Moving to Texas? Why San Antonio is a Good Option.

This post was contributed by Tali Wee of Zillow

From the River Walk to the Alamo, San Antonio has a variety of activities for tourists to explore. However, the city has more to offer than attractions. In addition to culture, art, music, entertainment and restaurants, San Antonio is a practical place to live for those looking for affordable housing and good schools.

Here are four reasons why relocating to San Antonio is a good option.

Strong Home Buying Market

The average asking price for a home in San Antonio is $165,000. Comparatively, average list prices in nearby Austin are much higher at $291,000. Houston and Dallas’ median list prices are elevated at $204,500 and $250,000, respectively. Of these four major cities in the Texas Triangle, San Antonio is the most economical option for relocating.
While San Antonio’s asking prices are the lowest of those four major Texas cities, the market is still on the rise. List prices have increased significantly throughout the past year by 10.7 percent. Assuming the market maintains its momentum, purchasing a home now which appreciates should lead to a profit at resale.

Affordable Rental Properties

Zillow Rental Properties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Rent (Zillow.com)

Rent prices in San Antonio that average $900 per month reflect a 3.9 percent decrease since 2012.

In comparison, the average rent price in Austin is $1,180, illustrating a 7.3 percent increase since 2012 in the region. Similarly to Austin, Dallas also averages higher rent prices at $1,190 per month and Houston’s average rent is $1,340.

Since a leased property isn’t an investment for the renter, the lower monthly price point in San Antonio saves a prospective resident more money.

School Rankings

San Antonio has 438 primary and secondary schools. Out of those, the city has a total of 56 schools that earn a GreatSchools rating of eight or higher, 10 being the highest possible score.

To compare, Dallas has 385 schools, yet only 13 of those have a GreatSchools rating of eight or above. Out of Houston’s 657 primary and secondary schools, there are 33 schools that rank eight or higher. Only 5 percent of Houston’s schools obtained these high rankings, compared to San Antonio’s impressive 12.7 percent. Although Austin is significantly smaller, the city only has six schools ranking eight or higher, narrowing options for potential movers with school-aged children.

The top three elementary schools in San Antonio are Encino Park, Hardy Oak and Roan Forest Elementary, all with a GreatSchools rating of 10. Jose M. Lopez Middle School, Bush Middle School and Frank Tejeda Middle School all rank the highest in grades six through eight. Travis Early College High School, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the School of Science and Technology are all top high school facilities in San Antonio. Test scores, community ratings, reviews and student demographics for K-12 public, private or charter schools can be found on Zillow’s school information database.

Low Commute Time

Compared to the major metropolitan areas in the Texas Triangle, San Antonio ranks number two for lowest average commute time at just 25 minutes.
Austin outranks San Antonio by one minute, with an average commute time of 24 minutes. However, the population in Austin is far lower, which explains why accessibility is somewhat easier. Austin is comprised of about 773,906 people while San Antonio’s population is more than 1.3 million. Dallas has a smaller population than San Antonio (1.2 million), yet a higher commute time of 28 minutes. The largest city in the Texas Triangle is Houston, made up of more than 2 million people, with a much higher commute time averaging 29 minutes.

While any major metro city in Texas is going to have its drawbacks and benefits, affordability and the emphasis on education distinguish San Antonio as an ideal relocation city.

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The Power of Giving

What a wonderful short film that depicts the true power of giving. It serves as a reminder to give not to receive but to just simply give (because we truly care). Our life will unfold in ways that we don’t expect but if we’re always looking for instant fulfillment, we’ll never be fulfilled.

Dinosaurs in the Sky

I took the day off to take my son to the children’s museum. Something I did differently with the birth of my second child was not take full maternity leave so I could still have some ETO to take days off in the middle of the week to spend time with my kids. It has turned out well because I will take a random day off and take my son to do something special. My sister-in-law is a teacher and was on summer vacation so I met her and my brother and their daughter Ella at the New Braunfels Children’s museum. We had a great day of play, followed by an awesome lunch.

It would be about a 30 minute drive home so I was just cruising with some music and Jacob was just staring out the window. I figured he would fall asleep since he played pretty hard that morning. As we were driving down the highway, I heard him say something so I turned down the radio. He said, “look mommy a dinosaur.” I was looking around us to see what he was talking about. Whenever we drive past the Witte Museum, he’ll notice the dinosaur statue in the front (because they’re having their dinosaur exhibit) and he always catches it. But we were not near the Witte museum, and I could not see a dinosaur. I kept saying, “where?” And he said, “right there” and I looked at him in the rear view mirror and saw that he was pointing to the sky. I knew then what he was talking about. Some clouds made the formation of what he saw as a dinosaur. It brought back so many memories. Memories as a child looking up into the sky and seeing another world of creatures.

Memories of counting the stars at night.
Memories of catching fireflies in a jar.
Memories of packing “survival bags” and heading out into the backyard for the day.

