8 States with Free Land (19 Cities) + Government Grants

When almost nothing is available for free, eight states with free land may come as a surprise. However, this article will show you that it is still possible to get ahold of free land. You just need to know and what rules to follow to make it happen for you.

According to the , they estimate an acre costs an estimated $12,000 across 48 contiguous states.  Free land is certainly something to be happy about when it is next to impossible to buy land, much less a house.

How Does The Homestead Act Work?

If you remember the Homestead Act of 1862 from history class, you’ll recall that there was a time when people could acquire free land provided they were prepared to relocate to the West. Under the Homestead Act, the American government has granted nearly 200 million acres of land. The last time the government approved a claim was in Alaska in 1988. It wasn’t that long ago.

The Homestead Act is no longer in effect today. The requirements vary, but they all adhere to the overall spirit of homesteading. After all, you receive free land.

How To Get Free Land? 

To gain free land, follow these four procedures.

1. Locate a State with Free Land

What is the best way to locate homestead land?

You must first locate a state that provides free land. Although the eight states listed below no longer practice homesteading, they nonetheless give away free land on a yearly basis.

You may be disappointed if you anticipate to be staying in a vibrant city or thickly inhabited town. States provide free land, which is typically found in rural areas. When we say rural, we don’t necessarily mean we’ll be served with all of the modern conveniences you’re used to in the city. On the free land, for example, it’s possible that you’ll need to install your own plumbing.

Concentrate on the word “free.” If you prefer being in distant regions, claim the land. For an artist, the location could be a source of inspiration. You can still claim the land for investment purposes if you aren’t into that sort of thing. Because you don’t know when or if the surrounding region will be developed in a meaningful way, the investment can be risky.

2. Make a Deposit for the Property

A minimum deposit is frequently required by cities.

Despite the fact that the property is promoted as free land, you will most likely be requested to pay a small deposit. Don’t worry: the price will most likely be insignificant, but it will finalize the sale.

In Lincoln, Kansas, for example, free land demands a deposit equal to $0.08 per square foot. In one acre, there are 43,560 feet. In Lincoln, Nebraska, a deposit for one acre would cost $3,384.80.

The process for selling land varies by location. The majority of the time, however, the deposit is refundable. Therefore, in the end, the land is completely free. When the business or property that you contractually pledged is completed, you will receive a reimbursement.

3. Read the Fine Print

These days, anything that is free comes with a catch. The same can be said about unrestricted land in the United States. You are entering into a contract when the city or town gives you the land for free. There will be requirements, which will vary depending on the area.

The agreement may, for example, oblige you to develop the area with dwellings and/or a company. The company you start is intended to bring more people to the town. You’ve been given free land with the express intent of increasing people and commerce.

Make sure you stick to your end of the bargain. If you find yourself unable to meet the deadlines for your obligations, request an extension. Only if you can demonstrate that you’ve made a genuine attempt to meet the criteria will you be allowed an extension.

Is it true that some places demand you to have land in order to receive free land? This is something you should be aware of ahead of time. If you’re beginning from scratch, you can squander time trying to apply for such a plot of property.

4. Understand Your Obligation

Free land comes with responsibilities and unexpected fees.

When you are given land in a rural region, you are expected to develop the surrounding area. You must make the greatest possible use of the land in order to build your home, start a business, and generate work for both residents and newcomers. It takes a lot of courage to commit to something like that!

These are responsibilities that you may not be expecting right now. After all, you’re looking for free land because property is so tough to come by. If you have some savings, however, it might just work out. The good news is that the land is free, allowing you to concentrate on constructing a home or company. With a little effort, you can have it all in the end.

Be prepared to pay for things like water, sewage, and power deposits. Do some background research on the area. Fortunately, some of these areas already have these services in place. Even so, you’ll have to spend some money.

At the very least, you won’t have to be concerned about the property on which it will be built.

What Are The Benefits of a Homestead?

A is still generally beneficial for the following reasons:

  • A reduction in your primary residence’s property taxes
  • When you can’t pay, you’ll be protected from foreclosure or a forced sale.

It is, once again, completely free! At the very least, the majority of it is. As a result, you can build a home for yourself at a fraction of the cost. Of course, this will be determined by the type of home you intend to construct.

Where Can I Live Off The Land For Free?

