Homesteading and self-reliance

The Top 12 U.S. States for Homesteading

Nadia TamaraA Little Bit of Everything, Homesteading 60 Comments

Homesteading and self-reliance

Homesteading is defined by a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. In an age where technology does most of our thinking, many people are considering changing their ways and living off the land as many of our ancestors did years ago.

Off-grid living is not for everybody because of the amount of physical effort and time that it requires to make everything work. It’s a process of learning to grow your own food, raise animals, create your own energy and waste disposal systems and make anything else you need to survive.

For those who didn’t grow up in a farm-like environment, this will be a huge learning curve. At the same time, a lot of peace comes in knowing that you don’t have to rely on someone else for your survival or your food. It pulls us out of the rat race and helps us live organically.

Homesteading is also not necessarily an individual endeavor. Although some people can live alone for months on end, humans were not created to live in solitary confinement. Many homesteaders create communities with their “neighbors” even if they live miles away from each other.

Thousands of people are migrating to the countryside and turning to this way of living. A good reason to become self-sufficient is that many people spend hours in front of a computer and less time with their families.

Their countless hours of work do no more than provide food for the table and cover the bills, so why not invest that time in making your own food and learning new skills that your family can also participate in? It’s becoming a more authentic way to live, for those who are tired of technology running every part of their lives.

What are the best homesteading conditions?

Many factors can influence your decision on where to settle in for your off-grid journey. Consider what your priorities are in becoming self-reliant.

Are you looking to disappear off the map completely or do you still want to live somewhat near the rest of civilization? Do you want to buy a cheap property with lots of acreage? Or do you want to grow your food in the most favorable conditions?

Answering these questions first will help you narrow down on a state that best meets your wants and needs.

There is not a perfect state or ideal location that provides everything we could possibly want, otherwise all the homesteaders would probably move there! While we may have to give up some desires in exchange for other benefits, there are several options to choose from.

Consider these important factors:

  • Friendly state laws and taxes: Research the state income tax, sales tax, homestead law, and the local laws (pertaining to building codes and such) once you've determined the location you're interested in.

    Most states offer homesteading laws but some are more favorable than others in terms of protection during times of hardship. This is a great resource to help you determine which state has the friendliest homesteading protection laws.
  • The average cost of land: Don’t be immediately fooled by low property costs or land prices. Some states have affordable land but expensive property taxes. Based on the cost of the estate you want to purchase, you can determine if you’re able to afford it once you take into account all the taxes that will get added to it.

    A homestead exemption may be available but it varies from state to state. In some cases, the homesteading exemption may reduce your property taxes. In which the state will oftentimes deduct a percentage of the property’s value.

  • Safety of the land: These are some helpful links to help you narrow down what areas are environmentally safe and which ones aren’t in terms of drought, superfund sites, fracking, and oil refineries at risk. Once you've found an area you're interested in, look into their crime rate statistics as well. 

  • Water availability: Some states are known for having an abundance of water, such as rivers and lakes, whereas others are known for their consistently dry climates. Look for areas that receive generous amounts of annual rainfall.

    State water laws and water rights will vary due to the amount of water that is available in that state and region. You need water to survive so make sure to research the water and rain catchment laws in the states you’re considering homesteading in.

  • Growing food: The main dream for many homesteaders is having the space and freedom to grow their own crops. Not only is this healthier than buying it at the store but homegrown always tastes better.

    Make sure that the place you’re looking to settle into has a climate that has lots of potential for growing food, in other words, a longer growing season and fertile soil. In a temperate climate, you can grow crops for ten months or more.

    Research the types of crops you want to grow and if the climate will work in your favor. For the winter months, a greenhouse might also be a possibility.

    Look into the laws that might affect raising livestock, as different states have varying laws with respect to animals.

  • Homeschooling children: If you plan to raise your family in the countryside, you may need to homeschool them. Visit this page to read about the homeschooling laws in each state.

  • The community: As previously mentioned, homesteaders build communities wherever they go. It’s important to research communities instead of just surveying the land before you decide to buy it.

    Whatever your political and religious views are, you will find yourself at greater peace living within a community that shares similar values. Fitting in amongst the members of the community will serve as a huge advantage to you and improve transitioning into the homesteading lifestyle.

