Possibly Moving to San Antonio, TX -- Advice?

Nexus

Rookie
I'm considering moving to San Antonio Q4 2020, or Q1 2021; and planning on visiting in September if it is safe to travel and explore. Tennis is a huge part of my life, and for the most part I can play 5+ days a week year-round here in NorCal (temps ranging from 40's to 100+). Primary motivation for moving is no state income tax, and actually being able to afford a home out there... possibly with enough space to build a tennis court on.

So, for those of you who are familiar with the area, here are some questions:
> Clubs I should look into, and where I can find 4.5+ players there? (I am 4.5, and ideally want to find a solid group of guys to practice with. My wife is a 4.0. We are both on the higher end of our rating/levels)
> Pricing. If you're a member, share your experience and what you pay? (I'm a city park player who pays $350 annually to play unlimited at my facility. Hoping to not break the bank...also entertaining the idea of part-time teaching at a club)
> Are there leagues (USTA or local/city)?
> Can you play year-round outdoors? If not, are there indoor options?
> Any places to avoid (busy, crowded, hard to get a court, or somewhat shady)?
> If not San Antonio, would another place be better such as Dallas or Austin? I've heard Houston is vulnerable to flooding, so it didn't make the cut.

Thanks for any intel you can provide. I know there's no way my handful of trips there will be able to paint a clear enough picture before I make any decisions, and I'm hoping your insights will help me fill in some of the gaps.
 

atatu

Legend
Leagues are pretty big in San Antonio, the McFarlin tennis center has a lot going on. If you want to join a private club you might want to look into Dominion: https://www.the-dominion.com/, or Sonterra: https://www.clubatsonterra.com/ depending on your level and budget. If you're a 4.5, Sonterra would probably be good.

You can pretty much play year round, I'm sure there are some indoor courts, but I don't know of them off hand. Austin is definitely a better place to live, but it's more expensive and there is a court shortage here. Dallas has tons of courts both private and public, but it's Dallas, so it has its own problems and you'd have to buy a Lexus. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

San Antonio used to be a really affordable city, but it's getting more expensive now, still cheaper than most.

If you decide to visit Austin give me a heads up and I'll set you up with some good 4.5 dubs or singles during your stay.
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Sonterra, the Dominion, Fair Oaks Country Club, the San Antonio Country Club, Oak Hills Country Club, Jewish Community Center, and John Newk’s Country Club (just north of San Antonio) these are the places with a good group of high level players.

Leagues in San Antonio are plentiful; however, the average age of the players is closer to 50.

Public parks don’t charge, Mcfarlin does, but there are quite a few other large facilities (12 courts) with well maintained courts that are free. The only hitch is high school play takes priority (if that returns this school year).
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I'm considering moving to San Antonio Q4 2020, or Q1 2021; and planning on visiting in September if it is safe to travel and explore. Tennis is a huge part of my life, and for the most part I can play 5+ days a week year-round here in NorCal (temps ranging from 40's to 100+). Primary motivation for moving is no state income tax, and actually being able to afford a home out there... possibly with enough space to build a tennis court on.

So, for those of you who are familiar with the area, here are some questions:
> Clubs I should look into, and where I can find 4.5+ players there? (I am 4.5, and ideally want to find a solid group of guys to practice with. My wife is a 4.0. We are both on the higher end of our rating/levels)
> Pricing. If you're a member, share your experience and what you pay? (I'm a city park player who pays $350 annually to play unlimited at my facility. Hoping to not break the bank...also entertaining the idea of part-time teaching at a club)
> Are there leagues (USTA or local/city)?
> Can you play year-round outdoors? If not, are there indoor options?
> Any places to avoid (busy, crowded, hard to get a court, or somewhat shady)?
> If not San Antonio, would another place be better such as Dallas or Austin? I've heard Houston is vulnerable to flooding, so it didn't make the cut.

