Why Moving from California to Austin Isn’t a ‘Dystopia’


Thinking about moving from California to Austin? 

If you’re anything like the droves of Californians scrambling to move to Texas (Austin, specifically) you’re probably wondering how it stacks up to where you currently live.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the Bay Area-based sales exec, Brett Alder, who couldn’t wait to move to Austin, only to later regret it and move back to California…

Notably, he dubbed Austin a “conservative dystopia”. 

(Dystopia means “an imagined state or society where is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic.”)

It sounds dramatic, because it is. But Austin is pretty awesome as long as you’re realistic and prepared. 

Politics aside—because let’s be honest, that’s stressful and simply not our jam—we’re proud of every inch of our state. 

With 63,174 California residents moving to Texas in 2019 alone (the most influx from any state)1 we’d like to offer a more positive perspective about our capital city. 

Here are 3 weirdly satisfying things that Californians can expect when moving to Austin!

1. Austin’s Cultural Scene Is Distinctly Texan—With a Worldly Twist

Whether it’s an artistic cultural exhibition or foodie fest, Austin is on par with California in terms of diversity by Texas standards. 

Events happen daily, with some of the most world-renowned festivals taking place year-round. 

Texans as a whole are incredibly proud of our brand of barbeque and Tex-Mex cuisine.

Austin takes this to a whole ‘nother level. 

Instead of relying solely on Yelp, why not talk to locals and do a little more research on the things to do and places to eat? 

You’ll find it difficult to choose from Austin’s myriad of mouth-watering restaurants, bars, and barbeque joints known for their range of ethnic and regional influences! 

If you want a cinematic scene with more of an indie flair, why struggle in the highly competitive world of Hollywood, California?

Austin is an excellent choice for launching a career in film or simply enjoying a festival. Cult films, blockbuster TV shows and movies alike have long been filmed in Austin.

Heck, in 2016, Moviemaker.com even voted the city the third-best for filmmakers2.

2. Cali Transplants Who Plan Wisely Can Handle the Austin Heat

One of Alder’s biggest complaints included not only high energy costs for his 4,000-square foot home, but the hot and humid weather in Austin. 

Yes, it’s hot (duh, it’s Texas)—much hotter than California. 

Despite having lower energy costs across Texas, you’ll use more to cool down/heat up your home. 

Combined with the 300 days of sunshine3 that Austin gets, make sure you can handle the heat and don’t mind spending less time outdoors during 100-degree temperatures. 

But, there are ways around paying so much money to heat and cool a large home, and it’s best to do your research before you get to Austin.

Humid air takes longer to heat and cool down4, so you’ll need to be much more strategic when leaving California’s temperate climate for the muggier Lone Star state.

  • Install a smart thermostat- This will help you cool down your home efficiently on a timer and you can even set it by specific days or monitor settings with a mobile app. 
  • Invest in a humidity control system- Dehumidifiers will help inhibit any mold growth (fungi love humid and warm conditions) and zap moisture from the air. Whole-home systems can be installed by an HVAC technician to automate your humidity control even better.
  • Cycle the bathroom fan- That fan in the bathroom isn’t just for number 2’s. It should be your BFF when you want to keep air and surroundings dry. Just remember to turn it off so you don’t waste energy!
  • Consider getting a dryer duct kit- Reroute air from your dryer (non-gas dryers only) either outdoors during warm days or indoors when it’s cold. Combine this with a dehumidifier to combat condensation. 
  • Check any cracks and reseal- Your home can’t efficiently heat or cool if there’s air getting in or escaping. Closely inspect your future residence to determine if any areas need to be resealed or repaired. 

If you haven’t moved to Austin yet:

Find out what you’re currently paying for energy, including the usage, and write it down. 

An Excel or Google spreadsheet should work fine.

The goal is to compare what you’re currently paying with the energy and water rates where you’re planning to move. 

Even if you don’t know exactly where you’ll be moving to within Austin, you’ll have a solid rate already recorded for future reference.

