Overall, San Antonio, TX is 66.7% cheaper than San Francisco, CA

Your Money Goes Farther in San Antonio

San Antonio, TX
San Francisco, CA

$175,400 San Antonio, TX

87% less

Median Home Cost

$1,331,100 San Francisco, CA

$3,568San Antonio, TX

60% less

Property Taxes

(annual based on avg price home)

$8,865 San Francisco, CA

San Antonio, TX Webinar

Everything you need to know about San Antonio, TX featuring Dayton Schrader of EXP Realty and Scott Fuller, Founder of www.LeavingTheBayArea.com


- Hello everybody, Scott Fuller, founder of leavingthebayarea.com. Welcome to our Market Insider Series where every week, and every episode we take you to a different destination across the U.S. where we see Californians interested in moving to. We're gonna give you a great overview today, and I'm really excited 'cause we are traveling South to Texas, San Antonio. And I am here with Dayton Schrader from eXp Realty. Dayton, welcome, thanks for joining me today.

- Well, Scott thank you very much for inviting me, I'd love to tell you about San Antonio. It's been my home all my life and I'm really proud to be here.

- That's excellent, okay, perfect. So we've got a lot of great stuff to cover, a lot of really, really good information I'm excited to get into this. Give me kind of your background, Dayton, on your experience, how long you've been in San Antonio, originally from there, just kind of give us all of that background.

- So, I got here when I was three years old, I grew up here, went to high school, went to college at Texas A&M University, I ended up back in San Antonio in the early '80s and got into the real estate business. The first house I ever sold was Super Bowl Sunday 1982. And if you're a Bay Area resident, you'll remember that was the drive, that was Joe Montana against the Cincinnati Bengals. I was low man that day, and nobody else wanted to work, so I got the call and I sold a house that day, and I've been in the business ever since, so that was 37 years ago.

- So you've had a little bit of experience it sounds like.

- Absolutely, I love my town, I love this industry. Growing up, I had no idea what a real estate agent was. I grew up in my grandparents' house, so they never moved, so I fell into this business but I've just had the best time. I struggled for many, many years but once we got it rolling, the economy in San Antonio improved, I got a little bit better at what I was doing, we managed to carve out a pretty good business and I've been pleased with it.

- Absolutely, and I know you guys, your team down there, is very well known, very well respected, and that's why I'm happy to have you on because I consider you a subject matter expert, not just in real estate but obviously as somebody living in San Antonio. Really understanding what it's like to live there, and I think that's what our viewers really wanna understand, is what's the real deal with San Antonio. They gonna find out if it might be a viable option for them if they're considering a relocation out of California.

- We got a ton of clients moving here from California, they've been thrilled at how far their dollar will go, what you can buy in San Antonio, the lifestyle, the restaurants, the entertainment, it's a great place to be.

- So, would you say that you're seeing a lot more people coming into the area over the last couple years? Have you seen a market increase in that?

- No, we've been growing for many, many years. So, we've doubled in the last 30 years as a population, we're gonna double again in the next 30 years. We are currently the seventh largest city in the country. San Antonio is in Bexar County, it's B-E-X-A-R, and so the Spanish is . It's referred to as Bexar County. There are about 35 municipalities in Bexar County, San Antonio being the largest in the county seat, and then the surrounding area, and we service the five surrounding counties, there are about two million people in the SMSA. We've got about a million four in the city of San Antonio, a million seven in the county, and two million in the surrounding metropolitan area.

- So quite a big city, like you said, a lot of growth taking place and I look forward to talking a little more about that. So the people that you're seeing, that are generally coming in, whether it's your team helping them move into the area, or maybe just people you are seeing coming in. Are those working individuals or families who are looking for being transferred or maybe a new job opportunity? Or are you seeing retirees, or maybe a mix of the two?

- A combination of both. We're growing organically as a city. We've got a very young population by most city standards. We also have tremendous in-migration. We are a huge military population. We have over 100,000 DOD and military-related jobs in San Antonio, and that's a very steady sector for us. Tremendous medical industry and facilities here in San Antonio, a university system as well. We're also a wonderful place to retire, we have a lot of people coming here that either came through San Antonio at some point in their lifetime, or they're chasing children or grandchildren, maybe they served here in the military at some point. We got great hospital infrastructure and a very low cost of living, municipal golf courses, great facilities, lot of entertainment, and so there are a lot of people pouring into our city right now.

