After living in San Antonio for the past 10 years I have definitely learned a thing or two about the pros and cons of living in San Antonio, Texas.
Home to a population of 1.5 million residents, San Antonio is the second-most populous city in Texas (and the 7th most populous city in the country). Regardless, you’ll be in good company if you choose to call this wonderful city home.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself so let’s cover the thing’s you need to know about living in San Antonio, based on experience.
10 Great things about Living in San Antonio, Texas
A large population doesn’t always equate to a large price tag. Even though San Antonio is one of the most populous cities in America, the cost of living in San Antonio is 9% lower than the national average.
When compared to similarly-sized cities like San Diego and Philadelphia, the reasonable cost of living becomes even more attractive. Living in San Antonio is 13% cheaper than living in Philadelphia and a whopping 78.5% cheaper than living in San Diego.
To that end, if you’re moving to San Antonio for a large metro area you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Everyday items cost less around here, everything from groceries, utilities, healthcare, personal care, transportation and eating out. Hard not to love that.
The low cost of living in San Antonio is a big reason why the city appeals to young families and retirees. Your dollar goes a lot further after moving to San Antonio and the affordable housing market doesn’t hurt either, let’s cover that next.
Alright, I can already envision the hate mail getting stamped, but hear me out. First, no city in America is immune from the housing crisis. Home prices across the nation have soared to unfathomable highs compared to previous years and San Antonio is no exception.
However, the current housing prices in San Antonio are much lower than the national average. But don’t just take my word for it, I have the statistics to back this up.
The median price of a home in San Antonio is $300,000, a spike of nearly 25% from the previous year, but still way below the national average of $438,000. To that end, if you plan on moving to San Antonio, there’s no time like the present because home prices are on the rise and moving fast. Self-storage is a great way to help with that transition.
One of the biggest draws for folks moving to San Antonio is the healthy job market that doesn’t show signs of slowing anytime soon. Employing more than 80,000, Joint Base San Antonio is the largest employer in the city.
If you’re not moving to San Antonio for the military, you’ll find jobs in a wide range of industries, from healthcare, aerospace, bioscience, renewable energy, technology and IT. Some of the largest employers include Toyota, USAA, Wells Fargo, Southwest Research Institute and Valero Energy Corp.
What’s more, San Antonio receives an average of 34 million visitors per year. The tourism and hospitality industry is thriving, which in turn creates even more jobs at restaurants, hotels and local shops.
So this little fact can be a positive or a negative of living in San Antonio — depending on how you look at it. I’m choosing to look at it in the positive category because developing cities have a way of adding excitement and breathing new life into the community.
You should know by now that I’m referencing actual facts while developing this list of the pros and cons of moving to San Antonio, so let me throw one into the mix:
According to the US Census Bureau, with 13,626 newcomers, San Antonio saw the greatest gain in new residents between 2020 and 2021.
Chock it up to the housing market, affordable cost of living in San Antonio, or whatever you’d like, but the fact remains: San Antonio is attracting folks from all over the United States.
There are a number of US states where state income tax does not apply and luckily Texas is one of them. Those living in San Antonio are expected to pay their share of federal income tax, property taxes and a sales tax of 8.25%, but state income tax is off the table.
I can’t stress how advantageous this is in the long run. I moved to Texas from California, which had a state income tax up to 12.3%, which means I get to keep $120 for every $1,000 I make. So yes, speaking from personal experience, the lack of state income taxes is a huge perk of moving to San Antonio, Texas.
If living in a sunny place is non-negotiable for you then moving to San Antonio is the right call. The city averages 220 days of sunshine per year!
In terms of temperatures, you’ll see some fluctuation while living in San Antonio. Winters are cool (averaging highs of 64°F) while summers are oppressively hot (average highs clock in at 98°F). But fret not, we’ll cover the brutal summer temps in more detail below.
Let me to share a fact that surprised me more than any other after moving to San Antonio. In 2017 the city was designated as a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO, becoming the 2nd city in the US to receive such a prestigious designation.
The biggest impetus for the award is the significance of Tex-Mex cuisine — the blissful marriage of Mexican and American cuisine. San Antonio is also known for serving some of the best tacos in the country. Big statement, I know, but I stand by them.
Aside from the flavorful Tex-Mex cuisine you’ll find cuisines from all over the world, but perhaps none more tantalizing than traditional Texas BBQ (my personal favorite being B Daddy’s BBQ). Regardless of your meal of choice, make sure to wash it down properly by swinging by any of the local breweries.
Mentioning a river walk on a list highlighting the pros of living in San Antonio might surprise folks that have never experienced this urban waterway before, but I’m happy to elaborate.
The beautiful 15-mile San Antonio River Walk serves as the vibrant cultural hub of the city. Welcoming more than 14 million people per year, this is the top attraction in the city.
Take a ride on a tour boat or grab drinks at the waters edge to see why this area is so beloved by visitors and locals alike. You’ll find plenty of bars, hotels, restaurants lining the canal with picturesque footbridges connecting both sides.
If you’re more of a history buff, make sure to visit the Alamo where 189 Tejanos and Texians lost their lives in 1836 fighting for Texas liberty. The Alamo is considered one of the most historically significant places in America, which means visiting this important site should be near the top of your list after moving to San Antonio.
There’s no place like Texas and Texans take great pride in that! I’ve never lived in a place with such strong state pride and respect for where they live. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see the Texas State flag flying alongside (or instead of) the US flag.
In many ways, Texas feels like its own country – from the vibrant and bold culture to the phenomenal festivals and entertainment. People love living in Texas and they want you to know it. This in turn builds a sense of community unlike anywhere else, which brings me to my next point …
I’m going to wrap up the pros of living in San Antonio with my personal favorite: unmistakable southern hospitality, which never fails to hit the spot.
San Antonio may be one of the largest cities in the country but it still continues to give you that small-town vibe. Some of my coworkers are lifelong locals and often tell me that the sense of community and kindness is their favorite thing about living in San Antonio.
Folks around here are known to be very polite, friendly and hospitable which is one of the main reasons people are attracted to San Antonio. You might find it easier to make friends in San Antonio compared to other similar-sized metro areas.
All this to say, the warm and inviting southern spirit made moving to San Antonio so much easier on me. If you’re open to striking up conversations and coming out of your comfort zone, you will find that Texas is a very friendly city. People are generally laid back and are strive to live a normal, no-frills life.
We hope you enjoy your time in San Antonio and if we can ever assist with any storage needs during your transition, we would be glad to help. We offer secure Self Storage, Covered and uncovered RV Storage and Boat Storage with both short-term and long-term contracts.