Thanks for any intel you can provide. I know there's no way my handful of trips there will be able to paint a clear enough picture before I make any decisions, and I'm hoping your insights will help me fill in some of the gaps.
i think there is newkcomb tennis ranch there. they have some good juniors that may want to hit
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Austin has a vibrant tennis community, the cost of living is closer to what your leaving though.

New Braunfels, where Newk’s is, is extremely affordable. You’ll be shocked at the house prices compared to Cali.
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Interesting, I've been in San Antonio briefly in the summer and didn't know tennis was so active there. Plus. most places are better than FL summer humidity, except Houston.
I remember a few years ago in the summer I was in Austin and it was 113 & humid when I stepped out of the hotel. I imagine that is typical for San Antonio too.
I'm considering a move from FL to AZ or TX (no personal income tax). TX would be better for me business-wise and I'm a 4.5, early 50's. Sonterra looks attractive since it has a couple of clay courts. Glad this thread started.
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Interesting, I've been in San Antonio briefly in the summer and didn't know tennis was so active there. Plus. most places are better than FL summer humidity, except Houston.
I remember a few years ago in the summer I was in Austin and it was 113 & humid when I stepped out of the hotel. I imagine that is typical for San Antonio too.
I'm considering a move from FL to AZ or TX (no personal income tax). TX would be better for me business-wise and I'm a 4.5, early 50's. Sonterra looks attractive since it has a couple of clay courts. Glad this thread started.
Humidity has gotten worse over the past 25 years for some reason, but it usually lasts between 6 and 8 weeks. Just like anything else, you get used to it.
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Humidity has gotten worse over the past 25 years for some reason, but it usually lasts between 6 and 8 weeks. Just like anything else, you get used to it.
2 or 3 months is fine.
get used to it? Players I know who've been here in So. FL 10+ years say otherwise.
 

Nexus

Rookie
Austin has a vibrant tennis community, the cost of living is closer to what your leaving though.

New Braunfels, where Newk’s is, is extremely affordable. You’ll be shocked at the house prices compared to Cali.
Yeah, that's what makes TX so appealing. There are a lot of relatively new homes that are incredibly affordable compared to Cali in San Antonio and New Braunfels. The property taxes are higher than Cali, so maybe it ends up being a wash in terms of cost to own, but at least I can afford a 20% down payment out there compared to here.

As for the age of the 4.5+ players, that doesn't matter too much to me. I'm 30 and my hitting group is, on average, 10-15+ years older than me. It seems like the kids who played college take a pretty big break after college -starting careers, and families, 10+ years- before starting to get back into tennis... if they ever pick up a racket again.

I'm not as concerned with tornadoes, but are there any areas I should shy away from due to flooding?
 

Nexus

Rookie
Interesting, I've been in San Antonio briefly in the summer and didn't know tennis was so active there. Plus. most places are better than FL summer humidity, except Houston.
I remember a few years ago in the summer I was in Austin and it was 113 & humid when I stepped out of the hotel. I imagine that is typical for San Antonio too.
I'm considering a move from FL to AZ or TX (no personal income tax). TX would be better for me business-wise and I'm a 4.5, early 50's. Sonterra looks attractive since it has a couple of clay courts. Glad this thread started.
Yes! The 0% state income tax is also huge. The private clubs look beautiful, but I tend to shy away from facilities that don't show their pricing online. Probably more than I'm willing to spend.

If you happen to inquire about membership, please share the details with me :)
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Yeah, that's what makes TX so appealing. There are a lot of relatively new homes that are incredibly affordable compared to Cali in San Antonio and New Braunfels. The property taxes are higher than Cali, so maybe it ends up being a wash in terms of cost to own, but at least I can afford a 20% down payment out there compared to here.

As for the age of the 4.5+ players, that doesn't matter too much to me. I'm 30 and my hitting group is, on average, 10-15+ years older than me. It seems like the kids who played college take a pretty big break after college -starting careers, and families, 10+ years- before starting to get back into tennis... if they ever pick up a racket again.

