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Moving to San Antonio, TX
Old 07-14-2021, 08:52 AM   #1
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Moving to San Antonio, TX

Hi.... Long time contributor and fan of this knowledge base :-). Here is the situation:
DW and I thinking of moving to San Antonio, Tx area...Specifically New Braunfels.
Background: I am 61 and DW is 67 we have been in San Antonio some 4 years back and liked it, and we were supposed to go visit the area last year; although, COVID was bad then and so we had the scheduled changed until 19th of July this year. So, we are set to go as scheduled. Speaking with our real estate agent in New Braunfels, he had mentioned that homes are now in the high 500's or low 600's :-(. DW has a brother in San Antonio and we liked the area some years back and we loved the view of the hills and so forth .
We are ready to pull the plug on working here in Virginia by this Dec 31st with nice pensions and SS income being over 10K monthly and over 1-MM in investments.
All that being said, looking for any advice for moving in this area to really focus on? Obviously we want a little land that we are not constantly maintaining, and, not right next to our neighbor but at the same time, not 30 min from restaurants or hospitals either?

It is all so overwhelming, because we have to sell our home in Virginia first which should be quick; however, need to find a temporary place to live while the home is getting built if we go that route.
I guess we are just asking if anyone lives in that area and has some advise or recommendations of where to move too.
Bottom line, we enjoy Virginia, although for several reasons we would like to move to Tx
Thanks so much!!!!
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:23 AM   #2
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New Braunfels is not really San Antonio, although close and right on I-35 northeast of SA. About 20 years ago I lived in SA, not in the city limits but up close to the northern Bexar county border. The growth along 281 north out of SA is incredible. The TX hill country is beautiful area, and starts kind of north of SA. You might consider many of the small towns or areas west of NB. The town of Boerne is a neat smaller town on I-10 northwest out of SA. Anywhere between NB and Boerne is nice area where you can get a little more land. Even west and east of SA has some options. South of SA is not much, from your description it seems north of SA is what you are looking for. I really think you need to visit and stay for a while to learn the area before moving. That way you can find an area you like. You can save on taxes if you are out of Bexar county.
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:24 AM   #3
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First thought, "very crowded".... But if that's to your liking, it's one of the better areas in the SA/NB/SM/Austin metroplex, IMO. The last 20+ years the entire area has gone through major changes.... I can't tell when I've left SA or arrived in NB or SM or Austin.. It's all sort of blended together. Just not for me...

If you like the general area and don't want to be to far from the SA or Austin areas, have you considered Kerrville or Fredericksburg?
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:37 AM   #4
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Now that's out of the way...

I've lived around or in San Antonio since 1985, although never in New Braunfels. NB is a great area, or at least it was before it was discovered a few years ago and started showing up on all those lists of "top places to live". The resulting population boom has, from my perspective, transformed the city into yet another traffic-heavy, overpriced suburb. The I-35 corridor running ~90 miles from San Antonio through NB and San Marcos to Austin has grown rapidly in the past two decades, to the point it almost appears to be one continuous city, and is expected to continue to boom. The resulting congestion has destroyed much of the charm of that area, at least for me.

One somewhat less congested area you might consider is the town of Boerne (pronounced "Bernie") to the NW of San Antonio. It has also seen significant growth but has a bit less of the bumper-to-bumper congestion of the I-35 corridor.

No matter where you decide to move, consider selling and renting somewhere until the current nutty housing market finds some sort of equilibrium. I have difficulty in believing current house prices in the SA area (up 30 to 50 percent in the last year) will not come down substantially in the not too distant future.

One more point: I'm sure you are aware that building a new home has as many if not more pitfalls than buying an existing house. Here is a story of a couple that signed a contract with a builder for $525,000 only to have him tell them 10 months later they will have to pay another $225,000 for the house.

North Texas Couple Has ‘Dream’ Home Taken Away Months After Signing Builder’s Contract
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Old 07-14-2021, 12:21 PM   #5
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...Obviously we want a little land that we are not constantly maintaining, and, not right next to our neighbor but at the same time, not 30 min from restaurants or hospitals either?
Hmmm, does nirvana really exist?

I'm sure you can find something suitable, if you give in on any two of your three items.
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Old 07-14-2021, 12:41 PM   #6
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cnocmmz, one other town to consider is Helotes. It is in the hills just outside the outer loop (1604) on the NW side of San Antonio, and has some nice neighborhoods. You should be able to find a house that meets all three of your requirements.
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Old 07-14-2021, 12:48 PM   #7
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Sure is a nice area but it is growing like a weed . Lots of people are discovering Boernie . What about that billboard or infomercial ( Own a piece of the Texas Hill Country )
Canyon Lake , but that is a few miles from SA. Land has gone crazy , where we live near Bryan Texas they are getting 20,000 an acre for jungles.
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Old 07-14-2021, 01:37 PM   #8
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cnocmmz, one other town to consider is Helotes. It is in the hills just outside the outer loop (1604) on the NW side of San Antonio, and has some nice neighborhoods. You should be able to find a house than meets all three of your requirements.
+1

