How to Find Free Land

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Cities and counties including Buffalo, Minnesota; several counties in northwest North Dakota; and Kansas have homestead programs in which you can receive free land. Some cities also offer free land to businesses. In some cases, a city or county will abate your property taxes for a specified period.Is there a catch? Usually, there is. These programs may require that you build your primary home on the free land within a specified time deadline. Some homestead programs require that the land you are homesteading be within a specific school district. Additionally, you must usually qualify for a home loan (if you aren’t paying the full cost of building your home).

  • Obtain a copy of your credit report from at least one major credit-reporting agency. Dispute any derogatory listings that are incorrect. Correcting a credit-report entry can take up to 30 days.

  • Locate free-land homestead programs. See Resources for links to some of these homestead programs.

  • Contact a lender in the city or county where you will be applying for a homestead and pre-qualify for a home loan sufficient to allow you to build your home on the free land.

  • Execute a written homestead agreement with the city or county where the homestead property is located.

  • Meet all of the conditions outlined by the respective city or county. You will then be required to sign a homestead agreement. Most homestead programs require that you build your house within 12 months from the date of executing the homestead agreement. There may be additional requirements; for example, the home value may be need to be over a certain price, or the house may have a minimum square footage.

  • Start construction of your house within the requisite time period. Usually, the time period for starting or finalizing construction of your home is between six months and one year.

  • Move in and start enjoying your new free land and new home.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you breach the homestead agreement, you may be required to leave your house as well as suffering financially. One ramification can include having to pay previously abated property taxes.

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