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The Cost of Living in San Antonio, TX in 2021

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by Kyle Handy       Updated November 27, 2020

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Despite being the seventh most populated city in the United States, the cost of living in San Antonio, TX remains pretty affordable, at 14% less than the national average.

If you have your eye on moving to the Alamo City, it’s a good idea to understand the average costs for the area and what you can expect to budget. 

Below we’ll break down the cost of living in San Antonio, TX, and cover everything you need to know before you make the move.

Is it Expensive to Live in San Antonio, Texas?

Comparatively, San Antonio offers a great bang for your buck, especially among the big cities in the US. 

In fact, when you break it down by expense the cost of housing is 24% lower than the national average, utilities are 12% lower, and transportation is 11% lower. The average energy bill is around $140 per month, and gas sits at about $2.30 per gallon.

Other common costs to compare include $2.08 for a loaf of bread, $2.90 for a gallon of milk, and around $100 for a doctor’s visit.

However, with the city’s massive boom in construction and gentrification, cost of living is on the rise. In fact, San Antonio made the top 10 list of cities with the fastest growing cost of living.

What Do Housing and Rental Costs Look Like?

When it comes to housing, San Antonio has something for everyone. The city is booming with newly constructed neighborhoods, as well as mid-century moderns, farmhouses, and historic homes built in the early 1900s.

Overall, the average cost for a 2,000 sqft home in San Antonio is $250k, or about $127 per square foot. But there’s more to it than just the price of the home itself. 

When considering the cost of living in San Antonio, TX, you’ll want to find out if the property is subject to a homeowner’s association, and factor those fees into your cost analysis. HOA fees can run anywhere from $300 to $600 per year, relative to the size of the neighborhood and the amenities available.

The luxury home market starts at about $450k, and includes highly desirable features at a much more affordable price than other big cities. 

This low cost of living translates into the rental market as well, with average costs ranging from $700 to $1800 per month depending on the location and size you are looking for.

How Do Taxes Affect The Cost of Living?

Of course, you can’t talk about the cost of living in San Antonio, TX without factoring in taxes. 

The state of Texas is unique in that it does not have state income tax. However, the trade off is that property and sales taxes are much higher.

Property taxes can range from 1.97% to 2.74%, depending on if you live within the city limits or in the surrounding area.

Cost of Utilities

Just like housing costs, the cost of utilities is also well below the national average. Of course, individual costs will vary depending on usage habits, especially when it comes to A/C usage in the summers.

On average, a standard home will run about $150 per month for electricity, $50 per month for water, and $55 per month for the internet. Again, these numbers will vary based on usage and the size of your home.

Grocery and Dining

As a basic necessity of life, food costs should also be factored into your cost of living calculations. 

San Antonio offers competitive grocery pricing that is 17% lower than the national average.

The city offers a wide selection of restaurant options to choose from as well, from your typical chain restaurants to steakhouses, pubs, and casual dining with live music. 

Dining out as a family can cost anywhere from $80 - $100. Of course, this will depend on where you go, what you order, and how large your family is. 

How much do you need to make to live in San Antonio?

Prior to 2018, a family could live comfortably in the San Antonio area on $46k a year, but that number has since risen to $58k. This increase is due to inflation and the widespread gentrification of the city.

The ideal yearly income for a family in San Antonio is $58k or higher, in order to live comfortably and meet all the required housing, utilities, and food costs.

Is San Antonio, TX a good place to live?

According to Niche.com, San Antonio is ranked number 43 out of 228 for the best cities in the US to buy a house, and number 36 out of 228 for cities with the lowest cost of living.

San Antonio is perfect if you are looking for a mix between an urban and suburban lifestyle, with plenty of bars, attractions, restaurants, cafes, and parks. 

And with highly rated public school systems, it’s no wonder that the city is home to more than 280,000 families.

What is Considered Middle Class in San Antonio, Texas?

San Antonio is said to be one of the most affordable cities for middle-class homeowners. 

According to a 2018 study by Business Insider, you would be considered middle class if you live in San Antonio and make between $38k to $113k per year. 

What is the Average Hourly Wage in San Antonio, Texas?

The hourly wage in San Antonio is $22.70, which is below the national average of $25.72, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number is specifically lower than the national average within the education, construction, and the service industries.

What's the minimum wage in San Antonio, Texas?

The minimum wage in San Antonio is currently $7.25 per hour, which matches the federal minimum wage. For a 40-hour work week, this amounts to $290 per week, or $15k per year.

Final Thoughts on The Cost of Living in San Antonio, TX

There are many different factors to consider when you’re looking at the cost of living in San Antonio, TX, including housing, property taxes, utilities, and grocery costs.

Overall, costs are relatively low, especially if you’re moving to the Alamo City from the east or west coast. This makes San Antonio a great choice for home buyers who are looking for a vibrant, lively community that has something for everyone.

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