Land of the Free, Home for the Brave

Throughout history, much of what has spurned lowly peasants to seek their fortune in new lands has been freedom. And by freedom, we mean free land. Russia did it to settle Siberia (in fact, they’re still giving away free land to citizens), The Homesteading Act of 1862 gave away 270 million acres of land to 1.6 million Americans in the West, and many other countries have followed suit.
With the earth’s population reaching well over seven billion in 2017, it may seem like space and land is at a premium. The good news is that there are still places out there willing to give adventurous and crafty souls free land, and, in some cases, free houses for those willing to apply.

Gangi, in Sicily, Carrega Ligure, in Piedmont, and Lecce nei Marsi, in Abruzzi

Year round sunshine, beautiful views and history at your feet? These Italian towns are so desperate not to lose the beauty of their area to ghost town obscurity that they’re giving away homes…for free!  More information:

However, it’s been reported that the houses come with a potential $22,000 permit fee, so “free” is a bit of a stretch, in this case.
There is a catch, however, in that buyers can’t just knock down the old homes, but design a way to rebuild them within a year, and have three years to finalize the construction. But you’d have a gorgeous villa in your possession, so doesn’t that make it all worth it? An additional ‘selling point’ for Gangi? The Holy Spirit is said to have made an appearance here…

The historic Italian countryside beckons!

Pitcairn Island
Have a hankering to live out a scene from “Mutiny on the Bounty”? Pitcairn Islands (actually four islands), a British Territory, was settled in 1789 after Fletcher Christian mutinied against William Bligh, the HMS Bounty’s captain. And now, the island paradise (boasting a population of 50, internet, and a store that’s open thrice weekly) is literally giving away land. All you have to do is apply. More information here, including how to get there via boat, here:
Worried about work? They offer jobs, too. Most interestingly, work with the ever-in-demand Pitacairn honey industry. Again, keep in mind that you’re only competing with about 50 people for jobs.
What could be a better plot for a novel than the elusive life of the Pitcairn beekeeper…

Gary, Indiana, USA
Nearly one-third of the houses in this city, made famous by The Music Man, are uninhabited. To help combat this, the city is offering homes for $1 through the Dollar Home Program, part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Gary isn’t the only city participating in the $1 home giveaways. Detroit, Milwaukee ($1 vacant side lots), Oakland and more. While some of these properties are fire damaged, potentially beyond repair, or just need a lot of love, your dollar will literally go further with these ‘investment’ properties.

Marne, Iowa, USA

Far from the sounds of the city, this quaint town right in the middle of America’s heartland is just waiting to give you free land to build on. Down to 120 inhabitants from 410 in 1900, the town is looking forward to more development in the area, in addition to making new friends and neighbors. They also boast internet, TV, and phone connection “from a state-of-the-art local phone company”, so you know it’s good. With such creative businesses as British motorcycle repair and “Two Moms & A Hoe” whatever business ideas you have are sure to fit in.  More information:


Which of these is the best bet? It depends on what you want to do. Have land? Or a centuries old house to restore and lounge about in while sipping wine and eating fresh grapes from your own theoretical vineyard?

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