Free Land: Build Your Homestead Without the Debt

| 5/24/2010 11:56:32 AM

Tags: modern homesteading, land for free, kansas free land, Homestead Act of 1862,

If you were inspired by our Firsthand Reports Off the Grid and Thriving or Learning to Live a Self-Sufficient Life but don't have the funds ready to move to your own homestead, opportunities for free land and other big incentives might revive your dreams of self-sufficiency.

freelandEchoing the Homestead Act of 1862 which offered settlers ownership of up to 60 acres in exchange for (and after) farming it for five years, small towns looking to boost or stabilize population are giving away free housing lots. This practice, dubbed mini-homesteading, attracts residents and businesses to dwindling rural communities. Free land has drawn folks from across the country and, for a few communities, has saved small town businesses and public schools from closing.

In some cases, the town will suspend property taxes for a few years or help with the down payment to build your house on the land. Ellsworth, Kan., will offer a 70 percent tax rebate on your increased property value for the first year (which drops by 5 percent each year) and will help you find a job if you need work, in addition to giving you land to build your home. Lincoln, Kan., will also reduce your property taxes during your first 10 years of residency. Towns usually require you to construct a new home on the lot, and you might want to check local building codes before diving in to ensure that you can build the house you need.

If you’re looking for freedom from the city or suburbs, want to build your own home, and would enjoy a small, quiet community but have held off for financial reasons — free land or land offered with these incentives may be just the solution.

Most towns offering free or reduced land are in the rural Midwest — with plenty of space in Kansas — though other states, such as Alaska and Texas, also have opportunities. Check out the Center for Rural Affairs list of tips, opportunities and financial resources for rural revitalization — including a list of towns offering free or nearly free land — to learn more.

Photo courtesy of

8/6/2017 1:51:45 PM

Is there an area anywhere at all that's free or AFDORDABLE that doesn't require a fortune to have a safe well drilled, not near toxic factory byproduct runoff, not in flood zone, lacking road infrastructure, and not among trouble making ignorant trump supporters? I really doubt it. -Michelle

7/20/2016 12:32:48 PM

Robert here: Put together a more complete community free-access tool list: AIR FLOW 30-60,000 btu prop. heater 150-200,000 btu kero. heatr 70,000 btu kerosene heater carpet blower cellulose insulation blower compact air blower de-humidifier 18 gallon evaporative cooling fan heavy duty portable fan hi-velocity air blower AUGERS 1 man auger 1 man flex cable auger 2 man auger toilet auger towable hydraulic auger CEMENT concrete grinder 10” concrete vibrator electric cement mixer electric concrete saw 14” gas 4-cycle concr. saw 14” gas towable cement mixer grinder 7” large core drill large electric cement mixer mini grinder paver saw pro elect. concrete saw 12” pro gas concrete saw 14” pro gas concrete saw 16” small core drill towable motor mixer walk behind concr. saw 14” walk behind concr. saw 18” COMPACTORS jumping jack vibratory plate type 15” vibratory plate type 20” manual tamper COMPRESSORS air blower end air chuck cut-off mini circular saw electric air compressor gas air compressor portable air tank 10 gal. compressor hose 15ft. compressor hose 25ft. DEMOLITION 11 lb. demolition hammer 20 lb. demolition hammer 27 lb. demolition hammer breaker easy hammer cart makita pro breaker pro breaker roto hammer 1” roto hammer 1-1/2” roto hammer 2” small breaker PUMPS drain cleaner 50'x1/2” drill drain clean 25'x5/16” manual drain clean 50'x1/2” gas water pump 1” gas water pump 2” gas water pump 3” roofers pump submersible pump 2” HAND TOOLS 1/4” socket set sae, metr. 3/8” socket set sae, metr. 1/2” socket set sae, metr bolt cutter 36” bubble level 24in. bull float chalk line chalk tube gun channel lok plyer coping saw crescent wrench 15”, 12, 6 finish tac hammer hack saw hand maul linemans crimp plyers multi-head crimper set nail hammer pipe threader 1/2” - 3-2” pipe wrench 14”, 6” pop-up canopy 8ft. x 8ft. ratchet soil pipe cutter 6” sledge hammer tape measure tin snips,rt, str, left tree branch saw vice grip wood saw 28” MISCELLANEOUS 650 lb. garden dump cart aero cart cross-line laser level laser distance measure led task laser pointer led waterproof handheld propane tank w/regulator 20lb. sound pressure level meter speaker mic for walkie walkie talkie 4w. 16ch. vhf wheelbarrow 6 cu. ft. wheelbarrow 10 cu. ft. NAILERS air brad nailer air coil roofing nailer air coil sliding nailer air finish nailer air floor cleat 16 gauge air floor cleat 18 gauge air framing nailer cordless finish nailer cordless framing nailer manual floor 16 gauge power actuated tool POWER 4-tap extens. 15amp. 50ft. 5ft. tripod work light 20v. handheld light 100ft. 10-light string 500w portable work light battery fast charger 12v extension cord 25amp 25ft. extension cord 25amp 50ft. gas inverter gener. 2000w gas generator 3000w gas generator 5000w gas generator 6500w solar charger 12v twin head 1000w work light waterproof led headlamp POWER TOOLS 18v cordless drill 18v cordless impact driver belt sander hammer drill 1/2” mud mixing drill 1/2” right angle drill 1/2” carpet steamer circular saw 7-1/4” electric chain saw 16” electric door planer 3” electric jig saw electric reciprocating saw gas chain saw 18” jamb saw miter saw 8.5” miter saw 12” orbital sander palm finishing sander radial saw worm-drive router table saw thermal camera toe kick saw STAPLERS air crown stapler 1” air floor stapler 15.5 ga. air floor stapler 20 ga. carpet stapler hand stapler WELDERS mechanized plasma mig welder plasma torch 25ft. spot welders stick welder tig torches welder/generator welding gloves welding helmets welding safety glasses Still looking to cut my own dimensional rough-cut wood from the land resource, maybe a power plainer.

