moving to San Antonio

Old Aug 17th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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moving to San Antonio

My husband and I are thinking about moving to San Antonio. We've never been anywhere outside of northern california so I'm not sure what to expect. I've been looking into crime statistics and it sounds like a pretty rough place, #3 rated on the fbi website as highest forcible rape occurances in the country! I just find that to be a pretty shocking number. Oakland, which I find to be quite a terrifying place to visit doesn't even have the number of crimes as this place. Are there gangs there? I know I must sound paranoid & naive but we're from a small town so we're not use to having very much violence close by.

Of course we'll visit the area and do some neighborhood research prior to moving there but I'm just anxious to find out more about it.

Thanks for your input.

Elizabeth White
hoddys2 is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 03:17 PM
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I've never heard that San Antonio is a high crime area. I live in Dallas but find San Antonio a fun place to visit. It has several nice theme parks and resorts, the Riverwalk, good pro basketball, great Mexican food and barbeque, and the Alamo and other spanish missions. The Hispanic culture is quite strong there; there is also a pretty strong anglo "high society" contingent. However, for such a large city, the business community is not strong - quite a bit weaker than Dallas and Houston.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 03:45 PM
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My husband grew up outside San Antonio, and we spend quite a bit of time there. I've never had a problem with crime in the nicer areas of town that we frequent. (Unlike in Dallas, which is why we no longer live there!) Of course there are good neighborhoods in San Antoni, and there are also "barrios" that are pretty rough. Overall, my impression is that it is a pretty good place to live.

The main employer in SA is the military. There are 2 large USAF bases, and an Army base, plus the former Kelly AFB. There are also a lot of import/export companies, call centers, and the insurance giant USAA.
ChristieP is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 04:01 PM
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I assume you have an opportunity in San Antonio and aren't planning to just up and move there.

I have never thought of San Antonio as unsafe. I find Oakland to be a lot scarier than San Antonio.

Best way for me to describe it is San Antonio is a lot like San Diego without the beach.
LDLee is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 04:45 PM
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missypie, you made me laugh... "...a pretty strong anglo "high society" contingent" --or as I like to refer to them, big fish in a little pond...I think they're part of a gang
Old Aug 17th, 2004, 05:12 PM
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About 10 years ago I lived in San Antonio for a little over a year - we had moved there from Houston due to a job transfer.

I loved living in San Antonio - it was an easily navigable city and did not have that huge urban sprawl like Houston did. We lived off Oakwell Farms Parkway - off Loop 410, I think it was. Pretty nice neighborhood.

There are areas in the city that can be a little dodgy (like all cities), but I never felt that it was a rough city to live in.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 05:57 AM
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I live in San Antonio and would not classify it as you have fact I would go so far as to say that it is one of the safest big cities I've been to. There are good and bad areas of SA just like everywhere else, but I wouldn't say it is as bad as your FBI report states. Ever been to St Louis??? I lived in IL (for 10 years) about 15 minutes from downtown St Louis. I had 3 friends mugged in the downtown STL area over a period of 2 months, this is the reason I stopped carrying a wallet and put my cash, cards, ID in my front pocket. Never felt that way in SA. Try the relocation crime lab calculator on, this will probably give you a better idea of what crime is really like there since it will compare crime between 2 cities. SA is only 40K less in population than Dallas (not DFW combined). If you compare those 2 cities you will find out that it is pretty safe place to be. I'm not a San Antonio native, nor do I plan to live there forever...but I think it's a pretty safe place to live, has a low cost of living, and plenty to do.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:30 AM
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I lived in and owned a home in San Antonio for 16 years. SA is really a tale of two cities divided north and south of downtown. Gangs started on the south side in the mid 80s. By the early 90s there were about 15,000 gang members as reported by the police department. The gang graffitti and drive-bys became unbearable. Most of this took place on the south and west side.

However, I lived in the mid north side and got my own drive-by shooting through my living room window. I was relieved that it was not something personal at me. They attacked other homes in the neighborhood the same day. Four days before I moved out of SA and put my home up for sale a neighbor three houses down got a drive-by. There were police markers over spent shells on the street in front of my living room once again.

