Best Areas Of San Antonio, Texas To Buy A Home

San Antonio, Texas is a safe, family-friendly city with a strong history. According to Frommer's, crime in the San Antonio area keeps going down, making the city more and more appealing. San Antonio has plenty to do, meaning visitors and locals alike will never run out of fun ways to spend their free time. For one, the Alamo is right in the middle of downtown. It's a former Spanish mission that was home to one of the most important battles of the fight for Texan independence — even if the army faced a devastating loss. You can also stroll along the River Walk (or take a boat tour) to enjoy many fine dining and shopping options.

But there is so much more to San Antonio than just downtown. The city has strong ties to the American military, as there four bases scattered around the area. It is also close to the Texas Hill Country, meaning there are beautiful vistas, incredible vineyards, and great getaways less than an hour from your front door (via Fredericksburg). Whether you are currently renting in San Antonio, or relocating to the area, here are the best areas of the city to buy a home.

1. Helotes

If you are interested in buying a house in a smaller town with an easy commute into the city, then Helotes is the place for you. According to Live Play Texas, Helotes is just northwest of San Antonio and participates in the Northside Independent School District. Helotes is a great place to be if you enjoy the outdoors. If you like fishing or water sports in your spare time, the area will suit you as it is near Medina Lake, which is popular with locals who like both. If you prefer hiking, the Government Canyon State Natural area is also just around the corner.

The city gets its name from the Spanish word for corn cob: elote. It was incorporated in 1981 as more and more people began to make their homes in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country, while working nearby in more urban San Antonio. If you like live music and dancing, you'll also love the slice of history that is the Helotes dance hall, as the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and still hosts many great modern acts (via City of Helotes).

2. Elmendorf

Elmendorf is an inexpensive suburb with a rich history. According to Realtor.com, the community has a medium home value in the mid-$200 thousands range, making it very affordable for most Texans. There are also plenty of plots of lands available for potential homeowners who wish to do a custom build.

Elmendorf was unofficially established as a town in 1885 by the former mayor of nearby San Antonio, Henry Elmendorf. He was a well-liked man whose business practices were well respected by his peers. Current residents of the town still hold him in high esteem for all he did to get the town on its feet. Officially, Elmendorf was incorporated in 1963 when local officials received permission from the higher ups in Bexar County to begin making laws (via the City of Elmendorf). Overall, the town still feels a bit like it's an up and coming place. Prices are low, but the surrounding landscapes are great and the commuting time into the city is little to none.

3. Alamo Heights

Alamo Heights is a friendly neighborhood right in the middle of it all. According to the San Antonio Report, the community was originally founded in the '20s and serviced by local street cars. Luckily, the area still retains plenty of its original charm, even with modern development. It is very conveniently located, no matter where in the city you want to go. Alamo Heights is about halfway between downtown San Antonio and the north segment of Loop 410, which wraps around the city and gets you around very quickly. In addition, the airport is only two more stops down the highway from the neighborhood.

For recreation, the Howard Peak Greenway Trail cuts through Alamo Heights, and there are also plenty of other green spaces in the community. But, if the location convenience won't sell it for you, maybe the amenities will. You can birdwatch, enjoy free community mini-libraries, and swim at the local pools. You are spoilt for choice for places to shop (there are more than five grocery stores within a stone's throw) and the dining options in the area are also exquisite.

4. Monte Vista

A neighborhood that is both beautiful and historic, Monte Vista has it all. According to the San Antonio Report, the area is very quiet and home to many older homeowners. It would be a good place to buy if you are looking for somewhere peaceful to retire, or want to raise your family in a calm, safe area. A sign of any more mature neighborhood, there are large, established trees that fan out in most yards, providing great shade.

The neighborhood's location in the north of San Antonio puts it close to the zoo for family outings, as well as Trinity University. If you work at the school, it would be a prime commuting location. If you work farther away, the neighborhood also allows easy access to two of the city's main thoroughfares: Interstate 10 and Highway 281. That said, Monte Vista is also a cool 10 minute drive from downtown, so whether you want to grab dinner on the River Walk, or you work in the area, you can be home (or out for the evening) in a mere matter of minutes.

