Homesteading on a budget can be a difficult thing to do in today’s economic times.
However, courtesy of the Homesteading Act of 1862 many homesteaders of the past were able to receive free land. Many states have chosen to offer a similar package to modern day homesteaders in hopes of raising the populations in these small towns.
The land quantities are smaller, but they are still free!
Here is where you should start looking:
1. Lincoln, Kansas
Lincoln, Kansas is a picturesque small town. The property is located right next to the town baseball field and in close vicinity to the local schools. This is a subdivision setting, but a lot of modern homesteaders do so on a smaller scale.
The town population is only 3500, and it is located right off of Interstate 70. The town does require an application process.
If you are interested in applying for this land, click here.
2. Marquette, Kansas
Marquette is another small town gem. They offer great school systems and safety for your family.
They, too, require you to fill out a land application. It is also required that if you are accepted into the free land program that you begin to build a home within 120 days.
Your home must be completed one year from the date of signing the land agreement. You are also required to live in your home for one year. There are certain specifications that your home must meet in order to qualify.
If you’d like to apply for Marquette’s free land, click here.
3. New Richland, Minnesota
New Richland has a population of just 1200. Though it is a small town, it does have amenities like a golf course and bike trail. They are giving away 86’ x 133’ lots.
They require that you apply for the land.
Once the land has been deeded to you, you have one year to build a home with certain specifications.
You will be assessed for part of the cost to put in street curbs, gutters, sewer, and water into the area. The cost of this will be around $14,000 that will be collected semi-annually over a 15 year period.
The upside is that a lot of lenders will allow you to use the free land as a down payment to build a house.
If your income falls under a certain amount, the assessment fees will be lowered as well.
If you would like to find out more information about the land in New Richland, Minnesota, click here.
4. Mankato, Kansas
Mankato, Kansas is a town of only 900 people. They are giving away small plots of land to build new homes on as well. You must apply to their city as well to be considered for the land.
They currently have 26 lots available.
Your home must be no less than 1200 square feet in size which excludes garages or basements. However, they give you two years to finish your home from the date the deed was signed.
You will need to have a contract with a builder within six months of obtaining the land.
If you would like more information on this land, click here.
5. Osborne, Kansas
Osborne is giving away free residential property, free commercial land, and they are giving out low-interest loans to help with business and home repairs. Osborne, Kansas wants you!
They do require a $500 deposit to hold the land, but it will be returned to you upon the completion of your new home. They require that your home be at least 1400 square feet on the ground level. You also have to have your home complete within 12 months of the land being deeded to you. You have 24 months to be completely moved in.
They require that your home be at least 1400 square feet on the ground level. You also have to have your home complete within 12 months of the land being deeded to you. You have 24 months to be completely moved in.
For more information or to apply for this land click here.
6. Plainville, Kansas
Plainville, Kansas has a population of 2,000. They actually only have one lot available at this time that is on a first-come-first-served basis. The lot is 155 feet wide by 93 feet deep.
They do require all homes must be on a foundation, but this can include a modular home as well. They do not allow single-wide mobile homes. They do require a $500 deposit to hold the property, but it will be refunded once the land is deeded over. Your home must be complete within 18 months of the land being deeded to you.
7. Curtis, Nebraska
Curtis, Nebraska is a small retirement town. They have multiple lots available for free!
All utilities have already been placed, so there are no additional fees. You will need to apply for this land as well. Their website offers a visual of all of the lots available. It is worth checking out as they all vary in size.
8. Elwood, Nebraska
Elwood, Nebraska has as many as ten lots available to build on for free!
It says to stop by the village office to pick up the paper work to apply.
You can click here to visit their website and collect information on how to apply if you live out of state.
It appears that the homes must be on a foundation, but no specific requirements have been listed. The sizes of the lots are not mentioned either. However, a call to the local town office should give you all of the answers you desire about this free land.
9. Loup City, Nebraska
Loup City, Nebraska is a unique opportunity. All lots are totally free.
However, there are two different types of housing available: Workforce Housing and Market Rate Homes.
The Market Rate Homes require a $1,000 deposit for the land to be held. This deposit will be returned when the home is complete.
The Workforce Housing is an income based opportunity. If you income falls below a set standard then you will be available to receive assistance in purchasing your home. You can receive up to $20,000 in down payment assistance!
10. Marne, Iowa
Marne, Iowa is giving away lots of free lands! They have quite a few pieces of land available. The lot sizes are 80 x 120 feet.
Your home must be at least 1200 square feet and must be constructed within 18 months of the land being deeded over to you.
They do allow conventional construction along with modular homes. The city does require that you file an application to apply for this land. Click here for more information.
Marne, Iowa made many publications because of giving away their free land.
11. Manilla, Iowa
Manilla, Iowa is another small town offering free lots of land for those that want to take them up on it. They claim to have some of the lowest cost of living around.
Their website does not offer much information as to what the requirements for the free land are. However, you can get all of the town’s contact information here.
12. Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio
Okay, this one isn’t exactly free nor will you own it.
It is a program the government recently began to give farmers cheap farm land. It allows farmers to lease farm land for 60 years at a time. This includes a house already available and acres and acres of protected farm land.
The average rent runs between $500- $1,000 per month. This includes housing and 9-12 acres of land.
Though it isn’t free, it is insanely cheap and unique, so it is worth mentioning. There is an application that must be filed, and many farmers have become interested in it.
13. The Real Estate Market
The details were found in this article. This man and his wife saved a little money, bought what he called “a mixed bag” piece of property, and they kept the part of the land no one wanted and sold off the good land for more than what they paid when they originally purchased the property.
This is a plan that requires more long-term thought and shopping around.
However, you could end up with a descent piece of property and technically, your land would end up being free! You can’t beat that!
There are many ways to find “free” land to build your homestead. There are short-term options and long-term options.
Whether you homestead on a little land or a lot of lands, all that matters is that you actually build your personal homestead dream.
Do you know of any other places that offer free land to modern day homesteaders? Do you know of other ways to obtain “free” land?