That is the bad part. The good part is that SA is changing for the better. I do not believe that it is any more violent per capita than any other large city. The north side is considered more affluant, has gated communities and a lower crime rate. The Dominion Country Club is a gated community of around 2000 people where homes start at a million dollars.

The cost of living is very low in SA. You can buy a very nice 3 bed 2 bath, attached garage home on a quiet street for well under a hundred thousand. SA has such a beautiful downtown that it makes tourism the second largest industry, second only to the huge military presence.

After all is said and done I Would recommend SA. I moved away for reasons which have nothing to do with what I stated above. I have many great memories of SA and the surrounding area. If you own a home in the Bay area you could sell it and buy a home in SA double the size for half the cost.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 08:20 PM
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Elizabeth, this is sort of late to reply (been on vacation--apropo, right?) but since I live here I might as well chime in.
Violent crime here follows the same general patterns as elsewhere; I thought in lower numbers per capita, but have never looked at the FBI data. The gangs are pretty lazy, really, and concentrated in areas you're likely not going to be in, but the Mexican bosses have a presence and drug-related/domestic violence crimes happen in all areas, just like any major city. Don't let that that deter you.
It's a large metro area with a small- town feel. When it comes to things like city government and media you'll feel like you've entered a time warp. Very student council-ish and amatuer given the size of the city. And not very liberal-friendly, if those politics matter to you. But for Texas this is a great town. Low cost of living. The sprawl is now starting to get bad, but there are plenty of good communities centrally located. I would avoid the outlying new development areas for one big reason: the planning here is shaping up to be as bad as Houston (my hometown). Outdoor access, activities are fantastic. I spend weekends early spring through late fall on the lake, the rivers, at the coast and nothing is more than an 1.5 hour drive, most only a half hour, and weather's warm enough to get in the water. Also, good choice of private schools if you have kids. You should definitely consider if it's a job move.
Good luck to you!
Hey, Jor, I always notice your posts and like your style--your experience here certainly sucked. What neighborhood? I live just north of the airport, sort of straddling N/NE. Were you military?
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 10:37 PM
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Wow thanks for all of your responses. I'd really like to know where jor lived as well. I'm sure that a real estate agent will be able to tell us where not to go.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 10:43 PM
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The bane of SA is that it has been found out as a great place to live, and now we have to contend with sprawl!
SA is, functionally, the largest city in northern Mexico. Tourism is a major industry, and the powers that be make sure the downtown are is safe so as to not scare off visitors. As others have correctly noted, most of the gang related fighting occurs on their own impoverished turf, in the west and south sides of town.
If you are in the newly developed area north of town you may as well be in any of the other gazillion developments (aka "gated communities") spreading like a plague across the country. You will live in an overpriced McMansion built too close to your neighbors, and will deal with traffic bottlenecks in and around your too densely built neighborhood getting to the same chain big box and prefab boutiquey stores and restaurants. And on top of that, because development is pretty much continuous, property values are usually quite stagnant, so don't expect to make a profit if you sell your home within a few years (like less than 20.)
On other hand, life in the "older" parts of town, mostly but not entirely on the north side of downtown is quite grand. We live in a geat school district, on a street lush with trees (all of which like to drop their leaves in our pool) and can (theoretically!) walk to a nice grocery store, several restaurants, neat little shops; Starbucks is as close as we come to a chain outlet. The loop (aka beltway in other areas) is undergoing some major construction that will last a couple years, but it is nothing like the godforsaken snarls of Dallas or LA.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 10:44 PM
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oops, forgot to add that you can email me offline if you'd like and my ranting hasn't frightened you [email protected]
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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pegelicious, my house was located at the intersection of I-10, 410, and Callaghan. A very average mid-priced area. I was in the military. If I remember correctly you must live somewhere near Thousand Oaks.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 12:40 PM
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Thanks again for the great advice! I will definetely look into the northern end of downtown. It sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. I'm not a big fan of cookie cutter homes or mcMansions either.
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