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Mission San José, TX homebuyer’s guide

With its rich history and vibrant culture, Mission San José has a personality all its own.

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Taylor Hartley

Author

LG

Luisa Garcia

Reviewer

8 min read

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As one of five San Antonio missions, Mission San José is a popular tourist destination. But as a community, Mission San José is so much more than that. Founded in 1720 and named “the Queen of the Missions,” Mission San José has served as a refuge for a variety of people throughout its history. 

Today, descendant families of the mission and new residents alike live in wooden bungalows that run along streets adjacent to the mission itself. New construction projects are rare, as the mission has been designated a World Heritage site. Many residents fight to protect the legacy of the native land in the area, demonstrating the neighborhood’s strong sense of community and identity. With the parks and the river, it can often feel like “you’re in the country,” when in reality, you’re on the edge of downtown. For those looking for affordable housing and a unique place to live, Mission San José is a community worth exploring. 

Latest homes for sale in Mission San José, TX

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    $200,000

    • 2 br
    • 1 ba
    • 782 sqft
    127 Parchman, San Antonio, TX 78214
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    $200,000

    • 3 br
    • 1 ba
    • 1088 sqft
    417 E Huff Ave, San Antonio, TX 78214
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  • Listing main image

    $275,000

    • 3 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1670 sqft
    219 Belden Ave, San Antonio, TX 78214
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  • Listing main image
  • Listing main image

    $130,000

    • 3 br
    • 1 ba
    • 1446 sqft
    210 E Huff Ave, San Antonio, TX 78214
  • Listing main image
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Look & feel 

The housing market

$128k

-27%

Median Home Price

$113

-24%

Median Price per Sq. Ft

3

6%

Average Monthly Home Sales

A “hidden gem,” according to realtors

It’s no secret that the housing market has been competitive for the last few years. Yet the National Association of Realtors called the city of San Antonio a “hidden gem” amidst the housing market. In fact, they went on to rank it 4th among the best undiscovered markets in the country. As of May 2022, the median home price in San Antonio sat at $348,800, high compared to what long-time residents paid for their own houses, but still more affordable than the national median home price of $450,600. 

An undiscovered gem within an undiscovered gem

Mission San José, which is located on the south side of the city, may be a diamond in the rough even for an “undiscovered market” like San Antonio. Where the median sale price in neighborhoods like Downtown San Antonio sits at around $625,000, homes in Mission San José are going for around $118,000. With its close-knit culture and its rich history, it’s a neighborhood that’s definitely worth a look, especially when it comes to affordability. 

Who lives in Mission San José? 

5,138

Population

35.3

Median Age

51,296

Family Median Income

A community proud of their heritage and history

Over 80% of the Mission San José population identifies as Hispanic, and it's obvious that the community celebrates their cultural heritage. Throughout the year, the MIssion San José Neighborhood Association posts invitations on their Facebook page, urging both the Mission San José community and the city at large to attend cultural arts fairs and Latin American Cultural Festivals, all held at Mission Marquee Plaza. Long-time residents are proud of who they are and where they come from, and the desire to celebrate that heritage is part of what makes Mission San José unique. 

A relatively young neighborhood

The median age in Mission San José is 33.7, which means millennials make up a large part of the neighborhood population. Of the nearly 8,000 households in Mission San José, around 3,100 have children. 29.3% of the neighborhood’s population is under the age of 17, demonstrating the youthful nature of the Mission San José community. 

Walking & biking

🚴‍♀️

Bike score 59; walk score 56

You will probably want a car

While Mission San José is the 32nd most walkable neighborhood in San Antonio, residents will likely want a car in order to quickly access other parts of the city, such as downtown. According to WalkScore, several errands can be accomplished on foot, and the San Antonio River is closeby, which offers plenty of walking trails for exercise and leisure. Still, owning a car makes accessing the city that much easier.  

Bike the river

While biking in and around Mission San José itself might not be the easiest mode of transportation, there are plenty of biking trails located along the river. One of the most popular is the San Antonio River Walk Hike and Bike Path. The trail cuts right through Mission San José and extends as far north as Midtown and as far south as Brooks City Base. 

