Free Land
Updated March 03, 2023

Discovering the Possibility of Free Land: Is It Really Possible?

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You might assume that most or all of the land in the United States is already owned, but the truth is that there is free land available throughout the country. Once you know how to get free land, you’ll be able to find options in a variety of intriguing locations.

In addition to American free land initiatives, there are also real estate opportunities available for under $1000. Either way, you’re getting an extremely affordable piece of land to live on or use as an investment.

This article will cover some of the most attractive areas of the country currently offering free land programs. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about how to claim land for free for either residential or commercial purposes.

Anderson, Alaska

Alaska is one of the most popular states for free and low-cost real estate. If you’re wondering how to get free land in Alaska for residential purposes, Anderson is one of the most exciting options. It’s located in central Alaska just southwest of Fairbanks and has a small population of under 300 people.

Anderson’s free land program is intended to encourage residential development. Homesteaders pay a $500 refundable deposit before receiving their land.

This is an especially good offer for people who want to spend time outdoors and live off the land. If you can put together enough money to develop a home, you’ll receive the land without paying a cent. Anderson requires homesteaders to build a 2000 square-foot home within two years of approval.

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo is one of the largest urban areas on this list, and its $1 land program is relatively exclusive. If you want to build a home on a vacant lot, you’ll need to demonstrate your financial stability and submit a detailed plan including financial estimates and a sketch of the development. Construction must be completed within a year of approval, and you’re required to live in the home for at least three years.

Buffalo is the second-largest city in the state of New York with a population of just over 250,000. It offers the advantages of an urban lifestyle along with proximity to the natural beauty of Niagara falls. You’ll have access to a number of public parks including the unforgettable Olmsted Park.

The city also offers a $1 land opportunity for people who want to fix up an existing home. This program is restricted to individuals with a low to moderate income. Again, applicants need to detail their plans and show that they’re capable of financing the renovation. Upon acceptance, you’ll have eighteen months to complete the repairs.

Camden, Maine

Like Muskegon and Osborne, Camden is a small town interested in providing free land to attract new businesses. Any company that pledges to provide a minimum of 24 well-paying jobs is eligible to apply for the 3.5-acre industrial site.

Each job your business creates must be a full-time position paying more than the county’s average salary ($45,000). That said, this might not be a problem if you can take advantage of the free land.

Camden’s population is estimated at just under 5,000 people, but the town is also a popular tourist destination. It’s just 90 minutes away from Portland, Maine’s largest city and economic center.

Camden’s program is intended to support environmentally friendly businesses, so they’re more likely to accept companies with sustainable practices. It’s a scenic area with lots of natural beauty, and the town provides things like power, internet, and water. Camden is one of the most attractive places in the United States for people interested in free commercial land.

Curtis, Nebraska

Curtis is a small community in southwestern Nebraska offering free land for both residential and commercial purposes. They’re attempting to grow the area’s economic base and are willing to work with new settlers.

The town has been providing lots for people interested in how to claim land for free for more than ten years. Residential lots are available in two different subdivisions. There are also two locations for commercial land including attractive lots downtown and an industrial park close to the town’s airport.

Curtis also offers additional benefits to attract new residents. Families can earn $500 in incentives in exchange for putting a child in public school, and that rises to $750 and $1000 for two and three children, respectively. Businesses also have access to startup funds to help them invest in the region. Homeowners and entrepreneurs should consider contacting Curtis, Nebraska for free land.

Elwood, Nebraska

Elwood offers free residential lots in a subdivision known as Wheatfield Addition. The homes are adjacent to a public swimming pool as well as the local school. Each lot is 100 by 115 feet, giving you all the space you need to build a beautiful home.

Aside from a $500 refundable deposit, you won’t pay a single cent for your land in Elwood. To qualify, you’ll have to apply using the town’s Building Permit application. In addition to getting back your deposit, you’ll also receive a down payment for 10% of your home’s value. This makes Elwood an extremely lucrative location for homesteaders looking to save money.

Elwood requires each new home to have a two-car garage and at least 1400 square feet, and you’ll need to move in within two years. Sewer and water lines are already in place.

Six of fifteen lots have already been claimed, so don’t hesitate to check out Elwood’s website. It’s a beautiful location with one of the best offers on this list. Not only do you know how to claim land for free, you’ll be able to get back 10% of your investment.

Flagler, Colorado

Like Anderson, Flagler is a relatively small town (around 550 people) conveniently located next to a larger city. Denver is only a two-hour drive west, giving you easy access to an urban area while still living in a small town. If you’re looking for how to get free land in Colorado, Flagler is the ideal place to start.

Flagler contains roughly 480 acres of vacant land which the city is offering to businesses in exchange for job creation. You’ll receive acreage based on your demonstrated ability to build in the area, and Flagler has helped companies apply for development grants.

You’ll need to submit a few documents to Flagler in order to apply for free land. The application asks for a description of the business plan including information about any competing companies in the region. As with other free land programs, you’ll also have to demonstrate that you have the money necessary to carry out your vision. Flagler is looking for people who can bring jobs to the area and make currently vacant land more profitable for the town.

