San Antonio is a city rich with history and no shortage of modern amenities and exciting things to do. Known as the home of the Alamo, a pivotal landmark in Texas history, San Antonio also offers several sites abounding with Hispanic heritage. With a serene downtown environment along the San Antonio River Walk, you can sample signature dishes in the San Antonio sun and enjoy a delightful walk along the river’s edge.
Maybe a more active city is your speed? San Antonio offers more than 50 major concerts and festivals each year, not to mention the city is home to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Whether its music, brewing, theatre, or the culinary arts, San Antonio has a major event that will suit your fancy!
Once you’ve settled in, be sure to take a trip to San Antonio’s renowned McNay Art Museum and explore the Alamo and the Missions National Historic Park. Then spend an evening exploring the wonderful array of restaurants and downtown bars.
Welcome to San Antonio, Texas!
Living in San Antonio, TX: What to Know Before Moving to San Antonio
Don’t be fooled by San Antonio’s reputation for history and heritage. Home to more than 1.5 million residents, San Antonio is a booming modern metropolis and the 7th largest city in the United States. San Antonio has a strong economy and is a top market for retail investment. Housing prices fall 29% below the national median at $176,000, and the cost of living is 3% below the national median. Below is a list of information you’ll want to know before you move.
Pros and Cons of San Antonio
- A strong economy and a retail investment center
- Good ratio of doctors per capita
- No income tax
- Mild winters
- Rich history and culture
- Serious crime rate
- Hot, humid summers
- Not very walkable
- Extreme weather
A major perk of the Lone Star State, here, residents pay NO income tax! However, San Antonio residents can expect to pay a little more in sales and property taxes. With regard to property tax, the average rate in San Antonio (Bexar County) is 2.09% compared to the average rate of 1.93% across Texas. Considering the median San Antonio housing price of $176,100, the annual property tax would be $3,691 per year. The general sales tax rate in San Antonio is 8.25%, the result of a 2% city and special tax rate plus the Texas state rate of 6.25%.
Despite recent forecasts of a slowdown in Texas real estate, the San Antonio housing market remains strongly competitive. The median San Antonio home price is $176,100, with a median list price of $122 per square foot. The median home value has risen 5.9% in the past year, and Zillow predicts it will rise an additional 2.4% over the next year. These projections indicate that San Antonio is leaning into a seller’s market.
If you plan to rent an apartment or studio, the median rent price in San Antonio is $1,299 per month. The most affordable neighborhoods are Woodlawn Hills, University Park, and Kirby, while the most expensive neighborhoods are Woodbridge at Monte Viejo, East Corridor, and Park Village. Despite these averages, make sure to see our neighborhood recommendations at the bottom of the page.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in San Antonio is about 3.3% below the national median and slightly higher than the Texas median. You can expect to pay less for groceries, health, utilities, and housing, but more for transportation relative to the national median.
According to the EPI Family Budget Calculator, a San Antonio family of four with two kids should budget around $6,024 per month to cover housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, taxes, and other necessities. With an aggregate cost of living at $72,291 per year, a typical family with two working parents can reasonably earn enough to cover annual spending.
Climate and Weather
As a San Antonio resident, we hope you’re ready for toasty summers. San Antonio has a humid, subtropical climate with long, hot summers and warm to cool winters. About eight days a year the thermometer jumps up over 100°F, and it rises over 90°F about 111 days per year. Spring and autumn months tend to be warm and wet. San Antonio residents enjoy 220 days of sunshine per year, 15 days above the national median, and can expect about 33” of rain to fall throughout the year. And because San Antonio never gets snow, it’s safe to say you can leave your snow shovel behind when you move.
San Antonio can get some severe weather, usually in the form of heavy rains, flooding, and tornadoes. Flooding is a particular problem in San Antonio. The area is considered one of the most flood-prone regions of the country. With current high-level storm prediction technology, you’ll have a chance to prepare if severe weather is on its way.
Economy and Job Prospects
San Antonio has a strong local economy with the fourth largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) among Texas cities. Five Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the city: Valero Energy Corporation, Tesoro Corporation, USAA, CST Brands Inc., and CC Media Holdings. San Antonio’s economy is diversified across the primary sectors of health care, military, oil and gas, and tourism. Tourism contributes greatly to the San Antonio economy, with the city hosting over twenty million tourists each year.
