Many Western and Midwestern communities offer free land to potential newcomers. Before you jump in, here's what you need to know.
There is no free federal government land in the United States. If someone wants your money to put you in touch with listings of free federal land, you might as well put your money down on a bridge in Brooklyn buy some swampland in Florida. What you can still find in the United States is free municipal land. Cities with declining populations and commercial bases are often willing to grant free lots to modern-day pioneering families. Almost 150 years after the Homestead Act, there is still free land in America. It's not called Indian Territory anymore, but for the most part it's Midwestern states such as Nebraska and Kansas.
Start With an Internet Search
Run an internet search for free+residential+lots or free+commercial+lots. This will pull up some cities in the United States currently seeking to encourage new residents to move in. In most cases, these cities have declining populations and tax bases. They need new residents who will grow and revitalize their cities by bringing their families and potential commercial growth.
Consider the Offer
Decide if you could live in the city offering the free lot. Consider visiting the city. It may sound like a dream come true to have a city give you a free lot of land for your house. But these cities do this because most of their residents, particularly the younger ones, are moving out. There's a reason for that. Make sure you could live, work and raise a family in this city.
Read the Fine Print
Each city offering free lots has specific promises you must make to claim the lot. In most cases, you must contract with a specific developer within six months to build a house on the lot within one year and you will move in within two years. There may also be size requirements for the house you will build. Read the contract and understand what you would be agreeing to. Consider having a lawyer look over the contract.
Consider Other People's Stories
Consider the stories of other people who have taken advantage of these offers, so you'll know what you're getting into. For examples consider one family's move to North Dakota or another's move to Ellsworth, Kansas and consider how their experiences might apply to your potential move.
Sign the Contract
Sign the contract and abide by its rules. In most cases, you will begin by signing a contract with the housing developer within six months of inquiring about the lot.