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Old 02-11-2014, 11:28 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,541 posts, read 4,405,708 times
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I've been reading lots of threads here in the San Antonio forum, to learn more about this city that my husband and I will be moving to in the near future.

Things I've gleaned from these threads are:
The 281 "super street" can get pretty congested (based on some older threads I read).
Some people love Stone Oak, others hate it, but it seems to be the "happening place" for shopping, dining, etc.
Property taxes are high, but there is no state income tax (so hopefully it works out about the same for us.)

My husband's new job will be on the north side (near 1604 and 281) so we want to live close to that area. We're empty nesters, and would like to live somewhere with a mix of other age 50-ish and up couples, along with younger families. We have been looking online at a wide price range of homes (300-600K). The home price doesn't matter much to us, but the thought of paying $10-15K year for property taxes after we retire is a bit concerning.

Once we retire, are there any breaks on the property taxes?

Can anyone share current thoughts on Stone Oak or other neighborhoods around 1604/281?

Is 281 still pretty congested, or did some of the improvements I read about here make it significantly better?
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:08 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
425 posts, read 513,217 times
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Lots of traffic on 281 despite the superstreet that was constructed in 2011. It moves but it's slow. 281 from 1604 to Borgfeld will be undergoing a major project to alleviate traffic but that won't be done for another 5 years or so.
Property taxes aren't that high as you're claiming. Well for a 600k home it'll obviously be a lot more than most, but even then I'm guessing a 600k home will have taxes of around 10k. You can apply for homestead exemption to lower it. They also go lower when you turn 65. Also, if you wish, you can look for houses beyond 281 and Marshall Rd. Beyond Marshall is outside city limits so you would avoid paying higher city taxes. 281/Marshall is about 3 to 4 miles away from 1604/281, not bad.

Stone Oak is a nice area. I think more than anything people just see it as a safe area with healthier active people and upscale residential areas. People that don't like Stone Oak don't like it for very subjective reasons.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:05 AM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,541 posts, read 4,405,708 times
Reputation: 11162
Thanks Shock.

Unfortunately, many of the houses I'm seeing online do indeed have prop taxes in the $10-15K range. But maybe that's the full amount before exemptions are applied. I've seen very few (even in the lower end of our price range) that are less than 9K. We are mostly looking at houses with pools; perhaps that adds a lot to the prop taxes.

I forgot to mention that we're coming to SA this weekend (Fri through Mon) to look at houses with a relo realtor, and to do some general browsing of the area. I've only been to SA once before, stayed at a hotel on the Riverwalk, so I'm familiar with how beautiful that part of town is.

We'll probably look at some of the neighborhoods off of I-10 just north of 1604 too. I'm seeing lots of homes online there, but does that area have shopping malls, grocery stores, nightlife, etc?

What are some restaurants/pubs/clubs that some of you locals would recommend for the evenings we're there? We love live music; is that commonly found at the hot spots?

Also, does anyone know if most neighborhoods allow or prohibit small storage buildings on the property? I'd prefer a 3-car garage to have room for bikes, lawn mower, etc, but a lot of houses are just 2-car garages. That would be ok if we can have a storage shed built (nice looking, match the house, of course).
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,138 posts, read 8,594,492 times
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Quote:
We'll probably look at some of the neighborhoods off of I-10 just north of 1604 too. I'm seeing lots of homes online there, but does that area have shopping malls, grocery stores, nightlife, etc?
Yes, plenty. I kind of lump everything near 10/1604 over to 281/1604 into the general same category. Both areas are suburban and have amenities. Grocery stores, shopping, restaurants, gyms, outdoor activities (although 10/1604 is closure to a great greenway). Night life may be a bit more of a 281/1604 thing, although the drive is negligible to get to that area.

