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How to Find an Apartment in San Antonio, TX

October 5, 2021

A move to San Antonio is an exciting one that brings a low cost of living, professional sports, mild winters, and big-city amenities with a small-town feel. There's something for everyone in the River City. To get started in your searches, you can figure out how to find an apartment in San Antonio on your own or use our guide to simplify the process and make sure you find the best rental possible.

Here's how you can find the best neighborhood and apartment amenities in San Antonio.

How to Find the Best San Antonio Neighborhood

The River City is best-known for its 15-mile long River Walk. Along this scenic route, residents and visitors of this incredible city can peruse countless galleries, shops, and cafes. It's hard to find anything not to like in this city with riverfront dining options and the beach just a few hours away.

San Antonio offers the perfect blend of big-city amenities while maintaining its small-town feel. Even better, the cost of living in San Antonio tends to be much more affordable than some larger city counterparts.

Here's where to get started!

1. Alamo Farmsteads

One of the best neighborhoods in San Antonio is Alamo Farmsteads, located in the Northwest region off Huebner Road. Alamo Farmsteads is made up of various housing options, including single-family homes and apartment complexes. This quaint neighborhood still offers easy access to the rest of the city, with Bandera and Babcock Road boarding the area.

With so much acreage readily available in the Alamo Farmsteads neighborhood, it's not surprising to see horses roaming around. OP Schnabel Park, boasting a fantastic 202-acre footprint, is nearby this neighborhood and offers endless entertainment with a playground, athletic fields, and natural trails for the whole family to enjoy.

2. Olmos Park Terrace

Just north of the downtown area is Olmos Park Terrace, an especially unique San Antonio neighborhood. Artists of all backgrounds flock to this area of San Antonio, which attracts multimedia experts, sculptors, photographers, and painters alike with its independent and artistic vibe. Not surprisingly, this neighborhood hosts an exciting event showcasing these individuals, in which people can visit their homes and studios during the Uptown Art Stroll.

Olmos Park Terrace homes range from private rental homes to apartment complexes. The design styles are also varying, from traditional houses to English stone cottages.

3. Stone Oak

In the north-central region of San Antonio, you will find the Stone Oak neighborhood. This prestigious area is home to gated communities, large apartment complexes, upscale single-family homes, and oak-lined streets.

If you're looking to embrace the small-town feel that San Antonio is known for, Stone Oak is the neighborhood for you. Thankfully, you won't have to give up all modern amenities, as you'll find the award-winning Canyon Springs Golf Club and a heated Olympic 6-lane pool in Stone Oak.

4. Monte Vista

For history buffs, head to Midtown, San Antonio, where you'll find the Monte Vista Historic District. The gilded age, which built the city on cattle and oil industries, is still thriving today. There's plenty of fun going on in this neighborhood, with festivals, third Thursday events, and home tours happening regularly.

Monte Vista is also a great spot to call home for anyone looking to live close to Downtown San Antonio without being in the heart of it. You can enjoy some of the more scenic views outside the downtown area, located near the Botanical Garden and waterfront.

5. North Central

Another significant San Antonio neighborhood for those who like to have lots of options is North Central. Enjoy seemingly countless coffee shops, local parks, pubs, and restaurants.

North Central is an excellent place for young families and professionals pursuing their careers. You can enjoy the feel of living in San Antonio proper with some additional amenities like gated communities.

How Much are Apartments in San Antonio

Considering moving to San Antonio? Before you get started packing your things, you'll want to first learn about the average rent prices in the area.

Average Rent in San Antonio

San Antonio rents are up by 1.99% compared to last month and 7.97% compared to the previous year. Here's more information to help you determine your budget:

  • 38% of apartments in San Antonio cost less than $1,000 per month.
  • 57% of apartments in San Antonio cost between $1,000-$1,999 per month.
  • 4% of apartments in San Antonio cost between $2,000-$2,999 per month.
  • 0% of apartments in San Antonio cost over $3,000 per month.

How to Find Cheap Apartments in San Antonio

Figuring out how to find an apartment in San Antonio is step one, though finding a cheap apartment is an entirely different beast worth taming. Thankfully, we're here to help you by providing you with plenty of resources to help you find something to move into that you can afford.

First, you'll need to figure out how to budget for your first apartment. While your budget will be unique to your current financial situation, some of the basics to cover include:

  • Moving expenses
  • Rent
  • Heating and gas
  • Cable/internet
  • Electricity
  • Etc.

Totaling up all of your expenses might feel a bit overwhelming at first, but it's an essential step in the process. Thankfully, there are ways to help cut down on some of your costs, like taking advantage of the seasonality in renting and looking for different move-in specials.

What's the Best Time to Find an Apartment in San Antonio?

The rental market is known for its seasonality, like most others in the country. In San Antonio, similar to the majority of the nation, seasonality can drastically impact rent prices.

Since people are less interested in moving during this time, you will typically find more apartments available during the winter months. Then, as things pick up again in the summer, renters generally become more competitive. As such, it becomes more expensive to find a San Antonio apartment in the summer.

Regardless of the season, come prepared to look at apartments in San Antonio with all your documentation. The ticket to beating out your competition maybe being ready to sign a lease agreement on the spot.

How to Find an Apartment?

Learn the steps to finding an apartment in San Antonio! Here's the process:

Determine Your Budget

The first aspect of finding an apartment is considering your budget. If you're still unsure how much rent you can afford, try following the recommended 30% rule. According to the 30% rule, no more than 30% of your gross income, or pre-taxed monthly take-home pay, should go towards rent. If you want to determine what rent you can afford based on your annual income, simply divide your gross annual salary by 40.

