Are you wondering what states offer free land in the United States? Here is a list of 10 states that offer free land.
Finding free land can be a challenge in today’s economically uncertain times. However, just like homesteaders of the past received free land, you can still find it as many states are offering smaller but free land.
Several states in the United States offer free land. From the southern state of Texas to the eastern state of New York, you can find free land. The northern states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Kansas and the western states of Colorado and Nebraska also offer free land.
Getting your own piece of land in one of the most developed countries worldwide can be pretty challenging. However, courtesy of the implementation of the Homesteading Act of 1862, many individuals were able to receive free land in the past. While the act is no longer operational, several states are still offering free land, mostly in the rural regions and counties of the country to improve population and economic activity in the region.
While each of the states that offer free land may have varying requirements, you can still have options in several states of the country if you are looking for free land in the US.Having served as a real estate consultant for decades, we have compiled this comprehensive guide for you to learn about what states offer free land.
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States That Offer Free Land
Kansas is a Midwestern state in the United States that offers free land. It makes the 15th largest state in the country and is the 35th most populous state. Kansas, also known as the Sunflower State joined the federation in 1861; however, Native American tribes have inhabited the state for thousands of years.
Nebraska borders Kansas in the North, Oklahoma in the South, and Missouri and Colorado in the east and the west. The state is known for its vast plains, with wheat being the most abundant crop. But Kansas is not all about plains as there are gentle hills with pastures and forests. Mount Sunflower near the Colorado border makes the highest point in the state.
If you are looking for free land in Kansas, you can find it in several small towns and cities, including Marquette, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne, and Plainville. The state requires you to start the construction process on the allocated free land within 180 days of the acquisition. Moreover, the home's construction must be complete within a year and should also meet local occupancy and design standards.
Marquette is small and peaceful in Kansas, ideal for raising a family. Marquette makes a great town for you with beautiful views, a relaxed pace of life, and an amazing schooling system.
Another picturesque town in Kansas that offers free land in Lincoln. With a small friendly population and plenty of green hills, the local government is trying to attract a new population by providing tax incentives, making it a great choice if you are searching for free land in Kansas.
Osborne makes another Kansas town on the list that offers free land for residential and commercial users. Moreover, to attract more people to the town, the local government also provides incentives for businesses such as low-interest loans.
The existing population of Plainville is only around 2,000, and given the low population, the state is offering free land, which is almost 155 feet wide and 93 feet deep. Once you acquire the land, you should be able to complete the home development process within a year and a half.
The City of Mankato is located in Jewell County in North Central Kansas. With a very small population, the city is offering free land close to basic amenities such as a school, hospital, shopping mall, and a motel.
As surprising as it may seem, New York State is on the list of states that offer free land. While most of the states offer free land in rural areas, if you enjoy city living, you can find a free land program in Buffalo, the second-largest city in New York state. Being one of the largest cities in the country, Buffalo provides you with a genuinely urban living experience offering you all the amenities you need
The Buffalo, New York's Urban Homestead program, you can get various land options for as low as $1. The process of getting free land in New York is slightly more complicated than in many other states, and there are several requirements that you need to know about. However, the best part of the program is that all you need is $1 to get started with the process.
Iowa is a Midwestern state bordered by Minnesota and South Dakota in the north and Illinois and Missouri in the south. The largely flat and fertile state, which is known to produce the highest volume of corn in the country, also offers free land in some of its smaller cities and towns, including the little towns of Marne and Manilla.
Due to a significant decrease in the quantity of family-possessed homesteads, the small town of Marne experienced a substantial decrease in its population as well as the associated businesses. Hence, the town needs to attract more occupants, so it is offering free land. You can find free lots in wonderful suburban areas of Marne, known for its green grass and shady trees framing the entire area.
Given that Marines offer a rural style of living, it can be a great place to raise a family if you want to keep your loved ones away from the hustle and bustle of larger urban centers. You can find several 80 by 120 foot lots available for free, which you must construct within 18 months following the acquisition. The constructed houses should not be smaller than 1200 sq. ft.While livestock or farm animals will not be allowed on the property, you can still have pets such as cats and dogs.
Manilla is one of the other towns in Iowa that offer free land. The town’s low cost of living complements the area’s free land making it one of the most attractive places in Iowa where you can choose to settle with your family.
Michigan, also known as the Wolverine State, also offers free land. Sharing borders with four of the Great Lakes, over 40% of the state is covered in water which is more than any other state and is home to several types of wildlife and bird species.
Michigan is known for fishing, thanks to its long coastline, which makes it the longest freshwater coastline in the country. Another important industry in Michigan is forestry. But to support the manufacturing sector, the state is offering free land in the large city of Muskegon. The state offers free industrial park property for businesses so more people can come in and operate. The free land is largely located in “Michigan Renaissance Zones," and the zones offer incentives such as lower tax, reduced water, electricity rate, and other benefits to attract more investors.
