Homesteading in Idaho: Here's What You Need to Know (2024)

Are you considering to start a homestead in Idaho?

If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Idaho is one of my favorite states because of its beautiful landscapes, its rich farmland, and the laid back style of life. It’s also homesteading friendly, boasting more than 60,000 homesteads throughout the state.

As new homesteaders are searching for a place to establish their roots, I know a lot of questions come up and uncertainty may settle in. I hope this blog answers all the questions and concerns that you may be having if you are considering Idaho as the state to settle down in to start your homestead.

What is Idaho's homesteading law?

Idaho’s homesteading law can be found in Section 55, Chapter 10 of the Idaho Statutes. It serves to protect a person’s permanent dwelling place (including a mobile home) during times of financial crisis.

Does Idaho have a homesteading exemption?

Yes. Idaho’s homestead exemption grants the owner $100,000 protection from creditors so long that a Declaration of a Homestead is on file. In other words, as a homeowner, your primary residence (and any other personal property worth up to 100k that was previously declared under the Homestead document) cannot be seized even if you have pending debts.

If you missed it, the keyword here is filing a “Declaration of a Homestead.”

According to Section 55-1004, “An owner who selects a homestead from unimproved or improved land that is not yet occupied as a homestead must execute a declaration of homestead and file the same for record in the office of the recorder of the county in which the land is located.”

Without a declaration, the State won’t grant you this kind of protection. If you have previously filed this paperwork for a different property, you will need to submit all the paperwork again with your new permanent residence. Idaho only allows one property (your primary residence) to be recorded in your Homestead Declaration.

PROS and CONS of Homesteading in Idaho


  • The laws primarily benefit homesteaders, with regard to owner-built homes, homeschooling your children, growing your crops and raising livestock on your property.
  • It’s mostly a conservative state, although due to the influx of migration some cities are becoming predominantly liberal. (This could be a pro or con depending on your political affiliation.)
  • Rich and fertile soil makes it great for growing crops.
  • Diverse climates and ecosystems throughout the state.
  • Low to mild humidity, in most places.
  • Very few natural disasters to worry about, aside from occasional wildfires and strong winds in some places.
  • Idaho has great outdoor activities, skiing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, backpacking, hunting, fishing.
  • A lot of untouched wilderness and free-roaming wildlife.
  • Low population.
  • Mostly friendly and like-minded people that are willing to help others.
  • Low crime rate.


  • Weather extremes are common in some cities. You can expect an occasional frost or snowstorm in June and then a few days with 100-degree weather in July.
  • Some people have experienced racism. This might be the result of Aryan Nations- a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and neo-Nazi terrorist organization that was founded in the 1970s. It originated in Hayden, Idaho, just 7 miles north of Coeur d’Alene. The original compound of the Aryan Nations has been destroyed and the organization leader died years ago, however, slight remnants of racism may still be felt [Important to note: I receive occasional comments from Idahoans that "there's no racism in North Idaho" and I certainly hope that's the case. I'm not advocating that racism is a thing. I'm only stating a historical event that occurred. In any case, I have friends from Coeur d'Alene who have never experienced racism and have known a couple who left the North because of the racism they experienced. As for me, I love Idaho and haven't personally experienced racism there. I'll leave it at that.]

Every state will have its pros and cons, so I hope this list wasn’t enough to help you make up your mind entirely. Not so fast!

Idaho is an amazing place with an abundance of natural resources. Continue reading to see if the Gem State is fit to become your new home sweet home.

Homesteading in Idaho: Here's What You Need to Know (1)

Is Idaho the right state for you?

Moving your family to start a homestead is no easy task. There are many factors involved so it’s impossible to give a definite answer.

Although it’s difficult to find a place that meets all the requirements that one finds ideal in a homestead, many people have a general idea of certain things they must have, and others that can be compromised.

I broke down 22 of the “make it or break it” requirements that go into planning a homestead. This way, you can get a better idea if Idaho is indeed the right place for you!

Make it or Break itrequirements

1. Weather

Idaho’s climate is very diverse. The northern part of the state is typically much colder and receives a lot more rain and snow throughout the year. The southern part of the state is drier, and consequently much warmer, especially during the summer months. To get a more accurate idea of each city’s climate, you can check out this link to US Climate Data.

An important thing to consider is solar and wind energy. If you’re looking into building an off-grid home that is sustained either by solar or wind power, make sure to find a place that offers plenty of sunshine and/or wind year-round.

The Weather Atlas gives a detailed overview of the climate in every city of Idaho, including the average amount of sunshine per city. For example, click here to see a graph of Boise’s yearly average daylight and sunshine hours. You can do the same search for any city of your choosing.

2. Annual Average Precipitation

The amount of rain and snowfall is very important for any homestead because consistent irrigation is a huge deal. Idaho is abundant in the amount of water it receives every year, but it varies between the northern and southern regions. The US Climate Data website offers insight into the annual precipitation details for every city.

