Go west, young homesteader to find free land for a homestead. Or East. Or North. Or South.

While the US government doesn’t give away free land for a homestead any more, there are states and cities that do give away free land to encourage declining economies and to encourage population growth.

I’ve done some research for you, and found a number of locales that offer free land.

Start Your Homestead Today

(Want to check out more land opportunities? I can help! Check out my resource, Homestead On! here.)

As you read this, remember that you can homestead anywhere, even in Brooklyn, NY, so don’t be discouraged by some of the locations.

Solar Panel

These plots of land are free for those who qualify, and some come with restrictions or covenants. 


If you are willing to make some concessions on your homestead, there’s a lot of opportunities out there!

If you’re looking to purchase inexpensive land for a homestead, there’s an alternative at the end of this article.

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New Richland, Minnesota 

If you can handle the very cold winters, there’s a free lot up for grabs in New Richland, MN that might make a perfect homestead.

In New Richland, you must build your homestead within 1 year, and you will be assessed the costs to develop the land with streets, curb, gutter, water and sewer.

There are additional requirements, and the city of New Richland encourages you to contact them directly.

If you're looking for free land to start a homestead, this article will tell you where to find free land, and exactly how to apply for it. From FrugalChicken

Mankato, KS

In Mankato, KS you can qualify for free land for a homestead as long as you meet the minimum requirements.

Mankato is a city of around 900 people in a county that has a population of around 3000 people, and the major industries in the area is agriculture, health care, and outdoor hunting and fishing.

There are currently 20 free lots available in this Kansas town (current as of 4/17/18), and there are no assessments against the lots at this time.

You will have to have your homestead completed within 2 years, and your home will need to be a minimum of 1200 sq. ft.

You can contact the City of Mankato at 785-378-3141 for additional requirements. 

UPDATE: As of 4/17/18, the City of Mankato does not allow livestock such as goats and chickens in their town limits. However, you can still homestead by finding local farms that sell goat milk and free range organic eggs, and preserve them by making cheese and preserving eggs in lime water – you might even be able to barter for those goods.

The city administrator did not mention any limitations against gardening so you can likely still grow as many fruits and vegetables as your plot allows and can your harvest or preserve your vegetables and herbs in another way.

Marne, Iowa

In Marne, Iowa, there’s 3 lots of land left for homesteaders that meet their requirements. You must build a house that’s at least 1200 square feet, and your house must be completed within 18 months of acquiring the lot.

If you want chickens or goats, though, this one’s not for you – they strictly forbid livestock of any kind. They don’t restrict gardens, however.

View the details and additional requirements here.



Marquette, Kansas

The town of Marquette in Kansas has several free lots available for a homestead.

Marquette is known for its family-oriented, small town community.

If you’re selected to have a free lot, you will be expected to build a home on the land, and become a permanent member of the community.

If your free plot of land doesn’t have room for a garden, don’t worry: the town has established and fully supports community gardens!

It’s rare to find a town so actively involved in community gardens, making this small Kansas town really stand out.

Curtis, Nebraska

If Kansas isn’t your thing, Curtis, NE boasts 2 separate subdivisions with free plots available to would-be residents who qualify and build their homestead within a specified period of time.

Although their website doesn’t have much information about the free land up for grabs, you can view plenty of photos and contact the town at rollnhills@nebnet.net for more information. 

Lincoln, Kansas

Imagine a 720 square mile county with buffalo, farm animals, and other wildlife scattered across a picturesque hillside homestead.
In Lincoln, Kansas, you can get free land where you can build a garden and homestead in a suburban setting.
Lincoln has 3500 residents and no serious crime.
Lot sizes vary between 12,000 square feet to 36,000 square feet (that’s almost an acre), and all lots qualify for their 10 year tax rebate program.
You will need to complete your new home within 18 months of receiving your free land.
Keep in mind, too, you cannot keep livestock on your property, so gardens only.
If you're looking for free land to start a homestead, this article will tell you where to find free land, and exactly how to apply for it. From FrugalChicken
Lincoln, KS


Looking for inexpensive land?

Free is great, but what if you want to move to a more exotic locale or object to restrictions on your land?

The great state of Alaska routinely offers land for sale.


You can make a sealed bid on an Alaskan homestead (there’s one going on right now!!), join a remote cabin stake drawing where you can homestead, or buy land over the counter.

