More affordable homes coming to El Cajon

Posted at 12:40 PM, Nov 24, 2016
and last updated 2019-05-15 19:25:53-04
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego County families are continuing to struggle to find that first home to call their own. However, there is one local city where hundreds of new homes are coming online in the next year - many within reach.
Kevin Freenor and his family just moved into their brand new home in El Cajon. They snatched up one of the 40-plus new homes in the Magnolia Trails development a mile south of downtown. 
”'I’m lucky enough to where me and my significant other both work, so we're able to afford this,” said Freenor, a father of three.
The homes are priced in the mid to high five-hundred-thousands, just above the county median for all homes. That's rare for a newly built single family home in San Diego County, where the supply is low and the demand is high.
“I think El Cajon is a little more affordable,” Freener said. “If I could live by the beach, I probably would.”
But it's not just location that led to the lower price. The city of El Cajon is also doing its part. It eliminated building impact fees and streamlined the permitting process. And that can lead to savings for the developer, passed on to the eventual owner.
Point Loma Nazarene University found that regulatory costs can make up as much as 40 percent of the housing costs in San Diego County.
“We want to develop a building permit and a city hall that looks for ways that say ‘yes,’ and not ways to say ‘no,’” El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells said.