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Brisketexan

Relocation advice - San Antonio

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No, not me -- some old friends from out of state, getting a job transfer from out of state.  They'll be coming in with a high school jr. starting next year, so they're looking for places with a good high school.  They mentioned looking at Johnson (way north, way big, but good rep?) and St. Mary's Hall, so I'm guessing that they're looking mostly on the north side.  I doubt they have an Alamo Heights budget, but they can surely afford a nice enough place.  

I know SA as a visitor, not as a resident.  So, any thoughts on high schools and/or neighborhoods they should look at (including the two schools listed)?  Thanks.

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34 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

No, not me -- some old friends from out of state, getting a job transfer from out of state.  They'll be coming in with a high school jr. starting next year, so they're looking for places with a good high school.  They mentioned looking at Johnson (way north, way big, but good rep?) and St. Mary's Hall, so I'm guessing that they're looking mostly on the north side.  I doubt they have an Alamo Heights budget, but they can surely afford a nice enough place.  

I know SA as a visitor, not as a resident.  So, any thoughts on high schools and/or neighborhoods they should look at (including the two schools listed)?  Thanks.

Does not compute...

https://www.smhall.org/admission/tuition-fees

No idea what to suggest without having an idea of budget or work location.

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20 minutes ago, IDIOTsavant said:

Does not compute...

https://www.smhall.org/admission/tuition-fees

No idea what to suggest without having an idea of budget or work location.

Well, they only have to pay for two more years of high school tuition, so that softens the blow.

I'll see what I can find out about budget and work location.

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far west SA and that northern corridor has changed dramatically

have the looked at the magnet schools ? 

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Johnson and Reagan are the best two public high schools in the city (aside from Alamo Heights). Not sure what their budget is, but that gives them all of Stone Oak area (F traffic), Encino Park, Evans road and Bulverde road/TPC area to work with. 

Another option would be moving further north and getting the kids into Smithson Valley High School. That’s also a good one and they can save a lot on property taxes, but it will come with a longer commute.

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Posted (edited)

There is a chance I may be relocating to SA soon and the 281 corridor north of 1604 is pretty much the only area I'll consider.  Of course, I've lived in the Houston area for the last 12+ years so a 45 minute commute is pretty much nothing to me.

Edited by Hate

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IMO private schools in SA really aren’t worth the cost, especially if you’re living in stone oak, encino Park, or alamo heights. There’s 3 great ones - Antonian, Central Catholic (all boys), St Mary’s Hall. The rest are just good. Outside of the inner city ISDs & Judson ISD, most of the public schools are ok enough to warrant not shelling out for private school. 
 

Johnson & Reagan skullfuck all other public schools & most private schools in the city, even alamo heights. I always like pointing out those schools as case studies. They’ve both seen dramatic drops in white student population (Reagan especially) but have seen no corresponding drop in school performance or neighborhood decay. Precisely because of the kinds of families that area attracts. Other decent public high schools would be O’Connor, Churchill, Clark. All are steps below Johnson/Reagan and all draw from a much wider range of economic backgrounds.

Johnson is a more affordable version of Reagan overall. Reagan gets most of Stone Oak, Johnson gets all of East of 281 and some of Stone oak. Encino Park is an older neighborhood that is still very nice, there’s also some not too expensive neighborhoods off Caliza Dr worth looking into. 1990s era homes. Only neighborhoods I would avoid in that whole area are Bulverde Village & Bulverde Creek. Both are in the Johnson attendance zone, both have high renter % and hood elements to them. 
 

Alamo Ranch is probably the area of town exploding the most currently. Far west side. But to me it’s more of an area for people that haven’t had money before and just came into some. I-10 north of 1604 is blowing up a lot too. Nicer area overall than Alamo Ranch, and a better location. Clark/Brandeis attendance area. Neither HS is a terrible option.

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Lots of moving parts to consider. My first questions might be how good are the kids grades?  Where might they want to go.  Top 10% and UT might be something I would personally consider in maybe looking more towards trying to find an Alamo Heights fixer upper. But the Johnson high school area is where most folks I know that move to SA end up.  

