San Antonio - An Objective Big Picture View
Background: I grew up in Colorado, lived on the West coast (San Diego area 15 years), and the East Coast (Va Beach area 15 years), also Washington D.C. and overseas. As a whole SA has become overwhelmed - the urban sprawl & traffic is out of control and the infrastructure never kept up.
1) the most economical location you can live in the US...quart of milk, gallon of gas, housing...everything is cheaper except two items = auto insurance & property taxes
2) a very military friendly city
3) "tax friendly" for retirees
4) very little regulations and oversight...such as building restrictions, HOAs,
5) do not have to every worry about snow or ice
1) the biggest downside is amount of people and the projected growth = just overwhelmed, currently the 7th most populous city in the US with population expected to double in the next 20 years...uugggg. The urban spread is some of the worse of anywhere I have lived or traveled.
2) the weather... grey/overcast in the winter...but not really winter...stays warm year round..skies are grey and grass is brown; 8 months a year brutal humidity 80% +...just unbearable in such you can not sit outside or drive with your car windows down = no outdoor activities here; we run our A/C year round. You would sense that with the high temps and high humidity it would be more tropical but just the opposite = rocks and cactus...very weird. We lived in the high desert (Calf) and the temps in Aug would be 110+ for 2-3 weeks but at night it would cool down to the high 60s, just the opposite in SA = 100-110 degrees in August but never really cools off, the temp when I depart for work at 0500 = 94 degrees combine too with 80 percent humidity. The high temps combined with the brutal humidity makes it unbearable.
3) The drivers - the worse drivers in the world...my auto insurance jumped 20% when I moved to SA. My insurance agent indicated "welcome to S Texas - the land of where people do not know how to drive." I have driven in Naples Italy, Tokyo Japan, the Middle East and had daily commutes in Wash D.C., LA, San Diego - the drivers in SA are the bottom of the barrel...then combined with the small roads and overwhelming population growth = the worse place to drive or commute in the US. If you do relocate to SA - would strongly recommend living within a 2 mile radius of where u will work. I go to work early in the Am 0500 - it takes me 34 minutes door to door, in the evening at 430 pm the same drive takes one hour & 45 minutes - and it is a "white knuckle" drive the entire way - just the worse drivers anywhere...daily auto/truck accidents & weekly fatalities on the roads.
4) Some of the highest property taxes in the US
5) Public education system (Jr & HS public education) ranked 46th out of 52 states, hence lots of private school systems in SA = adds an additionally cost burden for families with children
6) For such a large city - most things close at 900 pm during the week and 1100pm on weekends...
7) agree with the other post that the reverse discrimination does exist...city is 85% Hispanic and it is apparent
8) getting anywhere else is problematic...traveling to any other destination the distances are so great when traveling by auto - traveling outside of the state plan for all day drive just to reach the state line (8+ hrs); the SA airport downtown is like a little county commuter airport - but seems like not many people travel much from SA anyway.
9) seems like SA is 10 -15 years behind the rest of the country...cell phone/driving laws, internet service, smoking, education, growth control, infrastructure & roads, open rock quarries right next to elementary schools...
10) Not a foodie/restaurant destination...more the land of DQs, Puffy Tacos, and Sonics with one of each on every corner.
We moved here six years ago to look at retirement options ...have come to the realization that for our preferences the cons far outweigh the benefits...we will be relocating in the next 2 years; even if the cost of living is higher elsewhere, the downsides of SA makes "daily living" not enjoyable.
James | San Antonio, TX