Are Elk Grove homeowners leaving due to zoo, construction? Residents, real estate agents weigh in

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At least one Elk Grove resident is worried that people could be moving out of the city near where the new zoo is expected to be built.

Following this month’s approval by the Elk Grove City Council to relocate the Sacramento Zoo from Land Park to Elk Grove by 2029, a Reddit user in a recent post claimed to have seen a plop of “for sale” signs go up around the neighborhood, near Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway.

The anonymous user asked, “Is this a real phenomenon, or am I just seeing things? Are (owners) dumping their property because they worry about future traffic noise and smell? If you are the owner near that area, how are you feeling about this proposal and the future of your property?”

Sacramento real estate agent Christina Changco shot down the notion that people were moving away because of the new zoo. It’s quite the opposite, she said.

“People are going to flood in,” said Changco, who has been a real estate agent for the previous two years after 13 years in corporate real estate.

“It’s a five-year project, too, set to be completed by 2029. It’s going to bring jobs, so more people are going to move in here. It’s going to bring experiences, so tourism is going to increase in Elk Grove. So with those two combined, Elk Grove is going to be an insane housing market. So now’s the time to get your foot in the door.”

Changco held an open house Sunday for an Elk Grove home located at 8883 Solo Way. The house is listed at $599,999, she said. It was rented for $3,500 a month.

She said it was the previous owners’ first home, and now they’re ready to move on.

“They turned it into a rental property and then once the tenants decided to leave, they decided to sell, use that equity and move into something bigger, a forever home,” Changco said. “I think a lot of homeowners failed to plan. These homeowners planned and now they have an opportunity to get their bigger forever home in a five-year span. That’s unheard of.”

Changco, 34, has seen the growth and even experienced it for herself, having moved to Elk Grove from San Francisco with her family four years ago.

“There’s a huge opportunity here, especially in the 95757, for homeowners to build fast equity,” Changco said. “A lot of the homeowners buying here are relocating from the Bay Area. (Elk Grove’s) kind of like a hidden secret.”

The ‘next Land Park’?

Changco expects the neighborhoods adjacent to the eventual zoo in Elk Grove to increase in value, similar to houses near the Sacramento Zoo’s current home in Land Park.

“This area is set to be the next Land Park and we already know the home values – we’re talking about a 1,000 square foot home for going for a million dollars (in Land Park),” Changco said. “There’s a huge opportunity, especially for first-time home buyers. Don’t sleep on this opportunity.”

The new zoo is one of the reasons why 34-year-old Ricci Walker moved his family to Elk Grove over a year ago.

“That was one of the reasons why we wanted to move, to come over here and live over here is because they were building the zoo and because they were putting the casino over here,” Walker said, referring to Sky River Casino, which opened in 2022. “Plus, it was more of a smaller, cheaper community compared to a lot of the other houses over here.”

Walker said he isn’t worried about the new zoo, construction or the heightened foot traffic that’s to come with all of it.

“I understood all the ins and outs,” Walker said. “I know that they’re going to be moving the dirt and there’d be a lot of bugs and stuff coming.”

Walker’s concerns are whether a new light rail route would cut through parts of his neighborhood near Lotz Parkway. Although there have not been any official transit plans for the area, he made it clear that he disapproves of a light rail or some sort of public transportation stop.

In the meantime, he said he just has to look at a “cheesy fence” and would rather a brick wall separate the community from main streets and grass areas.

Walker is hoping the city will provide residents who live nearby the construction site with “some type of year pass” to the zoo.

Nevertheless, Walker is happy with his location. When asked if he’d ever look to sell, it was a resounding no.

“I was more in the end game of knowing the property is going to go up because the zoo is there,” Walker said.

Elk Grove Realtor Britt Wiseman was shocked to hear there were murmurs of people moving out because of the zoo. She, too, anticipates the home values in southeast Elk Grove will increase, similarly to Land Park.

“We are literally using the zoo as a selling point,” said Wiseman, who has been a Realtor in the Sacramento region for 20 years. “From my perspective, all you have to do is look at Land Park and know that the zoo has enhanced that neighborhood and not detracted. We’re really touting that as a positive for the (Elk Grove) neighborhood.”

Wiseman, who is also an Elk Grove resident, described the city as a “family-friendly neighborhood.”

She held an opening for a five-bedroom, four bathroom home that included an “in-laws quarter.” The home, located at 8812 Polka Way, is more than 3,000 square feet and is listed at $825,000.

She said it was owned by a military family that was relocated to Maryland for work.

“It’s an amazing house,” Wiseman said. “Amazing open floor plan. ... It has fabulous outdoors and a nice entertaining space. A little bit of grass, room between your neighbors and a covered patio. It’s a great house.”

Wiseman feels that the zoo will enhance the entire area.

“How awesome to be able to walk to the zoo and have that be part of your experience like on a weekly basis,” Wiseman said. “All those neighbors (near the Sacramento Zoo) love having it right there. So I think it will only do good things for this area. I’m sure they’re sad it’s leaving because it really does enhance that neighborhood and it’ll do the same over here.”