I guess my first really important question would be where are their job(s).  My Brother-in-law lives in that Stone Oak area and he is thinking of jumping to New Braunfels.  Just getting tired of traffic and construction off 281.  That part of San Antonio so much reminds me of Houston's growing pains when I was growing up.

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2 hours ago, Hate said:

There is a chance I may be relocating to SA soon and the 281 corridor north of 1604 is pretty much the only area I'll consider.  Of course, I've lived in the Houston area for the last 12+ years so a 45 minute commute is pretty much nothing to me.

 

i really like the 16 / 1604 corridor but have no idea about the schools. 281/1604 N traffic is brutal 

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6 minutes ago, horn4life said:

Lots of moving parts to consider. My first questions might be how good are the kids grades?  Where might they want to go.  Top 10% and UT might be something I would personally consider in maybe looking more towards trying to find an Alamo Heights fixer upper.

Fox Tech !!!!!!

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2 hours ago, Hate said:

There is a chance I may be relocating to SA soon and the 281 corridor north of 1604 is pretty much the only area I'll consider.  Of course, I've lived in the Houston area for the last 12+ years so a 45 minute commute is pretty much nothing to me.

We are looking at this possibility too.  My last kid will have graduated by then, so worrying about the school she will go to is not an issue. But the quality of the ISD and schools connected to it has much to do with the mojo for the area, so we will take that into consideration.  Right now north 1604 up to Blanco and west to Boerne is high on our radar as far as getting some land in the near future.    Originally  we though more towards New Braunfels, but we are waiting to see what occurs with a permit fight on a quarry proposed on RR 3009 near Garden Ridge turns out. 

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23 minutes ago, horn4life said:

Lots of moving parts to consider. My first questions might be how good are the kids grades?  Where might they want to go.  Top 10% and UT might be something I would personally consider in maybe looking more towards trying to find an Alamo Heights fixer upper. But the Johnson high school area is where most folks I know that move to SA end up.  

I guess my first really important question would be where are their job(s).  My Brother-in-law lives in that Stone Oak area and he is thinking of jumping to New Braunfels.  Just getting tired of traffic and construction off 281.  That part of San Antonio so much reminds me of Houston's growing pains when I was growing up.

It’s more like top 6% now. No easy task at a good high school. And I’m not all that sure “Alamo Heights fixer uppers” really exist all that much anymore. Any house in there is going to be pretty expensive. If top whatever% is truly that important, your odds are better at the kind of bad but not Stand and Deliver bad schools: Warren, Marshall, Taft, MacArthur, East Central. Not sure about Lee, might be pretty hard if they count their magnet school kids. All those schools have some good neighborhoods in them. 

16 minutes ago, tx 3 putt said:

Fox Tech !!!!!!

Ha. That school’s gone full magnet campus now. From what I understand it’s gotten decently competitive, especially that CAST program. They used to have the coolest little baseball field, basically hidden away in a downtown sandlot. Part of the outfield wall was the back of an auto parts store. It all got torn down along with the football field. Not sure if they’re expanding the campus or they sold the land.

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I grew up in San Antonio and went to John Marshall High School.  I really hate the way the city has failed to manage growth.  My relatives lived out in the northwest (Helotes) and they enjoy it but that traffic!

My mom taught at Alamo Heights long ago. 

My advice is the following:  The only place I think I'd like to live in San Antonio would be Alamo Heights/Olmos-ish if I could afford it.  If your friends like a bit of culture and access to said culture, spend the money and let the kids go to Alamo Heights or magnet school and stay within the loop somewhere.  If they have a boat or want to get out to the lakes, sure, go far suburb, but if not, stay within the loops. 

I think parents spend too much time worrying about where to live "for the schools" and then end up living in an area that doesn't serve their needs - or just isn't fun.  If you give a shit about education, and have raised your kids right, they will do fine in high school.

1puJH8c4zslCg4_qCz3XwQMm3xyZ7QyvnG2xsy7s

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Helobious said:

IMO private schools in SA really aren’t worth the cost, especially if you’re living in stone oak, encino Park, or alamo heights. There’s 3 great ones - Antonian, Central Catholic (all boys), St Mary’s Hall.

