Where to live in San Antonio?
December 16, 2014 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out where my family should live in San Antonio.

It seems very likely that I will soon be offered a job on the south side of San Antonio, just west of Harlandale. If so, we will need to move very quickly. I'll be looking for a three-or four-bedroom rental home in a good school district for my young children. I would prefer to pay no more than $1200 in rent (less is better!) and prefer no more than a 30 minute commute. Variable: my wife will be looking for work, probably in elementary or middle school teaching, and we have no idea where in the city she might wind up, so general accessibility to much of the town is another plus.

Help me narrow things down. What areas should we consider?
posted by cute little Billy Henderson, age 4 to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Generally I would say anything on the NE side around I-10. The commute is about right, and that area has access to literally the entire city via I-10, 1604 or loop 410. It is not crazy expensive over by SACU or the medical district, so it seems doable in your price range. Mrs. Benway and I have a house in Castle Hills Forest off of NW Military. I love that area, and it is still very affordable and next to Shavano Park (a very pricey area) and has access to the very large greenbelt and Phil Hardberger Park (which has recently been redone and is very nice). The schools in that area are generally better than anything on the South Side, but its the area I know so *shrug*. The commute might be a little longer 45 mins or so.
posted by Benway at 3:32 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: My sister, who lived there until not long ago: "Alamo Heights or far West side"
posted by deezil at 3:34 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: South-Sider here: What's wrong with Harlandale or South San schools???? ;)

Seconding Alamo Heights or Northwest side for government-school options--if west side you better go outside 1604. Not a bad option if you can come in to work on 90 in the mornings--not a lot of traffic relative to the rest of town.

With this kind of a time pinch I might recommend hiring a Realtor for advice. If you don't want to do that (I don't blame you), search houses at the top of your price range on a map locator and look where those houses are: those are where the good schools are.

OR live by the schools where you teach (housing will be way lower than $1200/mo) and send your kids to private school on the payment plan. Cuts your commute out and gives you peace of mind, plus you can see where your students come from.

Edit: congrats on the job!
posted by resurrexit at 3:43 PM on December 16, 2014

Best answer: You're going to have to trade off school district with rental cost and commute distance (for example: Alamo Heights is pretty much right out in your price range). This map looks roughly accurate to me, if you want to play around with it a bit.

We've found home rentals through a large real estate brokerage and it was much easier than other methods, especially if you're from out of town, have a neighborhood picked out, and don't have a lot of time to find a place.

All that being said, a 30 minute commute from anywhere in the city to the south side isn't super-unreasonable if you can find rentals near a major exterior artery like 1604 or 410, and if you have some flexibility in your schedule.
posted by muddgirl at 4:09 PM on December 16, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, guys--very helpful. My grandparents lived in SA (Kirby, then Windcrest) so I have some basic familiarity with the town, but a short-notice move can be somewhat whelming.

muddgirl, the Great Schools map was really helpful, and based on that I think the first place we'll look is just a bit south of Sea World. Looks like we can rent there for $1100-1300 and get the kids in a highly rated elementary. Commute is 25 minutes, give or take. Perfect. Definitely gives me a place to start.
posted by cute little Billy Henderson, age 4 at 5:00 PM on December 16, 2014

This recent story in the newspaper ranked elementary schools in the region. Most of the ones in the top 10 are actually in Boerne, which is a city north of San Antonio, and several others on the list are in a different county. Regardless, the list might provide some useful stats on some schools. I'm always a big fan of telling people to live inside Loop 410, or just outside it. You get a much better commute in any direction that way.
posted by megancita at 6:45 PM on December 16, 2014

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