Since the implementation of the Homestead Act in 1862, the US has been providing land for construction of homes and operation of farms to homesteaders.
Though the act is no longer operational to get free government land for homesteading in 2023, many rural regions and counties in the US are offering free land to improve economic activity and business sentiment.
This means that anyone has the chance to obtain land in various states with some conditions.
According to an article in the Washington Post, entry-level housing (which entails the homes millennials can most afford) has been particularly scarce. The D.C. region has less than a 90-day supply of condos costing between $400,000 and $600,000. In the Dallas area, barely a one-month supply of those homes are for sale.
So finding ways to get creative and researching how to get free land is a great way to find affordable housing.
Here are 15 places in the US giving out free land in 2023:
How to Get Free Land in the US
These states offer free land in the US and you can really get free land through homesteading.
1. Marquette, Kansas
To get a free home, you require to start the building process in 120 days of allocation of land and at least 1000 sq. ft. should be completed in 12 months to meet the design standards of residences. This offer has proved successful in increasing the small-town population and still has a lot of interest today.
Not only does it boast of a small-town community, countryside pleasures and it is not too far from a big city. So, if you’re ready to build your house from the ground, Marquette is a great option.
2. Marne, Iowa
On the back of their plummeting population, Marne is providing free land to get more residents in the South-western region of Iowa. Within 45 minutes to an hour from Omaha and Des Moines, this small town has huge potential for those looking for free land.
And there must be something about this little town that attracts a lot of attention with lines ringing off the hook when free lots were announced. This is a great sign for anyone looking to relocate as a new community is forming in Marne and it shows that area is in high demand.
3. New Richland, Minnesota
Around 86X133 foot residential lot is allocated for free land, which should be built within a year once the land is deeded to you. With a population of 1200, it is much bigger than the two towns already mentioned, this may be a better choice if you do not like small-town limitations.
Although New Richland prides itself on its warm community, the activities it holds for residents and nearly 100 small businesses in town. Of course, it is different from city living but it feels as though you will not be missing out on much with this well-rounded and bright town.
4. Beatrice, Nebraska
Beatrice has its own Free land act called the Homestead Act, 2010. Here, you can obtain free land and build your house on real property after following certain specific conditions: obtain a building permit, build within 1 year and live in the house for at least 3 years. The act was resurrected to boost their population but had little interest, to begin with.
The town sits along the Big Blue River and boasts of acres of farmland. A much bigger population of 12,000 could be more appealing and the surroundings attract a lot of attention so be quick before all the lots are gone!
5. Flagler, Colorado
This city in Colorado has allocated around 480 free acreage lots for business and commercial purposes. The free land program comprises of allocation of land provision based on the number of jobs the commercial entity it will create for the population of around 650 people.
The land is not limited or set out as the town intends to allocate the land depending on the type of business and the number of jobs it will provide for its community. It may be small but there is a lot of variety in the businesses already there and with a rail line and airport not far south, it holds a lot of opportunity for a commercial building.
6. La Villa, Texas
The city of La Villa is providing free land of 91 plots for the development of a residential property. The free land program was started in the early 2000s but was stopped due to poor infrastructure. Now with huge reservations over 4 years, the city is ready to welcome some new, friendly faces.
Despite the land being free, you will have to pay respective property taxes for the land. A 5-year lease is associated with the land wherein if you plan to sell the land within the lease period, you will pay the local government a certain amount. However, a town of 1200 people that states it is a ”Small City with a Big Heart”, it could definitely be worth the risk.
7. Plainville, Kansas
In order to grow its community of around 2000, Plainville is offering free land of around 155 foot (wide) x 93 foot (deep) lots. There are certain rules pertaining to the local council which needs to be approved during the application process and a returnable $500 deposit. With these lots, you have 18 months to build once attained, so a little less time pressure.
The town itself has a population of 2000 and is not far from the beautiful Webster Reservoir and State park and its original name ‘Paradise Flats’ lends to the attraction of the land.
8. Agate, Colorado
The city is providing free lots of its 60-acre land for those who are willing to grow farms and livestock. Despite the land being free, a share of crops or earnings thereof needs to be donated to the Meadowlark Cooperative and you have to pay for the construction cost of the home.
Agate could be the farming haven you are looking for and grabbing free land here could be a great investment with median housing costs at $395,900. Being an hour away from Denver provides the small-town peace and quiet with easy access to city necessities.
9. Lincoln, Kansas
The city has a free home site program providing free land within city premises near their Baseball Park, golf course, and major shopping centres. This town has invested a lot into this subdivision and into the growth of their town so being part of this growing town offer opportunity and fun.
10. Muskegon, Michigan
This big city provides free industrial and commercial park property for businesses in the Michigan Renaissance Zones. The area provides facilities like lower rates of electricity and water, tax benefits, among others.
Muskegon is a great community, full of fun and activities and it would be a joy to join this vibrant city. However, it seems the Local Economic Developers need you to fit their requirements and create jobs for their town.
11. Buffalo, New York
The city provides an Urban Homestead Program, wherein the land is offered at a meager rate of USD 1. The program provides options of land and built homes but the requirements to obtain this is a long list. Although, if you do meet all of these requirements, then Buffalo is a hot destination for homesteading.
Buffalo is not a small town but a thriving city and using the Urban Homestead Program to increase the population and renovate the deteriorating, vacant properties. On a developing waterfront and only 20 miles from Niagara falls, Buffalo could be the destination for you.
12. Osborne, Kansas
In Osbourne, you can get free land for both commercial and residential use by depositing $500 which is returned post completion of construction. You must begin the construction process in 12 months from the date of allocation, and move in within 24 months’ time. At times, you can view the land via a virtual tour if you do not live close by.
A small town of 1500 people, it is a great outdoor destination with fishing, hiking and biking opportunities. If you are an active person and have business prospects, maybe Osbourne is a good place to settle and grow yourself as well the town.
13. Mankato, Kansas
The city is offering free land lots for residential property construction is no less than 1200 sq. ft. The construction should begin in 6 months from the time of allocation and the lots are not far from the school, hospital, shopping centers and restaurants.
This is a tight-knit community of 900 and wants their new residents to get involved. So, if a friendly community and easy access to important facilities are what you are after, then Mankato is a place to settle and get your hands on free land.
14. Loup City, Nebraska
To get free land in Loup City, you need to make a deposit of $1000. However, the deposit is returned once the construction of the home is finished. This small town boasts of a now rising population, a quiet environment but not too far from a city that it is isolated.
15. Claremont, Minnesota
In order to get free land under Claremont’s homesteading program, the gross annual income of the family of two should be less than USD 84,200, or a family of three should be less than USD 104,000. However, Claremont has not had much interest and growing its population is slow going and the town is not quite thriving. Could you be the new addition they need?
So, 15 places giving out free land for you to choose from with various conditions and communities. Have you found one that might take your liking? Good luck with your future investments and new settings.