El Cajon is the heart of East County and provides a wide variety of housing styles and price range. The town started near the intersection of Main and Magnolia and grew out from there, so a property closer to the center of town is generally older, with the exception of some older ranch properties on the outskirts of town. El Cajon means ‘the box’ as it is surrounded by a ring of foothills. The higher a property is on one of the foothills, the higher the price, in most cases. It is one of the more affordable areas in the County and thus very popular with first-time buyers.