Moving is an expensive undertaking. From offloading your current abode to packing, cleaning and finding a new place to live, the process isn't cheap. In some cases, you'll need to take time off work to handle things. You might even lose quite a bit of money in the process.
Living in an expensive city with high housing costs can get pricey -- particularly for college graduates saddled with student debt. More than 700,000 people left California in 2018 due to the high cost of living. And they're heading to less-costly places, like Texas. The Lone Star State , which helps residents keep costs low.
What if you could get paid to move to a different state? There are some that are willing to give you money or another financial incentive just for occupying space. Some offer more money than others, but you could stand to earn some decent cash by relocating. Here are some states that will pay you to move there.
If you can work from anywhere, why not let that "anywhere" be Tulsa? The Tulsa Remote program will to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, even as you work remotely. To be eligible, you'll need to:
- Be able to move to Tulsa within six months
- Have full-time remote employment or be self-employed
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be eligible to work in the US
Along with the $10,000 to move, you'll also get free desk space in a coworking office in downtown Tulsa.
The Remote Worker Grant Program lets you work anywhere while living in Vermont. It's similar to the Oklahoma program in that you'll need to be able to work remotely -- in other words, you need to be a full-time worker who isn't restricted to where you currently live.
For Vermont, you'll need to detail your employment, including information that your employer must complete. You'll also need to detail qualifying remote worker expenses that aren't covered by your job. If you receive the grant, you could get up to $5,000 per year for up to two years.
The program is limited to one grant recipient per household, and self-employed people aren't eligible. (Note that all the funding has already been awarded for 2020. The Vermont Legislature is evaluating additional funding to continue the program.)
You might not get cold, hard cash in Kansas, but you'll get free land instead. The city of Lincoln gives away free residential lots to people with the intention of building a new home. The free home site program has lots that range from 12,000 to 35,000 square feet.
If you get the lot, you'll qualify for a 10-year property rebate tax program. Before you buy, keep in mind that you'll need to put down a deposit on the property -- $0.08 per square foot -- that you get back after the terms of the agreement are completed.
If Kansas isn't your state, try Iowa. The city of Marne also has a free lot program. This is for legal US residents only, and only single or duplex housing is permitted.
Homes must be at least 1,200 square feet, and you'll need to complete the structure within 18 months after signing your contract. You're also required to have a basement -- at least a partial one -- that doesn't count towards your total square footage. You can't have a commercial property built, and you're not allowed to keep an RV, trailer or boat on the property.
If you're an Alaska resident, you'll qualify for the Alaska Permanent Fund as long as you apply for it.
The state's oil royalties pay each permanent resident an annual dividend. Amounts range from $1,000 to $2,000 per person or up to $8,000 for a family of four. (The amounts vary each year depending on stock market performance and other factors.) You'll need to register every year to receive the funds, and you can expect a payout sometime in the fall.
This is a big benefit to current Alaska residents. Former Gov. Bill Walker reduced dividend amounts to recipients, and the topic became a huge campaign issue in 2018. Current Gov. Mike Dunleavy is looking for ways to implement supplemental payouts.
If you're thinking about moving to Baltimore, you might qualify for up to $5,000 in closing costs assistance through the Buying Into Baltimore program. The program is awarded to 30 home buyers by lottery 10 days after Live Baltimore's Trolley Tour event -- which you must attend if you'd like to be eligible.
To qualify, you'll need to:
- Complete home ownership counseling and earn a certificate proving your completion
- Make the new home your primary residence
- Have at least $1,000 of your own money that goes towards the purchase of your home
- Make an offer on a home within 10 days of the tour event, have it accepted and also have a copy of the sale
- Buy a home that doesn't exceed $517,500 for a single-family residence
- Avoid cosigners, cash sales and owner financing
Getting $5,000 to reduce some costs is helpful. But many other cities, counties and states offer home-buyer assistance programs. See the eligibility requirements and what you might qualify for.