7/19/2016 5:37:29 PM

I am currently a Los Angeles resident and very much wish to leave LA for anywhere else. I recently closed a firm that rented TV production equipment. I saw the light early, and knowing there was no future in it, I began transitioning the entire inventory to tools & power/construction equipment. I wish to offer the collection to those in a community that has need for tools in exchange for some help in building a small house for me to live in. There would be no charge for the use of the tools and equipment and would be provided free of charge, much like a book library. Among the collection are several high-output gas generators, air compressors and air tools, portable heating and air conditioning, solar-charged-to-battery-and-inverter (off-grid styled), AC tools like Skilsaws, drills and almost every known hand tool in abundance. The equipment is modern and well maintained. I can purchase the land and building materials as needed. I would transport the collection to you if you can get me a location (about 1000 sq. ft.) in town where I can unload and that is easily accessed by the residents. Again, there would be NO CHARGE to my fellow residents for the use of the tools and equipment, just don't break them. Yes, I come bearing gifts, and would and need to find an area with good honest people where people help people. If you or your community have interest please contact me: Posted 074/19/2016.

7/3/2016 4:55:00 PM

Is there any way i can get a list of the propertys or land that is being offerd as free thank you.

5/14/2016 3:39:49 AM

I would like buy a small homestead in southeast michigan, you know grow my vegetables, some fruits and berries and have fresh milk and eggs.I don't have much to spend and I haven't owned a property till date-renting-. can someone with larger property sell me a piece of land cheap or i don't know what to do every thing is so expensive.want to move south if price is right.thanks.

4/5/2016 3:25:53 AM

I am a caregiver for the elderly for 10 years. I am interested in homestead in TX. I am not a nurse but have done things like a nurse. Work is slowing down everything is too expensive. I am still young 47 years old I can do gardening,and canning have all the things to do that but not rich. I have survival skills. I am alone my son passed away 2 years ago. I have family but I am on my own. I believe in God the holy King James Bible word. Looking to help and need help my self. Please email me something let me know this is real it is getting worse and do not like the city at all! Jody

11/28/2015 10:17:55 AM

Looking to relocate to the Northern reaches of the U.S.A., Looking for land to help others as well as myself to live a better life.. Just wanting to be a blessing to others, who are less fortunate than most..

2/9/2014 11:39:23 PM

I sure wish I could find a place to live here in Texas I am 68 years and on fixed income and its hard to make ends meet. I am Christian women who stands on God word. I am not a city person I love the country. I love nature and all God animals expect snakes. I am not scared of them but I will kill fast quick and in a hurry. I have chickens 1 peacock my dogs, cats and birds. I love to garden and plants fruit trees and plants that season the food. I also love plants with beautiful flowers. I am old fashion in my ways and modern too but with a limit. I am bialingul I speak and read Spanish of course English too. I speak a few greek words and I love children period. I have had to live with out electricity before and I have had to hual water for use in my shack. I also had to cook out side. I used to wash my clothes at the cow tanks or ponds. Though I was poor when raising my kids with prayer and supplication to the Lord and by His grace all my kids are grown and have a life of there own. I see them very little for their lives are too busy for mama now. All I want is to live on a piece of land that my have an old barn on it that I could live there plant a garden have my pets and enjoy God beautiful nature. I feel and believe that if its not imposible for God its not imposible for me. Can anyone help this old lady.

11/7/2013 4:20:46 PM

Hi my name is John Abdnor and I am currently homeless and sleeping in my truck. I am trying to get back into the drilling industry to save enough money to build a couple self sustainable generators to help people that want to break free from the electric company and their death grip on your wallet. At the moment I am in the Houston area talking to these drilling companies but they all keep saying they're not hiring. I ultimately want to build a place that is self sufficient and able to help others in need. If anyone knows of any rig jobs I would appreciate an email to Thank you

kate parrish
1/14/2013 9:15:57 AM

your last link doesn't work :(

rukiya belagam _4
9/2/2010 4:53:24 PM

Rukiya Belagam A long time ago I got very excited because I heard you could get free wild horses in Montana. I thought wow that would be great! Well then I realized what is Rukiya Belagam going to do with wild horse. I think that Free land may be great but there is probably a reason why its free. Otherwise it would not be free. I might only be 29 but I know that good land is never free! That being said I would still love you own some land and live on the lovely earth. Rukiya Belagam

dawn pfahl
9/2/2010 4:02:55 PM

Pity it's not happening in PA. We like this state and want to stay near Pittsburgh, not move across the country in search of somewhere else that will support us. There are jobs here and we are close to family in NY and DC. I know that homesteading is about sacrifice sometimes, but moving away from the only family we have seems a bit much. I guess we're stuck turning our postage-stamp lawn into a garden instead :)

john m_3
9/1/2010 5:37:51 PM

i would like nothing better than to get free land and do a homestead and grow things and live rural. is there water? a well, a creek? if there is no water life cannot exist. why is it free? if it was desireable someone whould buy it and subdivide it. the photo in the article showed no trees, a sparce bit of vegatation. and the how to, is vague, when the government comes into play, there are rules regulations and it goes on and on. there is no free land in texas, i live in central texas. i would like this to be true, but the territoral land rushes took place in the 1800's and that was all a part of manifest destiny. if i am wrong and there is some good ariable land in texas, someone point me in the direction and i will give up rural/ city life and move right away. peace to you.

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