5. Tobin Hill

Tobin Hill offers conveniently located homes with high value. According to the City of San Antonio, the community is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the area, giving it great appeal. Because of its age, the area has a real diversity of architectural styles on the market. There are homes built at the tail end of the Victorian era, Colonial Revival homes, Craftsman bungalows, and even Tudor-style residences. Therefore, if you are interested in purchasing a historic home with plenty of character, this is the place for you.

There are also plenty of things to do in Tobin Hill, as the Historic Pearl Brewery is a revitalized space that brings in visitors from all over the city and farther afield, too to enjoy a beverage, local shopping, and other community events (via Tobin Hill Community Association). An unusual feature for the area is that, unlike most places in Texas, you don't necessarily need a car to take it all in. In fact, Tobin Hill is easily within walking distance of the zoo, the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the Witte Museum, Brackenridge Park, Crockett Park, and more.

6. Schertz

Schertz is a rapidly developing suburb. According to the San Antonio Report, there are lots of newer, master-planned communities for homeowners to choose from within the town. One such community is The Crossvine. The homes in this neighborhood are large, new, and safe. They are further away from major roads than older communities in San Antonio and have the amenities that only new developments can provide. These are things like parks that wind themselves in between houses, brand new playgrounds, and large swimming pools. It's a popular area for young families looking for the space and safety to raise their kids.

Elsewhere in Schertz, business is booming. International companies like Amazon and Sysco have large presences in town, as do Texas favorites like the HEB Grocery Company and National Republic Beverage Company. The town is making a name for itself as a major player in the economy for not only the city of San Antonio, but also the state of Texas as a whole (via Schertz Economic Development Corporation). With all the industry coming to the area, home values are likely to rise, making it a great place to own.

7. New Braunfels

When you own a home in New Braunfels, you can live where others vacation. It is a vibrant city with an easy commute time. According to Keller Williams Realty, the city is considered a relative halfway points between San Antonio and Austin. It's about 30 miles south to the Alamo City and just less than 50 north towards the state capital, yet total travel time depends on traffic along the I-35 corridor.

Other than this highly accessible location, the main draw to New Braunfels is the unique lifestyle available there. It's right in the middle of Texas Hill Country, so the landscapes can't be beat, but it's also the heart of Texas' vibrant German scene. In the 1840s, there was a large wave of immigration from Germany to central Texas. Locals are very proud of this heritage and some still even speak a local dialect known as Texas Deutsch (via Texas Highways). If you prefer small towns, vacation-style living, but still need to work in the city, buying in New Braunfels will suit you perfectly.

8. Live Oak

Live Oak is a quiet, safe area that is great for families. According to the San Antonio Report, locals rave about the convenience of living in the suburb. There are plenty of places to do your grocery shopping, grab a bite to eat, and locate all other necessities without going too far from home. The only Ikea in San Antonio is even in Live Oak, so if you are furnishing your home on a budget, or have a craving for the Swedish superstore's famous meatballs, you won't have to go far. 

The San Antonio airport is also nearby for those of us who love to travel. In addition, the town is just off Interstate 35, making travel to nearby hotspots like San Marcos or Austin quick and easy. If you like being outdoors, Woodcrest Park has miles and miles of circular trails that wind throughout the area. You can jog, walk the dog, or even birdwatch and the trails are typically quiet enough to get some good sightings in.

9. Boerne

Boerne is a suburb of San Antonio known for great education and great parks, making it a great place for families. According to the Kendall Community Relocation Guide, Boerne is another Texas Hill Country gem with strong ties to its German heritage. It only takes about 30 minutes to get from Boerne to most places in San Antonio, so no matter where you work in the city, your commute won't be too bad.