  • Climate: Something to definitely consider is the climate of the town you’re planning to move to. Find a place where the seasons will suit you. Some people love experiencing all four seasons and others, myself included, prefer warm weather all year.

  • You and your family’s health: Health is something extremely important to consider. I do believe that living off the land will improve your health dramatically because you will be eating less produce with pesticides and considerably less processed foods.

    On the other hand, if you live very secluded from civilization your chances of getting to a medical professional quickly in an emergency are unlikely. If you have children and/or pre-existing medical conditions, consider rural areas that have a nearby hospital.

  • Natural disasters: Every state is prone to natural disasters, but some have a higher average than others. While researching where the best place to start your homestead is, learn about the natural hazards that affect that state specifically. Here you can find a list of states which highlight the main disasters affecting each. 

  • Beautiful landscapes: If you’re going to be in an off-grid location, you might as well enjoy the view. Every state has its unique beauty and natural resources. Picking a homesteading location based on landscape depends on what kind of scenery you prefer.

The good news is that you can make homesteading work in almost every state if you are determined enough to do it.

Thoroughly researching and getting a feel for the rural town you’re considering settling in will open your mind to the advantages and disadvantages that are present there.

No place is going to be perfect and every place will offer a different set of challenges, but overcoming those challenges is part of the fun of living off the grid, is it not?

It’ll make a big difference in your experience if you know what to expect before you settle there permanently.

Top 12 homesteading states

These are some of the states considered to be the best for homesteading in the United States.

12. Alaska

Homesteading and self-reliance

Alaska has a low population density and is mostly a solitary state where it becomes a true relationship between you and the wilderness. To give you some perspective, the 2000 census revealed that nearly 95% of Alaska's 665,400 square miles had no permanent population.

Some locations are so remote that you can only arrive by plane. I’m not necessarily suggesting going that far but if pure solitude is what you’re looking for, there’s no better place than this. This longed-for peace comes at a price because the winters are very harsh and demanding.

It’s probably a good idea to spend a year living in Alaska before deciding to move there full time. People that are not used to the change in climate often underestimate the struggles they will later face surviving the winter.

It would also help to talk to the locals who have spent their entire lives under those harsh conditions and can surely offer you better advice than anyone else. In any case, Alaska boasts some of the most untouched natural beauty in the US.

11. Wyoming

Homesteading and self-reliance

Wyoming will give you the feeling that you’re living in the early time of the settlers or cowboys. The small population and wide open spaces are perfect for nature lovers who are seeking solitude.

It’s a very diverse state offering resources in ranching and farming, although homesteading hasn’t completely caught on just yet.

The negative thing about Wyoming is the harsh winters which can make the growing season short and difficult. This is a state where you’re probably gonna want to build a greenhouse.

10. Arizona

Homesteading and self-reliance

Arizona lies in a desert. New farmers may have a hard time growing their food here, but it's not impossible. It’s one of the best choices out of all 50 states in terms of buying the cheapest land.

If you’re on a homesteading budget look no further than this but first, check with the local city laws to ensure you will be allowed to build your dream self-sustainable home. Some laws could be strict depending on what you’re envisioning creating.

Also, it’s wise to gain some insight into the kind of food that can be grown in hot climates. Not only can the heat become unbearable during the peak summer months but naturally it’s a place that is more susceptible to droughts.

The average rainfall in the state can vary from 3 inches in the southwestern region to 40 inches in the eastern central region. You will have to get creative with rain catchment systems and other resources to save plenty of water for yourself and your crops.

On the other hand, the average 300 days of sunshine it receives a year makes it a great state to implement solar power or solar energy systems.

9. Montana

Homesteading and self-reliance

Montana is a beautiful state. Many consider it one of the most visually appealing places to live, especially near the Rocky Mountains. For many, it’s a homesteading haven.

The summers provide a mild climate and the winters are harsh, making the growing season short and possibly rough. Many accept this challenge as an opportunity to expand their creativity in their endeavor of becoming self-sufficient.

8. Maine

Homesteading and self-reliance

Maine has incredible landscapes, scenery, and plenty of open land to start your off-grid living. The northern part of Maine is less populated so it’s an ideal place for those who want to enjoy solitude living and low property taxes.

