Moving to and living in Fullerton
Chip Martin
Chip Martin

Moving to Fullerton? 🏫 | What Living in Fullerton CA Is Like

Thinking of moving to Fullerton, California? Fullerton is a beautiful city in Southern California, offering low crime, great schools, and a central location. Home to an award-winning school system and several California state colleges, Fullerton is known as "the Education Community".

Founded in 1887, Fullerton, CA was historically a center for agriculture, specifically oranges and citrus crops. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1904. Today, Fullerton is a good place to live for families and young professionals looking for a mix of urban excitement and suburban charm. Here is everything you should know before moving to Fullerton, CA.

Where is Fullerton?

Fullerton, CA, is a city in Orange County, located north of Anaheim and southeast of Los Angeles. Communities that border Fullerton include La Habra and Brea to the north, Buena Park to the West, La Mirada to the northwest, Anaheim to the south, and Placentia to the east. It's considered part of the Greater Los Angeles area and a suburb of LA. Fullerton is landlocked but features many parks and green spaces. Plus, it's only about 22 miles to the coast and bordered by the Coyote Hills, a low-lying mountain range.

Fullerton is 26 miles or a 49-minute drive from Los Angeles and 10 miles or a 3-minute drive from downtown Anaheim.

Fullerton Information

  • Fullerton County: Orange County
  • Fullerton area: 22.44 sq mi
  • Fullerton CA zip code: 92831–92838
  • Fullerton area code: 562, 657/714
  • Fullerton elevation: 164 ft
  • Fullerton time zone: Pacific Standard Time (UTC-7)
  • Closest Airport to Fullerton: The Long Beach (LBG) Airport is 18 miles away

Fullerton Population & Demographics

Fullerton has a population of 143,617, according to the 2020 census. It experienced consistent growth over the past few decades, and the population has increased by 6% compared to 2010. Although it's not as tightly packed as LA, it still has an urban feel, and the population density is 6,406.0 residents per square mile.

It's a relatively young community with a median age of 35.1, which is 10% lower than the rest of Greater Los Angeles and the state of California. The largest age demographic is 20-29-year-olds at 18%. It's also a very diverse city, and 27.8% of residents were born in another country. The racial and ethnic breakdown is 51.3% white (32.2% non-Hispanic), 38.3% Hispanic, 24.1% Asian, 2.3% Black or African American, and 10.4% two or more races.

Other Fullerton Demographics

  • Sex ratio: 52% male and 48% female
  • Median household income: $95,431, which is 10% higher than the rest of California
  • Educational Attainment: 87.6% have a high school diploma, 41.9% have a bachelors degree or higher
  • Household types: 62% married couples, 16% non-family, 14% female householders, 9% male householders.

 

 

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Transportation in Fullerton

Living in Fullerton CA offers easy access to many different forms of transportation. The city is located between two major thoroughfares, Riverside Freeway and Imperial Highway. California State Route 57 also runs through the eastern portion of the city, and I-5 runs along the southwestern corner, offering quick access to Los Angeles.

The Fullerton Transportation Center also features a train station serving Amtrak and Metrolink, as well as buses operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority. It's roughly a 45-minute commute on either Metrolink or Amtrak to Los Angeles. The OCTA also operates a park-and-ride transportation hub in Fullerton that can take you to downtown LA.

The Fullerton Municipal Airport (FUL) is a relief airport located in the southwest section of the city. However, for regular service, you must go to Long Beach Airport (LGA) or John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana.

Cost of Living in Fullerton, CA

If you are thinking of moving to Fullerton, CA, you will likely want to get a handle on the cost of living. The cost of living index is a good way to compare the affordability of an area to the rest of the US, which is represented by 100. The cost of living index for the Anaheim area is 111, which indicates it's 11% more expensive than the rest of the US.

The Family Budget Calculator created by the Economic Policy Institute indicates that a family of four with two adults and two children would need to earn about $114,841 to afford to live in Orange County.

Typical Fullerton Living Expenses: 

  • Meal at a fast food restaurant: $9
  • Bottle of water: $1.88
  • 1 gallon of regular milk: $5.99
  • 1 pound of chicken filets: $3.89
  • Monthly bus pass: $60
  • Average Fullerton monthly utility bill: $328

Source: Numbeo

Taxes are another consideration if you plan on living in Fullerton CA. California has some of the highest taxes in the country, although they aren't too bad if you budget accordingly. Here are the major taxes to worry about if you are moving to Fullerton, CA:

  • Sales Tax: Fullerton has an effective sales tax rate of 7.75% (6% California tax + 1.5% special tax + 0.25% Orange County Tax).
  • Income Tax: California has nine income tax brackets ranging from 1% to 12.3%. The average household income in Fullerton is $95,431, meaning the typical household would fall in the 9.3% bracket.
  • Property Tax: Property taxes in California are calculated using the home's assessed value and multiplying it by the local tax rate. Your exact tax rate will vary depending on the special districts you're in, but the average effective property tax rate in Fullerton is 0.7%.

