How Much Does a Homestead Cost?

A study found the average cost per square foot of property in each state. Find your state here.

Want to know how much the average will cost you for your new homestead? A new study can give you a rough idea of what you can expect. The research was compiled by and analyzed average property sizes across each state. They also took into account the average property prices to find out which state has the most expensive and most affordable cost per square foot.  

Some insights:

  • Hawaii is the state where homebuyers would spend the most on a square foot of property, with each square foot costing an average of $694 
  • California and Massachusetts rank second and third, respectively 
  • Montana, Oregon and New York also make the top ten 
  • Here’s a list of the cheapest states for homesteading
how much does a homestead cost 1

Aloha Hawaii

It turns out that Hawaii takes the crown for the most expensive cost per square foot of property. That’s not really surprising, right? It’s a whopping $694 per square foot! No wonder living in paradise comes with a hefty price tag. The average house price in Hawaii hits the sky at $850,000 (the highest in any state), while the average house size is 1,248 square feet.

Cali is a whammy

But wait, California isn’t far behind in the race for expensive homestead property. It claims the second spot with an average cost of $425.55 per square foot. The Golden State boasts an average house price of $774,500 and an average size of 1,820 square feet. That’s some serious California dreaming right there.

Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island aren’t much better

Moving on, Massachusetts and New York take the third and fourth spots, respectively. In Massachusetts, the average house price sits at $799,000, with an average size of 1,914 square feet, resulting in a cost per square foot of $417.45. Meanwhile, in the Empire State, you’re looking at a cost of $416.33 per square foot due to an average house price of $654,475 and an average size of 1,572 square feet.

Now let’s talk about Rhode Island, coming in at number five. It may be the smallest state, but it has the fifth smallest property size too, with an average of 1,648 square feet. The average house price in Rhode Island is $537,000, which translates to $325.85 per square foot. Not too shabby, right?

Some surprises

Washington state and New Jersey claim the sixth and seventh spots on the list, with prices of $315.38 and $310.26 per square foot, respectively. It seems like the Pacific Northwest and the Garden State are putting a dent in our wallets when it comes to property prices.

Heading into the eighth spot is Montana, with a cost per square foot of $309.35. With an average house price of $675,000 and an average size of 2,182 square feet, Montana proves that big sky country comes at a big price.

Oregon and Colorado wrap up the top ten, taking the ninth and tenth spots, respectively. In Oregon, you’ll find an average price of $302.36 per square foot, with an average house price of $579,925 and an average size of 1,918 square feet. Meanwhile, Colorado boasts a slightly lower average price per square foot at $287.11. The Centennial State’s average home prices hit $649,450, with an impressive average size of 2,262 square feet.

I really thought that Montana, Oregon and Washington would be on the cheaper side. I guess not!

How much does a homestead cost? Location matters

A spokesperson from commented on the study, saying, “When you’re on the hunt for a new home, there are plenty of factors to consider. The local area, proximity to loved ones, work opportunities, and more. But let’s not forget the size of the home, especially now that more people are working remotely. This study gives us a fascinating insight into which states offer the best bang for your buck in terms of space. It gives potential homebuyers a clearer picture of what each state has to offer.”

So, whether you’re dreaming of a beachfront bungalow homestead in Hawaii or a cozy cabin in the Colorado mountains with plenty of hunting options, keep these figures in mind as you embark on your home-buying journey. Happy house hunting!

What is the average cost per square foot of property in each state? 

Here’s what the study found:

