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Overview of Santee

Even though Santee has flourished since its 1980 incorporation, this San Diego suburb certainly has room to grow. With about half of its land undeveloped, families looking to expand and entrepreneurs looking to grow a business will find that Santee is the perfect place to relocate.

Those thinking about settling down in this California community will find a range of Santee apartments for rent.

Living in Santee, CA

American settlers came to Santee in 1877. George Cowles bought a large parcel of land in the area to start a vineyard, and the town was named Cowleston, after its founder. Just a few years later, the community would take the name Santee after a new post office opened and operated under resident Milton Santee's name.

The small community saw many changes over the next century. In the late 1800s, the area was home to large cattle ranches. The government took over a parcel of this ranch land during World War II and it was converted into a military training facility. More of the ranch land was bought by developers in the late 1950s, and Santee's population saw an enormous increase. After a long struggle by community activists, Santee residents voted for incorporation in 1980.

Since Santee became a city, it has continued to grow becoming an important presence in the San Diego metro area. With a population of more than 54,000, Santee's thriving community is involved and dedicated to the city.

Santee Work and Study

Santee students can easily commute to nearby San Diego to pursue their educational aspirations. The University of San Diego offers students the opportunity to earn an undergraduate, graduate or law degree close to home. With a variety of degree concentrations, sports and extracurricular activities, most students should be able to find something to suit their interests at the university. Those looking for a public research institution may consider the University of California, San Diego. This large four-year school offers students a range of unique resources, including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and a medical school.

While entrepreneurs will find it easy to start a company in Santee, those seeking employment will find that this is a business-friendly community that is home to multiple large corporations. Organizations such as Santee Elementary School District, Hartford Financial Services, Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital, Walmart, Grossmont Union High School District, Costco Wholesale and Scantibodies Laboratory are several of the top employers in Santee.

Rentals in Santee, CA, and Cost of Living

Apartments in Santee will typically cost renters between $1,000 and $2,000 per month. The median gross monthly rent is $1,195, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Some may be put off by Santee's cost of living, but other residents may find the close proximity to San Diego, thriving business district and involved community worth the expense.

Santee Attractions and Special Events

Santee is home to the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve, where groups can enjoy all the outdoor activities the area has to offer. Horseback riding, hiking trails and biking paths are available for those who want to get outside and enjoy the delightful Southern California weather. Those who get weary during their day exploring the wilderness can stop at Goodan Ranch for some rest. While taking a break, visitors can interact with other nature lovers and check out the green design and sustainability of the center.

Movie lovers who want to attend a film the old-fashioned way can head over to the Santee Drive-In Theatre. Residents can watch a movie from their cars, or set up their own seating area in front of the screen. With a snack bar and a selection of movies to choose from, visitors will be delighted by the theater's unique approach to entertainment. 

To find your next rental apartment or house in Santee, take a look at our listings on®.

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