If you’ve already moved to Austin: 

It’s still a good idea to check what you’re currently paying (especially if your bill is higher than it was in California). 

Use an energy comparison provider like ElectricityPlans.com or Power to Choose to compare rates in Texas. Enter your zip code and instantly get a lineup of rates to choose from.

Lastly, if storms and harsh weather have you concerned, factor in getting the appropriate level of renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance to your moving costs. 

You may even be eligible for assistance or discounts through certain company projects—like weatherization and solar or wind energy programs!

3. Austin Has a Lower Crime Rate & More Economic Opportunity Than California

Looking to move somewhere where there’s more opportunity to buy a home?

Austin is a good choice for a few reasons.

In general, Texas is known for its Southern hospitality and more laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere.

Austin will give you the same experience with a bigger metro-city feeling.

Ranking 28th out of the 30 largest cities in the US for violent crime5, you can feel safer there than in many Californian cities.

In addition to the lower crime rate, Austin has an existing reputation as a technology hub. This reputation is quickly gaining steam as more large companies and tech workers are ditching higher-priced metros with state taxes (Texas has zero) for cities like Austin.

To name a few, big brands like Tesla, Oracle, Lowe’s, and others are either relocating to Austin or expanding operations and opening regional offices there.

Of course, current employees and aspiring industry newbies alike will follow the money—and so can you!

Key industries for employment in Austin6

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Clean Technology
  • Corporate HQs and Regional Offices
  • Creative & Digital Media Technology
  • Data Management
  • Financial Service & Insurance
  • Space Technology
  • Life Sciences

Did you notice that many of the key industries in Austin mirror those in California? 

Even better news is the fact that Austin’s economy is bouncing back, proving to be more resilient than many other cities impacted by the widespread COVID-19 pandemic job losses of 2020.

National & Local Housing Market Data | Zillow

home values in Austin compared to Californian cities

Housing prices are also lower compared to basically anywhere in California’s major cities. In the charts on average home value below, Austin clocks in at $378,454. While that’s above the U.S. average of $266,104, it’s well under even the least expensive major California city mapped on this chart ($678,665). 

So yes, homeownership is definitely within your reach if you’re fleeing California for more opportunity. 

It’s even more attainable if you’re realistic (a.k.a, not aiming for a McMansion) and have funds from previous home equity, or savings from a decent-paying job. 

Observed Rent Index | Zillow

rent prices

Rental prices in California versus Austin are comparable with housing averages.  They’re even more of a deal when you consider the national average ($1,740)!

When compared to major cities in California, Austin is still less expensive for renters with an average price of ($1,548).

Wrapping Up

Californians, please don’t expect Austin to feel 100% like the cities you’re leaving behind in the Sunshine State…

California is unique and so is Texas.

That pretty much goes triple for Austin which we fondly call ‘weird’ for a very good reason. 

The best way to acclimate to any new place is to keep an open mind and do lots of research. 

Keep in mind those two simple things and you’ll find that a utopia awaits you in Austin instead of regrets.

Sources:

  1. ‌‌U.S. Census Bureau. “Moves to and from the South and West Dominate Recent Migration Flows.” The United States Census Bureau, 29 Apr. 2019, www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/04/moves-from-south-west-dominate-recent-migration-flows.html. 3 Feb. 2021.
  2. Hensley, Ellie. “Austin One of Best Cities for Filming — Even Better than LA.” Austin Business Journal, Austin Business Journal, 21 Jan. 2016, www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/creative/2016/01/austin-one-of-best-cities-for-filming-even-better.html. 7 Feb. 2021.
  3. Media, Yu. “Austin, TX – Detailed Climate Information and Monthly Weather Forecast | Weather Atlas.” Weather Atlas, 2021, www.weather-us.com/en/texas-usa/austin-climate#climate_text_1. 7 Feb. 2021.
  4. Guy, Energy. “How Humidity Affects Heating and Cooling – Energy Forums.” Energy Forums, 11 Feb. 2016, energyforums.net/hvac/how-humidity-affects-heating-and-cooling/.  7 Feb. 2021. 
  5. ‌Mulder, Brandon. “Fact-Check: Is Austin One of the Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.?” Austin American-Statesman, Austin American-Statesman, 6 Nov. 2020, www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/11/06/fact-check-is-austin-one-of-most-dangerous-cities-in-us/43010523/. 7 Feb. 2021.
  6. “Key Industries.” Austin Chamber of Commerce, 2019, www.austinchamber.com/economic-development/key-industries. 7 Feb. 2021.

