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Downtown San Antonio homebuyer’s guide

The city may be old, but the energy thrives in downtown San Antonio.

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Taylor Hartley

Author

GH

Garrett Heath

Reviewer

7 min read

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San Antonio may be named after a saint, but there’s plenty of fun to be had in the city’s downtown neighborhood. Known for its popular River Walk, downtown San Antonio is brimming with shopping opportunities, unique attractions, and historical sites. A colorful array of housing options abound, so long as homebuyers are willing to compete for the limited inventory in a still-hot housing market. 

Young professionals and retirees alike will enjoy the energy of downtown San Antonio, the “Culinary Capital of Texas” and the place where the state’s colorful history comes alive.

Latest homes for sale in Downtown San Antonio, TX

  • Listing main image

    $239,000

    • 3 br
    • 1 ba
    • 1332 sqft
    512 Nevada St, San Antonio, TX 78203
  • Listing main image

    $2,550,000

    • 3 br
    • 3 ba
    • 4433 sqft
    733 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205
  • Listing main image

    $315,000

    • 3 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1032 sqft
    108 Fairfax, San Antonio, TX 78203
  • Listing main image

    $765,000

    • 2 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1883 sqft
    229 Lavaca St, San Antonio, TX 78210
  • Listing main image

    $415,000

    • 2 br
    • 2.5 ba
    • 1408 sqft
    422 Hays St, San Antonio, TX 78202
  • Listing main image

    $449,000

    • 3 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1645 sqft
    117 Omaha St, San Antonio, TX 78203
  • Listing main image
  • Listing main image
  • Listing main image

    $600,000

    • 6 br
    • 2.5 ba
    • 4830 sqft
    1108 N Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78212

Look & feel of downtown San Antonio

The housing market

Still a red-hot market

As of May 2022, the San Antonio housing market remains competitive. The median home price for a house in San Antonio increased to $326,500, a 22% increase in a single year, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors. Where the market typically boasts a six-month inventory of homes, the current market only has about one month’s worth of inventory for homebuyers searching for a property in San Antonio. This is in line with the national housing market, though the Washington Post reports that the market has begun to show signs of cooling. 

Downtown features a variety of housing options

Peek around downtown San Antonio, and you’ll notice a variety of housing options. From condominiums to Tudor-style homes to Spanish villas, homebuyers can tailor their search to the type of lifestyle they’re searching for, whether that be a single-family home with a yard or a low-maintenance condo in the heart of the city. 

Who lives in Downtown San Antonio?

A hub for young professionals

As of 2019, the median age of native-born San Antonio residents is 32, while those born in another country have a median age of 45. Given that San Antonio is an energetic city full of activities, including an active nightlife scene, it is unsurprising that many professionals working in downtown offices also reside within the downtown area. 

Downtown aims to grow

According to the SA2020 project, the population of downtown San Antonio has remained relatively stagnant over the last decade or so. The project aims to increase the downtown population by 15% over the course of the next 8 years, aiming to reach a total of 25,953 residents by 2030. This may prove helpful for homebuyers seeking to move to the downtown area. For more information, visit SA2020.org.

Walking & biking

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Bike score 65; walk score 82

The most walkable neighborhood in the whole city

Downtown happens to be the most walkable neighborhood in the whole of San Antonio, according to WalkScore. Nearly every errand, whether it be grocery shopping, exercising, or a brief stop at the post office can be accomplished on foot. 

Biking is possible, but not as easy as walking

WalkScore labels downtown San Antonio as “somewhat bikeable,” meaning there are some bike lanes available for cyclists aiming to get around the neighborhood. However, walking seems to be a safer option for those headed to nearby shops, restaurants, or office buildings. 

Public transportation

Services offered in Downtown San Antonio

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Bus: VIA

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Train: Amtrak

Ferry: Go RIO

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EV charging: ChargeHub

Downtown service and a service to downtown

San Antonio’s bus service, VIA, offers plenty of options to get around downtown. However, there’s also a non-stop bus service into downtown from various park and ride stations in and around the metropolitan area. The service, called Express, was designed to cut down on commute time and create a stronger connection between the downtown neighborhood and surrounding suburbs. 

