Kathy Walery wanted a house in a nice, comfortable middle-class area to raise her two daughters. Her wish list was long. She didn’t want a home on a fast, drive-through street. She wanted four bedrooms, two baths, an attached garage, indoor laundry room and a kitchen window that looked out onto the backyard.
Her husband, Norbert Walery was looking for a yard that was not too huge.
They were living in Campus Commons at the time.
“I wanted a neighborhood with sidewalks, where the girls could play with the neighbor’s kids, ride bicycles and play hopscotch,” she said.
The Walerys found their home in Fair Oaks.
That was 30 years ago.
Their daughters are grown and gone now, but the Walerys are still in the same home.
“We know our neighbors and have seen their kids grow up. We have block parties, Fourth of July parades, socials and back-to-school nights and neighborhood yard sales. A lot of families are our same age.”
Both are retired, however, Kathy Walery does volunteer work and is currently president of the VFW Auxiliary to Center Township Town and Country Post 6158 in Fair Oaks.
“I’ve been with VFW for 25 years.”
It keeps her busy. She recently returned from Washington D.C. and a gathering where students were awarded scholarships. Of 52 students, a young man from California won second place and $16,000, she said.
“We do a lot of events for Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and a lot of positive things for veterans.”
She’s fond of Fair Oaks.
“It’s comfortable and friendly, a rural community with horses, vineyards, open fields where you see families playing tennis and boys playing basketball, yet it’s not far from shopping. There are great schools and lots of churches.”
She enjoys Old Town Fair Oaks with its restaurants and boutiques and the park with outdoor theater and events.
“Lots of small town stuff.”
Kim Pitillo, executive director of the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce, said people like the small-town community with its old-fashioned traditions.
That includes several events during the summer, the concerts and movies in Village Park, Comedy under the Stars and others. The 23rd annual Taste of Fair Oaks is June 3 and the 67th Fair Oaks Fiesta Days is May 1. The latter includes classic car show, arts and craft vendors, music, kid’s games, Sun Run/Walk and the Toilet Bowl Race.
The chamber is launching the Best of Fair Oaks and encouraging people to vote online for favorite local businesses.
“There’s always something happening,” Pitillo said.
Kathy Smith of Weichert Realtors - Galster Group said people like Fair Oaks for its rolling hills, trees and the atmosphere.
“It just has a good feel and it’s very desirable.”
They also like living next to or near the American River, which runs south of Madison Avenue. And they like the schools. High school students attend Bella Vista or Del Campo, both within the San Juan Unified School District.
While Fair Oaks has a range of homes in areas such as the Bird and Hawaiian tracts and Phoenix Field, they can choose homes on acreage.
The older homes have more land and more trees, she said.
Home prices range from $99,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath condominium to $1,595,000 for a seven-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath, 6,000-square-foot home on 2.5 acres.
Six resale homes are in the $1 million or more range and they’re on a half to 2.5 acres.
As of March, 113 homes were for sale and that includes 69 new listings, 26 sold and 58 pending. There are 3.8 months of inventory; average days on the market is 32.
The average active price is $533,000; average sold price is $325,000.
“The million dollar homes that are not selling bring the average down,” Smith said.
Fair Oaks has a few infill communities with new homes.
Riverland Homes is offering Fair Oaks Hills, a gated community of single-family homes priced from $530,000 to $625,000.
Watt Communities has The Village at Fair Oaks, a gated community with prices from the mid-$300,000s and Woodbury at Davis Ranch, homes priced from the high-$600,000s.
MBK Homes is offering Madison at Fair Oaks, a gated community with single-family, detached homes.
“There’s lots of new activity, but (resale) inventory is low at the moment,” Smith said. “However, if homes are priced right, clean and cute, they’re going to sell.”
People like the atmosphere, the lifestyle and rural feel.
“I think it’s a very nice community” Kathy Walery said. “I’ve been here 30 years and still feel comfortable.”
Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.
Where: 16 miles northeast of Sacramento
Size: Approximately 11 square miles
Government: County Board of Supervisors
The Community Profiles spotlight Sacramento-area cities and neighborhoods weekly. This schedule is subject to change:
▪ Lincoln, April 23
▪ Loomis, April 30
▪ West Sacramento, May 7
▪ Rocklin, May 14
▪ Rancho Murieta, May 21
▪ Campus Commons, May 28
▪ Cameron Park, June 4
▪ Gold River, June 11
▪ Carmichael, June 18
▪ East Sacramento, June 25
▪ Elk Grove/Laguna, July 2
▪ El Dorado Hills, July 9
▪ Sierra Oaks, July 16
▪ Land Park, July 23
▪ Folsom, July 30
▪ Woodland, Aug. 6
▪ Granite Bay, Aug. 13
▪ Arden Arcade, Aug. 20
▪ Rancho Cordova, Aug. 27
Julie Robledo, resale homes,
(916) 321-1295, firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Tafoya, new homes,
(916) 321-1373, email@example.com