I'm not as concerned with tornadoes, but are there any areas I should shy away from due to flooding?
most new construction is not built on a flood plane; however, if on your way to view a house you notice alot of low water crossing measurement gages...it’s gonna flood the road out there. Since I’ve lived here, over 20 years, I’ve seen 2 fifty year floods, a bunch of lesser flooding and it has snowed about 5 times.
Back in the 1990s it snowed and within a couple of days it was a freakishly late 100 degrees. .
 

Nexus

Rookie
Yes! The 0% state income tax is also huge. The private clubs look beautiful, but I tend to shy away from facilities that don't show their pricing online. Probably more than I'm willing to spend.

If you happen to inquire about membership, please share the details with me :)
i inquired to one, “Our Tennis Membership dues are $283 per month and we also have an Initiation Fee which is listed at $1,500 but I can do for $750 through the month of August.”

Their facility sounds amazing, but I’ll pass.
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
most new construction is not built on a flood plane; however, if on your way to view a house you notice alot of low water crossing measurement gages...it’s gonna flood the road out there. Since I’ve lived here, over 20 years, I’ve seen 2 fifty year floods, a bunch of lesser flooding and it has snowed about 5 times. Back in the 1990s it snowed and within a couple of days it was a freakishly late 100 degrees. .
You have to be very careful. While your home is not built on a flood plane but watch out if there is a reservoir nearby. When hurricane Harvey hit Houston a few years back, one area Houston didn't get destroyed by Harvey, it got destroyed by the water that was released from the Addicks reservoir. Just saying
 

atatu

Legend
i inquired to one, “Our Tennis Membership dues are $283 per month and we also have an Initiation Fee which is listed at $1,500 but I can do for $750 through the month of August.”

Their facility sounds amazing, but I’ll pass.
Honestly, I think you can play in San Antonio and not join a club, there are lots of public courts there and lots of good players. In Austin I joined a small 4 court neighborhood club but I play at the public facilities most of the time.
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Honestly, I think you can play in San Antonio and not join a club, there are lots of public courts there and lots of good players. In Austin I joined a small 4 court neighborhood club but I play at the public facilities most of the time.
absolutely...once Covid is resolved all the courts will open back up, and there are plenty of players and placed to play without joining a club.
 

MattCrosby

Professional
I’ve done the whole Newk’s experience a couple years ago. Summer camps are awesome, the country club has an amazing programme ran by one of my close friends.
Newks is in New Braunfels, probably a 15 minute drive from SA, if I remember rightly. If you need any info about Newks hit my DM and I can put you in touch with the director of tennis for the CC
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
i inquired to one, “Our Tennis Membership dues are $283 per month and we also have an Initiation Fee which is listed at $1,500 but I can do for $750 through the month of August.”

Their facility sounds amazing, but I’ll pass.
That's what I was just told too. I'd play maybe 2 times max per week due to other exercise commitments so it works out to $35 per visit. They say they have a large group of 4 & 4.5 players. Coming from FL you get spoiled with $10 for 2 hours on clay.
 

Nexus

Rookie
most new construction is not built on a flood plane; however, if on your way to view a house you notice alot of low water crossing measurement gages...it’s gonna flood the road out there. Since I’ve lived here, over 20 years, I’ve seen 2 fifty year floods, a bunch of lesser flooding and it has snowed about 5 times.
Back in the 1990s it snowed and within a couple of days it was a freakishly late 100 degrees. .
thanks for the insight — they have those near the Sacramento River, too. Poles/sticks in the ground with water level markers — if I'm thinking about the right things.

when you say flood the road, does that include in through your doorstep too? Or just the road/sidewalks. We’re looking into 2 story places primarily so we’d still have a safe/dry place in the (rare?) event that downstairs floods.
 

