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Old 01-18-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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Hello,

Background info: I am a middle-aged 100% Service-connected disabled veteran (mobility is fine - I have frequent VA hospital visits and surgeries), I have military base access, the VA wants me to get a service dog so I need a big yard and a decent home first. Also, due to circumstances, it may be a year before I have the opportunity to re-locate. Since I do plan to purchase a home - so real estate trends/property taxes are an issue.

Please answer/address any of the following questions as I consider these to be most important, and were ones I could not answer via internet research;

1) Any Service-connected veterans out there in SA using the San Antonio VA Hospital, and how do you rate the quality/promptness of care/appointments? Please address the quality/promptness of dental care as well.

2) Have any retirees used the Space-A travel from Randolph AFB, and if so, what was your experieince? (true, disabled vets are not yet allowed to fly Space-A but I'm told Congress is working on that (yea, right - but I still hope).

2-A) What other military bases are in the SA area?

3) Regarding the service dog, I have been in contact with the Lackland AFB personnel who allow qualified individuals to adopt the former military working dogs. As far as training a canine for civilian "service dog" use for medical issues, can anyone recommend a dog trainer/training center in SA?

4) I understand from other posts, that property taxes are high in the SA area. That would be a big consideration for me since I am now on a fixed income due to the medical issues (permanent and total). I did hear something about voters in the State of Texas considering a provision that allows 100% Service-Connected Disabled Veterans a complete property tax exemption - instead of the partial exemption in place. Can anyone verify with a URL, Hot Link, to a government site, newspaper article, or the like?

5) Is there any sort of community or development that has sprung up in the SA area, that interestingly enough, seems to be uniquely comprised of younger former military families and/or younger disabled veterans?

6) What weather risks would an insurance company say SA has in the way of natural disaster; tornado, hurricane, flooding, earthquake, fire, severe winds, etc. How often are there serious disasters that strike the SA area? Every year? To what extent?

6-A) How humid does it get in the summer?

7) Does SA have an unusually high auto insurance rate compared to where you lived prior? Is TX a no-fault state?

8) What are the names of towns close to SA with lakefront homes. I may not be wealthy, but in this current forclosure and downturn market, even those of us with smaller wallets might have a chance to live with a peaceful water view. That would do me some good.

9) I enjoy ongoing education for the purpose of lifelong learning (since career is not the point anymore), and might consider buying a duplex close to the University of Texas, SA. Can anyone ID the area for me to focus on for a newer duplex in that area?

10) Are there any thoughts or bits of SA knowledge you would like to pass along that I did not address?

By the way, I did live in SA some time ago - for about six weeks! USAF BMTS, Lackland, AFB, TX. Thank you in advance for your time and effort in responding to any of the aforementioned questions.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:22 PM
 
13 posts, read 47,543 times
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It's ok to answer just one of the questions that strike a chord. Don't feel like you have to answer them all. Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:44 PM
 
Location: San Antonio TX
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I know there is a 'Guide Dogs of Texas' from seeing info on a site for a local store. You may try googling them. The VA system here from what I have seen out and about as far as transportation looks promising seems like they have their own transit authority if you will.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:22 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,382,758 times
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Space A travel would be from Lackland (the old Kelly Field), I am not at all sure that there is any from Randolph.

Other bases include Lackland, Ft Sam, Brooks City Base and Randolph.

Weather risks are really none...flooding can occur, but your realtor can advise you on your area's risks. Most of us own homes here and have been thru several VERY unusual flooding situations where being out on the road is the majority of the risk issues...never experienced any flooding in yard/homes personally.

Humidity can be VERY high in the summer, and coupled with the heat, can be uncomfortable for long term exposure...but that is why we enjoy our pools so much!

Duplexs around UTSA...can't say I know of any in that area at all.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:10 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,823 posts, read 33,222,901 times
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Quote:
6) What weather risks would an insurance company say SA has in the way of natural disaster; tornado, hurricane, flooding, earthquake, fire, severe winds, etc. How often are there serious disasters that strike the SA area? Every year? To what extent?
The greatest weather risk here is flooding. I've lived here 5 years and there have been two major flooding events where high water closed dozens of roads during that time (2002 and 2007). Living near water or dry creek beds would put you at a higher risk of being affected by that. There are plenty of places in the area that aren't affected by flooding.

Tornadoes and severe winds are relatively rare, as the geography of the region reduces the likelihood of tornadic thunderstorms. We do seem to get high wind warnings a couple of times a year. Mostly that means that any lightweight outdoor items will get moved by the wind. I've had to retrieve my empty trash can after it was blown down the street a couple of times by high winds.

Being 120 miles inland from the gulf, the biggest effect from hurricanes is likely to be rain. When Hurricane Rita struck East Texas, there were forecast models that had it striking Corpus Christi. If that had happened, we were warned that San Antonio might see winds just over hurricane force.

SA is not close to any known fault lines. The earthquake maps I've seen don't consider any of Texas to be at high risk for earthquakes.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:26 AM
Status: "Amused by Blue" (set 14 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF&USNVet View Post

6-A) How humid does it get in the summer?