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Here’s How to Make Moving Somewhere New Less Scary


 

So you want to move somewhere completely new where you don’t have any connections?  

Well, there’s a wrong way and a right way to fulfill your desire of moving somewhere else alone. Below, we break down what you need to know before you go, and why.

Moving to a New City or State? Consider These Things First

The last thing you need is to be afraid or caught off-guard by unexpected challenges. Before you load up a moving truck with everything you own, make sure you investigate everything that will impact your life and happiness in a brand-new city.

If You’ve Never Lived There

Desiring to relocate elsewhere and start over can seem thrilling. But if you’ve never lived there, haven’t even visited, or if you have no family/friends waiting, picturing your new life can conjure dreamy illusions not based in reality. 

To know the real deal, you’ll need to look into things like:

  • Influential cultures/subcultures, politics, or policies. It may not be obvious now, but the general pace, attitudes, and demographics of a new place will have a tremendous impact on your longterm happiness. Plenty of people who are used to a way of life may find it hard to adjust to something new. Whatever preconceived notion you had of the place you want to move to, your new discoveries about it may be super interesting or extremely off-putting. 
  • Climate, weather, and seasonality.  This is crucial if you hate certain weather extremes. Note: climate is general and is defined as “the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long time period.”  For example, Texas is known for its scorching, humid summers, heavy and sometimes dangerous rainfall, and lack of four distinct seasons. (Unless you count allergy season by itself). People with a strong preference for mild or colder climates or individuals with medical conditions triggered by heat definitely shouldn’t move here on a whim! The same logic applies if you have a severe respiratory disease… You probably should investigate if your desired city has heavy air pollution. 
  • Check transportation routes. When you’re looking for a place to live, transportation is a key factor in getting to a job or important services. No matter if you’re house- or apartment-hunting if you plan on commuting, use Google Maps or Quora to find out where the major traffic areas, interstates, highways, or public transportation routes are. While you’re at it, see what’s nearby in terms of grocery stores, hospitals, urgent care clinics, shopping centers, public facilities, or entertainment. 

 

If You Don’t Already Have a Job 

Not having a job lined up wherever you plan to relocate can make things more difficult, but it’s certainly not an automatic failure. 

If you’re trying to land a gig in your new locale, do this before you move:

  • Check out the local job market. Depending on where you live, some industries have a stronger presence than others. It’s up to you to find out which fields, occupations, and skills are more in-demand in the new place you want to move. Roles for a marine biologist or scuba instructor may not exactly be abundant if you want to move to a landlocked city or state with no coastline or beach. 
  • Build your network online. What skills do you need to work on to get the job you want? Of course, you’ll need to polish your professional presence—resumes, curriculum vitae, portfolios, etc. Get copies of any transcripts, diplomas, or certificates before you move. Then, the hustle begins: Join professional groups or meetups (Facebook is fantastic for this), establish yourself on LinkedIn and post regularly while reaching out to former colleagues, professional acquaintances, and new connections. This will help increase your online visibility to recruiters and employers needing to fill a role. Research job opportunities and apply online directly with the company you’re checking out. Ask anyone you know who lives there to keep an eye out for roles that fit your skillset. It will also help you help others who are looking for new opportunities you come across but don’t want; they will likely appreciate it and return the favor when necessary. Check into larger employers or startups based there because they’ll often have more roles to fill. 
  • Gain a new skill or trade. Trade schools, internet-based certifications, and online courses from colleges and universities have made it easier than ever to develop an existing competency or gain a new skill. If you don’t already have a role in the city you’ve moved to, focus on one of these methods to get the background knowledge for a new job. Also, consider getting a freelance hustle in the gig economy in case you need to temporarily make ends meet. 