You can enjoy all four seasons there and still grow crops if you can learn to use the climate changes to your advantage.

7. Connecticut

Homesteading and self-reliance

Connecticut is a small-farm and homestead-friendly state. Unfortunately, property taxes are higher than in a lot of other states so the start-up costs are outrageously high for most people.

On the flip side of that, it has plenty of benefits. Apart from the picture-perfect scenery throughout the rural parts, the water is clean and plentiful, the climate is typically mild, and there is a lot of potential in terms of farming and agriculture.

You may need to work the land a bit to lighten the rocky terrain but your efforts will be worth it. Connecticut is also homeschooling-friendly, so if you’re looking for a place to raise and homeschool your children, this may be the state for you!

6. Michigan

Homesteading and self-reliance

Michigan is a diverse state which offers the experience of all four seasons although winters may feel longer than the other three seasons. The soil is fertile and rich making it a wonderful place to grow crops, during a short part of the year. It’s probably a good idea to look into building a greenhouse. Lake Michigan also provides the ability to fish for trout and salmon.

There are many homesteaders and farmers markets in Michigan so you are sure to find many like-minded people. Most people that live in Michigan love it there, even though the higher cost of living and the strict state regulations are forcing some people to migrate to states like Missouri.

5. Missouri

Homesteading and self-reliance

Missouri is a very homesteading-friendly state. There are fewer state government regulations that provide people with more freedoms to live the way they want to on their property and easily build their small homestead.

It’s such a diverse state that anyone is sure to find a place they can enjoy. Sounds like a dream, right?

It’s also legal to collect rain in this state which typically gets an average of 40 inches of rain per year! In Missouri, you may not feel the extremes of the four seasons but you’ll get a taste of them for sure.

Summers are typically hot and humid and winters are warmer than some may like although on occasion you may get snow. The bonus is that you will reap the benefits of a successful crop harvest!

4. Kentucky

Homesteading and self-reliance

Kentucky has beautiful scenery and provides a strong community of thriving homesteaders, small farm owners, and off-gridders.

The state offers a generally mild and moderate climate, however, the four seasons are still distinct. The good soil and weather are favorable for agriculture. There's a high demand for locally grown produce. The Bluegrass State is also a safe state to live in and raise a family.

3. West Virginia

Homesteading and self-reliance

West Virginia offers a great place for self-sustainability due to its diverse yet favorable climate. With approximately 44 inches of rain per year, you wouldn’t have to worry about not having enough water to tend to your land, crops, and personal needs.

West Virginia is perfect for its low property taxes but zoning restrictions in rural properties are becoming more strict so the sooner you buy land there, the better.

2. Tennessee

Homesteading and self-reliance

The rural parts of Tennessee offer some of the most beautiful homesteading locations in the United States. In Tennessee, you will have the pleasure of fully experiencing every season while obtaining a plentiful harvest for about nine months out of the year.

Tennessee has a lot to offer in terms of low property costs and taxes, favorable state laws, and fertile land for growing your own food. The state government allows people to collect rainwater and offers many other freedoms for what you can do on your property. 

It's no surprise that this state is one of the highest in the nation when it comes to the number of small farms.

For more information about homesteading in Tennessee, check out this blog!

1. Idaho

Idaho Homestead

Idaho is the state with some of the best soil in the country, making it the best choice for homesteading. The state is beautifully green with hills and mountainsides.

If you like living away from people but not too far that you’re completely isolated, this is the perfect location for you! Plus, the government laws are pretty favorable too!

For more information about homesteading in Idaho, check out this blog!

Did your favorite state not get ranked?

I'm sure some of you are surprised that many of the major farming states are not mentioned under the top 12.

If you don't see your state listed here, don't get discouraged! It doesn't mean that homesteading there would be a bad option altogether, but I encourage you to really look into what the state has to offer to see if it's a good fit for you.

A few honorable mentions include:

  • Mississippi for being the cheapest state to live in (based on the national average) as well as its long growing season.

  • Kansas for its low cost of living, as well as the free land it offers to its transplants. As of 2019, the 6 rural towns with free land include Marquette, Mankato, Lincoln, Plainville, Osborne, and Wilson. The lots in each small town (which vary in size but can be up to an acre of land) are offered with the agreement that the property owners will build a home on it within a specific number of years. 

