Best States for Homesteading: Top 7 States in 2021

If you’ve been looking at the different states trying to determine which is best for homesteading, we’ve got you covered.

It can be overwhelmingly time-consuming and challenging to determine which state is best for homesteading because there are several different determinants that come into play.

Homesteading is the act of being self-sufficient on your property, but for this to work out, the property needs to be suitable for a homestead.

Each state will have its negatives and positives, and some of those can be a trade-off, depending on your preferences, such as laws or climate.

I’ve taken a look at each state and have come up with a list of states that I believe would be best for homesteading, leaving out the ones that would be a hassle.

The factors I took into consideration will be covered first; then, we’re going to look at several states that would be incredible to call home.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into it and see which states are best for homesteading.

5 Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A State

1: Laws & Regulations

An essential factor is what the local laws and regulations where you plan to homestead look like. Many states, for example, require a fee to be paid to the city just to use a solar panel. 

Plus, you should make sure the state has favorable gun laws if you plan to own and operate a firearm. 

You should also consider zoning laws, as some states have stringent regulations on this, which could wreak havoc on your plans for placing the homestead in a particular area. 

Here is a great resource to check out regarding laws.

2: Community

One of the coolest aspects of homesteading is that it has a large community full of people willing to share their knowledge and help out where possible. 

However, not all states will have a tight-knit community like others, although still possible on rare occasions. 

A strong community can make or break a homestead, at least in the social aspect of it all. This is something that I’ve factored into all of the states listed here.

3: The Climate

If you’re going to be building a garden, you’ll need to make sure the state has an adequate amount of sunlight, but not too much. 

Rain is also an essential product of mother nature to have, as too little of it can cause your garden not to thrive. 

Plus, if you do not have enough sunlight, it can be challenging for your solar panels to grab enough rays from the sun, continually starving your battery banks of power.

4: Natural Resources 

This is certainly one of the most decisive aspects of homesteading.

A state that has natural resources is a big win; you should pick one that has plenty of access to water, such as a creek, rivers, ponds, and more. 

You should also make sure the land has plenty of wildlife, especially if you want to live off of deer, turkey, or other wild animals on occasion. 

It’s also essential to choose a state that lacks animal predators, as these can make it difficult to keep livestock safe.

5: Affordability

Lastly, you should pick a state that has plenty of affordable lands available for purchase. There are many states, especially those out west, such as Arizona, that have very cheap land for sale.

However, you should pick a state that has the factors above too, which can be difficult, hence the creation of this list. 

Some of this also takes permits, gas prices, and other aspects into consideration, as these can also add up, such as poultry permits.


Best States For Homesteading in 2021

1: Tennessee

This list would not be worthy without the addition of Tennessee, as it’s one of the best states you could ask for to homestead in. 

Known for its mountainous regions, Tennessee is going to provide a plethora of natural resources and scenery. 

You’ll find that gun laws are relaxed in the state, as they have favorable gun laws, making it an excellent option to choose if you want to avoid strenuous regulations. 

The weather is pretty average, but you can expect some moderate snow during the winter. Gardening can be done pretty quickly during the warmer months, but you’ll need to stock up for the winter if you plan to stay self-sufficient. Plus, 

Tennessee has a ton of other individuals living off-grid, which means you’ll have a nice community surrounding you.

2: Oregon

If you’re looking for a state that is full of beautiful scenery, it can’t get much better than Oregon. I think that Oregon is often overlooked, but it’s an excellent state to homestead in. 

It’s full of natural resources and gas, an exceptional climate so that you can look forward to a pretty decent weather pattern. 

Oregon also has a lot of cheap land available, which isn’t surprising, as Oregon has a low population density considering its size. 

Plus, Oregon has excellent gun laws that favor homesteaders, and there are virtually no regulations that’ll negatively impact you. 

If you’re looking for a state in the northwest, this is one of the better options to choose from. Wildlife is also in abundance, which means you can fill your grill full of beef steaks or venison.

3: Montana

This state has some of the cheapest lands in the states, so if you’ve ever wanted a larger property, perhaps to have livestock such as cows or hobby animals like horses, then it’s great. 

Montana is up way north, kind of away from everything. I look at this as a good thing because you’re going to be completely self-sufficient anyway. 

There are also many opportunities to take down wildlife to feed you or your family and in much more variety. 

An excellent thing about Montana is that it’s super friendly towards homesteaders, so you can stay rest assured that you won’t have any significant hoops to jump through. 

