There are so many great places to live in San Antonio that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Kuper Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
There's one surefire way to know a neighborhood better than anyone else: be married to the man who helped develop it. Joyce Bradfield's husband, Boyd, created Stone Oak in the early 1980s with his business partners Paul Markey, Bernard Lifshutz, and Dan Parman.
The Bradfield's home at the time, in Hollywood Park, overlooked the development and construction of Stone Oak, giving the Realtor a bird's-eye view of its every nook and cranny. She also helped found The Club at Sonterra, where she played tennis with a passion several times a week while beginning her real estate career.
The native San Antonian's other passion is pottery, which has continued for over 40 years. She even recently created a piece of public art for Arbol de La Vida at Mission Espada.
But that's not all — Joyce Bradfield also founded one of the most successful real estate companies in Central Texas around the same time, and the first in Stone Oak. Today, she works for Kuper Sotheby's International Realty, helping clients "from the river to the ranch."
Bradfield offered up a few more of her personal favorites about life in Stone Oak. Here's her guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
Each Sunday, you can find hungry residents dining on a lavish brunch spread at The Club at Sonterra, which also offers the Mixed Grill on the golf course's 19th hole and the Sports Grill in the fall and winter.
Birthday celebrations are a new tradition at Frida's Mexican Restaurant & Bar, where Bradfield likes to gather with friends from high school.
Where to play
Besides the obvious golf and tennis facilities at The Club at Sonterra, Bradfield loves to take advantage of the collection at the Parman Library.
Where to live
Moving to Stone Oak gives buyers an instant community, as they're likely to run into neighbors by the pool, at the tennis courts, on the trails, and in the parks. If they have children, they will also find a supportive circle within North East ISD, which has racked up several mentions on the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools in Texas list.
"A lot of people move to Stone Oak for the award-winning schools," says Bradfield. "They have well-rounded offerings for all types of children, from academics to athletics to the arts."
Adults are drawn to the medical offices and hospitals that have sprung up in Stone Oak, making the area a destination for one of Texas' biggest industries.
When Stone Oak was first being developed by Bradfield's husband, the overall aesthetic emulated that of Scottsdale: stucco walls, clay roofs, and a chic Southwestern vibe. The 1986 San Antonio Symphony Designers' Showhouse, which Bradfield helped produce, exemplified this, with its ochr-tiled roof, cool white exterior, and airy windows. It brought curious design aficionados out past Loop 1604 for the first time, and still stands today (albeit with some updates and renovations).
But as the neighborhood grew and expanded more architectural styles were incorporated, with farmhouses, limestone, and even contemporary designs popping up along the streets.
"There are plenty of original or near-original homes with great bones that are having new life breathed into them by new owners, as well as lots of new construction," notes Bradfield. "But homes here sell within seconds, so it's vital to have a Realtor with inside knowledge on your side about what's coming on the market."
Joyce Bradfield works and plays in Stone Oak. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 210-827-0249.