    Kansas is also one of the windiest states, so it's a place to consider if you're planning on using wind power as a means to produce your own electricity. 

Interested in homesteading in Pennsylvania?Read more about that here!

Best states for homesteading

In Conclusion

Choosing the ideal homestead location depends on your needs, wants, and likes. One out of the fifty U.S. states will surely have what you’re looking for.

Narrow down your list starting with the states that meet your needs, and go from there. Once you have an idea of what state might be a good match for you, research all your questions and make sure you have a clear understanding before making a final decision.

It might help to take a road trip and explore the state in person and get to know the locals in the rural towns.

My best recommendation for those of you who are serious about starting your homesteading journey is to inform yourself as much as you can prior to moving off the grid. The internet has a vast amount of information and most of it is available to us for free.

Living off the land and off the grid was not easy for the pioneers and it most likely won’t be easy for us either, especially if we have little notion of the demands that homesteading has.

The idea of growing our own food and becoming self-reliant comes at a huge price but an even bigger reward. Don’t be discouraged by what hardships you might encounter.

The majority of families who started homesteading wouldn’t trade their lifestyle for anything else in the world. If it’s in your heart, I think you should pursue it. But I also think you should go about it wisely.

Thanks to the resources we have available at our fingertips, we can become equipped to succeed in the midst of difficulties.

I wish you a successful endeavor in your journey towards self-sufficiency.

Happy homesteading!

Have you moved to the countryside and built your own off-grid estate?
If so, I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

Frequently asked questions

What is the easiest state to homestead?

When it comes to homesteading, the state you choose to live in can have a significant impact on your success. Some states are more conducive to homesteading than others due to factors such as climate, soil quality, and land availability.

Generally speaking, the easiest states to homestead in are Tennessee, Idaho, Texas, and Missouri. These states offer a variety of benefits for homesteaders, such as mild climates, fertile soils, and plenty of available land. So, if you're thinking of starting a homestead, it's worth considering one of these states as your new home.

What state has the cheapest land for homesteading?

The state that's generally considered to have the cheapest land for homesteading in the US is Kansas. Land prices in Kansas are way lower than in many other states, which makes it a super attractive option for folks who want to start a homestead and have a limited budget. Another benefit is that Kansas has a relatively low cost of living too, which can be a huge benefit for new homesteaders. 

In any case, cheap land can be found in other states as well and the cost of land can vary a lot depending on where you are and how much land you need.

Where in the US can you still homestead?

While homesteading is allowed in most US states, there are many cities with restrictions or those that don’t have favorable homesteading laws. This is usually because of zoning or land use laws. For example, in cities or urban areas, there might be restrictions on using land for farming or raising animals. 

Some states also have specific rules and regulations on the use of land for homesteading, like minimum acreage requirements or building restrictions. For these reasons, it's always important to do your research and become well-informed on the local laws and regulations before buying land or starting your homestead.

What climate is best for homesteading?

When it comes to homesteading, the climate you choose is something crucial to consider. Ideally, a mild, temperate climate with good rainfall throughout the year and a decent growing season is best. This kind of climate provides a long growing season and is ideal for a wide variety of crops and livestock. Plus, it can help you save money on heating and cooling costs.

But keep in mind, different homesteading activities have different climate requirements. So, it's important to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish on your homestead before you choose a location based on climate. By doing your research and selecting the right climate for your needs, you can set yourself up for success.

What states give away free land?

There are a few states in the US that offer programs for free land, although the availability and requirements for these programs can vary widely.

As of 2023, some of the states that offer free land in select cities include Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, and Colorado.

You’ll have to do a lot of research on which programs are available, since they can change from year to year and they’re mostly not advertised. Most free-land programs also have specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify. 

Free land may come with certain limitations or restrictions, so it is important to research the program thoroughly before making a decision.

What makes the most money on a homestead?

There are many different ways to make money on a homestead. The most profitable activities will depend on things like where you live, what the climate is like, and your personal skills and interests.

