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Moving to El Monte, California

Like many cities in California, this one is named for its Spanish roots. El Monte, you may have guessed means “the mount”, but, due to the nature of the terrain discovered by Spanish explorers, they intended for it to be called “the wood”. El Monte is an archaic Spanish translation explaining the wooded landscape. If you knew this breathtaking area it wouldn’t be a surprise to you! This valley which cradles a town only 7 miles long and 4 miles wide is known for its red alder wood. Alder is used to making the eye-catching cabinetry seen in many American homes.

Beauty has always come from this oasis in the middle of the San Gabriel Valley, thanks to its rich soil on the banks of both the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers. El Monte is rich in both its historical and cultural backgrounds and might just be getting ready for a rediscovery of sorts.

History of El Monte

Can you just imagine 19th-century caravans, full of full covered wagons passing through El Monte? 1847 was the year the Santa Fe Trail connected westward, making a clear route from Independence Missouri to Santa Fe New Mexico. This was a big development in those days. This trail paved the way for a vital commercial highway and El Monte became known as the end of the Santa Fe Railroad.

If you read a little into this claim, it’s quite controversial! El Monte pulls no punches when it comes to celebrating this part of its history. There is even a town park and landmark declaring an end to the Santa Fe Trail. Right or wrong according to historians, it doesn’t much matter because El Monte has become quite the crossroads. It hosts a 38-mile bike trail called the San Gabriel River Trail through the valley. Many people opt to live out of LA and hop the Silver Line of the LA Metro daily. El Monte is considered a convenient commute, just 12 miles east of downtown Los Angeles!

The city’s population sits at 115,000 people and is very diverse, with 75% of residents being Hispanic. Directors wanting to shoot their movies out of LA have always found their way to El Monte. Back to the Future, I and III were filmed in the city. Mr. Ed himself is from El Monte and actually passed away here.

Cost of Living in El Monte, California

This city is home to the largest vehicle dealership in the US. The 50 acres Longo Toyota Campus (owned by Penske Motor Group) is headquartered in El Monte. This is one of the greatest employers in the city. The city is known for many other auto dealerships as well including, El Monte Honda, Ross Nissan and Win Hyundai as well. These all make El Monte a great place to find employment and the city benefits sales tax revenue. Due to the attractiveness of this area both for purchasing a vehicle and for employment, plans are in place to provide more entertainment, dining, and retail locations for visitors right off the 10. As a gateway to industry, 2018 showed the city to have the potential to attract higher quality retail due to the visibility. How exciting!

You might be considering El Monte at just the right time. The neighborhood of Arden Village has home prices between $399,000 and $680,000. Such prices are unheard of this close to LA and they get scooped up quite fast. Five Points is a renter-occupied section of El Monte where the median value of a home is $507,600. The Flair Business District which hugs the Rio Hondo River and I-10 is more diverse than you would think. 40% of the homes in this area speak Chinese, and over 50% are Asian. This neighborhood has deep roots dating back to the days when a large population of Asian immigrants worked for Spanish farmers. One note historical about El Monte, slave labor was still going on in the 20th century here until an FBI raid took down a sweatshop.

Those days are thankfully in the past for El Monte. “Mom and Dad I’m moving to El Monte!” you could declare it...but you already know what their advice will be: Put 10% down when you purchase a home. In El Monte that is about $52,000. With average salaries in El Monte at $38,000, it’s pretty safe to say many people are renting apartments and saving for the “someday”. The cost of living in this city is about 38% higher than the national average, but if you are used to LA price tags, homes in this area cost much less than they do in Long Beach or Los Angeles! Look on the bright side, Mom.

Choosing to live in a new city is a big step, let’s face it, change is never easy, but if you are dedicated to making this area of the country home, you make sacrifices to do so. Maybe this means a look into self-storage to utilize as storage for the majority of your things and to live in a studio apartment for a while. This is an affordable option. Rent starts for a studio apartment around $750 per month.

Downtown could be a viable option as well. In addition to redevelopment plans for the historic district downtown, VuePointe and Solstice townhomes on Garvey Avenue are new and could have spots available for rent soon. We could be neighbors! A-1 Self Storage El Monte is located at 12260 Garvey Avenue and has plenty of space to store your items.

Plans are underway to make El Monte a haven for an affordable living for those who served our country as well. Veterans have a long history in El Monte. During the Vietnam War, the population took a significant hit when many Hispanic residents were sent overseas to war and never returned. Retirement may be the time to move with average temperatures in the '50s, ’60s, and ’70s, the weather won't give you much to complain about! 

Attractions and Entertainment

Want to spend some time outside? Several outdoor recreation facilities could be options for you to get fresh air! Whittier Narrows Golf Course has views from the valley you could easily putt against. Angeles National Forest is where you can get your adventure on and get your National Park Passport stamped. For kids, this is an exciting adventure and they usually can take photos with park rangers and receive a plastic badge to become a ranger themselves. Nature is all the rage at the Whittier Narrows Nature Center as well. There are 400 acres of wilderness to explore and each Saturday you’re invited to take a nature walk at 8 am exploring their great native plants garden. If you’re more of a gun-wielding cowboy, take your adventure to the next level at Triple B Clays Shooting range. Skeet and trap shooting keeps this place booming and if you’ve never experienced something like this, it is similar to duck hunting. The American Military Museum or otherwise known as tank land will captivate kids and adults alike. Open weekends for visitors you’ll have a great time exploring the many trucks and tanks US Troops have used all over the world.

Time to Move to El Monte, CA

Do you like to be on the cusp of change? It’s exciting, right? El Monte has that feeling. If you look at its history and see the redevelopment investment of a place like Solstice, it begs the question, when will El Monte be the “it” town outside of LA? It’s literally 15 minutes from all the action everyone wants to be a part of. While the cost of living can be a factor in choosing exactly where to live, El Monte is a great choice if you need to be in LA but don’t want to break your piggy bank open to do so.

Regardless of if you move into an apartment or buy a home, A-1 Self Storage can help you.

Our facilities have retail areas that offer packing and moving supplies for purchase. Our friendly self-storage professionals are here to help whenever you need them. They can help you find storage solutions for any size or budget. It doesn’t matter if you are moving locally or across the country, we can help you with your new home. Come see us today at A-1 Self Storage El Monte, located at 12260 Garvey Ave and see how we can make your move the easiest ever! Call us now or visit our website anytime to rent today.

A-1 Self Storage


12260 Garvey Ave El Monte, CA 91732

Office Hours

9:00am - 6:00pm
9:00am - 5:00pm

Closed all major holidays

Access Hours

Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Extended Phone Support Hours

Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

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