Looking to Invest in San Antonio. Any Areas I should avoid?

16 Replies | San Antonio, Texas

Through the map search function on HAR.com, I've found lots of duplexes for sale in San Antonio and at great prices. However, I am not familiar with the area and , thus, not sure where I should stay away from. I do plan on seeking the advice of a Local Realtor but in the meantime, can anyone recommend where to stay away from? Also, what are the rents like in San Antonio for multifamily? thanks!

@Account Closed

I guess I'd say it depends on your goals and your comfort level.  The go-to area of town to bash and avoid is the Eastside, however you can pick up livable/rentable duplexes there for $20 - $35K with rents of $550/side.  So the cash-flow is there, the cap is low, but you may have to chase your rents and have high turnover. 

The best rents, lowest amount of turnover likely would be anywhere Northwest, North-Central, & Northeast. That being said, acquisitions prices are higher, margins are smaller.  

Myself, I prefer central city properties in/around Downtown.  I have a duplex in Lavaca Historic District I purchased in 2012 for for less than $150K, each side is 1000+sf, 2 bed 1 baths.  I rent each side for $950 (I am under charging by $100 - $150 per side).  This area has appreciated quite a bit, and finding a duplex for under $200K may be tough, but other central city neighborhoods like, Five Points, Beacon Hill, Dignowity Hill, Tobin Hill, Alta Vista, etc. may render some sweet deals.  Not only are these neighborhoods close to downtown, but they are close to San Antonio College, UIW, Trinity University, The Pearl, The Museum Reach district, The Mission Reach River Walk Expansion, Southtown, St. Mary's Strip and Brackenridge Park.  All of which are frequented by Millennials and young professionals. 

Lastly, do not underestimate the South and West sides. There are solid multi-family properties that can be picked up very inexpensively and can provide great ROI. San Antonio's rental market is booming and rents keep going up.

@Seth Teel Great Information! I've seen some items on MLS that look promising but I know that, being on MLS, they're all "priced at retail" and I'm definitely looking for wholesale properties. My primary goal is to BRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refi) and cash flow although I have been thinking about alternating between flipping and cash flowing on a 2 to 1 ratio (it's nice having those big "Bonuses" from flipping).

Wife and I are moving to Austin but the real estate game there is to unreal IMO. San Antonio looks like it has lots and lots of opportunity! I'm curious... on the lower end properties, have you ever rented any out on Section 8 and, if so, how did that go for you?

Also, what real estate investment clubs would you recommend in the area? I'd like to start networking as much as possible. Thanks! 

Im just curious, why not invest in the Houston area?? Just like San Antonio, Houston has many different types of areas and different price ranges. Houston is a bunch bigger too, so there is even more of a variety and more properties to chose from.

I thought when he said HAR.com he was talking about houston. Did not see he was from Austin.

But yes, even more now. I only buy in San Antonio, BUT it should be a super fantastic time to buy in Houston.  When someone has been trying to sell their house for a year do you think they will take a super low offer?? As long as you can keep it for a rental and it cash flows and as soon as prices go back up, BAM, payday.

Housing prices are affected, yes. This creates opportunity. Do you buy stock when it is at its highest? I hope not. You buy it with good fundamentals and it is being shunned by wall st. or it just had a bad quarter. But you know its good. Isnt that what Buffet does? 

If there is one thing that I have learned is that prices move all the time. Is oil going to stay at $30 range, nope. You really want to buy at a lower range of the curve. Prices kinda move like an upward sine wave. Houston just happens to have a higher frequency and much higher amplitude. They go throught that boom, bust quite often. You just have to know where you are on the sine wave when you buy and have a plan to sell.

If you are doing this as a business, then avoiding an area is all about the numbers. I don't know of any area in SA that one should avoid, but that's because of my business model. If you are holding to rent, then due to property mgmt issues there might be areas to avoid. All depends on what you are doing.

Originally posted by @Shawn C. :

Keep in touch with me. After my current deal is completed I will give you the name of an investor to stay away from in the San Antonio area.

Hey Shawn, can you PM me as well the name of the investor to stay away from? I know I'm jumping in randomly, but I'm starting to break bread with SA investors shortly after having relocated here from DC and looking to purchase a first investment property.

I agree with Larry, in that nortside is nicer, but downtown or inside the Loop 410 is up and coming hotspot. I think you will see a better return from the investment here, especially on buy and holds. You can download a zip code map to check the locations of interesting listings, then note the neighborhood (like Alamo Heights, Churchill Estes etc) and research that area. Do your due diligence!

Originally posted by @Lucas Carl:

@Angela Liu any luck so far? Wife wants to relocate to Austin from Nashville. One very expensive mid sized city to another. Trying to decide if there’s any money to be made in SA or Waco. Love to hear your journey 

Hey Lucas, excuse my delay. I back-burnered this because of some family stuff.  Planning to get back into it.  As it is, haven't journeyed far.  Lots of different criteria on this thread. Mine in particular was good tenants/low turnover, so that meant sticking to NW/North.  But I need to get comfortable with getting my hands dirty with rehab - even minor fix/upgrade projects. I could either learn it or in the long run partner with someone.  Otherwise, cashflow is next to nothing or in the red for someone with my criteria (different story if you were good with class c/d areas).  

It is tempting to venture into cheaper areas (will spend a lot of time managing those properties or hire a darn good PMC) like Denver Heights (i've seen multifamilies here), Dignowty (lots of investors ...not sure how high taxes are going to zoom), Converse.. but not worth the headache for me yet. But I've seen people for example in some of these areas getting pretty good ROI. One investor had several MFs in Beacon Hill (not positive..it was close to downtown) with good cashflows--looking at $1k net+ / month for one that was a gut rehab project.

You guys make headway? I know nothing about Waco, housing prices and what it looks like there for investors.  

First few minutes on BP, looking to get as much info on investing as I can particularly in the San Antonio area. Lived here for two years now and wanting to build a circle of real estate friends that we can all benefit from in our real estate journey.