Gentrification is that ever-widening phenomenon that occurs when businesses, investors, and wealthier homebuyers begin moving to an older, more urban area of a city, renovating and improving it. This process has become increasingly popular in the San Antonio - New Braunfels Metro area. In fact, according to governing.com, since the year 2000, nearly 12 percent of eligible tracts of San Antonio are lands have been gentrified – and more are likely on the horizon.
New Braunfels is certainly one of the areas experiencing this change in tides, especially in its older areas like Gruene.
But gentrification isn’t all bad, despite the rap it gets in the media. Though it can change the “feel” of an area, making it more modern and fast-paced (perhaps even hip), it also comes with some serious benefits for those who live and work in the area. In fact, gentrification often means the following for existing and new residents alike:
1. Higher home values – The influx of new homebuyers and businesses in gentrified areas drives up local home values exponentially. This means long-time residents can get much more money for their homes than they ever could have before – sometimes thousands more!
2. More demand – Selling a property also gets easier with gentrification. Though homes (and even commercial properties) in historic, older and urban areas typically take quite a while to sell (or require drops in price to do so) properties simply start flying off the shelves in gentrified areas! Bidding wars break out, and it’s not uncommon for a home to be on the market for only a few days. This is great news for real estate agents, investors, and homeowners in the area. All it takes is a decision to sell, one MLS listing, and good agent, and the rest is history.
3. More opportunity – With gentrification also comes more opportunity. The new businesses offer residents new places to shop, eat and play, and there are even more employment opportunities as the economy expands in the area. As many of these new businesses are more modern, forward-thinking organizations, they often pay higher than existing companies in the area, too – another added benefit for local workers who may be down on their luck. On top of this, new residents also bring with them ideas for new community programs, so opportunities for extracurricular fun expands too. That means more sports teams, neighborhood associations, volunteer opportunities and more. The opportunities for change and expansion in the community abound.
4. Community improvements – The more money that comes into an area, the more people (and lawmakers) are concerned about its well-being. It may be a sad truth, but it also means that gentrified areas begin to get big improvements – and faster than ever before. That often means better teachers, schools and educational opportunities for local children, a stronger police force to protect the community, safer and better maintained public facilities, parks and buildings for the entire city, and much, much more. These types of improvements benefit everyone in the community – both new residents and old – and contribute to the success of the city overall, making it a more livable, in-demand place in the long haul. That’s a positive for everybody.
Town Creek, a "New Urbanist" community (a term often associated with gentrification), is "a hometown neighborhood that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable, in a welcoming downtown district in New Braunfels." A vibrant, mixed-use community, Town Creek is within walking distance of downtown New Braunfels, the Comal River, parks, and entertainment.
5. Crime rates drop – Statistics show that in gentrified areas, crime rates begin to drop drastically – for both violent and property crimes. More funding for police forces and more financial success for the residents themselves are both big contributors to this drop, but regardless of the reason, it means a safer, less dangerous place for everyone in the community. And that’s something both new and old residents can certainly get behind.
6. A better place for children – Lower crime rates, a stronger police force and more funding toward local schools all mean a better place on the whole for local children. Through gentrification, area children can more safely walk to school, get an education and set themselves up for future success in college, their career, and down the line in life. There is also more opportunity for community involvement, which puts kids on a better path to success as well.
7. More diversity – Gentrification immensely diversifies a region. As it typically occurs in urban areas with a very homogenous set of residents, gentrification can bring a unique variety of people to a community. Buyers of all backgrounds begin moving into the area, expanding the demographics and overall makeup of the entire community. It can open eyes and make a place a more welcoming, open and accepting city in the long run. And who can argue with that?
8. Beautification – Often, gentrification is just what an older area needs to get revamped and beautified. Sadly, historic and urban areas often look run-down and, though going through traditional city routes may be able to fund beautification efforts at some point down the line, it can often take years and years to get there. When buyers and business owners are flocking to an area, however, these beautification efforts happen naturally. Business owners start taking over run-down shops and fixing up storefronts. Homebuyers start tearing down old buildings and replacing them with newer, more modern structures that are safer and more appealing.
9. Better housing for renters – As rentals become more in-demand in gentrified areas, landlords are forced to make changes to their properties to make them more appealing. They restore old buildings, replace aging HVAC systems, repair holes and problem areas, and overall just pay more attention to the general state of their properties. This gives existing renters a safer, healthier and more beautiful place to live than they may have ever experienced had gentrification not occurred.
New Braunfels is home to many gentrified and non-gentrified areas, so whether you’re looking for a historic place that’s on the up and up (like New Braunfels’ Gruene area) or you want something more suburban, this city has it all right here. All it takes is a good real estate agent, a little footwork, and that dream home is well within reach.
Find Your Perfect Place
Do you want to learn more about gentrification in the New Braunfels area? Do you need help finding the perfect property for your needs, budget and preferences? Contact Keller Williams New Braunfels today! Our expert real estate agents know New Braunfels intimately, and they know how to match you with a property that fits your bill perfectly. Just contact us today, and we will get started on your personalized property listing right away. We will even walk you through every step of the home buying process.