Now that you’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks of free land, you’re probably asking where you may get one. If you know where to look, you might be shocked to learn that the United States has numerous states with free land.

The Midwest is known for having the best homesteading states. The following communities are enacting their own versions of the homesteading act.

Here are the The following are the best places to live off the earth (pun intended):

Free Land Colorado

1. Flagler

The town of Flagler, Colorado, is 110 miles east of Denver. It now has a population of approximately 650 people.

If you are interested in ranching and farming, you may think of setting up a related business here. You will get land that can be used for agricultural. The free land is an offer to those who can contribute to the town’s business and industry.

Flagler County has a fantastic educational system. Restaurants, grocery stores, a library, fast Wi-Fi, and other essential services are all available in the town.

Learn more about the free land incentive program in .

2. Agate

In its communal co-op, Agate, Colorado, is giving out up to 60 acres of free land. The land that is being handed away will most likely be used for agriculture. When you are given land, you must provide the co-op a tiny percentage of your monthly earnings and production.

To find free farmland in Agate, Colorado, call Mary Choate or Aaron Brachfeld at 720-295-5275.

Free Land Iowa

3. Manilla, Iowa

, has a few free parking spots for families. The properties are in a pleasant neighborhood with paved streets, lush greenery, and big trees. You won’t have to worry about hooking up utilities because they’ve already been installed. Omaha is only 57 miles away from the town.

You’ll also get a 5-year tax break of 100%. The lots are accessible to first-time house buyers who meet certain criteria. You must construct a single-family home on the property and adhere to the project’s guidelines and covenants.

Manilla has a vibrant business atmosphere, despite it being a small town. It is possible to find ways to profit from the land in Manilla, Iowa.

4. Marne, Iowa

One of the free locations to live off the land is in . It is a clean community with low crime.  The city offers lots of approximately 80 feet x 120 feet each. Marne is only 35 minutes east of Omaha and about an hour west of Des Moines.

Marne has essential services and recreational facilities, such as a basketball court, baseball field, high-speed internet, cable tv, and a state-of-the-art local phone company. This cheap homestead land comes with low tax rates.

Free Land Kansas

You can get free land from .

5. Lincoln, Kanas

Lincoln, Kansas, is a 720-square-mile city in the state’s north-central region. It’s a fantastic location for farming and ranching. Lincoln has a low crime rate and offers vital services, as well as an industrial park and a medical facility.

Learn about their free home site program and how you can join their 3500+ residents.

6. Marquette, Kansas

The town of Marquette, Kansas, has a population of 680 people. The nearest Walmart is 30 minutes distant, while Wichita is 65 miles away.

Today, homesteading there entails acquiring lots ranging in size from 11,000 to 25,000 square feet. You must begin construction within 180 days of getting the land and finish within a year.

Visit the website to learn more about how to get free land.

7. Mankato, Kansas

Mankato, Kansas, is not much different from Marquette. Its population is only slightly bigger, at just over 900 residents. The lots are near a hospital, high school, motel, steak house, shopping center, and 45 minutes from Walmart auto repairs or everyday low prices. It’s only 108 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska.

The typical lot size is 18,000 square feet, and the new home or modular building must be at least 1200 square feet, excluding the garage and basement. Work must begin six months after the lot is purchased and be completed within two years. You have a number of festivals coming up.

Learn how to get free land in . 

8. Osborne, Kansas

,The nearest Walmart is 75 minutes away in the town of, which has a population of 1300 people. The lots, on the other hand, are much larger, averaging 23,100 square feet. You must complete the construction of your home within a year. Also, if you enjoy outdoor activities, this is an fantastic location.

9. Plainville, Kansas

, in north-central Kansas, has a population of just over 2,000 people. Agriculture, oil production, truck trailer manufacturing, furniture design, and healthcare are all local industries. It’s about 150 miles northwest of Wichita and only seven miles north of Rooks County Regional Airport.

Plainville, Kansas’s free land parcels are typically 93 feet deep and 155 feet wide. All new development must be on a solid foundation. The homes can be stick-built or modular, however single-wide mobile homes are not permitted. The new owner is responsible for connecting the residence to the utilities.

Plainville, Kansas, needs a $500 deposit to be given to the city, which will be repaid at the time of closing. With its Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, Rooks County rebates 50% of property tax savings over ten years. While located near some big enterprises, the property tax rebate might help you generate money with the site for almost 10 years. Perhaps a room or the entire house could be rented out?

