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Old 06-05-2007, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Round Rock
482 posts, read 1,114,368 times
Reputation: 210
Default Moving to SA - have some money questions

I just found out my husband is being transfered to SA. I knew the property tax rate was high but I'm blown away by the 3%. Even if I add up my current state tax and property tax it is still only 2/3's of what it would be in SA. So I need to do some serious budgeting.

1. What are electric bills like? Can some one give me their average bill and the size of their house?

2. Is natural gas used in homes or is it all electric?

3. What about water/sewer bills? I have a well and septic system right now so I have no idea what to expect.

4. Is there much of a difference in property tax rates between counties or outside city limits?

5. Finally, maybe a stupid question - are there any homes with basements or is the water table too high everywhere?

Thanks for the help!
motherofthree
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:12 PM
 
1,274 posts, read 2,457,249 times
Reputation: 679
I'll tell you what I know...

I've not heard of anyone that has basements in this area. There MAY be a few--but the ground is rock so it's hard to dig.

I have a nearly 3,000 square foot 2-story house. My electric bill in the summer has been as high as $280. As low as $80 in the winter.

I have a teenage daughter who likes to shower 3 times a day. Also have a younger son, dog, cat, and...oh yeah...a husband. HAHA! Our water bill has never been more than $45. The summer it might be a bit higher, like around $55-$60 because we keep our yard/plants watered.

Our house is all electric. My husband's parents' house is part electric/part gas. It just depends on where you look I guess.

Here's a link to the tax rates for this area: Tax Rate (http://www.co.bexar.tx.us/links/taxoffice/Tax-About/TAX_-_Property/Tax_Rate/tax_rate.htm - broken link)

Tiffany
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:50 PM
 
Location: McLean, VA
585 posts, read 876,793 times
Reputation: 289
Default SA Bills

Utilities: It can often depend on the house [size, vaulted ceilings, etc]. I found that homes with newer windows, newer appliances and good insulation will have dramatically lower bills. A b-i-g factor will be your AC, since you'll be running it non-stop most of the year. Newer ACs will help lower your bill.

Newer homes tend to be all electric. Older homes may have gas, too.

Water: A lot of people don't realize that SAWS charges you almost $40 a month, whether you use that much water or not. I think the minimum gallon charge is 4,000 per month. [I used to travel several months at a time and would be surprised when the water bill never changed.] If you have a big yard, factor that into your bill. Keeping the grass green might be costly.

Living outside the county might lower your tax bill. Just don't get too far out -- you'll be driving back in and spending your savings on gas!

Basements are a rarity. The land is too rocky.

Best of luck to 'ya. By the way, you're right: the property taxes are high. Nobody cared when property was cheap, but now salaries are still low and property taxes are high. It's a crazy situation!
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 9,850,245 times
Reputation: 1783
Living in Bexar County, outside San Antonio city limits, is both cheaper/expensive. Property taxes are lower; however, you will have no street lights (unless your area pays for them), pay higher water/sewer bills, pay a lot more for trash pick-up, and you'll more than likely have a volunteer fire department.

Electric rates with City Public Service are low compared to other large cities in Texas. In the county I pay around $45 every month, except when I start watering the lawns and then it shoots up with more water usage. I paid $160 one month two years ago when it was very dry.

If you choose to live out in the "country" then expect to put in your own well and septic tank (I believe that is around $15,000-$20,000 now).
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:10 AM
Rockin' The TriCities
 
n/a posts
Very few homes have basements. My aunt's home in Monte Vista does, but that's because it was built in 1926. I can think of some other homes off the top of my head that have basements in the Monte Vista/Olmos Park/Alamo Heights areas, but they were all built before 1945.

I've always thought that you need to run the numbers carefully if you decide to live outside the city limits. It's true that you don't have to pay city taxes, but it's also true that you have to pay a private company for all those services the city is not providing, and they can charge really outrageous fees since they are private. It can be a false economy.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:03 PM
 
554 posts, read 1,571,797 times
Reputation: 183
As far as bills -

We have 2 people in our 1800 sq ft house. It is about 40 years old. Our electricity bill is usually less than $150 in the winter and can get up to between $250-$300 in the summer. Of course, we just put in a new A/C unit last fall, so hopefully this summer won't be too bad. We also have a pool, so that takes up some energy usage.

Our water bill averages about $50. More in the summer because we have a large yard and lots of plants and we like to keep it green.

Our sewage is build separately and it is between $10 and $20 a month.
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