Minnesota's "Star of the North" state is home to thousands of lakes and was the 32nd state to join the federation in 1858. The state is bordered by Lake Superior and Wisconsin in the east and South Dakota in the west. On the northern side of the state is Canada, whereas Iowa lies towards the south. The state's terrain is primarily craved by the slow-moving ice glaciers, resulting in more than 11,000 lakes in the state.
Minneapolis, which makes the largest city of the state, doesn't offer free land, but several small towns, including New Richland and Claremont, offer free land.
New Richland, which is a small town in Minnesota with a population of 1200 people, is giving away free lots measuring 133' x 86’. The small town offers an active community life and free land, which makes it a great place to raise a family. While it is largely a rural farming settlement, the newly developed suburb offers you an extensive golf course, a bicycle trail, a large lake and great educational and extracurricular programs making it an ideal place to construct your home.
However, you need to build your new home within a year following free land acquisition. Moreover, while the land is free, you will be assessed for part of the cost to develop the streets, sewerage system, gutters, and water into the area, which will be around $14,000 that will be collected semi-annually over 15 years but if your income falls under a certain amount category, the assessment fees will be lowered.
The small town of Claremont, which is in southeast Minnesota, about 30 minutes from Rochester,
is offering free land to build homes under its Free Buildable Lot Program. However, to qualify for the free land, you need to have a gross income of less than $84,200 for a family of two (or less) or a gross income of $96,830 for a family of three to get the free land through the program.
Nicknamed as the Centennial State, Colorado got its name from the Spanish explorers because of the red-colored river that runs through the state. Colorado shares borders with Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming and intersects with Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico at a single point known as the Four Corners, which makes the country where you can stand in four states at the same time.
While there are several large cities in Colorado, the small city 110 miles east of Denver, Flagler, offers 480 acres of free land available for commercial development. The exact size of the allocated land depends on the number of jobs you will bring to the small town home to around 650 people. So if you are planning to set up a business and are looking for free commercial land, Flagler makes the right choice for you. And while Flagler makes a small town, it offers excellent educational opportunities and an attractive neighborhood that makes it an attractive town to raise a family.
Bordered by South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming, Nebraska is a Mid-western state that joined the federation in 1867. The state can be divided into two major regions; the Dissected Till Plains, which cover the eastern part of the state and the Great Plains that spread across the rest of the state. Nebraska ranks 43rd state in terms of population density which shows that it is one of the sparsely populated states in the country. Several small towns are offering free land in Nebraska to attract the population to the state.
Only 40 miles south of the state capital, Lincoln, Beatrice is a small, tranquil city with a population of 12,000 people. The city allows you to get free land to develop your home following certain conditions. An interesting aspect of free land in Beatrice is that the city has its own homestead law known as the Homestead Act of 2010, which substitutes the Homestead Act of 1862, which allows you to get free land as long as you build your home on it.
One of the other small towns in Nebraska that offer multiple lots of free land is Curtis. While it is a small town, all utilities are already in place so you don't have to pay any additional fee. To get free land in Curtis, all you have to do is to construct a single-family home meeting certain requirements in a specified time frame.
Elwood makes a picturesque and charming rural part of the southern area of Nebraska. The small village offers free land for residential building and requires you to deposit $500 to get the deed. The home that you construct under the free land program must be at least 1,400 sq. ft. in size and needs to be completed in a certain time.
If you want to raise your family in a quiet rural setting, then free land in Elwood, Nebraska, makes your best bet.
To expand the city and attract more population, Loup City, Nebraska is a unique opportunity that’s gradually expanding and creating more job opportunities. However, you can find two different types of housing; workforce housing and market rate homes.
The Workforce Housing is an income-based housing opportunity that requires you to share your income details. If your income falls below a set standard, you can then receive assistance in purchasing your home. You can receive up to $20,000 assistance to make the down payment.
On the other hand, the market rate homes require you to deposit $1,000 for the land that you hold. The deposit will be returned once the home construction is complete.
If you have always liked Southern living, then the free land in La Villa, Texas may make a great opportunity for you. The Lone Star State is offering free land in the attractive and sleepy La Villa in Southern Texas. There are several residential building plots available for new residents. While the land is free, you will be required to pay the property taxes every year as homeowners. In case you sell the land during the five years of holding the property, you will be required to pay the property's value to the local government.
Ohio makes an interesting state when it comes to free land. While the state is not offering free land to develop the Cuyahoga National Park, the government recently began giving farmers cheap farmland, allowing them to lease the land for 60 years. The land allocated will have a constructed house and a few acres of protected farmland. In return, the farmers are expected to pay rent between $500- $1,000 per month.
While the land is free, it is relatively cheap and is worth mentioning on this list of states that offer free land.
Last on the list of states that offer free land in Maine is Camden, a wonderful coastal town to live in and take vacations.
However, it makes one of the least attractive options on the list because the state offers a 3-acre plot for commercial buildings. While the land is free, you still have to pay $175,000 in advance and create 24 new jobs within a 5 year period to get the fee reimbursed, making it a risky proposition.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling