How Do You Go About Getting Land?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Guswut, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Guswut

    Guswut New Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    I'm sorry, I'm certain this has been asked before, and I'd be happy to delete it if someone can point me in the right direction, but I've been unable to find anything near to what I need...

    Anyways, I'd like to know if anyone knows where a person could get land. Do they still have homesteading opportunities? Do you have to buy the land privately?

    Well, thanks for any help you can give. :)
  2. Just drive around the back roads of a rural area that you like the looks of and when you find a spot that suits you, just set up a place to live.

    Most of the unused land in the countryside isn't really owned by anyone, and for those that are, the landowners are always glad to see someone making use of the part that they haven't gotten around to using yet.

  3. Dave in Ohio

    Dave in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    I don't know where the unregistered guest is from, but someplaces just setting up house is asking for alot of trouble, and all land is owned by someone or the state. Tresspassing laws vary state to state and maybe even county to county. Homesteading was done away with back in '76. You may be able to do a mining claim, but they are few and far between anymore. If you want to avoid any trouble, you can figure that you have to buy the land unless you work out some deal such as caretaker or some other form of payment. Of course your question would be alot more valid if there is a certain location you are looking at? If you are looking at moving around alot I would suggest getting a RV or something and check out state lands to camp on, some states you may camp on the land without a fee as long as you vacate the area every couple of weeks, not sure if it is to keep adverse possession from occuring or zoning laws in effect. Good luck
  4. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    What a novel idea! I never even thought of squatting as a valid method of obtaining a place to live.. but of course I suppose it could be seen that way. This would explain the couple we found camped out on our land a couple of years ago who were deeply offended that we didn't see their campsite as an asset to our property.

    One friend of mine made it a habit to explore property during hunting season. If he got his deer, bonus, but he was really scouting for "forgotten land." Took him 3 years but he found a piece with a rock solid A frame camp in the middle of it which the owners didn't even know existed. He made an offer based on the raw land price, and moved into his existing structure. This got him around all sorts of legal issues because the A frame had obviously been there for a very long time. He's since made improvements to an existing structure and sailed through zoning and the permit boards. If he hadn't had that little A frame there he would have had to go through all the hoops.
  5. There are ways to get land for free or very little, depending on what you want to do with it, but I wouldn't recommend simply squatting somewhere.

    Mining claims are very easy to get in most of the western US. I live in Nevada and most of the state can be claimed. The same is true for Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and most other western states. To file and maintain a mining claim you must give the BLM $100 each year and also record a document with the county recorder's office each year (~$10 fee). You may claim up to 160 acres in a single claim.

    But what can you do with a mining claim? You can do anything 'mining related' on the land, even though you may not actually be mining and there may not actually be any profitable quantities of minerals on your claim. The term 'mining related' is open to broad interpretation. Regardless, you can say you are the miner and what you live in (RV, tent, yurt, or even a permanent structure) is the miner's quarters. I have heard some debate over the installation of septic system on mining claims, so you may need to have an outhouse instead.

    I wouldn't recommend a mining claim for more that a temporary place to be for a few years. It will never really be yours, since the BLM no longer approves patent mining claims. Remember that mining claim laws may change at any time and your annual renewal could be refused sometime in the future. Any non-relocatable features you add (permanent structure, well, septic system, etc.) could be lost.

    There are places where land is very inexpensive to buy outright, sometimes under $1000 for a good sized lot (perhaps an acre). Large parcels (over 100 acres) can sometimes be found for under $100/acre. Take a look at the landfinder at eBay in New Mexico and Nevada.

    You will find many opportinities for inexpensive land at ebay, often with shallow water tables (no one will promise shallow water, but buy in 'basin' areas particularly in Nevada).
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    You will have to purchase any land you get in America today. I'm assuming you want to have a homestead? What exactly were you looking for? Want neighbors? Isolation? Good roads and utilities? How much do you want to pay? Do you need an area with good jobs? All these affect the price and availablity.
  7. Why not become a property caretaker first? Check out for rent-free opportunities!
  8. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

    Mar 11, 2004
    Northeastern Minnesota
    Land is easy to get but can be hard to pay for. I've had little farms over several states during the course of my 50 odd years. I've also bought dwellings on an acre or less. I've never had a loan on a piece of land and sometimes no down payment. A person can find what they're looking for and can have if they just try a bit.

    Somewhere out there is a person who has just the right deal for you but you won't find it sitting at home wishing.
  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Gus, where do you live and what do you do? Also, what PART of homesteading appeals to you? Is it the country life, or is it the chance to do things for yourself?

    It matters. A lot.

    I am going to assume that you will need a loan. That means that you need a job. You will either need to commute or perhaps your job can be done even in the country.

    Carpenters, nurses, and such can often find work even out in the sticks, where the land is delightfully cheap.

    Computer programmers and motivational speakers had best find land that is close to a major road, because they will need to commute to town.

    A few people even homestead in a city. Buy a house with a bit of land, plant a few fruit trees and a garden, put rabbit cages under the trees, hang a clothes line, add wood heat, and learn how to bake bread.

    The possiblities are endless!

    It would help if we knew generally what you do and where you live.
  10. More about mining claims.

    Much (mis)information has been posted in the forum about mining claims, so it is time to clear a few things up. Accordingly I did some homework on mining claims.

    Currently mining claims may be filed on federal land in 19 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

    There are two types of claims; lode claims and placer claims. Lode claims are for mining claims where there is a vein of ore and placer claims are where minerals are scattered on the property. Lode claims may be filed for up to 160 acres and placer claims may be filed for up to 20 acres.

    I was previously mistaken on the fees; in addition to the $10 filing fee and the $100 annual maintenence fee, there is also a $25 'location' fee. The mining law provides for the $100 annual maintenence fee to be waived for persons who own less than 10 claims, called the 'small miner waiver.' However, in 1992 congress enacted a 'holding fee' of $100 that is imposed in place of the annual maintenence fee, for which there seems to be no exemption..

    Patenting of minimg claims is no longer an option. Patenting is a process where the minimg claim land is deeded to the claimant for a small fee; $5/acre for lode claims and $2.50/acre for placer claims. While the mining law still supports patenting, Congress passed a patenting moratorium in 1994 as an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill, and has renewed the moratorium annually since then.

    Once a mining claim has been filed you have the right to develop and extract minerals. In search of minerals you can construct fences, build houses for full-time employees, and use as much timber as is necessary for the mining operation.