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The Complete Guide to Moving to San Antonio

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Around 2.4 million people call San Antonio their home. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in North America and it’s easy to see why. With a cost of living around 10% below the national average, the way of life in San Antonio is a huge draw. And there’s so much more to offer.

From San Antonio movers to San Antonio attractions, we’ve got it all. Keep reading for our guide on everything you need to know when moving to San Antonio.

Why You Should Be Living In San Antonio

There’s no secret that Texas is a huge state with a host of major city players. You’ve got El Paso, Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio to name a few. With so many to offer, what makes San Antonio the place to be?

San Antonio sits near the center of the state, giving you an easy link to the other major cities. And unlike Austin, even with an influx of new residents, the cost of living in San Antonio hasn’t jumped up. In fact, the cost of living in San Antonio is 11% lower than in Austin and housing is 22% lower.

Even though the cost of living is lower, you still get the same great amenities as Austin has to offer. From the River Walk to the outstanding food culture, San Antonio offers a home you can be proud of. And with jobs expected to continue growing, the city is only getting better.

San Antonio’s Population

The 2018 census records the total population of San Antonio at 1,486,521. But four years after that census, it’s now almost doubled to 2,403,596. This is a figure that keeps on growing year after year, and thousands move each month.

San Antonio is the second-fastest growing city in the US, beaten only by Phoenix. The average age of the population is lower than in other areas of Texas at 33 years old.

It’s located in South-Central Texas and boasts a very diverse culture. There is a large Hispanic population making up 65% of the total. 55% of those living in San Antonio are single and the ratio of male to female sits pretty even.

San Antonio Weather

One thing you won’t be short of living in San Antonio is sunshine. On average, you can expect to see 220 days of the year boasting glorious sun rays. Here is a breakdown of San Antonio weather by season in more detail.

Spring

One of the rainiest times in San Antonio can be spring which brings in a more temperate climate. You’ll see average temperatures hitting the high 60s to high 70s.

There is less humidity than in summer and perfect gardening weather. If you’re into flowers and gardens, this is the perfect time to get out and see those attractions.

Summer

Temperatures get much hotter and more humid when summer rolls around. It’s the perfect time to enjoy water activities. But make sure you protect yourself and stay hydrated.

You can expect to see average temperatures anywhere between the mid-70s right up into the high-90s.

Fall

Temperatures do cool down from the summer but remain higher than in most other parts of the US. During early fall, you’ll still likely see temperatures in the high-90s. Towards the end, you’re looking more at the mid-50s.

It can be a wonderful time in the city, though. There is a break from the heat, but the weather remains good. You can get out and enjoy what San Antonio has to offer.

Winter

Winter is when you might need a jacket outside but it’s unlikely you’ll see really low temperatures.

It doesn’t snow in San Antonio and temperatures stay between the 40s to mid-60s. There won’t be much rainfall either, with an average of 10 days the whole season.

Top San Antonio Attractions

When you’re moving to a new place, it’s important to know what activities are available. This is especially the case if you’re moving with children. Here are only a few of the best activities that you can find in this amazing city.

The Alamo

If there is one definitive thing San Antonio is famous for, it’s the Alamo. It was once a Franciscan mission but saw the deaths of 189 Texans. This happened during a 13-day siege in 1836 by Mexican ruler Antonio López de Santa Anna.

This fight sparked the movement for Texas’s independence. Today, the Alamo serves as a tribute to those lost lives and holds artifacts that belonged to some of the most famous defenders. These include James Bowie and Davy Crockett.

Brackenridge Park

Brackenridge Park offers a haven from tourists on the River Walk and the Texas heat. There are 343 acres to explore with shaded walkways and quaint stone bridges.

There is also a Japanese Tea Garden and the San Antonio Botanical Garden to explore. Not only this, there are athletic fields, a golf course, and jogging trails to enjoy.

Brackenridge Park also hosts outdoor concerts in the natural Sunken Garden Theater. In and around the park, you’ll also find popular attractions like the San Antonio Zoo and the Witte Museum.

San Antonio Museum of Art

Although it’s not the largest museum in San Antonio, this is a cultural gem you won’t want to miss. It’s got great collections of Latin American, Native American, and Spanish colonial art.

The San Antonio Museum of Art is also home to the largest Asian art collection in the whole of Texas. It’s gaining a reputation for more contemporary pieces, too.

San Antonio Zoo

For those animal-mad families, there is the San Antonio Zoo. With over 700 species, this 56-acre compound has one of the largest collections in the US.

You can see exhibits like the butterfly habitat as well as animals from the Amazon and Africa. These include jaguars, hippos, lions, lemurs, and giraffes.

