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Can you get paid to move to another state or city? It’s an idea, not surprisingly, that is usually met with skepticism.
But, yes, it’s true.
The pandemic changed how we view our workplaces and work locations. Remote workers have become much more common since 2020. In addition, many workers and employers realize more of us can live anywhere with a reliable internet connection.
Two university professors looked at search trends over a ten-year period and saw a significant spike in inquiries about real estate purchasing and rentals starting in June 2020 (22-24%).
In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, about 94,000 more Americans moved between March and October 2020 (The total equalling approximately 8.9 million people.)
Many cities and states became aware of this trend and realized they could expand their tax base. So, they started offering cash incentives, tax credits, home buying allowances, and other incentives for goods and services in hopes of attracting pandemic relocators.
Before the pandemic, most workforce development groups used tax breaks or loan forgiveness to incentivize new residents to move there. But with the surging acceptance of remote working, plus a growing interest in moving to more natural surroundings, these groups decided to up the ante.
Let’s look at some of the top states and cities in America where you can get paid to move.
Get paid to move to West Virginia
The late great John Denver sang that West Virginia was “almost heaven.”
And he might be right.
The state that is known for its small towns and, yes, country roads is offering a sweet deal to move there.
Ascend WV is the program’s name, which offers an incentive package valued at up to $20,000, over half of which is paid in cash.
Free money to relocate
The cash portion of Ascend West Virginia is a payment of $10,000 over the first year you live there and an extra $2,000 for the second.
Beyond that, there are other incentives valued at up to $8,000 up for grabs, including a whole year of free activities like downhill skiing, whitewater rafting, and free gear rentals.
Plus, you’ll have access to a free coworking space in the center of a vibrant mountain town.
Want these beautiful country roads to take you home? With these offers, you might make it a reality.
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Get paid to move to Topeka, Kansas
Topeka, Kansas, is a small town located in Shawnee County with a vibrant art scene, great restaurants, and gorgeous parks everywhere. It’s an ideal place to find your dream life.
The new Choose Topeka Relocation Initiative enables talented professionals who move there to receive up to $15,000 to buy a new home or $10,000 to rent one. This program is open to folks moving to Topeka, KS, who take a full-time, “on-site” position.
They are also trying to attract remote workers, who can receive up to $5,000 to rent a home or $10,000 if they purchase a home. For remote workers, one of the conditions is that their employer must be located outside of Shawnee County.
Choose Topeka also partnered with Airbnb to entice potential new residents with opportunities to visit the city and experience Topeka for free prior to making their big move.
Get paid to move to Savannah, Georgia
The Peach State is rich in history and attracts Americans of all ages. Always ahead of the cultural curve, Savannah offered cocktails to go even before the pandemic started.
And now, the Hostess of the South has an incentive program to get you to move there.
The Savannah Economic Development Authority is offering $2,000 to cover moving expenses for tech workers who are currently located outside of Chatham County.
They also provide $20,000 in grants for businesses that create five or more new tech jobs in the Savannah area.
Furthermore, Georgia overall has many reasons to move there. The median home value here as of April 2022 is $306,113, well below the national median of $440,300.
A typical home here increased in value by 27.7% from April 2021 to April 2022 and increased an impressive 80% over the last five years.
Get paid to move to The Shoals, Alabama
The Shoals, Alabama, had a lot going for it even before it started its incentive program.
There were already several benefits to living here with a low cost of living, a welcoming community, many outdoor activities, and a strong creative culture.
But now, the Remote Shoals program offers a $10,000 stipend for remote workers to set up shop in the area. The Shoals, Alabama area includes the cities of Tuscumbia, Sheffield, Muscle Shoals, and Florence.
Eligibility requirements include a yearly income of at least $52,000 for full-time remote employees. Outside of Lauderdale Counties and Colbert, workers can be self-employed. In both cases, you must be at least 18 years old, legally eligible to work in the United States and have the ability to move within six months.
Your best advantage for buying your new home
Relocation incentives and financial incentives are making remote working from great locations even more attractive to homebuyers.
But you still need to buy the right house—one you can afford and that fits your needs.
Furthermore, since most of the country is still experiencing a seller’s market, there’s a good chance you’ll have competitors for the best choices.
Secure pre-approval* with Homefinity by Homefinity
A pre-approval letter from Homefinity by homefinity.com can put your offer at the top of the pile. It shows you have the financial means and the ability to follow through on your home offer.
Homeowners are often nervous about accepting an offer that ultimately falls through due to financing issues.
Moreover, pre-approval shows that your finances have been analyzed by a professional mortgage company and have determined you are a better bet for them.
Pre-approval also has the advantage of revealing your financial snapshot to give you a much clearer picture of what you can afford.
*Homefinity Edge Pre-Approval is based on a full review of the borrower’s creditworthiness and is contingent upon there being no material changes in the borrower’s financial condition or creditworthiness at the time of final loan approval. Final loan approval is subject to the following conditions: (1) borrower has identified a suitable property, and a valid appraisal supports the proposed loan amount; (2) a valid title insurance binder has been issued; and (3) borrower selects a mortgage program and locks in an interest rate that will support the pre-approved monthly payment amount. Loan must close before the expiration date provided in the pre-approval. Offer not available on FHA, USDA, bond, or DPA programs. Sale of home proceeds contingency not allowed. Gifts not deposited are not allowed. Please note that submitting verifying documentation is not a requirement to receive an estimate of closing costs associated with a mortgage loan.
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