Many cities and states around the country offer financial incentives to people who move there. Requirements often include buying a home or being a remote worker.
Are you considering finding a new state to call home? There are cities and states all over the country that pay people to move or live there. These programs, which offer up to $15,000, incentivize people to move to states or towns that may have declining populations or are trying to attract more professionals to the state. The money can help cover your moving expenses and more, leaving you money to start your new life.
“There are actually quite a few states that pay you to move there,” said Michael Winkler, a real estate expert with 30 years of experience and the co-founder of Sell Home Today. “People considering living in a state that offers incentives first need to make sure they are eligible and meet the requirements.”
If you’re planning a move, we can help. Keep reading to learn about eight states that pay you to move there.
1. Alabama (Shoals Area)
The Remote Shoals program offers $10,000 to eligible remote workers who relocate to the Shoals area in northwest Alabama. The community includes Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia.
To be eligible for the program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Make $52,000 or more per year
- Relocate to the Shoals area within 6 months of being selected
- Be employed full-time as a remote employee, are self-employed, or an independent contractor
If you’re selected and choose to move to Alabama, you’ll get 25% of the money upfront to help with your relocating costs. You’ll get another 25% after your first six months in Shoals and the remaining 50% when you’ve lived there for one year.
To apply for the Remote Shoals program, you must complete an online form on the program’s website and will be notified if you’re a good candidate.
Alaska’s cash incentive is a bit different in that the state won’t pay you to move there, but it will pay you to live there.
Under Alaska’s Department of Revenue’s Permanent Fund Dividend, anyone who is a resident of the state can apply to receive a share of the annual dividend that’s paid to the state from investment earnings of mineral royalties.
The dividend amount varies each year. In 2022, each eligible Alaskan resident received $3,284. Of that amount, $2,622 of the dividend was taxable. The $662 that wasn’t taxable was intended for energy relief.
To qualify for the annual dividend, you must meet the following requirements:
- You were a resident of Alaska during the entire calendar year.
- You intend to remain a resident of Alaska.
- You haven’t claimed residency in any other state.
- You haven’t been sentenced to a felony in 2022, haven’t been incarcerated during 2022, and haven’t been incarcerated for a misdemeanor if you’ve previously been convicted of a felony or two misdemeanors.
- You weren’t absent from Alaska for more than 180 days unless it was an allowable absence.
- You were physically present in Alaska for at least 72 consecutive hours during the year.
While everyone who meets the requirements above can receive the dividend, you must still apply. You can apply online using your myPFD account.
3. Iowa (Newton)
The Newton Housing Initiative, which went into effect in 2014, helps people moving to Newton, Iowa, to buy homes. Homebuyers, developers, and builders can receive up to $10,000 when they buy a home valued at $190,000 or more.
If you’re selected for this program, you’ll be subject to an appraisal or assessment of the home to confirm its value. Additionally, the home must be fully completed and can’t be a rental property. You’ll receive the funds at the time and place of the closing.
To apply for this cash incentive, contact the Newton Housing Development Corporation for more information and to find out how to qualify.
4. Kansas (Tokepa)
The Choose Topeka program offers money to people moving to Shawnee County, Kansas. You can get $10,000 if you’re renting an apartment and $15,000 if you’re buying a home. The program also has an option for “boomerang” workers — meaning those who once lived in Kansas and are returning — and transitioning military service members, each of whom can get up to $5,000.
To qualify for the $10,000 to $15,000 award, you must meet the following requirements:
- Confirm with your new employer that they participate in the program
- Move to Topeka for a full-time job
- Buy or rent a home in Shawnee county
- Complete the Choose Topeka survey after one year
- Participate in a Choose Topeka immersion program
To qualify for the $5,000 award you’ll need a salary of at least $50,000 and must purchase a home in Shawnee County. If you’d like to apply for the program, complete the online form on the Choose Topeka website.
