Alamo City, River City, Mission City; no matter what you choose to call it, San Antonio possesses a unique spirit. Featuring incredible food, a rich history, and exciting entertainment opportunities, it’s no wonder over 1.5 million people call it home. But, even a city that seems to have it all can have downsides, but does the good outweigh the bad?
San Antonio is the proud home of the famous Alamo, the beautiful River Walk, and the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. It also boasts a diverse culture, vibrant entertainment scene, mild winters, and a small-town feel despite being a big city. However, ongoing construction, brutal summers, and an overload of tourists can take a toll.
San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas and one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA. Tons of new residents flock here each year; could you be one of them? Before you decide to hang your hat in Alamo City, it’s a good idea to know the pros and cons.
Table of Contents
- The Benefits of Living in San Antonio
- 1. There’s a Low Cost of Living in San Antonio
- 2. As a San Antonio Resident You Don’t Pay Income Tax
- 3. Strong Commitment to the Military
- 4. San Antonio Has Mild Winters and Pleasant Weather Most of the Year
- 5. San Antonio Combines the Big City with a Small-Town Feel
- 6. San Antonio Is Rich with Diversity
- 7. San Antonio Has Amazing Entertainment Opportunities
- 8. San Antonio Serves Up Fabulous Food
- The Cons of Living in San Antonio
- 1. San Antonio Lacks Pro Sports Teams
- 2. San Antonio Has Brutal Summers and Flash Flooding
- 3. San Antonio Has Lots of Traffic and Construction
- 4. San Antonio Isn’t Great for Allergy Sufferers
- 5. San Antonio Has a Lower Income Than the National Average
- 6. San Antonio Has Lots of Tourists
- 7. San Antonio Is Home to Lots of Critters
- 8. San Antonio Has High Property and Sales Taxes
- Related Questions
- What Did We Learn?
The Benefits of Living in San Antonio
There’s certainly no denying that San Antonio has a great deal of positive things going for it. You can always find something to do, a fabulous meal to enjoy, and incredible sights to see. Here’s a closer look at some of the main pros of living in San Antonio.
1. There’s a Low Cost of Living in San Antonio
San Antonio has a lower cost of living that is roughly a little over 10% less than the national average. Compared to the state of Texas, San Antonio’s cost of living is about 4% less than other major cities.
The most significant cost of living difference is home prices. In most categories, San Antonio comes in less than the national average, with the exception of natural gas prices.
|Item||San Antonio||United States||Texas|
|Median Home Cost
(as of June 2020)
|Utilities – Electricity||9.24¢/kWh||$11.67¢/kWh||$11.36¢/kWh|
|Utilities – Natural Gas||$21.59 $/Mcf||$18.41 $/Mcf||$21.75 $/Mcf|
|Utilities – Water||$72.38/month||$102.68/month||$87.73/month|
2. As a San Antonio Resident You Don’t Pay Income Tax
Texas is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t collect any state income tax. Therefore, you can expect a bit more in your pocket each payday.
3. Strong Commitment to the Military
If you’re a member of the military, you’ll find discounts and benefits galore in San Antonio. The city is extremely proud of its history and remains very committed to the military. One of the USA’s largest military bases, Joint Base San Antonio, calls the city it’s home.
4. San Antonio Has Mild Winters and Pleasant Weather Most of the Year
The climate in San Antonio is relatively mild most of the year. From October through May, you can enjoy some pretty pleasant weather. Therefore, when winter rolls around, you can often get by with just a light jacket. There’s also very little rain and hardly any snow, so residents enjoy about 220 days of sunshine.
|Month||Low in Degrees F||High in Degrees F||Average Rain Days|
5. San Antonio Combines the Big City with a Small-Town Feel
If you want to live in a big city without losing the charm of a small town, then San Antonio has you covered. The city offers ample opportunities for big-city fun, but there are just as many ways to experience a laid-back vibe.
Within a ten-minute drive, you’ll find yourself in the fabulous Texas Hill Country. Surrounding San Antonio are also numerous small towns like Fredericksburg and New Braunfels, featuring great walkability, shops, and small-town charm.
6. San Antonio Is Rich with Diversity
San Antonio was established in 1718, making it one of the oldest cities in Texas. With that long history comes lots of different people from many places. You’ll find several cultures present, including Mexican, German, and Southwestern influences.
This eclectic assortment of cultures shows through in the food, music, architecture, and more. It’s a big part of what makes San Antonio such a special place.
7. San Antonio Has Amazing Entertainment Opportunities
There really is no end to entertainment options in San Antonio. Whether you want to spend the day channeling your inner child at Six Flags or SeaWorld or explore the museums.
There’s also the world-famous River Walk, complete with all kinds of shopping, eating, and nightlife opportunities. San Antonio has an amazing zoo, the NBA team, the Spurs, and of course, the Alamo. Plus, there are also several other missions worth exploring that speak to the area’s rich history. You can also enjoy lots of outdoor activities, like hiking and biking. Plus, you can go boating on Canyon or Medina Lake.