If You Have Pets or Children

Ok, so you’re not exactly alone if you’re bringing pets or kids along to a different city or state… However, if you are alone, then you’re definitely the breadwinner. 

Here are some super important things that parents and pet owners should look into before moving somewhere unfamiliar:

For pet parents: Check your residential pet policy.

  • It’s more than just paying pet rent. Some homeowner’s associations (HOAs), many home insurance companies, apartment complexes, and even cities/counties have policies that ban certain animals, including specific dog breeds and mixes. Although there is much controversy over these breed restrictions, certain entities like apartment complexes and rentals, reserve the right to enforce any lease bans on what they deem “aggressive breeds.”
  • Even if you don’t have an aggressive breed as outlined in the contract, another neighbor could. If the thought of it makes you uneasy, it should. Terms of the other tenant’s lease are only known and enforceable by the landlord. So, it’s at their discretion to give them the boot, and you won’t have a say if a dispute arises over an unfriendly pet.
  • Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance companies often have long, arbitrary dog blacklists, too.  Many smaller cities, homeowner associations (HOAs), and apartment complexes have breed restrictions as well. Unfortunately, many people don’t consider this or even ask about pet policies when they move somewhere new.  If your pup is considered a prohibited breed or has a history of biting, you often can’t get renter’s or homeowner’s insurance coverage, so check into this before moving.
  • If your dog is deemed an aggressive breed and harms someone? You’re facing 100% liability for the resulting costs because it won’t be covered by an insurer. You can try to get an exception, have the dog excluded from the policy, or search for another insurer. More exotic pets (like snakes or meat-eating reptiles) are typically excluded from homeowners and renter’s insurance, altogether.

For parents of children: Dig into school district ratings.

  • Education is a crucial part of childhood development. If you have children in primary school, you’ll want to research the best school districts where you’re planning to move and make sure you’re legally zoned to those districts.
  • Find the answers to important questions about the districts and any specific schools you’re eyeing. What are their ratings and why? What are the policies, programs, and track records of the schools? What are students and other parents saying about the school? It will have a big influence on where you choose to live.
  • For those in secondary schools, focus on any interests your kids have that are reflected in the academic or extracurricular activities. For instance, if your daughter is adamant about becoming a pediatrician, look for schools that emphasize science exposure. Getting credit for certain advanced high school-level courses can help offset your child’s college tuition costs later. Depending on any training programs that your child completes, they could possibly graduate high school with a professional certification! Join online parental groups and check local news sources to get the real scoop on the state of childhood education before you move. 

If You’re Single or Simply Don’t Know Anyone

Single? Looking for friends? 

Stop us if this starts to sound like a dating ad, but you’re going to have to work harder to get to know a new place so it’s not so intimidating. 

If you’re moving and don’t know anyone:

  • Read up on the neighborhoods. Most cities are unofficially separated into different neighborhoods. The upscale suburbs, the newly renovated and gentrified areas, urban enclaves, tourist traps, where to get the best shopping, food, business or industrial connections… You name it. If you’re excited to explore a new city, get to know where you want to hang outwhere you want to live, and if you want those two to actually be the same place or separate. Can you handle living around an area with frequent noise? What about the quieter family-oriented suburbs? Do you want your amenities within walking distance or do you prefer to live on the outskirts and see the stars? 
  • Check crime rate & response times. When you’re alone in a new city you don’t know very well, safety should be at the forefront of your decision. This also goes back to the first point: know where your nearest hospitals, ER, and urgent care centers are near your new spot . What’s the average first responder time? What do the crime rate and density look like by neighborhood or zip code? There are lots of deceptively attractive areas you’ll see in the daytime that actually have surprising crime rates. Whether it’s break-ins, burglaries, juvenile mischief, or even violent crime, you need to know before you make the commitment. Get the real deal from real residents using apartment review pages and sites like Nextdoor.com for neighborhoods. 

