Homestead Land – Guide with (FREE) Land Options
While you may never have thought that it was possible to find homestead land that is free in the world we live in today, the reality is that there are multiple places where you can find such land. Granted, these lands are not completely free, but the local or state governments do offer plenty of attractive incentives in an attempt to grow their communities.
As a result, much of the free homesteading lands that we will talk about are from small towns, but on the flip side of things, that means that you have an opportunity to get away from big city life and find somewhere that’s more calm and peaceful.
Let’s take a look at specific places in America that offer free or low cost homesteading land, pros and cons, and then qualities to look for when on the marketing for free homesteading land.
Places That Currently Have Free Homesteading Land
It’s up to you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of homesteading. Fortunately, you will be encouraged to know that there are places in the United States with (mostly) free homesteading land that is available to the public.
The reason why free homestead land exists is because certain states want to encourage settlement in order to develop resources on the homesteading land. One example is Iowa, where there are multiple programs promoting homesteading lots. As long as your house plan proposal is accepted, you will be able to gain one of these lots.
Kansas (Atwood, Marquette, and Lincoln.) also creates incentives to bring people to their state by offering homesteading land, especially around cities that are in need of a boost to their economy. In Kansas in 1862, people were allowed to lay claim to a hundred and sixty acres of land so long as they worked on it for at least five years under the Homestead Act.
For another example, in Michigan free land is offered in many areas in return for running a business that creates jobs in the area under the Muskegon 25 program.
Requirements Your Homesteading Land Should Meet
When choosing land to serve as your homestead, there are many requirements that you need to look for. Not all homesteading land is created equal. Even if a particular lot of land is extremely beautiful, if it doesn’t offer much functionality wise it will be difficult to live on.
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is how you will be powering your home. If your land is in a wide open area with enough sunlight or wind, then both solar or wind power are an option. But if your land is in between mountains with dense trees, it may not be so suitable.
It’s also critical that your land have a source of natural water. A nearby lake, river, stream, or an underground well are all viable sources of water that will be safe for drinking and cleaning purposes. If there currently is no natural water source, then have your area tested to see if there is any underground water you can access via drilling your own well.
Your source of water also largely determines how your sewage system will operate. The problem is that the vast majority of homestead land is not located near a sewage facility, forcing you to construct your own septic system. That last thing you want to do is to have to physically carry and dispose of your own waste manually
The next requirement your homestead land must meet is the amount land there is available for farming. To be truly self-sustainable, you have to grow your own crops on your land. This means you must not only have enough land to do so, but the soil must be favorable to crops.
You must, under all circumstances, test your soil before moving into the land. Poor soil will work against you, and furthermore the type of soil on your land will also determine the specific types of crops that you can grow.
Last but not least, your land must also have enough space to raise livestock. Think about the kinds of livestock you want to raise, such as chickens, rabbits, pigs, goats, or cows, and then make sure there’s enough pasture for you to raise those animals
Advantages to Homesteading
Homesteading simply refers to living by self-sustaining yourself on your property. There are many different ways that you can pursue homesteading, but the fundamentals and advantages of it remain the same.
One of those advantages is that you can use renewable energy to power your home. Examples include installing solar panels to use the energy from the sun, turbines to use wind power, or hydropower if you have a running stream or river nearby.
Another advantage is that you will be able to sustain yourself with your own food. You can grow large gardens to provide you with crops and raise livestock such as chickens, rabbits, or cows.
In essence, homesteading simply offers you more control over your life. You will be less dependent on having to pay bills each month or making weekly trips to the grocery store, and be able to control your own lifestyle choices.
Disadvantages to Homesteading
But while the advantages to homesteading do give you more control and freedom in regards to your lifestyle, that doesn’t mean that restrictions or disadvantages don’t exist that you need to take into account as well.
One such disadvantage is that having a homestead will not qualify you for Medicaid protection and with that, you also won’t qualify for state confiscation protection acts that exist under the Medicaid program as well.
Another disadvantage is that you will still have to pay estate and property taxes, and if you don’t pay your mortgage on time, there are very limited protections to stop the bank from foreclosing on your home. The protections vary by state, but most states are limited.
As it stands, states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have virtually no homestead protection laws, while Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia have moderate protection laws. Fortunately, states such as Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas have stronger homestead protection laws.
Finally, something else that you need to consider is that homesteading protection laws in the states that do have them mostly only apply to primary residences. This means your homesteading land must be your primary residence, or else you will have to give up homesteading protection.
Being able to get free land is a dream for many people, and while no land is truly free, there are still many incentives offered that make the land as free as possible. This makes ‘free’ land a perfect chance for those who have dreamed of homesteading to finally do so.
As long as you look in the right place and look for the right qualities in the land, you’ll be able to make your dream become a reality. With the information that you have learned in this article, you’ll be able to do exactly that.