Rank State Price per square foot ($) 
1 Hawaii 681.09 
2 California 425.55 
3 Massachusetts 417.45 
4 New York 416.33 
5 Rhode Island 325.85 
6 Washington 315.38 
7 New Jersey 310.26 
8 Montana 309.35 
9 Oregon 302.36 
10 Colorado 287.11 
11 New Hampshire 278.31 
12 Florida 278.10 
13 Idaho 262.82 
14 Maine 261.59 
15 Connecticut 260.28 
16 Arizona 252.78 
17 Nevada 246.07 
18 Utah 239.14 
19 Vermont 234.88 
20 Delaware 226.86 
21 Alaska 225.15 
22 Maryland 223.45 
23 Virginia 218.00 
24 Tennessee 211.36 
25 Wisconsin 207.64 
26 North Carolina 202.96 
27 Minnesota 200.66 
28 South Dakota 199.99 
29 Wyoming 199.46 
30 Iowa 195.81 
31 New Mexico 191.43 
32 Texas 189.30 
33 Illinois 183.20 
34 South Carolina 182.87 
35 Georgia 181.00 
36 Michigan 180.30 
37 Pennsylvania 174.65 
38 Alabama 168.29 
39 Nebraska 168.25 
40 Missouri 165.76 
41 Oklahoma 162.33 
42 North Dakota 161.89 
43 Kentucky 159.50 
44 Indiana 154.63 
45 Louisiana 152.44 
46 Arkansas 152.00 
47 Kansas 150.37 
48 Ohio 147.73 
49 Mississippi 142.00 
50 West Virginia 133.72 

Most Expensive States

Rank The most expensive states to own a home Typical price of a home Mar 2023($) Typical price of home from 21-23 ($ increase)  Typical price of home from 21-23 (% increase) Typical price of home from 22-23 ($ increase) Typical price of home from 22-23 (% increase) 
1. Hawaii 834,583 166,777 25 24,150 
2. California 728,134 95,228 15 -18,573 -2 
3. Washington 562,936 72,533 15 -17,938 -3 
4. Massachusetts 558,313 54,476 11 -1,050 -0.19 
5. Colorado 539,640 82,504 18 -1,527 -0.28 
6. Utah 506,072 86,071 20 -10,849 -2 
7. Oregon 485,475 56,730 13 -11,998 -2 
8. New Jersey 451,559 52,167 13 3,987 0.89 
9. Idaho 435,374 56,321 15 -26,275 -6 
10. New Hampshire 429,421 76,773 22 21,034 

Other things that factor into how much a homestead costs

While location is important, the costs of homesteading can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances, goals and region. Conducting thorough research, creating a comprehensive budget and seeking advice from experienced homesteaders or professionals in the field can help you estimate and plan for the expenses associated with your unique homesteading vision.

  1. Property development: Once you’ve acquired the land, you’ll likely need to invest in property development. This includes clearing the land, building or renovating existing structures such as a house or barn and establishing basic amenities like electricity, plumbing, and heating systems. These costs can vary significantly depending on the condition of the property, local building regulations and the extent of the development required. Putting in hard work and doing as much as you can yourself can cut down on labor costs.
  2. Infrastructure: Creating a functional homestead requires the establishment of infrastructure systems. This includes water supply, wastewater management (such as septic systems) and energy sources. Drilling a well, installing a septic system and setting up solar panels or wind turbines for off-grid power generation can all incur substantial costs. It’s important to carefully consider your energy and water needs and explore cost-effective options that align with your sustainability goals.
  3. Agricultural and livestock equipment: Many homesteaders aspire to grow their own food and raise livestock. Purchasing essential equipment like gardening tools, tractors, fencing materials and animal shelters can add to the overall cost. Investing in quality equipment can contribute to long-term productivity and efficiency, so it’s worth considering the durability and suitability of the tools for your specific homesteading endeavors.
  4. Sustainable systems: Homesteading often emphasizes sustainable practices such as composting, rainwater harvesting, and renewable energy utilization. Incorporating these systems into your homestead may involve additional expenses. For example, setting up rainwater collection and storage systems, building compost bins, or investing in alternative energy solutions like solar panels or wind turbines can require upfront investments. However, these sustainable systems can lead to long-term cost savings and environmental benefits.
  5. Maintenance and upkeep: Homesteading is a continuous endeavor that requires ongoing maintenance and upkeep. This includes regular repairs, equipment maintenance, fencing replacements and caring for livestock and gardens. Budgeting for these ongoing costs is essential to ensure the sustainability and longevity of your homestead.

While establishing a homestead can involve significant upfront costs, many homesteaders find that the benefits of self-sufficiency, a closer connection to nature and a sustainable lifestyle outweigh the financial investment. With careful planning, resourcefulness, and a commitment to sustainable practices, you can create a thriving homestead that fits your budget and fulfills your dreams of living a simpler, more self-reliant life.