While these plots aren’t free, there are less restrictions and requirements once you do own the land.

You will probably be able to have livestock, and there are fewer (if any) building requirements.

Plus, you might get to look at this all day:

If you're looking for free land to start a homestead, this article will tell you where to find free land, and exactly how to apply for it. From FrugalChicken

Pretty awesome, right? Now go forth, homesteader. A lifetime of growing tomatoes and tending fruit trees awaits.

I’d love to hear from you!

Where would you like to start a homestead?

homestead on adHelp me improve this resource by taking my homesteader’s survey (only 2 questions!)!



Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category.  Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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      1. You have brought a spark of hopes and dreams back inside of me! Do you know of anything south?…like new mexico or Arizona? I live in Colorado; been a mountain Billie most of this life and have lived off the land for quite some time. I would even stay in the state if it was a little further south

        1. Nothing in those areas came up. Here’s the thing though – while it’s nice having your own land to work with, the truth is you can homestead anywhere. There’s a ton of skills you can learn, and although I’m not sure where you’re at in Colorado, you can always source local, fresh produce to can, and you can make a ton of homemade cheeses using store milk. It’s about making do with what you have.

          I know that’s not a very satisfying answer, but as someone who lived in a condo in DC for years, I wish I had known about these things when I was stuck there. It’s always a good time to prepare and learn homesteading skills – when you do have a farm of your own, you’ll be so busy with other stuff (like animals that get sick) that trying to learn skills at the same time can get overwhelming. I hope that helps!

          1. Maat, dude you’re the best. First time in 21 years I feel I can breathe and have hope. However I have a query, I am on disability, legally blind, reduced to nothing. Need to get out of CA and have no where to go. Have a pup tent and that’s it. How can I start over and where. Know how to plant and envision a greenhouse and regular garden, would like some hens for eggs. Used to cold climate and hot. Worked fishing industry and farming. Have one child and adult now. Want to be self sufficient as much as possible but be able to get from A to B using my legs or a bike. Need an extra room for child to visit sometime! Any idea how to get funding to build a house and get going? Long shot I know. Thanks, wonderful article.

        2. To Wanda McCrumb: I am in Az. Apache County, Navajo County that form several small AG towns (Show Low, St. Johns, etc), have little or no restrictions. Land is cheap and alternative building is allowed. We are in the mountains at 6,000 feet and LOVE IT! We almost ALL homestead here 🙂

  1. I live in Kansas and have heard of 2 of these towns! I had no idea this was available and it is really interesting!! What a great option for some people!

  2. Love this. Makes me sad though because I was trying to move to Kansas by this Spring and take up an opportunity like this. However, my husband’s not as adventurous as me. He was dragging his feet on the idea and then we had a family tragedy last Spring and it essentially cancelled all exciting plans probably forever. 🙁 A little bitter this morning because I haven’t finished my coffee! —BUT, I seriously love opportunities like this! I was always nervous about moving to Kansas or anywhere in Tornado Alley because I only have experience surviving blizzards. (piece of cake) Thanks for sharing! <3

    1. Glad you like it. Tornadoes, I think, are worse than hurricanes or earthquakes, but luckily don’t happen that often. Sorry to hear about your loss, it looks like there will be opportunities in the future, so I’m sure all isn’t lost.

      I’m writing a post that will answer common urban homesteading questions, so that article might have some inspiration for you!

    2. monicageglio, don’t give up on your dream. Just keep trying. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers for you and your family.

  3. Great article I am dieing to realize my dream of a 5 acre sustainable farm for my family. I want it with bees goats chickens and gardening. Fruits veg. And everything. Do you know if florida has any opportunities?

    1. Thanks, glad you like the article! Unfortunately, nothing in Florida came up in my research.

  4. I find this interesting seeing my family and I are moving across country. I will have to search to see if there is any thing like this in Pa. Where did you look or did you just google it?

    1. I used Google for the most part, but I tried to search by state. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great research! Thanks for sharing. It was always a dream of mine to homestead. But I am old now, and can’t do the work anymore. But I sure am glad there are people out there just like you who do homesteading. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Patti. Have you tried homesteading where you’re at? What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?

