These homesteading initiatives offer free land to owners who can build a house and contribute value to the community.
There is nothing as heart-opening and inspiring as freedom: and when conjuring visions of what it could mean to live truly unattached, many people imagine being able to secure a plot of land and live out their lives in rural, environmentally-friendly bliss.
But such a dream is not as easy to create as it might be to conjure. Whether due to job security (we are, after all, the first generation expected to make less than our parents) or lack of ‘knowing’ how to live in harmony with nature, many factors come into play when anticipating living off the grid.
Luckily, though, securing a plot may not be as difficult as once perceived. While many areas of acreage cost thousands to millions of dollars, there do exist a few locations in the United States where you can get homestead-appropriate land for the low price of…well, free!
But although the land many not have a price-tag, there will be stipulations that require you to build a house on the land with your own money. You should be aware that these places are typically “growing communities,” which means there won’t be many other people around… But if you can do without many modern conveniences and enjoy the splendor of nature, one of the three following locations may be the perfect place for your new dream lifestyle!
The Marne Housing and Development Corporation has three lots available for free, to be used as residential space only. That means, though, that the house built needs to be at least 1200 feet and no livestock is allowed. Not exactly ‘perfect’ off-grid existence, but it could be right for someone.
There are many lots in Kansas offering land for free, including Atwood, Marquette, and Lincoln. Each town has its own requirements and the application processes vary, but all are focused on building up their small communities.
This town is a bit different than the others listed, as it is actually seeking new job creation, rather than a higher population. A program called “Muskegon 25” rewards new and existing industrial businesses in certain “industrial parks” for creating 25 or more full-time jobs.
Qualified businesses will receive a certain number of acres for free industrial property based on how many jobs they create, have their state, local property, and income taxes waived, and receive reduced water and sewer costs. As a kitschy added perk, “businesses” – which here must mean the CEO – will also get a free boat slip or season hockey tickets at the local arena.
If you’re an eco-conscious entrepreneur, Michigan may be the state calling to you.
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