The 13 Places in the U.S. Offering Free Land
Free land and the option to build a brand new home?! Sounds like a win-win, right? There must be a catch (or two, or three…)
The Iowa town of 120 people is offering a free lot for anyone willing to build a new home. It’s a far cry from the most expensive homes in each state. It’s part of an effort to maintain or grow the town’s tax base while tearing down dilapidated homes. The offer of the free lot comes with the stipulation that a home must be at least 1,200 square feet. Get an application at the city’s website.
Marquette, Kansas may be one of the town’s offering free lots that has seen its population increase. The population rose by nearly 100 between 2000 and 2010. It started giving away lots in 2003 on 50 acres of former farmland. In less than a year 21 of the lots were claimed.
The house must be at least 1,000 square feet, assessments for water lines and streets have to be paid but they can be billed with property taxes over 20 years. It’d be great if you could plop down a tiny home on one of these lots, like one of the coolest tiny homes in each state, but the square footage requirement prohibits that. Find out more at the town’s website.
Photo: Courtesy of Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Lincoln, Kansas boasts a population of 1,297, according to the 2010 census and is the county seat of Lincoln County. Among the town’s offering free land, it’s got a lot of attractions like a movie theater, art center, historical museum and a golf course.
The town started offering free land back in 2004 to the first 21 applicants who qualified but only one had taken a lot as of 2012. Check out the complete details here. Maybe trying to live free can’t be done, though you could try living on the water in one of these adorable houseboats you can rent on Airbnb.
New Richland, Minnesota
The city of New Richland, Minnesota is offering free 86-foot by 133-foot lots to those who intend to build a new home within a year of the city deeding the property to them. There are a few catches. The city will assess the owner for part of the cost of the streets, curbs, water and sewer installation. Better yet, some lenders will allow the free land as equity for a home construction loan. And if you build your own place, you won’t have to worry about the secrets the home could be hiding like these 25 houses that are holding secrets.
New Richland is a community of about 1,200 people and boasts a K-12 school district, golf course, lake and other amenities. Learn more here.
Photo: Via city of New Richland
The city of Beatrice, Nebraska established a homestead act back in 2010 to commemorate the town’s history, which was one of the first to have some one claim land as part of the 1862 Homestead Act. Beatrice has a national monument on the site of the land Daniel Freeman claimed back in 1863 when the act first took effect.
The town includes a speedway, theater and the county museum.
The 2010 move gave away three city lots with the understanding that someone must get a building permit within six months of having their application approved, build at least a 900-square-foot house within a year and they must live in the house for three years. It all might be better than trying to renovate one of these 50 house begging to be restored.
Mankato started offering free 26 lots back in 2006 in the community of a little more than 900. The lots do not include assessments but the home has to be at least 1,200 square feet. See how you can add square footage to your home without breaking the bank. For all the details, check them out here.
The free land in Osborne, a town of 1,431 people is near the geodetic center of the U.S., which means it’s the reference point from all locations in the U.S. were measured from. So those seeking their path to free land will want to know that construction of a new home must be completed within a year of application approval and the home will need to be a minimum of 1,400 square feet. Who knows, maybe that’s enough to make it feel like you’re living in one of these 50 extremely remote castles.
Plainville, Kansas has offered up free lots around 155 feet wide and 93 feet deep for people whose application is approved and enter into an agreement with a building contractor in six months and construction takes place within a year of the agreement. There is also a rebate on property taxes on the new house over a 10-year time. Those who want to build won’t have to pay additional assessments either. Ever wonder what your property taxes go toward? Hint, it’s not just schools and government.
Curtis has 11 lots available in its Roll’n Hills addition in the town of nearly 1,000 that is described as Nebraska’s “Easter City” because it presents an annual pageant on Palm Sunday. The town houses the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, boasts a nine-hole golf course and a movie theater. There are also an additional eight lots available near the golf course. If you don’t feel like traveling to the golf course to work on your game, add a backyard putting green like one of these incredible designs. You’ll feel like you’re at the US Open.
Who says you have to be the first one to have a good idea? Claremont, Minnesota admittedly borrowed the idea of free lots from New Richland when it implemented its program. It’s pretty similar to New Richland’s but it has a few more stipulations like an income level that determines whether someone can receive a free lot or a $9,500 lot. Check out all the fine print at Claremont’s website.
Photo: Via Jason Rathburn/Flickr
Elmwood, Nebraska still has nine lots available for free. Six have already been claimed and built on. Sewer and water lines are already in place, a minimum 1,400-square-foot house must be built within two years.
Flagler has around 480 acres available to businesses willing to locate there. The amount of land available for a business is determined by how many jobs it will create. The town has a population of approximately 650 and is 110 miles east of Denver. There is a nine-hole golf course, two parks, theater and several businesses.
If you’re home is your castle, maybe you want to add a title to your name. You can become a lord or a lady in Scotland for less than $50.
Loup City, Nebraska
Loup City in central Nebraska has four lots available for free, provided an applicant meets all the conditions. The conditions are a little more complex than other offers because it’s income based but you can read all the fine print here.