Moving our family to San Antonio....would love some insight from locals! (Spring: crime rates, buying a house)
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My family and I are moving to SA later this year. I'm in my early 30's, my wife is in her mid 20's, and our daughters will be 3 and a newborn at the time of our move from Jacksonville, FL. We are moving away from this area to be closer to my parents, but honestly, we wre also very sick of the negative direction our current city is moving in, in relation to crime, poor public schools, cost of living, low wages and the overall demeanor of residents here. It seems that 7 out of 10 people here are either thugs or thug wannabes who don't value their own lives, let alone anyone else's. We are going to be moving blindly to SA, which is stressful and scary in a sense. We are home-bodies and very family oriented. I have relentlessly read every webpage I can find about the area, but it's just not the same as hearing it from unbiased people who can answer honestly. Is San Antonio really a great place to raise a family? We are white folks and I speak limited Spanish, but my wife doesn't speak It at all....will this pose a problem? I have read that Stone Oak is a great area in our price range, but my wife will be working on the opposite side of town. What are your thoughts on this area and also the impact of a cross-town commute during rush hour times? Please share your thoughts on things I should know about this area and city. The more in depth the better. Thank you so much for taking time to share your opinions and insights about our future home. Take care!
Unfortunately, I think you will find a bunch of the same thug wannabes here in SA too. That being said, it is pretty easy to avoid them with minimal effort, I know because I do my best to avoid those types. As far as commute from Stone Oak, I think that depends on exactly where your wife will be working, it might help if you could give us a general vicinity of her place of work. Spanish is absolutely not necessary here, no matter what some people may say. However, it can be helpful, my wife and I are both native spanish speakers. In addition, I know many people, hispanics included, that could not speak spanish to save there lives.
I've always heard that SA can be lacking in the entertainment/fun for young people. But seeing has how you describe yourselves as homebodies, I doubt that would bother you. My wife and I are homebodies as well and we get along fine. However, when we do feel like doing something, we can always find something to do.
I hope this helps, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Not my intention to cast SA in a negative way but there are "thugs" here which can easily be avoided. I have a pretty conservative view of what a "thug" is but either way SA has plenty of them scattered around.
I don't speak Spanish and get around just fine. No need to know Spanish but it can be helpful from time to time.
If you decide to pick Stone Oak, you will be happy with the schools based on what I have read here and heard from others whose children attend schools in the area.
Yes, stone oak traffic is a nightmare. Many people will say the traffic issue is a small price to pay to live in the area but it isn't worth it to me because I am not a parent.
So I am going to give you my honest opinion since I know Jacksonville and I live in San Antonio. Yes I am a Jaguars fan and have been since 1995. My aunt lives in Jacksonville (Mandarin area) and I visit her a minimum of once year. Some background on me … Originally from Maryland (outside DC) but have lived in Daytona Beach, Colorado Springs and now San Antonio for eight years.
Yes we have them and depending on what part of town you are on you may have more then others. Not sure what you consider a thug … homeless, panhandlers or just young stupid kids/young adults with their pants around their knees but we have them all.
I think crime in both areas is pretty much the same. News is for sharing all the bad stories so yes you are going to hear all about the bar fights, shootings, drunk drivers, wrong way drivers and the fatalities that come along with them. Every large city has these issues and depending on what part of town you live in depends on how close they are to you for the most part.
Stone Oak …
My husband and I live in Canyon Springs (just past Stone Oak) and we love the area. The area really does offer everything you need from shopping, grocery stores (HEB) and lots of restaurants. For the most part you never need to leave the area except for work or to visit someone outside the area. Stone Oak as grown tremendously in the eight years we have lived here but we wouldn’t want to live any where else.
The community I live in feeds into Comal ISD which I hear is very good. We don’t have children but my neighbors do. Other communities in Canyon Springs and Stone Oak feed into NE ISD and I have heard this is also a very good school system. Now there are other school systems in San Antonio that are not rated high but I assume this is due to the lower cost of living in those areas.
You definitely do not need to know Spanish to live in San Antonio. Once you are here you will learn some but not necessary at all.
