Homestead Act of 1862, Free Land

Did you know you can get free land?

Sounds unbelievable, right?

I mean who, in this day and age, would give out free plots of land. Well, the answer to that question can be traced back to 1862.

Are you familiar with the Homestead Act of 1862?

If you recall your American history, the Homestead Act was a law that gives free land to anyone who’s willing to move west and till the land for five years.

This law was in effect for over a hundred years. The last claim was approved in 1988.

Today, you can still take advantage of free land. However, please note that the land is subject to different requirements before it can be given out for free.

But that’s free land for you. So it pays to study and learn about the details. Put in some time to research to see what you need to do to get free land.

Wondering how to get free land?

Let’s get started, beginning with the law that governs homesteading land for free.

Table of Contents

Here’s A Brief Overview Of The Homestead Act.

On May 20, 1862, the Homestead Act became effective into law. This facilitated the settlement in the western region of the U.S., allowing Americans to put up claims for up to 160 acres of free land.

As a result, the law paved the way for small-time farmers to enjoy grants of free land.

When the Civil War ended, there were around 15,000 homestead claims, and more followed thereafter.

Eventually, the then U.S. government approved over 1.6 million claims, comprising about 420,000 square miles or 10 percent of all government-held property.

During its entire effectivity, there were more than 200 million acres of land granted to recipients under the Homestead Act. The last approved claimed was in 1988 for 80 acres of land situated in Southeastern Alaska.

The Spirit Of Granting Homesteading Land Lives On.

Want tips on how to live cheaply?

Perhaps you might want to consider moving out of the city.

There are many small towns in the rural countryside that still give out free or nearly free lands.

However, if you’re interested, you may still need to conduct your own due diligence. A lot of lands in good locations have been scooped up.

So while there is no shortage, you might want to keep your eyes open for bogus land transactions.


Here are the places you should start looking:

1. Lincoln, Kansas

This picturesque town is located in Central Kansas and is about an hour away from Wichita. With a population of 3,500, Lincoln features rolling hills and a quaint little downtown.

For over a decade, the local government is trying to entice more people to live in the town, offering lower property taxes.

Wondering what to expect in Lincoln?

You can look forward to peaceful suburban lots in this charming town. Plus, the offered lots are near the town’s baseball field. There’s also a golf course and a couple of major shopping centers nearby.

The utilities are already set in place. The streets, gutters, and curbs are also completed. All that is left for you is build your own home.

To learn more about this program, check out the town’s website.

2. Marquette, Kansas

This small town is another gem in Kansas. It’s a peaceful place that lies in the heart of America.

If you’re looking for a wonderful neighborhood to raise a family, you’ll love Marquette. The peace and order situation in the area is excellent. Plus, it has a great school system.

Marquette also has beautiful rolling fields and open views of the sunset. In addition, this quiet town features a new suburban-style development. It’s definitely an appealing, family-friendly prospect.

Interested in applying for free homestead land in Marquette?

Here’s the deal:

You need to start building your home within 180 days from getting the land and complete it within a year. There are also residential design standards and occupancy requirements to comply.

To learn more about this, visit the town’s website.

3. Mankato, Kansas

Mankato is a city with a small-town feel. It lies in Jewell County, Kansas, and has a population of only 900.

But what’s great about this little city is that everything’s near. You’re close to the school and hospital; restaurants and the shopping center too.

Are you looking to move into this pleasant city?

There are certain requirements you need to comply to get land for free.

You need to start constructing your home within six months from getting the lot. You have two years to complete the construction, counted from the acquisition of the land.

In addition, the size of your home shouldn’t be less than 1,200 square feet. This excludes the basement or garage if there are any.

For more information about Mankato’s free government land for homesteading, check out the city’s website.

4. Osborne, Kansas

Did you know Osborne offers free land for both residential and commercial uses?

Plus, it also puts up low-interest loans and other business incentives. This is to entice people to bring commerce into the city and increase its economic activity.

However, to get hold of the land, the City of Osborne requires a deposit of $500. This amount will be returned to you upon the completion of your new home.

You need to construct your home within 12 months after acquiring the land. In addition, you also need to move in within 24 months.

As for the structural requirements, your home needs to be at least 1,400 square feet.

Would you like to learn more about this free land program?

Check out Osborne’s website.

5. Plainville, Kansas

Did you notice Kansas keeps on popping on this list?

Situated in Rooks County, the City of Plainville has a population of 2,000 and is looking to grow its community. So it’s offering free land within its territory.

The offered lot is 155 feet wide by 93 feet deep.

To get hold of the land, you need to make a $500 deposit. And just like the City of Osborne, Plainville will return the amount once the lot is conveyed to you.

For the structural requirements of your home, Plainville doesn’t allow mobile homes. All homes must have a foundation. The construction needs to be completed within 18 months from the time the ownership of the land is handed over to you.

Check out Plainville’s website to learn more about this program.

6. La Villa, Texas

Looking For Free Land In Texas?

This sleepy town is situated in the southern part of Texas.

It’s offering 91 plots of land for residential development.

The land is given for free. However, you need to pay the corresponding property taxes.

In addition, a five-year lien attaches to the lot. Should you sell the property within that period, you will owe the local government a certain amount, which is usually equivalent to the value of the property.

To enjoy this privilege, La Villa has certain income requirements for prospective recipients.

Want to know more about this program?

Get in touch with the South Texas Economic Development Corp. at 956-969-3024.


7. Flagler, Colorado

How About Free Land In Colorado?

Located east of Denver is Flagler. It’s a beautiful town that has good schools and peaceful neighborhood.

Under its free land program, there is an allotment of 480 acres for businesses to establish their shops.

The amount of land that you can get will depend on the number of jobs you can provide for the folks in Flagler.

If you want to check out its land incentive program, visit Flagler’s website.

8. Agate, Colorado

Discover Colorado’s beautiful plains in Agate.

Did you know this town is giving away parcels of its 60-acre property?

Of the people who grabbed the opportunity to own free land, many of them used it to raise livestock and grow crops.

The lot is free. However, you will have to pay the cost of your home’s construction. There’s also a donation of the portion of the crops or earnings thereof to the Meadowlark Cooperative.

If communal life is for you, then you might want to check out this program.

Read the full list of states offering land here at MomsMakeCents