5. Oklahoma (Tulsa)
Tulsa Remote is a program that will pay remote workers to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. You’ll get $10,000 if you qualify. Some of the money is given to help with relocation expenses, while the rest comes in the form of a monthly stipend.
To be eligible for the program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Move to Tulsa within one year of applying
- Have full-time remote employment with a company outside of Oklahoma or be self-employed
To apply for the program, complete the online application on the Tulsa Remote website.
Vermont has two different programs that allow you to get financial incentives for moving to the state. Both programs offer grants of $7,500, though you can only receive as much as your actual relocation expenses.
First, the New Relocating Worker job is for someone who moves to Vermont and takes a full-time job at a Vermont company. The second program, the New Remote Worker program, is available to anyone who moves to the state that does remote work, regardless of where the employer is located.
To be eligible for either program, you must meet all of the following requirements:
- Relocate to Vermont and work a full-time job
- Work in a job that pays equal to or more than the Vermont livable wage rate, which is $15.33 per hour
- Be subject to Vermont income sales tax
- Incur qualified relocation expenses during your move
You can apply for the program and check your application status on the website of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
7. West Virginia
Ascend West Virginia is a privately-funded program that pays people $12,000 to move to West Virginia. You’ll receive monthly payments after your first month in the program, and those payments will continue for two years. At the end of the first year, you’ll have received the first $10,000. You’ll receive the remaining $2,000 in a lump sum at the end of the second year.
As an added bonus, participation in the program also comes with a year of free outdoor recreation worth more than $2,500. The program comes with other valuable perks such as free access to a local co-working space, participating in a social programming group, and professional development and entrepreneurial assistance.
To join, you’ll have to be at least 18 years of age and have a full-time remote job. The ideal candidate will also be drawn to an outdoor lifestyle in West Virginia.
To apply, complete the online form on the Ascent West Virginia website.
What American cities will pay you to move there?
There are many cities in the United States that have incentive programs for people to move there. Some of the cities with the most popular programs include Topeka, Tulsa, and the Shoals area in Alabama.
Where in Europe will they pay you to live there?
Many countries and cities around the world pay people to move there or offer some sort of financial incentive. Examples include Italy, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, and more. As an added bonus, some of these countries are also some of the easiest to move to.
How can I move for free?
You can move for free by participating in an incentive program where a state or city offers new residents money to move there. Some programs won’t give you money until you’ve already moved, but others will give you money upfront to help with the relocation expenses.
Can I move to Alaska without a job?
If you’re an American citizen, you can move to Alaska without a job. And since the Permanent Fund Dividend program has no employment requirement, you can also start collecting the dividend your first year there.
- There are many cities and states around the country that offer financial incentive programs to people who move there under certain circumstances.
- Some programs offer cash incentives to remote workers who move there, even if they don’t work for a local employer.
- Other programs offer money for a specific purpose, such as to help with your relocation expenses or to help you buy a home of a certain value.
- Finally, other states, including Alaska, don’t necessarily pay people to move there but offer financial incentives for people to live there.
Find your new home with help
Taking advantage of one of these incentive programs can be an excellent way to find your new home while relieving some of the financial burden. However, it’s important to make sure the location is right for you and you aren’t just moving there for the cash.
“There are quite a few states that pay you to move and live there, but it’s important to first consider the cost of living and the quality of life at the location,” Winkler said.
Are you planning a big move? If you’re moving to a new state, you’ll want to start shopping for your new home early. We’ve rounded up the best mortgage lenders to help you find the right loan for you.
View Article Sources
- Home Page — RemoteShoals.com
- 2023 PFD Filing Season — State of Alaska: Department of Revenue
- Housing Initiative — Newton Housing Development Corporation
- Eligibility Requirements — ChooseTopeka.com
- Home Page — Tulsa Remote
- Relocation Incentives — Vermont Department of Economic Development
- Home Page — Ascend West Virginia
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