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Old 01-31-2016, 11:36 AM
 
11 posts, read 9,090 times
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Hello All,

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a home in Alamo Ranch Emerald by DR HORTON. We're currently stationed in Germany and are set to arrive in SA around the the first of March. We can't seem to find any specific info on Alamo Ranch Emerald so any input would be greatly appreciated.

We we're wondering if anyone is familiar with this community in particular? How does it differ from the rest of Alamo ranch? If you own a home in this community, how would you rate your experience with DR HORTON? etc.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:10 AM
 
Location: San Antonio TX
168 posts, read 297,139 times
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The Emerald series is the newer, higher-end series of homes being built within DR Horton’s Riverstone at Alamo Ranch community. While the Emerald series is new, the original DR Horton homes in Riverstone date back to around 2006.


We’ve lived in Riverstone as renters for a little over two years now, and we like the community. The pool and common areas are nice and generally well-maintained. The people in general are friendly and neighborly and they look out for one another. There are a number of community events such as parades, festivals, rummage sales, etc. The only complaints I have would be the narrow streets and lack of lawn upkeep at many of the homes. The build quality of the standard DR Horton homes leaves A LOT to be desired. They are considered starter homes and that is reflected in the relatively low price.The Emerald series is a big step up in price, so I can only presume the build quality would be better as well. Sort of like the fact that Cadillac and Chevy are both built by GM.


We are currently in the process of buying a home and it looks like we will be leaving Riverstone. We like it here, but we’ve found a community nearby that better fits our wants and needs. We did tour the new Emerald homes here and they are nice. Definitely a huge step up from the standard home we are renting.


Feel free to ask me any questions you may have.We are very familiar with the community and surrounding areas. Happy to help in any way we can. Best of luck in your move and thank you for your service.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:34 PM
 
11 posts, read 9,090 times
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Bradford,

Thanks for taking time to reply. Your post really cleared up a lot of confusion for both my wife and I.

Some other things we were hoping you could give us some insight on....

What type of crime if any have you seen in the subdivision?

When you say that some of other homes in the neighborhood aren't as "kept up". What percentage would you say? I only ask because this is a major investment for us and we would prefer to live somewhere that these type of things are enforced by the HOA.

Narrow streets all through the neighborhood?

What separates Emerald Homes from DR HORTON? Are they on different sides of the subdivsion? Or are they just mixed in amongst each other?

If you have kids. What was your personal experience with the school system? We have a 14 and 6 yr old.


Also I read somewhere that there were 1800 some odd people living in riverstone sharing just one pool and playground. Is this the case?

We both have plans on finishing up our degrees sooner than later. What colleges are nearest to us?

Restaurants recommendations?? Sorry, we're foodies lol.

If you had to compare the Emerald Homes to another builder which would it be? We've done months of research on the local builders. But we can't seem to find much on Emerald Homes in particular.

Thank you again!! For taking time out of your day to respond.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Mid South Central TX
3,183 posts, read 7,401,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNE1982 View Post
We both have plans on finishing up our degrees sooner than later. What colleges are nearest to us?
Public: University of Texas at San Antonio
Texas A&M San Antonio

Private: Trinity University
Incarnate Word
Our Lady of the Lake
Wayland Baptist (satellite, but largest campus)
Webster
Concordia (satellite)
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:13 PM
 
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You forgot the closest one to Alamo Ranch..Northwest Vista, at least to get his Associates...then move on.
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:53 AM
 
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Just my opinion, but the OP needed to do a lot of this 'asking around' before they were into the purchase process. Going into a rental blind... maybe. Purchase, no.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:43 AM
 
11 posts, read 9,090 times
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Seguinite,

Unfortunately my wife and I work in Career Fields (active military and GS civilian) were you're not always given ample time to research every nook and cranny before having to relocate. Sure we could've rented..But that's not what WE wanted. Life in the military I guess.

Thanks for your suggestion nonetheless
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:46 AM
 
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KENNE, a lot of these questions have been answered and discussed at length in other threads so be sure to read the stickies and use the search.

I don't live in Alamo Ranch but do live in the area off Potranco.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNE1982 View Post
What type of crime if any have you seen in the subdivision?
Property crime, don't leave your garage door open as you might come out to a missing bike and tools. This isn't an Alamo Ranch thing, it's a South Texas thing. No gang activity, once in a while some kids will get up to no good and do some tagging or going through cars. There is the occasional home invasion when folks aren't home, it usually seems to occur around areas of new construction or turns out to be someone familiar with the home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNE1982 View Post
Narrow streets all through the neighborhood?
These are commercial developments, they try to squeeze every dollar out of every inch, streets are a sunk cost so they may not be as wide as in older neighborhoods, add trucks parking on the street and I've seen some subdivisions out here where the two-lane road is really only one in practice. Not familiar with the particular subdivision you are moving to, so can't comment on it specifically. The main roads through Alamo Ranch are plenty wide with bike lanes and wide sidewalks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNE1982 View Post
If you have kids. What was your personal experience with the school system? We have a 14 and 6 yr old.
Alamo Ranch is in Northside ISD, plenty of threads to go through on that. It is in the Taft High boundary with Briscoe Middle located inside the division, I know of at least 2 elementary there, though I guess there are more given AR's size. Previously, Alamo Ranch had been partly boundaried to Brennan High but that changed last school year and Wiseman Blvd became the new southern boundary for Taft. However, this year Taft was over capacity and a bunch of kids in Alamo Ranch still had to go to Brennan (aside from those who had already elected to finish out at Brennan). This will be alleviated in 2017 when Harlan High (which is enormous) opens at Culebra (FM471) & Talley. Taft is the oldest NISD high school outside of 1604 on this side of town so isn't as shiny and new as the others but it's a good school, as are the others out here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KENNE1982 View Post
Restaurants recommendations?? Sorry, we're foodies lol.
Again, there are multiple threads on this. There are a lot of restaurants here in SA, most of which are Tex-Mex (as a non-local I am continually amazed that the shear number of of them - ex. within a 1 block length of road on Potranco there is Tink-a-Taco, Mi Hacienda, and Lina's). More to the Alamo Ranch area - aside from Tex-Mex it is all chain and fast food in keeping with the big box store shopping area. Not to say there aren't some gems out this way - you just have to look for them. Ricotos Sabor Latino Grill on Culebra is a favorite of mine that offers a change of pace with Peruvian food and rotisserie chicken. Billy Bob's in Castroville (or the original in Hondo) offers a great burger (I'm not a even a big burger person), Whiskey Cake in La Cantera is great but I've noticed a marked difference in service and food quality based on how crowded it is. If you are looking for finer dining options you need to head to the Pearl, Southtown, Stone Oak. Cured in the Pearl features cured meats as its name implies with dishes like Smoked Pork Cheek Poutine. Then there are the food trucks...