Public transportation

Services offered in Mission San José

🚍

Bus: VIA

🔋

EV charging: ChargeHub

A single bus line in a tourist-centric area

A single bus line, Bus 42, runs through Mission San José, transporting residents—and tourists—to the neighborhood. Many San Antonio visitors will likely take the bus if they’re seeking to go to popular historic locations like the Alamo or the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which includes Mission San José. These are popular tourist destinations, and so in high-travel seasons such as the summertime, the bus may be a bit crowded. 

One EV charging station

There is a single EV charging station located within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The Level 2 port offers residents a way to charge up locally. Otherwise, residents may want to consider installing their own charging station at home. 

Animals & pets 

Pet-friendly, but keep them leashed in the national park 

There are plenty of walking trails along the San Antonio River that serve as safe, peaceful places to let Fido stretch their legs. Your four-legged friends are even allowed within the bounds of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. However, you must keep them on a leash when visiting the site, and they are not allowed in any of the churches or park buildings. 

3 things to know before buying a home in Mission San José according to locals

1. The Indigenous history is a crucial part of the community

The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas. This honor, which has only been bestowed upon 24 locations in the United States, is meant to protect the history of the missions—and the people who called them home. The San Antonio missions played a significant role in the lives of several Indigenous tribes whose descendants still reside in the area. Decimated by European diseases, the native tribes sought refuge within the missions in the 18th century. Today, San Antonio has the 10th largest population of Indigenous people in the country, many belonging to the Coahuiltecan, Tonkawa, Karankawa, Carrizo, Caddoan, and Apache tribes. Protests against certain construction projects are fairly common as allies and Indigeous people alike fight to protect native land.   

Residents in Mission San José should be ready for the influx of tourists during busy travel seasons. San Antonio National Historical Park is one of the most visited places in the entire city, and its proximity to the Alamo, often called the “jewel of Texas heritage,” makes it that much more of a tourist attraction. During the summer months especially, be prepared for more crowded buses and a greater influx of traffic in the area. 

3. A working class neighborhood

Residents remark that the south side of San Antonio, where MIssion San José is located, is mostly a working class neighborhood. This comes as no surprise, given that neighborhoods like Mission San José offer more affordable housing than the communities popular with white collar workers, such as downtown.

The top 4 things to do in Mission San José

1. Take a stroll down the San Antonio River at Mission County Park 

The San Antonio River Walk, one of the largest attractions in the entire city, runs straight through the Mission San José neighborhood. Accessed through Mission County Park, the picturesque river offers residents scenic, peaceful strolls. Bikers, joggers, and leisurely walkers alike can find something to enjoy while strolling along the riverbank. As you get closer to downtown, you’ll also discover many shops and restaurants located along the River Walk. 

2. Grab a coffee at Folklores Coffee House

The self-proclaimed “first southside coffee house,” Folklores Coffee House is a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. Enjoy unique coffee beverages such as the “Cuban B. Latte” with vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon, or indulge your sweet tooth with Folklores take on a traditional Horchata. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

3. Take in the sites at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Perhaps the most famous historical site in San Antonio next to the Alamo, San Antonio MIssions National Historical Park is not a site to be missed. MIssion San José is one in a group of five Spanish colonial missions designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Established over 300 years ago, the missions stand as a testament not only to the early colonial period in the United States, but also to the interweaving of Spanish and Indigenous culture that is such a major part of San Antonio’s identity. 

4. Catch a drive-in movie at Mission Marquee Plaza

While it formally served as a drive-in theater, the Mission Marquee Plaza is so much more. It still offers residents an outdoor family film series, but it also serves as a cultural hub for Mission San José and the larger San Antonio community. During the summer, enjoy the Farmer and Artisan’s Market, which occurs at the Plaza every first and third Saturday from March to November. Various cultural events, hosted by the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office, occur throughout the year, so be sure to visit the Mission Marquee Plaza website to stay up to date on all the local happenings.

Continue exploring the San Antonio area

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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.

LG

Luisa Garcia is a native of San Antonio, TX and celebrates her love of her hometown as a San Antonio lifestyle blogger focusing on family, food and fun. She enjoys traveling with her family, serving as a Girl Scout leader, advocating for local non-profits and building community.