Living in San Antonio means mixing the old and the new, and the city fully embraces it. Big-city amenities like a humming downtown and a beautiful River Walk, with more shops and restaurants than you can visit in a month, blend perfectly with traditional Spanish, Mexican, and Native American historical and cultural influences to create a Texas-sized oasis in the southern part of the state.
|Ready to make the move and live your best San Antonio life? See how PODS can help.|
And like every major Texas city, the word is out. San Antonio was the thirteenth-most moved-to city in the PODS 2022 Moving Trends analysis. It’s no surprise. After all, a boat ride down the San Antonio River is almost worth the cost of moving by itself.
While the San Antonio life is a glamorous one, there are a few questions you’ll need to answer before moving. Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are nine things you need to know before you go.
|Q: Is San Antonio a good place to live?|
A: We’ll let the stats speak for themselves: San Antonio’s population grew by about 2.0% between 2021 and 2022, and the city is the seventh largest (population wise) in the U.S. A strong job market and business-friendly economy are key factors for this growth. Add the general laissez-faire attitude of its residents, and you’ve got a great place to live.
1. You can easily find a San Antonio neighborhood that connects with your lifestyle
If you’re worried about what it’s like living in San Antonio and how to find the best neighborhoods, don’t stress because there’s more than one “best” neighborhood; just ask the current residents.
To find your perfect abode, you’ll have to whittle the choices and sort essential details like access to public schools and cultural amenities, but you’ll certainly find somewhere to love and call home. Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular San Antonio neighborhoods and suburbs. Later, if you want to take a deep dive into the details, read more on the PODS Blog about the pros and cons of seven San Antonio neighborhoods.
DOWNTOWN SAN ANTONIO
- Good for: singles, young professionals, nightlife, entertainment
- Median home sale price: $636,500
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $1,610
If you visited San Antonio and reveled in the River Walk’s call to fantastic food, one-of-a-kind entertainment, and all-around festive fun (make sure to check out the holiday lights schedule), you might prefer San Antonio’s downtown for your next home. As attractive as the River Walk is, you’ll also have easy access to more city attractions like museums, theaters, clubs, and restaurants — pretty much anything a young professional, student, or anyone who loves the heartbeat of a true downtown could want.
- Good for: retirees, families, students, walkability, community
- Median home sale price: $700,000
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $1,000
“Up and coming” describes Monte Vista well. But some retirees, families, and students already know Monte Vista’s secrets, like walkability, plenty of green space, and desirable attractions like quality restaurants and shopping. There’s an overall pleasant community atmosphere in Monte Vista, and residents also enjoy the quick trip downtown if the call of the city beckons.
SOUTHTOWN, ARTS DISTRICT
- Good for: creatives, artists, exhibits, welcoming community
- Average sale price: $320,000
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $1,615
Creatives, artists, and lovers of all things unique will find a welcoming community in Southtown. If your perfect evening starts with a couple of art exhibits and ends with a cocktail or two, you’ve found your home in Southtown. Made of five neighborhoods, Southtown is dotted with an eclectic collection of housing styles, from modern condos to show-stopping Victorians.
- Good for: families, schools, suburbia feel, safety
- Median home sale price: $950,000
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $1,480
Families flock to Alamo Heights, thanks to high-performing schools, family-friendly streets, and the quintessential upscale suburban feel that includes multiple neighborhood museums. Homes range from charming cottages to mega-mansions, so don’t be surprised if your neighbors are some of the wealthiest in the area.
- Good for: commuters, family community, big lawns, trendy small-town feel
- Median home sale price: $550,000
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $1,420
Small-town charm with a trendy twist is Boerne’s best quality. So much so that many family income earners drive the 30-plus minutes into San Antonio so they can come home to a tight-knit community with family-friendly perks like hiking trails and a calendar-busting plethora of city-sponsored events. If big homes with big lawns à la Texas style are your thing, Boerne’s real estate is the first place you should look.
