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Old 02-10-2012, 05:24 PM
 
222 posts, read 558,201 times
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We're a family with 3 kids (soon to be 4) and we live in Friendswood, TX.

I just got a job at Rackspace, so we'll be moving to SA soon.

Has anyone moved to SA from Houston? Similarities? What's better and worse?

As far as neighborhoods, I was told that the north/northeast area inside 1604 is good. I'd like to find someplace with trees though...

Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:49 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
105 posts, read 217,461 times
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I moved from Atascocita (by way of Houston, 1960/Hardy Toll Rd) to SA in 2009. Compared to the tall pine trees on that side of town, you won't find that here. However, there are plenty of wooded neighborhoods (particularly older ones). If you've seen new developments like Remington Ranch near 45/Rankin where they level all the trees then develop, you'll expect that in a lot of newer, cookie-cutter developments.

That said, areas north of 410 inside 1604 had a decent amount of wooded neighborhoods and apartments. I lived in the Carmel at Deerfield apartments along Bitters & Blanco Rds, and that's a comparably wooded complex. Even places by Rackspace (notably in Windcrest) have that feature.

In terms of similarities, the road system mimics Houston, but with a lot less expansion. We have 2 official loops (and there's an unofficial 3rd that, if we ever reached that level, could be like Grand Pkwy), and there can be a great deal of sprawl, though nowhere near as much as Houston. It doesn't take as long to get anywhere, especially if you had to go downtown, midtown, or uptown from Houston (I commuted to the Sharpstown area from Atascocita--75 minutes in rush-hour). The culture is fairly different in that 1) San Antonio is smaller, so the diversity of Houston is much smaller here. We don't have ethnic enclaves a la the two Chinatowns.

There's nothing really comparable to River Oaks, Upper Kirby, etc., but an somewhat similar area would be the 78209 and 78212 zipcodes (this encompasses uptown and midtown). In terms of developments similar to Sugarland, The Woodlands, or Kingwood, those are more north/northwest. Some may disagree with this, but the area I would compare to a place like Sharpstown is actually the former mall Rackspace inhabits and that surrounding area (sans Windcrest).

Once again, this is perception, but I saw no difference in terms of attitudes of people here vs. there. Houston had a lot more amenities given its size, but most of that to my memory was centered along midtown and uptown. I honestly think if SA's size were equal to Houston, it'd probably not be THAT different.

Oh yeah--there's no real diversity in terms of groceries. In Houston, there were Kroger, Randall's, HEB, Wal-Mart, and Whole Foods. Here, it's HEB, Wal-Mart, almost two Whole Foods, and a few one-off stores, and HEB has the market share.

Overall, I welcomed the move, because I made more money, getting around was easier, and I attended UH and UTSA, and I hated UH. Traffic isn't a nightmare, and my hangout spots in Houston were Stag's Head and Midtown, and those weren't so unique I couldn't find them. Also, the scenery was more aesthetically pleasing. The only topographical relief in Atascocita was a landfill--nothing when I lived near Spring.

Overall, I don't think you'll experience much of a culture shock, just a few changes resulting from a lack of 3.4 million additional people in SA.

Congratulations on your move!
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:50 PM
 
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Congrats on your new Gig. You'll love Rackspace, it's a great company but not in the most desirable area's of town IMO so you probably do not want to live too close to work. I have never lived in Houston but travel there often on business. I can tell you the differences are huge. Culturally, San Antonio is WAY more laid back and friendlier than I found Houston to be. Houston is more cosmopolitan than San Antonio and you won't find as much of the upscale dining or shopping options that are available in Houston. As far as where to live, I'd either look in the Schertz/Selma/Garden Ridge areas if you want to be close to work or out 1604 between 281 and 35. I haven't really explored that area in a long time but it appears there is a lot of developing going on but I wouldn't live inside the 1604 loop in that area unless there are gem neighborhoods that I'm not aware of, which is possible. I also do not know how the schools are over there either but I'd definately check into that. Have you thought about renting for a while so you can make an informed decision on where to buy??? I would suggest doing so. Good luck with your move and welcome to San Antonio.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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Thanks CRenaud and makiten! Very helpful!

