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Homesteading Today In The USA

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Homesteading today is quite popular, but the roots of homesteading can be traced all the way back to the Homestead Act of 1862.

Often people who want to start homesteading wonder things such as how do I start a self-sufficient homestead, where can I find free property for homesteading or even how much land do I need for a homestead?

Free property for homesteading is out there, but there are a few things you need to be aware of as you will learn below.

Also, keep in mind, choosing the right property is essential to the success of your homestead.

A dairy cow standing near a fence.


Free Property For Homesteading

The Homestead Act of 1862 promised 60 acres of land to families who stayed on the property for five years and farmed it for prosperity.

Although this act was repealed in 1976 by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Alaska’s was extended until 1986.

The good news is, even though the Homestead Act of 1862 was repealed there is still free land being offered in many states for anyone who wishes to take up residence.

Cities and towns are once again resurrecting homestead incentives, but for different reasons.

Instead of trying to populate an area that has never seen activity before, it is now because of the need to populate areas where homeowners and businesses have gone bankrupt and abandoned the location.

In just about every state in America, you can find properties and locations that are being given away for free as long as a few provisions are met.

For example, there might be a requirement that you have a contractor begin building on a lot within a certain amount of time.

In other places the requirements are simply that you must live on the property and it does not matter if you build your own home or have a contractor build it.

Be sure to look into the requirements carefully so you know what to expect before committing to anything.

Some Places Offer A Homesteading Tax Credit Initiative 

Another incentive is the tax break you get from developing one of these properties.

Some cities give a generous 70% tax break for a certain period of time.

Depending on whether it is a home or commercial development, you might even get a higher tax break.

Make sure you understand the tax issues for the property you’re considering purchasing.

Every state has different tax requirements, so while the per acre price might be attractive, it might end up costing more in taxes than if you were to get land in another area where the initial price is higher, but taxes remain low.

A man watering his garden.

Free Property For Homesteading Isn’t Always What It Seems

Keep in mind that not all free property is good property for homesteading.

As a prepper who wants to be self reliant, you can’t just go into any area,  choose a piece of land and consider it worthy of raising a family on.

Even if it is just you and the plan is to live off grid, it is still important to look over the property and make sure of what you are getting before you sign on the dotted line.

Be aware some land might have covenants that will prevent you from doing what you want even though you own it.

Even though free land is tempting, you may end up wanting to pay for your property instead to make sure it has good soil, an ample water supply, and is positioned in a way that enables you to have quick access in and out of your property without being readily found.

It is best to make a list of what you want on the land you own and take that with you for reference when you inspect the property so you don’t get caught up in the excitement of the moment.

A big red barn.

Choose The Right Homestead Property For Your Specific Needs

Take the time to prioritize your needs just like you would if you were paying for the land.

Think about where you will live while you build a home or remodel the existing home.

Are there outbuildings such as a  homestead chicken coop if you plan on raising chickens or a barn for larger livestock and if not, how much will it cost you to build them?

Be sure to figure in both time and materials.

Are there covenants on the land that are going to prevent you from building or prohibit you from using the land the way you want to?

If it’s farming you want to focus on, be sure to secure land with rich, fertile soil that will yield a high harvest from the crops you want grow.

Make sure the area you intend to cultivate gets plenty of sunlight and is not in an area that easily floods.

A homestead in the middle of nowhere.

If your primary concern is isolation, then look for a larger plot of land at a cheaper cost.

Consider how private the property is.

Are there large trees or shrubs that prevent someone driving past from being able to get a clear view of the property?

Land in the south is typically be less expensive than land up north.

Plus the southern states have a longer growing season for those of you who want to farm or simply grow your own food to survive on.

Whatever route you go, if your goal is to live the homesteading lifestyle today, it is possible even if you are living on a budget.

Below are some other posts you are sure to love!

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