Excellent schools to be sure, but Keystone is better from pure academics.  And it's why I'm poor, having put 2 kids through there.

Edited by BearSchlong

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34 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

I grew up in San Antonio and went to John Marshall High School.  I really hate the way the city has failed to manage growth.  My relatives lived out in the northwest (Helotes) and they enjoy it but that traffic!

My mom taught at Alamo Heights long ago. 

My advice is the following:  The only place I think I'd like to live in San Antonio would be Alamo Heights/Olmos-ish if I could afford it.  If your friends like a bit of culture and access to said culture, spend the money and let the kids go to Alamo Heights or magnet school and stay within the loop somewhere.  If they have a boat or want to get out to the lakes, sure, go far suburb, but if not, stay within the loops. 

I think parents spend too much time worrying about where to live "for the schools" and then end up living in an area that doesn't serve their needs - or just isn't fun.  If you give a shit about education, and have raised your kids right, they will do fine in high school.

1puJH8c4zslCg4_qCz3XwQMm3xyZ7QyvnG2xsy7s

This is terrible advice. Don't take it. 

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3 minutes ago, StruggleBus said:

This is terrible advice. Don't take it. 

All of it?  What are your San Antonio bona fides?  I figure everyone's got a unique perspective.

Mine is early days near Jefferson High, high school at Marshall (when Bandera Road was still a farm road with no traffic lights to speak of, but developing at a nice pace) with parents teaching at Harlandale, Holmes, Edgewood and Alamo Hieghts.

In recent years, daughter went to Trinity.  Which explains my recent affinity for that area.

Have relatives who lived in Hollywood Park and Stone Oak, with kids who went to Churchill, Reagan and a magnet at McCullough.  Those areas are fine, but my favorite house of theirs is the current one which is just across the street from McAllister Park north of the airport.

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8 minutes ago, StruggleBus said:

This is terrible advice. Don't take it. 

The high school I went to wasn’t very dangerous but the student body was about 70% from a low income background. But I came from a stable home that stressed education, somehow I turned out ok.

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23 hours ago, Hate said:

There is a chance I may be relocating to SA soon and the 281 corridor north of 1604 is pretty much the only area I'll consider.  Of course, I've lived in the Houston area for the last 12+ years so a 45 minute commute is pretty much nothing to me.

All of these areas in the hill country would have been so beautiful and awesome if they had restricted development above a certain elevation on the hills and kept those as green areas/walking trails.  [Development rant deleted.]

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

All of it?  What are your San Antonio bona fides?  I figure everyone's got a unique perspective.

Mine is early days near Jefferson High, high school at Marshall (when Bandera Road was still a farm road with no traffic lights to speak of, but developing at a nice pace) with parents teaching at Harlandale, Holmes, Edgewood and Alamo Hieghts.

In recent years, daughter went to Trinity.  Which explains my recent affinity for that area.

Have relatives who lived in Hollywood Park and Stone Oak, with kids who went to Churchill, Reagan and a magnet at McCullough.  Those areas are fine, but my favorite house of theirs is the current one which is just across the street from McAllister Park north of the airport.

Eh. I was just being a dick. I grew up in the North San Antonio area and I'm extremely biased against pretty much anything inside the loop (except Alamo Heights). 

Edited by StruggleBus

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1 hour ago, tantric superman said:

I grew up in San Antonio and went to John Marshall High School.  I really hate the way the city has failed to manage growth.  My relatives lived out in the northwest (Helotes) and they enjoy it but that traffic!

My mom taught at Alamo Heights long ago. 

My advice is the following:  The only place I think I'd like to live in San Antonio would be Alamo Heights/Olmos-ish if I could afford it.  If your friends like a bit of culture and access to said culture, spend the money and let the kids go to Alamo Heights or magnet school and stay within the loop somewhere.  If they have a boat or want to get out to the lakes, sure, go far suburb, but if not, stay within the loops. 

