Home Homesteading Modern Homesteading – 4 Places Where Land is Free

Modern Homesteading – 4 Places Where Land is Free

by Anthony
painting homestead free land feature

There was a time when homesteading meant free land (Homestead Act). Homesteading in modern society is a choice. There was a time not long ago when everybody had to physically work hard just to be able to eat.  Now with advances in technology homesteading is a little bit easier, but only slightly.

One of the hardest parts about homesteading in our current culture is finding the land. You may be thinking that it is impossible to get free land in today’s world; however, there are many opportunities that offer exactly that. Before you believe that this is too good to be true, remember that it is not entirely free.

The most common way is many places offer incentives so that their community will grow. This means you may have to move to a small town; you may have to build a house on the property, or you may have to contribute to the community in some way. However, compared to the every growing property prices, this is a great deal, as you will be acquiring the land for free of charge.

Moving to a place where free land is offered may not be for everyone. First off, most of the sites that offer free land are in small communities that need growth. There may not be much going on in these communities, and you will need to be comfortable living in such an environment. You will most likely be living in a place without a gas station or other conveniences. However, this also means you will not need to pay property or state income taxes, and you will most likely be in the middle of nature.

The U.S federal government used to offer such incentives, however, they no longer offer free land anymore. Now only some states offer such programs, including Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, and Michigan. Each local program will have a range of different requirements that you will need to research to make sure that you qualify.

Alaska

alaska

Even though the Homestead act was enacted in 1862, the history of homesteads in Alaska began in the 1890’s. To date, over 3000 homesteaders have taken land in Alaska. 

Even with the free land being offered it has always been a bit slow due to poor weather and soils. Alaska, although very beautiful can be a rugged place to live off the land. Part of the deal when getting the free land is the requirement to farm part of your acreage.

The Alaskan government continues to encourage the settlement and developing of land and resources in the area. This process is regulated by the Department of Natural Resources in Alaska. It is common to have land available to the public through two types of programs.

The first is a sealed-bid auction program. The parcels are awarded to the highest bidder, and any land not sold is available at an appraised value.

The second program is the Remote Recreational Cabin Sites. This allows the applicant to own land for recreational use in a designated remote staking area.

Visit Homesteading Alaska Centers

UPDATE:  Alaska no longer has federal lands available.  All land in Alaska is being managed by the state of Alaska and they are currently only offering it to Alaska residents.

Iowa

iowa-farmland
In some small towns in Iowa, there have been programs to boost the economy and community.

One such town is Marne, Iowa. Here the Marne Housing and Development Corp have made several lots available for both private and commercial use. There are some restrictions such as what type of house can be built, and what animals are allowed.

Marne does offer a lot of the more modern conveniences.  Which for me personally would really detract from what I’m trying to do when homesteading.  On their website they have the average lot site at 80×120 Ft.

Marne also has modern utilities and is very close to some large cities. It has high speed internet, phone service and cable.  This seems like a mix of free land meets city living to me.

In order to apply, applicants must submit a proposed house floor plan for review. For more information about lots in Marne click here.

Kansas

Konza2
There are several towns in Kansas that have created incentives to bring more people into their community to live and work.

The primary goal of this program is to use the local government to help in development of communities that are currently suffering economically. Cities include Lincoln, Marquette, Osborne, and Plainville.

The “free land” program stemmed from the Homestead Act in 1862. Settlers were allowed to claim up to 160 acres of land after working on it for five years or more. The program now is meant to help ensure that declining populations in Kansas do not entirely disappear.

Each city has specific guidelines and an application inviting people to apply to the free residential lots. Most of the time free lots are available only for families who can build a new home within a certain period, and they usually will have specific size requirements. There is usually an interview process with the local city council as well.

See their website.

Michigan

michagan

There are certain places in Michigan that also are offering free land in exchange for services.

If you own a business, this is a good place to move to receive many benefits. In the city of Muskegon, there currently is a program called Muskegon 25 that offers free industrial property to help in creating jobs in the area.

It prides itself in being one of the most comprehensive development incentive packages in the United States. Both new and existing companies are allowed to apply, and they will also receive discount rates as well.

There are many programs in various towns in other states that also offer similar incentives and benefits to the ones listed above. If having free land for a small cost in other areas such as housing and building fees is something that interests you, you will be keen to find out that there are many options available.

See the City of Muskegon.

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35 comments

charles taylor December 21, 2014 - 3:00 pm

what states have home stead property ,an how do you get in touch with them?

