Living in San Antonio, Texas
Living in San Antonio, Texas
The City of San Antonio is one of the most populous places in Texas and in the entire US. It also has a long history, having been founded way back in the 1700s. Today, San Antonio is developing rapidly. New destinations are popping up, the population and the number of jobs are increasing, and new attractions are continuously developed.
However, the charm of San Antonio lies not only in these developments but also in the small-town feel it somehow manages to keep despite these advancements. This is why more and more individuals and families are considering moving to San Antonio. Are you one of them? Here are some things to know about the city before you make up your mind.
San Antonio is a large city. In Texas, it closely follows Houston, which is the largest city in the state. San Antonio is currently home to a 1.3 million-strong population and can be found in Bexar County. This city is renowned not just in Texas but also across the US because of its beautiful natural environment, sustained population and economic growth, and its unique attractions and destinations enjoyed by both residents and visitors.
Summers in San Antonio are humid and very, very hot. Temperatures can go up to 90 to 100 degrees. However, the city makes up for this by having relatively milder winters than those in northern states. Temperatures in winter stay a good margin above freezing, so you do not need to be swathed in ten layers of blankets in front of a fire in order to survive; a thin jacket will do.
San Antonio is among the ten largest cities in the US, but it is nowhere near other cities in terms of how busy it is. San Antonio is a historic city that manages to keep its small-town feel and idyllic ambience. It is also not as crowded as the other largest US cities despite the number of establishments, offices, and other areas of interest in and around San Antonio.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in San Antonio is generally lower than in other big Texas cities, such as Dallas and Austin, and more than 10% lower than the average for the entire country. Rent and home prices are also noticeably lower, being around $880 and $186,000, respectively, on average.
Unsurprisingly, average salary is also lower at nearly $44,000 (Compare that with Dallas’ around $60,000.). This is also a little lower than the US average, which is just a bit under $50,000.
However, again, these are estimated averages. There are areas with much lower and higher rent, home prices, and cost of commodities.
The big city of San Antonio is home to many offices, big and small and from various industries. Among those that are showing considerable growth are the tourism, finance, and big tech industries. The city is also looking into boosting prospects for its bioscience, manufacturing, aerospace, and related businesses.
Toyota, Valero Energy Corporation, USAA, and Southwest Research Institute are among the best-known companies in San Antonio.
The unemployment rate is a little over 3% right now, and this is a good improvement in relation to previous years. It has been falling since 2010. Also, since around the mid-2000s, the unemployment rate in San Antonio has been lower than that of the entire US by a noticeable margin.
Texas residents do not pay state income taxes. However, by no means does this translate to higher net pay. There are state and local projects that call for funding, after all, and these have to get their money somewhere. This is why, in Texas, business and real estate taxes can be a lot higher than in other states. This is something you definitely want to keep in mind if you are thinking about buying a home in San Antonio. Property taxes in Texas are among the highest in the whole US.
In general, San Antonio is a very preferable residential area, regardless of whether you are a single individual or head of a household. The city appears to have something for everyone: entertainment and recreational facilities and establishments, business locations, natural attractions, diverse communities, exciting nightlife, and more. The following are some of the neighborhoods frequently selected by buyers and renters alike.
Tobin Hill surrounds the well-known foodie favorite Pearl. Together, these areas are popular among the young and hip foodie. This is also accessible from I-35.
Downtown San Antonio is full of residential properties for sale or rent. This area is also admired for its proximity to bike lanes, walking trails, River Walk, and nice bars and restaurants. You can also find many attractions promoting culture and the arts. The downtown area includes Southtown, City Center, and King William Historic District.
If you are after a residential property that falls in the middle ranges and enjoy mingling with people from different backgrounds, you may like Stone Oak. It lies west of 281, and the houses here are priced $250,000 at least. There are many gated neighborhoods and boutiques.
One of the wealthiest neighborhoods in San Antonio, Alamo Heights is a great option if you have a nice amount saved. Needless to say, Alamo Heights is known for its nice high-quality homes, good schools, and its interesting array of shops and dining and retail destinations.
If you are looking to buy or rent somewhere as close to downtown as possible but cannot afford the housing costs in downtown proper, you can try the neighborhoods of Alta Vista and Beacon Hill. You can find a wide range of houses and apartments here that are much more reasonably priced than those in downtown.
If you prefer the quiet and relaxing ambience of the suburbs to the fast-paced lifestyle in urban areas, you will be glad to know that San Antonio has quite a number of suburban neighborhoods where you can move.
Helotes is small but still offers a lot of land. There is also a wide variety of homes available, from decades-old properties to new construction homes, which are priced between $200,000 and above $1 million.
Boerne is a nice, idyllic rural town and may be considered nearly urban, given the recent addition of establishments like Starbucks and Home Depot.
You can come to Schertz if you are looking for residential properties priced below $200,000. Apart from the low housing costs, proximity to I-35 and easy access to Austin are major benefits you stand to gain by living here.
Texas is incomplete without rodeo. You can join more or less one million people every year during the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo, which has won the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s “Best Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year” award several times.
There are many nature-based recreational facilities and amenities in San Antonio where you can enjoy some sun and sweat it out with some great cardio action. You can spend time in Eisenhower Park, one of San Antonio’s biggest parks, for some relaxation, picnic time, and walking or jogging. There are nevertheless hundreds of acres of green spaces and networks of walking or hiking trails.