There are festivals, animal feedings, and other special events to enjoy throughout the year. Whatever your age, there is something for everyone here. It’s a fun day out for all the family and an attraction not to miss.

What It’s Like Living in San Antonio

Life in San Antonio is very relaxed and laid back. Even though there is the same city hustle and bustle and all the amenities a city offers, it doesn’t feel like it. You still get that casual, relaxed vibe reserved for smaller towns.

The city has a strong sense of Texas pride and also celebrates its Old West and Spanish heritage. For those who want plenty of attractions, you’re spoiled for choice. The city is close to many well-known attractions like SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Culture, art, and food are also important to San Antonians. You’ll find the city packed full of theaters, art galleries, and great restaurants. With regular events and festivals, there is always something going on.

The city is also a huge tourist attraction too, due to its historical sites and what’s to offer. This is a great chance to mix and mingle with people from all over the country and the world. With the San Antonio Spurs right on your doorstep, you’ll also find many avid sporting fans.

Best Places to Live in San Antonio

You’ll want the best San Antonio neighborhoods when looking for San Antonio homes. This still applies whether you’re moving solo, with a partner, or with a family. Here are some of the most desirable neighborhoods around the city.

Boerne

You can find Boerne around 30 miles outside of San Antonio’s city center. It’s got that charming small-town vibe and sits within Texas Hills County. With a population of only 18,000, it’s got that perfect sleepy suburb feel.

Hill Country Mile, the downtown area, has streets of vibrant colored storefronts. Don’t let the size fool you either, Hill Country Mile is packing a punch when it comes to its restaurants.

You’ll also find various art galleries and festivals hosting events throughout the year. For a small town, it’s making a huge impact and you won’t get bored.

The same goes for the variety of real estate that Boerne has to offer you. You’ll find modernized ranch-style homes, affordable new builds, huge estates, and pristine ranch land.

The schools are fantastic and nature is right on your doorstep. Boerne is an active family’s paradise waiting for you to move in and start your adventure.

Downtown

Downtown sits at the very heart of San Antonio and it’s the most historical part. Here you will find the legendary River Walk which is a 15-mile waterway.

On either side, it’s packed with museums, bars, restaurants and so much more. It’s also home to the famous and iconic Alamo, which is a great, educational trip out for all ages.

If you want to live in a place that oozes San Antonio culture, Downtown is the place for you. The style of homes available here usually consists of condos and high-rise apartments.

Everything is within a walk or bike ride, though. There’s no need to worry about gas, parking, or traffic as you don’t need a car here if you don’t want one.

There are a good few schools in Downtown from elementary schools right up to college. It’s home to the Henry Ford Academy Alameda School for Art and Design, for example. This is a college prep school for those in 9th – 12th grade, giving a rich arts education in preparation for college.

Northeast Inner Loop

If you want a taste of the history San Antonio offers without the city hustle, this is the place for you. This area is the Northern Inner Loop but it’s also called Oakpark-Northwood.

Here you’ll find midcentury ranch houses that date back to the San Antonio of the ’50s and ’60s. Northeast Inner Loop sits northeast of Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills.

It’s on the boundary of Loop 410 on the north and Broadway to the west. To the south is Eisenhauer Road to the south and east is Harry Wurzback Road.

While that sounds overwhelming, it’s easy to navigate. There is a grid street pattern which helps reduce traffic, too. Because of its proximity, the school area falls under Alamo Heights.

There are plenty of great schools to choose from. These include Woodridge Elementary School and Howard Early Childhood Center. Real estate is more affordable too, with homes well under $500,000.

New Braunfels

While city life has its perks, a lot of people prefer to live in a quieter suburb with good city links. It offers a more laid-back, slower pace of life without compromising on what’s to offer.

One place that offers you this and so much more is New Braunfels. It’s located 30 miles to the northeast of San Antonio and it’s a well-known favorite spot for Texans.

This is due to the Guadalupe and Comal rivers. In summer, many Texans head there to go tubing. It’s also home to the huge Schlitterbahn waterpark. If you’re into water activities, then it’ll make those hot San Antonio summers even better.

The population of New Braunfels is around 85,000 people. It’s a comfortable size offering plenty of social activities without feeling crowded. But be aware that you may see a lot of tourists in summer also seeking the comforts of the water.

Alon/Castle Hills

This is another area that offers a more suburban vibe with a great location still. It’s closer to the Downtown area and is famous for its high walkability score. Many parks, schools, and grocery stores are easy to walk to.

Homes here are often on large lots with plenty of trees and a classic layout. Here it’s all about the community spirit, and plenty of children play outside after school ends. It’s one of the best areas to raise a family in San Antonio.

