In an era where remote work is gaining momentum and geographical boundaries seem more fluid than ever, a growing number of cities and regions in the United States are rolling out the welcome mat in a unique way—by offering monetary incentives as high as $19,000 to attract new residents.
From $10,000 cash incentives to other perks like free coworking space to free outdoor recreation rentals, these places are carving out a distinct niche in the American relocation landscape.
This article is written by Joselynn Chua, a licensed real estate broker with a degree in applied economics from Cornell University. Below are 10 places in the US that will pay you to move there.
Places in the US that Will Pay You to Move
1. Rochester, NY
Greater ROC Remote is a relocation program offering up to $10,000 in incentives and additional homebuyer grants for up to $9,000 to attract remote workers to the Greater Rochester region.
It’s part of a broader strategy to enhance the regional workforce, alongside initiatives like Greater ROC Careers and Campus ROC. The pilot round aims to recruit 25-30 participants, with plans to relocate up to 600 over three years. All accepted participants must relocate within six months of their selection.
The program is inspired by successful models like Tulsa Remote in Oklahoma and is funded by ROC2025 and investors.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Rochester, NY: Up to $10,000 incentives plus additional grants for up to $9,000
2. New Haven, CT
The City of New Haven offers a First Time Homebuyers Assistance program, providing financial aid of up to $10,000 for down payment and closing costs, which can’t exceed 20% of the property’s purchase price.
This assistance comes in the form of a zero-interest forgivable loan, with forgiveness occurring at a rate of 20% annually over five years.
Eligible properties must be 1-4 family units in New Haven, serving as the buyer’s primary residence, and complying with all relevant laws. The buyer’s household income must not surpass 120% of the area median family income (AMI HUD) or 300% of the federal poverty guidance, adjusted for family size. The buyer must also contribute a minimum of 2% of the property’s purchase price.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to New Haven, CT: Up to $10,000 in zero-interest forgivable loan
3. Tulsa, OK
The Tulsa Remote Program offers a $10,000 cash benefit to eligible applicants, alongside various other perks.
To be considered, applicants must meet four criteria: the ability to relocate to Tulsa within the next 12 months, full-time remote employment or self-employment outside of Oklahoma, being at least 18 years old, and eligibility to work in the United States.
Participants of the Tulsa Remote program receive financial support for relocation expenses and a monthly stipend.
Additionally, they will receive free desk space at 36 Degrees North, a prominent coworking community in Downtown Tulsa. This space serves as a conducive environment for productivity and collaboration with local entrepreneurs and fellow remote workers.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Tulsa, OK: $10,000 Cash Benefits and an office space
4. Newton, IA
Newton, IA will pay you $10,000 to move there.
Those who purchase new single-family homes valued at $190,000 or more within the city limits until 2023 can receive a $10,000 cash incentive along with a “Get to Know Newton” welcome package through the Newton Housing Initiative.
Rental properties are not eligible for the Home Buyer Incentive.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Newton, IA: $10,000
5. Baltimore, MD
Baltimore is offering a relocation incentive of $10,000 through the Vacant to Value Booster Program. This amount can be used for down payment and closing costs and is provided as a forgivable loan over a five-year period.
The program is designed for properties that have received a vacant building notice at least a year before rehabilitation by a developer or purchase by a homebuyer aiming to renovate the property with a rehabilitation loan.
To be eligible, applicants must earn a homeownership counseling certificate before making an offer on the home, use the purchased property as their primary residence, contribute a minimum of $1,000 towards the home purchase, and adhere to the current FHA mortgage limit of $632,500 for a single-family home.
There are no household income restrictions and is open to both first-time and repeat homebuyers.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Baltimore: $10,000 in downpayment and closing cost
The Alaska Permanent Fund Program is a major incentive to move to Alaska. Every Alaska resident receives an annual payout.
The payout amount varies each year, and in 2022, each Alaska resident received $3,284 while the 2023 Permanent Fund Dividend is $1,312. This payment is made on a per-person basis, not per household (kids count!).
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Alaska: A Yearly Dividend
7. West Virginia
The Ascent West Virginia program will pay you $12,000 to move to West Virginia. The program aims to attract remote workers to the state by offering a $12,000 payment distributed over two years, along with a free outdoor recreation package (free outdoor gear rental and pass) and free coworking spaces.
Applicants must currently live outside of West Virginia and work remotely full-time. Recipients are responsible for any associated taxes. The program does not directly offer jobs.
Participants must live in West Virginia for at least two consecutive years to receive the full benefit.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to West Virginia: $12,000 plus 1 year of outdoor recreation package and co-working space.
8. Lincoln, KS
The City of Lincoln in Kansas is giving away free residential lots ranging from 14,000 to 35,000 square feet. These free lots are located close to essential amenities like the high school, hospital, park, and downtown establishments.
Applicants undergo a process that involves a thorough review by the City Council, followed by the drafting and execution of an agreement with the City of Lincoln.
Each house built must meet certain criteria, including specific minimum size and design specifications (modular homes are allowed). Note that some lots might require additional fill due to a high water table, and FEMA’s ongoing floodplain mapping might impact a few of the lots in the future.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Lincoln, KS: Free Land
9. Mattoon, IL
Mattoon, IL is paying $5000 for you to move there! The “Move to Mattoon, Illinois” program is offering attractive incentives to remote workers considering relocation.
Qualified individuals living over 100 miles away from Mattoon can benefit from a $5,000 cash payment plus various incentives worth $2555 in local business gift cards and a $500 voucher for local restaurants.
Local business incentives include 1 year of free coworking space, a 6-month family membership at the YMCA, 6 months of complimentary internet service, 6 months of free storage and more.
To be eligible, applicants must commit to living within Mattoon’s city limits for at least two years, be employed by a company (excluding gig-workers and the self-employed), and have a personal income exceeding $45,000.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Mattoon, IL: $5000 cash plus other incentives
10. Shoals, AL
Shoal, AL is paying $10,000 for you to move there. The Shoals Alabama’s Remote Shoals program offers a $10,000 incentive to individuals relocating to the Shoals in Northwest Alabama.
The incentive is disbursed in installments: 25% upfront, another 25% after the first 6 months in the Shoals, and the remaining 50% upon completion of the first year.
To qualify for the program, applicants must meet specific criteria, including an annual income of $52,000 or more, the ability to relocate to the Shoals area within 6 months of selection, full-time remote employment or self-employment as an independent contractor outside Colbert and Lauderdale counties, and eligibility to work in the United States.
The Shoals area is located approximately 2 hours from Birmingham.
How Much Will You Get for Moving to Shoals, AL: $10,000