It also has a lovely community, likely because its population is so low; overall, it’s an excellent state to homestead in.

4: Texas

Texas is one of those states with variety; if you want the desert, you head out west; if you wish the greenery, east is best, both, then central it is. 

This is great because Texas is an excellent state to homestead as it is, plus you’ll have the variety factor. I think staying central would be best, but this is a personal preference. 

If you want plenty of access to water, though, the eastern region is going to serve you best. 

The desert is undoubtedly worthy of homesteading in, but you’ll need to store water, which may prove challenging. 

Texas also has exceptional gun laws, so there are no worries regarding most weapons, including ARs. The land can get pretty inexpensive, mostly away from the larger cities.

5: Arizona

This is the favorite of mine on the list, mostly because of the jaw-dropping scenery that it offers. 

There is genuinely no other state that looks like it, it may not provide the most water, but if you want to live in an area where no matter where you look, it’s worthy of photographs, this is it. 

Arizona surprisingly has friendly gun laws, and the zoning isn’t irritating to understand nor follow. The most notable aspect about Arizona is that the land is incredibly inexpensive. 

You can pay as low as five hundred dollars per acre if you look hard enough. The biggest con, though, is that it is almost all dessert. 

This means two things; low water availability and a garden that’ll be more challenging to grow. These, however, are most definitely overcome by following the proper steps.

6: Michigan

Michigan, although it may seem like a very metropolis state, has a ton of available land, which will also have the protection of the right to farm law. 

The climate is pretty average during the spring, summer, and fall months, but the winter is going to prove challenging if you’re not accustomed to it. 

Surprisingly, Michigan has decent gun laws, although you can expect some restrictions on some weapons. 

A huge plus is that it is located in the great lakes, and if you’ve not had a chance to visit, it’s breathtaking. 

The land isn’t as expensive as you’d think, although the margin of the land price from suburbs to rural isn’t as large as I’d like it to be, this state is still worthy. 

The land is certainly one to talk about, and if you’re not familiar, Michigan offers some of the nest hunting in the states.

7: Wyoming

Lastly, Wyoming is undoubtedly one of the best options you could choose. It’s one of the most mountainous states, filled with massive mountains scattered throughout. 

If you want plenty of access to wildlife, Wyoming has a lot to offer. Whether it be deer, elk, or moose, you’ll have your variety. 

Wyoming also has a vast amount of natural resources. You’ll find that it has creeks and ponds in almost every corner. 

Plus, it snows moderately during the wintertime, but it should be manageable as long as you prepare. Gun laws are also relaxed here, and zoning isn’t a worry. 

The only negative is that there aren’t many other homesteaders there, which is a surprise, because it doesn’t get any better for homesteading than this state, give or take.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Homestead Act Still In Effect?

In 1862, president Lincoln approved the homestead act, which gave Americans access to public land for a small fee.

Unfortunately, the homestead act is no longer active and was repealed by the 1976 federal land policy and management act.

Though the homestead act had a good run, giving over 270 million acres, there are still ways to get land for cheap.

How Much Land Is Proper For Homesteading?

The amount of land you want depends on a few factors, such as how large the garden is, the amount of livestock you have (and what kind), and other aspects.

If you want to become fully self-sufficient and build a grand homestead, you should have at least one acre. 

I’d recommend that, if possible, you shoot for 2-3 acres, but if you’re on a budget, and play your cards right, homesteading on 1 acre is undoubtedly doable.

Is There Still Unclaimed Land Left?

If you’re on a budget or solely want to save some money, then looking for free land isn’t a bad idea, as the money saved can go into building the homestead.

A few centuries ago, free land was just about everywhere, but nowadays, it’s much harder to come by; however, there are a few ways to look for it.

You could take a look here, where you’ll find an in-depth guide to finding free land. There isn’t much open land available, and most of it is not in the states listed here.


Verdict

If you’ve been looking at the states of the red, white, and blue, and it’s proven challenging to find the one that’d suit you best to homestead in, then I hope I’ve helped you out.

I’ve been pondering about this very topic for a while, and although there are varying opinions, I believe the noted seven here are the best.

Although the most vital considerations were noted in the top five, I also looked at the general quality of life. 

If you want to live in a state that is inexpensive, beautiful, and proven to be the right choice for homesteading, then it’s here. 

Lastly, if you do consider any of these states, perhaps chat with a homesteader that lives there; this way, you can become familiar with the area before you move there.



Written by Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things homestead. He grew up on a homestead and helped his parents do the day-to-day. Read more of Bryan's articles.