Living in San Antonio, TX: 11 Pros & Cons (Videos & Prices)


San Antonio, United States
San Antonio, United States
(Source: Matthew LeJune via Unsplash)

San Antonio is a big city located in south-central Texas, known as the home of the famous Alamo, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, and the breathtaking River Walk. This fast-growing city boasts a vibrant entertainment city, a diverse culture, and a small-town feel despite its size. But just how suitable is the city as a place to live?

Population Median Age Bachelor Degree or Higher
890,467 35.928.60%
Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
San Antonio – city guide

Pros: The cost of living in San Antonio is affordable

According to Payscale, the cost of living in the city is about 14% lower than the national average. Everything, from gasoline prices to food and grocery costs, affects the cost of living. 

San Antonio Median Home Price in October 2021
Median Home Price
$235,564
Data sourced from Zillow Median Home Sale Prices

San Antonio Average Cost of Utilites in October 2021
Utilities (Monthly)Prices
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment$180.74
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$63.60
Data sourced from Numbeo.com

San Antonio Average Cost of Transportation in October 2021
TransportationPrices
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)$1.50
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)$38.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) $2.17
Data sourced from Numbeo.com

San Antonio Average Cost of Groceries in October 2021
GroceriesPrices
Milk (regular), (1 gallon)$2.97
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)$2.04
Rice (white), (1 lb) $1.11
Eggs (regular) (12)$1.90
Local Cheese (1 lb)$4.83
Chicken Fillets (1 lb)$3.35
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)$5.81
Banana (1 lb)$0.71
Tomato (1 lb)$1.09
Potato (1 lb)$0.82
Onion (1 lb)$0.90
Lettuce (1 head)$1.28
Water (1.5-liter bottle)$1.21
Data sourced from Numbeo.com

Housing prices

According to Zillow, the median price of homes in San Antonio is $221,886. This number tends to fluctuate based on the housing market, and it has been steadily increasing since last year. 

Property taxes

A high cost that comes with owning a house in San Antonio is property taxes. Property taxes typically vary from state to state and often between cities as well. The national average for property taxes is 1.08%, but the average in Texas is 1.83%

Cons: Summers can get brutally hot

Sweltering temperatures are the norm during the summer months, typically reaching 90-100 degrees in July and August. A quality air conditioner is one of the most important things to have in your home to combat this oppressive heat. On the bright side, winters in the city are mild, and the weather is relatively pleasant for most of the year.

San Antonio, Tx Temperature Table

Best months to visit San Antonio: January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December.

MonthTemp. Low. Avg.Temp. High Avg.
Jan41℉64℉
Feb48℉70℉
Marc55℉75℉
Apr61℉82℉
May68℉88℉
Jun75℉95℉
Jul75℉99℉
Aug77℉99℉
Sep73℉93℉
Oct64℉88℉
Nov54℉73℉
Dec46℉66℉
Data sourced from numbeo.com – October 2021

Pros: No income tax collected in san Antonio

If you’re coming from out of state, you’ll notice no income tax collected in texas. If you’re moving from a place with a state income tax, you’ll have a bit more than what you’re used to on payday. Although there are higher business and property taxes to keep in mind, it is possible to set aside some money each month with the city’s overall lower cost.

Cons: The traffic is exhausting

 Downtown traffic of San Antonio Texas
 Downtown traffic of San Antonio Texas
(Source: @medley_of_photography via Twenty20)

San Antonio is a fast-growing city with plenty of construction going on. When you have constant construction, traffic and congestion are inevitable. The average commute time by car is about 25 minutes. There are many drivers on the road, and the traffic often comes to a standstill during rush hour.

San Antonio vs. U.S. Median Commuting Time
Median San Antonio Commuting Time Median U.S. Commuting Time
25.9 Minutes26.9 Minutes
Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Pros: An eclectic mix of cultures and rich history

San Antonio is an amiable and diverse city with a lot to offer in terms of culture and history.

Food

The food in San Antonio is delicious. You can expect to come across some of the best Tex-Mex, Texas-style, and Mexican barbecues in the state. Some of the most popular restaurants in the city include:

  • Casa Rio
  • La Fonda on Main
  • Alamo Quarry Market
  • La Gloria – Dominion
  • Pearl Brewery
  • Mi Tierra Cafe & Panadería

You’ll also find newly developed breweries, wineries, and coffee roasters in the city.

Cultural  events

Western heritage parade in San Antonio Texas with Cowboys and Longhorns
Western heritage parade in San Antonio Texas with Cowboys and Longhorns
(Source: @leighdarilek via Twenty20)

To immerse yourself in the san Antonio culture, look out for the following events:

  • Texas Folklife Festival: If you want to learn more about the Texan lifestyle, this is the event to go to. It is a three-day event that honors Texas heritage and diversity showcasing more than 40 different cultural groups.
  • Fiesta San Antonio: This is an annual seven-day event that aims to promote a safe, educational, annual celebration of the diverse culture and spirit of San Antonio for its residents and visitors. Enjoy seven eventful days of food, music, Mexican arts, and culture. 
  • Diwali: Each year, thousands of San Antonio residents gather to celebrate this Hindu festival which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. 