9) Can anyone ID the area for me to focus on for a newer duplex in that area?


By the way, I did live in SA some time ago - for about six weeks! USAF BMTS, Lackland, AFB, TX.
6) It gets very humid here.

9) Oxbow subdivision has duplexes, although they are not new. However, they have seemed to "clean up" that neighborhood in recent years, which might make it more desirable to you. It's about a mile from UTSA.

I, too, lived on Lackland for about 6 weeks in May of 1985. 3707th squadron. Slept too many times since then to remember my flight number, but I'll always remember my TI, SRA Sims. He was quite the hottie.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Sorry, having grown up in Florida I would not say the humidity is bad here. Of course, it is not dry here, but I certainly wouldn't consider it that humid!

I not only did the six-week stint on Lackland in 1981, but I came back for four more weeks of AFROTC Field Training six years later. I was right across the street from my basic training dorm (at the intersection of Truemper St and Carswell Ave), and yes we had TIs coming over to mess with us. However, the second time around was not nearly as frightening as the first.

Anyhow, there was Proposition 9 (S.J.R. No. 29) to change the Texas Constitution to "exempt all or part of the residence homesteads of certain totally disabled veterans from ad valorem taxation and authorizing a change in the manner of determining the amount of the existing exemption from ad valorem taxation to which a disabled veteran is entitled" which passed during the 2007 Texas Constitutional Amendment Elections last November. I am not sure of the particulars of how that will be applied (notice it says certain disabled veterans), but you can probably learn more if you research it.

As for cheap waterfront properties, don't hold your breath. Not only has San Antonio not be effected as bad as the rest of the country with the foreclosure problems, properties like that are skyrockets in value around here. There just aren't that many lakes here, and even less that have property for sale much less cheap property.

As for Space-A opportunities, if you get approval to take advantage of them the most likely choice will be the C-5 Reserve wing at Lackland (433 AW). I am not sure what their Space-A availabilities are, but keep in mind that the C-5 is an old aircraft and has a bad tendency to break...you will notice that most of them are sitting on the flightline at Kelly Field (still called that even though Kelly AFB closed a while back). Plus, with the number of missions supporting OEF/OIF, I think most of the runs are going to those countries, which are not exactly vacation spots! But if you get the chance to go Space-A I would recommend calling the unit before you make any concrete plans.

UTSA is up just west of the IH-10/1604 interchange, there are lots of apartments nearby but I am not aware of any duplexes. There might be some, I would recommend contacting a realtor to find them.

Hope that helps some!

Cheers! M2
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:13 PM
 
13 posts, read 47,543 times
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Thumbs up "Thanks for the Memories" SA, and maybe more to come . . .

Thanks to all who have responded thus far, You have all provided some very helpful information.

Yes, I too may have been in BMTS 4707 - that sounds familiar - for me, during the early eighties and after 4 yrs, served in reserves up until Desert Storm 1 in USNR (until medical discharge), but did not have to go to Great Lakes to transition to being a "squid."

I like the possibility of SA because your city seems to be a location where all essentail needs are met. Too many times, post-op I have to return to the VA ER, and it's 2 hrs away from my current location - 4 hrs RT. They finally let me stay overnight because of the problems post-op. Nonetheless, it would be great to live in the same town/or close to it, that the VA is located in. Life happens.

The weather and natural disaster data was very helpful. Due to the humidity, you mostly have A/C units vs swamp coolers, right?

How steep is the cost of electricity?

I will follow up on the excellent information on the the 2007 change in the disabled veteran property tax exemption. I think it had to do with those rated 100% Service-connected (which I am), but I'll have to research that. I will post the results here after I call to a TX state office in the know. I know many affected veterans for whom this proposition is intended, would be immensly grateful if this is the case.

When I get a break, I'll travel down to SA to have a "look-see." It'll sure be different taking in Lackland from a different viewpoint. I've since went on to obtain a graduate degree so I hope to give back to the community in some way - even if it's by volunteering as I am able - which adds purpose and intangible rewards to life.

Best Regards
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,373,644 times
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For disability, under the current law, this is what you can get in Bexar County:

Bexar Appraisal District

We use A/C's here (needed in both home and car). Electric rates are good. City Public Service is owned by San Antonio, so your utility dollars stay in SA. They're the cheapest rates for large cities in Texas. Humidity is worse in the deep South than here in SA.

You might look at Fort Sam for volunteering if you want to work with wounded military personnel.

My first day at Lackland was on 19 May, 1972. I still remember every minute of that first night!
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:48 PM
 
13 posts, read 47,543 times
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Default Six Memorable Weeks in SA

I was so petrified, they gave me honor grad, not that I even knew about such a thing.

Like most of you it was simply the result of my being terrified - plain and simple - and my not wanting to make even one wrong move!

That memorable, yet seemingly hellish expereince caused us to transition from "rainbows," to functinoing Airmen in a unit.


"All's well that ends well!"
(My TI was also a SRA - one tough broad!)
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Thanks for the additional info! Every fact helps to enlighten all who view/read this forum about your fair city.
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