San Antonio’s unemployment rate is lower than the national median at 3.5%. The city has seen the job market increase by 1.63% in the past year, with significant projections for future job growth over the next decade. Median household income in San Antonio is $49,711 a year, and the median individual income per capita is $24,325.
Traffic and Transportation
Several highways loop around San Antonio through Bexar, Guadalupe, and Kendall counties. I-10, known as the Robert F. McDermott Freeway, runs on the northwest side of San Antonio from 1-35 in downtown. Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the University of Texas at San Antonio campus, USAA, South Texas Medical Center, and the Crossroads Mall are all accessible along this highway. Serving the northwest and southwest sides of San Antonio is the I-35, known as the Pan Am Expressway, and Loop 1604. The I-410, known as the Connolly Loop, covers the urban areas of San Antonio and provides access to the Ingram Park Mall, Crossroads Mall, North Star Mall, and the San Antonio International Airport.
San Antonio is relatively walkable with a pedestrian-friendly downtown and numerous bike trails. However, the city is car-dependent outside of downtown with a walkability score of 38. If you’re interested in cycling, take note of the San Antonio B-Cycle, a bike share program with over 24 stations around the city. The VIA Rapid Transit Network runs a bus service into downtown from the airport and is developing a city-wide plan that should provide residents with rapid transportation options by 2020.
What to Do
San Antonio offers a fantastic array of things to do. Whether you’re interested in history, cultural heritage, nightlife, fine art, food, or the great outdoors, San Antonio has something for you!
San Antonio Nightlife
San Antonio has a vibrant nightlife scene, particularly along the famous San Antonio River Walk. Both the Riverwalk and Downtown offer a wide variety of wine bars and live entertainment venues. Wander down the River Walk, and an enjoy ice cold Texas beer at the Republic of Texas restaurant or enjoy your favorite drink at the famous Coyote Ugly Saloon. Looking for something more upscale? The Riverwalk and Downtown also house the Aztec Lounge and Esquire Tavern, two of San Antonio’s most upscale bars and nightclubs.
History and Culture
San Antonio has an incredibly rich history and cultural heritage scene. Centrally located in downtown San Antonio, visit the Alamo with its interactive tours and reenactments. It’s a true gem of Texas history. San Antonio is also home to several world heritage sites such as the beautiful Spanish missions — Mission San José, Mission Concepción, and Mission San Juan Capistrano. Also plan a visit to the Alamo Plaza Historic District, home to San Antonio’s iconic Alamo Plaza, the Alamo Cenotaph, and a wide variety of historic buildings. Don’t forget to visit the Spanish Governor’s Palace, a national historic landmark in the heart of Downtown San Antonio! The recently renovated Witte Museum also has excellent exhibits on nature, science, and Pecos culture.
There are amazing possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts in San Antonio, TX. If you want to stay close to the city and go for an afternoon walk, wander through the historic Brackenridge Park, a favorite of San Antonio natives. Great for families with kids, San Antonio also has a large, year-round zoo, and the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch where you can watch animals from the comfort of your car.
Feeling more adventurous? Take advantage of San Antonio’s local Enchanted Rock State Natural Area with its fascinating rock formations and pink granite volcanic dome. It’s great for a short hike in the wilderness. Also visit the nearby Natural Bridge Caverns, a spectacular cave system with a 60-foot natural limestone bridge. San Antonio is also conveniently located near the southern edge of Texas Hill Country with its unique Germanic culture in nearby Fredericksburg, Boerne, and New Braunfels.
There’s no shortage of adventure in and around San Antonio, Texas.
Love basketball? San Antonio is home to the San Antonio Spurs. And San Antonio doesn’t just have basketball. Enjoy a San Antonio FC soccer match at the Toyota Field, or a Rampage hockey match at the AT&T Center. You can also catch a rodeo at the Tejas Rodeo Company, which also features a classic Texas steakhouse and saloon, considered by many to be a hidden gem of San Antonio.
Theatre and the Arts
Interested in the arts and culture? San Antonio has a wide array of excellent theaters and art museums. Enjoy a performance at the Majestic Theatre, one of Texas’ most ornate performing arts facilities that hosts more than 200 live events each year. There’s also the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, home to the San Antonio Symphony, Ballet San Antonio, and Opera San Antonio.