- Absolutely. Well, let's dig a little bit deeper into that cost of living, because when people are, in California assessing maybe a retirement destination, or maybe a change of job, they're looking at what is that cost of living, and the first thing is, how much do homes cost and what are you gonna get for that home? And I know that you've pulled up some homes for us to take a look at, if you'd like to go ahead and pull that up and--

- Absolutely, sure. Here are a couple of samples in different parts of San Antonio. This is my city right here, this is the city of San Antonio. The first big loop is Loop 410, that was not even completed when I was a child. 1604 is our big outer loop. It's about a 30-mile radius across, if you drool down just a little bit, I'll show you just a couple of subsets of San Antonio. There's our downtown, that's where the Alamo is. The Tower of the Americas is where we hosted the Hemisfair. Sea World is out in this far west side of San Antonio, Fiesta Texas is over here, in this northwest part of San Antonio. I-10 runs from Jacksonville, Florida, goes through Houston, all the way through downtown San Antonio, out the other side, north and west to El Paso, and all the way to Los Angeles. I-35 runs north, south from South Central America, all the way through Mexico, through downtown San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and all the way to Minneapolis. We have two major interstates that come through our city, and it's a big crossroad. Tremendous amount of free trade zone, lot of trade coming through here from Mexico, South and Central America, and so it's a bustling, big warehouse districts, a lot of things going on here.

- Excellent.

- So, one of the things I wanted to tell you, to show the people about, a little bit, is Sonterra, that's where I live in this north central part of San Antonio, and I'm gonna pull up a couple of examples of houses in the Sonterra area. Those houses range anywhere from around 300,000, to up to the low seven figures. Beautiful country club community. There's 14 subsets of Sonterra. So they range from garden homes, all the way up to estate homes, they wrap around two golf courses, and which are just outside my office and just outside my front door. I've got about a two-minute commute in the morning, so that's very attractive to me, and I know--

- I was gonna say, that's good, you've got the short commute, you've got the golf courses right there, so you're kinda .

- Quality of life is really good, this house on Willino is a nice example of a modest house here in Sonterra. It's about 400,000, four bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, it has a pool in the backyard, hardwood floors, it's about 20-22 years old. Excellent condition, walk in, drop your furniture, a nice pool in the backyard. Not a super fancy house but a good example of how far 400,000 will go in this area, in this community.

- Sure.

- One of the other big neighborhoods in San Antonio is Alma Heights. That is its own incorporated city. Wanna show you an example of a really nice house in there. We put this couple in this house a couple of years ago. They are now selling and moving out. These houses are pre-World War II, built in the '30s and '40s, a lot of them have been rehabbed and refinished. This one's a little bit smaller, about 1300 square feet, in the mid threes, excellent condition, redone the kitchen. Very good schools, very highly regarded, very high percentage of college-bound students. Sitting on about two tenths of an acre, very close to downtown, very close to the major employers downtown, and several of the military bases.

- So when you say close to downtown, let's talk about that in driving distance, so if I were to purchase a home in this area, how long would it take me to get to downtown, let's say, rush hour traffic?

- Oh, from Alma Heights, it's only 10 or 15 minutes on surface streets. You probably wouldn't even bother getting on the highway.

- Okay.

- From where I live to downtown central, this north central area, just north of the airport, that would probably be a, I would say maybe a 30-minute drive in peak traffic, 7:30, 8 o'clock in the morning.

- Not bad.

- Not bad at all, no, no, not by California standards. No, you can live in good as 45 minutes or an hour would put you out in the woods, it would put you in, a way out in a rural area, maybe on some land, two to five to 10 acres. Spectacular properties just outside of this map area. So that's our whole metro area if you will.

- Okay.

- You could be way up this I-10 corner, the Dominion is a beautiful neighborhood where a lot of the Spurs live, captains of industry, beautiful golf course, country club, those houses range 400, 500,000 well up into seven figures and great development, good schools, gated, guarded, and tremendous location, lot of amenities out there and so on.

- What areas would you say are, you're experiencing the most growth as far as population growth or new construction?

- This northeast corridor, going out IH35, which is off towards New Braunfels, this area is just exploding with growth. The developers, the builders, the utilities are all there, and all these small communities, Schertz, Cibolo, Garden Ridge, Universal City, are all their own incorporated cities and they are booming. They've got very good schools, good infrastructure. There are some employers there, but more than anything else, they've got proximity to highways, access, ingress, egress, and really good schools that are attracting a lot of people. They're also very close to one of our big military bases, which is Randolph Air Force Base here, in the center of your screen right now.

- And I would imagine that a lot of, that's new construction, so what would you expect to pay for a standard new construction home in that area?