Quote:

What are some restaurants/pubs/clubs that some of you locals would recommend for the evenings we're there? We love live music; is that commonly found at the hot spots?
You're in town during the rodeo, that's about as live as you can get in regards to music and events. Otherwise, to get great shows you will have to go to Austin. It's not a super long drive and worth it, in my opinion.

Quote:

Also, does anyone know if most neighborhoods allow or prohibit small storage buildings on the property? I'd prefer a 3-car garage to have room for bikes, lawn mower, etc, but a lot of houses are just 2-car garages. That would be ok if we can have a storage shed built (nice looking, match the house, of course).
This honestly depends on the HOA. Look for areas that don't have an HOA or you can locate their restrictions. Some of the homes in your budget may even have that already but that may be on the higher end of your budget.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,604,790 times
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Yes, you're right about the property taxes. They can be a bit high. From a BCAD.org search, I found:

$600,000 = $14,300 per year (no exemption; house on Hot Springs in 78258, Stone Oak)
$425,000 = $11,750 per year (no exemption; house on Crosstimber, 78258, Stone Oak)
$460,000 = $11,900 w/o exemptions; $11,400 w/exemptions (Toftrees, 78209, Alamo Heights area)*
*note that the 78209 home is on the the MLS for $584,000. If it sells for that, taxes will go WAYYY up.

A homestead exemption will help a bit. It puts the lid on rising values; I believe no more than 10% a year.

When you hit 65, whatever your taxes are, they freeze at that level. So, if your property taxes are $12,000 a year at 65, they will stay at $12,000 a year. THAT is your "relief."

Last edited by austindoxie1972; 02-12-2014 at 12:10 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:39 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
4,274 posts, read 6,629,033 times
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So do people just retire outside of Texas or something?! Crazy...
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:04 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,541 posts, read 4,405,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austindoxie1972 View Post
Yes, you're right about the property taxes. They can be a bit high. From a BCAD.org search, I found:

$600,000 = $14,300 per year (no exemption; house on Hot Springs in 78258, Stone Oak)
$425,000 = $11,750 per year (no exemption; house on Crosstimber, 78258, Stone Oak)
$460,000 = $11,900 w/o exemptions; $11,400 w/exemptions (Toftrees, 78209, Alamo Heights area)*
*note that the 78209 home is on the the MLS for $584,000. If it sells for that, taxes will go WAYYY up.

A homestead exemption will help a bit. It puts the lid on rising values; I believe no more than 10% a year.

When you hit 65, whatever your taxes are, they freeze at that level. So, if your property taxes are $12,000 a year at 65, they will stay at $12,000 a year. THAT is your "relief."
Thank you for that info. Where we currently live, the homestead exemption gave us about 25% relief, if I remember correctly.

Here's another question for anyone:
I see that 281 and W I-10 are the two major roadways going north above 1604. The area between them---
that's military bases from what I can tell on the maps, right? Can that area be driven through? Say I want to drive from the Fair Oaks area to the Bulverde area. Would I have to go down I-10 to 1604, drive east to 281, then back up north? Or can I just cut through? I don't see a lot of roads in that chunk of land, and don't know if they are only for the military.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,138 posts, read 8,594,492 times
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You will not be able to drive straight through Camp Bullis, but there are certainly ways just north and south of those areas to get to any specific road. All the bases in the city (whether it be Camp Bullis, Lackland, Fort Sam, Randolph) have others roads around them to get to where you want to go. And as far as going from Fair Oaks to Bulverde you would probably want to drive up to Boerne and take Hwy 46 instead of coming through San Antonio.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:27 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,893 posts, read 4,862,385 times
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I'm pretty sure you would have to go around camp Bullis. Either to the north or to the south.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:51 AM
 
Location: San Antonio. Tx 78209
2,651 posts, read 6,505,235 times
Reputation: 1735
I would add oakwell farms to your list as well. Much less traffic than the areas you are looking at. Easy access to shopping, hospitals, dining. A good mix of older couples and families that aren't super young, usually with an elementary aged child up to high school.
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