Alice Wilcox has lived in the same house in Orangevale since 1985. That’s got to be a milestone. It’s the 41st home she’s lived in.
Husband Don Wilcox was in the Air Force for 22 years.
“We lived all over the country. Maine, Mississippi, Washington state and everywhere in between, she said. “We also lived in the Philippines and Alaska.”
In 1985 Don was working for Teledyne MEC and was transferred from Palo Alto to Rancho Cordova.
Never miss a local story.
“Don wanted a two-story house with a small yard; I wanted one-story with a big yard,” Alice said. “I won.”
Daughter, Donna Ammer, and grandson, Daniel, lived with them and she walked her grandson to Trajan Elementary every day. He enjoyed area youth sports and played soccer and Little League. He graduated from Bella Vista High School.
Capital Nursery originally landscaped the yard Alice enjoys. Over the years, it’s changed and she now has 11 camellias, a grapefruit tree, 4 orange trees and an attractive array of shrubs, flowers, trees and veggies in both front and back yards. The lawn is gone.
She keeps up with landscaping ideas and new plants through Folsom Garden Club and donates extra veggies and fruit to the Sunrise Food Closet.
A couple of years ago she added a doll house in the back yard for her dogs — she’s had seven Shelties and one Collie — and invites neighborhood youngsters to come on over and play there.
When they moved in, the house was in a new neighborhood and just 7 miles from Don’s work, 2 miles from Alice’s job as children’s ministry director at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church and 1 mile from Sunrise Mall.
“I can find everything I need within a 7-mile radius. I don’t put many miles on my car,” she said.
She enjoys her neighbors — most have lived there 20 years. Others have youngsters who are welcome to play in her backyard.
While Wilcox lives in a traditional neighborhood, many people like Orangevale for its ruralness, said Kathy Smith of Weichert Realtors- Galster Group.
“Wilcox lives in a conforming neighborhood, a subdivision with two or three similar models. Others live in non-conforming which have little farm houses built in the ‘30s. Others live on large custom lots.”
Orangevale’s boundaries are Folsom, Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights and Roseville. Wilcox lives in the far west of Orangevale; Smith, a resident for 32 years, lives at the other end of town.
Most of Orangevale is rural with no sidewalks, curbs or gutters, Smith said.
Tamara Barbu-Brown of Orangevale Chamber of Commerce, said the community’s attractions are the hometown feel, country living and the laid-back atmosphere.
“Orangevale is not a city, nor a town,” she said. “It’s an area that has great community collective mind-ship and pride. There is lots of room in Orangevale to run around and stretch your legs.”
“Buyers like the schools (which are within the San Juan Unified School District), the country atmosphere, the wide-open spaces and the old-fashioned, once-upon-a-time feel.”
Shopping in the community ranges from high-end collectables to Dollar Tree, she said. Plus Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights and Folsom centers are close.
“Orangevale sports many banks, car-repair shops, beauty and hair salons, fitness centers, country-cooking restaurants and . . . even a feed store for our rural farm-animal owners, Barbu-Brown said.
Newly opened are North Star Auto Collision, Danny’s Automotive and The Last Tangle Salon.
Major events in the community include Pow Wow Days & Parade, the Miss Orangevale Crowning, the Country Music Festival, Wolf Fest and Best of Orangevale.
Barbu-Brown was Miss Orangevale of 1987 and is director of the crowning event.
She noted that Orangevale has many old, original homes that owners upgrade and remodel,
Realtor Smith said, “A big percentage of Orangevale is large pieces of property.”
There are some subdivisions, but not a lot of condominiums in the community.
However, three are for sale, a 892-square-foot condo for $96,750; and others for $239,000 and $245,000.
The least-expensive home is 1,100 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath on almost a half-acre for $240,000. A 968-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath half-plex is $250,000. A four-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath, 1,167-square-foot single-family home on ¼-acre is $280,000.
A 4 to 5-bedroom home, with 3 baths, 3,314-square-feet on ¼ acre is $699,500.
The highest-priced home currently on the market is $900,000 for a 4-bedroom, 3-bath, 2,954-square-foot home on 2/3 acre. It overlooks the river and the parkway.
“You get a lot of diversity from close to rural and conforming homes,” she said. “And in rural areas you can find bigger lots with farm animals (horses, goats and chickens).”
There are communities for older adults in various locations in Orangevale.
In November homes were on the market for 20 days; in December, it was 56 days. Prices were staying fairly close to the list price, Smith said.
“They’ve been coming down a little bit in January with the median price $322,000. There are 33 active on the market for-sale homes.”
That’s not very many, she said.
Looking back to when the Wilcoxes first bought their home, there weren’t very many on the market. Wilcox remembers a drive-in movie at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Greenback Lane and a cow pasture where apartments now are located.
Orangevale has grown over the years.
Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.
Where: 18 miles northeast of Sacramento
Size: approximately 14 square miles