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NChomesteader December 23, 2014 - 5:20 pm

There are links in the article, Cheers

Reply
tim March 17, 2015 - 10:01 pm

i would like to get info about land in kansas

Reply
Bill March 22, 2015 - 6:16 am Reply
bill bob March 18, 2015 - 6:37 am

I would like some info about land in Kansas as well

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Jean July 5, 2016 - 9:14 pm

have you ever driven thru Kansas? You might change your mind.

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tonyurso March 18, 2015 - 1:33 pm

For Kansas you need to contact the Center For Rural Affairs, Mankato – Located in Jewell County (north central Kansas). For requirements, contact 785-378-3141.

Reply
Samantha Wilson March 20, 2015 - 7:44 pm

Is there email address or website. I don’t have phone service.

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Anthony Urso March 20, 2015 - 8:15 pm

They had a website kansasfreeland.com but last time I checked it was down. You can try that. I try to call them again and get their address. I’m also working on getting info on similar programs in Colorado.

Reply
Bill Busse March 18, 2015 - 2:43 pm Reply
tonyurso March 18, 2015 - 2:51 pm

Bill Thanks for sharing that!

Reply
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Abby D. March 23, 2015 - 8:38 pm

I’d want info on land in Colorado….. If anyone knows

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Cindy Gamet July 29, 2015 - 2:25 pm

You won’t find anything free in Colorado. I live in Colorado and we are looking to leave here. It’s a great state but everyone wants to live here, Prices are sky rocketing since weed became legal and the Wattenburg Oil reserve was discovered. I’ve lived here 45 years and can no longer afford it here.

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Catherine Baxter April 21, 2016 - 11:48 pm

ain’t nothing free in Colorado and they will arrest you for catching rain water on your own land. Think twice about Colorado.

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Suzy Cowan May 15, 2016 - 5:39 pm

Catherine, I have great news for you… Just this week the governor signed a bill making it legal to collect and store rain water. Great news for those of us living here.

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Luap September 25, 2016 - 7:21 pm

Well that IS news. Colorado had become one of the biggest jokes around the world over that moronic law. Obviously there are “some” sane politicians there after all.

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Jean July 5, 2016 - 9:14 pm

Is that for real? you cannot collect rain water?

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Veda Miller May 7, 2015 - 8:03 pm

not up north to cold

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debra October 11, 2015 - 1:16 am

wrong answer not all of alaska is cold southeast just like seattle your in a rain forrest tongass national forest google it 4 knowledge

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Jean July 5, 2016 - 9:15 pm

Southeast Alaska is NOT just like Seattle. It rains over 150 inches of rain per year in Ketchikan, and Seattle is 35-50″ a year of rain. That’s a big difference!

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Joanne B October 7, 2015 - 12:17 am

Does anyone know about homesteading in Alaska..Would like to move there.

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debra October 11, 2015 - 1:14 am

I lived there 30 years 1st southeast is just like seattle wash a rain forrest lots of rain almost 1 percent snow sea level hello cold starts at anchorage to white horse,plug in your car in nome, fairbanks,very fridigid but i worked indoors it didnt bother me, most of time I was in beautiful ketchikan and out lieing islands clos
est to GOD you will ever be

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Joshua M Salyers November 26, 2015 - 2:31 am

Care to tslk with me more about this homesteading in Alaska? I really could use all the help I can get.

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Joshua M Salyers November 26, 2015 - 2:31 am

Care to talk with me more about this homesteading in Alaska? I really could use all the help I can get.

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Samantha Wilson October 25, 2015 - 11:18 pm

I was told that there is no more homesteading act in USA? I emailed a lot of places, they said they don’t offern free land. So anyone that has some REAL free land please let me know. I would love it to be within 12-14 hours of Ohio

Reply
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Reply
Frumpster January 17, 2016 - 6:36 am

On the face of it, most of these places aren’t really homesteading opportunities in the classic sense, not enough land to be self sustaining, more like residiential lot opportunity while you commute to your cubcile.

Reply
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Lonnie Bline June 18, 2016 - 5:19 am

I’m retire and disabled,but I’m looking for a place to call home!my own .would greatly appreciate any information on honesteadable land,area not a big deal.will go anywhere.Thank you so much…..Lonnie blind. 812-671-1797…..Indiana for now

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Fooly g July 22, 2016 - 5:32 am

Where would be a good place to Homestead cuz I can’t figure it out trying to find a place where there are a good food source where it’s good water source nice land can anyone help me with that

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Joanne October 17, 2020 - 3:29 pm

I’m looking for a community of homesteaders, who take on new people to teach an help with chores. I would like to homestead an join a group. Serious emails only. Thank you. Reach me at jokazar2002@gmail.com.

Reply

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