Nexus

Rookie
You have to be very careful. While your home is not built on a flood plane but watch out if there is a reservoir nearby. When hurricane Harvey hit Houston a few years back, one area Houston didn't get destroyed by Harvey, it got destroyed by the water that was released from the Addicks reservoir. Just saying
Good looking out!
What about if there are creeks or streams nearby? I imagine it would be the same issue...?
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
thanks for the insight — they have those near the Sacramento River, too. Poles/sticks in the ground with water level markers — if I'm thinking about the right things.

when you say flood the road, does that include in through your doorstep too? Or just the road/sidewalks. We’re looking into 2 story places primarily so we’d still have a safe/dry place in the (rare?) event that downstairs floods.

99% of the time its the road that become impassable...in the almost 30 years that I’ve lived here, I only know of one house in San Antonio that was lost due to flooding. Gruene is a different story.
 

Nexus

Rookie
Honestly, I think you can play in San Antonio and not join a club, there are lots of public courts there and lots of good players. In Austin I joined a small 4 court neighborhood club but I play at the public facilities most of the time.
Thanks!
that’s my hope, too. I currently pay $300 per year to play unlimited at a facility here in NorCal. It is just tennis courts and a pro shop. Usually requires a reservation because so many people play there.
Day pass for non members is $5, or $5 per 1.5hr blocks (which they never enforce).

I’ll likely only play at a club if there’s a team membership or for specific teams/seasons, if at all.

my fiancé and I will likely visit in September , Airbnb and just check out some of the homes and neighborhoods we’ve been looking at.
 

Nexus

Rookie
99% of the time its the road that become impassable...in the almost 30 years that I’ve lived here, I only know of one house in San Antonio that was lost due to flooding. Gruene is a different story.
I can live with that.
In TX, are the gas station pumps on elevated concrete? That’s the way it is in OK where I have family. It rains so heavy so quickly there that it floods and the water rises 6-12” to the raised concrete, but then drains pretty quick too.
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
I can live with that.
In TX, are the gas station pumps on elevated concrete? That’s the way it is in OK where I have family. It rains so heavy so quickly there that it floods and the water rises 6-12” to the raised concrete, but then drains pretty quick too.
You know, I’ve never noticed
 

atatu

Legend
That's kind of ridiculous, although there are a fair share of rednecks in Central Texas the big cities like San Antonio and Austin are pretty progressive.
 

Nexus

Rookie
That's kind of ridiculous, although there are a fair share of rednecks in Central Texas the big cities like San Antonio and Austin are pretty progressive.
Yeah, didn’t quite know how to respond to that. It really doesn’t matter. I don’t know most of my current tennis buddies political affiliations as it is —just like I don’t know how much money they make or what their net worth is. As long as they don’t hook me on line calls, or push their beliefs/opinions on me I think we’ll get along just fine.

With that being said, I’m happy to listen to anybody as long as they’re ok with me asking generally curious follow up questions and possibly coming to different conclusions — as I’m not well versed in politics. I’m also happy to talk about UFO’s, Bigfoot, And tennis equipment too. I’d actually rather talk about any of the latter than politics :)
 

DUROC

Professional
With so much growth going north and west tons of great housing and areas - also flooding not an issue in those directions.

For local info check out FIRST SERVE Tennis........The owner Rich Flores is a LONG time local shop owner and super well connected to the tennis community and schools (TRINITY and UTSA for example).

He and his shop are fixtures in the region and a great place to meet / connect and get a vibe on the tennis scene in the SAT region.
 

Nexus

Rookie
With so much growth going north and west tons of great housing and areas - also flooding not an issue in those directions.

For local info check out FIRST SERVE Tennis........The owner Rich Flores is a LONG time local shop owner and super well connected to the tennis community and schools (TRINITY and UTSA for example).

He and his shop are fixtures in the region and a great place to meet / connect and get a vibe on the tennis scene in the SAT region.
Thanks!! That’s super helpful. Is he a one man shop, or does he employ stringers as well?

update: I checked out the website, saw that he has a crew of stringers, and a 4500 sq ft store. Awesome!
 
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