Ride the river with Go RIO

Looking for a more unique way to get around downtown San Antonio? Check out Go RIO, a river cruise service that provides a shuttle service from downtown to Museum Reach. Residents can purchase a monthly pass and utilize the river cruise to hop around to their favorite local attractions. 

Animals & pets 

The city with its own dog guide

Fido will love the fact that downtown is so walkable, but pet parents also need to know that they can keep their pet happy, healthy, and entertained when they move to a new location. San Antonio’s Dog Guide offers valuable insight into the best pet groomers, dog-friendly stores, daycare options, and more. 

3 things to know before buying a home in downtown San Antonio, according to locals

1. The weather can be brutal

While San Antonio provides residents with a relatively temperate climate during the fall and winter months, the summertime can be brutal. According to Weather Spark, the daytime highs in the summer usually sit between 90 and 94 degrees Fahrenheit, while the summer nights may dip as “low” as 76 degrees. Prepare for the heat by staying hydrated and keeping out of the San Antonio sun. 

2. The tacos are phenomenal

There’s no shortage of tacos in San Antonio, Texas. In fact, local food bloggers such as Female Foodie have gone so far as to rank their favorite taco restaurants in the area. Residents can’t get enough of the cheap, delicious breakfast tacos available in and around downtown. 

3. It’s a military city

Home to the largest concentration of military bases in the whole of the United States, San Antonio is a proud military city. Nearly 39,000 students who graduate from military training call San Antonio home. This undoubtedly affects neighborhoods like downtown San Antonio, though the larger military presence may be seen in other metropolitan neighborhoods like Fort Sam Houston.  

The top 4 things to do in downtown San Antonio

1. Appreciate San Antonio’s rich history

Perhaps the most famous site in San Antonio, the Alamo sits right in the heart of San Antonio. Heralded as the “jewel of Texas heritage,” the site was first established as a mission back in 1718, but is best known as the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. Once you’re done exploring the site, hop on a bus and head over to the San Antonio missions, which also date back to 1718, when Franciscans and Spanish representatives established the first local mission. Today, four of the five missions erected along the San Antonio River remain as a testament to this crucial period in San Antonio’s history. The San Antonio Missions National Historic Park is also Texas’ only UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

2. Stroll along the River Walk

Having labeled itself as the #1 attraction in Texas, the San Antonio River Walk is a downtown hotspot that cannot be missed. The Walk itself was designed in 1929 by visionary architect Robert H.H. Hugman, but the river’s history and significance to the San Antonio community began long before that, when Spanish settlers decided to erect missions along the river. Today, the River Walk is brimming with shops and restaurants. Residents can also enjoy seasonal artisan shows and take in the Ford Parade of Lights, an annual event that occurs every Labor Day weekend. 

3. Check out the Saga 

For a unique San Antonio experience, head over to the San Fernando Cathedral for the Saga. The nightly art show uses video projection to light up the cathedral in an array of color. Tourists and locals alike can’t get enough of the experience. For more information, visit San Antonio’s Main Plaza website.  

4. Pay a visit to Historic Market Square

With over 100 locally owned businesses in one place, there’s always something to see or do at the Historic Market Square. With live entertainment, hand-crafted leather goods, and diverse cultural apparel, citizens and visitors alike can celebrate the sights and sounds of old Mexico. Our local expert recommends that you grab a bite at Mi Tierra, a local favorite that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with authentic pastries and famous margaritas.

Continue exploring San Antonio

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Taylor HartleyAuthor

Taylor Hartley is a Charlotte-area resident and proud UNC-Chapel Hill graduate with more than 10 years of creative writing experience. A former English teacher, she spends most of her time plotting out fantasy novels and tackling the books on her to-be-read list.

GH

Garrett Heath loves San Antonio, cheese enchiladas and Fiesta. He is the personality behind SA Flavor and loves exploring all that the Alamo City has to offer.