17 Reasons Not to Move to Elk Grove, California (Voted by the Locals!)

Elk Grove, California is a fantastic place for many different types of people to live, however we want to warn you of some of the things you might run into when moving to a place like Elk Grove, California.

I’ve conducted a list of 17 reasons a person should not move to Elk Grove, California and asked some of the people I know that live there, what their opinions were of moving and living in a place like that.

17. Lack of Good Restaurants

My family recently moved to the area and it can be difficult to find any super good restaurants to eat out at that aren’t big franchises like Chick-fil-a or In-n-out. The workers at these restaurants or fast food chains can be very unfriendly and the quality of the food isn’t the best. The food options in this area are average.

It has also been said that a lot of the restaurants in this area are not only mediocre but unsanitary.

“The local restaurants and businesses are somewhat repetitive and lacking any kind of unique quality.”


Not to say that you can’t find something to eat, but if you want gourmet, you’ll have to drive out of town.

16. Garbage Everywhere

Going on walks in your neighborhood or around the city is often relaxing and fun to do, but not if you’re bothered by unclean streets and garbage. There have been many times that I’ve gone for a jog in my neighborhood, and have spotted many large items of trash.

People are messy and seem to not care about the cleanliness of their community.

There just seems to be a lot of pollution in the area and it seems to not be very sanitary. The area is a little bit dirty and isn’t kept up very well. Many residents are hoping that Elk Grove makes a few renovations and rules when it comes to run-down buildings and garbage in the streets.

15. Limited Recreational Activities

Although Elk Grove is near Sacramento, it is less developed and it is a smaller town compared to Sacramento. Because of that, there is not very much to do in Elk Grove other than eat out with your family at mediocre restaurants and go bowling. Many of the residents hope for a mall to be built or more recreational activities to do in general.

If you are hoping to do something fun, most people will have to drive out of the city to find something more to do other than just go to the movies or go bowling.

There are many places to go outside of the Sacramento area like San Francisco or Santa Cruz, but most places like that are a couple of hours away. If you are wanting to do something super fun, you may have to plan a day trip to one of those places.

14. Unpredictable Weather

Elk Grove has very unpredictable weather, especially in the winter months. It doesn’t get quite as cold as the states or cities more up north, but when living here in the winter, you never know what the weather is going to be like. One minute it’s sunny outside and the next it’s pouring rain.

When living here, you may find yourself constantly changing your clothes or changing into different layers if you plan on being outside, because the weather here is very random and unpredictable.

There is nothing that can be done about this, so you have to be the one to adapt.

13. Unwelcoming Neighbors

The city tends to be very tight-knit because it’s a smaller city compared to the rest of the Sacramento area. Since it’s tight-knit, neighbors are very close to one another and it may be hard to move into a place like that. People may not be friendly and can be a little cliquish.

Many people in this area are known to be rude and unwelcoming, especially if they have lived here for a long period of time. It’s different for everyone and of course, we don’t want to stereotype, but that’s something to potentially be aware of when moving into this community.

12. Strict COVID-19 Laws

Although it is extremely important to do your part in limiting the spread of COVID-19, the laws here are very strict when it comes to it.

My family and I went to the mall the other day and there were lines in front of every store because the stores have a limited capacity. The food court also has no seating for people to eat at, but people continue to eat their food on the floors and benches. Social distancing is encouraged, but no one seems to respect or follow the rules and laws put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Many other states like Idaho and Utah still have a dining option at restaurants open, while California does not. Before moving here keep in mind that the restrictions here are very present and because of that there is not much to do in this city, or in California in general.

11. High Number of Homeless People

Everywhere you go, there are homeless people. As of today, there are 150 homeless people in Elk Grove California. That may not seem like a lot compared to a place like San Fransisco, but it is a lot for a smaller, tight-knit town.

Since there is a high number of homeless people in this area, there’s a lot of panhandling going on. Panhandling is when people beg others for things or money on the street. You will almost always run into someone that begs you for money on the street in this area.

“She estimated Elk Grove has between 100 and 150 homeless people, though she noted that counts of the population are notoriously difficult.”


10. Busy Roads and Traffic

If you plan on getting somewhere at a certain time, you have to leave your home sooner than normal in order to get there on time because the traffic here is unavoidable.

There’s also a lot of construction in the area which causes a lot of congestion and traffic in the streets. That also can result in angry impatient drivers, which makes the roads more unsafe.

Getting on and off of the freeway can be very frustrating and time-consuming. Even though there are many freeway lanes and larger roads here, they still tend to get busy and congested.

9. Aggressive Driving

Driving in Elk Grove is considered very dangerous because of the nature of the drivers in this city. There are a lot of reckless drivers and everyone seems to drive above the speed limit. Drivers here are rude and impatient which then brings lots of tailgating, honking, and car accidents.

Driving on the freeway can be a little scary for lots of people because everyone seems to go at least 10 mph over the speed limit, even on the right lanes/right side of the freeway. You have to be extra cautious of your surroundings here if you want to remain safe on the roads.

