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Land Sales F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions About Land Sales

I would like to own a parcel of land in Alaska. What programs does the State of Alaska have that would allow me to do this?

The state currently has three programs available. The first is a program for already surveyed, market ready parcels. These parcels are sold at the Sealed-Bid Auction and must receive a bid amount equal to or higher than the minimum opening bid, which is the appraised value. Parcels are awarded to the highest bidder. Some auctions are for agricultural land. Most auctions are limited to Alaska residents. Land not sold at auction becomes available for sale through the second program, Over-the-Counter sales. The Remote Recreational Cabin Sites Staking Program is the third program.

What does "Over-the-Counter" mean?

Land becomes available "over-the-counter" when it has been offered in a sealed bid auction but not sold. Remaining parcels are made available Over-the-Counter on a first come, first served basis for the appraised fair market value. Over-the-Counter sales are conducted online at Paper applications may also be submitted in person at any of the DNR Public Information Offices; however, interested purchasers are encouraged to apply online to avoid a situation in which the parcel sells to another buyer between the time they fill out an application and the time it is received and processed by DNR. See the above website for a current listing of available parcels and more information. Residents, non-residents, and businesses can purchase land Over-the-Counter.

Where can I homestead?

Homesteading programs no longer exist. The State of Alaska no longer offers the homestead and homesite programs of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that allowed people to “claim” land. As an alternative to these programs, DNR offers the Remote Recreational Cabin Sites program to Alaska residents. See for more information on this stake-it-yourself program.

Homesteading on federal land is no longer available. For historical information on The Homestead Act of 1862, visit

Sometimes people use the word homesteading to refer to living off of the land, i.e. a subsistence lifestyle. While some Alaskans live subsistence lifestyles and many supplement their family's diet by fishing or hunting, over half of Alaska's population lives in metropolitan areas, such as Anchorage and Fairbanks, and shops at grocery stores in town. Living "off the grid" is not easy and it's not for everyone.

What is the Remote Recreational Cabin Sites program?

This is the "stake-it-yourself" program for Alaska residents. See the Remote Recreational Cabin Sites fact sheet (PDF) for more information.

Who can take part in these land disposals?

Any purchaser must be at least 18 years of age. For the auction and Remote Recreational Cabin Sites program, Alaskans who have resided in the state for at least one-year prior to the auction or authorization drawing can participate. See for residency requirement details. Over-the-Counter sales are open to non-residents and businesses. In addition, you will be ineligible for a purchase contract or lease with the department if you:

  • Have had a purchase contract or lease administratively terminated for cause within the past three years.
  • Are currently in default for nonpayment on an existing departmental contract or lease and have yet to clear the default; or;
  • In default for nonpayment of municipal taxes or assessments associated with departmental contract or lease, after the municipality notifies the department of nonpayment and the department notifies the purchaser or lessee of the default.

If an auction offers land for commercial, industrial, or agricultural use, non-residents and businesses may also participate.

How much does land cost?

Prior to sale, all parcels are appraised. The appraised fair market value is the minimum bid in most auctions. The State does not offer land sale programs that allow people to obtain land at little to no cost, for example, by allowing buyers to "prove-up" on their land by building a dwelling and occupying the land for a number of years in exchange for a reduced purchase price.

Eligible Veterans can receive a once-in-a-lifetime 25% discount off the purchase price of their parcel (less development costs reimbursable to the State). For more information on eligibility, including the Alaska residency requirement, go to:

Does the state finance the land they sell?

Yes. Parcels are purchased either by paying a lump sum for the parcel, or by entering into a sale contract with the State of Alaska. If the purchase price minus the down payment is $2,000 or less, the purchase price must be paid in full; a land sale contract will not be issued. If the purchase price minus the down payment is greater than $2,000, the remainder may be paid by sale contract. Generally, the terms for purchasing state land by sale contract are:

  • Down payment of 5% of the purchase price
  • Contract for payment of the balance, with interest, over a period of up to 20 years
    (Term varies depending on the total amount financed.)
  • Non-refundable document handling fee of $360 for individuals or $440 for businesses, plus a $45 recording fee.
  • Interest rates of 3 points above prime as listed on the first working day of the month in which the contract is issued

See more details on land sale contract terms at

How do I get more information on upcoming land disposals?

Auctions and Remote Recreational Cabin Sites (RRCS) offerings are noticed and advertised. Both programs will publish a brochure containing details on the current offering. These brochures will be made available well in advance of the scheduled bid opening date or RRCS authorization drawing at locations across the state and on the Land Sales website. Sign-up for our email list at to be informed when the latest brochure is available. You can also follow us at and

How does land become available?