I think parents spend too much time worrying about where to live "for the schools" and then end up living in an area that doesn't serve their needs - or just isn't fun.  If you give a shit about education, and have raised your kids right, they will do fine in high school.

1puJH8c4zslCg4_qCz3XwQMm3xyZ7QyvnG2xsy7s

I agree with this. I went to Churchill. It was fine but that's 15 years ago. My friends that are starting families that have means are all either in Alamo Heights or Stone Oak. If I were to move back I would shoot for Alamo Heights. 

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One thing that many don't know is that there are small pockets of relatively affordable San Antonio that are not in Alamo Heights or the equally expensive Terrell Hills that are in AHISD.  That may be an option, depending on their budget. 

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1 minute ago, idigTexas said:

One thing that many don't know is that there are small pockets of relatively affordable San Antonio that are not in Alamo Heights or the equally expensive Terrell Hills that are in AHISD.  That may be an option, depending on their budget. 

Yes, crownhill Park right there at 281/410 fits that bill. However that neighborhood behind Home Depot on sunset is somewhat rough, has housing projects in it even. Also AHISD.

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3 hours ago, StruggleBus said:

This is terrible advice. Don't take it. 

That's partially true.  There are some schools you need to do all you can to avoid.  

Only new advice I can give is if the kid only has two years left, maybe rent a house or apartment in the school zone you want.  That'll give you two years to explore the city and find thebarea you want to buy long term, without the restriction of school zones. Plus Northside and northeast isd have nice fat tax rates. 

Shit you could probably buy a house early the kids senior year, the just don't update the address at the school. They probably won't care, if they find out.

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with shit like this even with SA you have to ask where they are working

if they are working at USAA, UTSA, the HSC or one of those places then you can go pretty far north with little issue

if they are working at the UTSA downtown campus, The Monkey Farm, SWRC, high level at the Toyota plant, Cat in Seguin,  Lackland Kelly, Randolph, some hospital down south, aggy-SA, one of the private universities, then the answers could be totally different depending on what they are looking for

the answer for SA is almost always "north side" until you are looking at a job that is downtown or further south or to the far west or east then "north side" starts become less of a good option or there are other potential options that could be pretty good

or if they are working somewhere that is already way up north then that opens up more options to go way north

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What is the commute like if you leave at 7 from the Stone Oak area to downtown? Asking for me.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Hate said:

What is the commute like if you leave at 7 from the Stone Oak area to downtown? Asking for me.

Leaving at 7am? 20-30 mins. Closer to 30 probably. Source: Me, because I’ve made that drive a lot.

Summer or school holiday, closer to 20 minutes

Edited by Helobious

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That’s nothing. I could easily do that. I’m in the Houston area and used to at least 45 minute commutes.

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Also, for YoPros the Pearl, Southtown, and Broadway areas are the places to be right now. 

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What is the commute like if you leave at 7 from the Stone Oak area to downtown? Asking for me.
There is no traffic in San Antonio if you're coming from Houston. 281 looks like the Katy fwy expansion and I can get tothe airport in 27 minutes from the sticks. This is a small town big city.

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Yeah I'm and SA native, but I've not lived there since I was a real adult.  I was never commuting anywhere during heavy traffic times or my job was really close to where I lived.  I haven't lived there in 25 years and I know much has changed.  I was there for Spring Break a couple of years ago and took my son to Sea World one day.  We left from north of Stone Oak and it took us an hour to get there because the traffic on 1604 was so bad.  We left at 9 am.  We left the park early because it was massively over crowded that day and it took us an hour to get home as well.  I just figured that 281 was at least as bad as that during the rush hours.  I'm an early bird so I would leave the house by 7.  We would probably live anywhere form Stone Oak out to Spring Branch.  I know they are working on 281 right now and it will be "fixed" soon.  I can deal with it for a while if I have to, but I'd still rather not have an hour commute.  If I do move in the next few weeks, it would be for a job downtown. 

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12 hours ago, Hate said:

What is the commute like if you leave at 7 from the Stone Oak area to downtown? Asking for me.

Shitty. However freeway will help in a few years  

I live near Silver Horn and it was 30-40 min in the worst traffic. Usually closer to 30.