If You’re Buying a Home There

House-hunting means you’re seriously thinking about settling in a new place. If you’ve never lived there before and never bought a house, you’ll want to look out for these things specifically:

  • What are local and state taxes like? What about insurance? What are the property taxes and insurance rates in your new desired location? Are they higher than what you’re paying now (or more than what you’d be willing to pay)? Don’t stop at digging into the property taxes, but find out if your new destination requires state income taxes, too. 
  • Before closing, check Mother Nature. Are you moving to an area notorious for flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, etc? If you’re eyeing a move to a new place with a reputation for natural disasters, this should be at the top of your FAQs when looking for a new home. Real estate agents should be able to help answer these questions while steering clear of anything that gives you pause. Likewise, it’s best if you’re upfront about your concerns right away.
  • Find the nearest fire department. Not only will this help you save on home insurance costs, but you’ll feel safer knowing that trained firefighters aren’t far away if you ever need them.
  • Locate nearby noise-makers and potential hazards. Unfortunately, some people don’t even think about this until they’re trying to sleep or get to work and a train abruptly and very loudly interrupts them… Or when that nearby airport activity constantly jams up their WiFi and cell phone signals. The dangers of living near an outdoor gun range or an unofficial outdoor shooting practice area are obvious.  Airports, railroads, shooting ranges, etc… these are things to avoid when house-hunting somewhere you’ve never been before. Make sure you notify any realtor you’re working with, too, of these deal-breakers.

Get Ready to Start Over Somewhere New. Fearlessly.

Lots of people find it too intimidating to even consider heading off alone. 

(Meanwhile, other folks do the exact opposite, diving in headfirst to the prospect without planning at all). Both mindsets can end up regretting “what could have been.”

It can seem exciting to move to a place you’ve never lived in. It can also prove challenging if you don’t check out this critical information first. 

Now, you don’t have to let any of that stop you!


Moving to San Antonio? Here’s What You Need to Know


Considering a move to San Antonio?

There are a few things you need to know about living in this Texas city that won’t pop up in a simple Google search.

You’ve got questions, so we’ve got answers. Here’s what to expect before relocating to Alamo City... Straight from the mouths of locals.

Insider Tips: Living in San Antonio, TX

You know it’s true… Each city has its own culture, rhythm, and flavor

Other than living there yourself, talking to those who already do is the best way to truly grasp the essence of a place.

This is pretty important research that you may or may not have the time, resources, and patience for… However, just like a new job or relationship, it’s critical to know if the city is compatible with you

So, we’ve rounded up the best advice from across the web and San Antonians themselves to reveal what it's like living in San Antonio.

How’s the Traffic in San Antonio?

For those coming from smaller or less-populated towns, Texas’ traffic could take some getting used to…

But, compared to our other sprawling cities—Austin, Dallas, and Houston— Quora users actually rank San Antonio traffic last.

Non-Texans thinking of moving to San Antonio will be happy to know that the average work commute is just over 24 minutes!

best-tips for avoiding-traffic-in-San-Antonio-Quora-answer-3

worst-roads-for-San-Antonio-traffic-Quora-answer-2

San-Antonio-rush-hour-traffic-tips

 

What About Fun Things to Do?

Everyone knows about the Riverwalk… It’s a beautiful stroll or ferry float among all the cultural, retail, and culinary delights that San Antonio has to offer in one spot. But once you’ve made the move there, the Riverwalk is only impressive so many times.

Top 5 Holiday Events & Attractions in San Antonio

Take it from a local: check out the many other activities that define San Antonio. Things like festivals, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the amazing tacos and tamales, and more will keep you entertained!

