How to Get Free Land in Idaho

How to Get Free Land in Idaho.

Are y’all 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 besides homesteading friendly, boasting more than lx,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 upward and uncertainty may settle in. I promise this blog answers all the questions and concerns that you may be having if you lot are considering Idaho every bit the state to settle down in to start your homestead.

Idaho’s homesteading law tin be establish in Department 55, Chapter 10 of the Idaho Statutes. It serves to protect a person’southward permanent dwelling place (including a mobile home) during times of financial crunch.

Does Idaho have a homesteading exemption?

Yep. Idaho’s homestead exemption grants the owner $100,000 protection from creditors then long that a Annunciation of a Homestead is on file. In other words, as a homeowner, your primary residence (and any other personal property worth upwards to 100k that was previously declared nether the Homestead certificate) cannot be seized even if you lot accept pending debts.

If you lot 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 non yet occupied as a homestead must execute a declaration of homestead and file the same for record in the part of the recorder of the county in which the state is located.”

Without a declaration, the Country won’t grant yous this kind of protection. If you have previously filed this paperwork for a different property, you will demand to submit all the paperwork again with your new permanent residence. Idaho only allows one belongings (your principal residence) to exist 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’southward more often than not a bourgeois 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 almost places.

  • Very few natural disasters to worry almost, aside from occasional wildfires and strong winds in some places.

  • Idaho has swell outdoor activities, skiing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, backpacking, hunting, angling.

  • A lot of untouched wilderness and free-roaming wild animals.

  • Low population.

  • Mostly friendly and like-minded people that are willing to assist others.

  • Low crime rate.


  • Conditions extremes are common in some cities. Yous can expect an occasional frost or snowstorm in June and then a few days with 100-degree weather condition in July.

  • Some people accept experienced racism. This might exist the event of Aryan Nations- a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and neo-Nazi terrorist system that was founded in the 1970s. It originated in Hayden, Idaho, just seven miles north of Coeur d’Alene.
    The original chemical compound of the Aryan Nations has been destroyed and the organisation leader died years ago, however, slight remnants of racism may still be felt [Of import to note:
    I receive occasional comments from Idahoans that “there’s no racism in Due north Idaho” and I certainly promise that’s the case.
    I’m not advocating that racism is a affair. I’k only stating a historical result that occurred.
    In any example, I accept friends from Coeur d’Alene who have never experienced racism and have known a couple who left the Due north considering of the racism they experienced. As for me,

    I love Idaho and haven’t personally experienced racism at that place. I’ll exit information technology at that.]

Every state will have its pros and cons, then I hope this listing wasn’t enough to help you brand up your mind entirely. Non so fast!

Idaho is an amazing identify with an abundance of natural resource. Continue reading to come across if the Gem State is fit to get your new home sweet domicile.

Homesteading and self-reliance

Is Idaho the right land for yous?

Moving your family unit to start a homestead is no piece of cake task. There are many factors involved then it’s incommunicable to give a definite respond.

Although information technology’south difficult to find a place that meets all the requirements that one finds ideal in a homestead, many people accept a full general idea of certain things they must have, and others that tin exist compromised.

I broke down 22 of the “go far or pause it” requirements that go into planning a homestead. This style, you can become a better idea if Idaho is indeed the right identify for yous!

Brand information technology
Intermission it requirements

ane. Atmospheric condition

Idaho’s climate is very diverse. The northern function of the state is typically much colder and receives a lot more pelting and snow throughout the year. The southern part of the state is drier, and consequently much warmer, especially during the summertime months. To get a more than accurate idea of each metropolis’s climate, you tin cheque out this link to United states Climate Information.

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

The Weather condition Atlas gives a detailed overview of the climate in every city of Idaho, including the average corporeality 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 urban center of your choosing.

two. Annual Average Precipitation

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

3. Natural Disasters

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

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

4. Terrain

When looking at land, you’ll desire to keep in listen 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 desire to look for backdrop that accept some established copse 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, information technology’s just a thing of what resource you have and what your upkeep is.

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five. Soil Quality

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

vi. 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 college altitudes (northern and key region) will typically have a short growing flavour. Successful homesteads can be establish all throughout Idaho, so a short growing flavor shouldn’t exist a discouraging cistron entirely. The fundamental 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 abound vegetables in high altitudes and short-season climates. Yous can notice the Introduction to Short-Season Gardening here

and Choosing and Growing Adjusted Vegetable Varieties hither.

