Article By: Jim Porter – April 5, 2015
My wife Mary and I sold our house in Pacifica, 15 minutes from the Sunset District of San Francisco where she and I grew up, in September 1988.
We packed up our four little kids and moved to Vacaville. My parents and her foster parents attended the same Catholic church and Mary and I met in first grade at Holy Name grammar school. Our parents, along with our grandparents, were from San Francisco and most of our schoolmates were third-, fourth- and even fifth-generation San Francisco natives.
We grew up in the middle class part of the city, a mile from Ocean Beach and two blocks away from Golden Gate Park. Between Mary’s six older biological brothers and sisters along with her three older foster sisters, which we consider real sisters by the way, and my one older autistic brother and five younger brothers and sisters, only three of us still live in The City.
I would estimate only 10 of the 80 kids we graduated with from eighth grade still live in San Francisco. All 80 of the kids in 1972, if asked back in grammar school where they would be in 50 years, would have said they’d still be in the city.
Our hometown changed after the revolutionary 1960s and the crazy 1970s. Drugs, riots, school busing and generally poor public schools made most of the cops, firefighters and city workers along with tons of middle class folks move to San Mateo, Marin, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. They moved for lower crime rates, better schools and housing affordability. The demographics in San Francisco have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. It’s kind of sad.
Northern Solano County is one the greatest areas in America to purchase a home and lay down roots if you are hoping to live near your kids, grandkids and great-grandchildren because of housing affordability and a variety of strong government jobs at Travis Air Force base and the state prisons.
We are also lucky to have several oil refineries and the greatest vineyards in the country just minutes from Solano County. We now have a burgeoning wine and vineyard presence right here in Suisun Valley to supplement the substantial farming that has been a huge part of our county, along with our neighbor Yolo County, for 150 years.
The future also looks bright because huge biotech companies like Genentech are seeing our county as a great place to grow. They see the University of California, Berkley and the University of California, Davis, along with many great universities near Solano County, for a combination of a solid blue-collar workforce and scientist-type people.
Location, location, location.
We are only an hour from The City and the Pacific Ocean, 40 minutes from Sacramento and just two to three hours from Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and my favorite: Pebble Beach.
Let’s focus on our schools, the crime rate and our values and this will remain a great place to live and raise a family. The kids will need a good education because they will need to solve a ton of problems we are leaving them with, especially the $18 trillion in debt we have allowed to run up!
I would love to see my great-grandkids have the American Dream and stay close to us in this great Bay Area county.
Jim Porter, NMLS No. 276412, is the branch manager of Solano Mortgage, NMLS No. 1515497, a division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, NMLS No. 1850, licensed in California by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the CRMLA / Equal Housing Opportunity. Jim can be reached at 707-449-4777.
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