You can also check out the San Antonio Missions National Park if you are a history nut. The city has five Spanish mission outposts, and four of those are in this national park. These mission outposts were built as far back as the 17th century and remain standing today as majestic historical structures.
One of the places you might like to frequent once you are in San Antonio is River Walk. And this is not just because this area is a known tourist place but also because there are so many shopping and dining places surrounding it. You can also go for a ride in a water taxi to see the river up close.
Visit the Pearl complex, which was once a brewery and is now seen by residents and tourists as a “culinary and cultural Mecca.” There is a farmer’s market, event venues, the Culinary Institute of America, restaurants and dessert shops, and more in this complex.
Finally, do not forget the Alamo, which played a huge role in the battle between Mexican and Texan soldiers. The Alamo is the fifth Spanish mission outpost in San Antonio. The four others are in the San Antonio Missions National Park.
San Antonio has 123 and 105 public and private schools, respectively. The US News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings include 14 of the high schools in this city. Meanwhile, the estimated ratio between students and teachers is 15:1 as of the 2015 count.
Another interesting thing to learn about schools in San Antonio is that many of them offer your kids the chance to learn speaking Spanish even at a young age. Spanish courses are offered in public and private schools alike, and there is bicultural education available too.
Meanwhile, there are 29 colleges and universities to date in this city, including the laudable Texas A&M University–San Antonio and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Like other Texas cities, San Antonio has a large Hispanic population. The difference between the percentages of whites and Hispanics or Latinos is only around 10%. Other races include native Hawaiian, Pacific islanders, American Indian, Asian, and African American.
Also, on average, San Antonio residents are quite young. The average age is around mid-30s for women and early 30s for men. Meanwhile, in terms of gender distribution, women outnumber men by around 30,000.
Texans love food, and residents of San Antonio are very much in love with Texas BBQ and some well done authentic Tex-Mex. There are likewise plenty of innovative and creative new eating places popping up, so there is always something new to explore.
Whenever you feel like treating yourself and loved ones to some great food, try the critic favorites Bohanan’s, Dough Pizzeria, Bakery Lorraine, and Signature by Andrew Weissman. Meanwhile, the Pearl Brewery (just Pearl complex now) and the Alamo Quarry Market are places every San Antonio resident and visitor must try.
You can attend numerous events in San Antonio, and these can be festivals, concerts, rodeos, and a lot more. The city is also known for holding the yearly Hindu festival called Diwali (Festival of Lights), which pulls in thousands of participants every year.
An event especially for San Antonio is the seven-day Fiesta San Antonio, which began in the late 1800s. The festival showcases and celebrates the culture and heritage of the city and features a parade called Battle of Flowers.
You can also check out the Texas Folklife Festival, an event that lasts three days and is devoted to celebrating the heritage and diversity of the state. The festival acknowledges tens of cultural groups comprising the huge community.
Despite the popularity of football in Texas, San Antonio remains the biggest city in the US that is not backed by an NFL team. In place of them, you can check out and support the San Antonio Spurs (basketball), the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, and the San Antonio Missions (baseball).
One of the things San Antonio is known for is Joint Base San Antonio, which is among the biggest military bases in the US. The base is mainly used for the US Air Force and has four primary locations: Randolph Air Force Base, Camp Bulls, Fort Sam Houston, and Lackland Air Force Base. These facilities are utilized for combat support, health care, training, and education.
The city is widely known and admired for its clean and highly walkable streets, sidewalks, trails, and walkways. Spend a day in San Antonio, and you will notice a lot of families and individuals walking alone or with their kids and pets. This is also a preferred environment of seniors who wish to get some exercise and sunlight without having to walk in cramped spaces.
San Antonio is as friendly to bikers as it is to walkers. There is plenty of space that you can use for biking, and there is even a bike-sharing program. It is called SWell Cycle and comes with an app. It used to be called Bcycle. Despite the name change, the program maintains San Antonio’s original status as a Bcycle city, which means that annual members get to take advantage of the same benefits of the original program.
Unlike other big cities, San Antonio does not have a metro. However, you can take advantage of 89 bus lines and a street car, which together comprise the bus system VIA Metropolitan. The system is easy to master and very efficient, so you should not have any major issue with it.
No urban city is free from traffic. San Antonio does get congested on certain days and times, but the situation is not as bad as those in Dallas, Atlanta, and New York City, for example. We can say the traffic conditions here are quite average. For perspective, take note that of the 100 most congested roads in the state, only 8 are in San Antonio. That isn’t so bad.
You should easily observe the pattern and figure out when it’s best to drive and adjust your trips accordingly. In general, you want to avoid US 281, IH 401, and IH 35 during rush hour. On average, total car travel time in San Antonio is about 25 minutes.
As expected from a big city, crime is not exactly negligible in San Antonio. Unfortunately, violent and property crimes are noticeably higher in incidence here than in similar cities. For property crime, the rate in San Antonio can be double those in similar cities.
Over the past few years, crime and offense rates have fluctuated upward and downward, but the city remains largely praised as one of the most livable in the US.
Some Final Reminders
Are you moving to San Antonio from another state? Do not forget to contact USPS for an official address change, apply for a Texas driver’s license, update your car insurance and then register your car, and register to vote!
See You in San Antonio!
We are ecstatic to learn that you are going to be living in San Antonio! We hope everything about the move works out and you find the lifestyle in this lovely city perfect for you and/or your loved ones. Do let us know about your moving plans, and we’d be more than glad to help out!