardens Elementary API = 736

· O.W Erlewine Elementary (PK – 6) API = 864

· Cordova Meadows (Pk -6) API = 761


· Albert Einstein Middle School (Grades 7-8) API = 799

· Mills Middle School API (Grades = 724

High School

· Cordova High (Grade 9 -12) API = 702

· Rosemont High (Across Freeway, Grades 9 – 12) – API = 860

College Options:

· Los Rios Community College District – 15 minutes to Folsom Lake College, 25 minutes to Sacramento Community College.

· Heald College (in Rancho Cordova)

· California State University Sacramento (10 minute drive)

· University California Davis (45 minute drive)

API Information from the California Department of Education

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 4: Local History - This looks promising

This weekend, I searched to find communities that would fit most if not all our criteria - while allowing us to save and budget in safety.

I narrowed it down to 3:

La Riviera (95826)
Rosemont (95827, 95826)
Butterfield Riviera (East) - 95827

Of the three, I really liked the information I found out about Butterfield Riviera especially since it lies along the American River, just between between La Riviera and Rancho Cordova neighborhoods. While the boundaries can vary a few streets with different websites, the most consistent list the American River to the North, Folsom Boulevard to the South, Paseo Rio Way to the East, and Mayhew Drainage Canal to the West.

I contacted a member of the Home Owners Association Butterfield-Riviera East Community Association (BRECA) an learned there are 1500 homes in the neighborhood.

With a good deal of digging, I discovered some local history too.

About the Butterfield/Riviera East Area/County of Sacramento

As with many of the communities in the Capitol area, this region of Sacramento County played an essential role in California's famous gold rush history and served as a connection between the downtown Sacramento area and the mining camps in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

In the late 1800's North of Folsom Boulevard, where Bradshaw begins, was the site of Peterson's American House, one of the major way stations along Folsom Road as it went from downtown Sacramento out to the Community of Mills and onto the mines. The original Sacramento Valley Railroad built by Theodore Judah for the Big Four, paralleled the road and Peterson's property was located at 10 miles out from downtown. Although this area served as a major thoroughfare for traffic to and from the gold mining area, it remained relatively rural for many years with a sparse population.

Then, in the late 1960's, home construction began on the south side of the river in what was at that time hop fields. In the mid 60's, a large, local home builder, M.J. Brock and Sons, began to construct the houses in the unincorporated County to the east of Watt Avenue. Called Larchmont Riviera, it was very successful and in 1969, the builder began work on Larchmont Riviera East, at the former Peterson’s property. M.J. Brock assigned water related place names to all the streets within the area. The home lots along the river at the top of Bradshaw were all sold as custom home lots, and the neighborhood grew to the west on property that Carroll Brock had purchased from the Oki Family, a large local commercial nursery family. Their home site and two story ranch house continues to exist today at the top of Hyannis Way, although the ownership has changed.

In 1974, as sales of Riviera East were coming to a close, Brock purchased a black walnut orchard to the west and began construction on the Butterfield neighborhood. Streets in Butterfield were named for stage stops along the Butterfield stage route.

In the mid-80's, an abandoned freeway route was purchased by Pacific Scene Home Builders, and the homes on either side of Stoughton Way were constructed. Stoughton is also uniquely the route of the Regional Sanitation sewer line, installed underground in 1977.

This neighborhood was considered convenient to Mather Air Force Base and many people stationed there bought homes and retired in this area. Even after the base closed in 1993, the Butterfield/East Riviera community continues to attract people with its diverse communities and proximity to the beautiful American River Parkway.

Many of the original and long time residents have reached the grandparent stage, as the neighborhood remains active as young families with children move here to enjoy the ten acre Riviera East park and the unique experience of living along the American River Parkway.

(image courtesy of BRECA website)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 1: The Decision and Search

After four years of apartment living, we’ve decided that renting is for suckers!

We are ready to live in our own home somewhere in Sacramento and I've decided to keep a log of our progress until we find it.
We started by talking over the qualities we'd like in our new community and home since we decided to stay in Sacramento. Some of the highlights:
  • We both want to have a place in a safe, friendly neighborhood with more room to grow and start our family.

  • We want our monthly payments, utilities that fits our budget and allows us to support our lifestyle. Nothing extravagant just a little money to enjoy skiing Tahoe every now and then.

  • Someplace…where when kids play and people run or walk with their dogs it is expected and welcome.

  • Nice parks with paths or activities would be great too.

  • I’d like a yard to barbecue and a little lawn to tend.

  • He adds an easy commute to downtown or access to a freeway – if it takes an extra 20 minute just to get out of our neighborhood it won’t be the right fit for us.

  • He’d really love to live near the American River, if possible as it can encourage us to stay active.

  • I don't want to live too close to a big mall (traffic) but a place that has access to a few restaurants and stores would be great.

  • Garage of course, instead of the carport.

So we begin!