Free Land: Land Rush Continues, Minus the Rush

Sick of paying rent?  Of course you are.  Every time I write that stupid monthly check I take a moment to reflect on how it seems that every square inch of this earth is owned and occupied by someone or something that had the luck to show up years before I ever got around to trying to live somewhere.  Rare is the place where you can lay down without paying a toll, and…

OK, I’ll skip the hobo monologue and get to the juicy bit:

FREE FRIGGIN’ LAND!  You heard me.  There are still places in the US that have land for the asking.  Vurbly did a nice little roundup of six places in the U.S.–in Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, and Maine–that are offering free land to people and companies interested in relocating to their town.  While in the back of my mind, I’m thinking that these must be economically struggling areas, battling the inevitable flight of human capital when local industry goes bust, these communities sure do paint a rosy picture.

Marquette, Kansas woos you like:

The community of Marquette, Kansas is offering free building lots to interested families who are looking for an extraordinary small town, in the heart of America, to call home. The building lots are located in the Westridge Addition development on the west edge of town with beautiful, open views of the evening sunset and wide-open rolling fields. The Westridge addition has become home to both retired people and young families from right here in Kansas and across the United States. They have all come together to enjoy the friendly, affordable, relaxed, safe and peaceful lifestyle that this small, centrally-located Kansas town offers. A lifestyle where neighbors know neighbors and parents feel comfortable letting kids play outside, take a bike ride and walk to school. We offer you not only a free building lot, but the chance to join these residents in enjoying this exceptional lifestyle.

Don’t get it twisted, though.  Each and every one of these offers comes with a catch.  Some want you to bring a business to town that will employ locals, others just want you to build on your free lot along a set of building guidelines.  Abandon your dreams of stringing up barbed wire and digging up sod for a prairie homestead.  Or at least find a different venue.

If rules aren’t your thing, may I suggest the perennially popular option of squatting?  Living in abandoned structures has its charms and adventures as well as a history dating back to the very dawn of raising structures to live in.  Here’s a nice and thorough UK-centric primer for the prospective squatter.  For those of us in the States, the San Francisco Tenant’s Union has a bit of a primer here.

image by Flickr user davedehetre

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