Here are a few of the most popular ways to make money on a homestead:

  1. Farming: Growing crops or raising farm animals can be a great way to make money. If you grow specialty crops or raise high-demand livestock like organic vegetables or grass-fed beef, you can earn more money.

  2. Value-added products: You can also make money by turning your crops or livestock into value-added products, like homemade jams or artisanal cheese, which you can sell at farmer’s markets or online.

  3. Agritourism: Open up your homestead to visitors and offer tours or workshops on topics like farming, cooking, or sustainable living. This can generate extra income and teach others about homesteading.

  4. Renting land or equipment: If you have extra land or property, you can rent it out to others for farming or other purposes, which can generate additional income.

In the end, the most profitable activities on a homestead will depend on a variety of factors, like your skills and interests, local market demand, and available resources. So, it's important to consider your unique situation before deciding on a money-making venture.

This article was originally published on September 20, 2018. It has since been updated and improved.

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Comments 60

  1. Hubs & I lived in 5 US states. Eastern Washington near Spokane, northern Idaho, Portland, Oregon, southern California & Alabama. Hubs has lived in Oklahoma (worked in the oil field) & Texas. We loved Oregon but it’s very leftist, not bad if you’re a lefty. I hear eastern Oregon is good, not sure about off grid living, etc. we lived in the city for 6 years. Southern California – lived in the city but I read & hear about certain counties being open to off grid living but I would worry about the govt in that state, lots of people leave every year/move away. Washington state (eastern side) is great. Rain water harvesting is encouraged & having compost toilets are acceptable in some counties. It was one of our favorite places to live (family medical situation caused us to move away). Northern Idaho — weird, weird people. Lots of people with personality disorders live there, I kid you not! Beautiful area! Snow & cold but you get use to it. Wildfires are becoming the norm there every summer & it’s terrible! Some counties are very open to living off grid, etc. Be sure to do your research or ask qualified people what you need to know. I grew up in Alabama & hubs is from southern California. I’m not sure about Alabama as I haven’t lived there for years. I think it boils down to a county of your interest, if they encourage homesteading/off grid living…..we own raw land property (a little over an acre) live illegally (2+ years now) in a county that doesn’t allow you to live in RV/Travel trailer for more than 4 weeks at a time. We’re rural. No one has bothered us. House next to us has been empty for the time we have lived out here. Neighbors across the street don’t bother us. We’re off grid, buy water from an organic farm near us. Our life turned upside down (before covid) & we eke out a living, just. This way of living (off grid) is not easy, it’s challenging & hard, at times. It’s also nice in other ways (simpler living, etc.).

  2. I just came across this information and wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading all of it. Curious why New Mexico didn’t make the list. Thanks

    1. Katrina, I too wondered that as I finished reading this list, but then I thought of the is less than friendly stories of actual battles for water use that I’ve heard about from people all over the state. We are to free use of land in New Mexico and even have a lot of leeway as to how we use it compared to other states, but if you are planning on using the water
      through irrigation systems known as acequias you’d better be ready for a long wait and sometimes even after being granted the ‘water right acres’ as the number of irrigated acres to which a property owner holds water rights to use to farm ,it’s often just the start of the war for water. One friend I have in Penasco has been battling for over 20 years
      for her water rights and even had to physically defend it right at the irrigation ditch. There were times she was without water because someone switched the lock away from her ditch during her granted time to their on ditches. The only way to make sure it flows is to stand there and ensure nobody messes with it. Of course after all this time the folks have mostly accepted her rights to water but any day that could change. Many law suites are still active after decades disputing all kinds of irrigation demands and offenses. So as if Homesteading wasn’t tough enough for people waging a war or at the very least fighting at the source of water for those rights is something that many will be forced to do in New Mexico.

  3. I woulf NOT recommend Western WA. Too many people there and traffic everywhere near the coast is awful. We lived in Eastern WA for 8 years. So many people moving AWAY from the West side because it’s nuts over there. Many people live off grid there. Land is getting more and more expensive as people discover the area. Between Spokane and Canada is beautiful and would be awesome for homesteading. South of Spokane is farming country, but much hotter & drier. If you lean Democrat and love the Starbucks, Amazon, Google/Facebook mentality, by all means, go to Western WA. You’ll love it. Gov. Inslee would be happy to have you there. Just my opinion, and best of luck to you.