Schools and Universities
San Antonio hosts over 100,000 students across its 31 facilities of higher education, including the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, Trinity University, and the University of the Incarnate Word. Bexar Country supports 19 school districts, and San Antonio hosts over 30 private schools within the city limits.
There’s significant variability among the quality of public education throughout the city’s schools. In 2018, San Antonio ISD received an accountability rating of C from the Texas Tribune, with 73.5% of students at risk of dropping out. If you have children, be sure to explore school ratings when you’re considering various San Antonio neighborhoods.
San Antonio has a seriously high crime rate. According to Best Places.net, San Antonio ranks well above the national median for both violent and property crimes. According to NeighborhoodScout, San Antonio scores in the 4th percentile for safest cities in the US (96% of US cities are safer than San Antonio. Take crime statistics into consideration when choosing a neighborhood. Be reassured, however, that in the last few years, crime rates have decreased to their lowest levels of the last 30 years.
Take it from us. It’s much easier to move in when your utilities are all in order. Here’s information about San Antonio’s primary utilities providers:
- Gas and Electricity: Unlike other parts of Texas, San Antonio electricity has a single provider – CPS Energy.
- Water: San Antonio water service is currently regulated, so there is one primary water company. Visit San Antonio Water Systems for more information.
- Garbage Collection: Garbage collection is managed primarily by the City of San Antonio. However, Tiger Sanitation and C6 Disposal Systems are two private trash collection services available.
- Internet and Cable: AT&T and Spectrum are the two primary internet, cable, and phone services.
Best Neighborhoods in San Antonio, TX
When choosing a neighborhood in San Antonio, it’s important that you consider safety, median home price, local amenities, and quality of schools. Our research has uncovered some of San Antonio’s most desirable neighborhoods.
Receiving an A+ grade from Niche.com, Alamo Heights is a highly desirable neighborhood in the San Antonio area. Alamo Heights is approximately 15 minutes from downtown, and a short drive from local attractions such as the Alamo, San Antonio Museum of Art, and Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Enjoy golf? Alamo Heights borders lush green spaces, including Olmos Park, Olmos Basin Golf Course, Quarry Golf Club, and San Antonio Gulf Club. In addition to some nifty golf options, Alamo Heights offers a large number of amenities including bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Median home value is $477,423 compared to the national median of $184,700. The median rent in Alamo Heights is $1,060 compared to the national median of $949. 74% of the 5,500 residents own a home, while only 26% rent their living space. Median household income is $67,502.
Have children? A highlight of Alamo Heights is its great public education. Top public schools in the area include Alamo Heights High School, Woodridge Elementary School, Alamo Heights Junior School, and Cambridge Elementary School. If you’re concerned about safety, Alamo Heights is one of the safest neighborhoods in San Antonio.
Tobin Hill is a vibrant urban neighborhood of around 7000 residents. Located just north of downtown, this is an historical, pedestrian-friendly part of town. Ranked the #1 Neighborhood for Young Professionals in San Antonio by Niche.com, Tobin Hill offers a mix of commercial and residential areas. Residents have access to numerous eclectic amenities, including restaurants, pubs, clubs, cafes, a thriving twice-weekly farmers market, boutiques, concerts, plus all the best attractions of nearby downtown.
There’s great diversity in the homes here, from historical to brand new. Median home value is $214,147, compared to the national median of $184,700. Don’t shy away from the housing prices, though. 83% of Tobin Hill residents rent, while only 17% own their own homes. Median rent is $984 per month, and you’ll notice an upscale, urban vibe among many of the area’s apartments and condos. The median household income in Tobin Hill is $38,425.
Only 11% of Tobin Hill families have children but those who do have access to highly rated Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Travis Early College High School, and Fox Technical High School. The middle and elementary schools receive average ratings.
Located about 13 miles from downtown, Oakland Estates is ranked the #2 Best Neighborhood to Live in San Antonio, and #3 Best Neighborhoods to Raise a Family in San Antonio, by Niche.com. With 7,805 residents, this area offers a suburban feel without being too far removed from downtown. However, be prepared for a drive if you want to enjoy downtown attractions, and allow for traffic along the I-10 W.
The median home value is $164,287, with only 11% of residents owning their homes. The median rent is $915 per month, and 89% of Oakland Estates residents rent a living space. The median household income is $62,402.