The Fullerton real estate market is more expensive than the rest of the country but reasonable for Southern California. Fullerton has a wide range of housing options, from single-family homes to luxury condominiums. About 51% of homes are owner-occupied, while tenants occupy 49%. You will also find a range of architectural styles from Spanish colonial to bungalows.

 

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Fullerton Real Estate | Average Rent and Home Prices

Redfin indicates that the average price of homes for sale in Fullerton, CA, is $843,750, which is 66% higher than the national average. The median price per square foot of Fullerton real estate is $557, which is up by 1.1% since last year. The Fullerton CA real estate market is also very hot at the moment, and 66% of homes sold above the asking price.

Fullerton has plenty to offer renters as well. RentCafe indicates that the average rent in Fullerton is $2,419 per month. Apartments for rent in Fullerton, CA start at around $1,725 for a studio all the way up to $10,000 for a 3-bedroom. Studios make up about 10% of rental stock, while 47% are 1-bedrooms and 38% are two-bedrooms. The rest are three bedrooms and above.

Fullerton Neighborhoods | Were to Live in Fullerton

Moving to Fullerton CA means you can take full advantage of all the city has to offer, including diverse neighborhoods offering plenty of parks and a family-friendly atmosphere. Here are a few of the best places to live in Fullerton.

Sunny Hills | A Centrally Located Fullerton Neighborhood with Tree-Lined Streets

Sunny Hills is a neighborhood in northeast Fullerton offering spacious homes and tree-lined streets. It's also home to Sunny Hills High School and Sunny Hills Medical Center, meaning all your essentials are close by.

Amerige Heights | An Upscale Fullerton neighborhood with Plenty of Shopping

Just below Sunny Hills is Amerige Heights, a beautiful area that is home to the Amerige Heights Town Center, a retail plaza full of major brands, with property values ranging from $925,000 to $2.4 million.

West Coyote Hills | A New Fullerton Development with Mountain Views

West Coyote Hills is a new development in the northwest corner of Fullerton, beside the eponymous nature preserve, offering beautiful homes and breathtaking views.

Climate & Weather in Fullerton, CA

The weather in Fullerton, CA is usually very mild. Fullerton has a warm Mediterranean climate characterized by short, hot, dry summers and long, cool winters. The temperature usually stays between 45°F and 85°F, although it can get as cold as 39°F and as hot as 95°F. The ideal time to visit Fullerton and enjoy all its amazing benefits is late May through early October.

Fullerton is fairly arid and doesn't get much precipitation. It gets no snow and averages about 14 inches of rainfall per year. So, anyone living in Fullerton should keep an umbrella in the closet.

Fullerton Restaurants

There are tons of amazing restaurants in Fullerton, CA, offering everything from traditional Italian to upscale comfort food. Here are a few of the best restaurants in Fullerton.

The Cellar Restaurant

The Cellar restaurant is a trendy French restaurant located in the basement of the Del Sol Hotel. With a romantic atmosphere and delicious dishes like cellar escargot and maple leaf Duck, the Cellar is one of the best restaurants in Fullerton, CA, if you're on a date.

305 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832 (714) 525-5682

 

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Roman Cucina 

Roman Cucina is an authentic Italian restaurant serving traditional dishes like chicken Alfredo and sausage bolognese with a relaxed atmosphere.

211 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832 (714) 680-6000

Summit House Restaurant 

Summit House is one of the best places to eat in Fullerton if you're looking for creative New American cuisine and craft cocktails in a cool, vintage setting.

2000 E Bastanchury Rd, Fullerton, CA 92835 (714) 671-4111

Things to Do in Fullerton

Another one of the benefits of moving to Fullerton, CA is all the exciting attractions. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, music lover, or looking for family-friendly fun, you will find a wide variety of fun things to do in Fullerton, CA. 

Top Fullerton Attractions

  • Downtown Plaza: A 1.2-acre space in the heart of downtown Fullerton that features a playground and water jets and hosts concerts, festivals, and markets.
  • Wild Goose Escape Rooms: A nationwide chain of escape rooms with a location in Fullerton with exciting, live puzzle games that make for a fun thing to do in the winter. 
  • Bootleggers Brewery: A craft beer brewery based in Fullerton and one of the largest in Orange County, offering a wide selection of brews and tours of their facility.
  • Anaheim Helicopters: A helicopter service based in Fullerton that offers helicopter tours above Los Angeles and Orange County.

 

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Fullerton Museums, Entertainment & Arts

  • Muckenthaler Cultural Center: A Spanish-Colonial Revival residence that has been converted into a community arts and event center.
  • Maverick Theater: A film and performing arts theater showing cult classic cinema, live music, and improvisational stand-up comedy.
  • Fullerton Museum Center: An arts and education museum with exhibits on history, art, science, and the humanities that makes a great weekend activity with kids. 

