From New England to Saskatchewan to South America to the Swiss Alps, small towns, cities, states and countries are using financial incentives to attract newcomers to help revive their declining populations, neighborhoods and economies. Now, I don’t advocate moving someplace solely for money any more than I do marrying someone for money. But, if a place genuinely floats your boat after scouting it out AND it’s a place that will pay you to move there, that’s a pretty sweet deal!
This Medieval village (pop. 2,700) in southeastern Italy’s Puglia region is willing to pay you to move there after losing tw0-thirds of its population over the last two decades.
• Singles: 800 euros ($940)
• Couples: 1,200 euros ($1,400)
• Three-member families: 1,500 to 1,800 euros ($1,760-$2,100)
• Four- to five-member families: more than 2,000 euros ($2,350)
Eligibility Requirements: You must live inside Candela, rent a house and have a job paying a salary of at least 7,500 euros ($8,800) per year.
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven (pop. 129,964) offers the following financial incentives to entice you to move there:
• Up to $10,000 interest-free to first-time homebuyers (up to $12,500 for city employees, teachers, firefighters, police officers and military members) to use as a down payment or to cover closing costs on a new home
• Forgivable loans of up to $30,000 to make energy-saving home upgrades
• Guaranteed free in-state college tuition to New Haven public school graduates
Eligibility Requirements: Your income may not exceed 120% of the city’s median family income. (Their website has a calculator to help you figure this out.)
Alaska’s (pop. 741,894) Permanent Fund Dividend was established to divide 25% of the state’s annual oil revenues among its permanent residents, which averages out to about $1,200 per person each year.
Eligibility Requirements: You must live in Alaska for at least a year, be present in the state for at least 190 days in a calendar year, and not be a convicted felon.
Saskatchewan’s (pop. 1,098,352) Graduate Retention Program distributes up to $20,000 (about $15,950 USD) in the form of tax credit paid out over seven years to cover tuition fees for graduates living in Saskatchewan.
Eligibility Requirements: You must file your taxes in Saskatchewan and have graduated from an approved post-secondary school in Canada.
The Harmony Economic Development Authority offers a cash rebate program to encourage new home construction in town (pop. 1,013.) Rebates range from $5,000 to $12,000 and are based on the final estimated market value of the new home.
Eligibility Requirements: There are no age, income or current residency restrictions.
Buying Into Baltimore is a $5,000 incentive you can use toward buying a home anywhere in Baltimore City (pop. 621,849) – as long as you’re one of 30 lucky winners in one of two lotteries the city holds each year!
Eligibility Requirements: You must attend a Buying Into Baltimore event, your mortgage can’t be more than $517,000 and you must close on the house within 60 days of being selected in the drawing.
Vacants to Value offers $10,000 to encourage the purchase and redevelopment of a distressed, vacant property to help combat neighborhood blight.
Eligibility Requirements: Houses must have been subject to a Vacant Building Notice for a year or more prior to its rehabilitation for sale to a home buyer.
Calling all business start-ups! With an eye to becoming South America’s business center, Chile (pop. 18 million) will pay you about $45,000 and give you a one-year working visa to launch your business there. You’ll also have access to local mentors and business contacts to help you get started, along with $100,000 in perks, including a $10,000 Amazon Web Services credit or $500 off United flights.
Are you a post-graduate student from a big city? The town of Tribune (pop. 776) wants you! Their Rural Opportunity Zone program will pay off up to $15,000 of your student loans over the course of five years.
The town of Curtis (pop. 896) offers free lots to build on (pending application and permit approval) in a community that already has paved roads and utilities.
Marne (pop. 114) also offers free lots (average lot size is 80 feet x 120 feet) on which to build conventional or modular construction homes.
Eligibility Requirements: Houses must be at least 1,200 square feet.
The alpine village of Albinen (pop. 240) will pay you a cash bonus to move to their community; a family of four is eligible for a bonus of 70,000 Francs, which should be enough to cover the 20% housing deposit many Swiss banks require.
Eligibility Requirements: You must be under age 45, agree to live in the village for 10 years, and build or buy a house worth at least 200,000 Swiss Francs. Foreigners must secure a C permit for permanent Swiss settlement. Second homes are not allowed.
This is just a sampling of places that have financial perks to attract newcomers. When you’re researching possible places to move to, be sure to check their websites to see if they offer any enticing incentives. You might be pleasantly surprised!
How about you?
Are you intrigued by any of the places listed above and the incentives they offer? How do you feel about places that want an influx of new people so badly they’ll pay you to move there? Do you think it shows creativity and resourcefulness, or desperation? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
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