Updated: Nov 3
The Julian housing market has been on a steady incline over the last few years. Being that the area is 75 miles from downtown San Diego, this remote small town has historically had a lower housing market value.
This all began to change with the development of tourism in the region and the boom in short-term rentals. The housing market prices began to escalate more during the COVID pandemic. With the ability to work from home and mass exodus from crowded cities, the rural lifestyle has become more desirable.
Those looking to buy property in the Julian area now face a very limited market, bidding wars, and competing with cash offers over the asking price. It’s becoming more frequent for homes to sell before they are even listed. Those looking for long-term rentals within the Julian community are also having a hard time finding housing.
I am noticing a trend of people seeking alternative forms of housing, some of which I’ll delve into below. Many long-term residents are reporting that they have to move out of the community due to the housing shortage. Attendance at the local schools is down. Employers have open positions, yet they are often unable to fill them with local residents. Julian needs vested community members.
Let’s discuss long-term rental options in the Julian area.
The Old Cuyamaca High School
Located in town, this old schoolhouse is now four separate housing units.
Old School House on 2nd Street
Two blocks off Main Street is another old schoolhouse now converted to four townhouse-style units, with living area downstairs, bedrooms up. Each unit has a separate covered porch. The exterior was recently powder-blasted and recoated with a three-stain system.
Chandlers Sleepy Hollow (AKA Sleepy Hollow)
Just walking distance from town, Chandlers Sleepy Hollow offers a number of small rental units. In recent years this area has been cleaned up quite a bit. Many units have been recently renovated and the landlord is actively searching for tenants with a good reputation.
Single Family Homes
Single-family homes for rent are getting increasingly hard to come by in the Julian area. Those buying an income property are choosing to do short-term rentals over long-term rentals.
Living on Vacant Land
Vacant plots of land are significantly cheaper than buying a home. There’s been an increase in people buying these lots and building temporary living quarters on them such as yurts, tents, or small buildings. Others are placing an RV or camper trailer on the property to dwell in.
Even though Julian is outside San Diego city limits, there are still a host of regulations one must follow. The bottom line: Living on vacant land without a building permit is illegal in the County of San Diego. Temporary living quarters like tents or yurts are illegal in and of themselves. RVs and travel trailers can be lived in if the property has a building permit. It is also illegal to live in an RV or travel trailer on a developed lot with a permitted home.
Now that we all understand the rules, let's discuss some legal alternative housing.
Become a Camp Host
There are a number of private and public campgrounds in the area. County, state, and federal parks have all established live-in camp host positions. Hosts are typically provided a campsite with hookups in exchange for performing scheduled duties (roughly 20 hours per week). Duties vary at the individual parks but may include grounds and equipment maintenance, greeting the public, general clean-up, and other assignments.
Rent a Campsite Long-Term
The private campgrounds commonly rent campsites on a monthly basis. This is a legal way to live in an RV or travel trailer.