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Posted (edited)

I have no idea where Silver Horn is. Edit:  I should have know where it was as my house in high school backed up to that same green belt.  I don't think there was a golf course there though.  I used to take my girlfriends to that lake to fingerbang them.  I could see my porch from that lake.  /csb

Edited by Hate

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With Basis Charter Schools, you can live anywhere. I live in a great 1980’s neighborhood inside 1604 and my kids go to the best school system in the state (Basis).
 

I’m also a big fan of the Hollywood Park / HCV area of you can afford it. Find a tear down or fixer upper on 1/2 acre to 2 acres. That area is going to explode soon. Also very good elementary and middle school (hidden forest and Bradley). You can still go to those schools if you live in hidden forest neighborhood (very affordable).

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5 minutes ago, Hate said:

I have no idea where Silver Horn is. Edit:  I should have know where it was as my house in high school backed up to that same green belt.  I don't think there was a golf course there though.  I used to take my girlfriends to that lake to fingerbang them.  I could see my porch from that lake.  /csb

I probably live in your old neighborhood. Great location for proximity to downtown, green belts, big parks (McAllister and Hardberger), and the airport.

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I think parents spend too much time worrying about where to live "for the schools" and then end up living in an area that doesn't serve their needs - or just isn't fun.  If you give a shit about education, and have raised your kids right, they will do fine in high school.


This needs to be repeated. Many "bad" schools still offer the resources to succeed and "good" schools aren't going to turn a kid into a drastically better student. A kid's HS performance is largely determined before they ever get there.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Hate said:

What is the commute like if you leave at 7 from the Stone Oak area to downtown? Asking for me.

I used to do Pipe Creek (10 miles N of Helotes nvm just saw you were raised in SA) to downtown for a few years, leaving at 0645-7.  Would take me under an hour.  Was an easier commute than anything I've ever had in Houston.  Can't help you on afternoon commute though.  This was also almost 15 years ago, and that whole area on 16/1604 has just exploded.  

Edited by fattyflattie

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8 hours ago, tx 3 putt said:

1604 traffic from 281 to alamo ranch is just stupid, it really comes to a grind at i 10

That was my commute for about two months... 8 years ago.  Many a podcasts were listened to.  Never again.  It even is shit on weekends. 

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3 hours ago, NoRagrets said:

I probably live in your old neighborhood. Great location for proximity to downtown, green belts, big parks (McAllister and Hardberger), and the airport.

Yea, but do you fingerbang your girlfriend down by the retaining pond?

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8 hours ago, tx 3 putt said:

1604 traffic from 281 to alamo ranch is just stupid, it really comes to a grind at i 10

Also, allegedly there are plans to add more lanes to 1604 and a full set of flyovers at i10.  Prepare your anus for the next 10 years.

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Well, I still need to find out the work location to give 'em some help.....but thanks for the discussion thus far.

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22 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Also, allegedly there are plans to add more lanes to 1604 and a full set of flyovers at i10.  Prepare your anus for the next 10 years.

All my family lives In that area, south of I-10. That portion of 1604 is a parking lot during rush hour 

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Tell him to leave his wife and kids where they are. He should relocate to San Marcos and commute to San Antonio.

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On 3/3/2020 at 10:18 AM, StruggleBus said:

Another option would be moving further north and getting the kids into Smithson Valley High School. That’s also a good one and they can save a lot on property taxes, but it will come with a longer commute.

The Corona virus is everywhere out here and Ebola too. People should stay away.

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30 minutes ago, F250 said:

The Corona virus is everywhere out here and Ebola too. People should stay away.

Ha, my coworker just bought a new house at 46 & 281, total boomtown up there. He has a son in middle school right now I think. He says SV has a freshman o-lineman that’s like 6’10 300 lbs or something. Wonder if he’ll blow up on the recruiting trail. 
 

That whole area used to be country as all get out, crazy to see how much it’s changed. I could never imagine that commute but I guess some people don’t mind it. Heard they’re building a new HS up around there soon, wonder if that’s gonna screw up the SV sports teams.

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