Those Americans who finally get to the point where they can afford the American dream of a house, car, garage, swimming pool, and boat, surrounded by the white picket fence and guarded by the dog, quickly find they are rarely home to enjoy it.
Before too long, even those middle class Americans who caught hold of the American dream realize that there’s no way they can maintain it. The price of real estate is on the rise. This puts Many Americans and especially those with a prepper mindset are purposefully downsizing from the American dream. They are de-cluttering and getting rid of all the material things that they spent hard earned money to get. The new American dream is less material things and more freedom, more time with family, and less time running the rat race of a 9 to 5pm job.
There are actually some ways to get free land, even today. These free lots typically come with their own requirements and are usually done as an incentive to get people to move into communities that are losing or have lost residents. These cities are often underdeveloped so you may not have to pay state income tax or property taxes but you may also be in a town without a gas station for example.
This means the location may not always be one that most people would choose. Many free land parcels are located in very small towns or rural mountain areas which could be a culture shock if you are used to the hustle, bustle, and convenience of big city life.
So here’s a list of where that free land is located. In some cases, the land is a residential lot and comes with its own restrictions including rules about housing size, time to build, whether you can or cannot live in a temporary structure (tent, camper, etc.) while building, and whether or not you can own livestock. Please make sure that you thoroughly check out the requirements, restrictions, and any covenants in place before taking any action.
Alaska remote Recreation Cabin Sites Staking Program was first offered in 2001. This is not free land but it does offer a period of three years where you “lease” the land by making quarterly payments. You have to be a “resident” of Alaska and be selected to “stake a parcel”. Once the parcel you stake out has been surveyed by the Department of Natural Resources, you purchase the parcel at fair market value minus what you’ve already paid in leasing payments. You can find more information by visiting the Department of Natural Resources site for Alaska at http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/landsale/remote_recsites.htm. To see past offerings of Alaskan land visit this website.
In Manilla, Iowa, not far from the county seat of Denison and other metropolitan areas in Crawford County, you can apply for single family residential lots in Sunrise Addition Phase II lots at no cost to you.
Marne, is a very small town found in Cass County, Iowa. With a population of less than 200 people, Marne is welcoming neighbors to build-up its little town. Located approximately an hour west of Des Moines and 45 minutes east of Omaha, available free lots are estimated at 80 x120 feet.
Lincoln, Kansas overlooks the Saline River and features stunning post rock buildings in an area where one of the primary industries is quarrying quartzite. Their free housing sites are investment in the future of Lincoln and are located near a ball field, the newly built junior-senior high school, and the city park. For more information, see their website or call the city at (785) 524-4280.
Mankato, Kansas offers free residential lots in their city of less than one-thousand people. Mankato is located in the county seat of Jewell county, Kansas. With events like an annual Fall Farmer’s Market, Community garden plots and a summer concert series, Mankato focuses on leadership, volunteerism, and agriculture.
Marquette, Kansas is a small town with a population of just over 600 people located in McPherson county, Kansas near the Smoky Hill River. The free building lots are located in Westridge on the western edge of town, the perfect location to view the sunset over rolling fields.
Osborne, Kansas is found along the Solomon River and is a great place for history lovers and nature buffs. Just a little south of the center of the United States, this quiet little town of just under 1500 people offers free home lots through the City’s Economic Development Office.
Plainville, Kansas boasts a population of slightly less than 2,000 residents and is located in Rooks county, Kansas. They offer free homesites to encourage families to join their little town. Plainville boasts its own local library, community pool and playground, and much more.
Washington, Kansas is in the north central area of Kansas. They boast the KSDS which is a training center for service dogs that assist disabled individuals to live a more independent daily life. Their unique playground, Munchkinland, built by members of the community, boasts a walking trail, fishing area, several athletic courts, and a zero-depth entry pool. If approved for one of their free residential lots, you will join their population of approximately 1,200 residents.
Nebraska has a website specifically designed to help you stay up to date on free residential land that is available and who to contact http://nebraskaccess.ne.gov/freeland.asp
Beatrice, Nebraska currently has no residential lots available for free but you can bookmark this website to stay up to date with their homestead program.
Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio. If you can handle living in an area where the weather can change within just five minutes, and need a little more space for farming or other ecological pursuits, you may want to explore more details about the countryside initiatives program. This program offers long-term leasing of land in exchange for your commitment to provide educational services and tours to the community.
Claremont, Minnesota is a very small town in Dodge county. With a population of about 550 during the last census, this tiny town with its ice cream socials, family movie nights, and annual Hogfest is reminiscent of Mayberry. If you’re a family of 3 with an income of under 88,000 you can apply for one of fourteen free residential lots available. For those that need more space than just one lot, adjacent lots can be purchased at under $10,000.
New Richland, Minnesota offers free lots approximately 86’ x 133’ on the northwest side of the city. Boasting a scant 1,200 residents and located in rich farmland of south-central Minnesota, this faith-filled town has a strong focus on agriculture.
Most of these free residential lots are going to be on the smaller side, some lots are only a quarter of an acre, so if you are looking to have a garden, you will need to get creative and use some vertical gardening, permaculture, and companion planting techniques to be able to grow enough to sustain your family.
For those who need more space than some of these free lots have to offer, consider a lease with an option to buy type of property. One great resource which will even connect you with experienced farmers who are looking to pass their skills on to the next generation is NYFarmLink.
If you are one of those who have recently awoken and realized that we need to renovate our idea of the American dream, don’t give up on owning your own land and gardening or homesteading, simply get out there and do your research to find some creative ways to move forward.
There are tons of options out there for you to work less and have more time with family. Perhaps one of these free residential lots can be a stepping stone for you to get closer to the land parcel that you want. Or perhaps you can use one of these to reduce expenses by taking advantage of solar power to either eliminate your electric bill or actually make some money selling electric back to the utility company.
Do you know of any other ways to get free or low-cost land? Share your knowledge in the comments below.