Auctions occur annually and Over-the-Counter sales are year round. The Remote Recreational Cabin Sites program is usually offered every other year. However, before state land can be made available for private ownership, it must go through a public process that includes planning and classification; public notice of proposed development; and a best interest finding with a preliminary decision stage and final finding stage. If the land is determined suitable for such programs and after it has been properly surveyed, subdivided and/or appraised, it can be offered for purchase. See the Land Sales Process fact sheet (PDF) for more details.

Does the state guarantee the quality of the land they offer in these programs and can I be sure that I won't get any new neighbors if I acquire a parcel of land?

No. The land is offered without any guarantees. You are strongly advised to visit and investigate the land prior to bidding or purchasing. Many parcels are remote without road access, and there may be little or no public services, such as schools, or fire protection. The state and local governments make no commitment to provide services when these remote lands are sold.

I am interested in a parcel of vacant state land. May I buy that land?

All state land sold competitively must be offered under one of the land disposal programs. The state may not negotiate the sale of land to an individual. The state does get land back through relinquishment, foreclosure, or failure by a customer to meet a program requirement, after which the land is placed in a “potential re-offer” category. The parcel may eventually be re-offered through the Auction. If you are interested in seeing a particular parcel of state land offered under one of the programs, you may nominate it for inclusion in a future land offering. The fact sheet “Nominating Land for State and Sale Programs”, including the nomination form, is available online at: (PDF). There are no guarantees that the parcel will be offered.

Can I stake a mining claim or apply for a trapping cabin permit and get land that way?

No. Both programs require special authorizations by the Department of Natural Resources and limit use of the land. Mining claims staked on state land only give miners the right to extract minerals and to use as much of the surface as they need for such extraction. A trapping cabin permit allows construction and use of a cabin on state land for temporary shelter by a qualified trapper while trapping. Neither program allows conveyance of title to the land. For more information about these programs, contact one of the department’s Public Information Center offices.

I submitted a bid in the sealed-bid auction. Can I withdraw or change my bid amount?

Bids cannot be withdrawn after they are submitted. However, you can change your bid amount by submitting a new bid with a different bid amount during the bidding period. Only the most recent bid submitted by an individual or group of bidders will be opened.

I recently purchased a parcel. How will my address be assigned?

The State of Alaska does not assign street addresses. If there is a local borough or municipality they will assign your street address. In areas without a local government an address may not be assigned to you, as no services are available. If the area has mail delivery, the local Post Office should assign an address for delivery purposes. Alternatively, you can sign-up for a Post Office box with the nearest community with a Post Office.

Are there other areas in Alaska for sale?

Yes. In many areas of the state, the private land market or local governments provide opportunities to purchase lands. There are several sources indicated below that you may contact about land available for purchase in Alaska. You may also check with native corporations about possible land sales.

Municipal, City, or Borough Lands

(May regularly or sporadically have land sales)

Municipality of Anchorage
Heritage Land Bank

632 W 6th Ave, Ste 640
Anchorage, AK 99501

Kenai Peninsula Borough
144 North Binkley
Soldotna, AK 99669

Matanuska-Susitna Borough
350 East Dahlia Ave
Palmer, AK 99645-6488

Denali Borough
PO Box 480
Healy, AK 99743

City & Borough of Wrangell
PO Box 531 Wragell, AK  99929

Ketchikan Gateway Borough
1900 1st Ave.
Ketchikan, AK 99901

Fairbanks North Star Borough
PO Box 71267
Fairbanks, AK 99707

City & Borough of Juneau
155 South Seward Street
Juneau, AK 99801

Kodiak Island Borough
710 Mill Bay Road
Kodiak, AK 99615-6398

Haines Borough
PO Box 1209
Haines, AK 99862

City & Borough of Sitka
100 Lincoln St.
Sitka, AK  99835


Other State of Alaska Agencies

Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office
2600 Cordova Street, Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99501
Tel: (907) 269-8658
Fax: (907) 269-8905
Web Site:  

University of Alaska Land Management
1815 Bragaw Street, Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99508-4638
Tel: 907-786-7766
Fax: 907-786-7733
Web Site:


(Can provide a list of realtors to contact.)

Alaska Association of Realtors
4205 Minnesota Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99503

Anchorage Board of Realtors
3340 Arctic Blvd. Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99503