How to Find Your Dream Homestead Land

Whether you're seeking homestead land in secluded rural areas or a lot with enough farmland for a garden, this advice will help you find the homestead land that’s just right for you.

| April/May 2008

Imagine your ideal patch of Mother Earth. Perhaps it’s a place where the sky and farmland are vast, where the soil is fertile for growing your own food, the trees grow tall, and your neighbors offer genuine small-town friendliness. There’s little crime or traffic, and all you hear at night is the rush of wind through the trees.

Now, imagine that someone’s willing to give it to you — free.

That’s precisely what the town of Anderson, in central Alaska, did in March 2007, when they attempted to lure potential transplants by offering 26 free, spruce-covered building lots. And each 1.3-acre lot had its own view of beautiful natural surroundings. In return, all the newcomers had to do was agree to build a home and stay awhile — not a bad bargain for those looking to head back to the land. And according to Anderson’s city clerk, Nancy Hollis, the plan has been successful, drawing people from all walks of life. “So far, the new land owners are fitting into our community nicely,” she says. (The free lots are taken as of this printing.)

For some, finding dream homestead land means secluded rural acreage. But for others, an ideal homestead may be in a small town, where you might find less expensive housing and a lot large enough for a garden, some fruit trees and a few chickens — plus the benefits of nearby community amenities. There are some locations where you can still find your dream homestead land without breaking the bank. And with the fallout from the recent mortgage crisis, farmland prices — at least in some areas — are tumbling, offering an even better reason to jump into the game.

Navigating the Market

Anyone who has searched for affordable farmland near the nation’s major cities or in booming retirement and resort areas knows how challenging the process can be. Even some more remote rural areas, particularly in the fast-growing retirement and resort areas of the West, have experienced price spikes. “I am seeing land prices increase dramatically in southern Utah, northern Nevada, southern Idaho and eastern Oregon,” says John Allen, director of the Western Rural Development Center at Utah State University. And in many areas of high-cost states such as California, spiraling prices have put homestead land well out of reach for many buyers.

But the picture is far different in other parts of rural America, and for those looking for a quiet country life, opportunities abound. Between July 2005 and July 2006, the population of the nation’s rural areas as a whole grew by just 0.6 percent. In rural parts of the American Plains (stretching from Texas to the Dakotas, east through Indiana, and across poor counties in the Mississippi Delta) many areas have seen a steady decline of population since the early 1900s. In the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota, 89 percent of the 2,421 cities and towns have fewer than 3,000 people — hundreds have fewer than 1,000 — and most have been hemorrhaging population for years. To turn the tide, local governments are often eager to entice newcomers to boost their tax base for schools and other essential services.

11/19/2017 3:41:53 PM

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11/19/2017 3:41:51 PM

Currently I live in Texas and I look for land deals in the Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma area and I have found these sites to be the best for land in rural areas: And for research I like:

11/7/2015 2:47:01 AM

I am 30 years and working for 10 years and one of my future plan before I retired is to buy my own business property not for me for my kids..

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