Modern homesteading is a huge trend right now and it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere soon. I wrote this article to help answer one of the most popular questions that I get from people looking to get started. Everyone wants to know what are the best states for homesteading?
I have been homesteading for over 10 years now and I can assure you that it’s not a fad that will simply go away in a few years. Homesteading has been around for hundreds or years now and increased awareness has really driven people to open their eyes. Right now, there are so many young Americans are looking to leave their 9-5 and start homesteading today.
Getting started isn’t as hard as you might think it would be. It will take a lot of hard work but you could essentially get started right now, no matter where you live. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, it is well within your reach. My goal is to help make that dream become a reality!
You can start homesteading anywhere, no matter how much land you have. That being said, some states have benefits over others if you are looking to start fresh. Here are the qualifications that I looked at when deciding what I considered to be the best states for homesteading:
Abundance isn’t something that is absolutely necessary in modern homesteading, but it sure makes life a whole lot easier. Any location that can provide you with a large amount of natural gifts is going to give you an upper hand. The more abundant your land is, the less work you will have to put in to make it that way. When the original European settlers set off to new land, they were all looking for an abundance of the same basic needs and you should do the same when starting a homestead.
One of those natural gifts you should be looking for are sources of food. If your land can product food, through wild game or wild fruits for example, you will need to rely less on your homesteading skills.
Another obvious thing to look out for is an abundant source of water. I have seen homesteads be successful trucking water in, but it makes all of your daily jobs so much harder. Some states naturally have more sources of water and choosing one of them can help increase your chances of success.
One of the biggest keys to homesteading is cutting costs wherever you can. The less money that you have to spend, the less money you will need to earn. Therefore, the best states for homesteading are some of the cheapest to purchase and live in.
When you think about the location of a homestead, you probably think of somewhere rural that is a good distance away from major cities. The reason for this is because the land is much cheaper as you get away from the city. You can purchase much more acreage in a rural area than you would be able to near the city for the same price.
It is also important to consider the cost of living when you pick where you want to end up. No matter how success you are as a homesteader, you are still going to spend money on services and goods outside of your homestead. There is no avoiding the fact that you need to pay tax on your land and visit the doctor every once and a while, for example.
For those of you just starting to consider homesteading, check out these 12 hacks that will help you start homesteading on a budget.
One of the best advantages of homesteading is all of the beautiful scenery that we get to experience. Between the stars at night and the cranberry bogs in the fall, I wouldn’t change our homestead location for anything gin the world. If the scenery that you will be part of every day is important you, some states are going to give you better options than others.
I will base these ratings on my personal preferences for the sake of argument. If you are one of those weird people that loves how sand dunes and tumble weed looks, that you might need to grade the scenery differently than I did.
The 10 Best States For Homesteading
If you are looking for an abundance of natural gifts, Tennessee should be at the top of your list of best states for homesteading. In fact, agriculture is the largest industry in this state. Poultry, soybeans, and cattle are the three largest exports of “The Volunteer State”.
Another great benefit to starting your homesteading dream in Tennessee is that they are the 5th cheapest state to live in. The cost of living in Tennessee is 10% less than the national average.
Whether you are looking for great national scenery or historical scenery, Tennessee has something for you. They have great national parks along the Appalachian Trail for those nature junkies like me, and have historical tourist attractions if you are more like my husband. Memphis is also a great place to visit from time to time if you love country music.
The state of Oregon provides some of the most abundant land in The United States. Prior to the Europeans taking over North America, the northwest was a place that you could live off the land completely. When the Europeans explored the area, they were amazed that the locals could live without any farming.
When it comes to the cost of living, Oregon places at 39th in cheapest cost of living. That means that you will need to find some ways to make money on your homestead, taking time away from other important tasks.
Oregon ranks towards the top of the list for scenic locations. I won’t say that it is at the top of my list, but this state is in the top 10. There aren’t many other states that can provide vast plains with a gorgeous coastline!
Alaska has long been known as one of the best states for homesteading. While they no longer run a homesteading program that gives our free land, they are still a homesteaders dream. If you don’t mind working all summer in preparation to be snowed in all winter, Alaska is a beautiful place to start homesteading.
The state is still surveying its state-owned land and is always looking to sell whatever it can. They even offer something called the remote recreation cabin sites staking program. In this program, you can stake off a piece of land to belied yourself a cabin and homestead until they survey and appraise the land. From there, you can purchase the land at fair market value.
If you are considering Alaska, keep in mind that the cost of living is insanely high. You almost need to be a homesteader just to afford to live in there!
Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. All of the animals, aurora lights, and uncharted territories will surely make your journey worth the time.
If you are looking for a good mixture of being in a rural area without being “too rural”, Texas might be the best option for you. The Lone Star State can provide all of the needed resources for you to get started today. Texas is well known for cattle farming and agriculture, so homesteading should be very achievable.
Texas holds the 10th spot when it comes to the cost of living in The United States. Depending on where you are looking, you can still find very cheap land if you are willing to move away from the heavily populated areas.
No matter what you consider beautiful scenery, Texas can probably provide it for you. The state is so large that it spans multiple climates without crossing borders. You can leave the desert of El Paso in the morning and be in lush green fields by lunch time if you know what you are doing.
Arizona is one of the cheapest states to get started in because the land is so cheap. The thing you need to remember is that the land is cheap for a reason. The reason land is cheap in the Great Basin is because it is very difficult to grow anything or secure a reliable source of water. If you do purchase land in Arizona, make sure that you have a plan ready on how you are going to provide water to your homestead.
Cheap land will help you get started faster and with less risk, but you will still have expenses after that. Arizona lands in middle of the pack when it comes to cost of living in The United States. They rank 25th out of 51 states.
Arizona is known for its scenic roads and parks. You can take advantage of the Grand Canyon and a plethora of other national parks. Because of the beautiful scenery, I believe that Arizona would be one of the best states for homesteading if I were to start over.