10. Washington, Kansas

, which has a population of around 1200 people, is a small rural community. It offers a variety of free land types, including residential, commercial, and industrial lots. You can inquire about the conditions for using the open land.

Learn more about the specifications. A residential property, for example, must include a minimum of three bedrooms and two garages. Every family who applies will be interviewed by the town council.

Lincoln is only 71 miles away, and Omaha is only 116 miles away.

Free Land Michigan

11. Muskegon, Michigan

Due to high unemployment, , started offering free land for businesses to create new industrial jobs. They’re offering five acres for 25 new jobs or 30 acres for 100 jobs.  The lots have full utilities and access to a deep-water port, railroads, access to highways, and the Muskegon County Airport. 

Muskegon is located 85 miles east of Milwaukee and 117 miles west of Chicago, Illinois.

Free Land Minnesota

12. Claremont, Minnesota

Buying land for homesteading in Minnesota may lead you to . For you to qualify for one of its single-family lots and residence development, you must have a certain gross income. For example, households of 3 or more people should have a gross income of $105,770 or less. Each family can only purchase one free lot for a $1,000 processing fee. Normally, lots cost between $20,000 and $30,000.

Saint Paul is only 62 miles away, and Minneapolis is only 66 miles away.

13. New Richland, Minnesota

, on the northwest side of town, is giving away free land. The town is around 75 miles west of the Twin Cities area and 60 miles west of Rochester.

On an 86 by 133 foot property, you have one year to build a new home. The town anticipates that each parcel will cost around $25,000 to develop. They do have tax increment financing, which will bring the cost down to roughly $14,000 over 15 years.

Free Land Nebraska

14. Beatrice, Nebraska

The rules of , are a little more lenient. They created their version of the Homestead Act and call it the Homestead Act of 2010. They are offering free land under the condition you build it within two years and live in it. Beatrice is giving away city-owned land to boost the tax base and increase the population.

Beatrice, Nebraska is 40 miles south of Lincoln and 81 miles east of Omaha. It is surrounded by agricultural and has a population of over 12,000 people.

15. Curtis, Nebraska

, is looking for new residents to live in town. It’s a charming town with five nearby lakes where you can go hunting and fishing. Curtis tap water was named the best tasting water at the National Rural Water Rally in Washington, DC in 2014.

It offers monetary incentives to families and students planning to relocate to the town. A family having three or more children, for example, will receive a $1000 bonus.

The community will give you a free single-family home lot if you build it within a certain time frame. There are utilities on each property, as well as paved concrete streets. Curtis is also offering developers free industrial and commercial land.

16. Elwood, Nebraska

, as part of a homeownership scheme, is giving out free land. Residential lots are 100 by 115 feet in size. The restriction must commence within one year of the purchase date and be completed within two years of the purchase date. The lots demand a $500 deposit, which is repaid once the residence is completed.

Elwood, Nebraska’s southernmost town, with a population of roughly 1,000 people. Lincoln is 168 miles away, and Omaha is 211 miles away.

17. Loup City, Nebraska

, is a small town in centra, Nebraska, with around 1,000 residents. However, it does not mean that this place is not thriving because it has Sharman Dam for recreation, Jenners Park, Loup City Golf Course, and more.   It is actively looking for more people to be part of its community, so it’s offering Beginner’s guide to homesteading.

For a refundable $1000 deposit, you can choose and reserve your preferred spot.

Free Land New York

18. Buffalo, New York

What do you know? Even urban settings like has a homestead program. Its requirements are just a little bit different and detailed.

An applicant, for example, must dwell in and own a principal residence adjacent to a city-owned vacant land. He must show proof of residency in the form of bank and credit card information, a driver’s license, and/or other financial documents. The applicant must not have any outstanding debts and must be able to show proof of his current source(s) of income. He also couldn’t have broken any property laws.

If the prospective owner is given free land in Buffalo, New York, they must construct the structure within the first twelve months and live there for at least 36 months.

Free Land Texas

19. La Villa, Texas

, has a restricted program that provides free land for future construction. Residents must meet some minimal standards, such as pre-approval for financing, an appropriate floor plan, and 1,200 square feet or more.