Another cool resource is Dave’southward Garden. This website tool gives you lot an thought of how many days a urban center’due south growing season will be. If you’re looking into several dissimilar areas, you tin can easily make a comparing of when to expect the offset and last freeze based on the estimates given on their website.

vii. Access To H2o

Having access to water on your property is peradventure the most of import factor when you’re considering to commencement a homestead.

Receiving an abundance of rain and snowfall does not guarantee that your crops volition take enough h2o year-round. Water is too necessary for all other aspects of life, like drinking and hygiene.

Ownership your property with pre-existing h2o rights is beneficial and recommended because they’re not easy to obtain otherwise. Water rights give you the ability to utilize (not ain) the Country’s public water by means of diversion of lakes and rivers to your belongings. Make sure you lot’re articulate 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 belongings is larger than one acre AND if it’southward located in the w/desert areas.

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

Drilling a well or having ane on the property is some other selection many homesteaders take reward of, simply it’s definitely something you have to program 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. Go on in mind that you lot might have to use 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, Affiliate 65) discuss the planning of how local land is to be used. Section 67-6511 specifically discusses zoning issues. Information technology states that each governing area (counties in this case) accept the authorization to make and enforce their ain zoning laws.

    To observe 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 plant Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions in their neighborhoods. Rules might piece of work well for some people, only I’m willing to bet that the bulk of homesteaders are the kind of people who want to build their own homes
    style. 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 brand sure that it can be met by looking at the regulations set by the HOA first.
  • Reservation of Rights:
    Before buying property, exist aware of any “Reservation of Rights” in a human action. A Reservation of Rights allows the seller of a property to maintain ownership over sure property rights (such as h2o rights, mineral rights, timber rights, and so on) even after the holding has been sold to someone else. In other words, you may think you lot ain all the land, but some of the resources available there might really not belong to you. Y’all can read an in-depth caption of common Reservation of Rights here.

    Ever 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 route access at any time.

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

ix. Building Codes

The problem about homesteaders face up is that they have to jump many hoops before they tin build their dream dwelling. Building codes are not just ho-hum but very plush.

Many people have moved to Idaho because the building codes are a lot more than lenient when compared to other states. According to my enquiry, 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 belongings. If you’re looking to build your abode from earthy-materials, you may need to find land in the boonies where the codes are less restrictive.

10. Taxation Considerations

Idaho has a Homeowners and Property Tax Exemption. Once you lot’ve qualified for a Homesteader’s Exemption, yous can claim it in your taxes. The exemption significantly lowers your holding taxes by reducing the taxable value of your home by l%, simply no more than $100,000, too equally 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 data.

11. Distance To Town

In Idaho you can detect properties that are located within reasonable distance to the metropolis 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 oasis’t made the trip to visit withal, you can look at Google Earth and Google Maps to get an idea of what stores are bachelor in or nigh the city you’re interested in. Notation that they may not exist 100% up to engagement, but it’s perchance the most accurate free resource available.

If your holding is far from town, recollect of transportation options. You lot will probable demand a 4WD vehicle in the winter.

12. Internet Access

While the cyberspace has only been around for a few brusque decades, it has become a prime number 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 just through online ways. Living completely secluded will have its challenges, but is feasible if you have the means to stay connected (virtually, that is).

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

Idaho is the 42nd nigh connected land, with only xx% of the population being underserved. This means that lxxx% of Idahoans accept access to two or more internet providers. You lot can notice detailed information on internet coverage per urban center correct here.

13. Population Density

Idaho has a low population density. Over the concluding 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. Information technology is expected that the numbers will keep 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 take outnumbered the number of deaths. To meet a complete review and statistics on the population of Idaho, click here.

xiv. Job Opportunities

Job hunting is a major struggle for those moving to Idaho, especially in the Northern region. Wages are said to be low when compared to other parts of the land, considering the cost of living. It’s recommended that wherever y’all choose to movement to, yous have a job offering already secured. If your task or business is online, make certain you have reliable internet connection wherever you’re going.

15. Community

Building a community of like-minded individuals is an important factor, particularly when starting a homestead. All the tasks that come with making a homestead successful are challenging. Finding a identify within a customs 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 flake farthermost in their political beliefs, however at that place’south no better way to determine whether you lot’d fit in or not without traveling in that location first.

I encourage you lot narrow downwards your search to a couple of cities, if possible. Then, plan a trip to explore and make contact with the customs, whether it exist by getting involved in some events or reaching out to them via social media. Once you’ve gotten a experience for a identify, y’all tin make your conclusion.

xvi. 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 chip of a controversial discipline, 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 tin can read more than about Idaho’s vaccine requirements, laws, and exemptions on the National Vaccine Information Heart’southward website.

xviii. Homeschooling Regulations

Homeschooling is very common in Idaho. Many homesteaders program to homeschool their children and contain daily farming chores every bit function of their child’s school curriculum. Idaho is one of usa which gives parents the liberty to do and then. To learn about your homeschooling rights and how to start, the Domicile School Legal Defense Clan (HSDLA)’southward website has great information.

An culling to homeschooling is Connections Academy

which allows children in grades K-12 to enroll in public school online for free.

xix. Foraging Opportunities

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

Recently I read a web log 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 every bit BBQ sauce, ice cream, and jam.

Not only does foraging cutting the cost of buying groceries, only it’s besides an incredible educational opportunity for the whole family. Learning to identify edible plants and preserve them for time to come employ is a skill I believe every person should acquire.

20. Hunting / Angling Laws

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

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

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

If y’all have questions most the laws on off-road vehicles, you tin can notice some answers here.

21. Gun Laws

Residents of Idaho over the historic period of 18 practise not demand a permit to buy or possess a burglarize, shotgun, or handgun. Curtained carry is permitted for residents over the age of 21 under good continuing with the law. To read all the details on Idaho’s Gun and Weapon Law, you can visit their official website here.

22. Criminal offense Rate

Idaho is ane of united states with the lowest property and tearing crime rates in the nation. fabricated a comprehensive investigation to place Idaho’due south 25 safest cities. They don’t only examine the current information but also analyze criminal offense trends. Luckily, the crime trend is lowering in several places. You can notice their full study hither.

The Land of Idaho’south official website offers interactive maps and specific information about sex offenders, offense statistics, and abort activity by city.

Homesteading and self-reliance

Which expanse of Idaho is best for homesteading?

There’southward no right or wrong respond hither. It really comes down to what you and your family want.

Northward, Cardinal, and Southern Idaho are very various in terms of the country, natural resources, people, and civilisation. Before getting your heart set on a specific region, y’all should decide which requirements are important to you lot in a homestead. This volition aid you narrow down and decide which area is more suitable to you based on your personal preferences.

For instance, exercise you envision yourself living in a completely remote area surrounded by the forest? Or would you rather live nearly the city with a big enough holding that allows y’all 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, yous may desire to offset looking in this area. If y’all’re interested in raising livestock and other animals, you lot tin easily wait into other regions and then long that h2o is easily attainable.

Northern and Central Idaho

Don’t be alarmed by the amount of “cons” that outnumber the “pros”. These are merely things to consider and I’thou non trying to discourage anyone from homesteading at that place.


  • Information technology’due south a very green, mountainous, and heavily forested region full of rivers and lakes. It is said to be Idaho’southward most beautiful region, due to its untouched jaw-dropping scenery.

  • Smaller towns offer cheaper land, merely are more difficult to get to.

  • The valleys receive a few inches of snowfall at a time. Expect a lot of snow in the mountains.


  • The North and Southward have different time zones. The fourth dimension zone in the North is set to Pacific Time (PDT).

  • Short summers and long, cold winters. Yous tin can expect a lot of snow in the mountains. Some locals take mentioned that dump trucks will come on occasion to remove snow because they’ve run out of infinite to plow the roads.

  • Shorter growing season (when compared to the South). In high mountain areas, the growing flavour can exist equally curt equally 60 days. In the valleys, it tin be as brusk as 90 days. This could be a difficult aligning for new homesteaders. Yous may want to consider building a thermal light-green house.

  • The terrain is rocky in many areas. Information technology might be difficult to abound food to fully sustain you twelvemonth-round merely still non an incommunicable task if you work hard to prepare the country and amend the soil.

  • There isn’t plenty rainfall during summer months (particularly July and August) then you volition need to recollect of an irrigation solution to sustain your garden.

  • People seem to be more than contained. Staying on practiced terms with your neighbors is of import.

  • Jobs can be difficult or nearly impossible to find. Task wages are generally depression.

  • State is priced very high specially if y’all consider the quality of the roads, jobs, and schools in the area.
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Popular AREAS:

  • The Panhandle

    The Panhandle refers to the region farthest to the Due north of Idaho, encompassing 10 counties. It’south considered an outdoor enthusiast’southward playground because of the forests, lakes, rivers, and wild animals that can exist found in the region. Information technology’s also known to be the surface area that has loose building codes and is a flake more lenient when information technology comes to living in an RV on your property.

    • Sandpoint

      Sandpoint is dark-green and lush. It has “balmy” winters compared to the mountain towns. Information technology’southward a nice urban center to raise kids simply jobs tin can be difficult to find. There’south a thriving hippie population in this expanse. Property, whether you’re renting or buying, is pricey in Sandpoint.

    • Coeur d’Alene

      CDA is very light-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 even so a overnice town to raise kids. Buying and renting belongings is very expensive in Coeur d’Alene. Just an hour due north of Coeur d’Alene is Bonner County which has lower taxes and may exist a more suitable place if y’all’re on a budget.

  • N Central

    • Moscow

      Also known as the “dry out pea, lentil, and soybean capital of the world”. It’s a laid back town with a local farmer’s market. If y’all’re a hippie, y’all’ll fit in only fine. It will probably be a continuously thriving area since there are a couple of universities nearby.

    • Lewiston

      Located in the middle of the State just south of Moscow, Lewiston is a prissy city to live in and work at. The people are said to be friendly and y’all tin can establish a adept sense of customs among your neighbors. Crops exercise very well there. The growing season is much longer than the majority of Northern and Key Idaho because the climate is hot in the summer and mild in the wintertime.

    • Orofino

      The growing flavour in Orofino is longer than other cities within the North/ Central regions. The farm ground is said to be infrequent.

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. Await a lot of snow in the mountains and in the Southeastern portion of the State.

  • The soil is bang-up for growing a garden, only there is a lot of volcanic stone below the surface making information technology difficult to toil.


  • The North and Southward have unlike time zones. The time zone in the S is set to Mountain Time (MDT).

  • Water can become scarce, especially during the summer.

  • Some parts in the South are desert-like with farthermost summertime and winter temperatures.

  • Information technology tin go very windy, peculiarly in the Southeast.


  • Treasure Valley – The Treasure valley is also known every bit Idaho’southward Banana Chugalug 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 balance of Idaho, the Treasure Valley is one of the few places where information technology doesn’t become biting cold during the winter. It’s as well one of the most diverse agronomical regions with the potential to ameliorate and increase the product 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 metropolis.Many crops exercise well in the Boise area, specifically corn and potatoes.

  • Mountain Home

    Mountain abode is sandwiched between the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley, in the county of Elmore. Information technology may not be the best place for a homestead considering it’s desert-similar climate is typically very dry, making it hard to farm. In that location may exist more limitations on h2o and the soil may be difficult for growing a garden. The summers tend to be way too hot while the winters tend to exist mode too cold. Plus, it’s super windy. Glen’s Ferry, also located in the Elmore County, is said to exist a bit nicer and a better selection for homesteading.

Tips before taking the plunge!

  • Take a few trips to Idaho before committing to move. I would encourage y’all to travel to a couple of cities that you believe you would like to institute your homestead. Travel to those places at to the lowest degree one time in the summer and one time in the winter to get a feel for the seasonal changes, especially if you lot’re not accustomed to extreme temperatures.

  • When you visit Idaho, run across the locals and enquire them questions! Get insight from the people who might 1 24-hour interval become your neighbors.

  • If you’re interested in buying land simply don’t know where to starting time, Land Watch is a slap-up 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 near 6 months before choosing a definite place to buy and settle. Finding a location y’all honey and meet long-term value in is vital. If you’re concerned almost making the wrong selection and don’t want to potentially waste a bunch of money, get a feel for the state by living in it first.

  • Buy property WITH h2o rights attached to the state, especially if you lot’re considering planting larger crops.

  • Look into wind power because information technology’s windy in many areas, peculiarly in the desert. Solar ability is another great choice for the places that go a lot of sunshine every year.

  • Have a solid 6 months of savings to make the transition less stressful.

  • Larn canning and food preservation skills.

  • Think about how you lot’re going to plant and harvest your crops if you lot’re planning to take a big-calibration garden. Will you demand mechanism or expensive equipment? If and so, is there a co-op where you tin can share the equipment with your neighbors for a cheaper cost, rather than having to buy it yourself.

  • Exercise you have very specific questions? Metropolis Data is an online forum where you tin ask annihilation you want to the residents of whatsoever country. I discover that people on that site are helpful and resourceful.

Idaho fabricated it to my pinnacle 12 Us States for homesteading. Find out which other 11 states fabricated the listing!

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How to Get Free Land in Idaho