From vintage farmhouses to horse properties, Orangevale offers real estate that appeals to new and longtime residents who enjoy a country atmosphere in a prime location.
Kirk and Laila Bottomly chose Orangevale because it’s similar to Fallbrook, a community near San Diego where they lived until three years ago. They moved to the Sacramento area when he became pastor of Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church and discovered Orangevale as temporary renters. Through a short sale, they bought a home on a large lot with several fruit trees. Linda Creek runs along the back of their property.
“People said we would like the Central Valley — that it’s a family place,” Kirk Bottomly said. “We came from a rural area, and Orangevale has the same feel.”
They also enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, Laila said. And they’re delighted to be closer to their daughter and four grandchildren who live in Davis.
“People are attracted to Orangevale because of the trees, the space and the openness,” said Kathy Smith, a longtime area resident and Realtor.
The quick access to Highway 50 and Interstate 80 also appeals.
“Within 20 minutes, they can be in Folsom or the Galleria in Roseville,” she said. Smith chose the community because it’s rural, similar to the Santa Cruz Mountains where she grew up. She’s lived in Orangevale for 28 years and owns a three-bedroom home that was built in the 1930s or ’40s.
“It reminds me of Grandma and Grandpa’s home,” she said. As with many other properties in Orangevale, the lot is large enough to provide privacy from the neighbors, yet close enough to know them.
Typically, lots in Orangevale range in size from 1/4 acre to 3 acres. The larger acreage is appealing to horse owners, who also like the proximity to riding trails and Folsom Lake. “We’re a unique community,” said Lisa Montes, who is Orangevale’s honorary mayor. “We have a little bit of everything, and we’re a generational community.” People who grew up in Orangevale tend to stay in there.
“We’re still very rural, very equestrian-friendly and have a lot of country traditions, mom-and-pop stores, an interest in the past and country fairs,” Montes said. “We’re a close-knit community.”
“People often think of Orangevale as horse property, but if residents want farm animals, they can have chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats and other critters,” said Smith, who is with Galstar Real Estate Group.
According to the Multiple Listing Service, houses with acreage for horses range from $195,000 to $789,000.
Orangevale has many vintage homes that buyers purchase, strip down and remodel or replace. Prices are attractive, Smith said — such as a one-bedroom, one-bathroom home built in 1910 sitting on 1/3 acre that goes for $75,000.
Other MLS prices range from $65,000 for a condominium to $995,000 for a single-family home. Orangevale has three new-home developments. Two by Tim Lewis Communities are adjacent to each other in an established neighborhood off Pecor Way.
Tim Lewis’ Brentwood Villas offers courtyard-style, two-story homes ranging from 1,331 square feet to 1,996 square feet and priced from $224,085. Its neighboring Brentwood Estates features homes as large as 3,340 square feet and priced from $439,900.
Cresleigh Almondwood features one- and two-story homes ranging from 2,338 to 3,348 square feet, with prices from the high $300,000s. The Cresleigh Homes-built community is on Almond Avenue off Greenback Lane.
Orangevale has much to offer residents, Montes said. The Grange, which is still active, helped develop the library, the chamber of commerce and the farmers market on Thursday nights. Residents needn’t go far to shop for basics, at stores such as Winco, WalMart, Save Mart and several small shops and services. There’s also a selection of fast-food and other eateries. Orangevale is within the San Juan Unified School District and has seven elementary, two middle and one high school, as well as Casa Roble Fundamental and a few private schools.
The Orangevale Recreation and Park District offers a variety of activities and events. These include today’s concert in the park, a community parking-lot sale on Sept. 24, Brew Fest on Oct. 1, a crafts fair Nov. 18 and 19 and a community tree-lighting event Dec. 9.
The biggest event is Orangevale’s Pow Wow Days, an old-fashioned town fair, held each May. It features a lineup of entertainers, food, a parade and a carnival.
The Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 1 has grown over the years, said Cindy Turner, recreation superintendent. An increasing number of people “come out and jump into the community pool, where temperatures are around 48 degrees that day,” she said.
In the summer, the pool is heated to 80 degrees. It’s at Orangevale Community center, site of children’s activities, a preschool, swimming lessons and a swim team. Orangevale also has an active youth sports program.
The community, originally part of a Mexican land grant, was known as Orange Vale because of the many orange groves in the area. In 1895, a map filed with the Sacramento Recorder’s Office showed a network of streets with the name “Orange Vale Colony.”
One of the first buildings in the colony was a school, established in 1889. It was moved to Oak Avenue, restored by the group, Serve Our Seniors, and has been designated as a Point of Historical Interest by the State Historical Resources Commission.
The community gradually became known as Orangevale as the number of “colonists” increased. Despite the growth, many of the original oaks and trails remain in the area.
“Some people want a more laid-back, informal lifestyle that they can’t find in nearby areas,” said Tom Parker, a Realtor and broker with Orangevale Realty. “Orangevale has a more rural feel about it, and prices are a little more reasonable than (those in) Granite Bay or Folsom. The market is a lot more active after three years of bottoming out. It’s now stabilized in the lower end.”
Because it’s unincorporated, Orangevale allows secondary homes on properties, Parker said. There also are several retirement and elder-care homes in the community.
But none of the growth has changed the rural character of Orangevale. That’s still a significant attraction.
Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.