San Antonio is also very close to Texas wine country, so you’re only moments away from several fantastic wineries. You can take in the gorgeous scenery, complete with colorful wildflowers, and taste gourmet wines.
8. San Antonio Serves Up Fabulous Food
Thanks to the mix of cultures in San Antonio, you’ll find a lot more than Tex-Mex. Whether you’re looking for seafood, authentic Mexican cuisine, or something in between, you can find it here.
The city is full of an assortment of different eateries, from food trucks to fine dining. You can always find a great place to go for a casual lunch, romantic date night, or to grab a quick breakfast.
The Cons of Living in San Antonio
Of course, you can’t have the good without the bad. So, if you’re living in San Antonio, it’s worth noting the things that aren’t so great. At least then you can better prepare, and sometimes, what’s a con for some might not matter to you.
1. San Antonio Lacks Pro Sports Teams
Except for the Spurs, San Antonio lacks a big pro sports presence. The city has no NFL or MLB teams. But, if you’re not into pro sports, this won’t be a big deal for you.
2. San Antonio Has Brutal Summers and Flash Flooding
Although most of the year experiences pleasant temperatures and little rain, the summers can be brutal. Plus, there is some risk of flash flooding during heavy rains. The combination of hills and limestone means not a lot of run-off, which means deep water in low areas.
In the summer months, temperatures can reach 100 degrees, typically falling between 90 and 100. So, when summer rolls around, you probably want to stay indoors whenever possible. Here’s a glimpse at the average highs, lows, and rainy days in the summer.
|Month||Low in Degrees F||High in Degrees F||Average Rain Days|
3. San Antonio Has Lots of Traffic and Construction
This seems to be a common con in most big cities, and San Antonio is no exception. Since it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, that means there’s always construction. And when you have constant construction, you get lots of traffic.
San Antonio also has lots of quarries, which can get pretty loud when they are blasting. Plus, you end up with lots of rock trucks, which adds to the traffic situation. So, if you live in San Antonio, you might want to ensure you know the locations of the quarries. You don’t want to end up living with one in your backyard.
4. San Antonio Isn’t Great for Allergy Sufferers
If you suffer from allergies, then it’s worth noting that San Antonio can cause allergies to flare in certain months. Throughout the area, there are numerous juniper and cedar trees that release yellow pollen in the spring. This pollen causes what locals call cedar fever, wreaking havoc with allergies and making things pretty miserable.
5. San Antonio Has a Lower Income Than the National Average
While the cost of living in San Antonio is low, so is the average income. Although, it’s not much lower than the national average.
|Income||San Antonio||United States||Texas|
|Average Monthly Pay||$5,167||$5,476||$5,583|
|Average Weekly Pay||$1,192||$1,264||$1,288|
|Average Hourly Wage||$29.80||$31.59||$32.21|
6. San Antonio Has Lots of Tourists
While it might be great for the local economy, lots of tourists means lots of crowds and waiting. Basically, during hectic tourist seasons, like the holidays, ensure you always make reservations for restaurants. It will also take you longer to do things like find parking and maneuver through more crowded areas.
7. San Antonio Is Home to Lots of Critters
If you plan to live in San Antonio, you’ll see lots of critters like snakes, fire ants, and scorpions. There are also many deer around the area, which might be cute but can cause damage to property and vegetation. It’s just something you need to know so that you can take the proper pest control precautions.
8. San Antonio Has High Property and Sales Taxes
Although San Antonio doesn’t have income tax, they make up for it with high property and sales taxes. Overall, Texas has some of the highest property tax rates in the country. Most states have a sales tax ranging between 4% and 7%, but San Antonio surpasses this.
|San Antonio Taxes||Cost|
|Average Property Taxes||$4,432|
Is San Antonio a safe place to live?
San Antonio is a relatively safe place to live, with a violent crime rate of about 1 in 158 residents. This is compared to a rate of 1 in 243 for the state of Texas. However, the rate for property crimes is higher, coming in at roughly 1 in 25. This is compared to a rate of 1 in 42 for Texas.
Like any city, some San Antonio neighborhoods are safer than others, so do your research before choosing where to live.
Does San Antonio experience any kind of natural disasters?
Yes, San Antonio can experience hurricanes, as well as earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires. Although earthquakes are not very common, and low-level brush fires are more common than huge wildfires. Hurricanes are also not overly common, and the city has only had about 19 since 1930.
What Did We Learn?
Overall, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to living in San Antonio. It’s both a unique and fun place to live, with an attractive low cost of living. However, the low cost of living is somewhat offset by higher property taxes and a lower than average income.
Still, there are ample opportunities for entertainment, great food, and outdoor fun. But, you’ll want to stay inside during the sweltering summer heat.