    1. Hi Linda,
      I read your comment with interest as I have seen some very nice looking land for sale in the area you mentioned (near Republic). I live in BC, Canada and the land here is waaaaay too expensive! And don’t worry, I don’t like the lefty politics in Canada so I think I would have common ground with people in eastern WA. I just wonder if I would prefer a a warmer / drier place, but will make a trip there to see what I like first.

  4. Hi there, a 60-year-old couple from North Carolina wants to buy land for homesteading. NC has a lot of restrictions, and they are seeking a more lenient state to live in. For starters, they want to implement raised beds for organic gardening, do permaculture, own at least two pigs, two goats, 1-2 cows, 12 chickens, and 12 guineas. They want to be able to do what they want to do without the many restrictions that exist nowadays. I read the reviews, and so far, Missouri, Tennessee or Maine seem like good choices. But, how can we narrow it down to two for visiting then one? Also, they want to live of husbands’ disability while the wife is willing to work four hours a day, 3-5 days a week. Any ideas? The more insight, the more helpful. This couple has helped so many people in their life that I feel we should at least help them with more information. They truly are a gem. Any ideas?

    1. Hi I personally do jot recommend Tennessee. I lived there for two years (not off grid and couldn’t even imagine trying off grid there). I lived in a small middle TN town. Government was very corrupt and taxes were killing me.
      The sales tax were horrendous. I had two teenagers at the time. Going to the grocery store
      Would Always end up in tears. Everything was taxed at a different rate. Sales tax on food and household goods such as laundry soap and cleaning products, you name it were all charge different rates. Even soft drinks for taxes different rate from regular food. The sales tax at that time and when I left in 2005 was anywhere from eight and three-quarter percent to 12%! It was outrageous. Everything looked deceptively cheaper but the reality was quite the opposite. also property tax were completely outrageous! Let’s say you had a mobile home and you had a deck which I did because I had moved there with my job and we were still looking to find land to settle. I soon figured out that that wasn’t the place to settle. My kids hated it there too. At any rate we had a deck and land lady told me not to put lattice work around the deck. ( not that I would’ve anyway I thought it looked hideous. That would be my personal feeling.) The reason being we would be taxed as an addition, like another room add it onto the Mobile home! Also any minor in fraction would land you in jail! If you get pulled over we’re not wearing a seatbelt you’re going to jail! You have to go to jail then bond out and then you have A fine and court date. That’s how they make their money. A lot of people from my company that transferred they were very unhappy with the local governments practices. Definitely a place you want to make sure you know the local laws inside and out before you go. It’s definitely a good old boys domain. I can tell you I moved to southwest Mississippi and had no problems after Tennessee. Mississippi was wonderful and I am going to be settling my home stead there. I have bought my land there, recently.

  5. We’ve been looking at Idaho – for all the reasons listed. But land prices are going up and getting hard to find. We are looking at the 2nd state on the list, TN. Thank you for the amazing thoughts and comparision. It is a huge decision as I’m currently in Arizona and we are pulling up roots to go where there is a better growing season and more water and a more prosperous mindset.

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      1. Hi Nadia I thought I should let you know as of October 2020 some very disturbing laws have passed in Kentucky. I live on the border of Ohio and Kentucky and was closely eyeing land in Kentucky to purchase. I’ve purchased land in Mississippi and that’s where I’m going to Homestead but we are actually looking to purchase secondary land as back up in case of an SHFT situation. In that event we wanted to have options. If one place was too hot we figured we’d move over to the other for a little bit until it cooled down. At any rate the laws that have been passed we’re nothing short of horrendous. It is now lol that if for any reason the government in Kentucky deems that your land is Of benefit to them you have to give it to them forfeit it. Same thing with your crops your food your animals vehicles any of your possessions. It puts me in mind of martial law on steroids. Also reminds me of what happened during the Civil War when people lost everything. The other law is they were making a mandate to where you have to have the vaccination. That was as of October 2020. I had decided at that point that I will not be buying land in Kentucky. We might still buy a small patch of land for a jumping point but definitely not something we will settle. I hope this helps so you can update your information should you so choose and also always do your own research of course. But that is what I found out. Thank you for this wonderful article and I would encourage you to look to some other southern states. I like the longer growing seasons and the plentiful ability to hunt Game. The other thing I like about it is you do not expand as much resources. You’re not having to heat as long as you would have places like Montana and so forth. Thank you again for writing this article. I found a most enjoyable and have catalogued it for my reference.