3. Natural Disasters

Other than wildfires and high-speed gusts of wind, Idaho doesn’t experience major natural disasters. This makes it a perfect place for building a homestead without the fear that all your hard work will be destroyed in a moment’s notice.

Idaho Firewise is an organization that instructs people on how to build low-ignition homes and landscapes. I recommend checking them out. Also, strengthen any structures in order to protect your animals and crops in the event of high-speed winds.

4. Terrain

When looking at land, you’ll want to keep in mind the work that is required to cultivate something on it. If you’re willing to put in the work and/or have the necessary equipment, you may be fine with the rocky terrain. If not, you may want to look for properties that have some established trees and the terrain has been previously used or somewhat prepared for planting seeds. Surely in Idaho, you’ll be able to find both of these, it’s just a matter of what resources you have and what your budget is.

5. Soil Quality

Idaho is known for having some of the best soil in the nation. The condition of your soil is directly correlated to the success of your crops. I’m not an expert on this but I found a good resource from the US Department of Agriculture which provides some information on the soil health of Idaho. You can find that information here.

6. Growing Season

Some places in Idaho (the valleys) allow you to grow your crops for about 7 months out of the year, while the mountainous regions located in higher altitudes (northern and central region) will typically have a short growing season. Successful homesteads can be found all throughout Idaho, so a short growing season shouldn’t be a discouraging factor entirely. The key to maximizing the growth potential of your garden is choosing the right plants and learning the techniques that work best for those climates.

This website from the University of Idaho, provides amazing information on all sorts of gardening topics including planting, landscaping, insects, and other pests.

The University of Idaho also created a couple of guides which specifically discuss techniques to successfully grow vegetables in high altitudes and short-season climates. You can find the Introduction to Short-Season Gardening here and Choosing and Growing Adapted Vegetable Varieties here.

Another cool resource is Dave’s Garden. This website tool gives you an idea of how many days a city’s growing season will be. If you’re looking into several different areas, you can easily make a comparison of when to expect the first and last freeze based on the estimates given on their website.

7. Access To Water

Having access to water on your property is perhaps the most important factor when you’re considering to start a homestead.

Receiving an abundance of rain and snow does not guarantee that your crops will have enough water year-round. Water is also necessary for all other aspects of life, like drinking and hygiene.

Buying your property with pre-existing water rights is beneficial and recommended because they’re not easy to obtain otherwise. Water rights give you the ability to use (not own) the State’s public water by means of diversion of lakes and rivers to your property. Make sure you’re clear on the limits of the water rights that come with your property because the licenses differ. You must stay within the limits of your license to avoid penalties.

It’s favorable to have water rights especially if the property is larger than one acre AND if it’s located in the west/desert areas.

You can visit Idaho’s Department of Water Resources for all the information you need concerning water rights.

Drilling a well or having one on the property is another option many homesteaders take advantage of, but it’s definitely something you have to plan and budget for.

8. Possible Restrictions / Legal Considerations

  • Laws on the ownership of livestock and other animals:
    Idaho allows the raising of animals for both domestic and commercial purposes. Keep in mind that you might have to apply for permits prior to owning certain animals. The laws governing animals can be found in the Idaho Statutes: Title 25.
  • Zoning laws:
    The Idaho Statutes (Title 67, Chapter 65) discuss the planning of how local land is to be used. Section 67-6511 specifically discusses zoning issues. It states that each governing area (counties in this case) have the authority to make and enforce their own zoning laws.

    To find information on zoning restrictions for a specific county, Google the name of the city followed by “Idaho zoning map”.

  • HOAs and CC&Rs:
    Homeowners Associations establish Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions in their neighborhoods. Rules might work well for some people, but I’m willing to bet that the majority of homesteaders are the kind of people who want to build their own homes their way. If the home or property you’re interested in is part of an HOA, look into their CC&Rs before purchasing it. Think about the future goal of your homestead and make sure that it can be met by looking at the regulations set by the HOA first.
  • Reservation of Rights:
    Before buying property, be aware of any “Reservation of Rights” in a deed. A Reservation of Rights allows the seller of a property to maintain ownership over certain property rights (such as water rights, mineral rights, timber rights, and so on) even after the property has been sold to someone else. In other words, you may think you own all the land, but some of the resources available there might actually not belong to you. You can read an in-depth explanation of common Reservation of Rights here.

    Always ask if the property is on reservation land or has deeded access. Some reservations have been created around private properties and they may charge or revoke road access at any time.

  • Living in an RV / tent:
    I’ve read countless forum threads about people who plan to purchase a few acres of land and live in their RV while they’re in the process of building their home. In theory, this sounds like a brilliant idea. While it’s acceptable in some places throughout Idaho, it’s not allowed everywhere (possibly to prevent squatters). Look into CC&Rs and local laws before you decide to make this decision. Regulations may vary from county to county.

