9 places that will pay you to move there right now

April 16, 2021|

If there’s one lesson Americans seem to be taking from the coronavirus pandemic it’s that a lot of jobs can be done from anywhere. Many are waking up to the idea that you no longer need to live there to work there. 

Millions fled big U.S. cities in 2020, often shifting to the less dense suburbs or smaller metropolitan areas in search of more space, a yard and a maybe a garage. A 2020 survey by Upwork found that the rise of remote work in America could lead to near-term migration rates of three to four times the norm. 

The exodus caused home prices to jump outside of cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco, as competition among homebuyers suddenly became fierce. 

States and localities have begun recognizing this potential new normal, and many areas have started offering financial incentives to lure workers, especially educated, high-earning ones in tech and other fields. 

Vermont in 2018, for example, launched its Remote Worker Grant Program, which paid the home office-bound to pull up stakes and move to the Green Mountain State. The program was so successful that it handed out all its allocated funds in 2020 and could be renewed by the legislature in 2021. 

But even if you’re not on Google’s payroll or don’t work from home, you may well be able to nab up to five figures by relocating to one of the many areas across the country that are offering various grant programs. 

Here are 9 places that will throw money at you to move in 2021 and beyond. 

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s second largest city began offering a program in 2018 similar to Vermont’s. The Tulsa Remote program will gift $10,000 to workers who transfer there. Some 375 people took the city up on its offer last year. 

To be eligible, you have to be employed full time, legal to work in the US, at least 18 years of age and willing to settle in 2021. 

The offer comes with other perks, such as a desk at a downtown co-working space. 

Northwest Arkansas

Located in the Ozark Mountains, the area includes five cities: Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Siloam Springs.

It’s already home to three Fortune 500 countries, and you might want to consider moving there if getting $10,000 cash is your thing. 

Their Life Works Here program is open to US citizens at least 24 years of age who currently live outside the state. You must be employed full time and have at least two years of work experience. 

To sweeten the deal, the Northwest Arkansas Council will even throw in a free bicycle. 

Lincoln, Kansas

The town’s motto is, “The size of a dime with the heart of a dollar.” And moving there could save you quite a few dollars. 

Lincoln is ready to hand over free land in a subdivision to home builders willing to construct a dwelling. The Free Home Site Program was founded several years ago, and offers residential lots between 14,000 and 35,000 square feet on which to build your new home. 

As long as the design of your house meet’s the town’s specifications, you’re good to go. And for all the HGTV addicts out there, building a house for the purpose of flipping it is allowed.  

Southwest Michigan

We’re a little dubious about their claim that the area is “only” 90 miles from Chicago, making for an “easy commute,” but hey, maybe you’re a listening-to-four-hours’-worth-of-podcasts-a-day kind of person.  

If you do choose to relocate to the east side of Lake Michigan as part of the Move to Michigan program, you could nab up to $15,000 towards the purchase of a new home. The deal also includes additional perks, such as an annual rail pass or membership at a co-working space. 

Savannah, Georgia

Calling all tech workers who are looking to live inside a John Grisham novel. The charming and historic town of Savannah might hand you a $2,000 reimbursement for moving expenses if you decide to relocate there. 

As long as you work in tech, currently live outside the county, and have three years worth of experience, you can apply for the Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive

Topeka, Kansas

If you can land a job in the state’s capital, your employer and Go Topeka may kick you some cash as part of the Choose Topeka Relocation Incentive. That means up to $10,000 to pay for a rental or up to $15,000 to put towards the purchase of a new home in the city or Shawnee County. 

Applicants have to be eligible to work in the US and move to the area for a full-time position. 

Newton, Iowa

This town, located about a half hour outside of Des Moines, would love for you to move there, pretty please. 

Newton, through its Housing Initiative will give new residents a $10,000 cash incentive for the purchase of a new, single-family home valued at $180,000 and up, $5,000 for homes valued between $100,000 and $179,999.99. Construction must have started in 2020 or 2021. 

Ontario, Oregon

Thinking of building a new home? May as well do it in Ontario, Oregon, a town of just over 11,000 along the Snake River near the Idaho border. 

Ontario, through its Housing Incentive Program, will pay $10,000 towards the cost of new construction. 

The house has to be a single-family, larger than 1,600 square feet, or larger than 1,350 square feet if it also has two bathrooms and a two-car garage. 

Natchez, Mississippi

Remote workers, you’re wanted in Natchez. Through its Shift South incentive program, the town will hand over up to $6,000 to individuals who can work from home and decide to move there. 

The town will reimburse up to $2,500 in moving expenses, then pay out $300 per month for a year to put towards cost of living. 

The catch is, anyone eligible must buy a home valued at no less than $150,000 and agree to live there for at least one year.

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