In early spring, Arthur Chinn and Tom Richardson sit in their backyard in the Fairgrounds neighborhood of Sacramento, sipping tea and eating home-baked snickerdoodle cookies. Chinn is an architect and designer, Richardson a retired credit union employee.

Their cream-colored, stucco four-bedroom, three-bathroom home on a newly developed cul-de-sac, purchased for $569,000 just before the onset of the pandemic, is large (2,100 square feet), its ceilings high, its walls tastefully decorated with art. On the L-turn of the staircase, small model houses line a mantelpiece; below them, on one of the carpeted stairs sits a pottery dog.

The area they chose to move into to spend their retirement years—after selling their mid-sized condo in the Bay Area city of Hayward for $780,000—is a low-key neighborhood, tucked south of Tahoe Park and a stone’s throw from UC Davis Medical Center. The Broadway locale of Bacon & Butter is just a few…

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