Lincoln, Kansas

Lincoln, Kansas is a relatively small town, but it’s also significantly larger than some other areas with free land. With a population of around 1200 people, you’ll have everything you need to live comfortably. The city is just a few miles off Interstate 70, giving you easy access to the rest of the state.

Lincoln also offers a number of attractive amenities for both individuals and families. In addition to a beautiful golf course and large shopping center, the town recently built a brand-new junior-senior high school.

The lots are located close to the city center and range from roughly 12,000 to 36,000 square feet. The application process is relatively simple, and you’ll only need to provide some basic information before demonstrating your financial means and sending the deposit.

Although Lincoln’s lots are smaller than some of the other options on this list, this can also make moving easier since you’ll have less land to manage. It’s a great choice if you’re wondering how to claim land for free in the United States.

Loup City, Nebraska

Loup City is a rural town in central Nebraska offering free land through two attractive programs. In addition to the region’s natural beauty, residents also have access to a golf course, swimming pool, and several recreational areas.

The town’s free land offer started with six lots divided into two sets of three. While all lots are completely free, the Workforce Home program offers $20,000 in down payment assistance to qualified applicants. Interest rates are currently unusually low, so you’ll get a great deal on your new property.

If you can’t qualify for a Workforce Home lot, Loup City is also offering three Market Rate Homes. These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as you can demonstrate the ability to build a home. Residents in the Market Rate Program must pay a $1000 deposit, which stays with the town until you finish building.

Loup City offers convenient amenities for new residents, but the town is also just three hours from Omaha, Nebraska’s largest city and a major economic center. Contact the town now if you’re interested in learning more about either free land program.

Manilla, Iowa

Like some of the other towns on this list, Manilla is a small and quaint location. It’s also relatively close to Des Moines, the state’s capital, and offers an extremely low cost of living. If you’re currently in a densely populated area, you could save a lot of money on everyday expenses.

Manilla has a small population and is looking to expand, so the town is ready to work with homesteaders. They’re setting new residents up with beautiful lots, and you’ll have access to a golf score and other amenities.

While the Manilla website doesn’t provide many details on the free land program, it does express the town’s desire to welcome new settlers. Anyone interested in how to claim land for free should consider Manilla, Iowa.

Mankato, Kansas

Mankato’s free land program is similar to many of the others on this list. As long as you commit to starting construction within six months, you should be able to get a lot at no charge.

The town is part of Jewell County, an area which contains around 3000 people and focuses on agricultural industries. There are currently no assessments against the free lots.

Mankato is located in north-central Kansas near the Nebraska border. It’s roughly equidistant from three major Midwest cities: Wichita, Omaha, and Kansas City. Mankato’s population is currently estimated at just under 900.

The town’s website reports that there are currently 26 lots available on the community’s east side. Interested parties are required to complete an application including details on personal information and development plans. You’ll also need to show proof of an agreement with a contractor to start building your home within six months.

Once you’ve received approval, you’ll have two years to finish your new home. Each house must be at least 1200 square feet, not counting any garages, basements, or other auxiliary areas. You’ll also need to construct overhangs of a minimum of eighteen inches.

Mankato’s lots are conveniently located close to many of the town’s top destinations including a school, shopping center, and hospital. If you’re interested in relocating to Mankato, check out their website and start working on your application!

Marne, Iowa

Marne is a small town in western Iowa just 45 minutes away from Omaha on the eastern edge of Nebraska. Des Moines, the state capital, is an hour west of Marne. It’s another great idea for anyone interested in how to claim land for free. Their lots average 80 by 120 feet and are wired for internet, cable, and phone service.

Like some of the other towns on this list, Marne requires all applicants to build a home of at least 1200 square feet. You’ll need to finish construction of your new home within 18 months. The application includes plans and specs along with an approximate valuation of the home.

Marne is a business-friendly community with low taxes and crime. With a population of just 120 people, it’s one of the smallest towns with a free land program. If you’re wondering how to claim land for free in a smaller community, check out Marne’s website.

The town is just three miles away from Interstate 80, which runs across the entire United States including Des Moines and Omaha. Settlers will have access to major cities plus the Atlantic municipal airport which runs more than 20 daily flights.

Marquette, Kansas

Marquette is a small town in central Kansas located just over an hour northwest of Wichita. Free land is available in Westridge Addition on the west edge of the city, offering scenic views of the region’s natural beauty.

Marquette is a great place to settle for young families, retired people, and everyone in between. It offers a low cost of living and everything you need for a comfortable life.

Although Marquette itself contains around 600 people, McPherson County has a population of just under 30,000. The city of McPherson is a short drive away if you want to spend the day in town. You could also look for a job in one of several nearby towns.

The free lots range from 11,000 to 25,000 square feet, and you can request two adjoining lots if you want more space. You’ll have up to one year to relocate after receiving approval for the free land. Each home needs to be at least 1000 square feet and built on a basement or crawl space foundation.

