There are many reasons why residents love living in San Antonio and tons of desirable qualities that make this city unique. Still not sure if relocating here will be a good fit? Learn why moving to San Antonio is the right choice for you and your family.

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Moving to San Antonio Texas

Texas, the Lone Star State, is home to some iconic cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston. But are these three metropolitans the best Texas cities to live in? San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas, is climbing the ranks fast.

In fact, so many people are relocating to San Antonio that it was among the top five fastest-growing cities in the country in 2018-19. With thousands of people migrating to the home of the Alamo each year, is moving to San Antonio for you?

First, consider why you might live in Texas in the first place. No state income tax is a huge draw for many relocating here. There’s also a wide range of job opportunities that vary from city to city.

Did you know that San Antonio is one of the most family-friendly metropolitan areas in Texas and in the country? If you’re relocating with your family in tow, living in San Antonio may be ideal.

Find out why moving to San Antonio is a great choice, learn about hurdles you’ll face, and figure out how to coordinate your move. Not sure what to expect or if San Antonio is a good place to live? We’ve got you covered.

How Bad is Traffic in San Antonio Texas?

1. The housing market is still affordable.

It’s very affordable to buy a home in one of the best neighborhoods in San Antonio. Unless you’re downtown, it’s relatively easy and very affordable to buy in most areas. However, if you’re looking to buy, don’t wait too long. The median home price in the San Antonio market has been on a steady incline over the past few years.

The median home price is $176.000, which is 29% below the national average. Also, more than half the homes listed in San Antonio were priced under $200,000 during this period.

According to the San Antonio Board of Realtors market report for August 2019, the average sales price rose 4% year over year to $277,114, while the median sales price rose 3% to $238,400.”

San Antonio Biz Journals

Looking to live a little more lavishly? With 44.9% of the housing market including homes in the $200,000 – $500,000 range, there are definitely San Antonio neighborhoods to fit every budget.

Looking to live a little more lavishly? With 44.9% of the housing market including homes in the $200,000 – $500,000 range, there are definitely San Antonio neighborhoods to fit every budget.

Housing Market in San Antonio TX

2. San Antonio neighborhoods are picturesque.

Broker and owner of M Stagers Realty Partners, Missy Stagers confesses why she loves living in San Antonio,

I’ve lived here for almost 25 years. I wouldn’t move anywhere else, and I’ve lived on the East Coast, West Coast, and overseas. It truly is the small town that’s a big city. No one knows a stranger here, and your neighbors like to know you.

When the grocery store attendant says hello and asks how you’re doing, they mean it, and they take the time to care. This is primarily a Texas thing, but when you’re here, you get doors held open for you.”

Stagers also explains why she’d rather live here than other large Texas cities,

San Antonio is very family-centric. So unlike Dallas or Houston that are so big and what I call somewhat disjointed, San Antonio is not. And even as we’re growing, we haven’t lost that charm yet at all.”

Start your house hunt with some of these tried-and-true San Antonio neighborhoods and suburbs.

Neighborhoods in the City

Alamo Heights

This section of San Antonio is positioned just north of downtown. The neighborhood, similar to an area call Terrell Hills, is home to a lot of old money. According to Stagers, what makes this area not so stodgy is the large military presence. You’ll find older homes and an eclectic mix of very expensive housing.

Being family-driven, many people move to this area for the coveted Alamo Heights School District. Home prices range from the low $300,000s and go well up over $1.5 -$2 million. You’ll find some of San Antonio’s most expensive and historical real estate in Alamo Heights.

Stone Oak

Stone Oak is a family-friendly section of San Antonio that is located just outside the 1604 loop and west of 281. The area has many boutique shops and gated subdivisions and is home to many Mexican nationals. Stone Oak is served by the North East Independent School District and coveted Regan High School.

Home prices start around $250,000 and go over $1 million with the bulk of houses sitting between $350,000 – $500,000.

Downtown San Antonio

If you want to be in the action, join other city dwellers in some of the most walkable downtown areas. Because of the massive growth, the city has been reinvesting in its downtown areas like the Pearl Brewery District and the River Walk. With that renovation comes more Millennials who want to live here.

Since single-family housing is not affordable, more apartment complexes and condos are being built.  Due to housing costs and less than ideal funding for public schools, you’ll find a lot of young and old families without children that are renting in this area. New homes start around $300,000 and go up from there.

San Antonio Suburbs

Boerne

Located about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country, Boerne is a rural town that has undergone some major commercial development in the last 10 years.  Many people move here for the schools that are much smaller than the San Antonio city district.

Homes start around $250,000 and include some of the most expensive real estate in the suburbs. Even so, this area maintains a small-town feeling with newer suburban conveniences like retail developments.

Helotes

Just minutes away from Sea World of Texas, this San Antonio suburb is located on the northwest side of the city and is small but growing. One of the biggest draws to Helotes is that there is still land available. You can get a small city feel with new homes or opt for one of the older homes with acreage. This area is home to the Northside ISD school district, housing a premier high school, O’Connor.

Home prices range from $200,000 – $1 million with a mix of old and new architecture.