It’s easy to get offended by other drivers on the road and to get caught up in aggressive driving, but as long as you don’t engage other drivers, you should be safe on the roads when it comes to aggressive drivers.

8. Crowding in Schools

Elk Grove, itself, has grown quite a bit in the last couple of years. That being said, the schools in the area are getting pretty crowded. Many of the schools here are good and have great sports and extracurricular programs, but there is simply not enough space for students to learn comfortably. Many presidents in the area agree that the school district needs to build more schools in Elk Grove.

There are 64 schools in the Elk Grove school district, including High schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. The Elk Grove school district operates 42 elementary schools, 9 middle schools, and 9 high schools. The district altogether has 63,000 students.

7. Difficult to Find a Good Paying Job

There are lots of minimum wage job options for teenagers still living at home, but it can be hard for someone with a degree to find a good-paying, full-time job in the area.

The minimum wage in Elk Grove California is $13.00 per hour. That’s great for a child living at home, but it’s simply not enough for someone paying rent or wanting to live in California. Because Elk Grove has been rowing a lot the past couple of years, it can be hard for people to find good jobs.

“I am currently looking for a job and I am having a hard time receiving one.”


This happens to a problem for a lot of people living in California, and Elk Grove is no exception. It is best to find a job here before moving or you may not be able to find something that can pay for your high rate of living (which we will talk about shortly).

6. Bad Air Quality- Wildfires

There are many wildfires the occur in the summer in California. They’re never directly in Elk Grove, but the air quality can get pretty bad. This city is pretty close to the wildfires, compared to other cities and states in the US.

There was a total of 9,639 wildfires in California this past summer. That has an effect on all of the residents in California. There are potentially many breathing difficulties that come with living here in the summer in even healthy individuals.

It sometimes isn’t healthy to hang out outside or run outside if there’s bad air quality in the area. Bad air quality because of fires is very normal in California during the summer. Outdoor sports may be canceled some days in the late spring or summer. Be prepared for that.

5. High Cost of Living

The cost of housing in Elk grove has substantially gotten higher and that is great for people who have owned their homes for a while, but not good for someone that is wanting to move in and purchase a house. The average market rent in this city is $2,387/per month. Source.Opens in a new tab.

Home Prices% of Homes
$0 – $63,0001.5 %
$63,001 – $126,0000.5 %
$126,001 – $252,0003.2 %
$252,001 – $377,00018.3 %
$377,001 – $503,00036.4 %
$503,001 – $629,00023.4 %
$629,001 – $943,00013.6 %
$943,001 – $1,257,0002.0 %
$1,257,0001.0 %

Studies show that the cost of living in Elk Grove is 30% higher than the national average. It is extremely important to have a stable career when wanting to live in an area like this because the cost of living here is so high. Not only is your housing expensive, but smaller things like your groceries, and gas will be more expensive as well.

4. High Taxes

There are very high taxes in California when compared to other states. The property tax rate in Elk Grove is $12.23 while the average property tax rate in the United States is $11.78. In Elk Grove, the sales tax rate is 59% higher than in other California localities.

The 7.75% sales tax rate in Elk Grove consists of 6% California state sales tax, 0.25% Sacramento County sales tax and 1.5% Special tax.


This is a top complaint by those who live here.

3. Recreational Marijuana Use is Legal

Recreational marijuana use here is legal which means a potentially higher crime rate, more gangs, and addiction. It adds to the low air quality as well.

Living here in Elk Grove, it is normal to smell marijuana when walking around your neighborhood or your city. If you want to hang out in Sacramento, where there are more people, you are guaranteed to get a whiff of it somewhere. Every time I go to the mall I can smell it from teenagers trying to smoke indoors.

While this may not be a problem for some, a lot of people with families find that this is a reason to consider not moving into the area.

2. Racial Discrimination

It has been said by many locals that racial discrimination is a thing in Elk Grove. It isn’t super common, but it’s more common in public schools with younger people.

Many schools are bringing awareness to the problem and Rachael Francis spoke out about racially charged incidents at an Elk Grove school. She spoke about racial discrimination after a video went viral on social media that featured hateful remarks about African Americans from a Pleasant Grove student.

1. High Crime Rate

Elk grove used to be a smaller tight-knit city, but as the city is expanding, there has also been more crime taking place in the city. People have said that they sometimes feel unsafe walking around their neighborhood.

The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime is 1 in 52. The Elk Grove crime rate in 2018 was 237.04 per 100,000 population.

In conclusion, many people have loved their experience living in Elk Grove, while it wasn’t the best for others. There are 17 things to look out for and potentially prepare for before moving here.

Related Topics:

If you like the article above, here are some other similar articles you should check out!

Is There a lot of Crime in Elk Grove, CA? (What You Should Know)Opens in a new tab.

17 Reasons Not to Move to Stockton, California

17 Reasons Not to Move to Albuquerque (Voted by the Locals) Opens in a new tab.

Gracie S.

Millie here! I am a regular publisher on suggested by locals. Other than writing, I like to volunteer at the local animal shelter!

Recent Posts