What Are The Best States For Homesteading? 

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No matter where you live, you can learn basic homesteading skills, like cooking from scratch, preserving, and using your hands to provide for some of your own basic needs. However, if your goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible, you might be considering moving to one of the best states for homesteading.

What states allow homesteading?

While homesteading is allowed in all states, there are some states in which it is simply not feasible due to extremely high taxes, land prices, and the inability to legally go off-grid.

Here are some questions to ask when deciding which states will support your personal homesteading goals:

  • Are there any restrictions on homesteading in this state?
  • How expensive is land in this state? Can I get similar land for a better price somewhere else?
  • Does the weather support my homesteading goals?
  • What are the safety concerns of this state (for example, is it common to experience hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes?)
  • Is there ample accessibility to water?
  • Is the climate accommodating for growing food and raising animals?
  • What are the homeschooling rules and regulations?

Taking regulations, weather, and cost of living into account, here are some of the best states for homesteading:

  • Tennessee
  • Idaho
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Oklahoma
  • Iowa

Which states have the best weather for homesteading?

When contemplating off-grid living, many people’s thoughts turn quickly to Alaska, since living off-grid is fairly popular in this northern state.

However, weather is also an important factor to consider for many homesteaders. No matter how few the regulations are, thriving in intense climate conditions can be a struggle.

Here are 5 states that have excellent weather for homesteading.


Tennessee has a long harvesting season that lasts for approximately 9 months, making it an ideal place for growing your own food. Additionally, most areas have high soil quality.


This state boasts beautiful mountains and lush, rolling hills. In addition, the land is plentiful and compatible for agriculture.


The large community of homesteaders in Oregon is a good sign that this state is an excellent place to homestead. The land is fertile and supports a wide variety of crops.


If you drive through Kansas, you’ll notice that a large majority of the state is dedicated to agriculture. It boasts some of the most fertile soils in the world, making growing easier for crops such as wheat, corn, soybeans, and hay. Keep in mind that Kansas often has harsh winters, though.


Kentucky enjoys long growing seasons. Its four seasons and rich soil support a variety of crops.

Crop of corn growing in field

Why should you pay attention to zones when homesteading?

It’s important to understand your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone as you consider what you will grow on your homestead. Knowing your zone will allow you to choose the plants that will best thrive in your area.

Zones are based on average minimum winter temperature for the area.

Use this interactive map to find out what zone you live in.

Do you have to move in order to homestead?

Whether or not you have to move in order to homestead depends entirely on your homesteading goals.

If you simply want to raise animals and grow much of your own food, there are many states that will support your homesteading endeavors.

However, if you hope to experience more self-sufficiency in your homesteading, you will need to spend time looking into local and state restrictions. 

For example, is off-grid living allowed in your area? What are the homeschooling requirements? Does the cost of living make homesteading a viable option? (The cost of living in certain states, such as Hawaii, make homesteading virtually impossible for most people.)

How much land do you need in order to homestead?

The amount of land you will need again depends on your goals for homesteading. It’s possible to run a small, thriving family farm on just 2 to 5 acres. For example, even on a small plot of land, you can grow a large garden and raise animals such as chickens, rabbits, sheep, and goats for meat and eggs.

However, if you hope to have trees for wood and raise larger animals, such as cows, you’ll want to look for a plot of at least 10-20 acres.

Which state is the cheapest for buying land?

If you’re willing to move anywhere and are looking for the cheapest place to buy land, Tennessee, Arkansas, or West Virginia will probably be your best bet. You could also consider New Mexico or Arizona. These states boast inexpensive land, but the climate will likely make homesteading more difficult.

Which states are the best for off-grid living?

If you’re hoping to live off the grid, there are many aspects to consider as you contemplate the best location for your homestead. As we’ve mentioned, it’s important to examine land prices, property taxes, weather, land quality, and cost of living.

But, if you truly want to unplug from society, use solar power, and live autonomously, it’s vital to thoroughly study the rules that each area has for off-grid living.

In general, the farther you are from large cities, the fewer rules you will find. Check into regulations for building codes along with penalties and regulations for disconnecting from sewage and electrical systems.

We looked into states that have some of the least amounts of regulations when it comes to living off-grid, and here’s what we found:

  1. Maine
  2. Missouri
  3. Alaska
  4. Texas
  5. West Virginia
  6. Tennessee
  7. Vermont
  8. Alabama

Keep in mind that off-grid living is not necessarily legal in every part of these states. In most states, there are specific areas in which homesteaders are allowed to live off-grid.

Do you live in one of the best states for homesteading?

If not, what have you found to be the biggest challenge to homesteading in your area?

Pinterest pin showing a beautiful sunset with orange and yellow colors over a flat landscape with trees and a creek. A small, old, wooden house stand between two trees in front of a small farm. It is the only home for seemingly miles. Under the photo reads "Best States for Homesteading."

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