Best States for Homesteading with 5 Different Purposes in Mind


Modern homesteading is a booming trend right now, as masses of people continue to migrate from cities to more rural settings. However, even city-dwellers are getting in on the trend by building their own urban homestead, as it's not only about owning land, which is becoming harder and harder to come by with each passing year. While people homestead for a variety of reasons, most share a common desire for simplicity and self-reliance. Coming in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, homesteads tend to take on the personality of the homesteader and the vision they have, which ultimately determines where they should build their homestead in the first place.

The United States boasts a wildly diverse geographic footprint that caters to just about every homestead concept imaginable. Similarly, the financial component can greatly vary from state to state, so you have a variety of options that work better for different situations. If you're interested in a place where you can homeschool you're children or save on property taxes, you'll want to do your research first. However, fortunately for you, we took the liberty of doing some of that for you, compiling our five ideal homesteading states based on how the property will be used.

For the Farmer

Many people who take an interest in the concept of homesteading think about one thing from the jump: food. These are the people who fall in love with the idea of living somewhere that's conducive to growing crops, where they know they can count on having consistently healthy harvests. If you're planning on farming on your homestead, there are a handful of must-haves in order to justify the location: generous amounts of rainfall, good soil, and a mild climate. You don't want to be somewhere too hot or too cold, nor do you want to want to be praying for rain that just won't seem to ever fall. Having an abundant growing season is vital in creating a sustainable farming operation.

For the farmer, the best state for a homestead is Virginia, which was built upon the work of farmers who reaped the rewards of rich, productive soil, and plentiful, consistent rains. No state offers a greater upside for healthy growth than Virginia, and homesteaders don't even have to fret about acquiring great amounts of land, as a small, creative garden can yield a great return.

Best state for a homestead garden: Virginia

Runners up: Iowa, Maine

Most Abundance

Now when determining the best state to homestead in for sheer abundance, modern homesteaders need to look for an area where natural resources are more giving than elsewhere. Our nation is in fact home to one of the most abundant places on earth, and history proves that.

Prior to the intervention of Europeans to America, this continent was home to a diverse, vast, and complex array of societies. Some people were farmers, some were nomadic hunters, and others practiced both. The easiest way to identify a tribe's lifestyle was to look at their homes. If the home was easy to move, say a tipi for example, the tribe was nomadic and wandered for food. If the homes were permanent the people typically farmed to some extent. The exception comes on our Northwest coast.

The tribes of the Northwest coast were the only people on this continent who had permanent shelters that did not farm. The land they lived on was that abundant. Both on water and land, this land proved the most abundant in America. For a homesteader looking for an area where the natural abundance is the highest, the best states to homestead in are in the northwest coast; particularly coastal Oregon.

Most abundant state to homestead: Oregon

Runner up: Washington

Cheapest Cost of Living

For some aspiring homesteaders out there, the best states to homestead in are the ones that allow the cheapest acquisition of land. Cheap land affords the homesteader the opportunity to get up and running in a self-sufficient way, with a smaller degree of financial risk.

On the flip side however, the cheaper lands tend to be the least productive lands in America so creating a self-reliant homestead requires creativity.

The cheapest land typically is found in the Great Basin, or the lands of Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. The arid climate here makes growing food challenging, but buying land an affordable possibility. One exception is the state of Arkansas that offers buyers a variety of cheap land options.

Cheapest state to homestead: Arizona

Runner up: New Mexico

Honorable mention: Arkansas


Many folks who go down the homesteading path do so out of a desire to get closer to nature. Our nation houses many beautiful areas and if you look hard there are still a few nooks and crannies to get away to.

Homesteading oftentimes requires much labor outdoors, and while you are outside you might as well have the most majestic backdrop you can. Plenty of ranching goes on in Montana

If the best states to homestead in were decided by scenic beauty, Montana would have to come in first place.

Montana's big skies and beautiful landscapes make it an ideal location for folks who like to get out and explore. Not only does it offer majestic mountains, but the broken Missouri Breaks country is a hidden gem of America.

Most scenic homesteads: Montana

Runner up: Colorado

Most Remote

When anyone even hears the word "homestead," they think of the most remote settings America has to offer, as the stereotypical homesteader lives miles from the nearest neighbor, thriving on self-sufficiency. Many states don't present the same realistic off-the-grid opportunities they once did, which is why the best choice for the traditional homesteader is America's last truly wild gem: Alaska.

Despite some false reports and zealous rumors, Alaska doesn't currently have any kind of homesteading program, but raw geographic conditions have kept much of The Last Frontier completely unsettled. Very little business takes places on America's most northern lands and they don't have any state income tax, both of which add homesteading allure.

Scenery isn't hard to come by, as endless mountains and forests that make up the breathtaking Alaskan wilderness allow anyone the ability to disappear. Self-reliance is a common theme across the state, too, as many of its pockets essentially require a homesteading lifestyle due to their lack of resources.

If you want the realest homesteading experience, Alaska is the state for you.

Most remote homesteads: Alaska

Runner up: Nevada, Wyoming

There you have it, the best states to homestead depending on what you are specifically looking for. For those interested, the simpleness of homesteading can be a great break from the fast paced world around us.