The county seat of Bell County is the picturesque city of Belton. With a history that dates back to the mid-1800s, Belton is full of historical treasures and long-running family names. The quirky downtown pays homage to its pioneer roots, with a couple of the historic stores still owned and operated by the founding families. There are fantastic restaurants, a wine bar, a day spa, and more at “The Landing,” a popular river-front shopping center and event venue. Farmer’s markets buzz with young families buying local foods and wares. Community events like the annual 4th of July Parade and rodeos foster a hospitable and family-friendly atmosphere. Nolan Creek and Lake Belton also provide opportunities for watersports and “lake living.” Name-brand retail shopping is plentiful.  


Retirees love Belton, and you’ll find many of the military variety in the gated communities on the lake. Higher home prices make it difficult for anyone other than higher-ranking military or dual-income families to live in Belton. You’ll see more civilian professionals and their families living here than in the areas closer to post.

Neighborhood Feel

Homes in Belton are much larger than in the communities closer to Fort Cavazos. Brick is common, most have fireplaces, and some have pools (or lake access if you can afford it). Big, fenced-in yards with sprinkler systems help keep the lawns looking pristine. Mature, shady oaks help with the unrelenting Texas heat. Traffic is light, and neighborhoods are family-friendly. Downtown has some inventory that doesn’t see as much turnover but is still a unique place to consider. The funky historic district has colorful bungalows and stately Victorians – all within walking distance of a lively downtown.

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Neighborhood Location

TJ Mills Gate
Drive Time to Gate
30 to 40* minutes
By Transit

Neighborhood Info

Belton - Fort Hood, TX -

Points of Interest

Bell County Museum

Grand Avenue Theater

Belton Lake

Stillhouse Hollow Lake

Summer Fun Waterpark

The Landing

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Big Plus

Belton Lake provides an array of outdoor activities like camping, fishing, paddle boarding, swimming, and boating.  

A lot of families choose Belton if they are considering Fort Cavazos as their last duty station. The schools are terrific, and cost of living makes retiring in Belton appealing.  

There is a lot of space in Belton for big homes and spacious yards. There are several lakefront communities to choose from as well.

The public schools in Belton are among the highest-rated in the area. So much so that families are willing to pay tuition to send their children to Belton schools from other towns.

There is less of a military population here than in the towns closer to Fort Cavazos. So, if you are looking to avoid uniforms in your neighborhood, then this may be your place.

Belton is only about 40 miles south of Waco and 60 miles north of Austin, and Interstate 35 runs right through town. Highway 190 connects to I-35 in the center of town and can take you all the way to Fort Cavazos.

Things to Consider

Homes in Belton can get a bit more pricey and could exceed your BAH. A similar home in Harker Heights, for example, will cost much less. Houses in Belton tend to be larger, and there is typically more available inventory.  

The commute to post is a little more difficult from Belton. From the highway, it only takes around 20 minutes to get to the gate. However, if you live farther back in the community, you’re looking at more like 40 minutes. Learn the back roads to save time during rush hour!

Central Texas gets hot. We’re talking sweltering hot. Transplants from anywhere except the southeastern U.S. report experiencing climate shock. This semi-arid region has warm winters and hot, humid summers. Look for homes with big, shady oak trees to save on cooling expenses. Irrigation systems are also a huge money and time saver if you plan to keep up a yard. Also, be aware that this is part of Tornado Alley.

How’s the Market?

The average Belton home value is $318,193, up 6.1% over the past year, and goes to pending in around 33 days, according to the Zillow Home Value Index (May 2023)

School Scoop

Public schools in Belton belong mostly to Belton Independent School District (BISD). 

Students in BISD receive an iPad to use in school and at home during the school year through the 1:1 initiative.

Many spouses recommend Belton ISD and families residing in other towns are often willing to pay tuition for their child to attend schools in this district. They also received a nod from our families with special needs children as being one of the most accommodating districts.

KISD offers a full-day 3-year-old preschool program to children of military members residing in the attendance zone of the on-post school they will attend. A full-day 4-year-old preschool program is available to children of military members, those who speak a language other than English at home, those eligible for free/reduced lunch, and homeless and foster children.

KISD offers the chance for interdistrict transfers, especially if your student is interested in taking advantage of special programs. An attractive alternative may include Killeen High School’s International Baccalaureate program, the orchestra at Harker Heights High School, leadership courses at Ellison High School, or engineering and robotics courses at Shoemaker High School. Transfers can be granted for a number of different reasons as outlined by the KISD board of trustees. Transportation is not provided to students attending a school outside their zone.

Killeen Independent School District and the school-run media outlet, KISD-TV Channel 17, work in conjunction with Fort Cavazos to broadcast graduation ceremonies to deployed military family members.

Highlighted Areas

Dawson Ranch

Regatta Oaks

Red Rock

The Cliffs at Nolan Creek

The Bluff at Dunn’s Hollow