Perhaps there will be a home buyer or two in the throngs of people expected on the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour in East Sacramento in December.
They’ll be viewing homes in the Fab 40s, a desirable, upscale area bounded by J Street and Folsom Boulevard and 38th to 47th streets.
The holiday home tour, now in its 43rd year, is a special event, said Lisa Schmidt, who lives in the community and is with the East Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s wonderful to see people walking through the community with their programs,” she said.
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“It’s the beginning of the Christmas season.”
Five homes plus a boutique and café at Sacred Heart Parish School will be on the Dec. 2-4 tour.
“I have ladies over for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and then we go on the tour,” Schmidt said. “I’m confident that we’re not the only group doing that.”
The tour is a great way to get ideas for decorating from interior designers who are very creative, she said. The event benefits Sacred Heart School scholarship and other programs.
“It’s such a big tradition for our community,” she said.
Another tradition has homeowners lighting up the streets.
Liz Edmonds of Lyon Real Estate likes those holiday lights especially in the Fab 40s and other areas of East Sacramento. People get together and plan them, she said.
“They’re so beautiful. It’s magical.”
Edmonds said that East Sacramento is a very stable, happy, friendly neighborhood, one that had its beginnings decades ago.
It originally was an agricultural area with an “occasional Victorian” on some of the properties, she said. It wasn’t until the early part of the 1900s.
In the ’20s and ’30s people brought campers and camped out in McKinley Park. An exhibit of campers was held earlier this year at the California Automobile Museum.
Much of the area was marsh land and it wasn’t until the levees were added that homes and Sacramento State could be constructed.
“The mud and the river determined when the area could be built, she said.
The growth moved east until it was halted by the Depression and World War II.
After the war, home construction began again. The Meister Tract east of McKinley Boulevard on 42nd Street was built in the late ’40s and ’50s and other homes were constructed in the ’50s and ’60s, she said. Home designs included California Bungalows, Tudors and Mid-Century.
Now, there’s another area of new homes. That’s McKinley Village from The New Home Company and Riverview Capital Investments. Model homes and a clubhouse are now open.
McKinley Village will have five neighborhoods: Birch | Cottage Greens, Cottonwood | Park Homes, Magnolia | Commons, Mulberry | Courtyards and Alder | Parkside Flats.
The urban village will have 336 homes, 10 parks and common greens, a planned community garden, public art and many amenities.
“These green spaces ensure that life at McKinley Village is enjoyed as much throughout our network of parks and open spaces as it is inside each new contemporary residence,” said Kevin Carson, Northern California president for New Home.
“In addition, the community will feature biking and walking paths that easily allow residents to explore the close by American River Parkway and to have easy access to their workplaces, local dining, concert venues and more.”
Schmidt likes East Sacramento’s location.
“One of the reasons I love this neighborhood is how close we are to light rail and Golden 1 Center,” Schmidt said.
She went to the Paul McCartney concert which was a five-minute walk to light rail and 10-minute ride to the center.
“It was just wonderful.”
She also likes the proximity to “all the exciting things going on there and in midtown too.”
They include recently opened restaurants — OBO’ Italian Table & Bar in the former Andiamo’s and Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine next door. Another new restaurant is The Mimosa House in the original Shakey’s Pizza at 57th and J streets.
“We’re excited about that,” she said.
Edmonds also likes the restaurants in the area.
Some are stable and revered, she said, like One Speed, Giovanni’s Pizza and Espanol Italian Market. Devine Gelateria just opened on McKinley Boulevard.
“That’s exciting. Just talking about it — I have to go over there now.”
An upcoming tradition in the community is on Thanksgiving morning when people head for East Sacramento and the Run to Feed the Hungry run/walk, Schmidt said.
“People come from all over to participate. It’s just an incredibly popular event and a wonderful way for people to give back to the community and be thankful for what they have.”
A popular place in the area is McKinley Park. Schmidt and Friends of East Sacramento co-founder Cecily Hastings manage the community center there and the McKinley Rose Garden. The library is a branch of the Sacramento Public Library.
In East Sacramento 24 homes sold for over $800,000 since June 1. Ten homes sold for over $1 million and one home sold for $2.250 million. Currently, there are 100 active or pending homes for sale and homes are on the market for 30-36 days.
The average price is $843,939; the average price per square foot for active and sold is $383.
Many people including families and empty nesters are moving from the suburbs to East Sacramento and midtown too, Edmonds said.
“It’s just a choice place to live. It’s close to downtown and there’s a lot going on in the parks,” Edmonds said.
Schmidt enjoys walking downtown and sitting in the open space in McKinley Park.
“I love living here,” she said.
Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.
Size: 3.292 square miles
Number of homes: 10,700
Government: Sacramento City Council
Annexed to Sacramento: 1911