My husband commutes to Lackland AFB for work (not sure how many miles it is) and I commute 20 miles (I-10/Huebner). If your wife has somewhat of a flexible schedule that would be great. My husband and I both go to work early after we hit the gym (Lifetime) at 5 am. So we have no traffic in the morning. The evening is when you will hit traffic. With the 281 SuperStreet and the widening of Blanco Road the traffic has improved in the area. They are currently working on the 1604/281 interchange so that does cause some headaches but I think that is more on weekends at the moment. My husband leaves work about 4:30 and he gets home at the latest 5:30. I leave work at 4 pm and I can be home in 30 minutes but if I leave at 4:30 it will be longer but my backup has nothing to do with Stone Oak traffic that is traffic on I-10 to 1604. But to me dealing with that traffic is worth it because I really do enjoy the area of town I live.
I hope I covered all your questions but if I didn’t or you have additional questions I will try to help you out as much as I can. I hope you and your family love San Antonio just as much as I do.
Last edited by Penquin927; 04-25-2012 at 08:24 AM..
I grew up in Jax, it was a great place back in the 70s and 80s; but I would not live there anymore. If it weren't for family there, I probably wouldn't go back to visit either.
I don't know what happened to that city, but I can easily understand your desire to get away from it all and to be honest, San Antonio is an excellent choice.
I lefdt Jax when I joined the USAF, and when it was time to retire from the military a few years back my wife and I considered numerous places to settle down but SA ended up being on top of both of our lists.
Why? Because it is a very family-friendly place with lots to see and do. We don't speak Spanish and it has never been an issue in the nearly ten years total we've lived here. As for "thugs" and crime rates, you're gonna find SA to be a considerably safer city to live in. Sure, there's some parts of the city that are worse than others; but I've been in some of the worst areas both during the day and night and while they're not places I'd hang around in too long, I survived. But the good news is that there are many great areas to choose from and these greatly outnumber those you wouldn't want to live in.
That said, traffic can be a problem during rush hour so you might want to take a realistic look at your commute before chosing a place to live. I know people who do drive across SA to get to work from the NE part of town to Lackland where I am currently employed, but it's not something I'd want to do everyday. But it sounds like you have jobs lined up which would be of a greater concern to me than finding a place to live. While we do have a stronger economy than many places in the country, it's still tough especially if you're in a specialized career field. Plus, as I've stated, it's not that tough to find nice places to live.
So, the bottom line is while it's natural to worry about such a drastic change in your lives; coming to San Antonio is nothing to worry about. We and many others love it here, and as a young family you will find it is better suited to you than Jacksonville. If I would recommend anything, it is to find a good realtor that will help you find the right home once you decide which part of town you want to live in. We prefer the NW (we've moved here twice, I was stationed here before retiring here) due to the Hill Country being close and all the family-related things to do on this side (SeaWorld, Six Flags, etc). We had a great realtor when we moved here from Belgium in 2005, and it helped tremendously.
I hope that helps, feel free to drop me a DM if you have any specific questions you want to ask me personally.
I believe you're making a great choice by moving here to SA. I'm from a small town in MD and moved here because Uncle Sam thought that my talents were best suited here (hahahaaa, got stationed here when I joined the US Air Force). As has been stated many times in the thread, yes SA has it's share of crime and those folks who are involved in bad things but what city/town doesn't. If you don't want to see or be around those type of people, there's a great chance that you will keep yourself away from them so it won't matter if they are here or not. I've lived here, off and on, since 1981 and know where to go and where not to go. Like you, I'm a white guy and have never worried about not being able to speak spanish. I've gotten along just fine without it. Traffic can be a major pain in the butt so pick carefully where you live in regards to where you work. Once you figure out where you'll be working (if you haven't already), get back to us and we will provide you with info on places you might like to live. Be safe.
How you describe your current city is how many describe San Antonio. *I* think they're wrong, but it's all about perception. San Antonio is a large city, with its pockets of crime and thugs, just like every other big city.
You'll never get unbiased opinions, because everyone's opinion is by its very nature, biased. We live here. San Antonio has a lot to offer, it's a great family town, and there are many interesting, diverse people here. I strongly recommend NOT buying a house before living here awhile. rent, spend some time getting to know the area. If your wife is working "on the other side of the city" I wouldn't recommend Stone Oak, but after awhile here you may decide it's the best fit for your family anyway. But don't buy until you're more familiar with the area.
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