@makiten - Everything you said matches my initial impressions of SA. Smaller than Houston, less diverse, not as many trees, less traffic. (I ran into ZERO traffic on 410 at 8 am on a Friday! Unthinkable in Houston.) Overall, seems pretty workable. I didn't realize there were no Krogers? That's interesting.

@CRenaud - My husband is pretty adamant that we rent for a year at least, and I think he's right. Thanks for the recommendations on areas.

So you guys don't care for the Thousand Oaks area? I commute about 45 minutes to work now and was so hoping for a 10-minute commute.

BTW, we live in a safe, working-class neighborhood now, and would be fine with an equivalent in SA, if it exists. I'm cheap and would want to spend under $1500 on rent (3-4 BR). Safety is all I care about, the neighborhood doesn't need to be fancy. And we homeschool, so district isn't super important.

Last edited by phaedra_p; 02-10-2012 at 07:48 PM.. Reason: More info on desired neighborhood
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:41 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
105 posts, read 217,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaedra_p View Post
I didn't realize there were no Krogers? That's interesting.
I originally moved here in the 90's with my family and left for college. In the 90's, there were Kroger stores, but I can't remember why the left this market. Another thread I think explained why Albertson's and Kroger left San Antonio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phaedra_p View Post
So you guys don't care for the Thousand Oaks area? I commute about 45 minutes to work now and was so hoping for a 10-minute commute.
When I lived here prior to college, I was close to Thousand Oaks. To me, it feels like a tale of two distinctly different areas (probably less so now). That road exhibits some differing characteristics depending on what side of Thousand Oaks you're on.

EAST of Wetmore Rd towards I-35, the neighborhoods off Thousand Oaks are hit or miss. Many are working-class neighborhoods that are relatively safe, but the other surrounding elements (namely the apartments) bring it down.

On another note, it seems a lot of crime (violent or otherwise) is starting to occur on the Northeast side, and those apartments are typically where they happen. If they do happen in neighborhoods, I don't read about them happening in neighborhoods. If you can find it, try to see if there's crime data for 78233 and 78217. Those cover that side of TO.

West of Wetmore, even barely west, is a completely different story. My wife and I are looking for a home that affordable and below our budget, and that area seems like it's the best fit. I haven't seen much change on that side of Thousand Oaks between leaving and coming back. Also, 78247 and 78232 cover this side of TO.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:01 PM
 
222 posts, read 558,201 times
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Very good info! Also explains some of the price discrepancy I see east vs. west of Wetmore.

Hopefully I can get my feet on the ground in SA soon and see the area for myself. Thanks again!
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:50 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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My family (2 children) moved from Houston to SA about six months ago. It was a sudden, unexpected move and I was pretty homesick for Houston for the first few months or so. I feel more settled now. In Houston we lived near Memorial Park and did not deal with much traffic since we were right in the middle of the city. Here in SA we live near Blanco and 1604 and I deal with a lot more traffic now.

I still prefer Houston. Like PP mentioned, it feels more cosmopolitan and exciting. SA seems very military oriented to me which I wasn't use to. I really miss living near Memorial Park and the center of the city.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:27 PM
 
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I'm east of Wetmore in the Northern Hills subdivision. Seems to be a mix of retirees and first-time homebuyer families. The houses are all 30ish years old and fairly cheap.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
105 posts, read 217,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badalchemist View Post
I'm east of Wetmore in the Northern Hills subdivision. Seems to be a mix of retirees and first-time homebuyer families. The houses are all 30ish years old and fairly cheap.
I had forgotten about that one. I used to drive through it often in high school. I don't like the apartments that front TO, but I like that golf course and the subdivision.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:51 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
89 posts, read 223,418 times
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Yeah, I moved here from Conroe a year ago today actually, and I love it here. Way more laid back and less stress overall living here I think. Congrats on the Rackspace job! I tried applying there myself, but don't have the credentials it seems. You'll have fun in San Antonio, and its Rodeo time now, Fiesta is on the way in April. You made a wise choice.
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