9. Building Codes

The problem most homesteaders face is that they have to jump many hoops before they can build their dream home. Building codes are not only tedious but very costly.

Many people have moved to Idaho because the building codes are a lot more lenient when compared to other states. According to my research, the Northern part of the State has fewer regulations than the South.

Building codes are determined and enforced locally, so be sure that you’re well aware of what you’re getting into before buying a property. If you’re looking to build your home from earthy-materials, you may need to find land in the boonies where the codes are less restrictive.

Idaho has a Homeowners and Property Tax Exemption. Once you’ve qualified for a Homesteader’s Exemption, you can claim it in your taxes. The exemption significantly lowers your property taxes by reducing the taxable value of your home by 50%, but no more than $100,000, as well as up to one acre of land. You must own your home before the 1st of January (of the year you’re applying for) and apply for the exemption before April 15th. Talk to your County Assessor or visit the Idaho State Tax Commission website for more information.

11. Distance To Town

In Idaho you can find properties that are located within reasonable distance to the city as well as properties that are completely remote. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, but your preference is what is most important. If you’re looking at purchasing property in Idaho but haven’t made the trip to visit yet, you can look at Google Earth and Google Maps to get an idea of what stores are available in or near the city you’re interested in. Note that they may not be 100% up to date, but it’s possibly the most accurate free resource available.

If your property is far from town, think of transportation options. You will likely need a 4WD vehicle in the winter.

12. Internet Access

While the internet has only been around for a few short decades, it has become a prime source of contact and communication. Although people are perfectly capable of living completely off the grid, many of us have a personal desire and need to stay in touch with the rest of the world, even if it’s only through online means. Living completely secluded will have its challenges, but is feasible if you have the means to stay connected (virtually, that is).

Internet accessibility is vital for those who have online businesses or blogs, and/or are homeschooling their children.

Idaho is the 42nd most connected state, with only 20% of the population being underserved. This means that 80% of Idahoans have access to two or more internet providers. You can find detailed information on internet coverage per city right here.

13. Population Density

Idaho has a low population density. Over the last several years, the U.S. Census Bureau has taken notice of the rapid population growth. In 2018, Forbes called Boise the fastest-growing city in the country. It is expected that the numbers will continue to increase for two primary reasons- there is a lot of migration coming from other states/ countries, and the number of births in the state have outnumbered the number of deaths. To see a complete review and statistics on the population of Idaho, click here.

14. Job Opportunities

Job hunting is a major struggle for those moving to Idaho, particularly in the Northern region. Wages are said to be low when compared to other parts of the country, considering the cost of living. It’s recommended that wherever you choose to move to, you have a job offer already secured. If your job or business is online, make sure you have reliable internet connection wherever you’re going.

15. Community

Building a community of like-minded individuals is an important factor, especially when starting a homestead. All the tasks that come with making a homestead successful are challenging. Finding a place within a community that shows support for each other is vital.

Idaho has developed a culture of the homesteading lifestyle. The people are known to be kind and helpful. Some claim that the northern regions are a bit extreme in their political beliefs, however there’s no better way to determine whether you’d fit in or not without traveling there first.

I encourage you narrow down your search to a couple of cities, if possible. Then, plan a trip to explore and make contact with the community, whether it be by getting involved in some events or reaching out to them via social media. Once you’ve gotten a feel for a place, you can make your decision.

16. Raising A Family

Idaho is a family-friendly state. I read through countless forums and spoke with several Idahoans who agree that it’s a wonderful place to raise their kids.

17. Vaccination Regulations

Vaccinations are a bit of a controversial subject, but I know it’s an important issue for many homesteaders with kids. Idaho gives parents the freedom to refuse the vaccination of their children for religious, medical or other personal reasons. You can read more about Idaho’s vaccine requirements, laws, and exemptions on the National Vaccine Information Center’s website.

18. Homeschooling Regulations

Homeschooling is very common in Idaho. Many homesteaders plan to homeschool their children and incorporate daily farming chores as part of their kid’s school curriculum. Idaho is one of the states which gives parents the freedom to do so. To learn about your homeschooling rights and how to start, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSDLA)’s website has great information.

An alternative to homeschooling is Connections Academy which allows children in grades K-12 to enroll in public school online for free.

19. Foraging Opportunities

Idaho offers an abundant amount of edible plants that can be found in the wild. Can you say fully organic and pesticide free?!

Recently I read a blog about an Idahoan couple that goes on nature hikes with the intent of picking berries and other wild plants. They prepare the food they collect in many creative ways, such as BBQ sauce, ice cream, and jam.

Not only does foraging cut the cost of buying groceries, but it’s also an incredible educational opportunity for the whole family. Learning to identify edible plants and preserve them for future use is a skill I believe every person should acquire.

20. Hunting / Fishing Laws

Residents and nonresidents of Idaho can hunt and fish in specified areas throughout the State. The laws vary depending on the animal that you’re interested in hunting. You can find all the resources you need on Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game website.

Everyone is required to obtain a hunting and/or fishing license. You can find information on the license fees and where to purchase them right here.

This Hunt Planner gives you a lot of resources, including interactive maps and area details, of all the places you can hunt throughout Idaho.

If you have questions about the laws on off-road vehicles, you can find some answers here.

21. Gun Laws

Residents of Idaho over the age of 18 do not need a permit to purchase or possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Concealed carry is permitted for residents over the age of 21 under good standing with the law. To read all the details on Idaho’s Gun and Weapon Law, you can visit their official website here.

22. Crime Rate

Idaho is one of the states with the lowest property and violent crime rates in the nation. made a comprehensive investigation to identify Idaho’s 25 safest cities. They don’t only examine the current data but also analyze crime trends. Luckily, the crime trend is lowering in several places. You can find their full report here.

The State of Idaho’s official website offers interactive maps and specific data about sex offenders, crime statistics, and arrest activity by city.

Homesteading in Idaho: Here's What You Need to Know (2)

Which area of Idaho is best for homesteading?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. It really comes down to what you and your family want.

North, Central, and Southern Idaho are very diverse in terms of the land, natural resources, people, and culture. Before getting your heart set on a specific region, you should decide which requirements are important to you in a homestead. This will help you narrow down and determine which area is more suitable to you based on your personal preferences.

For instance, do you envision yourself living in a completely remote area surrounded by the forest? Or would you rather live near the city with a large enough property that allows you to meet the needs of a self-sustained life?

Fun fact: The majority of Idaho’s agriculture is located in the Midwest because of the soil quality and temperate climate. If growing crops is your priority, you may want to start looking in this area. If you’re interested in raising livestock and other animals, you can easily look into other regions so long that water is easily accessible.

Northern and Central Idaho

Note: Don’t be alarmed by the amount of “cons” that outnumber the “pros”. These are merely things to consider and I’m not trying to discourage anyone from homesteading there.


  • It’s a very green, mountainous, and heavily forested region full of rivers and lakes. It is said to be Idaho’s most beautiful region, due to its untouched jaw-dropping scenery.
  • Smaller towns offer cheaper land, but are more difficult to get to.
  • The valleys receive a few inches of snow at a time. Expect a lot of snow in the mountains.


  • The North and South have different time zones. The time zone in the North is set to Pacific Time (PDT).
  • Short summers and long, cold winters. You can expect a lot of snow in the mountains. Some locals have mentioned that dump trucks will come on occasion to remove snow because they’ve run out of space to plow the roads.
  • Shorter growing season (when compared to the South). In high mountain areas, the growing season can be as short as 60 days. In the valleys, it can be as short as 90 days. This could be a difficult adjustment for new homesteaders. You may want to consider building a thermal green house.
  • The terrain is rocky in many areas. It might be difficult to grow food to fully sustain you year-round but still not an impossible task if you work hard to prepare the land and improve the soil.
  • There isn’t enough rainfall during summer months (especially July and August) so you will need to think of an irrigation solution to sustain your garden.
  • People seem to be more independent. Staying on good terms with your neighbors is important.
  • Jobs can be difficult or nearly impossible to find. Job wages are generally low.
  • Land is priced very high especially if you consider the quality of the roads, jobs, and schools in the area.


  • The Panhandle - The Panhandle refers to the region farthest to the North of Idaho, encompassing 10 counties. It’s considered an outdoor enthusiast’s playground because of the forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife that can be found in the region. It’s also known to be the area that has loose building codes and is a bit more lenient when it comes to living in an RV on your property.
    • Sandpoint - Sandpoint is green and lush. It has “mild” winters compared to the mountain towns. It’s a nice city to raise kids but jobs can be difficult to find. There’s a thriving hippie population in this area. Property, whether you’re renting or buying, is pricey in Sandpoint.
    • Coeur d’Alene - CDA is very green and forested, due to the amount of rain and snow it receives. It’s colder than other areas. Some say that it has become too commercialized for homesteading, but it’s still a nice town to raise kids. Buying and renting property is very expensive in Coeur d’Alene. Just an hour north of Coeur d’Alene is Bonner County which has lower taxes and may be a more suitable place if you’re on a budget.
  • North Central
    • Moscow - Also known as the “dry pea, lentil, and soybean capital of the world”. It’s a laid back town with a local farmer’s market. If you’re a hippie, you’ll fit in just fine. It will probably be a continuously thriving area since there are a couple of universities nearby.
    • Lewiston - Located in the center of the State just south of Moscow, Lewiston is a nice city to live in and work at. The people are said to be friendly and you can establish a good sense of community among your neighbors. Crops do very well there. The growing season is much longer than the majority of Northern and Central Idaho because the climate is hot in the summer and mild in the winter.
    • Orofino - The growing season in Orofino is longer than other cities within the North/ Central regions. The farm ground is said to be exceptional.

Southeastern and Southwestern Idaho


  • Longer growing season (when compared to the North).
  • In the winter, the valleys receive a few inches of snow at a time. Expect a lot of snow in the mountains and in the Southeastern portion of the State.
  • The soil is great for growing a garden, but there is a lot of volcanic rock below the surface making it difficult to toil.


  • The North and South have different time zones. The time zone in the South is set to Mountain Time (MDT).
  • Water can become scarce, especially during the summer.
  • Some parts in the South are desert-like with extreme summer and winter temperatures.
  • It can get very windy, especially in the Southeast.


  • Treasure Valley -The Treasure valley is also known as Idaho’s Banana Belt because it’s a region where the tropical-like climate is generally warmer than other parts of the state. This valley is composed of five counties in southwestern Idaho, reaching beyond the Oregon state line. Compared to the rest of Idaho, the Treasure Valley is one of the few places where it doesn’t get bitter cold during the winter. It’s also one of the most diverse agricultural regions with the potential to improve and increase the production of your crops.
    • Boise -Boise is reasonably arid. It has a relatively short winter (with lows in the 20s to teens) and long summers (with highs in the 90s/ 100s sometimes). It doesn’t get too humid. Boise is an up and coming city, with a huge influx of people. According to the Census Bureau, its the nation’s 7th fastest growing city.Many crops do well in the Boise area, specifically corn and potatoes.
  • Mountain Home - Mountain home is sandwiched between the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley, in the county of Elmore. It may not be the best place for a homestead because it’s desert-like climate is typically very dry, making it hard to farm. There may be more limitations on water and the soil may be difficult for growing a garden. The summers tend to be way too hot while the winters tend to be way too cold. Plus, it’s super windy. Glen’s Ferry, also located in the Elmore County, is said to be a bit nicer and a better option for homesteading.

Tips before taking the plunge!

  • Take a few trips to Idaho before committing to move. I would encourage you to travel to a couple of cities that you believe you would like to establish your homestead. Travel to those places at least once in the summer and once in the winter to get a feel for the seasonal changes, especially if you’re not accustomed to extreme temperatures.
  • When you visit Idaho, meet the locals and ask them questions! Get insight from the people who might one day become your neighbors.
  • If you’re interested in buying land but don’t know where to start, Land Watch is a great place to look. On their website you can get an idea of price ranges and what types of properties are currently available. I recommend leasing property for about 6 months before choosing a definite place to buy and settle. Finding a location you love and see long-term value in is vital. If you’re concerned about making the wrong choice and don’t want to potentially waste a bunch of money, get a feel for the land by living in it first.
  • Buy property WITH water rights attached to the land, especially if you’re considering planting larger crops.
  • Look into wind power because it’s windy in many areas, especially in the desert. Solar power is another great option for the places that get a lot of sunshine every year.
  • Have a solid 6 months of savings to make the transition less stressful.
  • Learn canning and food preservation skills.
  • Think about how you’re going to plant and harvest your crops if you’re planning to have a large-scale garden. Will you need machinery or expensive equipment? If so, is there a co-op where you can share the equipment with your neighbors for a cheaper cost, rather than having to buy it yourself.
  • Do you have very specific questions? City Data is an online forum where you can ask anything you want to the residents of any state. I find that people on that site are helpful and resourceful.

Idaho made it to my top 12 US States for homesteading. Find out which other 11 states made the list!

Was this post helpful to you? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

Homesteading in Idaho: Here's What You Need to Know (2024)


Is Idaho a good state for homesteading? ›

For anyone looking to start a small diversified farm or homestead, Idaho has a great deal to offer. Land prices are below the national average and it is not an overly regulated states. The range within the growing season is wide, so you want to do some research on what grows best in specific areas.

Can you still homestead land in Idaho? ›

Under Idaho's homestead statute, property owners may designate $100,000 worth of their property (including all land, homes, mobile homes, improvements, etc.) as a homestead. While married couples may not double that amount (as in some other states), it's a fairly generous limit.

Can you live off the grid in Idaho? ›

While the climate and terrain don't make it easy, Idaho is considered one of the best states for off-grid living. Compared to the rest of the USA, the laws are very relaxed. Don't assume you'll be able to do whatever you want on your property though.

What part of Idaho is best for homesteading? ›

Which area of Idaho is best for homesteading? There's no right or wrong answer here. It really comes down to what you and your family want. North, Central, and Southern Idaho are very diverse in terms of the land, natural resources, people, and culture.

What is the toughest state to homestead? ›

The Worst Homesteading State: New Jersey

New Jersey is located on the East Coast, and it stretches for around 166miles North-South, and 65 miles West-East (at its widest) (around 5.6 million acres in size), with a population of 8.8 million people.

How do I claim land in Idaho? ›

To prove ownership by adverse possession, the claimant must prove, by clear and convincing evidence, the following elements:
  1. Possession of the property. ...
  2. In an adverse, open, and notorious manner.
  3. Exclusive of other rights.
  4. Payment of taxes.
  5. For the statutory period.

How do I apply for homestead in Idaho? ›

HOW DOES ONE APPLY? You must complete an application for a Homestead Exemption. You can get an application by emailing us or calling our office at (208) 287-7200. A Homestead Exemption application can also be filled out online.

How much is the Homestead Exemption in Idaho? ›

House Bill 389 passed in the 2021 legislative session increasing the maximum Homestead Exemption at $125,000. The Homestead Exemption is the lesser of 50% of the assessed value or $125,000 for the 2023 assessment year. Page last updated October 3, 2022.

What are the disadvantages of homesteading? ›

Cons: Potential for a significant loss of revenue which could impact public services. Large tax exemptions could shift a majority of the tax burden over to businesses and other types of property that aren't eligible for the homestead exemption.

How do I start a homestead with no money? ›

How to Start Homesteading with No Money
  1. Know Why You Want to Homestead. ...
  2. Get Out of Debt. ...
  3. Stick to a Budget. ...
  4. Buy Used As Often As Possible! ...
  5. Know Your Local Zoning Laws. ...
  6. Use the Land You Already Have. ...
  7. Look for Free or Cheap Land. ...
  8. Focus on Being Happy with What You Have.
26 Mar 2022

Can you homestead 1 acre? ›

You don't need a lot of acreage to have a self-sufficient homestead. Even on a 1-acre farm, you can milk a family cow, raise livestock and reap garden harvests — all while improving your land's soil fertility with manure and proper grazing management.

How much does an acre of land cost in Idaho? ›

How much does land cost in Idaho? Buying an acre of land in Idaho costs $23,656 on average based on the asking price of 184,538 acres for sale.

Can I hunt on my own property in Idaho? ›


Much of the land in Idaho is privately owned. Hunters can typically freely take game animals hunted on their own private property, or may seek permission from a landowner to hunt on private property.

Where is good simple life filmed? ›

The Perfect Fireproof Concrete House Solution – Jeremy and Melissa of Good Simple Living are building a home in the mountains of North Idaho for their homeschooling, homesteading family of 6.

Do you have to pay property taxes in Idaho? ›

Counties levy and collect property tax to provide local services and support for independent local taxing districts, such as cities and schools. The State of Idaho doesn't receive any property tax. Property tax applies to all nonexempt property including: Homes (including manufactured housing)

Does Montana have free land for homesteading? ›

The good news is that homesteading is legal in Montana. Homesteading in the state dates back to the Homestead Act of 1862, enabling US citizens to claim land provided that they lived on it, cultivated it, and improved it.

What states give free land? ›

Certain states offer free land programs to attract new residents. The program generally provides a lot of land for homesteading in an effort to encourage economic growth in less populated areas. If you want to find free land, then the top states that offer free land include Kansas, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

What is the easiest state to homestead? ›

Best States for Homesteading
  • Iowa. Iowa is has some of the most arable land in the United States, which makes it great for starting a self-sufficient homestead. ...
  • Wyoming. Wyoming has a lot of things going for it. ...
  • Arkansas. ...
  • Idaho. ...
  • Oregon. ...
  • Indiana. ...
  • Virginia. ...
  • North Carolina.

Can you claim homestead in two states? ›

Most states have a homestead exemption. They require the homesteaded property be the homeowner's primary place of residence. Homeowners can only be homesteaded in one state.

Is there squatters rights in Idaho? ›

For someone to gain squatter's rights in Idaho, they must have lived in your property for a certain period of time. In the state of Idaho, this period is at least 20 years of continuous occupation. This is a significant increase from the previous period of only 5 years.

Is it legal to pan for gold in Idaho? ›

The federal and Idaho state governments do not regulate panning or non-mechanized activity in Idaho. Therefore, you may pan on public lands (federal, state, or local government-owned lands) without a permit.

What is a quiet title action in Idaho? ›


At what age do seniors stop paying property taxes in Idaho? ›

The state's Property Tax Reduction, or “Circuit Breaker,” program gives Idahoans age 65 or older (as well as other qualified people) a small break on their property taxes, but it reduces taxes only by $1,320 at the most.

