Things You Should Know Before Moving to El Cajon, CA -
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Things You Should Know Before Moving to El Cajon, CA

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A valley surrounded by moutains at the southern most part of California, just outside of San Diego, El Cajon's pleasant Pacific Coast weather makes for a great place to live if you are considering relocation.

Read on to get plenty of tips and tricks for your potential move to El Cajon.

El Cajon Climate

In El Cajon, you will get a mix of a Mediterranean climate and a semi-arid climate, with variation in temperature within short distances (characteristic of inland areas of Southern California). As you head east in El Cajon, the climate gets drier, with some moisture present in the mountains.

During August, the hottest month of the year, the minimum temperature is approximately 88 degrees, but can dip into the 60s during nightfall. December is the coldest month of the year with an average temperature of approximately 40 degrees. The annual rainfall in the area is just below 20 inches.

El Cajon Neighborhoods

For a generally quiet and scenic residential area, check out Fletcher Hills, developed in the 1920s. Locals boast great landscaping and views with a strong sense of community. You'll be in close proximity to the ocean and the mountains, which includes various hiking trails and parks.

You can get the best of residential and commercial in the city's downtown area, which is alive with art galleries, a museum, boutique shopping, cultural events and a farmers' market for fresh produce.

Registering Your Car

In order to avoid any penalties after you've moved to El Cajon, you must register your vehicle within 20 days of entry or residency, according to the state of California's DMV website. You will need the last issued out of state title, smog and weight certification (if applicable), proof of insurance and money for any fees or taxes. The vehicle must also be inspected by the DMV.

Upon moving to California, you have 10 days to acquire a California driver's license. You will need to complete application form DL 44, give a thumbprint, have your picture taken, and provide your full name and social security number. You must also pay the application fee, pass a vision exam and pass a traffic laws and signs test.

El Cajon Schools

The city has two school districts that serve students in the area: Cajon Valley Union School District for public elementary and middle schools, Grossmont Union High School District for high schools. CVUSD has over 20 schools in its district, and GUHSD has five high schools.

Colleges in the area include: Grossmont College, Cuyamaca College, San Diego Christian College and Seminary of Mar Abba the Great.

El Cajon Employment

Some major influences on the economy in the city are industries like education, health care services, and retail. Though the unemployment rate has been steadily dropping since 2010, it was at approximately 10.5 percent as of early 2013 - still higher than the national average. As a result, many people often look for employment opportunities in nearby San Diego.

Some of the city's top employers are: Grossman-Cuyamaca Community College District, GKN Aerospace Chem-tronics, City of El Cajon, Taylor Guitars and Sears.

Living Costs in the City

Like much of the Southern California area, the cost of living is pretty high in comparison with the rest of the country - approximately 30 percent higher, in fact. Locals claim the housing prices are slightly more affordable than in some larger neighboring areas like San Diego, but the average home price is over $300,000. If you rent in El Cajon, expect to pay around $1,200 per month in rent (single bedroom).

You can cut some of your food expenses by stretching your dollars at the farmers' market in the city, but groceries will generally cost you a bit more than the national average as well. Fuel prices average around $3.80 a gallon, and the city has a 9 percent sales tax.

El Cajon Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies can assist you with your move to El Cajon, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in California. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at to get quotes for the following services:

El Cajon Transportation

Metro Transit System (MTS) is responsible for the bus routes in the city, in addition to a trolley service. For air travel, the closest international airport is the San Diego International Airport. In addition, the city is also home to Gillespie Field Airport, a county airport that hosts air shows and provides flight schools and aircraft storage.

If you'll be driving around your new city, plan to use major highways like Interstate 8, the San Vicente Freeway (State Route 67) and State Route 125.

Culture & Contemporary Life

After recently celebrating its centennial, El Cajon is continuing to expand its culture and entertainment, especially in the downtown area. The Fine Arts District offers the Main Street 5 Gallery, the Olaf Wieghorst Museum, Silver Creek Gallery and Framing, and White Sage Gallery. You will also be able to experience boutique shopping and wide array of cuisine from Mexican to Mediterranean. Some events that take place downtown include: HauntFest during Halloween, Dinner and a Concert, Parade of Lights and Cajon Classic Cruise.

There's also a farmers' market that has fresh produce for sale, as well as multiple live performances each week. So if you're out and about downtown, be sure to check out what your new city has to offer.


El Cajon Relocation Tips

  • Research your job opportunities thoroughly before packing up and heading out west. The unemployment rate is still relatively high, so you'll want to make sure you have a job in place prior to moving.


  • Depending on your previous home's climate, you will probably need to clean out your wardrobe and adjust for Southern California weather. You will seldom need winter jackets, so stock up on shorts, t-shirts, and lighter jackets instead.


  • Get your car serviced regularly, the area tends to be very dry and hot, and your car may need specific maintenance to prevent any erosion. You may also want to look into weather-specific tires.

Jenna Farmer  Posted by Jenna Farmer on June 12, 2013

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