- Those houses are gonna range in the twos, up into the four, $500,000 range. The sweet spot in there is 300,000, 250 to 300, somewhere in that range, I believe this is a good example. This is a little bit closer to New Braunfels, cute little house on a 45, maybe a 50-foot lot, 110 feet deep, fairly new construction, 1500 square feet. Great retirement house, also a good rental. We have a lot of investors that are picking up houses in the 150 to $200,000 range and those seem to work pretty well from a cash-flow basis. They'll return six to 7% with some appreciation. This is a really nice example of a low 200s house that would rent pretty well or be a great one story owner-occupied, tabletop flat, no trip hazard, no ankle breakers, really good example.

- And what would you expect a house like that to rent for, if your price point's about 200 to 225?

- That's gonna rent for, probably 80 cents to a dollar a square foot, so 15 to 1700, somewhere in that range consistently. It's good to be a landlord in San Antonio right now. The builders are super conservative about not flooding the market with too much stuff. The job growth is good, the in-migration is good, so we got a pretty good rental portfolio and it does well.

- And the state might favor landlords a little bit more than tenants, would that be fair to say?

- Yeah, very much a landlord. There are some challenges and some of our sub-markets are imposing some other rules, but we're pretty well versed in all of that, but it's definitely a landlord friendly state relative to other communities.

- Got it. Tell us a little bit more about, so we looked at a couple of areas, we looked at a couple of different properties, what about some of the higher end? Show us again, kind of, 'cause some people are gonna be coming from California and saying, "You know what? "We wanna keep it very simple, right?" Maybe they want the 250 to $350,000 range. Some people might be coming over, they've got a lot of equity, they've got a lot of money, and they really want that nice house, maybe up to 750, up to a million. What's that gonna look like and where would that be located at?

- Oh my goodness, so we had a case study for you. I had a client from Huntington Beach, California that came here and their little three bedroom, one bath bungalow had gone to over a million dollars, million and one, million two, they sold it, wrote a check for a house here in San Antonio out of a very nice area in Cordillera Ranch. $650,000 for three or four acres, nice 4,000 square foot house, two or three times what they owned in Huntington Beach. I wrote a check for that house, still had over a half million dollars cash left over. So, we got one story after another like that, all day long, where that big equity position pays cash for a house in San Antonio and then you still have quite a bit of money to work just for other activities or investments or whatever. And those houses are in my neighborhood and all over San Antonio, three, four, 500,000 all day long.

- Excellent. So, let's talk a little bit about the retiring model. So we work with a lot of people who are interested in retirement. They're looking for a change. The Bay Area has changed. Perhaps that their kids and grandkids have moved away, so they're looking for an area that's gonna be friendly for them. I know you guys have a Del Webb community, and a few other 55 plus communities. Give us an idea of kind of where those are located at, what price range you would expect to pay, and what type of amenities would be offered within that community?

- Fantastic, so our Del Webb community is spectacular, and they've done a great job here. It's out of this northwest, basically west of Downtown San Antonio, probably a 25 minute drive into downtown San Antonio along this highway. It is very close to Sea World, right across the highway from Sea World. Nationwide Insurance is out here, QVC is out here, World Savings was here, and now that's Wells Fargo, has that campus for all your Bay Area world savings alone. They got a huge presence here in San Antonio, now branded as Wells Fargo. It's not too far from Fiesta Texas up here at the top of your map. The medical center is in this area. That Del Webb community, those houses run anywhere from the, you might find something under 200, 175, 180, up into the mid twos and low threes, generally speaking. Very highly amenitized. They do not have a golf course there, but there's quite a few golf courses close by, Hyatt Regency has a very nice complex with golf, and then there's some other municipal golf courses that are not too far away. And then of course the military bases all have some really nice golf courses. Again, not too far from the medical center, great lifestyle, it's like living on a cruise ship. It is non-stop activity. Those people are going all the time. And there's a market and a resale market there as well.

- Okay, around maybe like that 200 or 300 price range, what kind HOA dues would you be expecting to pay for all these amenities?

- Roughly five to $600 a month in a super highly amenitized area like Del Webb. There might be a capital contribution of a 1000 or $1500 on a transfer, that catches some people off guard, but beyond that it's not a major capital contribution, and a lot of the other neighborhoods don't have that. There are plenty of really great, active adult communities that are Del Webb branded. They've got good builders that really appeal to that market, recognize that opportunity, and deliver a great product in that space. Anywhere from mid to high twos, into the four, five, $600,000 range, all day long. Super tricked out houses, very highly amenitized.

- And is that kind of situation where they're gonna have kind of a mix of builds, they'll have some detached, maybe some attached, type of housing?

- Single-family detached is still our predominant product. Our land costs are lower, development costs are lower. They're going up, but they're still relatively low. Our density is not what the requirement of, we're not land locked, we've got no natural boundaries so we have a tendency to spread out. A garden home community might be a 40 or a 45 foot lot. Our traditional single family lots are 50s and 55s, up to a third of an acre if you start getting into the four, $500,000 range, and then a full acre or more is not unaffordable, it's available. Depending on the age of the house, the part of town, the school district, or things like that.

- Well, and I don't think a lot of people would find personal sticker shock on the acquisition price of the property, but also on the Home Owners Association dues. We have some 55 plus communities here where HOA dues can run anywhere between $750 up to $1300 a month. Yeah, so it's pretty crazy, and obviously the build style here is different. There isn't a lot of building taking place, there's a lot of red tape in California from a building perspective to begin with. So we're building up, we're moving shorter lot lines, and you guys obviously, you're still providing a lot of that space that I think people are looking for that is hard to get around here.

- Well, we got no natural boundaries, so no water issues, no mountain ranges that we're up against or anything like that, so we just keep going out in concentric rings and have for, we just had our 300th birthday last year, along with New Orleans, to celebrate. So that's how long the city's been incorporated, or been here, and so we just keep going out in concentric rings and dragging the utilities, dragging the infrastructure. They've got a very spread out workforce, so it's not a super premium on a downtown area. There's a couple of subsets that command that, but generally speaking, there're not big premium on any one side of town, because of that.

- And as far as the downtown's concerned, is it common to have the high rise condos or the mixed use down there? Is there a market for that? For maybe younger professionals, or is that still not so much San Antonio?

- Well, we're becoming a hip, cool town. We are regarded as one of the great towns for millennials, which is kinda hard for me to believe, having grown up here. My sleepy little town's finally transforming.

- Things have changed, right?

- How about that? It's amazing. I'll give you an example. Downtown Denver has probably 12,000 dwelling units, maybe a few more now. Downtown San Antonio might have 2500 to 3000 dwelling units, so it's one of our most underserved markets. We got a very vibrant downtown with a lot of great things going on. Theater, restaurants, attractions. Of course, our river walk is our crown jewel. That was a WP Project built in The Great Depression to keep downtown from flooding, and it's just magnificent. If you've ever been to San Antonio, you know that's the place to go, and that's been extended both north and south, been a huge municipal project they're doing quite well on. The Pearl is a beautiful property. It was a former brewery that's been repurposed and it's a beautiful attraction, great restaurants, a lot of fun, very vibrant area. So downtown is picking up. It's becoming a cool place to live for millennials. It's clean, it's safe, it's very well controlled, any issues down there whatsoever. So, we attract probably 20 million tourists a year into San Antonio that either go into the Alamo, Fiesta Texas, or Sea World are our big attractions. And so they pour into town, and it's everybody's second home in Texas.

- Yeah, I think the last time I was in San Antonio, it's been a while, it's been probably 10 years, went down to the river walk, loved it. I'm sure that there's been a lot of growth and expansion since then but it's beautiful.

- Yeah, they've done a fantastic job. We have our own little Panama Canal. We've have a loch that raises the boat about 15 feet, all of our tour boats and things like that. So, it's kinda fun but it's a beautiful linear park right through the middle of downtown. Great history, lot of fun times down there.

- One thing I wanna make sure that we cover, as I mentioned, for the people who are looking to move into, whether it's an active adult community or not, maybe they're just looking to move into a regular community, but they're getting in their senior years. A big question always is healthcare. Access to healthcare, proximity, healthcare providers, things like that. Tell us a little bit about what you know, as far as the quality of healthcare services in San Antonio.

- I think it's unparalleled. So we have a unique situation with our military complex. A lot of the military doctors will go to our county hospital for trauma cases and they get, unfortunately, experience with gunshot wounds and things like that. The local doctors will, the non-military doctors also spend time at Brooke Army Medical Center, which is now San Antonio Medical Center, which is part of Joint Base San Antonio. So we have Humana hospitals, we have the Methodist System, the Baptist System, we have local hospitals, we have the Health Science Center, which is a spectacular subset of UT System. We have a huge VA complex, a big VA hospital in the medical center which is this I-10 corridor, kinda northwest if you will, might be able to highlight that. This whole area is probably 40 or 50,000 medical related jobs right here. And then we have several other subsets of clusters of hospitals. On the northwest side of San Antonio, out this direction by Sea World, north central, downtown, and then across the southeast part of San Antonio headed up the I-35 corridor. So we've got a tremendous hospital complex, infrastructure, biomedical infrastructure as well. They do a lot of research here. It's a thriving part of our economy.

- And it sounds like, I mean, been so spread out as far as the locations, medical locations, that no matter where you're at, you're going to be in close proximity to services, right?

- Yes. Yes, we have a great EMS system for a trauma or for an emergency. We've got a great EMS system as well. It's run by our fire department, and we pioneered that program here in San Antonio and they do a really good job. That's part of your city and county taxes.

- Excellent, okay. Is there anything else you want to show us, as far as properties or are we good on that side of it?

- I can if we have more time at the end, but I think I'd love to tell you just about the city in general and we can benchmark some things and I'll do my Chamber of Commerce bit, and then if the opportunity presents itself down the road I'd love to help out.

- So why don't we close out your screen share for now? Tell us a little bit about what's going on with industry employment with some of the dominant industries or employers in the area? Obviously we have a lot of people who are working here, individuals or families, who are having a tough time making ends meet. The cost of living here is very, very difficult for a lot of people. So when they're looking into areas to potentially relocate to, to have a better cost of living, better quality of life, what are you seeing are some more dominant industries and companies that are expanding or moving into the San Antonio area?

- Well one of our biggest gets a few years ago was Toyota. They brought in a huge plant, so all the Tacomas and Tundras are built here in San Antonio. We have, obviously, a lot of DOD-related jobs, so cybersecurity, we do a tremendous amount of cyber here in San Antonio, a lot of defense work. We have Rackspace. USAA is one of our biggest employer, big financial service company, an insurance giant. Wells Fargo is here, Microsoft is here, Citi is here, there are big call centers and complexes here, very service related. We have some light manufacturing, obviously, with Toyota and some of their subsidiaries, and then a university system. Texas A&M, university system has A&M San Antonio, University of Texas system has UTSA, which has about 30,000 students, Trinity University, Incarnate Word University, Our Lady of the Lakes, St. Mary's University, so we've got some small Catholic universities here as well, and we probably have between a hundred and 120,000 people enrolled in higher education in San Antonio between the community colleges and our university systems here.

- Yeah, and obviously that brings in a ton of jobs, and also the supporting jobs to support those universities, right?

- Absolutely, the ripple effect of that is incalculable. We have Valero is headquartered here, NuStar, which was a spinoff of Valero. Marathon Oil has a big presence here. They just bought Tesoro which was also Andeavor, and I think Marathon's gobbled all that up. So we've got a big oil and gas presence here in San Antonio as well. The big oil and gas play south of San Antonio called Eagle Ford, and that's just been a huge boom for south and central Texas, and we're a beneficiary of that.

- The thing I like about San Antonio is the diversification of industry, because I think a lot of people consider, especially south Texas, it's just based off of energy, right? I mean, the industry is energy and if there's something that happens with that industry there could be potential problems, right? But there's such a diversification of industry, like you mentioned, with a lot of those employers.

- Well we were vulnerable years ago when we were all military. San Antonio was a one-trick pony, obviously tourism, but our biggest employer was military and we suffered a couple of base closures. We lost Kelly Air Force Base, which has now been a model for the privatization of that huge complex. They still do a lot of work for the C-58 Galaxies, and the P-52s and things like that. So, there's a lot of work being done down there, but we also lost Brooks Air Force Base to Wright-Patterson. We were able to absorb all of that, those job losses, and come back even stronger. Since the last round of BRAC and realignment we've a net beneficiary, we've gained a lot of jobs, a lot of DOD jobs, and the city's worked really, really hard to expand our offerings. And so, the medical center, the university complex, the financial services complex, so we've done a really good job in diversifying our economy. And then taking care of two big items, one is electric. We have the lowest price per kilowatt hour of just about anybody. We own our own utility company, and we have nuclear, wind, solar, and coal burning. So we can dial those up and back depending on what the circumstances are, and we own our own water company. So we've been able to take care of our water needs, and notice it's been able to attract big energy users like Microsoft and companies like that, that need steady electricity. We don't have any earthquakes here. We're far enough inland that we don't get hit by hurricanes. We're far enough south we don't typically get tornadoes here. We've got a great work ethic in San Antonio, very diverse culture, a lot of bilingual culture, so that helps us a lot too.

- And I was just reading something, this is I think from a few weeks ago, from "Business Facilities,. Every year they put out an annual rankings report for the highest economic growth potential and top ranked large markets and San Antonio was in the top three.

- Yes.

- There is certainly a lot of planned growth, and expected growth to continue to keep it a hot market.

- We think we've got good, we've got term limits in our city governance, so that helps a little bit. We got a great, strong city manager that's done a fantastic job helping build up our business and our image. We've had some great leaders in the past that went on to bigger things. So that's helped our profile as a city. We've hosted several Final Fours. That's always been good for the city, and then obviously, our tourism is a big boost. A lot of people come here for a great time, recognize it as a nice place to be, very friendly, very open culture, and it helps bring us back people quality life and the affordability, makes a very attractive place.

- So we talked a little bit about transportation. I mean, obviously, even from the downtown area to some of the more outlying areas you mentioned that's usually not gonna be more than 30 to 45 minutes unless if you're really out in the sticks, right?

- That is correct.

- As far as, like, from a growth perspective, are there existingtransportation, like different types of high speed transportation or like light rails or mass transportation options? Is that in the works? Is it necessary?

- I would love to see light rail in San Antonio. I don't think I'll live to see it. We have a great bus system that wins awards every year for their innovation called VIA and they've done a fantastic job. Again, with a very diverse workforce, spread out workforce, great infrastructure in our highway system, we don't have the trouble that other city, Austin, or Houston, or Dallas do, So we're in pretty good shape there. We don't have any toll roads in San Antonio. That's been offered many times and that keeps getting beat back so we rely on the state and local revenues to buy our highways, to build our highways. So we're probably a little behind where we should be but the money is pouring in to get caught up on some of that stuff. And I think for better or for worse we're not gonna have any tolls here any time soon.

- Yeah, and as you mentioned, every city's gonna be a little bit unique. I know that Austin's having some challenges with its growth, and I think even Denver and some other cities are because it's had so much growth and the way that their, the way that the roads are structured, it's not really conducive to the growth that they've had come in. And so, they haven't been very forward in kinda putting together initiatives to be able to address a lot of those transportation issues. Sounds like for San Antonio, if it needs to be in the works, it will be.

- They get it done, and one of the byproducts of that is we've got a tremendous bond rating. We are one of the most highly regarded cities, especially of our size, for their bond rating, so that helps keep our taxes lower, our borrowing cost lower, our governance is good, and that helps a lot too. So, it operates really well. When we're selling ourselves against other cities or municipalities for attraction, to bring in companies and things like that, I think we stack up pretty well.

- Now, Dayton, you mentioned taxes, which is one of Californian's most favorite thing to talk about.

- Right.

- Clearly, right? Obviously Texas does not have a state income tax.

- No, we're very proud of that, so no state income tax. I think that's the third rail, so any politician that even brings that up is, they're done. So, I don't think that'll happen any time soon.

- So, no state income tax, but obviously money for public services has to come in from somewhere, and your property taxes are a little bit higher there. So tell us a little bit about what the property tax rate looks like and how that kind of impacts affordability.

- So if you are in the city of San Antonio, your tax rate is typically 2.6, 2.7%, of the value of your home. The Bexar appraisal district, that's the county appraisal district, assesses the value every year. There are exemptions when you get to be 65 or you're disabled, your taxes are frozen. If you're a disabled vet in Texas we take very good care of our veterans and we take especially good care of our disabled veterans. They don't pay any property tax, and that may be true in a lot of other states, but I've only lived here so.

- I never knew that.

- We're really, really good for our vets, and San Antonio being a military town, we take good care of our vets here. And so if you're owner-occupant, and you're a disabled vet, your taxes are little or nothing, and for the life, as long as you live in that house, and even for beneficiary, spouses, things like that, survivors. So, it's a great place to live. If you live out of the city, the city tax goes away, that typically six or seven basis points. So on your typical $300,000 house, the taxes are gonna be about $8,000 a year with no exemptions whatsoever. If you get a homestead exemption, that'll give you a little bit of a break. Of you are over 65, your taxes are locked in. The value might go up but your taxes are locked, and so that helps a little bit. There's no transfer tax. If you are in a home owners association area, those are typically 100, $110 a month on the high end. Some are as low as 30 or $40 a month depending on how many rooftops and what the amenities package is. There are a lot of neighborhoods that don't have any HOH fee whatsoever. They're readily available with very nice houses, too. You're not giving up a house or a school district or quality or anything like that, they just don't happen to have it.

- So the average, you mentioned is gonna be maybe 2.6 to 2.8%. There might be exemptions or areas that are gonna bring it down lower than that. Just to kinda put it into perspective for people here in California, what we're seeing, and obviously it can change depending on where you're at, we typically see about 1 1/4%?

- Right.

- On the property tax side of it. So obviously there's gonna be a bit of a difference, but when you're factoring in all the other calculations of home ownership and things like that, it's quite an impact when of course you have your, no state income tax which obviously helps your bottom line as well.

- Well if you look at any cost of living indicator and compare San Antonio to the Bay Area, I think we're gonna turn out fairly, our gas is between 2.15 and maybe 2.50 a gallon for gas or the nickel-dime junk fees that you get roped up on are really pretty innocuous compared to California. That no state income tax, and our properties are probably in a lot of instances maybe half of what your property is. The total burden of ownership is gonna be, our utility cost is gonna be lower, water's gonna be lower, so overall cost of ownership is probably gonna be less dramatically.

- It's gonna be a lot less. I mean, what we're seeing, just to make some comparisons, our state income tax rate is about 12.3%, sales tax is about 8 1/4%, plus or minus, which is pretty average. And a gallon of gas right now, I think I filled up a couple days ago for $4, which is down from a couple months ago. We were closer to that 4.50 mark. However, there is another increase from the state coming up at the beginning of 2020 from what I've heard. So, again, if you look at it from a collective of your total cost of living, it's gonna be, San Antonio's gonna win in a lot of different of those areas.

- Well the license fees, there're other things that you have for your cars that we don't have to do here, the list goes on and on. I get why you wanna live there. I mean, I've been to the Bay Area, I got a ton of friends out there up and down the California, I get why people wanna live there, it's a beautiful state.

- Beautiful.

- The weather's spectacular, but between the politics, the taxes, the traffic, I couldn't last there very long. But I do think it is a beautiful place to live.

- Let's talk about the weather, because California, in my opinion, has some of the best weather anywhere.

- No doubt.

- It's just amazing. Now, San Antonio, talk to us about the humidity, because, how humid is it? What's it really like? Let's say today, we're recording this August 21st, what's it like outside?

- So, 21 days into August, we probably had 10 days at 100 or 101 degrees. We typically get 28 inches of rainfall in a calendar year. We're two or three inches behind that at this point in the year, and we'll get years where we get into the mid 30s but Houston probably gets 35 to 40 inches a year. We typically, in San Antonio, get high 20s. We'll go August and September, we'll hover 95 to 101 most of those days,. A good day would be 95, 96 and then up to 101, 102, then it'll be back down 95, 96. We get to October 1st. I refer to that as my San Diego stretch, so October, November, December, very pleasant in San Antonio. Maybe we get a freeze first or second week of December, we get a snowfall every six to 10 years, and it's a dusting. Might shut the city down for a day, but that's about it, a little sleet, and then it rains again in April, May, June, but the spring in San Antonio is pretty spectacular. Our cold month is January, February, and then by March it starts getting pretty good again. We play golf year round. I mean, we always threw the football around in our shorts on Christmas Day, because everybody got a new football on Christmas Day and it was not, rarely was it cold or snowing on Christmas. So if you can make it through August and September, those are our two toughest months, in the high 90s, low hundreds.

- And you gotta, I mean, you have the humidity index also to added to that, so is it really humid or are you not really feeling that?

- No, not like it is in Houston or Louisiana, or some place like that. We're far enough from the coast that we don't get quite that oppressive humidity, so we'll have 100 degrees and the heat index will be 103 or 104. So it's not that--

- Okay, so it's not that big of a difference?

- No sir. No, it's not that bad. At least, I've lived here all my life so I'm kinda conditioned to it.

- Tell me a little bit about, what does Dayton like to do with his family? What do people do for recreation out there?

- So, I personally, I'm married a little over 30 years, we just had our 30th last year. I've got a daughter who's in Houston working. I'm a golfer myself, I don't play nearly as much as I used to, but I love to play, also I like to shoot skeet. San Antonio restaurants are spectacular. There's so many great restaurants, a lot of good museums, a lot of theater. We got some great theaters. We attract some good bands, good comedians, Broadway shows, things like that. We got some beautiful properties for that sort of thing. Recreation, the rivers. It's fun to float in the various rivers around here. We got several lakes, 30, 40 minutes away where you can have a boat in water in less than an hour, that are good recreational or fishing lakes. We're three hours to the beach, door-to-door, and you can have your toes in the sand, in the Gulf of Mexico.

- What beach would that be? Like what city area is that?

- Port Aransas, Mustang Island, Corpus Christi area.

- Okay.

- Corpus Christi's on the bay, the barrier islands are where the beaches are. Really nice, warm, I mean, not like the Pacific by any stretch of the imagination, so the Gulf of Mexico, warm water.

- It's good the water's warm, 'cause over here, I mean, especially up north, you don't go in the water without a wetsuit, it's cold.

- No, and so, just fun stuff to do. We got great theater complexes, entertainment, things like that. And again, Fiesta Texas is big, Sea World is big, we have a beautiful zoo. There was also a Depression-era project, it was a former quarry, did a great job there. And then, local university football games, high school football games, obviously that's very big in Texas. And so, we got stuff going on year round. Fiesta is in April, that's our big celebration from our independence from Mexico, the Battle of San Jacinto and Battle of the Alamo and all that kinda stretches out for a couple of weeks during our Fiesta. And so, good--

- I'm always amazed by sports in Texas, whether it's high school or college, I mean, just the schools are incredible, the programs are incredible, it's just, it's a lifestyle, right?

- Yeah, oh, very much so, and we have great schools here. Our high schools are very highly regarded, good percentage of college bound students. We also have a lot of Catholic high schools. We have an Episcopal high school, a Lutheran high school. We have about several non-denominational schools as well, so we touch all the bases there. A pretty diverse population. We're probably 60% Hispanic, five to 8% African American, and then we've got an Asian population, and then the balance is--

- Sure, right.

- Us, the gringos.

- There you go, yeah. So, Dayton this is great, I wanna give you the final word. Before I do that, a lot of people like to come out and visit an area and kinda check it out, get their feet on the ground, and really learn about it up front and personal. I know that's something you guys, you love to do, if they wanna come out and have you tour 'em around a little bit, maybe an afternoon or a day, take them around and show them some areas. You guys are open for that, right?

- Oh absolutely, we're in the business to help people. That is how we built our business for over 30 years now, and so if they're owner-occupants, or thinking down the road two or three years to retirement, they wanna come here and chase the kids or the grandkids, or if they're looking for some investment opportunities, San Antonio is a great place to put some money. And we got again, a good economy, a good growing economy. They've not flooded the market with too many rentals, so it's a good, solid, steady place, and affordable to spend a little money around if somebody's interested in some non-owner occupied opportunities we'll have those.

- Absolutely, and on our website, when we post this video on there, whoever's interested in meeting with Dayton and his team out there, maybe paying a visit, learn a little bit more, feel free to contact us, or even contact us through info@leavingthebayarea.com. Dayton, we've covered a lot of really good stuff, I hope we got everything. Is there anything that maybe you wanted to mention that we didn't cover?

- Well, I think we barely scratched the surface on San Antonio, but I understand that the attention span is limited at some point, so I'd love the opportunity to visit with any of your friends, anybody that's connected through you, and I'd be very grateful for that. We'll help out any way that we can, and take certainly good care of them, and be happy to show off my city. I'm very proud of it, I love what I do. I love the people and the stories, and so if there's opportunity we can earn your business, we'd be very grateful.

- That's great, and I consider this webinar a kind of a great primer, right? 'Cause we're trying to cover a whole lot of information in what's gonna end up being about 45 minutes or so. So you get a little bit of an overview, but enough just to say, you know what? Let's get out there and take a trip and take a closer look. So that's great. All right, fantastic, Dayton. Well, hey, thank you again. This has been an incredible amount of information. I appreciate your time today. Let's stay in touch, and thank you everybody for taking some time to join us today.

- Thank you very much, really grateful for the opportunity.

- Okay, take care. Thanks everybody.

Cost of Living Comparisons

San Antonio, TX VS San Francisco, CA
Cost to Rent

70% less

Cost to Rent

Cost to Rent

2.7% less


Cost to Rent

21.6% less

Food & Groceries

Cost to Rent

7% less

Health Costs

Cost to Rent

37.2% less


Cost to Rent

25.1% less

Auto Insurance (Annually)

Cost to Rent

17% less

Auto Sale Tax

Cost to Rent

27.1% less

Auto Registration (Annually)

Cost to Rent

3.8% less

Sales Tax

Cost to Rent

100% less

State Income Tax

Cost to Rent

42.3% less

Child Care

Commute Comparison

San Antonio, TX San Francisco, CA

Average Commute Time

24 mins 45 mins

Comparison of gas prices

$2.26 $4.49

Live Traffic Comparison

San Antonio, TX

San Francisco, CA


San Antonio

San Francisco

Average Summer High
Average Summer Low
Average Winter High
Average Winter Low
Sunny Days Per Year
Rain (inches per year)
Snow (inches per year)

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