I currently live just outside of Lincoln, CA, although I have lived inside the city boundaries for several months last year. To say that the area is going downhill is an understatement, as the crime rate in Lincoln is rising at a rapid rate, leading for some families to leave the area and seek out areas that are less gang ridden. Lincoln lies just North of Sacramento and North Highlands and it has become very apparent that the problems that are associated with these areas are starting to stretch North, just as Elk Grove has mirrored these same problems to the South of Sacramento.
In the past, Lincoln was a place where you could go to raise your family, which was just a stones throw away from Sacramento. While it is still true that you can likely live a pretty decent life in this area, there is no question that the feeling of being on your toes at all times persists throughout this entire region. The tell tale sign that Lincoln has been headed in a bad direction is the site of all the bars that have started being put up on families homes windows, to keep criminals out. This is due to the fact that there have been a drastically increased rate of home invasions and the stories that have come out in regards to these instances have been very chilling.
On the positive side, you still can buy a house in Lincoln for a very affordable price, which is why the area still remains heavily populated. The homes in the area are very large, so if you can handle being around some areas that are a bit sketchy, you may be able to purchase a huge home for several hundred thousand dollars.