Bastrop is almost as old as America itself! Founded in 1803, Bastrop was recently named a Main Street City by the state of Texas.
A small town with a huge heart, deep in the heart of Texas, Bastrop is an infectious blend of old and new. The National Register of Historic Places called Bastrop the "Most Historic Small Town in Texas!" Sitting astride the Colorado River, this town has charm to spare, with over 100 historic homes, a wonderful downtown, the wondrous Lost Pines State Park, and proximity to the cultural hotspot of Austin, its neighbor to the west, Bastrop has something for everyone! From the wondrous preservation of the historic downtown to the lush Lost Pines State Park to the Colorado River snaking its way through town, Bastrop has been a draw for over 200 years, and just seems to be hitting its stride.
Moving to Bastrop
The Housing Market
With such close proximity to Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, you can get a serious "taste of Texas" here in Bastrop. This city has roots that run deep. Much of Bastrop's civic life runs along Highway 71, which connects Austin and Houston through the beginnings of the beautiful East Texas piney woods. Abutting the highway, you will find lots of shopping and rental places, but for the real taste of Bastrop, scoot back from the highway and get into the "heart" of things.
For Bastrop rentals, you'll definitely want to keep in mind that much of the rentals homes is either historic or brand new, which means very different things in terms of repair costs and utility bills. A full inspection of the property is in order when you move in, and you should take careful note of each and every blemish for which the landlord might hold you responsible. This will ensure full receipt of your security deposit upon moving out. And if you're purchasing a home? A good pre-purchase inspection should do the trick. An inspector will tell exactly what's wrong with the house, inside and out. Just make sure he's licensed and certified!
For rentals, you'll need your full credit history. One of these reports can be found online for not too much money. Last year's tax return is a good thing to have as well, just to show you're capable of paying your rent. Previous landlords' contact information should be provided too, so they know you're not gonna destroy their rental property! Not saying you would, but, well, you can never be too careful these days.
Bastrop, in other words, has plenty of apartments for rent, as well as houses. And the houses in Bastrop aren't just your normal houses. With over 100 certified historic homes, it's got that old time Texas feel that's disappeared in so many other parts of the state. Frankly, this is the small town Texas experience you're looking for. Often, this doesn't include utilities, so make sure to pay attention to the fine print when signing your lease. A drafty old house will surely stack up the gas bills come winter time! Much more so than one bedroom apartments or condo rentals, of course.
Since Bastrop is a largely historic community surrounded by towering pine wood forest, much of its homes rent tends to focus either on the historic downtown area or the surroundings areas with their proximity to the Colorado River and the pine forests. The rental market is strongest running along Highway 71, where you'll find apartments in such esteemed complexes as Walnut Ridge, Arbors of Bastrop and, notably, the Lodge at Lost Pines apartments, which directly abuts the Lost Pines State Park, a favorite amongst locals for recreation of all kinds.
Downtown: The downtown area has charm for miles! Although it might be a bit more pricey than outlying areas, it could be worth it if you are interested in beautiful historic homes and feeling like you're living inside history! The homes are certainly there and ready for you, if you're interested. Restaurants in the area include Baxter's on Main, the Grace Miller Restaurant, and Maxine's. If you're a coffee fiend, as many of us are, you'll love the Coffee Dog Roastery and Coffee House. They roast their own beans for purchase and also make high-octane drinks (decaf is available if absolutely necessary). Fisherman's Park runs right along the banks of the Colorado River and is a nice green space in the heart of downtown.
Tahitian Village: This neighborhood is right alongside the Colorado River. Need a few acres to spread out the old homestead? They can do that for you. There are homes available as well as lots, if you prefer to design your own abode. Many people do, in order to take full advantage of the nature right at your doorstep. The Tahitian Village even features a special area for hiking, canoeing and fishing, right along the Colorado River.
Living in Bastrop
For a small town, Bastrop has a pretty high quality of life. In fact, the National Register of Historic Places gave Bastrop the distinction of being the "Most Historic Small Town in Texas" with the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Center for the Arts and the Bastrop Opera House attracting fantastic musical and theatrical productions.
There's plenty of shopping in Bastrop without having to head into the larger cities. The major stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy line Highway 71 and there are also local gems like Mom and Pop's Resale Shop, Piney Creek Candles, and Larryland Music.
The First Friday Art Walk sees downtown businesses opening their doors, providing snacks and drinks, while pedestrians are treated to live music. They can peruse the art galleries and enjoy the Bastrop night air. Throughout the year, other events include the Patriotic Festival, Homecoming & Rodeo, Halloween Festival, the Veterans' Day Car Show and the Holiday Homes Tour and Lost Pines Christmas Parade. Bastrop definitely knows how to party. And when you're done partying, head down to the Bastrop County Museum for a fascinating look at the area. Knowing the area will really help deepen your appreciation for this true central Texas gem.