Schertz

Like other suburbs, this area is a very fast-growing small town. People move to Schertz for the schools which are also a little bit smaller in size and offer families the option of a quality education. Another advantage of living in this suburb is the affordable housing costs. You can still buy a home for under $200,000. Basically, Schertz offers more house for less money.

This suburb is also popular for military families as well as commuters. One family member might commute to San Antonio, and the other could just as easily commute to Austin. It’s easy to get around, and there is easy access to I-35.

Income Taxes and Cost of Living in San Antonio TX

3. Lower income taxes help with cost of living.

San Antonio residents get to enjoy a cost of living that is slightly below the national average. This savings is due in part to lower housing costs as well as no state income tax.

Before you move to San Antonio thinking you’re free from taxes, remember that there are higher sales and property taxes. Expect to pay approximately 8.25% for sales tax and 2% for property tax. While that may seem like a lot, it is still less than states like New York.

How does the San Antonio cost of living compare to other major Texas cities? San Antonio is 13.3% less expensive than Dallas, with the median home cost 22% more expensive in Dallas. Housing, transportation, and utility costs make up for most of the spending gap.

4. Jobs in San Antonio are easy to find.

Best San Antonio Neighborhoods

San Antonio has an unemployment rate below the national average and the state average. This thriving city saw job growth of about 3% from 2016 to 2017 (approximately 30,000 more jobs added), which is higher than other Texas cities. For Millennials looking for a job and affordable housing, San Antonio is a great option.

The Alamo city maintains a significant military presence and caters to their success through various health, schooling, and work programs. Many active and retired military personnel make their home at and around the Joint Base San Antonio, providing jobs throughout Fort Sam Houston, Randolph Air Force Base, and Lackland Air Force Base.

Other industries of note are manufacturing, renewable energy, bioscience, healthcare, and education. What does San Antonio have that other Texas cities don’t? Being a tourist destination creates thousands of more tourism and leisure jobs here.

The River Walk and Outdoor Places in San Antonio Texas

5. Living in San Antonio can be very relaxing.

Quality of life in San Antonio is as desirable as can be expected for a large-scale metropolitan in Texas. Sports fans, nature lovers and families will love living in San Antonio. With nearby amusement parks, the San Antonio Zoo, LEGOLAND Discovery Center and the beautiful parks you will have plenty of fun options to choose from.

While summers in San Antonio tend to be hot, the winter weather is mild, and springs can be wet with frequent rains. If you’re terrified of tornadoes or seasonal allergies are a chronic problem, San Antonio weather may not be for you.

However, if you like to enjoy the outdoors all year round, San Antonio boasts some incredible green space like Brackenridge Park, a nearly 350-acre park founded in 1899. Some other places to enjoy a relaxing day outside include:

  • The River Walk — The San Antonio River has been at the heart of San Antonio for hundreds of years. Take a stroll for free down the expansive 30-mile river walk to enjoy fine dining, scenic boat rides, and plenty of outdoor activities. Spend approximately $12 for a water taxi to see as much of the River Walk as possible before you pick a destination to relax.
  • Eisenhower Park — Bring your family, dog, or just a pair of jogging shoes to Eisenhower Park. This family-friendly destination is as ideal for children as it is for an active individual looking for a hiking workout. The park is located north of the city and acts as a quiet rural escape.

Cultural Events in San Antonio

  • Fiesta San Antonio — Fiesta is an annual seven-day event that started in 1891 to promote a safe, educational, annual celebration of diverse heritage, culture and the spirit of San Antonio for its residents and visitors. You’ll enjoy seven exciting days of music, food and Mexican arts and culture. Don’t miss the Battle of Flowers Parade that is produced entirely by women!
  • Texas Folklife Festival — Want to learn more about what it means to be a Texan? Enjoy this three-day event honoring Texas heritage and diversity that showcases more than 40 different cultural groups.
  • Diwali — San Antonio is home to the only city-sanctioned Festival of Lights. Each year, thousands gather to celebrate this Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

Amusement Parks and Natural Wonders

  • Sea World and Six Flags Fiesta Texas are just a just drive away. Ride the thrilling rides, like the pulse-pounding Iron Rattler and Pandemonium rollercoasters at Fiesta Texas, or splash down at the amazing waterslides and have breakfast with Shamu at Sea World.
  • Natural Bridge Caverns and Wildlife Range – Explore the spectacular wonders of the underground chambers of one of the premier show caves in the world. The guided tour will take you through the abandoned Discovery Village Mining Company and outdoor mazes.
Public School System in San Antonio TX

6. Your kids can learn Spanish at a young age.

One of San Antonio’s premier school districts, Northside ISD, offers students a Two-Way Dual Language Immersion program that promotes bilingual and bicultural education in both English and Spanish. There are also private institutions and school districts in outlying areas that offer families options to fit their needs.

San Antonio is home to 29 universities and colleges, educating more than 100,000 students a year. Popular and affordable options include:

  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Job Market in San Antonio Texas

7. Traffic is better here than in Houston or Dallas.

Like other thriving cities in Texas, traffic can be a headache due to rapid growth and insufficient existing infrastructure. In San Antonio, traffic exists, but it is not nearly as congested as cities like Houston and Dallas.