Did we mention there's even a cocktail conference?

places-to-go-besides-Riverwalk-in-San-Antonio

annual-Tejano-music-festival-in-San-Antonio

Where are the Best Places to Live?

Like other Texas metropolises, San Antonio is a city full of diverse residential areas.

Do your homework before you move to avoid ending up in either an overpriced or shady part of town.
Or, just listen to these residents who know the city inside-out.

best place to live in San Antonio

This San Antonio local has great advice for families who desire safety and good school districts above all.

where-is-a-good-place-to-live-in-San-Antonio

Can I Make a Good Living in San Antonio?

No need to worry about finding a gig after moving to San Antonio!
The city boasts:

  • A future projected job growth rate that's above the national average
  • A more affordable cost-of-living that makes San Antonio an attractive competitor to the much pricier Big Four metros (Dallas, Houston, and Austin)
  • Major job sectors including health care/social assistance, retail, and hospitality & food services.
  • Higher-paid jobs in the legal, architectural & engineering, health, medicine, and technology fields.

largest employing occupations and jobs in San Antonio

WAIT, WHAT ABOUT RENT IN SAN ANTONIO?!

We got you.

Although there’s zero state income tax in Texas (awesome, right?!), rent can still put a huge dent in your income.

Make life easy and use this tool to compare rents by neighborhood while you’re researching the best areas to live!

If You’re REALLY Ready to Move to San Antonio

Just listen to Neil who loves living there:

things-you-need-to-know-before-moving-to-san-antonio


Best Apps for Buying a Home


If you need to move soon and have to find a house fast, there's an app for that! Actually, there are several apps that make house hunting simple enough for you to do anytime, anywhere. But which app is the one that's going to make it easiest for you to find your dream home so you can schedule your Houston movers as soon as possible? The following are some of the top apps to use on your journey to buying a home in the Houston area.

Zillow

Zillow has been a staple in the home buying process for years now. It's so easy to use and has so many listings on it that it's fun to just scroll through it even when you're not in the market for a home! So it's perfect for serious homebuyers and daydreamers alike.

Pros: Zillow allows you to see the history of the listing price and taxes of each home, so you can get an idea of whether it's the best price you're going to get on the house you have your heart set on.

Cons: One of the downsides of Zillow is that it doesn't always list the HOA information. And when it does, it's sort of buried at the bottom of the page, even though you definitely need to know this information upfront if you want a true idea of your monthly cost! Also, Zillow isn't as updated as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is what real estate agents use for listings. That means Zillow doesn't necessarily have access to every home on the market, and sometimes by the time the listing shows up on Zillow, it's already under contract with another buyer.

Trulia

Another popular homebuying app is Trulia. Though it's owned by Zillow, many buyers find that it's actually better during the active home search, since it has a few features that Zillow lacks.

Pros: One of the best details of Trulia is its crime statistics of each area, letting you get an idea of how safe a neighborhood is. In addition, you can easily filter your search using keywords for what you're looking for in your new Houston home, such as all tile, hardwood floors or a pool.

Cons: Since Trulia is owned by Zillow, it shares its main downside. That means you might not be seeing every listing the second it's available when you use Trulia instead of the MLS. But this app is still good for browsing homes, so you can send your real estate agent a list of properties you like and he or she can give you more updated information.

Homesnap

Homesnap is yet another homebuying app you can use to browse homes before you schedule moving day with your local Houston movers.

Pros: The best thing about Homesnap is that it doesn't just give you information on homes for sale. It also lets you learn more about homes that aren't even on the market! So if you're driving down the street and see a beautiful house that stops you in your tracks, just take a picture of it and Homesnap will tell you everything you need to know. If it's for sale, you'll see the list price and all the other details. If it's not, you'll see its past sale prices and estimated value. Plus, this app uses MLS data, meaning it's always updated.

Cons: The search criteria on Homesnap isn't as detailed or precise as other homebuying apps, so it may take more time to find a house you'll love on it. It's better for when you're out driving around searching for houses and just need some information on pricing, contact information and open house hours.