Stone Oak

For those looking for a slower, quieter way of life, tranquil Stone Oak has what you need. It’s nestled away from the hustle and busy life of the city itself, offering more peace. Don’t worry though, you’re still close to shopping, schools and medical facilities.

Hollywood Park

One of the more upscale neighborhoods is Hollywood Park in northern San Antonio. It’s got a reputation as one of the safest neighborhoods in the whole area. Combine this with the excellent schools nearby and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

Due to this popularity though, housing doesn’t come up that often. This doesn’t mean you can’t find affordability, so don’t lose hope. When they do come up, a few are under $500,000.

For the more expensive homes, not many go above the $1,000,000 mark. It’s worth noting that this neighborhood is further away from the city, but what you get for your money here makes that distance well worth it.

Shavano Park

To the west of Hollywood Park sits Shavano Park, which houses only 3,000 people. Residents here love that rural feeling while still having access to the big city.

There is a lot of unique charm here in Shavano Park. You’ll find cozy little coffee shops and quaint restaurants. With many residents being older retirees, there is a slower pace of life here.

Real estate here is on the more expensive side, so this quiet life comes at a cost. You shouldn’t expect to find a property for anything below $400,000 unless you get super lucky.

Helotes

It’s not all about the north of San Antonio though as this list may suggest. Helotes is a charming little nook to the far northwestern edge of the city.

Helotes is a small town with a population of only 10,000 people. Don’t let this fool you though; what it lacks in population it makes up for in rustic, unique, idyllic charm.

There is a historic country store that will sell you everything from bread to tamales. It even hosts the weekend honkytonk so head on down for some good ol’ country music.

In general, housing here is in the affordable range, though if you’re looking for luxury properties, Helotes can offer them too. On the weekend, you’re free to head to the city for shopping.

Or you can check out the Government Canyon State Natural Area for more rural pursuits. There’s something for everyone out here!

Converse

For very affordable housing, consider some of the up-and-coming neighborhoods. One such area is Converse, which we definitely recommend exploring.

Converse boasts a diverse culture, and it’s located to the east of San Antonio. Whether it’s spacious new builds or modernized historic homes, you’ll find it all. The bonus is, it’ll cost well under $300,000.

Fair Oaks Ranch

Between Boerne and San Antonio sits Fair Oaks Ranch. This is a spectacular entry into Texas Hills Country. Few people know of this little gem, but that won’t be the case for long.

In Fair Oaks Ranch, most of the homes are custom built. At the steeper end of the market, most homes go for around $450,000. Some are selling for well above this, though, if they have a little extra to offer.

Because custom homes are so popular here, that also means there many empty lots you can choose from. This is perfect if you’re planning on building your dream home somewhere peaceful.

By way of entertainment, there is Fair Oaks Ranch Golf and Country Club to enjoy. You’ve also got the city’s parks and nature trails right on your doorstep.

One of the best parts of Fair Oaks Ranch is that it’s kept its rustic charm despite the custom building. You get that quaint, small-town vibe without sacrificing the amenities of San Antonio.

Terrell Hills

Another more upscale area to consider is Terrell Hills. Found to the northeast of San Antonio, this little oasis offers a much slower pace of life. After all, there are only around 10,000 residents living here.

The public schools come with high recommendations, making it a perfect family neighborhood. But there is also a strong retirement community, too. Terrell Hills is a place all ages will enjoy.

Within the San Antonio Metroplex, Terrell Hills is another of the safest neighborhoods. It’s not unusual to see people riding their bikes, going for a jog, or walking their dogs.

As with Hollywood Park, that safety and those amenities come at a cost. Housing here will set you back well over $500,000.

Some estates are even reaching several million. But if you target the eastern part of town, housing is a little cheaper.

Alamo Heights

Located west of Terrell Hills sits Alamo Heights. You’ll find this area only five miles north of San Antonio; it has a population of only 8,000 people. The schools here cater to both Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills children.

When you walk down the street, it’s like walking through a quintessential Texan town. There are mature trees reaching over the roads, offering a cool canopy from the midday sun. Flowering, well-maintained bushes and trees bring in that pop of brightness and light.

It would be easy to lose yourself for hours exploring the restaurants and shopping areas. There is the central market, too, offering healthy, fresh food to stock your fridge.

As with Terrell Hills, Alamo Heights is a more affluent neighborhood. But in this area, the price points are a little more on the reasonable side.

There is a huge amount of variety in the real estate that’s available, too. You can find anything from huge estates to charming little bungalows. Whatever your style, there is a home here to suit it.

How to Find the Best San Antonio Movers

When moving to San Antonio, make sure you keep in mind the factors that can affect your move. This includes the weather and the busy periods for local movers. Here are some more things to take into consideration.