    2. I honestly would caution against TN, for reasons I listed in another comment. If you’re looking at TN you’re better off with Missouri or KY. Personally I would go with Missouri for the longer growing season and it’s homestead friendly. I’m setting up my homestead in Mississippi. I lived there for 8 years and loved it. I had to go back to Ohio for a family emergency. I can’t wait to go back.8 have land ready to go. I really love Arizona but would never attempt to homestead there. Good luck to you.

  6. Great article! I am a former Texan considering moving back and homesteading there in the coming year. I see it didn’t make your top 12 list. Do you have any insight why that you mind sharing? Thanks

  7. Louisiana…. sucks really bad, the roads, the pay, the tax’s, the weather is humid and miserable and it does not like homesteading at all. BUT, the people are okay… SOMETIMES for the most part. my wife and I are moving somewhere soon and are in search of a few acres on the river with clear water unlike our red river. but for what its worth, BEWARE OF LOUSYanna… you’ve been warned. 😉

    1. I love Louisiana but the taxes are horrible and some of their laws are outrageous. I have an elderly friend who remarried and her husband passed away. Her husbands children have governance over her home property etc as per Louisiana law. (It’s a long drawn out story as to how it works but it’s insane) sales tax is outrageous though. Even on food it’s at 10%! I lived in Mississippi on the border of Bogalusa LA we would shop there sometimes but we’re very careful what we bought. The sales tax was just so high that it was not some thing we did on a regular basis. Bother me I rather like it and I like the longer growing season. If the humidity didn’t bother you I would suggest moving over to Mississippi. You could go to northern Mississippi which would be not quite as humid. I know if some land for sale in North East Mississippi. It’s only a mile from Alabama and 20 Miles from Tennessee. There’s some good deals to be had up there. Good luck to you

  8. You need to double check the whole water rights for Oregon since the state owns the rights to all water. You can no longer buy water rights. Can barely dig a well. The rules and regulations are HORRIBLE!!!! Not sure where you got your information on Oregon but you are incorrect. The cost of living is horrible, rules and regulations are Never ending.

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  9. Great information for beginners.
    I’m currently looking at relocating to the northern Sierras, from the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Likely near the town of Placerville,, CA. Really looking forward to solitude and and season changes. And room for dogs, chickens and goats.

    1. I woulf NOT recommend Western WA. Too many people there and traffic everywhere near the coast is awful. We lived in Eastern WA for 8 years. So many people moving AWAY from the West side because it’s nuts over there. Many people live off grid there. Land is getting more and more expensive as people discover the area. Between Spokane and Canada is beautiful and would be awesome for homesteading. South of Spokane is farming country, but much hotter & drier. If you lean Democrat and love the Starbucks, Amazon, Google/Facebook mentality, by all means, go to Western WA. You’ll love it. Gov. Inslee would be happy to have you there. Just my opinion, and best of luck to you.

  10. Any information about homesteading in Oklahoma? Any suggestions for a senior whose lived most of their life in the city and would like to live somewhat off the grid but don’t have support of family

    1. I’m interested in Oklahoma also. Senior single man looking to retire to a homestead lifestyle. I’ve been checking into eastern part of the state.

  11. I own/live on a 900 acre family farm in East Tx, So moving to one of the top 10 states is not an option for me. I’m 52, married 32 yrs and have only recently begun to research homesteading and it’s many benefits. We have hay pastures and planted pine trees. We have around 100 head of cattle, jerseys included. Have had chickens and pigs in the past… plan on getting more eventually. Any info to get this newbie started would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you.

  12. Do you have to actually buy a piece of land to homestead on or can you go find a piece of unclaimed land and make it your own? That Strategy.