In the early 2000s, the La Villas initiative was already in existence. It had to be suspended, however, due to problems with the water and sewer systems. The town was unable to cope with the influx of people. It required four years to upgrade the infrastructure in order to accommodate more people.

Corpus Christi is only 109 miles away, and Laredo is only 129 miles away.

Government Grants for Real Estate

20. Government grants to buy a home

If you look through our list of states and municipalities and don’t find anything that appeals to you, it’s not the end of the world. The government also offers grants to anyone who require assistance in constructing a home.

The offers a relocation grant for up to $2500.  The funds can be used for security deposits, rent payments, or utilities for eligible low-income participants. 

Also, the offers aid to citizens displaced from their homes expectedly.  Applicants may receive subsidy assistance for up to 42 months for comparable housing in your area.

Best Places To Homestead by State

Homestead laws allow homeowners, in select states, to declare a limited part of their property as “homestead.”  It protects the property owner from creditors in the event of economic hardship or bankruptcy, like another Great Recession or the Great Depression.

The homestead laws are listed alphabetically by state with the help of .  Here is a list of what states you can homestead in:

Arkansas

For urban properties, the Arkansas homestead exemption is limited to $2,500 in equity and up to one acre. The maximum size of a rural property is 160 acres.

Alaska

State and federal entities in Alaska do not provide free land. Alaska may occasionally sell land to private individuals.

Arizona

Arizona’s homestead rules allow homeowners to designate a portion of their property as a homestead. The Arizona homestead exemption protects up to $150,000 in equity in a property.

California

Property owners in California can declare at least $75,000 in homestead exemption to be protected from creditors in the event of bankruptcy or related creditor actions.

Florida

Homesteading in Florida permits residents to own up to a half-acre of land with no restrictions on square footage. If your lot is larger than a half-acre, the homestead protection will be pro-rated.

Hawaii

Native Hawaiians can apply for the Hawaiian Home Lands homestead program. An applicant must be at least 18 years of age and a native Hawaiian. See the to learn more about the Hawaii homestead requirements.  

Idaho

The Idaho homestead exemption permits property owners to designate 50% or up to $100,000 of their property (including all land, improvements, dwellings, mobile homes, and so on) as their primary residence. If you’ve qualified for the exemption, you can claim it on your taxes. That will help you save a lot of money on your property taxes.

Illinois

The Illinois homestead statute permits property owners to claim up to $15,000 for single-family homes and $30,000 for multi-family dwellings.

Maine

The main homestead exemption allows permanent residents to deduct up to $200,000 from the value of their home. Before claiming the Maine homestead exemption, you must own the house for at least twelve months.

Massachusetts

Homestead protection in Massachusetts protects up to $500,000 of your home’s value from unsecured creditor claims.

Missouri

The Missouri homestead exemption allows you to claim up to $15,000 for your house, building, and land.

Montana

A homestead in Montana can help safeguard a home worth up to $250,000.

Nevada

The Nevada homestead law protects up to $550,000 in equity from general credit claims. Bankruptcy, unpaid medical bills, credit card debt, personal loans, business loans, and accidents are all examples of claims.

New Hampshire

In the case of bankruptcy, the New Hampshire homestead exemption gives up to $100,000 in protection. For married couples, the exemption could be doubled.

New Mexico

The homestead exemption statute in New Mexico allows for a deduction of up to $30,000 from the property value.

North Carolina

A maximum of $1000 worth of property can be exempted in North Carolina. There is no acreage limit in the statute.

Ohio

The Ohio homestead exemption exempts up to $25,000 in property value from property taxes. Senior adults over 65, surviving spouses, and disabled people are all protected under Ohio’s homestead statute.

Oklahoma

To protect farmers, the Oklahoma homestead exemption permits up to 1 acre in an urban location or 160 acres in a rural area.

Oregon

The Oregon homestead exemption allows for a property to be worth up to $40,000, regardless of whether it is a floating, mobile, or manufactured house. A $50,000 exemption is available to married couples. Homestead laws in rural areas protect up to 160 acres.

Pennsylvania

The homestead exemption statute in Pennsylvania gives for a very minimal $400 exemption for any property.

Rhode Island

In the state of Rhode Island, homeowners can claim up to $500,000 in property in the case of bankruptcy.

South Carolina

The first $50,000 of the primary homeowner’s fair market value is exempt from property taxes in South Carolina.