Houston Association of Realtors

The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) has its own app dedicated to helping locals find homes in the Houston area. If you're looking to stay in Houston, you'll want to try out this app!

Pros: Since this is a local app, you'll only see homes in the Houston area, so there's no extra step of limiting your search criteria to a particular state. Plus, this app lists the HOA information, and it's also connected to the MLS so it gets only updated listings.

Cons: You'll notice HAR doesn't use the Great Schools rating program that many other apps do. This might be a disadvantage if your kids would be transferring into new schools after the move.

You can use any of these apps to find your dream home. And as soon as you do--and once you get a move-in date--be sure to schedule Houston movers to help make moving a breeze! Contact our Houston office today to learn more.


Top 5 Holiday Events & Attractions in San Antonio


It's the holidays in San Antonio, and that means it's time for tamales! But that's not the only tradition we have around here between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. This city also offers tons of events for everyone, from traditional Christmas lights to luminarias. So whether you're thinking of moving here, or have been here for years and just need some new ideas on local events, here are the top five holiday options in San Antonio.

Old West Christmas Light Fest

Everything's bigger in Texas, and the Christmas lights at Old West Christmas Light Fest are no exception. On select nights from November 22 to December 29, you can head to Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne to see more than 40 "Old West" buildings decked out in countless lights. Plus, the kids can visit with Santa, eat holiday treats, play holiday-themed games and more. Basically, there's holiday fun for all ages at this San Antonio Christmas event.

Holiday Lights on the River Walk

If you normally enjoy the San Antonio River Walk, you'll love it during the holidays! From November 23 to January 6, it's filled with more than 100,000 pretty lights adorning the trees all around the area. And it's free for you to walk around and admire the lights, so go ahead and stroll down the River Walk any night during the holiday season to boost your Christmas spirit!

Wonderland Christmas

Every year, Morgan's Wonderland is proud to present a holiday attraction that welcomes children and adults of all ages and abilities. At Wonderland Christmas, you'll see lots of lights, holiday decorations, a petting zoo, puppet performances, story time with Mrs. Claus, free cookies and more. This holiday event runs on select nights from November 23 to December 23, giving you and your family a month to make it to Morgan's Wonderland this winter. Of course, if you don't make it this year, there's always next year, since this is an annual event that San Antonio parents have been attending for a few years in a row now!

Ford Fiesta de Las Luminarias

Ah, the holidays in San Antonio wouldn't be complete without a festival filled with luminarias, or lights inside paper bags. That's why you don't want to miss the Ford Fiesta de Las Luminarias, which takes place at the River Walk on weekend evenings between November 30 and December 16. Considering that the River Walk is also decked out in Christmas lights during this time period, you'll get a double dose of holiday spirit when you combine those with the beautiful luminarias this winter in San Antonio.

Celebrate SA

Did you know San Antonio is the best city in Texas to celebrate New Year's Eve? Yep, we took the 16th spot on WalletHub's list of Best Places for New Year's Eve Celebrations, and we happen to be the top Texas city on it! So you really can't go wrong when you spend this holiday here, especially considering this year was the city's Tricentennial…so we're definitely celebrating! That's probably why one of the top events to attend will be Celebrate SA, which is a free New Year's Eve event that features dozens of live musical acts topped off by fireworks at the end of the night. Between 6 pm and midnight, you can enjoy live music, food, drinks, carnival rides, games and more as you ring in 2019.

If you're not yet a resident of this great city, you can see now why you should be! Whether you want to move here from another Texas city or just need to switch neighborhoods in this area, contact 3 Men Movers today! We'll send you some friendly, helpful San Antonio movers who will make relocating a breeze for you.


15 Things You Need To Know Before Moving To San Antonio


If you are planning or thinking about moving to San Antonio, Texas, then you have a lot to look forward to. This city’s past is just as vibrant as its present. Keep reading to find out 15 things that you may be surprised to learn about San Antonio!

