Moving....Austin, SanAntonio...somewhere in between?? (Houston, Dallas: house, job market, neighborhoods)
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Moving....Austin, SanAntonio...somewhere in between??
Original roots are in Texas (Northeast)..been out of the area 25 years. I know this will read as way overboard and 'out there', but we are Wanting to find a place to move that we will still like in 20 years, will be good to raise the rest of the kids, and the grandkids and make it our generational home. We have been in the midwest for 10+ years and find the winters too much to stay any longer. We have a large family.....grown kids w/ spouses that will also make the move(within a couple years of our relocation)--so the job market needs to be such to support college grads and young families in the making. Our personal relocation will be husband, wife in low 50's with a middle schooler and elementary ager. Neither of us work at this time....retired. We would like to be in an area that is not run down and not likely to be in the years to come. We are down to earth people that enjoy family and the simple...but nice life. Medical, shopping, Walmart, schools, parks convenience important. Not interested in downtown bustle, cultural arts, etc......but would make day trips around the areas once we live there to enjoy what is offered. We are wanting to downsize somewhat to 3000 - 5000sf. with community amenities. Leaving a rural large acreage setting...wanting large lot neighborhood.....but not acreage. Good schools. PCA church is our flavor of choice, so a 30minute or less commute to church twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday is the usual. Don't want any house older than 90's....needs to feel new. Kids do sports. We play golf and frisbee golf as a whole family. Love to have all the kids home every Sunday for dinner and that's usually a total of 10+.
---------So, with all of that information.........if you had the opportunity to move anywhere in Texas..... and had the ability to get housing for <$500,000 with all of the stipulations above.........would you choose Austin, San Antonio or any of the surrounding towns ? Thanks for any and all input.
Let me say this. We are moving back to Austin this weekend after too many years in San Antonio. Leaving Austin for San Antonio ranks up there as one of our biggest regrets, ever. You would not believe the difference in culture between the two cities. Austin is fairly liberal with a love of culture and green spaces while San Antonio is an insular wasteland with an inferiority complex where they will literally do anything to make themselves feel better about being the odd man out in Texas cities. With the kind of budget you are talking about, you can easily find a *great* place in Austin to live. Avoid San Antonio at all costs, it's a dump compared to Austin and not worth moving too. Just trust me on this.
Although I much prefer Austin over San Antonio, I don't agree with Visceral that San Antonio is to be avoided. I graduated from high school in SA and my parents lived there for many years. For some people San Antonio is more down-to-earth (in a Tex-Mex way). It is less educated, very rooted in Texas history, and a bit sloppy. But it is full of nice people and has plenty of touristy kinds of things to do.
Austin is far more educated, more wealthy, and has more non-Texans living in and around it. No theme parks or pro sports. Lots of Longhorn hype (too much for my taste). But it has a younger vibe and is more likely to be on the leading edge of changes in Texas.
I think if the OP wants a home with room for extended family and you want life to be fairly similar in twenty years to what it is today they should choose someplace outside Austin. Growth will probably occur non-stop and you will be swallowed up by hassle factor if you choose to live close in. Dripping Springs might be a good area to look. If a slow or more rural style is appealing you could even look at Blanco - kind of between SA and Austin. My biggest concert about Blanco is medical facilities.
I don't think it's fair to put San Antonio on this total write-off. San Antonio has many GREAT qualities and is very family friendly and oriented. There are many sides of SA that are superior to Austin. (Entertainment for families, Sea World, Six Flags, world class zoo, shopping, history, and culture. The person above probably lived in a less desirable area and has judged the entire SA area because of this. I've lived in both Austin and SA and can say SA has more to offer. If you are looking for gridlock and few highways to get you around Austin is your city. SA has numerous highways and you will spend less time and money on the road. Bottom line both cities have their pros and cons but I would pick SA for family raising. Just do your research on school districts and locations for housing. I would go with Northern SA where the best school districts lie and housing is of better quality. Alamo Heights closer to the urban core is another GREAT locale. Good luck with your decision!
I currently work in San Antonio but originally from Austin. While I strongly prefer Austin over San Antonio, San Antonio has its own perks: Lots of Tex-Mex places, Riverwalk, historic district, zoo, theme parks, Spurs basketball. Austin's perks are the state capital, Texas history museum, vibrant nightlife in downtown, South Congress district, Zilker Park, Greenbelt, Barton Springs Pool, Town Lake and its hiking trail, Mt Bonnel, quality Chinese and Korean restaurants, Oasis restaurant, Frys (if you like shopping for electronics), Ikea, Longhorn sports.
Both cities are great for raising families. Make sure you research the schools before picking a location. Housing quality depends on the neighborhoods. Again, research and shop around before you buy. Both cities have good shopping districts (Austin has Domain, San Antonio has La Cantera) and malls.
Unfortunately, both cities have their share of traffic congestion especially during rush hours. While I agree that San Antonio has more highways than Austin, they are often filled with cars and can easily back up. Public transportation is hit or miss - you will probably need a car to get around in either city.
Bottom line: visit both cities and decide which city's perks appeal more to you. Good luck in your decision.
I find SA to be a great city and enjoy going there whenever I can. I disagree with just about all of Visceral's description. To consider SA devoid of culture is quite frankly amazing. SA has a vibrant Tex-Mex culture. If you have a problem with an overall down to earth Mexican vibe, then maybe SA isn't for you. SA is very proud of its Mexican roots and although I am not of Mexican descent, I can really appreciate it. SA has lots of green space too.
Austin is great in its own way as well. I just don't agree that it is "better" than SA at all. Reading your post, maybe Georgetown would be a great fit for you. Or, if you choose to move to the SA-area, there is Schertz and New Braunfels.
"The person above probably lived in a less desirable area and has judged the entire SA area because of this."
I'd hardly call Alamo Ranch less desirable. And while the outskirts here are decent, the city itself is just gross. As for culture, there is a Mexican culture thing going on here, but less Tex and more Mex. It's a great tourist city, it's not a great place to live when you compare it to Austin. There is no comparison to Austin, Houston or Dallas, San Antonio just ranks well at the bottom of that list and I've lived in all of them.
Thank you all for your posts and great information. I appreciate your efforts. I will look into all the cities and areas you have suggested. bridgebats, our current house is about 8,500 SF.
Keep sending your viewpoints and advice.
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