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Old 06-14-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,933 posts, read 7,566,230 times
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I don't know hardly anything about San Antonio other than the river walk area, that it is considered a sprawling city (like mine) and that it also contains a lot of fine historic homes and neighborhoods and, it can get mighty hot. Just out of curiosity and also as a possible relocation there, what would folks who live there consider the best Historic neighborhoods to check out. By best I mean that it not only contains a lot of fine historic houses (I love houses from the '20s or +\- 20 years from that era) but also it is safe, close to downtown and walking distance to its own neighborhood amenities such as shopping and restaurants. Places that would be considered gentrified or definitely turning towards gentrification.

I am looking at the City of San Antonio's official web site of Historic Preservation and it's a great starting point but it doesn't give me the inside scoop on what an area is really like. I lucked out in buying here just as the neighborhood started turning around and it would be that kind of area that I would consider there- perhaps not there yet, but those in the know are seeing those changes starting to ramp up.

I would assume that real estate prices in those neighborhoods would also be higher than in other areas but coming from here I'm certain that nothing would shock me but I would hope to find something a good bit cheaper than here. The tiny almost tear down bungalow next door to me just sold for $740/ft!

Thanks for any information to get me started.
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:44 PM
 
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I'm relatively new (been here ~2.5 years) and decided to invest in Southtown/King William. When folks in SA talk about those things you mentioned (gentrification, fine historic houses, safe, close to downtown, walking distance to amenities) Southtown and Lavaca always come up. A great thing about the area is that there are still more things to come.

Read up on those neighborhoods and you'll see for yourself. The Rivard Report - Urban. Independent. All About San Antonio is a nice website to check out to learn a little more about the areas. I'm sure others have their own recommendations, but I'd put Southtown at the top of the list.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:55 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,257 posts, read 1,756,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprlonghorn View Post
I'm relatively new (been here ~2.5 years) and decided to invest in Southtown/King William. When folks in SA talk about those things you mentioned (gentrification, fine historic houses, safe, close to downtown, walking distance to amenities) Southtown and Lavaca always come up. A great thing about the area is that there are still more things to come.

Read up on those neighborhoods and you'll see for yourself. The Rivard Report - Urban. Independent. All About San Antonio is a nice website to check out to learn a little more about the areas. I'm sure others have their own recommendations, but I'd put Southtown at the top of the list.
Second. If I were young and relocating, this would be where to, at least, start.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
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A few names/neighborhoods come to mind....Olmos Park, Tobin Hill, Mahnecke Park (I spelled it wrong, but it's right off Broadway). Even Alamo Heights will have some old homes. You'll want to stay close to downtown. Once you fan out, you'll run out of older homes. I'm sure you know what you're in for. I have an older home, and it can be a money pit.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:12 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austindoxie1972 View Post
A few names/neighborhoods come to mind....Olmos Park, Tobin Hill, Mahnecke Park (I spelled it wrong, but it's right off Broadway). Even Alamo Heights will have some old homes. You'll want to stay close to downtown. Once you fan out, you'll run out of older homes. I'm sure you know what you're in for. I have an older home, and it can be a money pit.
Thanks all for the information. I have a 1928 Spanish Revival that, while hasn't been repair or renovation free, has actually been fairly easy to keep up on the maintenance.

I am an architectural designer, specializing in vintage homes so have a pretty good eye for the important stuff like structural issues, roofs, windows and doors, and avoiding what I term as a "Fatally Flawed Floor plan". I would imagine many of the houses in those neighborhoods would require some renovation or at least rehabilitation, and wonder what with the end value of the house how that plays out in determining what one should limit in investing in it. Out here in California while the renovation costs are higher I can't imagine them to be that much more than in Texas, but the investment ratio would be distinctly different. As an example a $60k kitchen out here would only be 10% or less the value of the house where in Texas that same kitchen might cost $50-55k but that might be 25-30% the value of the entire house (maybe I'm thinking suburban Texas prices and in desirable city neighborhoods house values are quite a bit higher).

And when you are taking non cosmetic or visible, live-in upgrades such as investing in a new foundation, roof or failing structure these items are all very expensive but hard to justify the recouping of the investment to many buyers expecting a structurally sound house to begin with. Ah, the joys (and sorrows) of buying an old house.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:41 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,362,307 times
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Southtown area - mostly walking distance to downtown. No current grocery store or basic amenities, but easy walk to all sorts of restaurants, bars, art galleries, biking to river etc.

king William - friends who bought in MV 25 years ago said KW was just coming about then, now it's totally gentrified except in a few pockets of "Baja KW." Difficult to find a steal, but you can find a few affordable possibilities.

Lavaca - More working class in its original state than KW, more recent in its gentrification. In 2002 it was still fairly sketchy w/o much there. Today, it's difficult to find a fixer upper, but doable.

SoFlo - most recent, smaller homes, very early stages of revitalization, still sketchy in bits, but funky, quirky, interesting

North of Downtown:
Monte Vista - probably among the most gentrified of the historic neighborhoods, difficult to find a deal but for those who don't like sketchy, this is best.

Alta Vista/Tobin Hill - not as far along in gentrification as Lavaca/KW, but well on its way. Possible to find steals.

Government hill - some gorgeous homes, early stages of revitalization but near the Pearl/Lower Broadway which has taken off in a big way. If I had $ to invest, I'd buy here in a heartbeat right now.

Mahnke Park - 10 years ago it was priced higher than Lavaca, now it's switched. 1920s era and newer, longer revitalization period.

Then there's Woodlawn Lake/Monticello/Deco....
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:42 PM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,362,307 times
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Are you looking for property to flip or to live in?

If the former, EVERYONE is trying that, and very few are succeeding. If the latter, there are many options for you.
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:45 PM
 
410 posts, read 552,512 times
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+1 on recs for Rivard report above, especially the "Where I live" series Where I Live Archives | The Rivard Report
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:45 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,933 posts, read 7,566,230 times
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^^^

Very cool!
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:23 AM
 
1,792 posts, read 2,437,322 times
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If you're looking for an investment property I would look at Austin instead of San Antonio.
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