7 Places Where You’d Actually Get Paid to Live (and Love It, Too)

7 Places Where You'd Actually Get Paid To Live (and Love It, Too)


Would you move to a new city or town if it was willing to hand you $10,000 just for showing up? According to a new report on Livability, such incentives are surprisingly common across the United States. Um, what’s the catch?

The only catch, if you could call it that, is that these areas are typically plagued with a dwindling or aging population. As Livability explains, “As baby boomers leave the workforce and the demand for skilled workers rises, some cities and states are facing an unexpected situation: They need more residents, and fast.”

To reel in these newcomers, officials have gotten pretty creative—offering up help with down payments on homes, college tuition, even free plots of land. So if you’re up for moving where you’ll be showered with gratitude in some form or another, check out these seven options below, plus a glimpse of some of the real estate in these areas.

New Haven, CT

Yale University may be New Haven’s claim to fame, but it’s also developed a bad rep as being unaffordable to non-Ivy-league folks. That’s why in 2014, the city implemented RE: New Haven, a program that promises new residents a $10,000 loan for a down payment on a house.

As if that weren’t nice enough, it’s also offering an additional $30,000 for energy-saving upgrades, and will even slap on up to $40,000 in scholarships to any in-state college for students who graduate from New Haven public schools.

According to realtor.com/local, the median price of a home in New Haven is $223,000—and there are plenty of pretty homes on the market to pick from, including this Cape Cod ranch below.

Price: $194,900

To see more: View all New Haven real estate listings

This Cape Cod-style ranch is for sale in New Haven, CT.


Burlington, VT

Eager to rejuvenate its aging work force, Vermont is looking to attract more full-time residents—particularly young tech workers, who can work remotely. The bait? These new residents will receive $10,000 over two years, which will help cover moving costs, computer software, internet access, and membership of co-working spaces.

The only catch here is that enrollment is limited in this new program, which will launch in January 2019: Only 100 lucky workers will be relocated in the first year, and 20 workers each year after that. The statewide program is not limited to just Burlington, but since the city is Vermont’s largest, it’s being marketed to reel in newcomers.

The median home price in Burlington is $330,000, and incoming residents can find a variety of properties big and small, like the Cape-style home featured below.

Price: $668,000

To see more: View all Burlington real estate listings

This three-bedroom home is just 10 minutes away from downtown Burlington.


Baltimore, MD

Like other Rust Belt cities, Baltimore has seen its population steadily decline over the past few decades. Yet while many have left, their gorgeous houses remain. A median-priced home in Baltimore is $210,000, much less than what you’d see in Washington, DC; Boston; or New York City.

As a further incentive to real estate bargain hunters, the city launched its Buying Into Baltimore program, which offers $5,000 to first-time buyers looking to purchase anywhere in the city. Added bonus: If you work for the city, it will fork over another $5,000 for your first home. And if you’re looking to channel your inner Chip and Joanna Gaines and find a fixer-upper, Baltimore’s Vacant to Value Booster program will give you $10,000 to purchase that home and renovate it.

Take a peek at this spacious brick colonial townhome for sale in Baltimore below.

Price: $254,500

To see more: View all Baltimore real estate listings

This bright townhome has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.


Hamilton, OH

After experiencing a major shortage of skilled laborers, this Ohio city drew up a plan to attract young college graduates. As of now, only 15% of Hamilton residents hold a college degree, and the city hopes that its Talent Attraction Program Scholarship will boost its number of college-educated residents.

Hamilton is offering up to $5,000 to new residents to help pay off student loans. To receive the cash, which is paid in installments of $200 for up to 25 months, applicants must live in designated areas in Hamilton and show proof of employment in the city.

If the cash weren’t incentive enough, the housing market in Hamilton is relatively cheap. The median house price is $160,000, and recent grads can snag a sweet deal, such as this move-in ready traditional home below.

Price: $94,900

To see more: View all Hamilton real estate listings

With an updated kitchen and bathrooms, this three-bedroom home is the perfect starter house.


Harmony, MN

In spite of harsh winters, this small Minnesota town has found a way to get visitors to stay: Newcomers to Harmony can receive up to $12,000 if they decide to build a house. Interested builders can fill out the one-page application, and the city will hand over the cash as soon as the exterior of the house is built.

For those not interested in starting from scratch, Harmony has a few homes on the market, including this remodeled five-bedroom house (below). According to realtor.com/local, the median price of a home in Harmony is $137,000.

Price: $164,900

To see more: View all Hamilton real estate listings

This remodeled gem in Harmony, MN features new flooring and appliances.


Ludington, MI

Have a killer startup idea but can’t find the cash you need to make it happen? Moving to this Midwestern city may be the best decision for your business.

Not only is Ludington located right on beautiful Lake Michigan, but the breezy town of 8,500 is also looking to becoming a hub for small businesses and startups through its yearly Momentum Business Plan Competition, which awards one lucky winner a grand prize of $50,000.

The only stipulation is that the winner must relocate his or her business to Ludington, but considering that a median-priced home runs for $192,000, it’s not a bad trade-off. Maybe next year’s winner will move into the lakeside lot featured below.

Price: $495,000

To see more: View all Ludington real estate listings

This five-bedroom home sits directly on Lincoln Lake in Ludington, MI.


Marne, IA

Only 120 residents live in this tiny town, located about an hour outside of Des Moines, so a decade ago, town officials created a program to attract people to the struggling workforce. Sadly, there are no homes for sale in Marne, so new residents receive an unusual gift: free land!

Marne is providing a free plot of land to new residents who want to build a house. The lots average about 9,600 square feet—not bad, considering other plots in the area have been valued for over $180,000. That’s quite a perk—so if a truly small-town vibe is your thing, give it some serious thought.

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Source: Housing Trends Feed