Did these descriptions stoke the San Antonio fire even more? Consider using a PODS portable moving container for your move to Texas. To meet your unique moving needs, PODS will deliver a container right to your driveway, where you can pack and load at your own pace. When you’re ready, they’ll pick it up and deliver it to your new home in one of San Antonio’s fabulous neighborhoods. You won’t have to hurry or stress because, if you need to, you can store your container at a secure PODS Storage Center for as long as you want. PODS will deliver it when you’re ready.
2. Heads up: San Antonio’s housing market is very competitive
While not as crazy as Austin’s housing market (a lot of SA’s growth has been from people moving out of Austin), the steady stream of newcomers combined with a nationwide housing shortage and rising interest rates means you’ll work hard to find a home that meets your budget and must-have list. Expect houses to sell fast, pending in just a few weeks. You’ll also contend with competing offers, waived contingencies, and prices above asking. If you’re hoping to find relief by renting a home instead, know they’re competitive, too. As of June 2022, an apartment rents for $1,281 per month, while a single-family home gets $1,965 citywide (on average).
3. The San Antonio school stats you should know
Schools and neighborhoods go hand in hand when it comes to home shopping, so you should know that San Antonio has a large school-age population with 333,467 students in 539 public schools. If you prefer a private education for your kiddos, you’ll have 111 to choose from.
U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings include 75 San Antonio schools, but it also mentions that the city has a lower score than similarly sized metro areas, so you’ll have to pinpoint the schools you’re most interested in to see how they stack up against neighboring schools.
And if higher education is your calling, you’ll have more than 15 colleges in the San Antonio area to investigate, including the University of Texas, San Antonio; San Antonio College; Texas A&M University-San Antonio; Trinity University; and Northwest Vista College.
|Q: Is San Antonio, Texas, an expensive place to live?|
A: There’s a reason you constantly hear about droves of people moving to Texas — affordability. It’s a less costly place to live, and the city has the stats to prove it. Compared to the national average, the cost of living in San Antonio is 8% lower, and the housing costs are 18% lower.
4. San Antonio’s cost of living is less than the national average, but so are the annual incomes
Interpreting a good cost of living and affordability is all about what’s important to you, right? So you’ll have to run the numbers to ensure they work for your household. Take a look at some of San Antonio’s important cost factors.
- The median San Antonio household income is $53,420 vs. the national median of $64,994.
- As of August 2022, Zillow reported that San Antonio’s typical home value was $300,044.
- Texas is an income-tax-free state.
- Texas has a 6.25% state sales tax. San Antonio imposes an additional 2%, bringing the total sales tax rate in San Antonio to 8.25% (the maximum allowed in Texas).
If curiosity has taken over and you’re wondering what salary you need to live and thrive in San Antonio, use an online calculator to help you make the comparison between the city you live in now and what you’re earning. Check out these examples of what you’d need to earn to live comfortably in San Antonio if you earned $50,000 in:
- Washington, D.C.= San Antonio salary of $29,814
- Des Moines, Iowa = San Antonio salary of $57,052
- Phoenix, Arizona = San Antonio salary of $41,306
- Seattle, Washington = San Antonio salary of $26,758
U.S. News & World Report says that San Antonio offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when comparing housing costs to median household income. If you’re someone who earns more than the median (maybe one of the thousands of new remote workers), the city could easily be your best bet in Texas.
5. San Antonio’s job market and economy continue to grow
San Antonio’s job market is diverse, so there’s plenty of opportunity in multiple fields like bioscience, renewable energy, manufacturing, and tourism. You’ll probably also recognize major corporations like Toyota, Southwest Research Institute, Valero Energy Corporation, and insurance giant, USAA, in the area.
Quick segue here — speaking of the USAA, San Antonio’s military presence is mighty. Active Duty, Reservists, and the National Guard work out of nearby Joint Base San Antonio, which includes Lackland Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, and Randolph Air Force Base. San Antonio’s economic health is intimately tied to the Department of Defense and the industries that support the bases. You can also thank the dense military population for the patriotic vibe that surges through the city.
|PODS is proud to serve the men and women who serve our country. Active, Retired, and Veteran members of the military receive a 10% PODS military discount. For PPM/DITY moves or storage during deployments, call 866-556-9574.|
Best Places reports that San Antonio has an unemployment rate of 6.6% compared to the U.S. average of 6.0% and predicts that San Antonio’s future job growth will climb higher over the next ten years, hitting close to 40%. So it’s easy to see why workers across the country are attracted to San Antonio living.