Edit: I forgot to mention that while Riverwalk dining is mostly tourist trap mediocrity there are some truly good places, unfortunately they are way overpriced.
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:23 AM
 
Location: San Antonio TX
168 posts, read 297,139 times
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KENNE1982, happy to help in any way we can.


As for crime specifically in Riverstone, it’s a very safe community (as all of Alamo Ranch is) but Riverstone does get its share of vehicle break-ins. A lot of the other communities in Alamo Ranch are gated, while Riverstone is not (due to having a public school within the community). Still, overall we feel very safe here.


With reference to the lack of lawn care, I primarily see that in the “older” areas (2006-2008 era homes) but the newer areas seem more well kept. Basically I’m referring to shaggy lawns, weed growth, etc. On my street it’s about 50%.


The streets are definitely narrow throughout, unless you live on Palmetto Way which is the main street running through the community. This wouldn’t be so bad except that many of the homes are multi-generational = extra cars and a lot of street parking.


As far as I can tell, the Emerald homes are pretty much at the south and southwest ends of the community. The rest of the community is pretty much built out. If we were going to buy in Riverstone, it would be an Emerald home. The only downside is that the newest homes at the southwest side are relatively far from the pool area. A drive rather than a walk


Schools: We have an 11 year old daughter. When we moved here she was in 4th grade and attended Mireles Elementary, which is the school within Riverstone. Excellent school, very highly rated, I believe greatschools.org gives it a 9/10 rating. She attended 4th and 5th grade there, and now in 6th grade she attends Briscoe Middle School which is another excellent school. Also a 9/10 I believe. As CyVaquero posted, the assigned high school is Taft but it is presently capped, so new students to the area are assigned to Brennan. Taft gets decent ratings but I’ve also heard some negative things. To be honest, that’s the primary reason we are changing communities. We’re moving to Fronterra at Westpointe, a brand new community south of Wiseman Blvd which is assigned to Brennan.


Pool and Playground: Riverstone has one pool and playground and I believe there are roughly 900 homes with access to it. However, we’ve spent two summers here and there have only been a handful of days where I felt the pool area was overly crowded. We’ve never had a problem getting a place to sit, even in the middle of summer.


Colleges: Northwest Vista is nearby and is a very good community college. UTSA is not too far away either. There are many schools in San Antonio to choose from.


Restaurants: To be fair, we consider ourselves “foodies” as well, and when we moved here from California I was a bit disappointed in the options in our immediate area. Mostly chains and fast food. I am holding out hope that we will get some better options as Alamo Ranch continues to grow (perhaps in the new Santikos theater complex or near the “future” HEB site) but for now you’ll need to drive a short distance to find anything noteworthy. We’ve come across some gems in this town, but nothing around the corner.


Other Communities: If you haven’t already, I recommend you check out Fronterra at Westpointe. In the two years we’ve lived here, we have scoured Alamo Ranch and surrounding areas in search of the ideal community for us. We considered staying in Riverstone and buying an Emerald home. We strongly considered the Summit at Alamo Ranch. We strongly considered Stillwater Ranch. Ultimately we chose Fronterra for a few reasons. 1) Since it’s a brand new community (1000 homes planned, only a few dozen built so far) we had a better selection of lots and floor plans to choose from. 2) Judging from the plans and artist renderings, their pool and fitness center is going to be AWESOME. 3) Our daughter will attend Brennan instead of Taft. 4) Easier access to highways, at least until all of the 1604/151 construction is complete. Our builder is Woodside Homes, although Fronterra is also made up of David Weekley, Ryland, Highland, and Sitterle Homes. I believe all of the Sitterle Homes will be in a gated section, while the rest of the community is not (also due to a public school, Brennan, being within the community).


Feel free to PM me if you have any additional or follow-up questions!
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:30 AM
 
Location: San Antonio TX
168 posts, read 297,139 times
Reputation: 248
KENNE1982: Also, if you're on Facebook, join the "Riverstone at Alamo Ranch Community" page it's a private page open only to residents or prospective residents. It's run by the HOA president, I believe, and it's where everyone posts their thoughts...good and bad. It will give you a sense of the community.
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