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Old 06-21-2013, 03:04 AM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
35 posts, read 57,231 times
Reputation: 58


We are a retired couple, looking for a home on treed property anywhere in the range of 20 to 30 minutes from San Antonio. We don't commute, so that's not a consideration. But we don't want to be terribly remote from the city either.

Ideally we would like to find an area where treed lots of 1 to 3 acres (perhaps more) would be available that isn't far from a town center having the usual amenities. Our home budget would be in the 350k to 450k range.

We are not from, nor living, in Texas at present, but we're hoping to get there as soon as we can! ;-)

We really don't know the general overall area well at all, so some general guidance of what areas are the nicest would be very helpful.

We live in Washington State at present and plan to visit Texas soon to look for where we might want to live.

Can anyone give us some general bearings on where the nicest areas are that we might want to consider? We like hills, trees, water... if that's of any help. We aren't fixed on having to be on water or by water... it's just something that would be a bonus. Beautiful property that has trees and perhaps some rolling terrain would be great for us.

So... any guidance on where we should consider would be much appreciated!

Thanks folks!
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:03 AM
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Location: Ohio
17,107 posts, read 37,941,720 times
Reputation: 14444
Land to the south of SA is cheaper than land to the north.

Land to the north is rockier, hillier and more difficult to develop than land to the south.

Kendall County, to the NW, sounds the most like it would fit your wishlist and would probably be a good place to start. Although I have no idea whether you could get that kind of acreage for that price there.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:51 AM
1,440 posts, read 1,331,694 times
Reputation: 1597
Fair Oaks Ranch area is nice and not far from San Antonio
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:28 AM
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
9,843 posts, read 13,568,881 times
Reputation: 5701
I'd start with the New Braunfels area due to the proximity to water. Otherwise the south is just fine.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:57 AM
112 posts, read 178,418 times
Reputation: 182
Get ready for a HUGE weather adjustment; some make it fine and others of us really struggle with the relentless heat. Unless there is some specific reason you picked SA, I would consider Lake LBJ or Lake Travis and use Austin for my go-to city needs.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:46 AM
Location: Boerne, Texas
318 posts, read 566,099 times
Reputation: 261
I would say that Boerne or New Braunfels are your best bets. Although if you want to be on water, you will use your entire budget for the land, most likely. There are a few areas outside of these communities that could fit your criteria, but might be a little outside your drive time to San Antonio. That said, both Boerne and New Braunfels are big enough that all your normal conveniences are close enough (within 15 minutes).

Specifically, look at River Mountain Ranch and Waterstone near Boerne. Both offer shared community access to the Guadalupe River, have reasonably priced lots available with acreage and have homes in your price range. You would still be within a 35-45 minute drive to downtown San Antonio or the airport at non-peak driving times.

I suggest you come and explore the area and find an agent that will show you around and help you in your search.

Good luck!
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:42 AM
Location: Texas
5,717 posts, read 18,763,719 times
Reputation: 11222
Most everything north of SA is already developed to over the saturation point for infrastructure. Meaning, expect huge amounts of traffic. If you like crowds, you're looking north of SA. If country living is your thing, I'd be looking south. Lytle, Devine and Floresville are all within your criteria. Like it was said, north pretty much means rocky land. It's hard to grow a garden in rocks if you have the interest. South is pretty much dirt and sand country, depending on the where at south. Might also put Pleasanton on the list of places to look. They are experiencing a boom down there with the new Eagle Ford oil field. They have a new modern hospital at Pleasanton and it pretty much has everything you need in stores. Pleasanton is about a 20-25 minute drive on IH37. I'd take a look on realtor.com at the various areas to get an idea of the land and prices. You can buy quite a lot of house for your budget here.
FWIW, where you are coming from I would think your concerns about winterizing the house are paramount. We rarely have snow and if it snows, the area pretty much shuts down as we just don't have the equipment to handle it. WE fight the heat here. Make sure that the house you are buying has some energy efficiency to it or the utility bills can get huge. A lot of the areas you'll be looking at will not have municipal water. That means you'll be on a well with a septic system. Most of the areas have no issues with water, some is the best in the nation. But we do have areas especially north that run out of water during droughts. Make sure to ask the question if the property has a well. We have a lot of Houston Black Clay soil here. That means foundation issues as the soil is more like a blob in that it actually moves around. Think of it like a sponge. When its dry, it shrinks. When it gets wet it swells. You can literally have a house rising and falling 16" vertically. Research where these areas are and forget buying in those areas. We have a LOT of foundation companies in the SA area and for good reason. The Black Clay is mostly to the east and northeast of SA but there are pockets all around SA.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:58 AM
500 posts, read 963,266 times
Reputation: 400
IMO, Canyon lake sounds like what you are looking for. In the hill country north of San Antonio, between Boerne and New Braunfels (and a bit north). If not commuting to SA, you'll see no traffic whatsoever. Rural lake living. Your budget can get you waterfront if that's your desire. Just scale back your land requirements to the lowest end. Otherwise, 3-5 acres with a 2000-2500 home is completely doable, just not waterfront. You're 45 minutes to SA, 20 minutes or less to NB.

I don't think you're going to be interested in going south of SA considering your wish list (hilly rolling terrain). And the area doesn't have the soil composition problem that has been mentioned. The lake and surrounding area is full of retirees (myself included) who were looking at the same criteria.

As others mentioned, proof is in the pudding. Come and visit, the area will speak for itself.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:02 PM
50 posts, read 83,225 times
Reputation: 66
I also like to recommend that you check out Fair Oaks Ranch. Close to San Antonio and convenient to shopping and medical facilities. Boerne is nearby with it's charming town center. Fair Oaks Ranch has larger lots with trees and several homes within your range. An open home tour is scheduled for 30 June. You can find the info at Home. ZIP code is 78015 if you want to look at listings on line.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:32 PM
4,307 posts, read 9,510,926 times
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Isn't Fair Oaks ranch a subdivision? Or are there independent units with large acreage? Our friends live there and it's lovely, but definitely suburban rather than rural. Are there other areas?
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