Distance

A quick way to eliminate a moving company is to check if they cater to long-distance or out-of-city moves. If you’re moving into the city from quite a distance, there’s no point wasting time with movers who can’t help.

Look for a local moving company who does offer long-distance, or contact a national mover.

Time of Year

As any city in central Texas does, San Antonio heats up come summer. The average June, July, August, and September temperatures all go over 90 degrees. This can make your move sticky and uncomfortable.

Be prepared to pitch in and help your movers load and unload in these heats. Or, you better prepare a generous tip to make working in those conditions a little more bearable.

If instead, you’re planning to move without that heat, check the mover’s availability. During busier periods, movers get booked up fast. You’ll need to book your movers in advance if you can only move at the peak of the season.

Things to Consider in San Antonio Movers Before You Hire

Many national and local moving companies help with moves to San Antonio. No move is the same, so you’ll need to find the one that best suits your unique needs.

These needs all depend on the timeline, budget, household items, and more. But here is a general list of what you should do and look for when you’re looking for a mover to hire.

Create An Initial List of Moving Companies

San Antonio boasts a good few choices when it comes to movers due to how many people want to move there. Start your search by Googling your options and check out local-based movers as well as national.

You can then start to make a list of the movers that catch your eye either with pen and paper or a spreadsheet. Make sure you write them down along with the pros and cons so you can compare your options.

Look At Reviews and Ask For References

Using your selected list of San Antonio movers, start to eliminate them with online reviews. You can search them on Google for their ratings or you can check out the Better Business Bureau.

You shouldn’t let a few bad reviews here and there put you off, after all, you can’t please everyone. What you want to look for is recurring issues, as this shows they don’t learn from mistakes or care to address them.

It should also be a red flag if there are more bad reviews than good. Check out how the business responds and what solutions they offer customers. If any companies don’t meet your standards, cross them off.

Ask For Quotes

Because each move is unique, you’ll likely need tailored quotes from each company left. It’s recommended that you seek quotes from 3-5 different companies so you can compare.

Here it’s important to know what your San Antonio moving budget is. Otherwise, you could be wasting time considering movers outside of that figure. You should also know what you want your movers do, too.

Do you need them to supply your San Antonio move packing materials? Do you want them to pack for you and unpack at the other end? Do you only need them to load and unload your items?

Knowing ahead of time what your moving needs are gives movers accurate information. This way, the estimate they’re able to generate for you is going to be as accurate as possible. Remember it’s only an estimate though, and prices can still vary.

Check Their Policies and Extra Charges

If your move is very unique, for example, with many heavy items or fragile antiques, check that they cover them. You might have to pay extra for heavier items like moving a piano, for example. Or, some movers won’t cover delicate antiques because of the high risk if they get broken.

Any mover you choose should have a full license to work in Texas and also adhere to any local permits needed. This includes licenses from your home state if you’re moving cross-country.

You also want to make sure they have the right insurance in place to protect your items on their journey. Workers’ compensation is another must, as this will protect the movers while on the job. If they get injured at your home, you could end up liable for their expenses if this isn’t in place.

You also want to check that the movers can accommodate your timeline, especially if it’s a tight one. Always double-check the policies and extra charges before hiring. And if in doubt, it’s always better to call up and ask.

Don’t Accept a Blank Moving Contract

If you’re presented with a blank contract, don’t sign it! You need to get everything in writing and formalized in that contract. This includes the estimate, the extra fees that apply, and the pickup and delivery dates.

Read through the contract and make sure it lists all your belongings. If something isn’t listed on the inventory before the driver leaves your house, don’t expect it to be in any box. You can’t file a claim for items not on that inventory list.

Don’t Accept a Guaranteed Quote

There are three kinds of moving contracts most often used in the industry. Here we’ll break them down in more detail.

Non-Binding Estimate

This means the company isn’t allowed to charge payment that’s over 10% of the original quote they gave you. You will need to settle any overages within 30 days of delivery.

Non-Binding to Exceed Estimate

This ensures that you don’t have to pay any overages to the original quote. The estimate is the very most that you need to pay for the services you use during your move.

Binding Estimate

This should be a guaranteed cost for your move and all the services you asked for in the quote. If you then ask for extras (like packing and unpacking) after signing, you need to pay for them as extras. You’ll again have 30 days to pay what you owe after delivery.

Moving to San Antonio Made Easy

Whether it’s the San Antonio movers you’re looking for or where you want to live, know your options. Do your research and think about what you want to get out of living in this fantastic city. This will help you work out the best neighborhood and local amenities to suit your needs.

If you’re looking for a great San Antonio moving company, contact us. With over 10 years in the business, Texas Best Moving & Storage is here to take the stress away from your move today.