6. If you crave sultry and high-heat summers, San Antonio’s weather is perfect for you
Ask a former Yankee why they headed south to San Antonio, and they’ll probably answer that they wanted to escape the harsh Northern winter weather. Good call on their part, because San Antonio’s coldest month has an average high of 64 degrees.
However, summer months can be triple-digit hot, and humidity levels sit between 50% and 80% each day. Over the summer of 2022, the average high temperature was at least 10 degrees above normal: May was 94°F, June was 99°F, and July was 101°F.
As for rainfall, while it rains throughout the year, it’s normal to experience heavy thunderstorms in the spring and summer. And, because San Antonio is less than 150 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, tropical storms, hurricanes, heavy rainfall, and flooding are possible.
November through April are the best months to enjoy impromptu backyard Sunday afternoon football parties and last-minute trips to explore San Antonio’s iconic tourist attractions before out-of-towners from across the country visit during their summer vacations.
7. Go ahead, make a bucket list of things to do in San Antonio; you’ll need it
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for things to do as a couple or with your kids; there’s plenty to see while living in San Antonio, starting with the city’s most beloved attraction, the River Walk. Of course, you already know that the city’s 15-mile stretch of river is the epicenter of entertainment, but did you know that it’s Texas’s #1 attraction and one of the best free things to do in San Antonio? Just don’t dip your toes; swimming is prohibited.
Existing long before the River Walk, the Alamo is a San Antonio highlight that bridges history, entertainment, and tourism. The Spanish mission and fortress is the site of the Battle of the Alamo (remember?). It attracts over 1.6 million visitors annually, including local school kids happy to explore during a field trip.
If you don’t know where to start sightseeing in San Antonio, use this list to help you choose.
- The Majestic Theatre
- Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
- McNay Art Museum
- Witte Museum
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
- NBA San Antonio Spurs
- Ford Holiday River Parade and River Lighting Ceremony
- Texas Folklife Festival
- Natural Bridge Caverns
- San Antonio Zoo
- Sea World
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas
8. San Antonio is heavily influenced by Hispanic culture, and residents love it that way
Brush up on your high school Spanish and consider taking a refresher course because it pays to be bilingual in San Antonio. There’s a solid chance your neighbors will speak Spanish because residents with Mexican roots make up 91.3 percent of San Antonio’s Hispanic Tejano population. Mexican-American heritage flourishes throughout the city and shows up big time in the to-die-for food and lively cultural scene.
Spanish missionaries brought Catholicism to San Antonio through the Alamo and the missions in San Antonio hundreds of years ago, but the religion remains an essential part of local families’ lifestyle and traditions — it’s the predominant religion in the area.
9. Eating fabulous food is a way of life in San Antonio
It’s a given that you’ll fall in love with the Tex-Mex and barbeque cuisine, but you might be surprised at the amount of gastro-innovation that flows through San Antonio. It’s one of two cities in the country designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Plus, it’s home to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio. It’ll be tough, but force yourself to take a break from puffy tacos at Henry’s and try the delicious German-Texan fare at Schilo’s or fish and chips at Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub.
San Antonio is hot in more ways than one! Temperature, real estate, and job opportunities are all booming, so if you’re planning a move to Texas, keep San Antonio on the shortlist.
Can’t stop yourself from planning and packing for San Antonio? Learn about average moving costs from in-state and out-of-state with our Guide to Moving in Texas.
Dawn M. Smith writes about most home topics, including relocation, real estate, and home improvement. As a military spouse, she knows all too well the ups and downs of creating a new home after each move. From scouting the best neighborhoods and packing last-minute to choosing the perfect paint color, she gets it all done (usually in a hurry) with her family and Golden Retriever in tow. Dawn shares her lessons learned with the PODS Blog and other outlets like Angi, HomeAdvisor, and MilitaryByOwner.