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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Lancaster, CA

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Located in the Antelope Valley of the Mojave Desert in North Los Angeles, the Southern California locale of Lancaster was considered One of the Best Places to Live in 2012 by CNN Money.

With that being said, why wouldn't you want to read through this brochure to find out more about what happens within the town borders. From the cost of living, education to employment, find out everything you need to know about a town you may just decide to call home.

Lancaster Climate

A cold semi-arid steppe climate is less warm with more precipitation than the average arid weather. With a typical summer high of 95 and usual winter high of 58, locals look forward to clear skies all year through, always keeping their sun block close by. The coldest month is December with only two inches of snowfall and the warmest month is July with eight inches of rainfall.

Fall temperatures range from a high of 88 degrees to a low of 36 degrees in September, October and November, and Spring climate averages from a high of 79 degrees to a low of 39 degrees in March, April and May.

Lancaster Neighborhoods

According to the town motto It's Positively Clear, Lancaster is the best place to lay your hat and call home in California. With almost 40 different districts, dozens of neighborhoods make up the 94 square mile city. With 63 percent of the population owning three-bedroom single family homes built between 1970 and 1999, the municipality is mainly made up of middle-class families.

Almost 40 percent of the population rents condominiums and high rise apartment complexes and are filled with families from various socio-economic backgrounds. The upper-middle class in the community reside in Del Sur, Gorman and Fairmont areas among other affluent subdivisions located off of West Avenue. Downtown Lancaster, home to the historic district filled with shopping centers and restaurants, also has some residents living in the city center.

Registering Your Car

You have 20 days to register your car after becoming a California resident. To receive a registration for the vehicle you drove into town you must provide smog and weight certification, your last issued out of state title and proof of insurance. You must pay all taxes and fees that will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. To complete the registration process, your vehicle must also be inspected by the California Division of Motor Vehicles.

Though you have 20 days to retain a registration after moving to the region, you only have 10 days to acquire a California driver's license. To receive a license you must provide a thumb print, fill out a DL 44 form, have your picture taken, and provide your full name and Social Security number, along with passing a vision exam and traffic laws and signs test. You must also pay all taxes and fees.

Lancaster Schools

Eastside and Westside Union and Lancaster School Districts are the three systems that serve area youth who attend grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Though three elementary school districts train the children, Antelope Valley Union High School District serves all Lancaster students from freshmen to senior year at five educational sites.

There are plenty of private schools in the province with at least 12 campuses available for students to attend that include both the Desert Montessori Academy and Lancaster Baptist School. Like private schools, there are a handful of post-secondary sites in the city for young adults to transfer to after their high school graduation.

The Antelope Valley College, a comprehensive community school with more than 71 separate study areas available to obtain a associates degree, is also the satellite campus to California State University, Bakersfield that offers both bachelor's and master's degrees to students in a select list of subjects.

Lancaster Employment

There is no doubt about it, Lancaster has a very high unemployment rate averaging 13.1 percent as of April 2013. Well above the national average, the daunting figure is not very promising during the present economic down turn. Established businesses in the area that have stayed strong during the recession are Edwards Air Force Base with more than 11,000 employees, China Lake with almost 7,000 laborers and Lockheed Martin Co. with almost 4,000 staff members.

Other top employers in the area are Antelope Valley Union High School District, Mira Loma-CA State Prison and Rio Tinto Minerals. While new residents would search the local classifieds and staffing agencies to procure employment, business owners new to the region contact the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, which offers expos, business breakfasts and much more for merchants who help keep the economic development in the district green.

Living Costs in the City

Though 11.9 percent less than the California average, the Lancaster cost of living comes in at 15.5 percent greater than the national average. According to CNN Money, the median family income in Lancaster is $57,491 and the median home price comes in at $131,000. Renting an one-bedroom apartment in the area will cost anywhere between $700 and $1,300 depending on the location and luxury of the unit. The more bedrooms the higher the cost of the unit. Utility costs also vary depending on usage and family size.

Lancaster Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Lancaster, 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 Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:

Lancaster Transportation

The Antelope Valley Freeway, State Route 14, provides easy access to the Greater Los Angeles area while Highways 138 and 58 run east and west through the gorge. If locals are not driving themselves, they use the Antelope Valley Transit Authority to take them where they need to go in town. The agency also offers a Dial-A-Ride service for disabled citizens, with transportation picking locals up right at their front door.

Along with the AVTA, a commuter service runs a fleet of buses to Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Lastly, the Metrolink is a convenient way to travel with thousands of locals riding the rail at a reasonable rate throughout the region. As for flying, locals can either take off or land out of Palmdale Regional Airport, Los Angeles International Airport or Bob Hope Airport.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Lancaster locals like to keep life simple. Playing in parks, hiking trails, and seeing several sporting events are just some of the ways residents enjoy outside fun in the region. Between the Apollo Community Regional Park, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve and the Hangar Sports Stadium there is always something to do in town weather pending. When locals look for inside fun, they frequent the Cinemark 22 Imax for the latest blockbuster, the BLVD for fine dining, dancing and shopping, or frequent one of the few area museums and art galleries for a bit of culture.

Lancaster Relocation Tips

  • Pack in order by sorting through rooms. Rather than tackle the whole house at once, start with one room and move onto the next only when you are completely finished with the one you started.


  • Once you're belongings are all boxed up, read these tips on how to load the moving truck, placing certain items in the back and others in the front to make for a much easier process.


  • Once you are settled in, don't settle for being unfamiliar to the area. Find local services around town so you can get a better feel for where the post office, gym and library are.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on June 26, 2013

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