Fullerton Parks and Outdoors

  • Laguna Lake Park: A picturesque 28.5-acre park in northeast Fullerton that features a fishing lake, picnic areas, walking paths, and an equestrian center.
  • Fullerton Arboretum: A 26-acre botanical garden on the California State University campus showcasing plant species from around the world.
  • Craig Regional Park: A 124-acre recreational park with playgrounds, walking paths, hiking trails, picnic pavilions, and other fine amenities.

Shopping in Fullerton

  • Fullerton Town Center: A large open-air shopping mall with brand-name retailers, restaurants, gyms, local businesses, and a movie theater.

Chapman Avenue Shopping Center: A local shopping center with a mix of local businesses and large corporate chains.

Sports

There are no professional sports teams that are based in Fullerton. However, there are plenty of professional leagues with franchises in Anaheim and other cities nearby in Orange County.

Here are a few of the top Orange County pro sports teams:

In addition to pro teams, Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton also have popular athletic programs as well.

Fullerton Crime Rate

Fullerton is very safe, with a violent crime and murder rate that is significantly lower than the national and statewide average. The overall Fullerton crime rate is 2,704 incidents per 100,000 residents. The majority of Fullerton's crime is property-related, and the property crime rate is 2,401 incidents per 100% of residents. However, the violent crime rate is very low at 304 incidents per 100,000 residents, and the murder rate is only 1 per 100,000 residents.

To put those numbers into perspective, that means the total crime rate is 4.8% higher than the statewide average and 15.3% higher than the national average, while the property crime rate is 12.3% higher than the rest of California and 22.6% higher than the rest of the US. However, the violent crime rate is 31.2% lower than the rest of the state and 21.6% lower than the rest of the country. The murder rate is also 82.1% lower than in California overall and 84.7% lower than in the rest of the county.

Here is how it compares to other major cities

  • 5.9% less crime than Los Angeles
  • 6% less crime than Anaheim
  • 18% less crime than Long Beach

So, living in Fullerton,CA  is very safe as long as you take the proper precautions to secure your belongings. Fullerton crime is handled by the Fullerton Police Department, which employs 181 different law enforcement personnel, including 121 total officers and 60 civilians.

Jobs in Fullerton

Moving to Fullerton, CA also offers a plethora of job opportunities in a wide range of industries. Most Fullerton jobs are in industries like education, health care, manufacturing, retail, and professional and scientific services. The city is big on encouraging entrepreneurship, and the City of Fullerton Division of Economic Development has resources available to help businesses in the community, including a start-up incubator at CSUF and a small business development center.

According to the City of Fullerton 2020 Annual Financial Report, the largest employers in Fullerton are:

The average wage earner in Fullerton earns $20.88 per hour, according to Payscale. However, the average salary for an employee at California State University, Fullerton, is $79,000 per year, which is the number one provider of jobs in Fullerton, CA. Outside of CSUF, residents will also find tons of high-paying Fullerton CA jobs, ranging from sales reps to even coordinators.

Fullerton Schools

Fullerton is known for its excellent school system. Several different school districts serve the city of Fullerton, including three at the elementary and junior high level, two union school districts, and one high school exclusive district.

The Fullerton School Districts include:

  • La Habra City School District
  • Buena Park School District
  • Fullerton School District
  • Brea Olinda Unified School District
  • Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
  • Fullerton Joint Union High School District

The Fullerton School District alone operates 15 elementary schools, three K-8 schools, and three junior high schools. There are four public high schools in Fullerton, CA, all operated by the Fullerton Joint High School District, including: Sunny Hills High School, Fullerton Union High School, Troy High School, and La Vista High School. Troy High School is generally considered the best of all the Fullerton CA High Schools. According to US News and World Report, it is ranked 28th best high school in California and 204th in the nation.

All private Catholic Fullerton high Schools and primary schools are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, including Rosary Academy and the Saint Juliana School.

There are also several postsecondary institutions in Fullerton, including the Fullerton campus of California State University and Fullerton Community College. Hope International is also a private Christian University in Fullerton, and Marshall B. Ketchum University is a health sciences university with a local campus. Residents can also check out the Fullerton Public Library to take out books and other media.

Ready to make the move to Fullerton? Trust our experienced Fullerton movers to make your relocation smooth and painless. Call 800-395-6683 for a free moving estimate.

Chip Martin
Chip Martin
BA in philosophy, Long Beach State 1974, various trades after college including cabinet maker and boat refinisher, then became a local moving driver in 1976, bought Daly Movers in 1979, managed company, and drove local and long distance until 1995 when I transitioned into sales/office full time. Almost fifty years later Daly Movers and I have sold, worked, and familiarized ourselves with virtually every type of household and O&I relocation.
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