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Castaic city guide

Castaic is becoming kind of a big deal.

The sleepy truck stop of the 80's keeps growing, and growing. It shows up higher and higher in real estate statistics for home prices. Thanks to the prices in Hasley Canyon and Romero Canyon, Castaic has a median sold price very close to nearby Valencia and all of Santa Clarita!

Castaic is often seen as the last vestige of civilization (fast food and gas) to be found on the way out of L.A. to San Francisco, but the residents there know there's a lot more to it. They enjoy a higher median household income than most other communities in L.A. county, and there are dozens of pockets of homes that are situated far away from the noisy 5 freeway truck traffic.

Couple this, with being located next to what is really the only fresh-water lake recreation option anywhere close to L.A., and you realize they are on to something.

Fun facts: Lake Castaic was completed in 1974, as the 24th largest reservoir in California's roster of 37 reservoirs. The Pitchess Detention Center was once a prison farm, first built in 1938 for $80,000 to alleviate L.A. county jails from overcrowding... a concern that remains to this day.

CLOSER THAN PEOPLE THINK

The commute from Castaic to downtown L.A. is just over 40 miles, but the Santa Clarita commuter bus's free wi-fi systems can make that fly by in a snap. It seems like there are a ton of RV travel enthusiasts here, as we see many nice RV's tucked alongside homes. While Castaic residents need to come to Valencia for any pure shopping/medical/nightlife, the city has its own school district, and will open its first high school soon.

The commuting-time to L.A. is shorter than Canyon Country or Saugus, so many people see this as a great new alternative in value priced real estate.

Electricity at Castaic Lake: A hydroelectric plant at the north end provides 1,175-megawatts.

Homes for sale in nearby Hasley Canyon and Val Verde offer wide open spaces, and large lots, with little in the way of amenities, but plenty of room for those wanting a larger size lot. Val Verde homes are located just 4 miles northwest of Valencia, yet prices can be $150,000 less for similar square foot properties.

The area is a bit of a "wild west" though, as various neighborhoods can be 'hit or miss' in terms of pride of ownership and a feeling that there's a community. There are huge lot sizes to be had here, so let's just say that makes it less likely that neighbors will see each other picking up a morning newspaper. Did you know that between 1890 and 1916, the Castaic Range War was fought over ranch boundaries and grazing rights. It was the biggest range war in U.S. history, with dozens killed. Speaking of 'Wild West', the North County Correctional Facility, located here, is a Los Angeles County Jail with a population of 3,800 fully institutionalized inmates.

The town still boasts just a convenience store, and a park with a swimming pool built long ago. Some people think it is ripe for a real estate makeover, but that has not happened as of yet. Nearby to the south, the enormous planned community of Newhall Ranch will soon change all that. Castaic High School will open to the first group of freshmen in Fall 2019, alleviating the mini-commute suffered by driving age students, and may even offer some college curriculum fare there as well.

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