South Dakota

Homestead exemptions in South Dakota are limited to one acre in urban areas and 160 acres in rural areas.

Utah

The principal homeowner in Utah is entitled to a homestead exemption of up to $30,000 per person. A non-primary homeowner can claim up to $5,000 under the law.

Vermont

The Vermont homestead exemption allows you to keep up to $125,000 in your home or land.

Washington

The state of Washington’s homestead exemption law allows for a maximum of $125,000 and no maximum acreage.

West Virginia

The homestead exemption in West Virginia is limited to $1,000 in personal property or $5,000 in real estate.

Wisconsin

Homesteading in Wisconsin is limited to no less than a quarter-acre and no more than 40 acres. Both rural and urban properties are covered by the homestead law.

Wyoming

Homestead exemptions in Wyoming are limited to $20,000 for a single person and double for married couples.

States That Offer Government Grants Towards Buying Land or Homes

Many individuals want to settle on unoccupied land and build a home there since there is a lot of property given out by the government through grants or land programs in the United States. Some folks are looking for agricultural land where they can raise farm animals and have access to natural resources. Others are looking for a piece of property on which to build a home.

Those who are given public lands are usually subject to rigorous income and residency conditions. While you may be seeking for land chunks that are being given away for business or homesteading purposes, there are also incentives available to assist with the expense of purchasing land tracts.

Cities that are attempting to get individuals to relocate there provide one form of land possibility. This is because people who relocate to new places can contribute to the city’s economic growth. The surge in remote employment has fostered this current trend of offering enticing incentives and cash bonuses.

Monthly payments or lump sum payments toward housing prices are some of the financial incentives offered to persuade people to relocate.

Here are some samples of what’s available in different cities around the United States:

Newton, Iowa

To entice new residents to settle in Newton, the city provides up to $10,000 in cash to those who purchase new homes, plus a $3,000 welcome package. While it isn’t quite the same as owning land, it can surely assist you in purchasing one, as the incentive is available to anyone who wants to build a new home.

Lincoln, Kansas

People who want to settle in Lincoln, Kansas and build new homes can get free land. These land grants include plots of land ranging in size from 12,000 to 35,000 square feet. You’ll have to follow the building requirements and adhere to the time constraints, but it could be a chance to build your ideal home.

Topeka, Kansas

People who relocate to Topeka, Kansas can get paid towards the cost of buying a home (up to $10,000) or can even get paid towards renting for the first year. The has certain requirements and an application process. One requirement is that your employer must be located outside of Shawnee County. That’s why this program is specifically suited to people who are remote workers. 

The Shoals, Alabama

If you work remotely or are self-employed outside of Colbert or Lauderdale County, you may be eligible for the Remote Shoals program, which is geared toward remote workers. If you move to The Shoals, you can get $10,000 in your first year, which you can put toward a home or a plot of land to build a home on. This program has an annual income limit; you must earn at least $52,000 per year to be eligible.

Tulsa, Arizona

The city of Tulsa in Arizona also has a remote working incentive program called , which offers a relocation package of $10,000 if you use it to put down a payment on a house in the area.

States with Free Land Summary

Many Americans, particularly millennials with student loan debt and credit card debt, appear to be priced out of the housing market.

Using a homesteading program in your local state or county has its drawbacks as well. It’s possible that you’ll be separated from your family and friends. That could imply foregoing the conveniences and facilities you’ve grown accustomed to in a city or urban setting.

However, it may be the difference between living in squalor, possible homelessness, or not saving money? At a time like this, it sure helps to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Homesteading in states with free land is a terrific a technique to substantially reduce costs.

Moving to a will be a lot cheaper than living in a big city.  Where can I get a affordable haircut? will be easy to find.  You’ll be able to find discount meat cheaper at your local grocery store.  A gym membership that is less expensive will be available.  Your cost of living will be more affordable. 

Free land does not imply that you will receive everything you ask for. You must construct and pay for your own home within a certain time frame. Some communities even demand that you contribute to the local economy by creating jobs.

For both parties, it’s a win-win situation. The towns are handing out free land that was previously unused. You come along and make something useful out of it. The town and community benefit from property taxes, while businesses prosper as a result of more citizens spending money on food and services.

Homesteading is a way for both the community and the landowner to profit from the land.

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