10 States (and Cities) That Pay You to Move There


Even though remote work is not as popular as it was during the pandemic, it continues to be a viable option for many people and has opened up opportunities for them to live and work from anywhere. With this flexibility, many people are looking for a new place to call home. To take advantage of this, many cities and states created relocation incentives (or already had them) to attract young professionals to their region. Many incentives involve cash payments, while others are more specific.

But what are these incentive programs? What are the states that will pay you to move there? How much are they paying? And why do these programs exist?

The truth is that many states and cities could benefit from a larger tax base. So, to attract more people to their city, local governments are paying remote workers to move to their area. Some of these incentives hit five-figures and include other perks like free recreation equipment or down-payment assistance. And while places are primarily targeting remote workers, a few states will even pay you to live there if you accept a local, in-person job. 

Whether you’re moving across the country for a change of scenery, or some extra income sounds appealing, there may be a few locations on this list that could be ideal for you. Find out more about places that pay you to live there and the incentives they offer.

States that pay you to move there

1. Alaska

1 Alaska

If moving closer to the great outdoors sounds appealing to you, nothing beats the rugged, beautiful landscape of Alaska. But with Alaska being so far away, you may wonder: how much does Alaska pay you to live there, and why? 

Simply put, Alaska needs people. So much so that new Alaskans will receive an annual dividend simply for living there for a full calendar year and intending on becoming a resident indefinitely. To see if your forever home is in Alaska, look up homes for sale in Alaska and Alaska rentals in popular cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks.

If you’re still on the fence about living in Alaska, consider this: there’s no state tax, so you won’t have to pay any income or sales tax (local sales tax may apply though). Additionally, the median home price is $347,300, compared to the national median price of $402,242. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife and have access to some of the world’s best seafood.

Initiative Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD)
Benefits & Information Variable, depending on what the state government approves each year. 2023’s dividend was $1,312 per person.
Program Requirements To receive the PFD, you must:

  • Live in Alaska for a whole calendar year. Then, you can apply.
  • Plan to live in Alaska exclusively and indefinitely after your first calendar year.
How to Apply Visit the PFD website and apply online between January 1-March 31 after you’re eligible. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can be approved.

2. Arkansas: Northwest Arkansas

5 Arkansas

Arkansas’ moving incentive program is aimed at attracting top talent to move to the region, and they’ll even throw in some outdoor gear to explore the area’s vast wilderness. Plus, with an average median home price of $238,900, a high per capita income, and a low cost of living, it’s no wonder it’s known as one of the best places to live in America.

If calling Northwest Arkansas your new home state has a nice ring to it, check out homes for sale or apartments for rent in Arkansas to see if your next dream home is available.

Initiative Life Works Here
Benefits & Information $10,000 in cash.

The Life Works Here Initiative also offers support in finding community, housing, and jobs.

Program Requirements To qualify for the Life Works Here Initiative, you’ll have to meet a few requirements. You must:

  • Work remotely full-time for an accredited business 
  • Be willing to move to Benton or Washington counties in Arkansas for at least twelve months (one full year)
  • Must remain for at least a year in order to get the full benefit of the incentive
How to Apply Visit the Life Works Here website.

Note: Life Works Here was not accepting applications as of March 2024. 

3. West Virginia

4 West Virginia

Famous for more than just its “country roads”, West Virginia offers one of the most lucrative programs to attract new residents to the state. This West Virginia moving incentive is called Ascend West Virginia, and they’re currently accepting applications from people who want to get paid to move to West Virginia. The program focuses on the Greenbrier Valley, Morgantown, Greater Elkins, Eastern Panhandle, and New River Gorge communities.

In addition to a huge chunk of change, new transplants can also receive outdoor recreational equipment along with other benefits to sweeten the pot. Housing is also very affordable even without receiving the money to move there, with the median home sale price in West Virginia 26% below the national median at $297,600.

This program is quite popular, so get a head start on some house or apartment hunting by scoping out West Virginia rentals and homes for sale in West Virginia before applications fill up.

Initiative Ascend West Virginia
Benefits & Information If you qualify for Ascend West Virginia, you can expect to receive up to $12,000 cash, plus other benefits such as free outdoor recreational equipment, professional development opportunities, and co-working space.

The total package offered with Ascend West Virginia is valued at $20,000.

Program Requirements Like other programs, you’ll have to meet some requirements to apply for Ascend WV. You must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Work remotely, full-time at a verifiable employer based outside of West Virginia (or be self-employed)
  • Provide a full year’s proof of income
  • Be able to relocate to the areas as designated by the Ascend WV Program within six months of being accepted
How to Apply Head to the Ascend West Virginia website.