Boerne is a great mix of history and innovation, so if you want to live in a strong community with plenty of opportunities for your future, it's a good idea to purchase a home here. If you want to get some shopping in, you can visit either the Hill Country Mile or River Road District as there is a good mixture of locally-owned and chain shops in both of those places. For some entertainment, consider choosing one of the many local art galleries, or attending a play at the Boerne Community Theatre.

10. Bulverde

To many Texans, Bulverde is the perfect place for a weekend getaway in the Texas Hill Country — but to you, it could be home. According to Texas Hill Country, Bulverde is an outdoorsman's paradise. The town maintains great trails for both running and bike riding. Along the trails, you can see the famous southern live oaks trees, and in the springtime, an abundance of beautiful wildflowers. While not as fun on foot, the hilly terrain offers great look out points of the gorgeous vistas around the city.

There are plans in place to make Bulverde a big business capital, too — so if you are worried about finding work while you pursue your outdoor hobbies, you don't have to be. In fact, the city has put forward a master plan to attract industry, all while making the historic city center a premier, pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining destination (via City of Bulverde). If you want to commute into San Antonio, the drive is only about 30 minutes south.

11. Universal City

Universal City is a tight-knit military community. San Antonio has four military bases, and Universal City is just off Randolph Air Force Base. According to Texas Hill Country, it even gets its name from the air base, as the city is universally important to the operations conducted there. Most of the people who live and work in Universal City are either active duty military who choose to live off base for a variety of reasons, or retired military personnel who still enjoy the lifestyle and want to be nearby.

If you are a military family, living in the town will nearly guarantee that you will be able to find a community on your doorstep. In addition, purchasing in their area as a civilian working for the government means that your morning commute will be negligible. While plenty of children live in Universal City, the town doesn't have its own school district and instead participates in Judson ISD of Converse, Texas.

12. River North

River North is a great neighborhood for young couples and working professionals. According to the San Antonio Report, the area gets its name from the north section of the famous San Antonio River Walk — meaning, it's right in the middle of the action. River North is a highly walkable place to live with plenty to do. The main attractions of the city — including the numerous of restaurants along the River Walk, large shopping malls, the Alamo, and even the San Antonio Museum of Art — are all right at your door.

While parking might be an issue for some living in the area, if you purchase a townhome in a complex, most modern buildings have parking garages. You can use your car when you really need it, but spend most of your time on foot. Some San Antonio locals don't often come downtown because they think the area is just for out of town guests, but that couldn't be further from the truth. River North is a safe, thriving neighborhood.

13. Pleasanton

By all accounts, Pleasanton is a great place to raise a family with an excellent safety record. According to the City of Pleasanton, the community is about 30 miles south of the San Antonio area, making the daily commute an easy ride. Residents pride themselves on being friendly and community-minded. They also won't let you forget that technically, their town is known as the "birthplace of the cowboy."

Pleasanton is a city with great infrastructure. It has its own school district and local community college. Town leadership has also invested millions of dollars into making sure that everything in the community's behind the scenes parts are working too, like the recently updated water treatment plant. Pleasanton has a new wireless tower, so residents can get the best data possible on their cell phones and the city has high speed internet via fiber optic cables across the board. If you are looking for a place that has a small town feel with modern city conveniences, this is the place for you.

14. Devine

Devine is a rural community with an easy commute to the city of San Antonio, clocking in at just over 30 minutes of driving. According to the City of Devine, the town has plenty of perks for residents to enjoy. While small, the city has a great local park for jogging and relaxing, as well as a community center, public library, and municipal airport. It's a classic small Texas town and is a great place to raise a family, as you still have great proximity to one of the top 10 largest cities in the country (via Politifact).

Devine is a community rich in history and locals are encouraged to participate in preserving it for future generations (via Texas State Historical Association). It was named after Judge Thomas Jefferson Devine, who was an attorney for the International-Great Northern Railroad. They wanted to honor him, as the town was an important stop along the route.