El Cajon is a small city but it has a few zip codes. The easiest way to classify neighborhoods/sections of the city is to use these zip codes. As with most places in California, the cost of living is a bit more expensive in El Cajon and rental costs reflect this. That being said, there is a home in El Cajon for every price range and neighborhoods are welcoming.
El Cajon (Santee, Fletcher Hills) 92020: An area where shopping, parks and entertainment are all in close proximity. Centrally located for travel/commuting purposes. As for where to lay your head at night, there are plenty of apartments to choose from—all with plenty of amenities (paid utilities, private backyards, volleyball courts, some furnished/washer and dryer in unit, heated pools) and ranging in price (two bedrooms between $925 and $1400/month depending on location). The homes in the area tend to be large, some ranch style (it’s not uncommon to have five bedrooms or more) on large pieces of land/acres. The three parks (Red Cross, Wells Park, El Cajon city park) and outdoor spaces nearby make it ideal for those who like being outdoors and leading an active lifestyle.
El Cajon (heart of the city) 92021: Located near two major freeways (67 and the 8), this part of El Cajon is an area that is increasing in popularity. Perfect for commuters, those always looking to keep busy (close to dining, shopping, nightlife options), it is a great neighborhood. The walkability in this area is great. Dwellings are generally made up of apartment complexes and single family homes (many established, many split level). Close to the San Diego trolley, for sightseeing or for entertaining the visitors you will surely get when you move. There are a plethora of apartments to choose from in this zip code, all with fantastic perks (private patios, business centers, pools) and at reasonable prices. One bedrooms start around $815.
El Cajon (Hillsdale/Rancho San Diego) 92019: Close to the downtown area, this part of El Cajon offers luxury apartment living, great mountain views and proximity to an abundance of activities (golf, parks, shopping). Many of the apartment homes here offer upgraded amenities and perks for residents ( saunas, racquetball courts, fire places, movie theatres, private garages, etc.) and the homes are typically large, newer and often Mediterranean/Spanish style (three bedrooms and up) on large lots. It is also very close to San Diego, making it ideal for day trips and commuting for work (if your job brings you to San Diego). It can be pricey, with one bedrooms starting at $1100.
Many apartments in the area pay for all or some utilities, so while the rent may seem steep it could actually include all of your basic needs.
Moving to town and need a roommate? Some complexes offer a matching service for you. Inquire with the leasing office.
El Cajon is, for the most part, a driving town. Residents here rely on their own set of wheels to get around. Interstate 8 runs all the way to the edge of the state (the Pacific Ocean) and can take drivers to San Diego in no time. It also connects with the 67, which brings drivers north and the 125, which can connect drivers to routes going to Mexico. Other local roads include 54, which connects Interstate 5 to the city and can bring drivers in and around the surrounding areas.
Public transportation isn’t unheard of around El Cajon though. An Amtrak station is located nearby and a bus service serves residents, as well. There is also a trolley station with a stop located in El Cajon that takes visitors and residents throughout the San Diego area, with various stops along the way.
The appeal of El Cajon is that it is a growing city without the ego of a growing city. It offers amazing views, a great lifestyle and a prime location for those who seek a quaint place to call home. Load up the moving truck and find yourself in El Cajon.