  6. my son and i are in the market, and not exactly rich…but i want to be self sufficient and have been wanting to garden again so bad. funny…i LIVE in New Richland, and i want OUTTA here. i’ve been looking at north IL and southern WI and dont have the $…gee, wouldn’t free be nice! =D

  7. If you want to enter the cabin site drawing you have to live in Alaska for a year before you are eligible. Also, keep in mind that there is no easy transportation, a box of cereal will cost you $25 and there is a real short growing season.

    1. Yes, that’s true, but I know homesteaders based in Alaska who are making it work very well.

    1. Hi Joey, thanks for the comment. I know plenty of people who are full blooded Native Americans who own their properties.

  8. Would like to know the wording you use to search or where to go in the counties to find out? What do we need to ask?

    1. Hi Rg, not sure I understand your question. There’s links in each section to the town websites.

  9. This article is so crazy inspiring!! I am going to literally look into some of these options all because of you! Thankyou ha ha

  10. I signed up for the free guide but didn’t get it. After leaving my email it just took me to a page that said thanks for signing up.

    1. Hi Wendy – thank you for letting me know. The automatic email that should have sent it was paused. I restarted it, so it should come to you by email immediately. Please let me know if it doesn’t arrive at editor@thefrugalchicken.com and I’ll send it to you personally. I apologize for the inconvenience! Maat

  11. that was a good article, but sadly i’m hoping for land in the woods, away from civilization. I only have enough money to buy lumber for a small house and supplies, luckily I have a lot of outdoor skills, like hunting and tracking, gardening, building, making fires, etc. I just love the wild, it’s where I feel the most comfortable and free.

    1. Hi Caleb, thank you for your comment. You can find raw land in the woods for fairly cheap per acre in places like Arkansas, if you’re willing to move. Hope that info helps you out a bit.

  12. Hi Maat, as a UK citizen do I have any chance to get this kind of land? I am jack and master of all trades, you name it, with proven record on independend tradesman websites about my work and character, kitchen fitting, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, full scope solar PV panels, hunter, can produce my own susages, preparing any kind pickles, meat or food.

    Unfortunately could not get to property ladder after my divorce and with 53 pretty much stucked.

    do you have any aces in your sleeves or any light at the end of tunnel?

    Cheers wish you all the best, keep doing great job.

    1. Hi Ivan, glad you like the article. I’m not really sure, your best bet would be to contact the towns individually. I do know people who have purchased land in the US who aren’t US citizens but I don’t know if the programs in each town have restrictions like that.

  13. Maat, I’m a single 67-yr-old female with extremely limited resources, who is living in the 1-br apartment in central Florida, where I moved (from northern NH) with my husband (who left me 11 years ago). I begin a new, part-time job tonight, after being unemployed for nine months! My rent has increased so much in the fourteen years that I’ve lived here ($450 to nearly $900./month) that I am seriously considering moving to an off-grid, tiny house or below ground “earthship” as soon as possible. During our 25 NH years we had a 5-acre homestead with a huge garden + herb garden, chickens (for meat & eggs), goats (for milk & meat), rabbits, geese and 1 pig each year from which I made sausage that was stored in the deep freeze in our root cellar. It is my desire to get back to homesteading (on a smaller scale, of course, considering my age), but with my ridiculous rent payments quickly eating up my savings, I have a serious dilemma in trying to figure out just how that can happen. . . . . Any ideas?

    1. This is just my advice, and bear in mind I don’t really know the particulars of your situation. Land is fairly cheap in the midwest and South (southern Florida being the exception), and I believe in just doing things. For years, I debated about whether to move to a farm, and was exactly in your position I owned my condo, but I had these ridiculous HOA fees that were the same as my mortgage and it was just this constant round robin. One day, I had enough and just bought the farm. Things worked out in the end because I was committed to staying here. I look at those years in a condo as a sinking ship. The mortgage was the same, but there was no cap to whatever fees the HOA wanted to charge. There’s land in the Midwest that’s cheap, and there’s fewer zoning restrictions than in Florida, and most people are used to the country way of life. That’s just my 2 cents though.

  14. Is there anything in North Carolina? We’re hoping to move there some day and free land would be wonderful.

    1. I haven’t found anything in that area yet that’s free. In my book, Homesteading On (you can find it under “Products”) there’s information about where to find homesteading opportunities in different states.

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