My inlaws lived in New Braunfels back in the 80's and 90's, and the place has just exploded with population since then. By BIL lives in Helotes, and that is a very nice area. The west side in general, west of Hwy 1604 seems to be good, because the hills are closer.
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Old 07-14-2021, 01:49 PM   #9
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First thought, "very crowded".... But if that's to your liking, it's one of the better areas in the SA/NB/SM/Austin metroplex, IMO.
I agree wholeheartedly. We lived in SA (on far NW side of town near Bandera Rd and 1604) from 2006-2013 and have been back a few times since then. When we left, the growth was already outpacing the infrastructure and made life pretty miserable. It seemed like the only time we could go out to eat and not have to wait for a table was during the afternoon "through period" of 2-5:30p or after 9pm and this seemed to be true for almost every single sit down restaurant we would choose to go.

Our last visit (about 6 months ago) showed us that the growth has been exponential and IMHO out of control. I wouldn't live anywhere near the urban areas of San Antonio today. I agree on Kerrville and F'burg and Boerne (also growing quite fast). Good places to live that aren't too busy and are isn't nearly as crazy as ANY town that isn't on I-35 between San Antonio and Austin.

I kept my mistress airplane at the Castroville airport off of US-90 and I really liked Castroville and it was fairly convenient to down town SA (about 30 minutes by car).

You may already know this...while it is true that Texas has no income tax, the property taxes are pretty high. As a reference, our 1900 SF house is assessed (by the Bexar county assessors website) at $232K with taxes of $5700 (with the homestead exemption).
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Old 07-14-2021, 02:02 PM   #10
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I am looking to live in a very small town with a population of 5000 or less .Lincoln though not real large as cities go ( about 280K) is way way bigger than what I desire or want. The less population the better as far as I am concerned.
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Old 07-14-2021, 02:13 PM   #11
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I am looking to live in a very small town with a population of 5000 or less .Lincoln though not real large as cities go ( about 280K) is way way bigger than what I desire or want. The less population the better as far as I am concerned.
Luckenbach might be what you are looking for. Last time they counted the population was 3.
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Old 07-14-2021, 02:16 PM   #12
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I am looking to live in a very small town with a population of 5000 or less .Lincoln though not real large as cities go ( about 280K) is way way bigger than what I desire or want. The less population the better as far as I am concerned.
Castroville, Texas for the win. 3,009 folks in 2019 and about 30 minutes from downtown SA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castroville,_Texas
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Old 07-14-2021, 02:51 PM   #13
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Castroville, Texas for the win. 3,009 folks in 2019 and about 30 minutes from downtown SA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castroville,_Texas
Sorry, I disagree.

Castroville hasn't seen the growth that towns to the north of SA have seen, which might sound like a plus as it retains some small town flavor.

Unfortunately that lack of growth has also limited outside influence and means the "good ole boy" and "you aren't from around here, are you?" attitude continues to dominate life in the town. A quote from the Wikipedia article linked above says, "...for generations, the residents remained insular" - and the remnants of that can still be felt.

Castroville is dominated by a handful of family names, linking back almost 200 years to the original town founders. They have managed to hold on to power and discourage growth all these years. However, that may soon change as a huge subdivision on the edge of town was recently approved. If completed, the homes could potentially double the town population.

My bet is there will be lots of friction between the old guard and new outsiders when those homes are sold and Castroville grows. Glad I'm on the outside looking in rather than the other way round.
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Old 07-14-2021, 02:56 PM   #14
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Sorry, I disagree.

Castroville hasn't seen the growth that towns to the north of SA have seen, which might sound like a plus as it retains some small town flavor.

Unfortunately that lack of growth has also limited outside influence and means the "good ole boy" and "you aren't from around here, are you?" attitude continues to dominate life in the town. A quote from the Wikipedia article linked above says, "...for generations, the residents remained insular" - and the remnants of that can still be felt.

Castroville is dominated by a handful of family names, linking back almost 200 years to the original town founders. They have managed to hold on to power and discourage growth all these years. However, that may soon change as a huge subdivision on the edge of town was recently approved. If completed, the homes could potentially double the town population.

My bet is there will be lots of friction between the old guard and new outsiders when those homes are sold and Castroville grows. Glad I'm on the outside looking in rather than the other way round.
I am not disagreeing with you but this can be said for almost 100% of towns with a population of less than 5,000.

The folks that I knew from town (mostly from hanging around the airport) were some of the friendliest folks I have ever met and my DW always had good dealings with the players in the RE game down there. I can't say the same for the folks that hung around the Boerne Stage airport.
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:06 PM   #15
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New Braunfels is not really San Antonio, although close and right on I-35 northeast of SA. About 20 years ago I lived in SA, not in the city limits but up close to the northern Bexar county border. The growth along 281 north out of SA is incredible. The TX hill country is beautiful area, and starts kind of north of SA. You might consider many of the small towns or areas west of NB. The town of Boerne is a neat smaller town on I-10 northwest out of SA. Anywhere between NB and Boerne is nice area where you can get a little more land. Even west and east of SA has some options. South of SA is not much, from your description it seems north of SA is what you are looking for. I really think you need to visit and stay for a while to learn the area before moving. That way you can find an area you like. You can save on taxes if you are out of Bexar county.
At this moment I’m sitting north of SA just off 281 and Overlook Pkwy. We’re visiting family here and have been thinking about moving here from SoCal.

I’m a native Texan.

We left here last week and drove up 281 to 22 to 67 to Dallas, and I really enjoyed that drive as all those little towns along the way reminded me of my small hometown about 2 hours south of here.

On our way back from Dallas, we came down through Waco where we stayed, and I still enjoyed the older parts of town more than I did seeing the Silos. That was a pretty area, though!

As we came down I-35 inward Austin, I liked things less and less. By Georgetown, it was “nope” and turned into “nope, nope, nope” until we decanted out the bottom somewhere past NB. it’s just way too congested for me. I might as well be in CA.

I also like the north side of SA, but it’s pretty congested, and I’m not sure how that will change.

We’ve been looking at relocating since last year, but with the market moving as it has been the past year or so, I’m not sure whether or when that will happen before we just don’t care to make a move.

I do enjoy the friendly people, the highways and interstates, mostly in good shape, and I *love* HEB!

As others have said, Boerne and Helotes are worth a look. We found a perfect place in Leon Springs, but it was pending about an hour after I saw it. You need a great realtor/buyer’s agent, I think.

If you want to make the move, OP, I wish you the best!
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:22 PM   #16
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At this moment I’m sitting north of SA just off 281 and Overlook Pkwy. We’re visiting family here and have been thinking about moving here from SoCal.

I’m a native Texan.

We left here last week and drove up 281 to 22 to 67 to Dallas, and I really enjoyed that drive as all those little towns along the way reminded me of my small hometown about 2 hours south of here.

On our way back from Dallas, we came down through Waco where we stayed, and I still enjoyed the older parts of town more than I did seeing the Silos. That was a pretty area, though!

As we came down I-35 inward Austin, I liked things less and less. By Georgetown, it was “nope” and turned into “nope, nope, nope” until we decanted out the bottom somewhere past NB. it’s just way too congested for me. I might as well be in CA.

I also like the north side of SA, but it’s pretty congested, and I’m not sure how that will change.

We’ve been looking at relocating since last year, but with the market moving as it has been the past year or so, I’m not sure whether or when that will happen before we just don’t care to make a move.

I do enjoy the friendly people, the highways and interstates, mostly in good shape, and I *love* HEB!

As others have said, Boerne and Helotes are worth a look. We found a perfect place in Leon Springs, but it was pending about an hour after I saw it. You need a great realtor/buyer’s agent, I think.

If you want to make the move, OP, I wish you the best!
Ah, good 'ole 281. We used to fly the mistress airplane up to SW Oklahoma to visit DW's family and would marvel at the traffic coming into/out of San Antonio via 281 on the weekends...and that was almost 10 years ago. If we drove, we avoided 281 like the plague and took a meandering route from San Antonio to Fredericksburg and then on up. It was a great drive as long as you didn't do it after dark where wildlife strikes were a distinct possibility.
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:42 PM   #17
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Unfortunately that lack of growth has also limited outside influence and means the "good ole boy" and "you aren't from around here, are you?" attitude continues to dominate life in the town.
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I am not disagreeing with you but this can be said for almost 100% of towns with a population of less than 5,000.
I suspect that is often the case in many areas of the country but it certainly is true for many of the older central and east Texas towns. I live near one like that, for sure... I've been living here long enough now that I'm "almost" accepted. 15 years as a property owner and over 10 years as a full time resident... Another 10 years or so should do it.
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:42 PM   #18
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Ah, good 'ole 281. We used to fly the mistress airplane up to SW Oklahoma to visit DW's family and would marvel at the traffic coming into/out of San Antonio via 281 on the weekends...and that was almost 10 years ago. If we drove, we avoided 281 like the plague and took a meandering route from San Antonio to Fredericksburg and then on up. It was a great drive as long as you didn't do it after dark where wildlife strikes were a distinct possibility.
Yes, we also avoid driving at night for that reason. There are plenty of deer carcasses along the road for a reminder.

My husband loves the FM roads, which he calls “Farm to Table.”
It’s fun to mosey around the back roads.
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:49 PM   #19
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My husband loves the FM roads, which he calls “Farm to Table.”
It’s fun to mosey around the back roads.
He's almost correct...it's actually "Farm to Market"

And yes, they are great to travel on. The good 'ole boys (and girls) that are taking their leisurely time cruising down the road will kindly move over to the shoulder to let those city slickers pass.
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:52 PM   #20
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He's almost correct...it's actually "Farm to Market"
You are correct but I think he was referring to the "Table" as "road kill"... Deer, hogs, etc....
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