Benefits of Moving To San Antonio

It’s an affordable city

If you’re moving to San Antonio one thing that you will be glad to know is that it is an affordable city to live in. This is impressive considering that San Antonio is the second-largest city in Texas. In 2014 it even landed at number six on Yahoo Finance’s Most Affordable Cities To Live In. According to Zillow, the median price for a home in San Antonio is $220,320 and the median price for renting an apartment is $1,095… that’s hard to compete within most major cities!

The Spurs are royalty

Everyone loves them, and we do mean everyone. You won’t see the residents of this city sporting any other jerseys come basketball season. The Spurs have called San Antonio home since the early 70’s and the city’s love for the team runs deep. If you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll appreciate the fandom… and who knows, maybe you’ll even consider switching teams.

There are tons of historical sites making for a vibrant Texas cultureWinter on the Riverwalk

The Alamo is one of the most treasured San Antonio historical sites, and for good reason. The battle site is significant to Texas and US history and demands to be seen. The River Walk is also a fantastic place to take a stroll and slow down the frantic pace of daily life. The San Antonio River runs through the city and both sides of the channel are lined with restaurants, hotels, and of course, the iconic rainbow umbrellas. But this isn’t all San Antonio has to offer. There’s also the Natural Bridge Caverns for adventurers, the beautiful San Antonio Japanese Tea Gardens, and the site of the 1968 World’s Fair.

It is growing and there’s plenty of room

According to the US Census, San Antonio gained over 21,000 new residents from 2014 to 2015. However, unlike other major cities in Texas, the city isn’t suffering from unbearable traffic or push back from current locals due to its recent growth. If you hate long commutes, you’ve found the right place.

It’s family-friendly

The thing that makes San Antonio such a great place for families is that you don’t have to sacrifice affordability and space for access to a thriving city. You can have a backyard without disconnecting from urban life. That’s a hard balance to find, but San Antonio makes it a reality.

The city turns up for Fiestafiesta-sa

Fiesta is San Antonio’s largest festival and their site estimates that about 3.5 million people attend the festival per year. It is a tradition that began in 1891 by a group of women who donned traditional dresses, decorated carriages, and led a parade in front of the Alamo in honor of those who lost their lives in the Battle of San Jacinto. This week long party brings parades, fireworks, block parties, and lots of delicious food to San Antonio. You can’t escape this party.

San Antonio embraces the military

There’s a reason why the nickname for the city is “Military City USA.” There are bases lining the city and the military has a visible presence in San Antonio because of it. There are also many organizations dedicated to the support of veterans, like USAA.

It’s become a hub for corporate headquarters

San Antonio may have a small town feel but there are also many businesses with corporate headquarters in the city. Some of the corporations based in San Antonio are H-E-B, USAA, Rackspace, and Cullen/Frost Bankers. Some of them even have campuses that are worth a visit.

Hill Country is around the cornerhill-country-texas

Most San Antonio residents can get to the Hill Country in about an hour making it a great place to do weekend or even day trips. When visiting Texas Hill Country you can look forward to the signature rolling hills, lavender fields, caving, wineries, hiking, biking, and plenty of spas and retreats for weekend getaways.

There are tons of federal jobs

You probably think of DC when you think of US cities with a large amount of federal jobs but San Antonio comes in at number three, just behind Atlanta. If you want a government job because of the stability and perks they hold like federal holidays off and health insurance, San Antonio may be the place to find your next gig.

There are several notable people from San Antonio

If you’re moving to San Antonio you should probably be acquainted with the notable figures that the city has produced. Current US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro served as mayor for his home city. Hollywood legend Joan Crawford is also a native of San Antonio. Arguably the most beloved San Antonio figure is retired Spurs player, Tim Duncan (affectionately known to the locals as Timmy).

Wrapping Up

San Antonio is on the rise. It has so much to offer. From affordable housing and rent, to Hill Country getaways, and traditions like Fiesta that bring the city together in celebration. This Texas city just may be the perfect destination for your next move!