    1. No! Actually, look into adverse possession laws and homestead acts and amendments for the area. You can squat a registered property, live in, maintain it but you would have to pick up behind taxes (are usually going long back), petition to gain ownership. -then declare yourself non profit and become completely tax and all currency exempt. But there still is unregistered land that is free to those that stake their claim. Some laws at that point say you have to be a residence for several years, built a home, fence, garden, etc. And when the laws are met it can be registered and declared tax exempt. I went that way. Surveyed the land and communities. Saved up a quarter million in monoploy money. Created a homestead. Some laws will even pay for it all for you to maintain and farm the land. I also considered Europe as Norway and rural Italy pay you to live there and maintain the land. Research! This is your life and it’s ending one moment at a time …

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  13. Hi. I currently live in Oregon. We have talked about moving to Idaho for years now. Because as much as we love what this state has to offer , it has a bad person running it into the ground! Plus it taxes you on your retirement which has already been taxed! Idaho doesn’t! My husbands mom is in her 80s. We are staying close to her for now! Some day we will be Idahoans though!!!!

    1. I second this. Were leaving Oregon as well. The local govt is horrible and destroying just about everything we love about this state. You dont want to move here.

      1. Agreed! We have lived in WA state since 1985…but now we want to leave. WA, OR, and CA are so regulated and the beauty of WA is being ruined by our so called leaders. Look at all the homelessness in Seattle. The government is all about giving our tax dollars by the working class to PROJECTS that never help the situations such as homelessness, drugs and they allow rioters to destroy all that was once a happy place to be. WA was going to be our home for life…No more!

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  14. Arizona is not always hot! Southern part of state is. Places like Flagstaff, Show Low, Prescott get cold- snow. There are ski resorts there too. From Arizona. Would be better to be in north eastern area depending on profession and funds of course. Southern Arizona isn’t bad but its be a lot of prep work for gardening, etc.

    1. I was born and raised in Southeast Arizona. We left and came back to AZ and want to leave again. We thought we could homestead in AZ. Water is an issue – there is a prolonged drought. It is getting more and more corrupt. The southern border is and issue. Water rights on land is an issue. It is really hot. I don’t consider it to affordable – we have looked at land in other states and it is much more affordable and with water.

  15. California would be a perfect state for Homesteading if it wasn’t for the gov regulations and land cost. The weather is great. The soil is fertile. The north part of the state has a good amount of water and you can grow almost anything. Hawaii is also in the same boat..plentiful water, fertile soil, but cost way to much.

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  16. Hi there, sounds like a challenging yet rewarding way of life. Kudos to you and yours. Question: I guess I’m unclear regarding the word “homestead”. The law defines it as land that has been given away by the government or other municipality usually with land use requirement/restriction, land improvement specifications and/or length of ownership before sale. (Not to be confused with “squatting” on abandoned properties) So naturally, when I saw this posting, I was expecting to find which states were offering free land. I’m curious, is that how you acquired your land? If so, do you have any advice for dealing with government homestead agreements such as pitfalls to watch out for, etc.?

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  17. I am so glad that that you didn’t mention my state. its not heaven but you can see it from here. for millions of people in our area homesteading is not something new but has always been a way of life, its just what we do, its how we live. before you move, or buy, rent for a while. most people who move here from the cities don’t stay long. the communities here are always supportive and eager to help but most people just cant handle the quiet. they jump every time a squirrel runs across the roof of their house 🙂 quiet is not for everyone, especially children. try it full time first for a year and explore your options. P.S. antifa need not apply, trust me on this one!

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  18. Pingback: 12 Best States For Homesteaders | The Homestead Survival

  19. Idaho sounds like the state for me . Since I’ve lived and grew up in a small Kentucky town across the River from Cincinnati .Would love to hear more about Idaho

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      1. I grew up in elko,nv, and am familiar with Idaho. great hunting and fishing, also the country is wonderfull. just keep in mind that the winters there are brutal and long. growing seasons are short. also, people don’t realize that it is considered a desert. anything east of the cascades is dry. water is a problem in most areas. I love the high desert, its the most beautiful place on earth, but not for rookies. its hard country. good luck in everything

  20. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing
    around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

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      Hi Antje! Thank you so much 🙂
      I try to post something at least once a week. I send out new blogs updates via email every Tuesday morning. If you’re interested, the sign-up form is right above the comments.
      Hope you have a great day!

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