Oakland Estates has an impressive number of highly regarded public schools, most receiving A and A+ ratings according to niche.com. Health Careers High School is rated the #20 Best Public High School in Texas.
Ranked the #1 Best Neighborhood to Live, Best Neighborhood to Raise a Family, and Best Neighborhoods to Buy a House in San Antonio by Niche.com, Terrell Hills is an outstanding neighborhood on many counts. Located just south of Alamo Heights and 5 miles northeast of downtown, this neighborhood is conveniently located near San Antonio’s business centers. Terrell Hills has a population of nearly 10,000 who enjoy local amenities, such as restaurants, supermarkets, parks, and downtown attractions. The median home value is $486,313. However, if you’re looking to rent, you’ll find very reasonable rent prices at a median of $746 per month. Only 22% of Terrell Hills residents rent living space while 78% own a home. Median household income is $126,622.
Much like Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills has excellent public schools, including International School of the Americas, Alamo Heights High School, Robert G. Cole Middle/High School, Woodridge Elementary School, and Alamo Heights Junior School. Terrell Hills is also a very safe neighborhood relative to other areas in San Antonio.
Ranked the 4th Best Place to Live in San Antonio by USA Today and receiving an overall grade of B from Niche.com, living Downtown offers access to San Antonio’s vibrant nightlife, rich culture, and a wide variety of tantalizing local restaurants and attractions right in San Antonio’s primary business center.
Join 23,500 or so residents who work and play Downtown. One of the most popular and beautiful playgrounds is the fantastic River Walk with its endless shops, music, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Take a river taxi, or stroll the banks of the river sampling Tex-Mex and ethnically diverse menus as you go.
The Downtown median home value is $146,262, and the median rent is quite affordable at $739 per month. There’s a terrific variety of trendy apartments and condos and Downtown is very pedestrian and bike-friendly. Median household income is $37,992. Fourteen public schools serve Downtown and are generally rated average. However, Fox Technical High School is rated 7 of 10 and received the 2019 College Success Award.
Appropriately named, Northwest Side, population 100,607, is a sprawling suburban area northwest of downtown. Looking to buy a new home? Northwest Side is one of the best places in San Antonio to buy a house because of its affordable median home value of $146,107. With an urban feel and lots of traffic, this neighborhood is home to the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the Northwest Campus of the University of the Incarnate Word. You’ll find lots of students studying and hanging out in local bars and diners that dot the area. But there are also many other amenities for residents, including restaurants, cafes, shopping, and small businesses. If you’re a theme park enthusiast, Northwest Side is also close to Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
78% of residents own their homes, but many students rent, paying a median rental price of $1,040 per month. Median household income in Northwest Side is $73,204.
Northwest Independent School District oversees the public schools that serve Northwest Side and most are highly rated.
About a 20-minute drive from downtown, Huebner/Leon Creeks is home to 35,874 residents. A beautiful neighborhood located in northwest San Antonio, Huebner/Leon Creeks offers a suburban feel with lots of parks and green spaces. The neighborhood provides a good balance of properties for purchase and rent. Despite its suburban feel, Huebner/Leon Creeks has a roughly even division of property renters and property owners. 57% of residents own a home, while only 43% rent. The median household income is $65,201. The median home value is $163,763, and the median rent is $1,022 per month.
Huebner Elementary School serves 720 students and is rated 7/10 by greatschools.org. Northwest Independent School District serves Huebner/Leon Creeks students.
Located in northwest San Antonio, Tanglewood Ridge is home to 1,685 residents. They enjoy this calm, quiet, and safe neighborhood that offers a suburban feel. The neighborhood, established in 1976, has several attractive parks, playgrounds, and green spaces. A clubhouse is a major perk of the neighborhood, but Tanglewood Ridge also offers restaurants, coffee shops, and public bus service along Spring Time Street.
Homes vary in style and time period with a median home value of $183,573. The median rent in Tanglewood Ridge is $1,055 per month. There’s roughly an even split between renters and owners with 47% of residents renting a property, and 53% owning a property. Median household income is $70,715.
Tanglewood Ridge’s high school graduation rate is 14% higher than the nation’s average, and its schools get an ‘A’ rating from areavibes.com. Unfortunately, the same website gives the neighborhood an ‘F’ crime rating.
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