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Sacramento families now buying homes at River Islands
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Here’s a new trend that has major regional implications: The six new home builders creating nine neighborhoods so far at River Islands are starting to sell to a small but growing number of home buyers out of Sacramento.

That might seem wacko to some folks but it is 57 miles to Sacramento from Lathrop as opposed to 71 miles to San Jose and 74 miles to San Francisco. Keep in mind that newer neighborhoods in north Stockton for several years have attracted a number of Sacramento area buyers that then commute up Interstate 5 to the Capitol City.

The attraction of River Islands transcends a normal new neighborhood. It is as much lifestyle and quality of life as it is affordability for families. Not only are there things like manmade lakes, parks within a five minute walking distance of every home planned, and a unique 18-mile linear park overlooking the waters that surround Stewart Tract being unfolded, River Islands now has a three member staff devoted to organization and staging community activities. There is now a new running club and plans to launch a farmers market at River islands next month.

There are now 800 families living on River Islands with another 300 homes under contract. River Islands is in the process of preparing to release the next 1,000 lots of the 11,000 home plus planned community to builders.

The Bay Area is still the meat and potatoes market for River Islands. Radio ad campaigns on stations such as KNBR — the home of the San Francisco Giants — drives home a message that is resonating with buyers now living west of the Altamont Pass. The message: You can buy twice as much home at half the price at River Islands compared to San Jose where new townhouses on the smaller side are selling in the low $1 million range.

There were 70 families that stopped by the River Islands Welcome Center on Sunday to find out about the overall community before heading to model homes.

That’s fairly robust foot traffic. But the real stunner was the foot traffic this past Monday, a day of the week that normally makes being a new home sales associate one of the loneliest jobs around. There were 30 families that stopped by the welcome center.

When River Islands first started home sales nearly three years ago, the majority of the buyers were from Mountain House, Tracy and Manteca. It eventually shifted to Bay Area buyers. And now Sacramento buyers are starting to close escrow in small but growing numbers.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email