Choosing to live in San Marcos is not hard: The advantages of an energetic, college town and nearby, big-city amenities are readily apparent. The real challenge is deciding which of the city’s attractive neighborhoods to call home. Riverside luxury, new subdivisions and stately historic districts are all enticing – and readily available – options. “We have a broad range of affordable housing, from the low $100s to almost $1 million to accommodate all of the different types of clientele that we serve,” says Bob Wilson of the Keller Williams Realty San Marcos office. “We also have a high quality of life here.” Homebuyers in search of an exclusive, upscale neighborhood often make the short drive to Willow Creek at the edge of town. The neighborhood is a former ranch that’s been subdivided into generous lots and dotted with custom-built homes. “Willow Creek is a very desirable area, and it attracts the young executives,” Wilson says. “A lot of the higher-end homes are in Willow Creek, but there are still some very affordable homes in Willow Creek, as well.” Several neighborhoods a little farther from the city, such as Thousand Oaks Loop and Country Estates, feature 5-acre lots with the capacity to keep horses. For homes a little more central to town, Franklin Square is a nice alternative. “Franklin Square is convenient to the university, and it’s convenient to downtown and shopping,” Wilson says. “It’s a great family neighborhood.” Also within the city is an impressive selection of charming older homes. “There’s a beautiful historic district close to downtown San Marcos,” Wilson says. “We have homes that date back to the mid-1800s, and they’re beautifully restored and kept.” Along the Blanco River sits the quintessential friendly neighborhood – Blanco River Village. Roughly 45 homes are complete with another 200 in the works. The builder, Bigelow Homes, is striving to emphasize community and relationships as the neighborhood is planned. “It’s designed where people walk through the neighborhood and, hopefully, there are other people sitting out on their front porches, having a glass of lemonade,” says Mike Venetis, vice president for sales and marketing at Bigelow Homes. The homes are also energy-efficient, a major advantage in terms of cooling costs. Being a university town, San Marcos also has a lot of apartments, which is good news for the many newcomers moving to town. In broad terms, the variety of housing in San Marcos is a reflection of the city’s way of making anyone and everyone feel at home. “People just find the quality of life to be better in a city of about 50,000 than it is in one of the big metroplexes that surrounds San Marcos,” Wilson says.