13 places to get free land in the US

13 places to get free land in the US

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At a time when becoming a homeowner or landowner seems out of reach for many people, it may surprise you that there are ways to get land for free in the US. But it’s true – you can!

Of course, there are a few caveats:

You often have to meet certain requirements to get the land for free. The land can be restricted to certain uses (sometimes you can live there, sometimes you can start a business) and you need savings and plans to build. You can’t expect the most amazing plots in the hottest metropolitan areas (but you can find decent ones in small towns)

Let’s dive into your options for free land in the United States!

Where can you get free land in the US?

The short answer: You can find free land offers in small towns and rural communities trying to attract more people or businesses.

Sometimes you need to use the land for a primary residence (usually of a certain size, within a certain timeframe, and meeting other requirements). In other cases, the free land is designated for commercial use, so you must use it to start a business. Or there may be vacant land available for community development purposes (e.g. conversion to a community garden).

The long answer? Check out the cities below where you can find free land programs in the US!

Free land in Colorado

Flagler, Colorado: Colorado is a popular state, but most people think of areas like Denver and Boulder – not Flagler, a small town 120 miles east of Denver. The free land here is aimed at business owners, and the amount of land you can get depends on how many jobs your business can bring to town. More details can be found here.

Free land in Iowa

Manilla, Iowa: Get a free lot to build a single family home in this small Iowa town. Twelve houses have already been built as part of this program, with more available for the second phase. More details can be found here.

Free land in Kansas

Lincoln, Kansas: Free residential lots are available to build new homes in Lincoln. It is an attractive suburban area close to numerous amenities. You must submit plans for your home and proof of financing and a refundable security deposit. More details can be found here.

Mankato, Kansas: Rural life welcomes new homebuilders in this Kansas town of fewer than 1,000 residents. To apply successfully, you need a written agreement with a contractor to start construction within 6 months. More details can be found here.

Osborne, Kansas: Enjoy outdoor living in this quaint small town nestled in the hills along the Solomon River. For residential properties, you must complete construction of your home within one year of approval. There are also commercial properties for companies. More details can be found here.

Plainville, Kansas: Oil workers might be a good fit for this town, located just north of one of Kansas’ largest oil fields. This one has generous time requirements: you have 6 months to find a contractor and 18 months to complete construction. You will be asked to meet with the City Council in person when applying. More details can be found here.

Free land in Nebraska

Capital, Nebraska: New residents receiving land must build a home with a taxable value of at least $100,000. Contact City Hall at 308-946-3806 for more information. Learn more here.

Curtis, Nebraska: Curtis has lots available for both residential and commercial use, so maybe you could relocate and start a business! More details can be found here.

Elwood, Nebraska: Lots are available for new construction. A security deposit of $500 is required but will be refunded upon completion of home construction. Advance payment assistance may also be available. Click for more information here.

Juniata, Nebraska: Free residential lots for new construction are available. Learn more here.

Loup City, Nebraska: Golf courses and fishing lakes are one of the reasons retirees love living here, but the city also wants to attract younger residents and families. For more information, call the Sherman County Economic Development Office at (308) 745-5040 to inquire about the free lottery program.

Free country in New York

Buffalo, New York: This option stands out from the rest because it’s not in a small Midwestern town, but in a Northeastern city. Buffalo’s Urban Homestead program for free land comes in a variety of forms. Current residents may apply for vacant lots adjacent to their property. Aspiring residents can submit plans to build a home on a vacant lot or refurbish an existing structure in an eligible area. More details can be found here.

Free land in Minnesota

New Richland, Minnesota: Minnesota is called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and New Richland has one at St. Olaf Lake. While the lot itself is free to build a home here, you will be priced at around $25,000 to develop your lot with roads, water, sewer, etc. Instead of paying this upfront, you pay taxes annually along with the property. More details can be found here.

Thinking about moving to free land? Which city sounds best to you?

Kate Brown Dollar Sanity

Kate is a writer and editor who runs her content and editing businesses remotely while traveling the world as a digital nomad. So far, her laptop has taken her to New Zealand, Asia and across the US (mainly thanks to credit card points). Years of research and ghostwriting on personal finance led her to the FI community and co-founder of DollarSanity. In addition to travel and outdoor adventures, Kate is passionate about finance, compound interest and impeccable grammar.

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