In a report showing the most congested roadways in Texas, San Antonio contains only eight of the 100 most gridlocked roads in Texas. Compare that to Austin that includes 14 of them or Houston that includes a whopping 45 of them.

San Antonio highways to avoid during rush hour:

  • US 281: Ranks the 26th most congested in the state
  • IH 35: Ranks the 47th most congested in the state
  • IH 401: Ranks the 72nd most congested in the state

Transportation in San Antonio isn’t limited to cars. If you live close to work in a downtown area, commuting by bike or public transportation is a viable option. With so many bike trails in the city, many San Antonians enjoy biking for leisure, too. There are plenty of designated bike paths including Mission Trail that runs roughly 20 miles. There are also various B-Cycle stations located throughout the city.

If you need to travel for work, don’t expect many direct flights. The airport in San Antonio is small and limited. However, one bonus is that you can get relatively inexpensive direct flights to Chicago.

8. The food here is delicious.

Tex Mex and other cuisine in San Antonio Texas

Texans take their Mexican food and margaritas seriously. In San Antonio, like other parts of Texas, you can expect to find some the best Tex-Mex, Mexican and Texas-style barbecue you’ve ever had! No trip to San Antonio is complete with visiting these popular restaurants:

Wendy, acclaimed food blogger of The Weekend Gourmet, gives us her take on the San Antonio food scene:

San Antonio has been synonymous with authentic Tex-Mex and margaritas. You can still find that here, but the local food scene has evolved over the past few years. Today, you’ll find a wide range of cuisines and some truly creative food offerings.”

What sets San Antonio food apart? According to Wendy, it’s restaurants that make food the priority.

“There’s been a greater emphasis on chef-driven restaurants that focus on cooking with artisanal, local, and seasonal ingredients. From casual taquerias to four-star gourmet dining, San Antonio truly has it all!”

Here are some of Wendy’s favorites:

Also, unique to the San Antonio area are newly developed wineries, breweries, and coffee roasters.

Moving to San Antonio TX, What to Expect

9. History buffs love San Antonio.

There’s no doubt that San Antonio has a bustling city feel that is modern and with the times. But the city is also known for its Old West history, most notably including the legend of the Alamo. Get to know how this city embraces its past as well as its current culture. You might be surprised to find out that the city celebrates cultures from around the globe in a meaningful way.

Historical Places to Visit

  • The Alamo — Remember the Alamo? Most of us learn about this battle in grade school, but if you can’t recall, the Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836. The Mexican siege left the few Texians defending the site dead, ultimately inspiring the remainder of the Texas Revolution and Texas’ subsequent victory. The battle has been recreated in many films and adaptations, and while primarily a tourist destination, this most-visited landmark in Texas is the pride of San Antonio.
  • The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center — Dedicated to the preservation of traditional and contemporary Chicano, Latino and Native American arts and culture, the center offers Ballet Folklorico and Spanish Flamenco dance, Mariachi and Tejano music, theatrical events year-round.
  • The San Fernando Cathedral — As one of the oldest Roman Catholic Cathedrals in the US, this cathedral is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was founded in 1738 under Spanish Rule and remains a central hub for Catholic parishioners in San Antonio with over 5,000 people attending masses each week.
  • Spanish Governor’s Palace — Claimed as the most beautiful building in San Antonio, the Spanish Governor’s Palace is the last adobe structure standing from the 18th century when Texas was under Spanish rule. With various renovations over the years, visitors can still enjoy a history lesson or two inside its walls.
Professional Sports and Recreation in San Antonio TX

10. There are plenty of professional sports teams to cheer on.

Everything is bigger in Texas, and sports are no exception. Despite the popularity of football in Texas, we are sad to report that San Antonio is the largest city in the nation without an NFL team’s backing (yet).

Fear not, the San Antonio sports scene isn’t entirely lacking. Here are some professional sports teams and events you can get behind.

  • San Antonio Spurs — Cheer on these NBA champions and hometown heroes.
  • San Antonio Missions — Grab a hotdog and catch a game featuring this Minor League baseball team.
  • The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo — There’s more than just rodeo here, trust us. Join nearly one million spectators and find out for yourself every February.
Historical Places in San Antonio TX

Are You Ready to Relocate to San Antonio?

If you’re relocating to San Antonio, Texas for the first time, don’t forget to check the following off your moving to-do list:

Are there any San Antonio features we forgot to mention? Why do you love living in San Antonio? Let us know in the comment section below!

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Life Storage Blog in October of 2017.

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About the Authors

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Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann is a moving and storage expert. She attended the University at Buffalo and has worked in the storage industry for over five years. Here on the Life Storage blog, you can find Lauren covering everything from finding a home, settling into a new home and all the stages in between.

Clara Mathews

Clara Mathews is a Dallas based freelance writer who works with hospitality and retail businesses. Clara has lived in the Dallas area for the past 20 years but enjoys visiting other Texas cities. San Antonio is one of her favorites, especially during Fiesta! During her more than 12 years as a corporate concierge, Clara served as the president of the North Texas Corporate Concierge organization and is a former winner of the WHERE Magazine Concierge of the Year Award.

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