4. Vermont

3 Vermont

If you currently work remotely, you may want to put the Green Mountain State at the top of your list. As one of the smallest states by population, with around 625,000 residents, the state is enticing remote workers to move there by offering an employment grant with awards up to $7,500. While this attractive relocation incentive doesn’t cover your moving expenses, it’s worth noting that the median sales price of homes in Vermont is $389,000, lower than the national median of $402,242.

If you plan on visiting the home state of Ben & Jerry’s before committing, there are plenty of short-term rentals in Vermont to consider. And if you enjoy your time, Vermont’s beautiful outdoor space and affordable housing make it a great place to call home. 

Initiative New Remote Worker Grant
Benefits & Information Up to $7,500 (up to $5,000 if moving to Barre or Burlington).
Program Requirements To qualify for the New Remote Worker Grant, you have to:

  • Be working full time remotely for an out-of-state employer
  • Relocate to Vermont and become a full-time resident
  • Have a wage that equals or exceeds $13.39/hour
  • Have incurred qualified relocation expenses
  • Be subject to Vermont income tax
How to Apply Visit Think Vermont’s Relocation Incentives page.

Note: the New Relocating Worker Grant, listed in our previous article, is no longer accepting applications.

Cities that pay you to move there

1. Hamilton, OH

11 Hamilton

Hamilton has a great program to offer if you’re one of the many college graduates seeking remote work out of state. With student loans being the biggest deterrent to growth for college graduates, the city is offering to pay down debts to boost its college-educated workforce. 

The affordable housing market is also one of the perks of moving to the city; the median sale price for homes in Hamilton is just $207,450. But if you want to see what else the city has to offer before moving there, you can always rent an apartment in Hamilton to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Initiative Talent Attraction Program (TAP)
Benefits & Information If your application to TAP is accepted, you’ll receive $400 per month up to $15,000 total. That’s almost three years’ worth of monthly payments.
Program Requirements Requirements for TAP are unique. To qualify, you must:

  • Have graduated from a collegiate/university STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) program within the last seven years
  • Not currently living in Hamilton
  • Plan to move to Hamilton
  • Have full-time, remote employment OR have employment within Butler County, OH. 
How to Apply Check out the TAP website.

2. Lincoln, KS

most-walkable-cities-in-kansas

Take your dream home from blueprint to construction by making the move to Lincoln. Instead of cash incentives, the city takes a unique approach to attract new residents by offering free land to those looking to put down roots. Each lot ranges from 14,000 to 35,000 square feet and is located within a fully decked-out residential development within the city limits. Keep in mind that you are responsible for the costs associated with building a new home, however.

But if building a home isn’t for you, Lincoln is made even more attractive by its affordable housing market. The median sale price for homes in Lincoln County is just $57,000. 

Initiative Free Home Site Program
Benefits & Information Variable, as plots of land range from 14,000-35,000 square feet.
Program Requirements While the Free Home Site Program doesn’t offer a stipend, they do offer free tracts of land.

In order to qualify, you must be an individual or family relocating to or flipping a home in Lincoln, KS. 

How to Apply Visit the Lincoln County website for more information.

3. Newton, IA

9 Newton

The city of Newton is attracting new residents to settle into their community for the long haul with a major housing initiative. With the Get to Know Newton program, you’ll receive a stipend amount based on the value of the home you buy. So, if you pay $240,000 or more for a home, you’ll receive a $10,000 cash incentive, as well as the Get to Know Newton welcome package.

Choosing Newton as your home also means more affordable housing. The median home price for homes for sale in Newton is $108,500 – far below the national median. But if you’re looking to scope out the city before making your decision, there are plenty of short-term rentals in Newton to consider.

Initiative Get to Know Newton
Benefits & Information Up to $10,000, plus extras if you qualify.
Program Requirements In order to qualify for Get to Know Newton, you must purchase a new home (not just a property) in Newton, Iowa, which is just outside Des Moines. 

Rental properties are excluded.

How to Apply Visit Newton’s official website

4. Rochester, NY

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Rochester, known for its snowy winters, natural splendor, and abundance of museums and amenities, wants to grow. The city is doing it through the Greater ROC Remote initiative, which aims to bring a talented remote workforce to the shores of Lake Ontario. The initiative offers cash, incentives for buying a home, and will pay for you to visit if you’re not willing to move sight-unseen.

Apart from being a very affordable place to live, it’s full of amenities and attractions, like the George Eastman Museum, the Strong National Museum of Play, and the Rochester Museum & Science Center.

Initiative Greater ROC Remote
Benefits & Information Up to $10,000 in cash, and up to $9,000 in additional homebuyer incentives.
Program Requirements To qualify for the incentives, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older and eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Currently work as a full-time remote worker
  • Live 300+ miles from downtown Rochester
  • Be willing to relocate within six months of acceptance into the program
How to Apply Visit the Greater ROC Remote website.

Note: Applications are paused as of March 2024. 

