San Diego bills itself as “America’s Finest City,” and if you’re planning a move there, you might be considering the Spring Valley section of the city. Its enticing name and desirable location make it a popular choice for people relocating to Southern California.
If you have Spring Valley in your sights, you’ll need some information to help you plan your move. We’ve put together this guide to help you.
About Spring Valley
Spring Valley, California is an unincorporated community in San Diego County. Located just 12 miles away from downtown San Diego, it offers the security and comforts of small town life combined with the conveniences of a big city.
The area where Spring Valley now is used to be the home of the native Kumeyaay people. It gets its name from the natural spring there. The natives called it Neti or Meti.
The first non-native settler in the area was a San Diego judge named August S. Ensworth, who filed a claim for a 160-acre plot in 1863. The small adobe home he built on the site is still standing, and is now a historical landmark.
As of the 2010 census, Spring Valley had a population of 28,205 people. As you might expect of a community in Southern California, its citizens are racially diverse. Because it’s an unincorporated community, Spring Valley has no central government. However, they do have a Chamber of Commerce and a Historical Society.
Education in Spring Valley
If you have children – or plan to have them – you’ll want to know what the schools are like in Spring Valley. Determining which school your kids will attend is dependent upon known where you’ll be living. Spring Valley is served by two school districts, as follows:
- The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District serves elementary and middle school students
- The Grossmont Union High School District serves high school students
All told there are 10 elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools located in Spring Valley. Some students may attend schools in other areas. Some have won distinctions. For example, Mount Miguel High has been recognized as a California Distinguished School.
In addition to the traditional public schools in the area, there are also three charter schools and a continuation school.
If your interest is in higher education, you’ll be happy to know that Cuyamaca College is in nearby El Cajon. You’ll also be within easy driving distance of San Diego County’s many colleges, including the University of California San Diego, which is in La Jolla.
The Cost of Living in Spring Valley
You might know that the cost of living in California tends to be higher than in many other places in the United States. What you might not know is that Spring Valley is an exception.
The cost of living in Spring Valley is only slightly higher than the national average. When you consider that many places in California have real estate prices that are two or even three times as high as that, it should come as a relief to learn that Spring Valley’s homes are quite affordable in most cases – just about even with the national average.
People moving from out of state may still experience a bit of sticker shock. For example, transportation costs here are fully a third higher than the national average, mostly because of California’s high gas prices and vehicle registration fees. You can also expect to pay slightly more for groceries, utilities, and healthcare. Still, that puts the overall cost of living here just a few points higher than average, and well below most places in California.
A Desert Climate
The weather in Spring Valley is like much of Southern California – warm and dry. It has a lot in common with San Diego’s weather, but its location slightly inland means it’s hotter in the summer than much of San Diego, and gets less rain.
The average rainfall in San Diego is just 12 inches per year, far less than the national average of 39 inches. Spring Valley gets less than that, but it’s hard to find measurements since it’s not an official city. In this part of California, the most rain falls in the winter months, usually between November and February.
The average temperatures here are remarkably consistent from month to month. They range from the mid-50s in the winter to the high 70s in the summer. However, the high temperatures in June, July, August, and September, can (and frequently do) soar into the triple digits.
All that heat comes with more than the usual amount of sunshine. San Diego gets 266 sunny days per year. You’ll have to get accustomed to wearing sunscreen and sunglasses after you arrive in Spring Valley!
It’s worth noting that both earthquakes and wildfires are a risk here. This area isn’t as earthquake-prone as Los Angeles or San Francisco, but big quakes do happen. Small ones may be almost unnoticeable, especially if you’re new to the area. Newcomers sometimes mistake them for the rumble of a heavy truck.
Planning Your Move
Planning any move requires patience and organization. The first thing to do is to pick the date you’re moving and book a moving company or moving truck. Keep in mind that moving companies are busiest when students are on the move, in May/June and August/September. If your move coincides with those hectic times, book as early as possible to avoid missing out.
Likewise, if you’re moving in the summer months, it’s smart to get your move done as early in the day as possible. Local movers are accustomed to the heat and take precautions. But, if you’re doing the moving yourself, you don’t want to get stuck lifting heavy furniture in 100+ degree heat if it can be avoided.
You’ll want to get your utilities set up and make appointments for cable and internet set-up ahead of time. Here are some links that may help you.
San Diego Gas & Electric (electricity and natural gas)
Helix Water District (water and sewer)
EDCO Disposal (trash and recycling)
Spectrum (cable and internet)
Xfinity (cable and internet)
Our Storage West Self-Storage Spring Valley locations, many homes in Southern California lack a spacious attic or basement. Many in SoCal find a storage unit essential due to the lack of storage space in their homes.
If you’re moving into California from out of state, you’ll have only 30 days to register your vehicle and obtain a California driver’s license. California has some of the strictest emissions standards in the country, and most cars will be required to pass an emissions test prior to registration. You can find a complete guide for new California residents on the DMV’s website, here.
Recreation and Entertainment in Spring Valley
An area that gets more than 250 days of sunshine every year is likely to be a mecca for outdoor activity, and that’s certainly true of Spring Valley and the surrounding areas.
The Spring Valley Community Center features programs for kids, teens, and adults. These include outdoor and indoor activities.
Spring Valley is within easy distance of San Diego County’s hundreds of parks and outdoor recreational areas. These include Balboa Park, the largest municipal park in the United States. It has acres of green space and picnic areas. It’s also home to many of San Diego’s museums and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
This part of Southern California is known for its beautiful beaches. Spring Valley isn’t on the water, but you can easily visit Pacific Beach to view the famous green flash sunsets, or head to La Jolla Cove to check out the seals and pelicans.
Spring Valley has a few restaurants, but if dining out is important, you can head to San Diego’s famed Gaslight District, which has hundreds of restaurants, bars, and live music venues. And if you’re in the mood for a longer trip, Los Angeles is just over 100 miles North. We wouldn’t tell you that’s a short drive, with California traffic being what it is, but it’s close enough for a day trip if you’re inclined.
Spring Valley has the unique benefit of being an affordable place to live in Southern California. We hope the information here makes your relocation an enjoyable experience – and that you enjoy your new home in beautiful Spring Valley!