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"decent cost of renting or buying a 3 bedroom home in a safe neighborhood where there is a good high school for my kids" - advantage is to San Antonio, especially since you are a medical assistant, there are lots of medical jobs here in San Antonio.
I did a search of all the high schools in Las Vegas and San Antonio. There are better options in San Antonio. Admittedly, I didn't include all of the surrounding areas, but the following ratings give you a sense of how much better the public school options are in San Antonio. Plus, the good high schools are located close to medical jobs and have a good number of affordable & safe 3 bed room rent / buy options within reasonable commutes.
"jobs" - for medical jobs, the advantage goes to San Antonio. Lots of jobs, an interesting amount of biotech, and good growth. My wife and I come from medical backgrounds.
"friendly people" - I think the folks here in San Antonio are nicer. Both cities attract a lot of visitors, but the tourists in San Antonio come for different reasons than Las Vegas. Also, I think the Hispanic culture here is very nice.
your family - advantage goes to Las Vegas.
I'm not from San Antonio or Las Vegas, I've lived all over the country including Southern California (lots of folks from SoCal travel to Las Vegas or have bought property in Las Vegas - we certainly went there a number of times). I believe San Antonio is very family friendly and a better environment for teens than Las Vegas.
Perhaps I can add some thought since I am from both places. Actually call my experience Houston and LV.
Las Vegas is a dump. Do not get sick here. LV is dead last in health care rankings by the AMA. Dont expect an education here. LV is dead last in education in every catagory. Even the ever so powerful 3rd political party, the Teachers Union is a weak joke here. Cost of living? Let me give you one tiny example: In LV my wife buys a particular box of cereal she likes for about $4.79. We buy this same box in Houston for $2.59. Everything is cheaper down in Texas then LV.
The traffic in LV has passed Southern California and left it in the dust. Houston is probably a bit worse then LV with traffic. Southern Nevada leads the nation in traffic fatalities. It is a zoo here. There are more tire marks on the center divider then on the roads. One news station reported back in September that if not one more person dies on Nevada's roads for the rest of the year, we would still lead the nation in traffic fatalities by a mile. Oh yea, when your light turns green...do not go or you will be broad sided.
The police are particularly fond of shooting innocent citizens in LV because they face no penalty. Only Portland, Oregon has more cop shootings of innocent citizens then LV. Corruption? Oh boy that is a whole nother post.
I live in a rinky dink 1500 sq ft home in an old neighborhood in LV that is worth $300K and falling rapidly. About an hour above Houston we have a 1400 sq ft new home on one acre 65' (30 steps) from 90,000 acre Lake Livingston with our own dock and marina with 2 lighted fishing piers, purchased for $152,000. What sounds better to you?
In the summer time when it is 120 degrees for months on end you can get real tired of that in a hurry. The intense sun melts the corneas in your eye balls into liquid. You have to use your shirt to grab the car door handle. You cant even walk your dog in the daytime. The road surface reaches over 150 degrees.
Finially jobs. It is true jobs do grow on trees here. Top pay is $8-10/hr. Not average...I mean top pay. It is afterall a service industry.
Last month the FBI released the crime statisics for violent crime in America. While the entire nation as a whole decreased, Las Vegas INCREASED 32%. Now that so many of the builders are laying off, those low wage laborers are now turning to theft to support their families here and south of the borders. Crime is real real bad here.
As most of the nation is complaining about falling real estate values, Texas enjoys 3 of the top 10 APpreciating cities.
WHat do you think of Sa vs New MExico. How is the weather in winter and what do the neighborhoods look like. Are they flat or are there hills. How about the lakes can you get a house close to the lakes? I would like to move to sa also
Unfortunately I cannot comment on New Mexico as I've only been to Las Cruces. From what I saw of the state thought, it's nice.. but like others, I like the desert.
The weather in San Antonio is for the most part mild, although we do get cold on occasion. It rarely, if ever snows, and we do see an ice storm every other year. Generally temperatures are in the 60s and low 70s in the daytime with lows in the 40s. We average just a few nights below 32 in the winter.
When it does get cold, our highs may not get out of the 30s or 40s with lows in the 20s. Don't get used to it.. it never sticks around.
We tend to have the best sunny days with the bluest skies during the winter.
San Antonio is divided between flat land and hills... generally the further South and East you travel, the flatter the city becomes. Conversely, the further north and west you travel, the more the hills slowly appear. The best place to view hills would be in the counties north and west of here like Medina, Bandera, Kendall, Kerr, Comal, etc.
In San Antonio, overall our neighborhoods are fairly suburban. We do have inner city neighborhoods closed to downtown, but even there we have nice neighborhoods like Monte Vista and Southtown (and others that I didn't mention if anyone else would like to jump in).
We're not known for having the best lakes, but we do have a few nice lakes in our region. The closest lake to San Antonio would be on the city's southside, lake Calaveras.. but there are no hills in that area.
The best lakes in San Antonio would be Medina Lake in Bandera County, Canyon Lake in Comal County, or Lake McQueeney in Guadalupe County. These lakes are for the most part very scenic with nice views of hills in the surrounding area. If you are looking for homes in this area, make sure you learn which areas are flood prone because we do get very nasty floods from time to time.
San Antonio seems normal. If I had to leave Houston in the future because the high metro population (4th largest after NYC, LA, or Chicago) brought high COL or just tired of the big city, San Antonio would be it. They feel similar because they are playgrounds (containing amusements) with a short drive for the big-city dwellers (LV for Angelenos and SA for Houstonians).
I would pick San Antonio because of better weather and I don't like that vibe in Las Vegas. The lights of the casinos (not being able to gamble if under 21--thanks to the alcohol laws--sucks; Remember the carpet rule?) and those dirty fliers from the prostitutes while on a late-night stroll along The Strip give that bad vibe. I've read in the LV forums that outside of the strip that it feels kind of redneck which confirmed that bad vibe. I can only stand it for a few days before I have to take a trip to Los Angeles instead.
Las Vegas...hands-down. San Antonio...why would anyone want to move to San Antonio? Not very crowded. Too many nice people. Nice drivers. Natural resources that aren't too strained by the population - at least until the next 1950s style drought.
My best friend is a realtor in Las Vegas. The bottom has fallen out of the market in LV. She has two kids (11 and 7) and the values are very different in Las Vegas than in San Antonio. She has spoken of her worry about gangs in the schools. Many people move to Lv to retire-San Antonio too. I would choose San Antonio.
When I was 18 years old, my great-uncle, who lived in Las Vegas, flew me out there for a visit. Although an 18 year-old was legally an adult in Texas, it was 21 in Nevada. Persons under 21 years of age were not allowed on the floor of casinos, and were not allowed to enter some establishments at all. In fact, I saw very few minors or even young adults during my visit.
I didn't see any activities or entertainment that was oriented to persons under 21 years of age, something to consider since you have teenagers. Some people tell me Las Vegas is much more family-oriented than it was when I visited several years ago, but I can't personally vouch for that. San Antonio has always been a more family-oriented city from my perspective.
The age of majority is 21 in Nevada? I thought it was because of the drinking age.
They reverted back to the adult-oriented entertainment. The family-orientation of the 90's wasn't profitable probably because Vegas couldn't overcome that debauchery stigma that children shouldn't be exposed to. I was expecting that on my last visit 18 months ago but the Vegas of the 90's is long gone. Don't expect good food at the cheap buffet; the food is neither good or cheap! That's another reason I hate Vegas--take me to L.A. instead.
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