5. The Shoals: Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia, AL

10 The Shoals

If you’re a remote worker looking for a change of scenery, vibrant food scene, outdoor activities, and more, consider The Shoals area in Alabama. The Shoals is made up of four different cities: Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia, and all four are accepting applications for new residents interested in participating in the Remote Shoals program.

Can’t part with the hustle and bustle of urban life? No worries. The Shoals is only a two-hour drive from Birmingham, Nashville, and Memphis, and an hour flight to Atlanta via Boutique Airlines, giving you easy access to major cities.

With low property taxes and below average house prices, the overall cost of living in these cities is significantly lower than other similarly sized metro areas in the state. But if you’re having trouble picking and need to test drive each city, you can also consider renting an apartment in Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, or Tuscumbia.

Initiative Remote Shoals
Benefits & Information Up to $10,000. You’ll receive 25% of the stipend before your move, another 25% six months after you relocate, and the remaining 50% one year after your move.
Program Requirements To qualify for Remote Shoals, you must: 

  • Be 18 years old or older and eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Have a minimum income of $52,000 per year
  • Have full-time remote or self-employed work which is based outside of the Colbert and Lauderdale counties in Alabama
  • Move to Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, or Tuscumbia, AL within six months of approval
How to Apply Visit the Remote Shoals website.

6. Topeka, KS

6 Topeka

Known for its arts and outdoor scene, moving to Topeka, KS, could be a decision that pays off in spades. The Choose Topeka Initiative offers cash funds to remote workers moving from out of state for an “on site” position, as well as to remote workers who relocate as long as their employer is located outside of Shawnee County. 

New applicants with on site positions, where your employer is a participant in a relocation incentive and located in Shawnee County, are eligible to receive up to $10,000 for renting and up to $15,000 for buying a home. Remote workers can receive up to $5,000 for rent in the first year and up to $10,000 in funds towards a home purchase. 

Topeka also offers major savings compared to other large cities. The median home price in Topeka is $147,000, less than half the national median, and the city boasts a 10% lower cost of living compared to the national average. 

Ready to make the move? Start your home search by looking up apartments for rent in Topeka, as well as homes for sale in Topeka.

Initiative Choose Topeka
Benefits & Information Up to $10,000 if renting a home, and up to $15,000 if buying a home.

Additional benefits for transitioning military service members.

Program Requirements To qualify for Choose Topeka, you must:

  • Move to Topeka for a full time position (or work remotely for an out-of-state employer). If working in-person, your employer must participate in the Choose Topeka program 
  • Purchase or rent a home in Shawnee County within a year of being hired or moving
  • Participate in a Choose Topeka Immersion program
  • Complete the Choose Topeka survey after one year
How to Apply Visit the Choose Topeka website to apply.

7. Tulsa, OK

7 Tulsa

Oklahoma is paying to relocate remote workers through a program called Tulsa Remote. With a low cost of living, a thriving remote community, and countless opportunities to explore the city, it’s no wonder why Tulsa has been attracting a steady stream of new residents. In fact, the Tulsa Remote alone has brought 2,900 people to the area and generated hundreds of millions of dollars.

If you’re looking to buy a house in Tulsa, it’s worth noting that the median home sale price in Tulsa is $206,500 – 49% below the national median price. Plus, through Tulsa Remote, you’ll receive cash and other benefits for your Oklahoma relocation. 

But if you’re not ready to make the leap to homeownership, no worries. Consider renting an apartment in Tulsa or checking out houses for rent to get a feel for what it’s like to live in Tulsa before putting down roots.

Initiative Tulsa Remote
Benefits & Information $10,000 relocation incentive.

You’ll receive $2,500 up front and the rest of the $10,000 within your first year after moving to Tulsa.

Recipients also receive a one-year membership at a city coworking site, as well as housing and community resources. 

Program Requirements To qualify for Tulsa Remote, you have to meet a few requirements. You must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Are authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Have full-time remote or self-employed work based outside the state of Oklahoma
  • Have lived outside the state of Oklahoma for a full year
  • Be able to move to Tulsa within 12 months of applying
How to Apply Visit Tulsa Remote’s website

Final thoughts

With the option to work remotely still a possibility for many people, many states are upping the game and offering enticing financial incentives for people looking to relocate. If you’re a remote worker moving out of state or looking for a fresh start and new job, you may find that moving to one of these places could be a decision that pays off – literally. And with the lower cost of living and median home prices in many of these cities, you’ll likely gainmany more economic benefits in addition to the money you receive for moving.

There are dozens of other offers and incentives for people willing to relocate, but most require specific education or other requirements. Visit MakeMyMove to see a full list.

Disclaimer: Program details and housing data as of March 2024. This article is for informational purposes only. Redfin does not endorse any of the programs mentioned. Redfin strongly recommends that consumers make informed decisions, and independently verify that a state, city, or financial offering will meet their needs.



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