San Antonio, Texas, is big, even for a state where everything is bigger. Spread over 465 sq. miles, the city boasts a population of 1.3 million residents and the distinction of being second only to Houston in terms of size and seventh in the country in terms of population. As an important military center - Fort Sam Houston and Lackland Air Force Base are nearby - San Antonio also has a strong military population. With its long history, diverse population, strong sporting culture and variety of tourist attractions, San Antonio has grown to be one of the brightest lights in the Lone Star State.
San Antonio is a growing real estate market. This is reflected in the average home listing price across the city, which hovers around $274,819 and has stayed quite consistent as of late. The median home sales price, on the other hand, is quite low at $68,765 - down 17% compared to last year. Total sales, too, have been relatively slow with 223 transactions over the last 90 days, which is down 24.7% over the same period last year.
For buyers, slower growth can only mean one thing: plenty of places to choose from, and plenty of deals to be had. There are currently a combination of about 10,354 resale and new homes for sale in the San Antonio real estate market. Of these, 2,319 are currently in the pre-foreclosure or bank-owned stage of foreclosure, which translates into better deals for buyers. The vacancy rate for the sales market is around 2 percent. The vacancy rate for the rental market, however, is close to 8 percent, which is slightly lower than the national rental vacancy rate of 9.4%. With plenty of properties on rent for relatively cheap, San Antonio can be a great place to look for rent to own homes.
With over 20 million annual tourist visits, San Antonio ranks right up there with the heavyweights in Florida and California when it comes to tourism. Tourists mainly come to the city for its historic buildings, great weather, cuisine, and outdoor activities.
One of the most popular places in the city is SeaWorld San Antonio. Home to Shamu the Killer Whale and Clyde and Seamore the Sea Lions, SeaWorld San Antonio also boasts a wide variety of other marine life to keep you entertained for hours.
Along the same lines as SeaWorld is the Six Flags Fiesta Texas resort. One of the biggest Six Flags in the country, Fiesta Texas is the tourist spot in San Antonio for thrill seekers and roller coaster lovers. It boasts the 20-story high 'Boomerang' super-coaster, the stomach-churning 'Frisbee', and terrifyingly fun 'Goliath' inverted roller-coaster to get your adrenaline pumping.
If you prefer something more sedate and cultural, San Antonio offers the beloved River Walk - a path meandering around downtown with the river on one side, and shops, bars and restaurants on the other. If you get tired of walking, you can also hitch a boat ride and take in San Antonio's culture and natural beauty. The River Walk eventually leads to the famous Arneson River Theater - an outdoor performance theater right on the edge of the water.
Downtown is also home to the Alamo Mission - site of the Battle of Alamo in 1836 and Texas' most visited tourist attraction. The Alamo today stands as a testament to Texas' history. The area's Mexican culture can be experienced at the Cathedral of San Fernando, the La Villita Historic Arts Village, the historic Menger's Hotel, and the Spanish Governor's Palace, most of which are located downtown.
Like the rest of Texas, San Antonio has a strong outdoor culture. When Texas' scorching summer sun starts heating up, locals like to cool off at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark or the Splashtown Waterpark.Schlitterbahn is considered by many to be one of the best waterparks in the world and boasts seventeen slides and three full miles of tube rides. Splashdown, on the other hand, is an awesome alternative that takes up a whopping 20 acres and has one of the largest wave pools in the state. For something more quiet, you can go fishing on Lake Braunig, which is just a few miles outside the city.
One of the city's favorite outdoor spots is the Natural Bridge Caverns. This vast system of underground caves and walkways attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year who come here for its underground hiking trails. Yet another option for would-be cavern explorers is Cascade Caverns, located a short drive from the city.
Besides hanging out in waterparks and hiking through caverns, you can also play a round of golf in the city's Hill Country, relax at Lake Calaveras, and hike at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.
San Antonio is enormous with dozens of distinct neighborhoods to fit your budget and lifestyle requirements. Below, we'll take a closer look at some of the top neighborhoods and areas in San Antonio:
Midtown:Located in the city's northern half, this area has a wide range of neighborhoods, including Beacon Hills, the new Five Points area, and the classy Monte Vista.
Uptown Central: This massive area of the city has been broken down into two main parts and is highlighted by the Terrell Hills community. Located in the Uptown Broadway section of the uptown Central area, this neighborhood is home to celebrities and Hollywood actors like Tommy Lee Jones.
North Central: This area includes several small neighborhoods that are all surrounded by bigger San Antonio boroughs.
West Side: Home shoppers looking to get in on the city's growth should look to the West Side, which has experienced rampant growth in the last few years, especially from first-time home buyers.
Inner West Side: This wonderful, culturally rich neighborhood is known to be a great place to take in San Antonio's Mexican and Tejano culture.
East Side: This older neighborhood is home to several of San Antonios bigger event centers, including the Alamodome, the AT&T Center, and the Freeman Coliseum.
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