And it got me thinking. My son is only 2 and we do have the iPad mini and my husband and I both have iPhones that we let him play with. If I had given him my iPhone on our way home, would he have seen the dinosaur in the sky? Probably not. Then I thought, why do we let him play on our devices anyways? Technology is a huge part of our lives and I want my children to know how to use technology but I don’t want it to replace the opportunity for them to imagine and create with only what the Earth has provided them. It goes back to the old saying, “when I was kid, we only had rocks and sticks.” Everyone has their own opinions and we will do what we believe is right for our own families. I do think there has to be a balance. I want my kids to use the devices to learn and play – and it should be a treat. I feel like my husband and I do a good job of this now but I think that if we don’t recognize little moments like this one, we could let it get out of hand and it could become a norm for our kids to always be on a device. I never want to get to a point where we use the device as a tool to pacify them if they are being unruly – that is just me being lazy as a parent.

Going forward I think that I should always ask the question before giving my kids a device to play with, will they miss seeing the dinosaur in the sky?

 

Wise Words from Ashton Kutcher

A friend recently tweeted out a video to Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the  Teen Choice Awards 2013. He was awarded the Ultimate Teen Choice Award and as part of his acceptance speech, he gave 3 life lessons to teens out there (yes, I watched the whole video because it was that good).

I was nodding my head in agreement when I heard his 3 life lessons. Here they are:

Opportunity is hard work.

“I never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job.”

And he didn’t always have glamorous jobs. He started doing carpentry work with his dad at 13, then on to washing dishes at a restaurant and then on to sweeping floors at a factory, etc. His point is that the job was never bigger than him and he saw each job as an opportunity for the next one.

Sexy is being smart, generous and thoughtful.

“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart and being thoughtful and being generous;  Everything else is crap, I promise you.”

Yes! This has always been a problem for young females. We are obsessed with who is on the cover of magazines and believe that to be wanted and loved, we have to look that way. If we want to continue to feel empty, then that is fine. But to feel wholesome and confident, we have to be smart, period.

Build a life, don’t live one.

“Everything around us that we call life was made by people that are no smarter than you are. You can build your own life that other people can live in.”

I think this lesson came from the inspiration of working on the new Steve Jobs movie that he will be starring in. Imagination is a wonderful gift that slowly gets smaller and smaller as we grow older because we try to conform to the world around us. I feel that it is my job as a parent to not let that happen to my kids.

Ashton is spot on. It’s easy for our youth to get obsessed with reality TV, leaving them to believe that we are entitled to glamorous lives without working hard.  That isn’t reality and someone with a high profile like Ashton needs to tell them so. Kids need to understand that they have to work to get what they want.

Thanks (Chris) Ashton Kutcher.

How My Husband Stuck with One Company for 10 Years

Couples celebrate first dates, years of marriage but today I’d like to celebrate my husband’s 10 year tenure at Rackspace. Of course, it’s special to me because we met 10 years ago while working at Rackspace and we will always joke about how we first met – can you say Linux nerds? I was the newly college grad entering the workforce who didn’t have a clue about computers and well, clearly he did.

10 years at one company is a huge accomplishment in today’s professional world, especially at the age of 31. For employees between 25-34 years, the average tenure for an employee is 3.2 years. And Jason is in the 3% of Rackers that have been at Rackspace 10 years or longer. Wow. There’s something to be said for crossing this milestone because it’s not an easy task. We live in an era of job hopping, especially in our industry, and sometimes it can be good for your resume. But to stick with one company and grow within that organization takes a lot of focus and dedication.  Fortunately, Rackspace has grown over the years, with 400 employees in 2003 to over 4000 employees today, offering a lot of opportunities if you seek it.

So how did Jason do it? I have learned so much from my husband and if I had to boil it down to one thing it would be to “Be Persistent.” Persistent by definition means “Continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” I also like this word because it’s a computer science term as well.

For someone that has been by his side throughout these 10 years (5 years of friendship + 5 years of marriage), I’ve seen his strong work ethic shine through again and again. Although he has taught me a lot over the course of 10 years, I think these 3 lessons stand out the most:

Sometimes you have to do things you don’t like to get to do the things you love.

Early on, Jason knew he wanted to work for a tech company like Rackspace. You might say that what he started doing and doing what he does today has always been his dream job. I think there is a misconception about “finding a job you love” because although you may love what you do, you might not like every aspect of it at certain times and you can’t let that ruin it for you. It’s like a marriage, you know you love the person but there will be times where you might not “like” the person because of some disagreements here and there. If you continue to overcome those small, annoying obstacles, you will find yourself having the opportunity to pave the path for others.

There will always be “that someone” you constantly disagree with but they are the ones you can learn the most from.

Let’s face it, there will be times that you may not agree with your boss or coworker and it can be frustrating – we’ve all been there. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why people actually quit their jobs. Of course, over 10 years, Jason has been down that road more than once. Each time, however, he has always come out learning something about himself. Today he is more aware of the type of person he is in the business world because of all the people he has had to work with. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn and because Jason sees it this way, it makes it easier not to give up because of a simple disagreement. He does an amazing job of tailoring his responses to the variety of personalities he interacts with.

You are always replaceable regardless of title, tenure or who you know – so never take your eye off the ball.

This is what I love the most about my husband. He never thinks anything is owed to him because of his tenure. Everyday he works his tail off to get the job done and then some. Although he has complained about a lot of things at work, he has never once ever complained about how his job sucks. He loves his job and he never takes it for granted. He knows that he is replaceable and this is what keeps him moving forward – to continue to accomplish bigger and better things.

Thanks for all you do Jason, you are a true inspiration!

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