Do seniors get a discount on property taxes in Idaho? ›

BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Senate Republicans passed a bill that aims to keep Idaho senior citizens in their homes by allowing more people to qualify for a property tax reduction. Senate Bill 1241 increases the maximum home value for a homeowner to qualify for Idaho's circuit breaker program from 125% to 200%.

Who is exempt from paying property taxes? ›

Educational institutions and properties owned by the Council of Legal Education, Government-owned lands, Lands owned by the Local Authorities, Hospitals, and.

How can I lower my property taxes in Idaho? ›

You must apply for your property tax reduction between January 1 and April 15th of the current year. To receive this benefit, you must apply and qualify each year. It is not renewed automatically. You must show proof of your eligibility, income, and medical expenses when you file your application.

What is a declaration of homestead in Idaho? ›

(3) The declaration of homestead must contain: (a) A statement that the person making it is residing on the premises or intends to reside thereon and claims the premises as a homestead; (b) A legal description of the premises; and. (c) An estimate of the premises actual cash value.

Who qualifies for circuit breaker in Idaho? ›

That created a threshold of 125% of the country's median value for a home to be eligible to participate in the circuit breaker program. That new threshold passed in the 2021 law was expected to result in 4,000 Idahoans no longer being eligible for the circuit breaker program in 2022.

Can you sell homestead property? ›

A married owner may not mortgage, sell or gift the homestead to anyone other than his spouse or to themselves and the spouse, unless the spouse also signs the deed or mortgage. This is true even if the spouse doesn't have an ownership interest in the property.

What are the benefits of being a homesteader? ›

3 Benefits of Homesteading Your Primary Residence
  • Tax Exemptions. Everyone loves a property tax cut. ...
  • Protection of Your Property. A property that has been homesteaded is protected from forced sale to satisfy debts for personal loans. ...
  • Protection for Your Family.
5 Jun 2018

What are the benefits of living in homestead? ›

Here are the advantages that we've realized over the last several years.
Advantages to having land:
  • No close neighbors, you have your own space.
  • Room for animals.
  • Room for crops/large vegetable garden.
  • Room to expand if needed.
  • Space for kids to play outside.
  • Better resale value.
  • Easier to be self sufficient on.
22 Jul 2011

Can you run a homestead by yourself? ›

The number one thing homesteaders who are alone need to do is to consolidate and set goals! This means reducing the workload so that the homestead can be more effective overall. Amazing things can be done with a small plot of land so don't make it harder than it has to be. What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

Is homesteading hard? ›

Homesteading is hard work. The duties and responsibilities do not allow for easy downtime. Much of the work is physically demanding, and you need to problem solve and have multidisciplinary skills. Although the life is tough, most homesteaders choose it over living a comfortable and less self-sufficient life.

How do people afford homesteading? ›

The best way to afford a homestead is to start thinking about money management.
  1. Remove all existing debt.
  2. Create a budget you can live with.
  3. Change your Money Mindset.
  4. Stop comparing yourself to others.
  5. Live within your means.
31 Jan 2022

What is a micro homestead? ›

Micro-farming is defined as a farm that's five acres or less. Micro homesteading has a more subjective meaning that can range from growing vegetables, raising livestock, or just having productive and aesthetic permaculture.

How many acres does it take to feed a family of 4? ›

This number assumes absolutely no land degradation, crop failures, or waste. An infographic by breaks it down to about 2 acres of land for a family of four. This includes approximately 12,000 sq. feet for wheat, 65 for eggs, 2640 for corn, 100 for dairy, 207 for meat, and 77,000 square feet for vegetables.

What is the cheapest place to live in Idaho? ›

The Top 10 Most Affordable Cities in Idaho in 2021
  • Burley.
  • Blackfoot.
  • Jerome.
  • Pocatello.
  • Idaho Falls.
  • Twin Falls.
  • Chubbuck.
  • Ammon.

What is BLM land in Idaho? ›

The BLM manages nearly 12 million acres of public lands for multiple use in Idaho, representing nearly one-fourth of the state's total land area. Through balanced management, we sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

How much does it cost to build a house in Idaho? ›

In 2021, the price to build a single-family home in Boise, Idaho can range from $127.64 per square foot to as much as $495.90 per square foot, with a median price range of $235 to $255 per square foot. From 2020-2021, homeowners spent an average of $257,762.25 for their home construction projects.

How many acres do you need to hunt on it in Idaho? ›

Answer: There is no minimum size of acres you need to own in order to hunt on it.

Can you live off grid in Idaho? ›

While the climate and terrain don't make it easy, Idaho is considered one of the best states for off-grid living. Compared to the rest of the USA, the laws are very relaxed. Don't assume you'll be able to do whatever you want on your property though.

Can you shoot a deer in your yard in Idaho? ›

You must have a valid Idaho hunting license to hunt on private land, and you must stay within the season rules that Fish and Game has set up for the unit. Hunting any wildlife, even on private property, must adhere to state fish and game laws.

