Moving to Fullerton, California
California is popular for a reason. Its unique mix of big cities and rural farmland, and its wide array of climates and landscapes, mean that there’s something for everyone in the Golden State.
Thousands of people relocate to California every year. If you’re planning a move to Fullerton, California, you’ll want to know as much as possible about your destination, so you can plan your move. We’re here to help.
Fullerton is a small city located in the northern part of California’s Orange County. As of the 2010 census, the city’s population was 135,161. That makes it large enough to have amenities to spare, but small enough that it still feels like a family-friendly town and not a big city.
The city’s history dates to 1886. Massachusetts brothers George and Edward Amarige heard that the railroad was looking for land and purchased 68 acres north of Anaheim. They sold it to George Fullerton, who was president of the Pacific Land and Improvement Company, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad.
In addition to a wonderfully fertile environment for growing citrus fruits, walnuts, and avocados, the area also boasted rich oil fields that led to an economic boom that lasted until the 1950s.
The downtown area suffered in the lean times in the 1990s, but the city began a restoration in 2006. It might interest you to know that Fullerton is considered to be the birthplace of the electric guitar thanks to Leo Fender, who was born there and founded the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company.
Education in Fullerton
If you have (or plan to have) children, you’ll want to know something about public education in Fullerton. Education in Fullerton is overseen by the Fullerton School District and the Fullerton Joint Unified High School District.
All told, the city has:
- 15 elementary schools
- 2 elementary + middle schools (K-8)
- 3 junior high schools
- 5 high schools
In addition to its public schools, Fullerton is also home to four Catholic schools, one of which is an all-girls’ school, and five other private schools. These include two Montessori schools.
If your interest is in higher education, you’ll be pleased to learn that Fullerton boasts several institutes of higher learning, including Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College.
Southern California Climate
Located in Orange County, Fullerton has the climate you might expect from a city in Southern California. That means that it’s considerably drier here than in other parts of the country, and the temperatures tend to be mild in winter and hot in the summer.
Fullerton gets only 14 inches of precipitation per year on average. Compare that to the national average, which is 39 inches of rain and 26 inches of snow, and you can see that Fullerton has a very dry climate, indeed. Overall, the city sees only 22 days of precipitation per year.
The temperatures here range from lows in the mid-40s in January to highs in the mid-80s in July. Those are averages, of course, so you should expect some colder nights and some hotter days. Thanks to its location near the coast, Fullerton doesn’t get many of the super-hot days that are a regular feature of summer in the inland areas.
The Cost of Living in Fullerton
California has a reputation for being one of the most expensive states in the country, and Fullerton is no exception. While it’s not as pricy as big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, you can still expect a bit of a shock unless you’re moving from one of those high-cost areas.
The biggest driver of the high cost of living here is housing. Housing is approximately three times the national average here. Fortunately, while the housing costs are quite high, other expenses balance them out.
After housing, the most expensive element of living in Fullerton is transportation. Gas prices tend to be high in California, and when you add them to the relatively high cost of registering a vehicle, transportation is about 13% higher than the national average.
Groceries, utilities, health care, and other expenses are close to the national average. It’s important to keep these things in mind if you’re negotiating a salary to move to Fullerton. People arriving from big coastal cities may not find the prices unreasonable, but those relocating from more rural areas might feel differently.
Planning Your Move
As you map out the details of your move to Fullerton, you’ll want to do as much planning as possible in advance of your arrival.
With any move, it’s a good idea to book your moving company (or reserve a truck) as early as possible. California is a popular place to live, and Fullerton’s proximity to Los Angeles can make hiring movers a challenge.
If you have control over the timing of your move, you may want to avoid moving during the hot summer months. It’s unlikely you’ll have to worry about rain, but if you’re moving in the winter months it’s a good idea to have plastic sheeting on hand to protect your furniture.
You’ll want to get your electricity and other utilities set up before you move, and to make appointments for things like cable television and internet service. Here are some links that may be helpful to you:
Southern California Edison (electricity)
Sempra Energy (natural gas)
Spectrum (cable and internet)
Frontier (cable and internet)
City of Fullerton (water)
City of Fullerton (trash and recycling)
You’ll want to make arrangements for insurance, too. California requires automobile insurance for all drivers. Keep in mind, too, that Southern California is earthquake country. While the tremors here might not be as dramatic as they are in San Francisco, you may want to consider earthquake insurance for your home.
California has some of the strictest emissions standards in the country. You can click here to get more information and learn where you can get an emissions test if you’re moving from out of state.
Finally, be aware that if you are moving to California from another state, you must acquire a California driver’s license and register your car within 30 days of your arrival. You can find a detailed guide for new residents here.
Culture and Entertainment in Fullerton
One of the best things about living in Southern California is that outdoor activities are available every day of the year. Fullerton is a good example of that. The city has more than 50 parks that feature picnic areas, playgrounds, programs for kids and teens, and much more.
Orange County is a golf mecca, so if you’re a duffer, then you’re in luck. In addition to several courses inside the city limits, you’ll also be within driving distance of courses in Anaheim, Brea, and other nearby cities.
The City of Fullerton hosts several public events over the course of the year. These include a First Night celebration, Founder’s Day, and a summer concert series. The city also has a thriving farmer’s market where you can buy local produce and specialty items.
It’s also worth nothing that Fullerton has a rich music scene. The offerings range from classical to rock, with something for everybody. There are also several theaters here.
Finally, while we wouldn’t call driving to Los Angeles easy, the city is within relatively easy distance of Fullerton. That means that Fullerton’s residents have access to Los Angeles’ many cultural enticements, including world-class museums, music, theater, and dining. And don’t forget that Anaheim is home to Disneyland!
The City of Fullerton has a lot to offer you as a new resident. Southern California’s warm and sunny climate makes living here a pleasure. The city’s many outdoor attractions provide plenty to do at any time of year, and there’s plenty of live music to enjoy as well.
Good luck with your move – and welcome to Fullerton!
Hee’s a video where the city council discusses the state of Fullerton: