The Ultimate Guide to Moving to San Antonio

Thinking about moving to San Antonio? Be prepared to take the low cost of living and mild winters in stride with heavy traffic and hot summers.
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jul 22, 2022
Thinking of moving to
San Antonio
? It would be hard not to enjoy the low cost of living and the entertainment and recreation options—but you’ll have to be able to keep your cool in San Antonio’s traffic and summer heat.
As one of the oldest and largest cities in
, San Antonio has gone by plenty of names. The San Antonio River Valley was known by the Payaya people as Yanaguana, which means “refreshing waters.”
In the years following, claim to this land would change hands among Spain, Mexico, and the United States—and that long and complicated history is one of the reasons local sites like the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park are now designated as
UNESCO World Heritage sites
Could its population be growing by one more? Moving to a new city is always a difficult decision to make. That’s why
super app
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, and
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What you need to know about San Antonio before you move

San Antonio’s more than 465 square miles are home to more than 1.4 million people. Will one of them be you? To help you evaluate your options, take a look below at some of the best (and worst) that San Antonio has to offer.

1. You’ll probably enjoy the low cost of living

If you consider yourself a bargain hunter, San Antonio might just be your dream come true. The cost of living index in San Antonio is 89.7, with the national average being 100. 
That puts living expenses in San Antonio in a pretty comfortable spot—especially if you compare it with more expensive cities like
San Francisco
New York City
, and
The average price for an apartment in San Antonio is about $1,100 to $1,200 per month. Of course, how much you’ll actually end up paying for rent might vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
You could expect to find a gallon of milk for $3 to $4 at the grocery store. A latte could cost you $4 to $5, and the same goes for a pint of beer.
When it comes to healthcare and utilities, these living expenses tend to fall below the national average, too.
The minimum wage in San Antonio remains at the federal minimum wage: $7.25 per hour. The median household income in San Antonio, as of the last census, was $53,420.

2. You won’t have to worry about income taxes (state income taxes, that is)

As a Texan, you’ll be living in one of a small handful of states that don’t collect income tax—which pairs nicely with San Antonio’s already-low cost of living.
You’ll still be responsible for your share of federal taxes, but if you’re moving from a state that collects income tax, you might be pleasantly surprised by your extra portion of take-home pay.

3. San Antonio’s local job market is solid

San Antonio’s local job market offers plenty of opportunities across a number of sectors, especially in bioscience, renewable energy, manufacturing, and, thanks to area tourist attractions, leisure, and hospitality
San Antonio’s known for being a huge hub for
military personnel and their familie
s—and it’s no wonder why, with major military bases in the area including Randolph Brooks Air Force Base, Lackland Air Force Base, and Fort Sam Houston.
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4. It’s a top city for veterans

In addition to a number of major military bases in the San Antonio area, the city has various local resources that repeatedly make it one of the best-rated cities for veterans.
Of the 1.4 million-plus people living in San Antonio, nearly 100,000 are veterans. There are a large number of VA clinics and benefits centers in the area.
For a more in-depth look at the resources available to veterans in San Antonio, take a look at the information available via the
city website

5. Traffic isn’t great, but it could be worse

San Antonio was recently
as having the fifth-worst traffic in Texas. Still, it’s not quite as hectic as Austin or
Dallas-Fort Worth
, and the city’s urban sprawl often still makes driving your own car the easiest way to get around. 
car insurance
costs for San Antonio residents tend to be comparable to or just under the national average, so you likely won’t have to worry about extra expenses there.
According to 2020 census data, the average commute time to work for employees aged 16 and older was just shy of 25 minutes.
As a pedestrian, the downtown area especially is fairly walkable, and there’s also the
VIA Metropolitan Transit system
to help you get from point A to point B.

6. You won’t have to deal with harsh winters

If you’re wanting to relocate from further north to get away from cold, snowy winters, you’ll probably enjoy San Antonio’s warm climate year-round.
That’s not to say that it never snows in San Antonio (it does happen on occasion), but winter weather tends to be rare, so you’re not going to have to worry about shoveling your driveway as often.
During the winter months, low temperatures tend to hover around the low 40s. In exchange for those mild winters, you’ll also need to take in stride San Antonio’s hot, humid summers, when temperatures can soar to the high 90s and even into triple digits.

7. There’s no room for boredom here

As a popular tourist destination, there’s no shortage of ways to keep yourself entertained in San Antonio. You can walk or bike along the
River Walk
and enjoy the multitude of year-round events that come with it. 
There are also tons of museums, amusement parks, and plenty of historical sites to familiarize yourself with, starting with the
. Live music is easy to come by, and for foodies, there are plenty of options to keep your tastebuds happy.

Does San Antonio live up to the hype?

If you can keep your cool in San Antonio’s traffic and
summer heat
, there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying all the rest the city has to offer, from virtually endless food and entertainment options to its steadily growing job market.
Plus, the low cost of living and lack of state income tax definitely sweeten the deal—and if you’re a veteran or active military member, so do many of the resources available to you in San Antonio.

Finding a place to live in San Antonio

With housing costs being what they are in San Antonio, where you should live largely depends on one question: are you looking to buy or rent?
As a renter, you could expect the average one-bedroom apartment to cost about $1,200 per month, but that might vary depending on what neighborhood you choose. In Tobin Hill, a one-bedroom apartment could cost you $2,000-plus per month, while in Prospect Hill, the average is closer to $900.
If you’re looking to buy a home in San Antonio, the city’s median listing price for homes was about $310,000 as of June 2022, which was up 17% from the year prior, according to While median home sale prices have been on the rise, San Antonio, for the time being, is in what seems like a rare position as of late as a buyer’s market
That means there are more homes for sale than there has been demand, which could potentially give you a little more bargaining power as you’re looking for the right place to call home.
To narrow down your options for where to live in San Antonio, start by establishing your budget and evaluating what neighborhoods have homes that fall within that range. Then, compare those options to see which ones have the most amenities you’re looking for, whether that’s an abundance of nightlife options, something family-friendly with good schools, or proximity to your favorite shops and restaurants.
San Antonio has 30-plus neighborhoods for you to choose from. Depending on what you’re looking for, here are some worth considering:
  • Most iconic neighborhoods: Tobin Hill, Beacon Hill, Monte Vista, North Central, Lavaca
  • Best neighborhoods if you have kids: Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Northeast Inner Loop
  • Best neighborhoods for foodies: River Walk, Alamo Heights, Downtown, Tobin Hill/The Pearl
  • Best neighborhoods to buy a house: Terrell Hills, Northwest, Alamo Heights
  • Most affordable neighborhoods: Prospect Hill Area, Guadalupe/West Side, Kelly/South San Pueblo
If you’re able, it also helps to visit the neighborhoods you’re considering in person before moving so you can get a sense of the area’s general atmosphere and whether it feels right for you.
Pro Tip If you’re looking to spend less time in San Antonio traffic, consider searching for homes in a neighborhood close to your workplace.
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Moving to San Antonio checklist 

Ah, so it’s official—you’ve signed that lease or purchase agreement, and now it’s time to officially move to
San Antonio
! Whether the distance of your move is 20 miles or 2,000 miles, preparing for a move can always be hectic. 
To help make your transition a little easier, here are some items to add to your to-do list before and after your move.

Before you go

Beyond just packing up your belongings, ahead of your move to San Antonio, make sure to:
  • Book a moving date with a
    reliable moving company
    so you can feel confident that your belongings will make their way to your new home safely. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers
    helpful tips
    on how to find good moving companies and avoid scams.
  • If you’re handling your move all by yourself,
    reserve your U-Haul
    so it’s ready to go on moving day.
  • Preparing for a long-distance move? You might want to consider
    shipping your car
    instead of driving it.
  • Let important contacts know you’re moving
    —that includes your landlord, employer, insurance provider(s), and utility provider(s). 
  • Update your address and set up mail forwarding with the
    to avoid missing any essential communications.
  • Make sure your new
    homeowners insurance policy
    will be active as soon as you move into your rental or become the official owner of your new home.

After you get there

No matter how excited you are about moving to a new place, including San Antonio, it might take a little while to
settle in
. After you’ve unpacked the last of your boxes, there are just a couple more items to take care of:
  • If you’ve moved to San Antonio from out of state, you’ll need to
    re-register your car
    in Texas and
    update your car insurance
    if you haven’t already.
  • Get acquainted with your new city! Get familiar with your neighborhood shops and restaurants, meet new people, and start building your personalized list of local favorites in San Antonio.

How to save on car, renters, and home insurance in San Antonio

If everything’s bigger in Texas, why not find the biggest savings on
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No matter what kind of insurance you’re looking for, Jerry makes the process a breeze—it only takes about 45 seconds to answer a few questions and start comparing quotes from top insurance providers. Once you find an option you like, Jerry does all the paperwork for you and even helps cancel your old policy.
In the interest of saving you even more time and money, Jerry will even send you fresh quotes every six months so you can make sure you’re still getting a good deal without having to spend hours looking up quotes yourself.
That gives you a lot more time to settle into San Antonio—and leaves more cash in your wallet to enjoy everything it has to offer!
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