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Sunday, April 29, 2007

About Silver Creek - Part One

It is only fair that I tell you about Silver Creek and why I enjoy living here; after all, it is the title of the web page. Before we moved here back in 1999, we had occasion to drive around different parts of San Antonio and would make little excursions into the various sub-divisions and neighborhoods, either to scope out a promising garage sale, or just to see how other places differed from our little piece of Texas.

Each time we would find ourselves in Silver Creek, I loved driving up Timberwilde, the main through street. The houses looked so well kept, and they each had a unique appearance. I couldn’t help but think of them as custom-built homes as opposed to many of the cookie cutter boxes so common today. And the trees stood out showing that the builder had recognized how important they would be in giving the area an identity.

Another thing that stood out was the presence of security vehicles driving around, and people walking or jogging, offering a friendly nod or wave, as we would drive by. In my mind, this was a totally different world from the graffiti infested neighborhood where we lived, with every third house being a run-down, eyesore.

When we went to look for a new home, we did check out some of the KB neighborhoods and several other new builders. I’m not here to sell anything or sway readers in a different home buying direction, but for us, the difference in price of getting a spiffy new home with all the “upgrades”, then having to buy grass, add ceiling fans and purchase thousands of dollars in trees just so our house wouldn’t look bare (forgetting that the rest of the neighborhood will still look like a moon surface), we decided that an older, established neighborhood was the way to go.

And in all honesty, when you buy a house in an established neighborhood, you don’t have to meet your neighbors to see how they maintain their yards. When you move into a freshly built sub-division, everyone is moving in at the same time, and none of you collectively know who will turn out to be the crazy cat-lady, the beat-up car-collector or the person hell-bent on extreme landscaping techniques – you know, xeriscape via the use of weeds.

So, focused on homes we could afford within a reasonable distance of work, we looked through several areas within the Great Northwest, Braun Station and areas bounded by Loop 410, Bandera Road and 1604. Though we took about 6 months to look, for a house, we weren’t overly obsessive about it. I know this may sound compulsive, but other than a few minor things we definitely did not want, we felt pretty sure that when we saw the right house, we would know it.

What didn’t we want? Well, the first thing was, we did not want to live on a main feeder road through the neighborhood. You know, the main road in and out of a neighborhood that, any time of the day or night, somebody is traveling on it. Every time I drive down Timberwilde (the main feeder into Silver Creek) I feel bad for the people who have to take a chance on getting hit by a car every time they back out of their driveway. Another thing we didn’t want was green shag carpet or yellow countertops.

The one thing we were interested in for sure was that the neighborhood has a Home Owners Association. Bexar County and San Antonio are too big to depend on for making sure that your neighbor doesn’t paint his house lime green or that color of yellow found on many muffler shops along Culebra Rd downtown. A good HOA can be the Nazi in your life and make sure yards are mowed, dead vehicles are removed, and in the case of my HOA, they can give you someone to laugh at for how serious they take themselves. But I’ll get to that in due course.

It was during one of our drives through neighborhoods in our targeted area that we found ourselves in Silver Creek again. Some people here call it Timber Land because for the most part, all the street names are “Timber Something”. Aside from all the names being the same, we were actually getting to recognize which streets we had been on before. As soon as we saw it, my wife and I looked at each other and we knew this could be the one. The trees, the second story balcony overlooking the front yard, there was something that drew us to it.

Though our realtor had shown us several properties in the area already, she had not shown us this one, so our guess was that it was out of the price range. Long story short, there was a pending offer, it fell through and we moved in less than a month later.

Interestingly, about six months after moving in, my wife and I were out in the garage doing some work when a politician came walking the streets. He told us half jokingly that we stole his house from him. Turns out that at the same time the aforementioned sale on the house was pending, he also made an offer but apparently we got our offer in quicker.

We have not been disappointed in our choice to move to Silver Creek. Though we have seen some changes over the years, mostly increased traffic due to booming construction in the area, I think that is something you will deal with anywhere around town. The important thing is, once you get home, you feel comfortable and you have great neighbors.

I’ll tell you more about the neighborhood and of course, our entertaining HOA in future posts.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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