Where is homesteading family from? ›

Josh and Carolyn now live on 40 beautiful acres of land in North Idaho, raising all of their own meat, 90% of all dairy products and 75% of all their own fruit and vegetables. And they're doing it with all-natural methods, while taking care of a growing family of 10!

Where is the Amish Programme filmed? ›

Is modern life bad for us? A major new six-part Channel 4 series, The Simpler Life will explore this question, following 24 Brits as they come together to live by the rules of a community who chose to disregard the majority of modern values – the Amish. And it was all filmed on a farmstead in Shebbear, North Devon.

Where is the farm on The Simpler Life? ›

The home of the hit TV show, The Simpler Life is a beautiful farmstead, Libbear Barton, in North West Devon that you can visit for a holiday.

What state has the cheapest land for homesteading? ›

For homesteaders searching for the cheapest state to buy land, we highly recommend Arkansas. It offers plenty of outdoor activities, highly fertile soil for farming, and is perfect for nature lovers. Also, it is incredibly diverse, with country-friendly and urban dwellings depending on where you live.

What state has the best homestead laws? ›

10 Best States For Homesteading 2022
  1. Tennessee. Rural Tennessee is already a popular location for sustainable living enthusiasts, with a fantastic harvesting season of around 9 months of the year, there are low property taxes and costs.
  2. Idaho. ...
  3. Oregon. ...
  4. Maine. ...
  5. Michigan. ...
  6. Connecticut. ...
  7. Montana. ...
  8. Alaska. ...

Which states have the best homestead laws? ›

Kansas, Florida, Iowa, and Texas provide an unlimited dollar value homestead exemption. Florida and Texas, in fact, are well known as debtor-friendly states because of their homestead exemptions.

What state has the most free land? ›

If you want to find free land, then the top states that offer free land include Kansas, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Some restrictions typically apply, such as building a home within a certain time frame or using the land for agricultural purposes.

How do I start a homestead with no money? ›

How to Start Homesteading with No Money
  1. Know Why You Want to Homestead. ...
  2. Get Out of Debt. ...
  3. Stick to a Budget. ...
  4. Buy Used As Often As Possible! ...
  5. Know Your Local Zoning Laws. ...
  6. Use the Land You Already Have. ...
  7. Look for Free or Cheap Land. ...
  8. Focus on Being Happy with What You Have.
26 Mar 2022

How do you homestead in Idaho? ›

Idaho Property Tax Reduction Homestead Exemption
  1. Homestead Exemption is available to all Idaho property owners on their primary residence. ...
  2. Homeowners must own and occupy the dwelling as of Jan. ...
  3. Homeowners must provide clear and convincing evidence that the home is their primary residence.

Can you claim homestead in two states? ›

Most states have a homestead exemption. They require the homesteaded property be the homeowner's primary place of residence. Homeowners can only be homesteaded in one state.

What are the disadvantages of a homestead? ›

Cons: Potential for a significant loss of revenue which could impact public services. Large tax exemptions could shift a majority of the tax burden over to businesses and other types of property that aren't eligible for the homestead exemption.

Can you make money homesteading? ›

Making money on your homestead is very possible! You just might have to get a bit creative when it comes to figuring out what to produce and sell. Focus on whatever most interests you. If you enjoy farming or gardening, focus on growing crops.

Is there any unowned land in the US? ›

Is There Any Unclaimed Land in the United States? No, all land in the United States had been claimed – either by a private or public entity.

When did the Homestead Act end? ›

The passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 repealed the Homestead Act in the 48 contiguous states, but it did grant a ten-year extension on claims in Alaska.

Is there any homestead land left in America? ›

The Homestead Act of 1862 is no longer in effect, but free land is still available out there in the great wide open (often literally in the great wide open). In fact, the town of Beatrice, Nebraska has even enacted a Homestead Act of 2010.

Is there any unclaimed land on earth? ›

Yes, there are many unclaimed lands in the world and the biggest unclaimed territory is Antarctica. Can you claim an unclaimed island? The answer is yes, you can claim unclaimed islands but it is going to be difficult. Unclaimed islands are usually unclaimed for a reason and are mostly declared national monuments.

What state has the cheapest land per acre? › performed a study that took a look at the median prices per acre in 2021 and found that Arizona had the cheapest median cost per acre, at $4,164. The data includes the price of land with existing homes and the cost of land designated as a homesite were also included so that you can have some comparison.

How do you claim land? ›

To claim Adverse Possession you must show that:
  1. You have actual physical possession of the land. ...
  2. You have the intention to possess the land. ...
  3. Your possession is without the true owner's consent.
  4. All of the above have been true for at least 12 years if the land is unregistered or 10 years if the land is registered.

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