Westridge lots are subject to special assessments totaling $5437.67. You can finance these costs over up to a 20 year period without going through a credit check. New residents also don’t have to pay building permit or utility hook-up fees.

Muskegon, Michigan

Muskegon is another relatively large town offering free land with a population of just under 40,000. Like in Flagler, Muskegon’s free land program is intended for businesses that can create jobs in the area. Access to cost-free land is a major advantage in any industry, and Muskegon could be a great place to start a new business or expand an existing one.

Residents have access to some of the most interesting and convenient amenities on this list including public transportation, the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and an airport run by United Airlines. Muskegon is also located conveniently close to Grand Rapids, a city of roughly 200,000 people.

Muskegon is also offering additional benefits to tempt new business including tax breaks and lower utility rates. One program offers five acres of land to businesses that create at least 25 jobs, and 30 to those that create at least 100. Another includes 110 acres of vacant industrial land. Muskegon is also part of the Michigan Renaissance Zone, a region with lower taxes than the rest of the state. These are just a few of the reasons why Muskegon is an attractive option for people interested in how to claim land for free.

New Richland, Minnesota

New Richland, a town of roughly 1200 people, is located in south-central Minnesota. It’s only about a 90 minute drive away from the Twin Cities and state capitol, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the midwest.

The town is offering lots measuring 86′ by 133′ to qualified applicants willing to move in within 12 months. You can use the land as collateral for a loan if you need help financing development.

Although users are responsible for water, sewer, curb, and other costs, the total estimated cost is just $25,000. New Richland also offers tax increment financing which brings that number down to $14,000 payable over 15 years. These options are available for two-person families with an annual income under $66,950 and three-person families that earn under $76,993.

New Richland residents have access to a bike trail, golf course, beautiful parks, and other amenities. The town’s website asks people interested in applying to send them an email for more information about the program.

Osborne, Kansas

Osborne is one of the few towns on this list with both residential and commercial free land programs. Its population is around 1300 people, but there is easy access to highways and rail transportation along with a small airport.

Osborne is offering commercial land zoned both for light industrial or general commercial businesses and heavy industrial businesses. The locations are near the eastern edge of the town, conveniently close to the above transport options.

The residential lots are on the west side, and the city expects new residents to build within 24 months. Each home is required to be at least 1,400 square feet on the ground level and contain a basement or crawl space.

The program requires a $500 deposit upfront, which you’ll get back once building is complete. The application process is quick and easy, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet with the city if they like your file.

Osborne provides a revolving loan fund and micro loan program to drive business development. The town also offers property tax rebates for five years to anyone who increases their property value. Osborne clearly wants to encourage development, so it could be the perfect entrepreneurial opportunity.

Plainville, Kansas

Plainville is a small town of roughly 2000 people offering free land to residential applicants. Each lot measures 155 by 93 feet, more than enough space to build a beautiful home and make a comfortable life.

The town is roughly three hours away from both Wichita and Topeka, two of the state’s largest cities. Plainville is located in Rooks County, which has a population of about 5100.

Plainville has already given out some lots, but there is still one available in the original North Addition plus several more in a separate subdivision. Buyers are given six months to find a suitable contractor. From there, you’ll have another six months to start construction and another six to finish development.

The city requires a $500 deposit which you’ll get back after closing on the land. Plainville and the country are trying to attract new residents and are willing to work with you to lower costs. Their Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, for example, offers 50% savings on property taxes over your first ten years.

Plainville’s website asks interested applicants to call now for more information. If you’re wondering how to claim free land, Plainville could be the perfect starting point. You can also use the site to look for job opportunities in the area.

Receiving a free lot is the perfect way to get started toward building your next home, and many of these regions also offer a low cost of living. Don’t hesitate to contact any of these cities if you’re interested in applying for free land.


City State Residential/Commercial Notes
Anderson Alaska Residential $500 refundable deposit
Buffalo New York Residential No deposit needed
Camden Maine Commercial 3.5 acres available for a business that creates 24 or more jobs
Curtis Nebraska Both Financial incentives available for families with children
Elwood Nebraska Residential $500 refundable deposit
Flagler Colorado Commercial 480 vacant acres available
Lincoln Kansas Residential 10-year property tax rebate available
Loup City Nebraska Residential Market-rate and low-income housing available
Manilla Iowa Residential Low cost of living
Mankato Kansas Residential 26 lots available on the east side
Marne Iowa Residential 80′ by 120′ lots available
Marquette Kansas Residential Lots ranging from 11,000 to 25,000 square feet
Muskegon Michigan Commercial Acreage available based on number of jobs created
New Richland Minnesota Residential 86′ by 133′ lots available
Osborne Kansas Both $500 refundable deposit
Plainville Kansas Residential $500 refundable deposit


Alex McOmie

Alex McOmie is a freelance writer for Money Done Right. He joined the Money Done Right editorial team in summer 2019. Learn more about Alex.

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