Historical places to visit

San Antonio is a favorite among history buffs. Some of the top places to visit include:

  • The Alamo: The Battle of the Alamo was a 13-day battle between the Mexicans and Texans that took place in 1836. It has been recreated multiple times, and the landmark in San Antonio is a popular tourist destination.
Tourists visiting the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
Tourists visiting the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
(Source: @mreyz via Twnety20)
  • The San Fernando Cathedral: This is one of the oldest Roman Catholic Cathedrals, earning its place on theNational Register of Historic Places. It is a popular hub for catholic parishioners in the city with over 5,000 people attending masses weekly. 
San Fernando church - San Antonio
(Source: @garyross70 via Twenty20)
San Fernando church – San Antonio
  • The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center: This center is dedicated to the preservation of traditional and contemporary Native American, Chicano, and Latino arts and culture. It offers Spanish Flamenco and Ballet Folklorico dance, Mariachi and Tejano music, and theatrical events throughout the year.
  • Spanish Governor’s Palace: This stunning building is the last adobe structure standing from the 18th century when the state was under Spanish rule. With multiple renovations taking place over the years, you can still admire the structure and history it represents today.

Cons: crime is on the rise

Unfortunately, crime in San Antonio is on the rise. According to the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD), the total number of violent crimes in 2020 was 11,252, up from 11,046 in 2019. Aggravated assault (7,860) and robbery (2,100) were the most common types of violent crimes.

Property crimes are also rampant in the city, with a total of 54,826 committed in 2020. Larceny theft (40,513) and burglary (7,606) are the most common. If you choose your neighborhood carefully, you can avoid most of these situations. The safest suburbs in the city include Helotes, Garden Ridge, and Shavano Park. 

Pros: endless fun activities

San Antonio has plenty to offer when it comes to recreational activities. With nearby amusement parks, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center,  and the San Antonio Zoo, there are plenty of fun options to choose from. If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll love Brackenridge Park, a nearly 350-acre park. Some other spots to check out include:

  • Eisenhower Park: This is a family-friendly destination that is ideal for a day out with your kids as well as for an individual hike. The park is located north of San Antonio.
  • The River Walk: Take a relaxing stroll down the expansive 30-mile San Antonio river to enjoy scenic boat rides, fine dining, and several outdoor activities. 
River walk at night - San Antonio
(Source: @manjurulhaque via Twenty20)
Riverwalk at night – San Antonio

You can also enjoy a weekend getaway by driving up the interstate to explore Dallas, Austin, and the Fort Worth area. Port Aransas to the west is another fantastic option, as is Galveston and the coastal beaches.

Cons: Problem with stray pets in the metropolitan area

San Antonio has a tremendous issue with stray pets, especially dogs, leading to all sorts of problems. Some pet owners in the metropolitan area allow their dogs to roam freely during the day, with over 7,000 animals picked up in 2017 because of this issue.

Pros: Picturesque neighborhoods

2021 San Antonio travel guide

San Antonio has plenty of picturesque neighborhoods, with a lot of options for a new resident. Some of the best include:

Downtown San Antonio: City Center, King William Historic District, and Southtown.

Living in downtown San Antonio comes with many perks – proximity to the River Walk, a thriving food and drink scene, and bike lanes in most streets for commuting. City Center is full of apartments and lofts geared towards renters. On the other hand, Southtown and King William offer a mix of apartments and single-family homes.

Tobin Hill and Pearl: full of opportunities

Widely regarded as one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, Pear appeals to young professionals. The surrounding neighborhood of Tobin Hill is situated just north of downtown and close to Interstate 35, making it ideal for commuters.

Alamo Heights

Alamo Heights is an affluent neighborhood that is located about 15 minutes north of downtown San Antonio. Young families flock to this neighborhood because of the residential feel and solid school district.

Alta Vista and Beacon Hill

These two neighborhoods are great options if you want proximity to downtown San Antonio. They offer easy access to U.S Highway 281 and Interstate 10, which leads to the city center. The housing types in these neighborhoods are a mix of apartments and single-family homes that are more affordable than in the downtown area.

Cons: Public transportation in the city can be hit or miss

Public transportation in San Antonio is limited. There is no metro system in the city. The bus system is called VIA Metropolitan that includes 89 bus lines and a downtown streetcar. The service is inexpensive, and you can buy day passes online.

Pros: The city has strong military ties

San Antonio is proud of its history and commitment to the military. The metropolitan area is home to one of the largest military bases in the United States, Joint Base San Antonio, which primarily serves the U.S Air Force. Even with their heavy presence, the San Antonio military is friendly and respectful. The city also offers a variety of discounts for military personnel. If you are part of the military or you wish to settle as PSC, San Antonio might be the place for you.

Final thoughts

If you’re considering a move to San Antonio, one of the first things you’ll want to do is weigh the pros and cons. It is crucial to be aware of what to expect before taking such a bold step. There’s so much to love about the city, but there are also concerns such as crime rates and traffic jams to keep in mind. If you can move past the issues, life is pretty good in San Antonio.

San Antonio Phoenix compared to other cities (October 2021 rent price data from Zumper national rent report)
Cities1-BR Avg. Rent 2-BR Avg. Rent
Charlotte$1,400$1,610
Chicago$1,500$1,760
Columbus$930$1,140
Denver$1,690$2,190
Houston $1,220$1,530
Indianapolis$960$1,020
Jacksonville$1,100$1,330
Philadelphia$1,360$1,730
Phoenix$1,200$1,520
San Antonio$1,040$1,300
San Diego$2,060$2,730
Seattle$1,750$2,340
Washington$2,240$2,960
Data sourced from Zumper national rent report October 2021

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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