For example, if you are looking for a one-bedroom apartment in San Antonio with an average rent price of $1,042, you can use the 30% rule to determine your minimum gross income. Based on this rule, your gross income should hit right around $3,126 per month or about $37,512 annually.

Understand the Trust Cost of Renting

Although the 30% rule is helpful when determining your budget, remember that it works best as a baseline. You will also have to account for hidden rental costs that you may incur. So, how much apartment can you afford? Let's take a close look at some of the hidden apartment expenses that are often overlooked to get a better idea, including:

Your specific financial circumstance should also be a determining factor in your budget. You may quickly realize that the 30% rule doesn't quite fit your budget if you have high bills aside from your rent, such as medical expenses, student loans, etc.

Thankfully, we're here to help, which is why we put together the Apartment List's Rent Calculator to help you determine what monthly rent you can afford. This helpful tool, which was designed for renters, has been backed by tons of research and will undoubtedly help you better understand what type of rental budget you are genuinely working with.

Set Your Apartment Priorities

The San Antonio housing market ranges from modern, downtown high rises to single-family, multi-acre homes. Once you have established your budget and find the best apartment in San Antonio, you can narrow your search by figuring out your priorities regarding specific amenities.

Amenities

Make a list of needs versus wants for your new apartment in San Antonio. Your list should include all the amenities you love, including dedicated outdoor space, onsite laundry, bike storage, covered parking, or proximity to public transportation.

Once you have an idea of what you want, you'll need to start prioritizing your list, including your needs versus wants. The more you can prioritize upfront, the easier it will be to narrow down your options and find your perfect apartment.

San Antonio Location/Neighborhood

With so many great rental options in San Antonio, finding the best neighborhood comes down to personal preference. While the overall vibe is crucial, you'll also want to factor in things like walkability and overall convenience. Consider if you're looking for more space or outdoor options for a family with small children or even a pet.

However, maybe you don't require a lot of space and prefer to be close to work. In this case, a downtown or downtown-adjacent neighborhood might be the ideal neighborhood for you.

Determining which environment is best for you comes down to measuring your desire for accessibility to extracurriculars, including what types, before signing your next lease in your ideal San Antonio neighborhood.

Consider Your Commute Time

Beyond finding your dream location, make sure you consider your commute time.

San Antonio's walk score is just 35, with a transit score of 36. Biking is another mode of transportation worth considering in San Antonio, as the city has a bike score of 45. These specific rankings may not necessarily be as crucial to you if you have a vehicle of your own or plan to purchase one before your move.

Public Transportation in San Antonio

The VIA Metropolitan Transit serves 14 cities, including San Antonio, bus service, paratransit service, VIA Primo, VIA Link ride-sharing, vanpool service, and special event options. VIA Fares can be paid on a per-ride basis at $1.30 for a regular bus ride, every week for $12.00, monthly basis for $96.00, or annual basis for $365.00.

Prepare for Apartment Tours

You'll want to make sure you take part in an apartment tour to really know what you are getting before signing a lease. Be well-prepared for your tours, and make sure you keep important information readily available, including:

  • Application fee
  • ID
  • References

When it comes time to pay for your application, make sure you know what forms of payment are acceptable. Your property manager or landlord will let you know if they accept cash, credit card, or check, depending on their preference.

Be fully prepared by making sure you understand how the application process works. You'll also be able to gather any necessary materials ahead of time.

During the apartment tour, you'll want to take time to make sure all of the amenities in the listing are functioning correctly. Don't be afraid to jot down a list of questions you may have, such as rules about pets, painting, and other building rules that are crucial to know as a renter.

Here are 20 questions to ask when renting an apartment if you're not quite sure what you should be inquiring about. Asking questions will ensure you are making the most out of your apartment tour.

Applying for Your San Antonio Apartment

If your apartment tour was a success, you’ll be ready to apply for your new San Antonio apartment!

The best part is, if you've come prepared for your tour, as previously mentioned, it will make the application process easier than ever. However, you might need to gather more information in addition to your application.

Most landlords require some rental references as part of the application process. To be one step ahead and help boost your chances of getting into your apartment quicker, make sure you have reached out to anyone you plan to use as a rental reference ahead of time so they can anticipate the call and be prepared.

In the case you don't have any previous rental history, there's no need to worry. Most property managers will accept personal references in these circumstances. For more clarification, be sure to check during the apartment tour.

Protect Yourself from Rental Scams

According to an Apartment List rental fraud report, 28.9% of renters in San Antonio have encountered an apartment listing they suspected was fraudulent, and 2.2% of them have lost money from these rental scams. Remember to be cautious and follow these tips for avoiding rental scams.

Using Apartment List to Find Your San Antonio Apartment

It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but don't forget that your apartment hunting process should be enjoyable. We want to congratulate you on starting your search for a beautiful new apartment and life in San Antonio!

Here's how it works: We need to get to know you. First, you'll answer a few simple questions that will help us find the best matches explicitly tailored to what you're looking for. Then, we'll mix and match your personalized results to help make it easy to discover places with the perfect combination of price, location, and amenities for you.

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EMILY KHO
Emily is a professionally trained writer who covers a wide range of topics but specializes in business and hospitality content. With over a decade of professional writing experience in the hospitality industry, Emily comes from a strong background in the field backed with a BS from the world-renowned William F. Read More
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