A Re-Locator's Guide to El Dorado County

A Re-Locator's Guide to El Dorado County

  • Kristen Haus Realtor Haus Homes Realty Group
  • 01/23/23

El Dorado County is a historical region in Northern California, stretching just east of the capital city of Sacramento to the stunning beauty of Lake Tahoe. Life is good in El Dorado County, with fewer than 200,000 residents, and encompasses 1,800 miles of rolling hills, public land, and snow-capped mountains.

If you’re interested in relocating to El Dorado County, here are a few things to consider before making the move.

Exploring El Dorado County

Even though the size of the county is quite large, there aren’t many communities in El Dorado County, which offers California small-town charm and makes it a terrific place for retirees and former city dwellers. The county seat is Placerville, in the heart of the gold rush region—and the county’s also home to luxurious communities like El Dorado Hills, Camino, and South Lake Tahoe.

Before beginning your search for El Dorado County homes for sale, it helps to understand the lay of the land. The county is divided into two zones. Most of the county is on the western slope of Echo Summit, while the northeast corner of the county is within the Lake Tahoe Basin. The entire county is a natural wonderland that provides residents and visitors with year-round outdoor recreation activities and access to public lands.

The El Dorado County real estate market

If you’d like to retire to El Dorado County, or raise your family in one of its smaller communities, be prepared for a competitive and expensive market. The median price of El Dorado County homes is about $652,500, and prices have gone up substantially since early 2020. Many people who have bought houses in these communities can work from home, a trend that may be permanent for some luxury buyers.

South Lake Tahoe is the biggest city in the county, with about 22,000 residents—nearly double that of Placerville (which has a population of about 11,000). The rest of El Dorado County’s residents live in smaller towns and communities scattered throughout the hills.

You’ll need a great agent

Due to current inventory shortages (which can change quickly), El Dorado County is in a balanced market, though it leans slightly in favor of sellers. If you want to ensure the best value for your money as a buyer (or a seller), you’ll need to hire an experienced real estate agent to help you navigate the local market. A talented agent will know every corner of the El Dorado County real estate market and will be able to guide you toward the home and the community that make the most sense for your lifestyle.


Placerville is a quaint town about an hour east of Sacramento, whose origins go back to the discovery of gold in nearby Coloma in 1848 and the ensuing California Gold Rush. Placerville was a vital mining hub that served as a supply center for prospectors pouring into the area and was also a stopping point along the famous Pony Express. Placerville is also the endpoint of the Comstock Lode, a lode of silver that stretches from Nevada and plays a role in the county’s history.

Once the mining era ended, major industries expanded to include agriculture, lumber, light manufacturing, and wine production. With so many historic buildings and reminders of bygone eras still standing, Placerville is a major tourist attraction. There are many wine tasting rooms throughout the town, providing a fun activity for residents and visitors.

Placerville is a beautiful town with several neighborhoods that stretch through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Placerville homes for sale offer an eclectic mix of new and old single-family homes, many with large acreages. Residents are within a short drive of many lakes and recreation areas, including Lake Tahoe and Sly Park Recreation Area. It’s also an easy drive into Sacramento for attractions, including arts, culture, and pro sports.

South Lake Tahoe

Photo Courtesy of Hotels.com
South Lake Tahoe is the biggest city in El Dorado County and is one of the most spectacular resort communities in the country. South Lake Tahoe has long been a terrific year-round destination for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. Since the onset of the pandemic, it has attracted many new residents, who have found the lifestyle to be exciting yet relaxed.

Unsurprisingly, El Dorado County real estate in South Lake Tahoe can be pricey, especially waterfront properties. It’s not uncommon for homes to list between $4-6 million. Consider a condo if you’re interested in a less expensive option—without sacrificing location.

Living in South Lake Tahoe is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. There are several major ski resorts nearby, and in the summer, the lake comes alive with boaters, swimmers, and fishermen. El Dorado Beach is one of the most popular gathering spots during summer. Other great activities include hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. At night, the city’s restaurants and bars are bustling. South Lake Tahoe is next to Stateline, Nevada, with several popular casinos.

El Dorado Hills

El Dorado Hills is an upscale suburb on the far eastern fringes of Sacramento, with about 45,000 residents. Those who purchase El Dorado Hills homes for sale discover that it’s a comfortable community at the base of the foothills, the entry point to El Dorado County. Besides waterfront recreational activities and convenience, El Dorado Hills is home to many vineyards and is located near some of the best outdoor recreational experiences in the state.


Camino is a small community of just under 2,000 residents east of Placerville. It’s a pleasant place to live and a haven for wine enthusiasts, as it’s home to many farms and vineyards. Families who have bought Camino homes  love visiting nearby Apple Hill, a collection of dozens of apple ranches and farms. Visitors can purchase tasty apple cider and many other locally produced foods.

Hire an experienced El Dorado County realtor

If you’re ready to start exploring El Dorado County homes for sale, let local realtor Kristen Haus put her market insights and network to work for you!

*Header photo Courtesy of Visit El Dorado County

Work With Us

Follow Us on Instagram